Does the New iOS 10 Home Button Feature Have You Down?

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Ever since I updated my iPhone to iOS 10, I’ve been having a difficult time getting used to using the new way of unlocking my iPhone. I love the option of unlocking my iPhone with my fingerprint and the new way added another step that I wasn’t used to. To put it simply, if you use the Touch ID (fingerprint) to unlock your phone, Apple added an additional step to this process. So, as I was searching for accessibility options today for a friend of mine, I stumbled upon this and knew I had to share it! Certainly I wasn’t the only one struggling with this new feature! Here is the handy step-by-step photos that show you how to fix this on your iPhone!

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Social Media 101: A Workshop for Parents

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Tonight, I hosted a social media event to empower parents with tips to become more aware of how their child might be engaging in social media. It’s an important topic and I was so happy that we had such an amazing turn out.

Here is the link with all of the resources from tonight’s conversation. I truly hope these help us adults become more aware of how our kids are using social media. Let’s continue to have this conversation!

https://www.smore.com/bnj35

 

Build Beautiful and Engaging Online Assessments and Worksheets

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I am probably late to the party on this one, as many of you might have already heard about this! Since I haven’t heard about it, I thought I would share with others who might be as surprised and delighted as I was! I love it when you stumble upon little gems!

So, this gem is called app.wizer.me and it is a site that allows teachers to build and design online quizzes, worksheets, and other material to test student’s knowledge or build a great review for them. What I loved most was the ability to add a variety of questions and tasks (open question, multiple choice, blanks, fill on an image, table, sorting, text, image, video) to reach all learners. I also loved that there was a “listen to instructions” button where you can record instructions or dictate questions. This is really great for formative and summative assessments and immediate feedback for students. Additionally, there is a teacher area that allows teachers to remix someone else’s quizzes/worksheets in a public gallery. This works well on computers, iPads, tablets, and Chromebooks. It works seamlessly with Google Classroom, too! It was super easy and I am already thinking about the possibilities in how I could use this in my classes. Here are the steps to get started:

  1. Create an account. This was painless.
  2. Begin building your document/worksheet
  3. Select which type of question you want to add (a little similar to a Google Form)
  4. Choose a design
  5. When you are finished, give it a title, and choose how you want to distribute to students. Can share via Google Classroom, copy the link and share it, or have your students enter the pin code. Students will need to enter their first and last name and create a password that they will use each time they go to the site! I love that the students didn’t need an email address in order to use! HOORAY!
  6. Loved the options of distribution…whenever there is a direct link, I do the happy dance.
  7. Share with other teachers!
  8. Boom! You’re done! I selected the option to allow my students to receive immediate feedback when they submit the assignment to see how they did. Then, you can review the work of your students and provide comments.
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First step is adding a task. Look at all the cool options!

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Lots of great design options!

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Assign to students by sharing the link with them. They will go to a new screen that asks for their first and last name as well as a creation of a password.

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You can also have students go to http://app.wizer.me/learn and type in the PIN code.

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Gives students automatic feedback once they complete the tasks.

Hope you are able to use this with your students. A fun and easy way to ditch the paper tests and worksheets!

On the appwizer website, it states how long it takes to set up…(and it really is that easy)

  • 5 minutes to set up and learn
  • 20 seconds to assign via Google classroom, Edmodo, Moodle, or direct link
  • Automatic grading
  • 5 minutes to make your first worksheet
  • 5 minutes to check grades and give personalized feedback

 

Copyright Free Images for Projects

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I recently helped a teacher who was creating projects with her students using Pic Collage. She was having her students search for pictures in Google Images and had not even thought about copyright laws to model good digital citizenship for her students. Let’s be real…it happens. However, when we know better, we do better! I put together a SMORE, which has great resources for students when searching for images to use in movies, collages, books, etc.

Feel free to distribute this link to other educators who might need a gentle reminder about reinforcing copyright laws. Additionally, it’s important to teach students the domain specific terms when searching for images.

  • Attribution
  • Non-derivative works
  • Share alike
  • Non-commercial

Happy searching!

 

 

 

Teaching Students to Create Their Own Pixel Art!

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Pixel art is all the rage thanks to old school video games and today’s gaming such as Minecraft. I thought a great way to reach my students is to have them create their own pixel art. It’s quite an intricate process and takes time and determination to complete. In this post, I’ll share the resources I used to teach my students about pixel art and how to create their own though a variety of ways! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom as I share three very important pieces to this overall lesson: History of pixel art, creating pixel art using a web tool, and creating pixel art from scratch using a spreadsheet called Numbers.

History of Pixel Art:

This was a great paragraph from Mary Winkler on an article she wrote explaining pixel art. “Considering that everything you are viewing on your monitor, tablet, or phone is comprised of many, many pixels, the often asked question is “how is this not pixel art?” It’s art, it’s made of pixels, so surely all digital art is pixel art. While technically correct, when talking about “pixel art”, we’re focused on a specific style of artwork most often employed within the gaming industry. Pixel art is a raster-based digital work that is created on a pixel-by-pixel level. Typically very small, the art form is similar to mosaics or cross-stitch in that it focuses on small pieces placed individually to create a larger piece of art.” Click here to view the full article.

Create Your Own Pixel Art Online:

I searched for the most student-friendly pixel art creator, and this is the one that I loved. I thought it had the most user-friendly platform and easy enough for young students to learn to create pixel art. I gave my students three prompts:

1. Recreate an image of a character, person, or thing.

2. Spell your name in pixel art.

3. Create your own pixel art.

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Here’s some samples from some of my second grade students:

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Another web tool option: http://makepixelart.com/free/

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A fun way to pixelate a photo of yourself is here and the effect is called focal pixelate.

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Create your own pixel art using Numbers or Excel:

If students can use a generator to create their art, why not teach them how to create their own graphs and plot their colors using a spreadsheet like Numbers or Excel? For this project, I used Numbers. This was a great extension for the younger students and an even better starter for the older students. It really introduces or reinforces commands, such as copy/paste and selecting more than one object to modify. Additionally, it takes the user through the process of adding and deleting cells as well as creating the cells in the shape of a square rather than a rectangle. I also thought that it took quite a bit of time for students to conceptualize what they wanted to create and make sure that they started in the center and had matching blocks on each side to create symmetry. There are many ways this could weave into an art lesson, a math lesson, or a creative lesson using technology.

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Here’s a sample using Numbers from a third grader in one of my classes:

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I’d love to see what you and your students create! Have fun!

The Student Has Become the Teacher

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Today at iPadpalooza, I gave a presentation on my SWAT Team (Students Working to Advance Technology). It is an after school program that I teach each Wednesday and we do a variety of events to not only advance the technology program at our school, but also to reach out to the community and be of service to others. Here are the digital resources from today’s presentation: https://tackk.com/zyy71l.

Thanks! If you have a tech team at your school, I’d love to hear more about it on Twitter @aprilrequard.

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Key(note) to Creativity Resources

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Today I presented the Key(note) to Creativity to educators in Austin, TX at iPadpalooza. I presented ways teachers and students can use Keynote that move beyond a presentation. The focus was on students and teachers creating their own content within Keynote and explore how one can use Keynote to be creative. If you’d like the resources from this session, they are available here: https://tackk.com/70bn8f.

Cheers and happy learning!