Digital Citizenship Projects

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Each year I do a large unit on digital citizenship with grades 3-5. I introduce the topics and really have great conversations with my students about this very important theme that is so relevant to our kids. In 5th grade, we dive deeper into social media and the positive and negative effects it has on kids. For this particular project, I let students choose a topic from this list:

  • Digital Citizenship and Identity
  • Privacy and Security
  • Screen Time Management
  • Information Literacy
  • Digital Etiquette and Empathy
  • Cyberbullying Management
  • Digital Footprint
  • Self Image and Reputation
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I love this graphic by @sylviaduckworth

I give students choices to how they will present their information and allow them to be creative and expressive while addressing the topic they choose.

  • Create a PSA
  • 10 Facts About…
  • Create a commercial
  • Author a book on the topic
  • Record a puppet show
  • Create a presentation
  • Create a movie
  • Create a movie trailer

Apps Used

  • iMovie
  • Adobe Spark Video
  • Puppet Pals
  • Keynote and Quicktime
  • 30 Hands
  • Puppet EDU

The overwhelming majority of kids chose to use Adobe Spark Video to create their projects.

Sample Videos from My 5th Grade Classes

Check out Common Sense Media for a wealth of information on digital citizenship, including amazing curricular resources.

 

 

Become an Apple Teacher

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In September, Apple Education announced its Apple Teacher Program, a program aimed at helping educators unlock the magic and potential of Mac, iPad, and apps in the classroom. Teachers sign up and learn new skills, test their knowledge, and earn badges to be ultimately recognized by Apple as an official “Apple Teacher.”

The best part about this program is that it is self-paced and teachers can participate while in their pajamas at home! Teachers can decide if they want to focus their learning for the Mac or the iPad and choose the path that works best for them. Once teachers complete a module, they will be given a quiz. No pressure if you don’t get the questions correct, as you can test again. The purpose of the test is so that educators can truly get the most out of these modules and the tests force you to master the concepts rather than skimming through.

THE BADGES

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Once you earn a badge in each one of the categories and learn not only to use the app to get the best results, but you also learn how to infuse this into the classroom as a powerful teaching tool. Each module is full of ideas that relate to classroom content and help bring its use to life in meaningful ways teachers will appreciate. Click here to get started.

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You will use your Apple ID to get started.

I am a huge supporter of this program.  Apple’s commitment to education is evident and I appreciate the way Apple continues to give teachers quality tools to enhance learning and teaching. My favorite tools as a creative professional will always Keynote and iMovie. I couldn’t live without those two apps and neither could my students. If you choose to accept the challenge of becoming an Apple Teacher, I promise you that you will learn something to take back to your classroom TOMORROW as a result and perhaps you will have a new favorite tool.

TEACHER RECOGNITION

Since I am the instructional technology teacher and leader of the technology program, I am encouraging teachers at my school to join the program and earn their badges. I put together some fun rewards to recognize the commitment and time teachers put aside to further their learning in this area. We are an Apple school and we have access to all of these applications and tools, so I can’t think of a better way for teachers to learn on their own time, and I do think they should be recognized for their commitment!

  • Upon completion of the Apple Teacher program, teachers will earn a spot on the “Wall of Fame” located in the hallway of our school.
  • Teachers will also receive a certificate showcasing their skills at this will be hung outside their classroom.
  • Teachers will receive a “shout out” on our school Facebook page to congratulate them on their extended professional learning.
  • Teachers will receive the official logo from Apple to use in their professional email signature.
  • Most importantly, teachers will gain knowledge in unlocking the  potential with these great productivity and creative apps that are already on their iPad and Mac. These are the native apps and most people don’t realize the potential in these applications and how they can be used as tremendous tools in the classroom.
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The “Wall of Fame” located in the hallway of our school.

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Wall of Fame photo and school Facebook page recognition.

OTHER WAYS TO OFFER INCENTIVES

I have seen other schools and teachers provide a variety of incentives for teachers to earn their badges and expand their professional learning. Here’s two examples:

Do you have another idea? Please share it! #AppleTeacher

 
Here’s the link for further information: http://www.apple.com/education/teachers/
 
Here’s the link to get started: https://appleteacher.apple.com/auth/#/signin/
Good luck and happy learning!

Custom Folders on Your Mac

 

keynote-folders-001A friend recently shared how she found out how to change the colors of the default light blue folders on your Mac. It’s fairly easy and can make a gal like myself jump for joy at the thought of another way to organize my files. 🤓

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Steps to make colored folders!

  1. Go to this site: Colored Folders
  2. Download the folders (free download)
  3. Drag the colors out of the downloaded folder onto your desktop and rename them. Delete the unwanted files inside the folder to the trash.
  4. Add your files just as you would any other folder on your Mac.

Another fun thing you can do is search for images of folders that other users have created and are available to download for free. Example below:

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CREATE YOUR OWN! 

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I really wanted to learn how to create my own folders with textures and colors. I went to my go-to tool, Keynote. Here are the steps to create your own custom folders:

  1. Open Keynote and use the shape tool to draw with pen. You can search for an image of a folder to use as a guide to trace over. Trace over the image of the folder and then delete the folder. You can fill the folder with your own custom color or a background image that you like. A great royalty-free background is from this site: backgroundlabs.com. There are many others out there, as well.
  2. Once you have your folder the way you like it, you can take a screen shot of the folder or you can save the Keynote slide as an image.
  3. Now, you need to get rid of the white or colored background on the slide. To do this, open the image using Preview. Use the instant alpha tool in  Preview and save the image as a transparent (.PNG) picture.
  4. Create a new folder on your desktop (File>New Folder)
  5. Click on your newly created image of the folder and press Command+i or use your secondary click and click GET INFO.
  6. Press Command+A to select the entire picture and then Command+C to copy the image.
  7. Click on the new folder you just created and press Command+i and click on the small image of the folder and press Command+V. You will now see that the folder has changed to your custom created folder.
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Using Instant Alpha to delete the background image of the Keynote slide.

 

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The folder will change once you paste the copied image.

**Important tip: I would recommend creating your custom colors that DO NOT include the color of your background image. For example, if your background color of your Keynote slide is white, I would recommend not using any white in the image of your folder. When using instant alpha, it is very difficult to not take out the same color as they bleed together.

Hope you have fun creating these folders! It does spice up your organization if you like that kind of thing! Plus, it makes your MacBook look more unique than anyone else’s! 🖥

 

Use Numbers or Excel to Create a Mystery Pumpkin Spreadsheet.🎃

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A great way to introduce Apple’s Numbers program or Microsoft’s Excel program is to have students paint cells within a spreadsheet. Students will use the Format tool and fill the cells with colors to create a picture. Additionally, it’s a great way to reinforce columns, rows, or coordinates. Once students get finished with this, I always have students that want to create their own pictures by filling the cells with colors. This example below is using Numbers to create a jack-o-lantern, but this can easily be modified if you are an Excel user.

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You can download the PDF with instructions here. halloween-picture-in-numbers

 

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Use the handout to create this pumpkin.

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Under the Format tool, click on the cell tab to fill a cell or cells with a color.

Hope this gives you some fun pumpkin inspiration all while learning how to use a new technology tool with your students! 🎃

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