My first ISTE presentation took the form of an Ignite talk. With my dream of giving a TED talk on my mind, I decided to try this new presentation format. To say the least, I am hooked and want to bring this frenetic energy to school this year. My focus was to show the audience that everyone has a story and that Lego stop motion animation can be an exciting tool for students. My sincere hope is that participants were motivating and willing to try this cool and easy to use approach.
Who know, perhaps the fine people at TED will come calling some day!
Stop animation with an iPad / iPhone for beginners is here. Recently I downloaded the Lego Movie Maker App and made my first short film using a Lego set I conveniently had in my dining room. The process was fun and the result was funny (at least for me!) Here are some screenshots of the iPad version that we will be using this year at school with kids.
Did your parent have a word of the day or did you receive a dictionary as a holiday gift? If you were me, the answer was yes on both accounts. As the daughter of a school teacher, I was raised to love and appreciate the English language. Based on that, I was saddened and hopeful by the article in School Library Journal, July 2011, titled The Power of Words (http://tinyurl.com/3octzrq). The authors bring to light the discrepancy between income, vocabulary and the achievement gap.
What can we do to close the vocabulary gap?
As librarians, parents and adults, we can talk to children, ask open ended questions and read with them. Even more fun is have fun with language. I live in a board game home and welcome our nightly Scrabble battles. If you haven’t tried Bananagrams, I recommend it highly (picture personal games of Scrabble that are part of a larger game between participants).
The other tool I have been using is the Merriam-Webster App that you can get for free. There is a word of the day feature plus a voice search. If you aren’t sure how to spell the word, you can speak into your IPad and it will search for the definition.
Have you read an e-book yet? This summer I got serious about using my IPad as an e-reader and while I missed the feel of a traditional book, the portability was key. The South Orange library offers e-books through a program called Overdrive. You can download the program on a computer or as I did with an app and then check out books (for free). Maplewood Library has recently switched vendors as well and I need to investigate their process.
The summer is winding down and I am quickly reading all of the books that I can. Don’t forget to try an e-book or an audiobook this summer as one more option!
Frequently, I am asked what I am reading and this week my summer reading has included the latest issue of School Library Journal, August 2011. This has led me to read about and download the free app ShowMe. ShowMe is an interactive whiteboard that you can use to demonstrate or learn a concept. There is even a feature for recording the lesson. I created a basic lesson below on how to shelve a picture book. Just as we teach student’s to watch their um’s and eh’s, I too am aware now of my comfort filler words and have become the student. As I play with this app more, I am excited to share it’s functionality.