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25 Jul 2012
Comments: 1

More Science Investigations using the iPad

In the spirit of my last post, I would like to share another science apptivity for the iPad. I wish I could take credit for this one but Bryan P Doyle is the author of the resource. I had the pleasure of attending his session at the Area 7 Conference this summer. The topic was “iConstruction”. We were assembled in small groups and given our materials (e.g. marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti noodles) with the challenge to build the tallest tower that could outstand the other towers for the longest period of time (or 30 seconds). Bryan’s full post and more info for the app-tivity can be found on his blog.

Here’s how Bryan constructed the workflow of the iLearning experience:

  • Step 1: Open the Apptivity Directions (an ePub) on your iPad.
  • Step 2: Launch Safari to research the best configuration and structure for your tower
  • Step 3: Use the Neu.KidsDraw app to draw the tower you plan to build
  • Step 4: Utilize the iMotion HD app to record the actual construction


As Jon and I were the “problem children” in the group, we may have scrapped steps 2 and 3 and jumped straight to step 4. While we didn’t have the tallest tower, we ended up with the most expansive and had a wonderfully enjoyable time with the app-tivity. Below is the iMotion HD film that captured our construction process.

Check out other Science iLessons here.

18 May 2012
Comments: 4

3 Interactive iPad App-tivities that aren't Apps!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am always intrigued by sites that offer interactivity but are not apps (ala Quizlet). I had observed Mr. Wayment’s class reviewing the Greek & Latin roots using an 82 card Quizlet deck he had created. Students were utilizing various activities within Quizlet (e.g. Speller, Learn, and Scatter) to review the terms.


While the students were engaged in the app-tivity, Mr. Wayment shared another online resource that he had been using (on both the computer and the iPad)… Jeopardy Labs. Though I did not have a chance to create my own, I did explore the sample Mr. Wayment created on Greek & Latin Roots. Although he initially created the resource online, he has the flexibility to have students access it in small groups on the computer and from the iPad.

Wayment's Greek and Latin Roots: Online Jeopardy


Here’s how it works:

  1. Multiple Teams: The site allows multiple teams (up to 12) to play the same board.
  2. Choose a Category and a Point Value.
  3. Answer in question form: They are presented with a statement and must verbalize the correct question to match (e.g. Statement: “Derivative of “digit” that means magic tricks, card tricks, or sleight-of-hand” Correct Response: “What is prestidigitation?”)
  4. Assigning Points and Recording Scores: If the team provides a correct answer, they tap the + and the point value of the item is added to their leader board. If they answered incorrectly, they tap the – and the point value of the item is removed from their leader board.
  5. Repeat and Enjoy: After the points are recorded, the teams would return to the game board and a different team would repeat the category and point value selection.



Though the lesson itself essentially was English Language Arts focused in nature, the idea of jeopardy for any content area or grade level is fully translatable and customizable. Create your own Jeopardy Board or utilize the current pre-created templates is FREE.


While researching Jeopardy Labs, I came across Bingo Baker (another online resource created by the maker of Jeopardy Lab). With this tool, you can easily create and play your own Bingo Boards (online and directly from the iPad) with no login or payment. Each Bingo Card includes 25 squares (including one free spot). The cards can also be printed as a PDF for playing as a hard copy or annotating in an app like PaperPort Notes or Notability.


Bingo Baker step-by-step directions: I created a Snapguide for how to create and play your Bingo Card.

Snapguide: How to Create & Play BINGO on your iPad


Interesting note…
  1. I created the card on my iPad and went into play mode on the iPad and then used the same link on my computer for the card and had a different variation of the same card.
  2. If you refresh the page on the iPad or the computer, it will create a different variation of the card using the same words entered.
  3. One cannot edit the card once it has been created (only clone it).


Further English & Vocabulary Resources: 
  1. How to use Quizlet on the iPad
  2. Math-tastic iVocabulary
  3. iVocabulary
  4. Paperless Passages with PaperPort 
  5. Putting an iSpin on Video Vocabulary


13 Apr 2012
Comments: 6

iBuild iPad Lessons: Mobile 2012

Sharing the resources from “iBuild iPad Lessons” workshop, which was offered at Mobile 2012, we (Yolanda and I) created multiple documents and PDF handouts to share.

Unfortunately Yolanda was unable to attend due to funding… (video created with Silent Film Director).

The two-hour Bring Your Own Device workshop included:

    1. Where to find the best educational apps
    2. Cautionary Apps & Info on Settings/Restrictions
    3. Sample Student Products & a discussion about consumption vs. production and how students submit work
    4. A compilation of  20+ free edu apps with provided integration ideas
    5. An iLesson template and time to create an iLesson of their own using the tools/resources provided.


Built in to each section was time to share resources, tips, and reactions and collaborate with colleagues.

If you missed the presentation…check it out.















Documents utilized in the course:

  1. Appy Integraion
  2. Lesson Template


 Want to share your iLesson?

Creative Commons License
iBuild iPad Lessons by Lisa Johnson & Yolanda Barker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

01 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

iClassify Triangles

Tasked to modify an existing paper-based lesson on classifying triangles to be more multimedia (and mobile) in nature, I chose to create two separate lessons:

Direct Instruction: If teachers wanted to include a direct teach piece, the following videos would serve the purpose.


Web 2.0/Computer:

  1. Student Task 1: Utilize the deck below to view the 7 mystery triangles. Check your understanding by flipping the card over to get the answer.
  2. Student Task 2: Draw a triangle to match the description for each of the mystery triangles using Paint or Smart Notebook Express (or a recording sheet).



  1. Student Task 1: Access the Mystery Triangle deck using an iDevice and the Flashcards* app:
    1. Launch Flashcardlet app.
    2. Tap Flashcards.
    3. Tap + sign in upper right hand corner to Download from Quizlet.
    4. Tap in the search space.
    5. Type “Techchef4u”.
    6. Tap Creator and tap Search.
    7. Select Mystery Triangle Exercise.
    8. Tap Add to Library.
    9. Tap Cancel and tap Library to return to your personal Flashcard library.
    10. Tap to select Mystery Triangle Exercise to review deck.
    11. Tap Study and start studying.
    12. Review all 7 cards in the deck: swipe to go to the next card and tap on a card to see the back of the card.
  2. Student Task 2: Draw a triangle to match the description for each of the mystery triangles using Popplet Lite, iPen Free, or or Xnote.



  1. Have students create their own Quizlet deck for Mystery Quadrilaterals.
  2. Utilize Doodle Buddy, Story Lines for Schools, or TypeDrawing FREE to illustrate triangles.
  3. Have students make a talking triangle video for a specific triangle using Mad Lips.
  4. Have students create an instructional video to teach classifying triangles using ScreenChomp, Explain Everything, ShowMe, or Educreations. (See example Classifying Triangles video from Math Lambert).
  5. Have students create their own triangle song using SongifyVideo Star, or Videolicious.


See original Triangle Song and adaptation below: 

More iLessons:

  1. Math iLessons & Pinterest iPad Lessons


01 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

iFactor: Prime Factorization Cubed!

After meeting with the 5th Math Specialist to collaborate and plan, I feel like we have a really good plan for next week’s 5th Math training. The intent was to provide technology tools for teachers that would not serve as “one hit wonders.” Rather, we wanted to provide teachers with a Bag of iTricks that could be used to support multiple mathematics skills… and other content areas. The iLesson below not only reduces paper waste (the original document was 9 pages) but provides a viable alternative to a pencil and paper task.

The original document included a direct teach piece on prime factorization, a Frayer model template for Prime Numbers, 4 recording sheets for factoring numbers in multiple ways, and a template for creating your own prime numbers matching card sort. Using a combination of the apps iPen Free app and Popplet Lite, I was able to reduce the packet to a page or two.
Student Task 1: Frayer Model using Popplet Lite

  1. Double tap on the screen to create a popple.
  2. Tap the “T” to add text and type “Prime Number”.
  3. Tap the gray circle connector to create another popple attached to the first one.
  4. Type “Example” in the second popple.
  5. Tap the icon of the pen to draw your example.
  6. Tap the Prime Number popple to create another popple attached to it.
  7. Type “Non-Example” in the third popple.
  8. Draw your non-example example.
  9. Tap the Prime Number popple to create another popple attached to it.
  10. Type “Definition” in the fourth popple and write your definition.
  11. Tap Export and Save the image as a jpeg.

The iLesson video (Student Task 1) below was created with the Reflections web app that allows screen mirroring of your iPad.


Student Task 2: Prime Numbers Two Ways

  1. On page 1: Import your Prime Number Frayer Model that was created in Popplet Lite.
  2. On page 2:
    1. Find the Prime Factorization of 80 in red.
    2. Find a second way to factor 80 in blue.
    3. Write the prime factorization of 80 using exponents in green.
  3. On page 3: Complete steps 1-3 for 30.
  4. On page 4: Complete steps 1-3 for 72.
  5. On page 5: Complete steps 1-3 for 120.
  6. On page 6: Find the value of 3 x 3 x 3 x 5.
  7. On page 7: Find the value of 3² x 5 x 7
  8. On page 8: Complete the Reflection using a combination of pen and text.
    1. How do you know when you have found a number’s prime factorization?
    2. Does every number have a prime factorization? Explain.
    3. Can a number have more than one prime factorization? Why?
  9. On page 9: Complete the Reflection using a combination of pen and text.
    1. Find all the numbers less than 50 that have at least one 2 and at least one 5 in their prime factorization.
    2. What do you notice about these numbers?
  10. On page 10-12: Solve the following problems:
    1. Find the prime factorization of 240.
    2. Carson and Beth are comparing their secret numbers. Carson’s number has a prime factorization with 2 numbers and Beth has a prime factorization with 3 numbers. Beth says this means her number is larger. Is Beth correct? Explain and give examples.
    3. What is the value of 3² x 5³ x 7.
  11. Email your book to your teacher (there is also an option to print if you have access to an airprinter).


Factoring 2 Ways with iPen Free app


Student Task 3: Prime Number Matching Card Sort using Popplet Lite

  1. Create 8-10 unconnected popples.
  2. Each popple should be a number, a factorization, or a prime factorization with exponents.
  3. Include some items that could have more than one match.
  4. Pass the Popplet to your partner and have him/her connect the popplets that match (remember some popples may be connected to more than one popple).
  5. If you have any remaining items, create two popples for each unused popple to illustrate prime factorization in two ways. (Change the frame color of the left-over popples).


Other iLessons with Popplet & iPen:
  1. Multiplication Stories (iPen)
  2. Inferencing iValentines (Popplet)
  3. More Vocabulary & Frayer Models (Popplet)
  4. Sequencing (Popplet)
  5. Character Map (Popplet)
  6. Geometry (Popplet)
  7. Other Math iLessons


Popplet Lite was also featured in “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” iBook to support Bloom’s taxonomy in the iClassroom.


14 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Reflections on a 1:1 iPad: It is a Tool, NOT a Toy!

I had the wonderful app-ortunity to make a site visit to Westlake H.S. in Eanes ISD on Wednesday February 1st. When we arrived, various campus and district officials shared some background on the student-centered learning initiative. They focused on multiple benefits of the 1:1 iPad initiative where high school seniors were issued iPads like textbooks at the beginning of the year. In a time where global communication, inquiry-based opportunities, and self-directed learning is how students manage the information revolution, it was refreshing to get to observe an iLearning Utopia.

WIFI Update from Westlake Chaps on Vimeo: Produced by Westlake Film Production – Special Thanks to Carolyn Foote

When asked what they would miss most about their iPad if it was picked up next week, one student replied “I would miss the responsibility – I feel like the school trusts me.”

Student Responsibilities: Allowing students to take the iPads home “blurs the lines” of school and home and provides for a 24/7 information access environment where students can digitally pursue their passion and interest in authentic learning environments and collaborate and problem-solve with others to deepen understanding. With this came an iPad Loan Agreement which included 10 Student Responsibilities (5 of which are highlighted below):


  1. My iPad is my responsibility and I will not leave it in unsupervised areas.
  2. I will honor my family’s values when using the iPad.
  3. I will bring the iPad to school every day with a fully-charged battery.
  4. I will treat the iPad appropriately and will report any mechanical or technical issues to the school.
  5. I agree to use the iPad for appropriate, legitimate, and responsible communications.


Parent/Guardian Responsibilities: The agreement also included 7 Parent/Guardian Responsibilities (3 of which are highlighted below) which re-stated many of the Student Responsibilities:

  1. I will supervise my son’s/daughter’s use of the iPad at home.
  2. I will discuss our family’s values and expectations regarding the use of the Internet and email at home and will supervise my son’s/daughter’s use of the Internet and email.
  3. I will ensure that my son/daughter reports any mechanical or technical issues to the school.


During my visit, I had the pleasure of observing 3 different classrooms and visiting the Juice Bar.

English 3 AP: While the student task and assignment itself was projected in the SMART board, it was very clear when I walked in to this classroom that the learning had been moved from the wall to the hands of the kids. Students were seated in groups of 4 and 5 (each with their own iPad). Each student was clearly on task and engaged and able to utilize all of the resources around them in a productive and purposeful fashion… including their peers. It was also refreshing to see the teacher, Valerie Taylor, modeling the use of creative commons photos as it is so simple now with an iPad to save any internet image to your Photo Roll for use in a project (without attribution).

Valerie Taylor Moves Learning from the Wall to the Hands of the Kids

AP Environmental Science: The teacher, Bob Murphy, discussed how he had found an article that very morning that he felt was more pertinent and relevant than what he had initially planned for the day. Typically, teachers can not change their lessons on the fly to accommodate new or current findings as additional copies and labs require time and planning. With the convenience of having a personal mobile device, students accessed the article with their Austin American Statesman app (they also have a podcast series) and then proceeded to engage in a discussion on the topic.

Statistics: The first thing I noticed about this classroom was the multiple learning styles supported with the iPad. While each student was taking notes on the same topic, many used different note-taking apps (the favorite was NoteTaker), a stylus, a keyboard. Even in the same note-taking app, students notes looked quite different. Brad Smith mentioned a couple of benefits of the 1:1 such as the ability to analyze and manipulate large data sets and make graphs and charts quickly. He also discussed the ability for students to keep a record of their homework and assignments (as these electronic items are resident on their device even after they have submitted them via email to their instructor).

(See video below for more teacher tips for integrating the iPad into the iClassroom)

Juice Bar: Our last stop before returning to debrief on our findings and observations was the library which Carolyn Foote has turned into hip and trendy spot to share apps, collaborate, and troubleshoot the devices. The carpet was removed, power strips, cafe tables and chairs were added, idea boards were provided to share apps and resources, and a mentorship program was created to self-support the troubleshooting and mechanics of the devices.

The Juice Bar: Westlake H.S.

I had brought a list of logistical questions to ask students and teachers and will share them with the resulting answers below:
  1. What if you forget your iPad at home? While it clearly states in the student responsibility form that students will bring a fully-charged iPad to school each day, there will be the occasionally day that one will forget. In the event of iAmnesia, students are able to rent one out for the day.
  2. What happens if a student breaks or damages a device? In the past six months, approximately 60 of the 2,000 iPads have been broken or damaged. This amounts to only 3% of the initial load. Students were given the option to purchase optional insurance for their device for a fee of $30. With a 95% acceptance rate, it is clear this was a popular option.
  3. Can students access Facebook? No, this site is blocked by the school Wifi.
  4. Does the device present a distraction? From multiple student interviews, I found the device is a wonderful way to self-manage. Students are aware that they have to complete the assignment regardless and most would rather complete it in class then complete it at home. If students are off-task on the device, teachers have the authority to pick it up and have it returned to the student or parent at the end of the day.
  5. How do teachers interact with students in this “blurred line” atmosphere? Teachers have office hours a few days a week in which they are available to FaceTime with small groups from 6-8pm to discuss assignments – modeling an atmosphere that closely resembles higher education institutions.
  6. What accommodations are made for absent students? Many times a friend will video-tape the lecture or students can FaceTime in directly.
  7. Can’t students cheat with an iPad? Typically assessments are given with an iPad / non iPad section. The iPad section would also allow access to student notes. Many standardized assessments are accessed via a QR code and then completed in Google Forms. (See video below for apps and process used to create and conduct these paperless assessments)
  8. How do students submit work? While Dropbox is an app that easily allows students access to files, multiple teachers mentioned that the organization and maintenance of the utility as well as the ability for students to accidentally delete or move files and folders led them to rely on submitting work almost exclusively via email. So what might that process look like? Students have a school email. Teachers have a Gmail account in which they have set up files and a sorting nomenclature based on the subject line (e.g. Statitsics: Period 2, English AP: Period 3).
  9. Is printing from an iPad an issue? Due to the increase in electronic submissions of work, teachers have begun to consider what truly needs to be printed and what does not. In doing so, they have saved $30,000 in paper alone this semester.
  10. How does the iPad work in conjunction with the existing textbook? The textbook is still used as a resource. However, students don’t always need to lug it around. The beauty of the iPad is that students can take a snapshot of the 2-3 pages they need (whether it be for questions, an article, or vocabulary) or access the online version from the publisher. Eanes is also in the process of setting up an iTunes U channel for the district and investigating iBooksAuthor.
  11. What kind of covers were issued to protect the devices? Initially students were given a Kensington Padfolio-like $30 cover. The campus had assumed the covers would be turned in once students decided to purchase their own trendy covers but found just the opposite trend occurred. Students were able to personalize and customize the device, home screen, and apps itself and had no need or desire to buy trendy cases.
  12. What apps were initially purchased for the students and how were they disseminated? Each student received roughly $40 worth of apps including Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie etc. These apps are considered a consumable cost as the apps are now tied to individual student iTunes accounts when they are redeemed. Casper is used as a storefront to disseminate the apps provided.


Eanes Wifi: Taking Copious Notes in the Juice Bar!


Paperless Assessments: Bob Murphy models how the iPads can be utilized to manage delivering student assessments and reduce paper waste.

How are Teachers Integrating the iPad into their Life/Classroom and Handling Student Submissions?

Want More? Visit Eanes’ Wifi iPad Pilot Project Blog and the Westlake H.S. page for more videos and resources. Also Check out the “appy hours 4 u” interview with Carl Hooker for more info on the 1:1 iPad Rollout.


01 Feb 2012
Comments: 5

Hot Apps 4 HOTS Live in iTunes!

After months of work and preparation, our  “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” ePub is now officially available in the iBookStore for download. This was a self-published effort by myself and Yolanda Barker and we are “oh so appy” and overjoyed to share it with the world. The book includes 9 step-by-step apptivities that focus on each level of Bloom’s (some levels have more than one apptivity). The resource will also serve for our TCEA 2012 workshop by the same name.

Hot Apps 4 HOTS Now Available in iTunes!!!!!!

Please download and share!  If you enjoyed the book…we would greatly appreciate reviews/ratings. =)

10 Jan 2012
Comments: 8

Hot Apps 4 HOTS: TCEA 2012

In preparation for our “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” workshop which will be offered at TCEA 2012, we have created an ePub to serve as the framework for the course.

Screenshots of "Hot Apps 4 HOTS" ePub compiled in Turbo Collage App

The ePub includes 9 task cards. There is a task card for each level of Bloom’s taxonomy. (If an app was only available on the iPad 2, we included a secondary task card to be used with the iPad 1). Each task card includes:

  1. Bloom’s Level & Definition
  2. App(s) Used with a Brief Description (all apps are free)
  3. Task Summary
  4. Step-by-Step Directions for the Task
  5. Example of Completed Task
  6. Further Thoughts
  7. Other Resources (includes support materials for the task as well as hyperlinks to other iLesson(s) using the app)

The ePub also includes:

  1. The Story behind our ePub
  2. Resources and setup
  3. iPad Basics (includes information about getting an app, launching an app, changing orientation)
  4. Acquiring Content (includes tips and how to’s for taking pictures and video, saving an image from the web, taking screenshots, adding content through iTunes, and adding content through a shared Dropbox)
  5. Submitting Products
  6. Author Biographies
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Citations

"Hot Apps 4 HOTS" cover art is an original production from Lisa Jackson


The ePub is available in iBooks for TCEA 2012 participants (and any anyone else interested) to download and enjoy!

TCEA Notes: Participants will want to download the iBook and the following apps prior to the workshop to ensure optimal productivity during the Bring Your Own Device session. Here is a list of the apps that will be utilized during the workshop:

T-Chart, TED, ScreenChomp, Videolicious, FlashCardlet, Doodle Buddy, Puppet Pals, Popplet Lite, Talking Tom or Ben, Talking Tom & Ben Do the News and Qwiki

TCEA SlideShare: (my apologies about formatting discrepancies between Keynote and PPT)

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

14 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

Cautionary Apps: Episode 9

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 9 – “Cautionary Apps”. In this episode we were joined by Susan Reeves (App-tastic ITS and Google Certified Teacher). Our topic was cautionary apps: how to review apps, where to find the best apps, and the pedagogical practices behind selecting appropriate apps for classroom use. We also shared a specific list of cautionary edu apps and how teachers can avoid or better prepare instruction around these selections by previewing and preselecting content.

Cautionary Apps: Preview & Preselect Content

Educator Recommended Apps: Check out TCEA’s Google Doc for iPad and iPod, Kathy Schrock’s iPads in The Classroom, and APPitic for educator recommended apps.

Want more info on selecting apps and reviewing apps: Visit The App Review and Finding An App: The Best Kept Secrets.

Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes directly. 

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio


Yes, we are now available in iTunes (search for “appy hours 4 u” or “techchef4u”).