Sunday, November 30, 2014

App Smashtastic!

The topic for today is App Smashing. What is App Smashing?

 I think Greg Kuloweic explains it best. “App Smashing Defined: The process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project. ”

...because really, is there every that all-in-one app?

So, how do I app smash? Oh, let me count the ways. (I was app smashing before I ever knew there was a name for it.)

Photo app smashing - for those of you who know me I have an art background and am a photographer and painter as well as teacher. I am constantly using multiple apps to get the images the way I want them.

Here is a simple example of a photo I shot with my phone. I did some minor cropping using Aviary, added some special effects and art surfaces with Repix, and then went back to Aviary for some finishing touches.

My students have used photo editing apps, like Repix before uploading an image to Thing Link to create their interactive photos. 

I did a project with my students after reading The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. It ended up being this really cool video app smash. We created a series of stop motion videos (using Stop Motion) where Origami Yoda gave his advise. All those little stop motion videos ran on a green screen, (recorded using GreenScreen) while my kids asked Origami Yoda questions. We put everything together in iMovie.

When I first explained to my class it was one of those mind blown moments...

The end product wasn't perfect. I really need to work on the sound while recording through my iPad. But for a first run, it was wicked cool. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Another Genius Hour Project - Book, written and illustrated using the Book Create app.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Genius Hour! Success! My Class is On Fire! Geniuses I say! Geniuses!

   Booyah! Nailed it! Did I say my class rocks?

Collaboration doesn't get any better than this! 

What what! Interactive digital images? Mind officially blown...

OMG! How is that even possible?!

Don't let me forget! Two of my students created websites.  One is collecting information about community helpers via Google Forms, and the other is blogging about the exciting things we do in class. My kids have taken Genius Hour to a new level.  I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Implementing Genius Hour in my Classroom

I first learned about Genius Hour this summer. And, OOOH WEEEH, I was hooked on the idea! But how do you get a classroom full of third graders, still very timid about independence in the classroom, to use the time in a productive manner?

It took me a while of hard thinking to come up with a solution for implementing Genius Hour. What was my solution? I had none. My plan was much along the lines of sink or swim. Genius right? I introduced the idea with a video, explaining what Genius Hour was, and then went over the expectations. Basically their potential would be limitless. As I looked around the classroom, I saw glassy stares, intimidation, and slowly that little spark of excitement creep into my students. One brave soul, raised his hand and asked, "You mean, we can pick whatever we want to do during this time?" The answer was, basically, yes. I explained to them, that during Genius Hour, I expect them to create, build, or improve something. They would have to decide what it was that they really, really, really, wanted to learn more about before they could start. It would require research, and driving questions. And in the end, they should be able to share their journey through Genius Hour in some form of a culminating project.

I will admit, it was hard for them to come up with their topics. I found I had to sit with each of them to help them figure out what they really wanted to do. Many kept thinking about the final project as being the "thing" to focus on.

In the end, my kids have definitely begun to get the swing of things. I have combined Genius Hour with STEAM and my class is doing great.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

APP - Smash

I recently read an article, entitled APP-SMASH: THE BEN BLOOM FIST IN THE SAMR GLOVE, about the relationship between three major concepts used in 21st Century classrooms. The overlapping of Blooms Taxonomy, the SAMR model, and the utilization of APP-smashing should be a structure for best practices for the use of technology in a 21st Classroom. Perhaps the best way to accomplish this is to come at it backwards by establishing educational goals first, then open up the possibilities for the presentation. Putting limits on teachers and students and the tools they use, stifles creativity. At the same time, we will be more successful with utilizing just a few solid apps rather than overloading classrooms with tech. Students who “are getting their hands dirty with the content in the APP-smash they are always creating as they put their hands on all types of cognitive experiences.” Overall, this approach leads to a much stronger learning experience.

I believe this approach to integrating technology within your classroom room instruction has a great deal of potential by promoting creative problem solving skills.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Remember who we are teaching. When presenting professional development for adults, we must remember they are adults. They bring a lot more to the table as far as previous experiences to connect to. They will only be interested in learning something that is beneficial to them in some way. As Pinnacle leaders we need to remember this. Key questions we should ask are, "What is the problem you have?", and "How can we help you in your classroom?" We will be more successful as educators if we can do this.


Gamification - Why?

99% of boys play video games
94% of girls play video games
8-18 year olds spend an average of 73 minutes per day playing games

Talk about engagement! Gamification speaks to our students. It's fun! They understand the language of gaming. They grasp the goals intended. Gamification encourages mastery of skills though repeated trial and error.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Yes, I am still teaching with tech! But, apparently blogging has taken a back burner. It's a new year so lets fix this!

What have we been doing in the Perkins classroom?

November - Native American Research Projects using Google Presentation

Followed up with a fun app called Storyme using the same information.

December - The Hour of Code using Khan Academy


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