The Key(note) to Coding

Key(note) to Coding

I am a huge fan of Keynote, both on iOS and OS X devices. I love the versatility in this tool. I enjoy using Keynote to demonstrate how this application goes way beyond a tool for presentations. When a tool constantly amazes you and allows you to learn over and over again, it becomes one of those that you cannot live without! Keynote is that tool for me and I love uncovering new ways to bring learning to life with the use of a technology tool such as Keynote!

I am really excited to share with you all that my iTunes U course called The Key(note) to Coding is now live in the iTunes U store! You can access the course by clicking here. Here is the introduction from the course:

There is a misconception when it comes to thinking about coding; some think it’s only for computer programmers and others think it’s too difficult. While we all weren’t created to be professional coders, we can encourage kids to understand the basic premise of coding. To put it simply, coding is giving a set of instructions to the computer to create an action. In this course, you will learn how to create a project with your students by using Keynote to create tangram shapes and learn the variety of ways to format shapes while taking note of the shape’s placement, size, and rotation. Once the tangram is complete, students will write all of the “code” so that another student can replicate their tangram. It would be very difficult to teach someone how to recreate a particular shape with precise measurements, but when given the exact “code” students are able to follow it and replicate the tangram with ease. In addition to coding skills, this project helps students develop positive feelings about geometry as they classify and short shapes. In addition, students learn vocabulary for working and manipulating shapes, such as arrange, flip, size, position, and rotation. It’s perfect as a stand alone project targeting STEM or within your geometry unit. This course is designed for the Mac because of the advanced tools in Keynote, however, students can use this course as a guide for building and creating tangrams on an iOS device as well. This course is geared for grades second and beyond, but can most certainly be modified for even younger students. Have fun as you learn the Key(note) to coding!

Hope you’ll download it and give me your feedback! I’d love it if people tried creating codes and shared them with others to try!

App Showcase: Drawing Pad and Wordfoto

I love when you can use one or more apps together (app smash) to create an awesome project. An amazing colleague of mine and fellow Apple Distinguished Educator, Sue Gorman, asked me if I’d showcase an app for her to use at one of her presentations. It was hard to decide, but came up with this one. Drawing Pad is a great drawing app with so many options for creating and sharing. Wordfoto is one of my favorite apps and the possibilities are truly endless for creating word clouds on top of photos. In this case, kids were studying parts of speech and synonyms and antonyms. For this particular project, they were given a common word and had to come up with at least 5 synonyms for the word. They wrote the word in Drawing Pad and made the word come to life. Saving it to the camera roll, they could then import that photo into Wordfoto. In Wordfoto, they can enter the text for the synonyms and insert into picture. Wordfoto has a variety of preset styles or you can customize your own style. Here is the video I put together, which includes some student examples.

 

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Drawing Pad

wordfoto

Wordfoto