Friday, March 9, 2018

Movin' and Groovin' With iMovie

Open house was this week here in Coppell, Texas.  So many amazing things were shared and celebrated.  The best part is how proud our kids are when they get to show off what they have created.  What better week to talk about the selfie generation and their love of film? This week, get ready for your close up because it's time for...

I loved working to help my teammate, Megan Kozar, pen our post about iMovie.  Her perspective is phenomenal.  If you don't subscribe to her site, The Lightning Lab, you totally should!  Let's link over to her blog, to learn more about the magic of iMovie for learning!

Movin' and Groovin' with iMovie by Megan Kozar

What awesome creations have you and your learners made using iMovie? What helps you when teaching learners how to film?  Share some examples and ideas in the comments!

Check out other posts from this series here.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Gather a GarageBand

Who’s ready to ROCK this week’s Apple a Week Blog?

Growing up the baby of 6 kids was an experience.  Any given week, I was a spectator at multiple sporting events and band concerts.   One of the coolest parts of my childhood, though, happened right in our basement.  My brother’s “garageband” was named Zephyr and they practiced weekly - amps, microphones, instruments and all.  My 10 year old self knew all the words to “I Wanna Rock N Roll All Night” and our floors shook on a regular basis.  

My brother’s passion for playing music was contagious and continues on now that he is an adult  (though the music choice is quite different than the heavy metal of Zephyr).  I often think to myself what he would have created if he had the tools of GarageBand at his fingertips during school.  This week, put your listening ears on...because its time for...

GarageBand provides all the digital tools you need to compose and play original music. With the tap of an iPad or click of the trackpad, creativity can come to life.  

I decided to gather some information to help us explore the benefits of Garageband in education. First, I talked with my fellow Digital Learning Coach, Brad Cook, about some of the things he loves about GarageBand as an educator.  

I also talked to Wesley Baskett, an 8th grader at Coppell MIddle School North.  Sometimes a learner perspective can really open your eyes.

Lastly, I reached out to find an example of a finished project.  Our learners can do great things when we let them create.  My teammate, Trisha, shared these original raps by Anisha Bhattaru, a learner from Coppell Middle School West.

GarageBand can be used with learners to:

  • Compose original music for iMovie projects
  • Show what you know about a concept through an original song
  • Learn more about fractions by exploring notes and time signatures
  • Record a weekly class podcast in place of your classroom newsletter
  • Use the microphone tracks to record reading fluency over time
  • Practice class presentations using only audio to listen back and provide targeted feedback on scripts or written elements

You could even try this:

New to GarageBand?  Learn more below!
How could you use GarageBand to enhance classroom content and understanding?  Let me know in the comments! (Extra points if you record me a track in GarageBand!)

Check out other posts from this series here.

Monday, February 26, 2018

TMST: The Internet is Down, Now What?

As I pulled into the campus parking lot last Thursday, which also happened to be Digital Learning Day, I received a text.  It went something like this:

Create at Imgflip
The internet is down is not something ANY of us wants to hear.  It is inconvenient and most of the time throws our best laid plans out the window.

But as the time ticked on and I kept hearing the half-hearted laughs of a no internet Digital Learning Day (many from myself), I began to think...why does everything have to stop?  Digital learning is not about tools.  It's about creating. It's about processing thinking.  It's about more than just connecting via the web.

You might remember that I am on a mission this year to really explore how to better provide deeper learning experiences through Apple devices. So I challenged myself to make a list of all the things that worked on my iPad, even with no internet.  

What I found was...well, awesome.  

Many of the apps and functions I love about my iPad still worked. Don't believe me?  Try it!  Put your iPad on Airplane mode and test out some apps. 

Find any good ones I haven't thought of yet?  Add them to my list below!

Alli's List of Apps that don't need WIFI 

Sure, changing plans at the last minute is not everyone's dream of a stress free day, but what could our learners create if we thought outside the wifi?  Could a group of learners have collaborated on a video explaining a process? Could learners still have been able to make observations throughout the school via a photo walk? Could learners have spent time working on composing digital reflections to be shared once the internet was back?

How will your day look different the next time there is a "blip" in service? I now know mine will be rich with creations. Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Book Creator

Hi friends!
My recap post of my top learning moments from TCEA is coming soon...until then, here's this week's installment of the #appleaweek series!

Once upon a time, a young 3rd grader proudly wrote a book for a Young Author’s competition.  The book, like all the others was displayed in the library for parents and families to read.  How special that girl felt to know she was an “author” and that her work was being read.  

Imagine if that girl had access to publishing to the world...where would she be?  What would she have dreamed up?  Would her passion for writing extend to more than just this blog?  

For this week’s Apple a Week, we take a look at Book Creator for Chrome, an online multi-touch book creation tool that is easy enough for our littlest of kids to create content.  It is one way our kids now can write for the world.

Let’s take a look at Book Creator for Chrome in this 5 min vlog:

With Book Creator for Chrome, our kids can:
  • Publish creative works as part of writer’s workshop
  • Inform others by designing books as part of research projects
  • Create comics that showcase understanding of historical events
  • Collaborate with others to design a how to book that contains different ways to solve math problems
  • Design original stories for a virtual library collection 

Check out this awesome book of 50 ways to use Book Creator in your Classroom!

What will YOUR learners create when the audience is unlimited?  

Check out other posts from this series here.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Apple in Education, We Say Yes!

I’m so excited to be blogging from the TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) conference in Austin, Texas this week! My team and I will be presenting several different sessions and I am so excited to be co-presenting “Apple in Education, We Say Yes!” on Thursday at 1:30!

My Awesome Co-Presenters!
In our session, we will celebrate the use of Apple in our district and encourage others to see the amazing educational value of Keynote, Pages, Numbers and Everyone Can Code.  Even if you are #notattcea, I encourage you to learn with us for this week’s installment of #anappleaweek.
Simply go to, select a learning topic and click on the attached resource to begin exploring.  

Attending TCEA and interested in more learning from the Coppell DLCs? Check out all of our session offerings below!

Follow #TCEA and #TCEA18 for more great learning opportunities!  

Check out other posts from this series here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Creating with Clips

Have you ever followed someone on Twitter that you wished you got to work with in person?  That is exactly how I have always felt about Sam Neal. Earlier this year, I was overjoyed to learn she was joining our team.  Read this week's post and you'll see why I #fangirl her so much! 

This week, we link up with Sam's blog to learn all about how the ease of Apple's Clips App makes it possible for our learners to focus on their creativity and thinking. 

Clips is similar to iMovie or MovieMaker but simpler, with built in music, animated transitions and more. 

In her post, Sam writes, "...when you spend time using digital tools with digital natives, it doesn’t take long to see that they don’t really need you to show them which buttons to click - they can figure out a lot of that on their own. What they need is to be guided in reflecting on their thinking and learning processes, creating quality content, and sharing their learning in powerful and appropriate ways."

Check out what happened when Sam and her daughter, JoLeigh created using Clips:

An Apple a Week: Clips

Ready to use Clips in your classroom?  Let me know in the comments!

Check out a previous post on Clips here.

Check out other posts from this series here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Nerding out with Numbers

In this week’s post, we focus on Numbers.  New to Numbers?  Think Excel or Google Sheets, but with whiteboard capabilities, easy to use charts and more.

With Numbers, you can create beautiful spreadsheets that include impressive charts, tables, and images. And with real-time collaboration, your team can work together on a Mac, iPad, or iPhone — even on a PC using iWork for iCloud."  - Apple

As I prepared to write this post, I had to laugh at myself.  If you would have told me 3 years ago that I would have become a champion of the Numbers program, I would have never believed you. I had so many misconceptions of what Numbers was that I didn’t even give it a chance when designing learning.  So in the spirit of someone who has seen the light, I will use this post as my confession.

I used to think Numbers was for “data geeks” but now I know it is for “creativity geeks” too.
Numbers doesn’t have to have gridlines visible in a sheet - this makes for a clean white space that can mimic a whiteboard allowing a learner to create using shapes, text and media.

Photosynthesis Model
I used to think I had to understand spreadsheets to use Numbers, but now I know that the charts and graphs make it easy to organize data to build clean, simple graphics.
Simply select a type of chart and plug in your data - like magic, your data will be visualized.

Pet Graphing Example

I used to think Numbers was too hard for our little kids, but now I know that they can make meaning easily with shapes, charts, text and more without a login.
With features that are just like the options in Keynote and Pages, learners can use what they know about the other programs and apply them to Numbers.  No login is needed as long as they are not trying to use the collaboration features.  This makes it easier for our littles to create and show data.

Community Helpers Making Meaning Wall

How can Numbers be used in the classroom?  Here are some ideas!
  • Create deeper connections with a digital Making Meaning Wall
  • Document through a Digital Journal/Scrapbook
  • Organize tasks and observations  through an anecdotal checklist 
  • Collect media and images into an interactive lab report
  • Design Rubrics or Anticipation Guides for pre and post assessments

Inspired to learn more about Numbers?  Check out this resource we will be using at TCEA in just a few weeks - explore basics and ideas for using it, design something of your own and reflect with others on our Numbers topic on Flipgrid.

Have more ideas or want to share one of your “I used to think…” statements about Numbers? Let me know  in the comments!

Check out other posts from this series here.


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