Saturday, July 19, 2014

Activators and Summarizers with Mobile Devices

This post first appeared in my "Kathy's Katch" blog for the Discovery Education Network and is re-posted here with permission.

Activators and summarizers have been used in classrooms for a long time. We all have our favorites and students know what to expect when we begin to use them. Since many classrooms now have at least part time access to 1:1 mobile devices, whether on a cart, a BYOD environment, or a true 1:1 program, I thought I would showcase how some of these can easily be used with mobile devices. This article will introduce you to activators and summarizers, convince you to use them, provide some help with how to introduce them, and find out how students can use them.

What are activators and summarizers?

There are many definitions of activators and summarizers. I like this overview of them from the US Digital Literacy site



My two favorite activity books are oldies but goodies by Research for Better Teaching. Written in 1993, the structures are sound and can easily be adapted for use with mobile devices. (Activators book / Summarizers book



And, here is a newer one that just includes activators and is full of both process and content strategies for middle and high school students.



Coral Martin has a great Powerpoint presentation that includes many useful things about activators and summarizers in the classroom. She talks about a side effect of the use of activators and summarizers which is that they can be instruments to minimize the tension of the students.  Here is what that minimized tension can lead to in the learning process.



Why should you use activators and summarizers in the classroom?

Martin and Frazier/Mehle provides the following thoughts as to why it is educationally-sound  to use these structures.
  • Use deepens student understanding
  • Use enables students to begin to construct their knowledge and the personal meaning the material has for them
  • These structures support retention of knowledge as students begin to develop an organized pattern of thought and move from knowledge to experience.
  • They help the students place new information in a larger framework
  • Students feel more confident after using activators because they feel they already know something about the new material
  • Teachers can use them to find out about students’ confusions or misconceptions
  • Teachers can use them to gather formative assessment data
  • Teachers can adapt the lesson plan to match what the students know/don’t know
 
How can you introduce these structures  to students?

The Frazier and Mehle activators book provides some sound advice for teachers when they are planning to use activators or summarizers. These activities may require students to move around and/or meet in small groups. Is your room set-up for this? Is your furniture conducive to this? Do you want to have students moving furniture around each time you do one of these activities, or can you plan a more permanent set-up for your room that will work?

Students are very social, but that does not necessarily make them expert collaborators or a good small group member. It is helpful to use a teamwork rubric about these assets or develop one with students.

There are also process (rather than content) activators that can help students feel more comfortable with practicing these skills. In the business world, activators are usually called “ice breakers” and you can find many different types online to use with your students. After the activity, make sure to have students reflect on the process and suggest things that might make the activities run more smoothly.

How can students use mobile devices for these activities?

The object here is for you to move from traditional activators and summarizers to those that can be implemented via mobile devices. Here is sample to get you started thinking about how you might achieve that goal.

In the Saphier and Haley activator book, they introduce an brainstorming activator entitled “Brainstorm and Categorize” which is used before you present new information to students. The teacher introduces the topic and has students brainstorm everything they think about the topic and then sort the list into categories. This is done either individually or in small groups and label the categories.

To move this structure to the mobile device, first introduce the topic.
  1. Have each group of students create a single Padlet for their group using the freeform layout.
  2. The members of the group will brainstorm their ideas about a topic and put them on a note titled with their name and adding the broad topic.
  3. Students then go out and gather Discovery Education Streaming and Creative Commons licensed images on those topics and either save them to their Photos or Gallery app on their device (and put the URL to the image in their notepad) or simply add the URL of the image to the Padlet note. If they have saved the image to their device, they will need to add the URL to the note after the topic title. If they are just adding a link to the URL, clicking on the image will bring viewers right to the source of the image. (To edit a note for adding an image, the student simply taps twice on the already-created note.)
  4. Students will then make a Padlet note for the category headings they decide on, and move their notes under the appropriate heading.
  5. Once their Padlet is done, the group will post the link to their Padlet to a class Padlet, so items can be shared and you can assess their work and determine what they do/don’t know.
This activity can also be done on a whole class Padlet, and can be projected as you and the students decide on the categories and where each note should be put. Doing the activity whole-class will take longer, since there will be a lot of whole-class discussion on why items were added and which category they should be put beneath. However, working as a whole class will help you clear up misconceptions.

Below is a screenshot of  Padlet using Discovery Education Streaming and one CC-licensed image about the jungle. The direct link may be found here.


There are many other tools that can be used to adapt activators and summarizers to use on mobile devices. Drawing tools and screencasting tools, audio recording tools, concept-mapping tools, collaboration tools, and writing tools can help you move these activities to the digital realm. What is most beneficial about the digital results of these structures is that students can easily share work, you can assess everyone in the class since you have a copy of their work and sometimes an audio recording of their thinking processes, and you can see what information you may need to adapt or enhance the content of the unit of study.

Links to activators and summarizers you can adapt may be found on my Activators and Summarizer page on the Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything site. Please email me and share any ways you use mobile devices for icebreakers, activators, or summarizers in your classroom!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Road Warrior Router

This Asus WL-330NUL Multi-Mode Pocket Router is cool and is a great addition to your traveling toolkit. For $34.55, it can serve a number of purposes and help you out in a pinch!

First, if you need a USB Ethernet dongle for a Windows, Mac, or Linux laptop/ultrabook that does not have an Ethernet port, it can be used to become "wired". Since I already carry an Apple USB Ethernet dongle, this now replaces it in my travel bag.






This tiny device (2.5" L x .75" W x .5" H) is well-made and the USB portion folds into the back for protection while not in use.

The device needs power, which can be gotten from a USB port on a computer, from a wall socket via a 5 V, 1A power adapter, and even by plugging it in to a portable power bank!





What it can do...

If you plug an Ethernet cable into the Asus WL-330NUL Multi-Mode Pocket Router and plug it into a power source, it acts as a wireless access point and you can simply pick the device's SSID and type in the provided password to connect with your computer or mobile device.

If you plug the device into a computer's USB port and plug an Ethernet cable into the end, it can act as a wired network connector for your computer. If you use Windows, there is a utility included to configure the router. The Mac seamlessly allows the use of the Asus WL-330NUL Multi-Mode Pocket Router as an Ethernet dongle.

To connect the Asus WL-330NUL Multi-Mode Pocket Router to an existing wireless network and use it as a wireless router, simply plug it into a power source or computer USB port and then use the utility app (Windows) or visit a special ASUS Web page, enter the admin password which is etched into the side of the Asus WL-330NUL Multi-Mode Pocket Router and enter the SSID and PW of the existing wireless network to connect the router to that wireless network (Mac, tablets, and smartphones).

When using the utility or the special Asus Web page to configure the Asus WL-330NUL Multi-Mode Pocket Router, you can even set up an open or passworded guest network that others can access with their computers or mobile devices.

The Asus WL-330NUL Multi-Mode Pocket Router works with Windows XP through Windows 8, Mac OS X 10.5-10.8, and Linux. It supports 802.11b/g/b networking protocols and 64/128-bit WEP, WPA TKIP/AES, WPA2 TKIP/AES encryptions.

You can even assign the Asus WL-330NUL Multi-Mode Pocket Router a static IP address via the configuration utility or special Asus online config page if needed for security purposes.

So, this router can be used for many purposes and has found a permanent place in my travel bag!







Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2 Cool for School

2 COOL 4 SCHOOL:
CREATIVELY USING POWERPOINT TO #WorkWonders FOR ANIMATION

I am a long-time Microsoft PowerPoint user. I have been using it to #WorkWonders since PowerPoint 2.0 for Windows 3.1 came out in 1992! Over the past few years, in addition to using PowerPoint to create presentations, I have both used and discovered some neat ways it can be used to solve a a few animation problems! You can read about those below.

Want to share how Microsoft Office helps you #WorkWonders in your classroom? What creative ways have you used Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, Lync, or OneNote to help you teach, administer, or help your students learn? Read about the contest and send in your entries!


CONTEST INFORMATION
#WorkWonders and win a Microsoft Surface 2!

Between now and 11:59 midnight US ET on June 2, 2014, follow me on Twitter, submit a public Tweet to me (@kathyschrock), that includes my Twitter handle, a photo, the hashtags #WorkWonders and #contest, the rules and regulations link (http://bit.ly/1od3jSs) and a short overview of your creative project which you used an Office program or programs to plan  make, or create. (The tweet or comment does not have to include the name of the Office program you used.) The winner will receive a Microsoft Surface 2 tablet!

Sample tweets:

@yourtwitterhandle @kathyschrock Used MS PowerPoint for video storyboards to create HS graduation video. #WorkWonders #contest  http://bit.ly/1od3jSs (attached image)

@yourtwitterhandle @kathyschrock Developed an interactive bulletin board to celebrate the "100th Day of School" #WorkWonders #contest http://bit.ly/1od3jSs (attached image)

Hint: if you need to show a series of steps or pictures for your #WorkWonders entry image, consider creating a collage in Publisher or a single slide in PowerPoint and saving it out as a JPEG or picture to attach to the Tweet.

I will be judging the entries, re-tweeting some of them, and will be announcing the winner of the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet on June 9, 2014. The entries will be judged on creativity/originality (25%), quality of submission (25%), and the “fit” to the #WorkWonders theme and use of Office (50%). You can find out more about the #WorkWonders theme on this site: http://office.com/workwonders

Contest rules and regulations:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.), 13 years or older. Enter Promotion by: 6/2/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including prize description, visit http://bit.ly/1od3jSs Void where prohibited.

_______________________________________________________________________________

MY #WORKWONDERS IDEAS

"Poor Man's Flash" or "Animation on a Shoestring" 

I attended a conference in Australia a few years ago in which a presenter showcased three animations created by students in grades 4, 7, and 9. While watching the short animations, I assumed they were created in Flash. I was very impressed that such young students had become proficient with that software.

Then the presenter surprised us! He hit the escape key, and we saw this on the screen...


PowerPoint slides for a 7th grade student's animation

There was an audible gasp as the audience realized the animation was created using the drawing tools in Microsoft's PowerPoint, with each slide containing a single cell of the animation. The slides were set to advance with an automatic transition after 0 seconds to give the appearance of full-motion animation.

Here is a screencast of the animation as it runs in PowerPoint. I have also shared the PowerPoint presentation in Microsoft's SkyDrive, which will allow you to view and download it to study how it was created.



 
Below is is a great 3-minute video created by a student who showcases the steps in creating an animation using the tools in Microsoft PowerPoint. He makes it look so easy!


 

Using Microsoft PowerPoint either locally on a computer or online with Office 365 can be a great way to introduce the art of animation to your students!


Motion Paths are Your Friend

Last year, I was creating a stop-motion animation movie using a camera and stop-motion animation software. The purpose was to showcase how apps were available to replace many of the items in a student backpack with the addition of a mobile device.


I created the first part of the movie by taking photographs as items came out of the backpack. I then wanted the mobile device to pause as it entered the backpack and apps to "fall" into it, each one replacing the physical item that had come out of the backpack.

I tried any number of ways to drop items into the mobile device, but had no luck until I remembered the motion paths that were available in Microsoft PowerPoint. I first took a screenshot from the movie just as the mobile device started to enter the backpack and used this image as the background of a single PowerPoint slide.

I then imported that same image into an image editing program and cropped it so just the lower third of the image was left. I placed that in the foreground on that same PowerPoint slide. My idea was to have each app image "fall" between the background and the foreground images. You can see the highlighted area of the foreground image below.


Cropped foreground image sitting on top of the background image.

I next took all the app images and put them in the area outside of the slide itself, what I call the work area, so I had them handy. You can see what that looked like below. If you zoom out while in PowerPoint, this handy work area become available for use.


Adding all the images in the work area outside of the slide itself in PowerPoint




I created a motion path that started in that same work area, entered the slide from the top, paused, and then slid down between the foreground and background images. I found out a neat thing at that point. 

Once I had one image attached to the top of a motion path, I simply copy-and-pasted that same image and motion path combination. When right-clicking on the copied motion path, I was given the option to "change picture" and replace the image with another app picture. It made things move along very quickly! You can see what that menu looks like below.


Right-click on a image and "change picture" to create a motion path with a new image.


I piled all of the motion paths on top of one another and had them enter the slide area with 0 seconds of time between each one.


Motion paths ready to fall into the mobile device

Here is the finished movie which includes the animation and the motion path segments. Pretty cool, eh?




It's easy to #WorkWonders with Microsoft PowerPoint!

Friday, May 23, 2014

PixiClip for Teaching and Learning


I had a PixiClip account for a while but had not yet put it through its paces. Last week, I was asked to pen a sponsored post and provide ways it might be used to support teaching and learning.

PixiClip describes itself as an "interactive whiteboard" but it is so much more!

PixiClip is a browser-based, screen recording tool. It is simple to use and has the added advantage of allowing the creators of the recordings to include their voice or video of themselves as part of the recording. 

I have been using screen recording tools on mobile devices and stand-alone computer programs for creating screen recordings. Having a browser-based tool like PixiClip, that works right inside of Firefox, Safari, Chrome (even on the Chromebook), and IE, means that once I have created an account, I can use any computer to make a screen-recording.

PixiClip hosts the screen recordings you make, and registered users can keep them private or share them with the public, and they can also delete any older screen recordings as they become out of date.

How it works

I recorded my screen as I created a Pixiclip screen recording. Watch the movie below to see the process. Some of the aspects I point out in the recording are:
  • Start by picking "Start Doodling"
  • Consider using a stylus for writing and drawing; it is more natural
  • Start your Webcam and make sure you are in the picture
  • Gather your image assets to the PixiClip image drawer before you begin
  • As soon as you move an image to the board or start writing, the recording starts, so be ready to begin your lesson or overview
  • When complete, publish the item, give it a name and a description, have the cursor show or not, and make the item public, private, hidden or passworded
  • Share the link via various social networks or email, or grab the embed code to put into a blog entry


Embedded PixiClip from the PixiClip server
URL: http://www.pixiclip.com/beta/c/ezfj





Using PixiClip in the Classroom: Students

Having access to a screen recording tool like PixiClip on every computer via the Web browser, both at school and at home, allows students to use screen recording in various ways. In addition, have the ability to post it online with or without a password allows students to share with their teachers and their peers.
  • Each student can create a how-to for a certain mobile app to allow others to access their explanation when needed
  • Students can create a screen recording as a Ticket-to-Leave, summarizing what they learned and allowing them to go over what they were unsure about during that day's lesson
  • Students can create a introduction or "trailer" to a project that they are creating
  • Students can outline the process or storyboard they are going to use to create a project

Using PixiClip in the Classroom: Teachers
  • Teachers can create an introduction to a daily lesson for days when they are attending a workshop and not in the classroom
  • Teachers can use a screen recording as feedback to a student while marking up their paper on the whiteboard in PixiClip
  • Teachers can create their own "Khan-like" screen recordings to provide students with both remediation and instructional videos
  • Create a screen recording exemplar representing what you want the students to create with PixiClip
I have an entire page dedicated to screen recording in the classroom. It includes additional ideas, tips and tricks that you can employ when making your PixiClip screen recordings.

Have you created any PixiClip recordings you would like to share? Can you think of other ways that PixiClip can help support you in teaching and your students in learning? Send me a note with your samples and ideas!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Visme: Online creation tool

I have been working with Visme.co, an online free suite of tools to help you "visualize your ideas". Once you create an account, you have the option to create a presentation, a banner ad, an infographic, start with a blank canvas, and (soon) create a product demo. 


Dashboard of Visme
With the Visme Free account, you can create up to three projects, which are branded with the Visme logo, and have a full set of features to use in your design; there are images, icons, and banners included, you can upload your own images, animate the elements in your project, and publish the finished project online or download it as a JPEG. There are two upgrade options that allow more projects, more storage space, more elements to use in the projects and other useful options. You can find out more about Visme Standard and Visme Complete here. Some new features that are coming soon are a Microsoft PowerPoint import into the presentation project as well as a number of new templates.

I chose to create an infographic, since I have been learning and teaching about them for the past few years. I have used some of the other online infographic-making sites, but I like Visme since there are other types of visual products to create in addition to the infographic. The interfaces are all similar, so it makes it easy to move from type to type for any project I want to create.


I admit that I am an infographic purist. With all of my reading on the topic, I have come to follow the ideas put forth by Eric K. Meyer in his 1977 book Designing InfographicsMeyer states a good infographic should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. He likens the visual elements in an infographic to those in a new story’s headlines and lead.

In addition, he goes on to state that most readers skim both text and images rather than reading them, so a well-crafted visual image at the top of the infographic may just be the hook the viewer needs to stop and take the time to read and look at the information in the infographic. He talks about the way people read an infographic as an inverted pyramid style with the main point at the top and secondary point and supporting details down the page. Meyer also suggests any text in the title of the graphic should communicate facts rather than just label the information. Following is a sample that follows his guidelines.

Sample of inverted pyramid style of infographic


I view lots of infographics and many are just "infographic-like posters" with no weight to the visual information to help the reader understand what the creator thinks is the most important. However, with Visme, I could easily edit the themes to reflect the ideas from Eric Meyer that I wanted to utilize.

The first thing you see in the infographics area of Visme are the themes to pick from to create your infographic. They are colorful and include traditional infographic elements like icons, graphs, and other visual elements that are easy to add, edit, color, resize, and rotate.

Theme choices for an infographic

I chose a template I knew I could easily work with to showcase the data I was presenting which was the overview data from the Pew Internet Research report (March 2013) on what devices students used to access the Internet.







Template default
I first came up with a catch phrase for in the top banner and a text title that was meaningful, but also left the viewer wanting more information. I played around with animating some of the elements, but decided, since I wanted to share this infographic in print form, I would not use this option. Animations would probably be better suited for banner ads, presentations, and product demos. 
 

 Beginning the infographic
I took a look at the the Web icons that were included in Visme, and then decided to resize one of them to make it the focal point of the infographic. This area included the primary information from the Pew Report.

Focal point of infographic
I liked the graphics that were at the top of the original template and wanted to use them. One great feature was I could CNTRL-CLICK on each part of the graphics and highlight the entire section and then use the arrow keys to move it down the template to the area where I wanted to use the graphic elements.

It is also very easy to add drop-shadows, layer your objects, and take advantage of many other editing features in Visme.

Secondary details of infographic

The Visme projects include a chart maker that allows you to import data, pick a visualization, and add it to your infographic. I did not use the graph engine for this project since I already had the compiled data, but here is what it looks like.


I decided to use one of the other infograph widgets to call out the percentages on each line of the secondary data on the infographic.



And, at the bottom of the infographic I was able to insert my own image to personalize the project, include a text overview of the project, as well as the URL to the full Pew Internet Research report.



Here is the completed infographic project. You can view it online at the Visme site at http://my.visme.co/projects/5eb122



Give Visme a try, whether for an infographic, a presentation, or a custom project and share the URLs of your projects with me!






Saturday, May 17, 2014

"Whacking" the Web with Keep Everything

Way back in 1996, a small company, Forefront, contacted me and traded their new software, WebWhacker 1.0, for a small click-thorough to their site on my Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators page. It was the neatest piece of software. It allowed the me to download a Web page or series of Web pages to the computer desktop and the text and images were able to be accessed locally! 

To put things in perspective, this software was for Windows 3.1 and Mac OS 7.x with a beta version for Win 95. Those were the days when many of us were still writing HTML by hand to post our pages. It was nice to be able to download someone else's site to my computer to showcase it a workshop, since there was often not an network connection in workshop rooms. I would bring the "WebWhacked" sites on a diskette since, of course, we were all working on desktops.

Nowadays, the ability to save Web page text and images to the the desktop is built right into the Web browsers. In Firefox, simply pick FILE-SAVE PAGE. In Chrome, pick SAVE PAGE AS - WEBPAGE, COMPLETE. In Safari,it is FILE - SAVE AS - WEB ARCHIVE. Don't forget to copy the original page's URL for your citation!

However, the Web now has more types of information available than just Web pages that we want to archive or read locally when there is no Internet available. As students collect assets for a project, they are interested in Web pages, tweets, and videos. If students can download their assets to read and view when they do not have access to the Net, they can work on their projects anywhere. In addition, if educators require students to hand in their downloaded assets with their papers or projects, it can also be a deterrent to student plagiarism.

Keep Everything
There is a new software app for Mac computers and iPads created by groosoft that is called Keep Everything. It allows the user to locally archive Web pages, Tweets, videos, and more to the local computer or iPad. Users can simply drag the URL or Tweet to the Keep Eveything window and the archived pages are saved both locally and to a Dropbox folder and can be synced between all the user's Apple devices. Through Keep Everything, you can also get back to the original source page through a link icon. Another useful feature of Keep Everything is the choice available when downloading an article. The user can have the entire page archived or just simpler-looking page that includes the text of the article.

 


The app is available for both the Mac and the iPad. Here is a introduction to how it works.



I also made a short video on the Mac of how I saved a tweet with Keep Everything.




There are free versions of both apps to try out the product. There are in-app purchases to upgrade to the premium version. ($4.99 for iOS and $9.99 fo for the Mac.) The free version limits the user to under 100 saved items.

iOS app store:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keep-everything/id786975595?mt=8

Mac app store:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keep-everything/id786983884?mt=12

Monday, March 17, 2014

Red is the new black!



Black technology cases don't show the dirt, but I love red cases for my technology! I was recently forwarded two new red tech cases for review and love both of them!

The Snugg Red Leather Macbook Pro 13" Wallet Case

I like to carry my laptops in wallet cases-- I don't need extreme padding since, when I travel, the laptops are always in a padded section of a computer case or backpack. The Snugg Red Leather MacbookPro 13" Wallet Case has a magnetic flap which makes it easy to open and close and avoids that noisy velcro sound! The back of the case, as you can see above, contains a full-width pocket for papers, file folders, or that new issue of MacLife or MacWorld! (This case is also available for the MacbookAir 13" and MacbookPro 15". And, maybe if we ask politely, Snugg will create the case for the MacbookAir 11", too!)

Snugg has put some other thoughtful touches into this MBP 13" Wallet Case, too. Under the flap, you have a place to store business cards (or flash drives) as well as a cut-out in the case that allows you to charge your computer while it is in the case. And you can see the inside is lined with a soft material that keeps your Macbook scratch-free!


Note the cut-out on the left that allows you to charge your computer while in the case!
Now, if you are not a lover of red cases, the Snugg Leather MacbookAir and MacbookPro  Wallet Cases are also available in black, brown, candy pink, orange, gray, baby blue, electric blue, hot pink and white leather, too! You can order the item from Snugg's site or on Amazon. The price at this writing is $35.99 on either site. 

This case provides protection for your computer as well as being slim and stylish! (And I still like the red color the best!)


Case Logic Griffith Park Backpack



Case Logic makes a lot of backpacks for all different purposes, but I was drawn to the Griffith Park Backpack in red. This backpack also comes in black and gray.

I am very particular about my backpacks. I only carry an 11" or 13" laptop when I travel, but I also have an iPad Air, my Google Glass and its case, and, of course, the chargers, cords, and dongles that are needed for presentations.

The Griffith Park backpack has two main zippered sections. The back section has a padded pocket for the laptop and an additional pocket for a full-size iPad (or any 10.1" tablet). This section also has room for files, newspapers, or magazines.

The second zippered section has a large pocket with two sections and another full-width pocket with a zippered, mesh pocket on the front of it with a key fob. This section has about a 2.5" width bottom. This is where I will carry my cable case, my Google Glass, or a light jacket for the plane.

There are also other interesting pockets on the Griffith Park backpack. There is a felt-line zippered pocket at the top of the backback which is perfect protection for reading glasses, sunglasses, a point-and-shoot digital camera, or your phone. 

There is an open pocket on the front of the backpack with a quick-release clip where you can put those items you have to get to quickly like snacks, your boarding pass, or your paperback book. There are also two side pockets that can be used for storage and these are also designed to hold a water bottle.


The most interesting pocket is one that is on the very bottom of the backpack. It is decent-sized, but not too deep. I might use this one for my toiletry quart-sized bag or even my small pocketbook, since it is easy to get to. You could also store cables or unbreakable items in this bottom pocket, too. I bet I can even pack my airplane pillow in it if I squish it down enough!

Specs
Size:  12" x 10" x 17.3"
Fits laptops up to : 9.8"x 1.1"x 14.3" 



I like the fact the backpack is not wide and will fit nicely under a plane seat and, of course, I will stand out in a crowd with the cool red color! The Griffith Park backpack is available from the Case Logic site for $79.99) and from Amazon.


Neon image courtesy of http://linkus.flamingtext.com

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sketchnoting in the Classroom

This post originally appeared on the Discovery Educator blog network in December of 2013 in my blog "Kathy's Katch" at this URL: http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/blog/2013/12/01/sketchnoting/.


Way back in 1999, I was asked to be part of a team to craft the goals for the second version of the US DOE National Technology Plan.
There were about fifty people in the room, from all areas of education. We had lots of discussions, then jigsawed to share thoughts, then shared out with the whole room, then had additional discussions with our new group, and then moved to more jigsaws to share, and then, again, sharing out publicly.
However, as this was all going on, there was a gentleman who was sketching the whole-group sharing discussions on big pieces of chart paper that lined the room. I was fascinated watching him take our verbal ideas and turn them into visually-beautiful works of art that represented exactly what we were saying! He never asked a question or for a clarification of the content.
During a break, I went to talk to him and asked him how he knew so much about educational technology that he could keep up with us as we both raised our hands and, sometimes, interrupted others. He told me he knew nothing about the content we were discussing and his company did this same type of visual notetaking for any content area or company. I was then TRULY amazed!
On that day, these great works of art were photographed, and they were shared on the Web for a bit, but they are long gone. Fast-forward to today, and these same visual notes are starting to be created using digital tools. For whole group sharing, the visual notetaker is ususally using a tablet device, drawing software, and projecting the results to a large monitor. They are easily saved this way, but the participants cannot usually view them all at once. Even if the visual notes are created with pen and paper and then photographed or scanned, there are many new places to share them online. Visual notetaking is both an art and an organizational tool.

THREE TYPES OF VISUAL NOTETAKING
There are various ways visual notetaking can be used. The first, as my story outlines, is about the notetaker visually recording what is taking place in a meeting or lecture. The notetaker is not a participant in the conversation.
The second type of use of visual notetaking occurs when the facilitator of a meeting or group is the one creating the visual notes. He or she is interacting with the others as the notes are created. As the facilitator, he or she may also be sparking additional conversation by adding elements to the visual notes to spur new avenues of thought or to keep the group on task.
The third use of visual notetaking is now being used by many students and teachers and is commonly called “sketchnoting”. Sketchnoting, in its purist form, is creating a personal visual story as one is listening to a speaker or reading a text. I also believe the interactive notebook, which includes the process of taking “regular” notes” while listening to a speaker and later creating a sketchnote of the text notes, should also be considered sketchnoting.
My friend, Tracy Sockalosky (@tsocko) who has just begun to sketchnote, was attending the EdTech Teacher iPad Summit last week. Here is the link to the presentation she sketchnoted.  Tracy has just begun to sketchnote, but, as you can see from the image below, she is really getting it!


sketchnote sample

PURPOSE OF VISUAL NOTETAKING
What is the purpose? Why should one draw and connect thoughts and ideas visually? The research is clear about the benefits of visually representing content and it is based on the research in the area of Allan Pavio’s dual coding theory. I am no expert in the theory, but I have found that this Education.com article by Mark Sadoski does a good job of providing a general overview and references for the work of Paivio.
In addition, there is an extensive article by James M. Clark and Allan Paivio that provides some of the research into the relationship between the dual coding theory and education. It includes everything from teacher education to learning, memory, and study skills.
Ben Norris created a Slideshare about sketch notes and includes his version of an image to illustrate the dual coding theory. The image was created by Sunni Brown and re-created by Norris.

dual coding theory
Dual coding theory visual

INFO AND RESOURCES FOR YOU ON SKETCHNOTING
I have done a lot of reading and watching on the topic of sketchnoting, and all the tutorials and overviews state that one does not have to be an artist to sketchnote. It seems to be all about learning how to listen and how to plan and organize your sketchnoting. One way to practice sketchnoting would be to watch a short Discovery Education Streaming clip and sketchnote the content. Pretend you are in a graduate class or at a conference lecture. This would also be a great way to provide professional development for your teachers and students in sketchnoting. Their sketchnotes could serve as an introduction or summary of a Discovery Education Streaming video!
Here is a well-done video about visual notetaking so you can learn more about it.


I have also recently created a support page with resources for learning about sketchnoting in education and tutorials on how to sketchnote.
Schrock sketchnote page

Do you sketchnote? What tools do you use? Have you posted your sketchnotes and would like to share them with us? Have some favorite sample sketchnotes or tutorials? Email me or find me on Twitter @kathyschrock with any resources…thanks!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

IPEVO Video Stand

IPEVO Articulating Video Stand
IPEVO has come up with another winning device to help teachers in the classroom-- the IPEVO Articulating Video Stand for iPod and iPod Touch.

This useful product holds your iPhone or iPod Touch in a sturdy metal stand to allow you to use your iDevice in any number of ways.

The unique holder has springs which enable you to spread the holder open to easily insert the device and then gently release the springs.



The holder with the springs




















The holder can rotate easily to allow you to have the device in the direction you need it to be.


 

Using the device as a doc camera
By hooking up the iPhone or iPad Touch to a VGA projector or Apple TV, you can use it as a document camera, as shown. You can see that the articulating arms allow you to put it as close or far away from the item being projected as you need to.

You can also use it for recording a video of a process for students or when editing an essay paper.

Another great use of the IPEVO video stand is to use it to hold the iDevice steady when using animation software and the camera on the device to make an animated movie. When making an animation movie, it is important to be able to have the camera be steady.



Using the front camera on the device








You can also use the front camera on the iPhone or iPod Touch and hold the item steady while having a Facetime or Skype video conference.
The IPEVO Video Stand can articulate in many directions and heights to allow you to project or photograph items from small to large. The weighted base keeps it sturdy at all times!

The IPEVO Articulating Video Stand comes in black or white and sells for $69.