Pay it Forward: This Year’s Tech PD Theme

Welcome back! We already had our first iPad PD session yesterday morning. Last year our theme was “The Building Blocks of Learning“. This year, we are going to take what we learned individually and pay it forward.

Here are the slides, for your perusal, though the session was very interactive so they are pretty minimal.

I divided the session into three parts.

Part I: What do you want to learn? How can you be a resource?

The first thing we did was get a visual of our skills and goals, in keeping with our theme, “Pay it Forward.”

The green post-its are what the teachers would like to learn using the iPad this year. The pink ones are skills they have which they could be a resource for:


I divided the tasks loosely into the following categories: Content Creation, Accessibility, Assessment, Collaboration and Other.

I was gratified to see that the green and pink post-its were pretty balanced!

Now my job will be to match a pink post-it with a green one – stay tuned as I have some ideas of how I can do that while also developing my own skill set…(I know so deliciously vague, aren’t I?)

Part II: Model Teacher-led session using Adobe Voice

In this part, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and lead the first “teacher-led” workshops.The feedback from last year’s presentations was pretty consistent: teachers wanted more time to play with the app/skill/feature being demonstrated. Keeping that in mind, I developed some parameters for our regular iPad PD sessions:

  • Presentation must be very brief (under 15 minutes), which would allow at least 40 minutes for play.
  • Stick to one concept and only concept.
  • The day before the presentation email the staff with:
    • the equipment/apps they will need.
    • if possible, a quick introductory/explainer video of what they will be talking about.

As I would really like to incorporate aspects of the Flipped Classroom in my PD, I decided to make the first explainer video on Adobe Voice. The day before, as per my own instructions, I sent the staff the following email:

Hi Everyone,

I am excited to announce a busy PD session tomorrow! I know, I know. I can hear your groans from here. But no! It will be fun! I promise!
2. PAY IT FORWARD: First lesson given by me! (because one should always put their money where their mouth is, my mother told me)
  • Your iPad
  • To download Adobe Voice on your iPad (it is free!)
  • You will need to create an Adobe ID if you don’t already have one. This is the ID you use to sign in to any of Adobe’s products. Give yourself a minute to figure this out.
  • Please make sure you have the Socrative student app as well. This is different from the Teacher version. Once again it is free!
BEFORE OUR SESSION YOU WILL NEED TO: (this will take you about five minutes. I swear).
  • Watch this brief tutorial on Adobe Voice(about 3.30 minutes)
  • Log in to my classroom on Socrative Student to answer two brief questions. Room #55667 (less than a minute unless you have a lot to say) – I am trying something new here, so it may or may not work – let me know if it doesn’t)
  • Watch my finished product(57 seconds)
Here is the video:

About 3/4 of the staff actually watched the video beforehand and filled in the Socrative quiz, which was a great way to see who watched the video.I also included my finished version of my Adobe Voice movie on Email Etiquette.

The feedback was interesting. I was not expecting the teachers to try the app as they went  through my video- it was meant only as a quick introduction to the app so that we could try it together in the iPad session. Also, one teacher told me that she had to pause and rewind several times as my screens did not match what she was seeing. As well, I didn’t use a script so it is a little choppy and, admittedly, it was kind of weird to use a whiteboard app (Explain Everything) to demonstrate a storytelling app. But I thought using Adobe voice to demonstrate Adobe Voice was just way too meta for me.

However, none of that really mattered. Those who felt like they had enough information to go try it on their own found a quiet place to work on their story. Those who felt like they needed a little more support stayed in class and we went through it step by step with me.

I had scheduled about 40 minutes for this activity – we went a little over, but not much. We even had time to share some of the teachers’ stories!

Part III: What Makes a Good Flipped Video

As Flipping the classroom is increasingly becoming a strategy many teachers are using, a critique of random flipped classroom videos by subject seemed in order. I found one flipped high school video per subject (6 in total) and loaded them on 6 of the iPads from our iPad lab to avoid wasting time finding and clicking on links…

This was the criteria with which the teachers were supposed to rate their videos:

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.37.44 PM

Although we had a little less time for this (I wanted a half hour, but we had twenty minutes left), the feedback from the teachers was very intriguing. They commented on how distracting it was to see the teacher in the videos, or weird verbal/physical tics, and recognized that they themselves have those kind of tics and how important it is to be aware of when you are recording yourself. In some videos the sound quality was not up to par. In others, they really liked how the teacher zoomed in to emphasize certain areas of their subject.

All in all, it was a full but productive morning and I can’t wait to see what the teachers teach us this year!

Edudemic’s Guide to the Flipped Classroom for 2014 | Edudemic

A brief update on the state of the Flipped Classroom. It gives a brief overview on the rise of the Flipped Classroom model as well as tips on how to implement it.


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iPad Challenge: Put Last Month’s Presentations into Practice!

Well, the feedback came and we heard it loud and clear: you would have liked more time to try out the skills presented to you by our amazing presenters Nadia and Greg. So tomorrow’s meeting will be devoted to trying out GoodNotes with Google Drive and following Greg’s recipe for an explainer video.

Here is what you will need:

  • laptop
  • iPad
  • GoodNotes (all departments should have this) Price: $5.99)
  • Google Drive
  • Material you would like to work with (a concept you would like to make a video for, or a PDF you would lilt annotate in GoodNotes!)
  • Air server (talk to Brian about this).
  • MPEG Streamclip
  • Greg’s Videos (Please take some time to view these before tomorrow’s meeting. It will give you a flipped classroom experience as well as give you an idea of what you can do with your own videos!):
    • Video 1 (1.  Turn on AirServer
                     2.  Connect your iPad to your computer
      3.  Record your computer with QuickTime Player
                     4.  Using GoodNotes as a “smart board” )

      Video 2   More  Using GoodNotes, 5.  Using “Hide User Interface” for a                  better user experience.
      Video 3  Yet still more  Using GoodNotes
      Video 4   6.  Editing with MPEG Streamclip
      Video 5    More editing with MPEG Streamclip
      Video 6   7.  Uploading to iTunes
                     8.  Linking to your portal

Greg and Nadia will be circulating through the room to help you with any problem you might be facing.

Good luck and see you tomorrow!

The Student-Centered Classroom – Liberate Learners To Flip Their Own Lessons

From the people who  introduced me to Adobe Voice – a great idea; getting the students to use Adobe Voice to make their own review explainer videos for upcoming exams.

Check it out!

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Innovative design crosses over all aspects of education. The American Society for Innovation Design in Education, or ASIDE, seeks to infuse curriculum with new approaches to teaching and thinking. Integrating the design of information into the daily conversation is an essential part of the teacher’s toolkit and the purpose of the ASIDE blog. The underpinning of innovation and educational design is based on looking at the information available and communicating meaning for a world of learners. Thinking like a designer can transform the way children learn. ASIDE’s goal is to bring together as much information, resources and supportive scholarship in one place for teaching and learning.

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Flipped Fridays: Flipped Learning Network

Inspired by a comment in Wednesday’s Tech session, I have decided to dedicate Friday’s posts to all things Flipped. This website seems to be the mothership of the Flipped learning method- from resources, to literature reviews, they even have a sign up sheet for Flipeed Classroom open houses where you can attend a flipped classroom in another school or (cough, cough, I am talking to you Mr. Flipped) even host an open Flipped classroom!

Something that might be of interest to English and French teachers is an upcoming webinar in February called Flipped Lit on Tuesday February 25, 5:00 pm. Oh, and yes, they are free!

Check it out and let me know what you think!

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What Is A Flipped Classroom? – Edudemic

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Flipped classrooms are one of the more popular trends we’ve seen since Edudemic was created, and it is certainly one of the most long- lasting.

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Check out the hand dandy info graphic – it gives a nice low down on how it helps, and how teachers and students are responding: