Students Publish “Tech Tips for Teachers”

Book cover - Tech Tips for Teachers

Here’s our final course showcase iBook – Tech Tips for Teachersavailable free at iTunes. You can see our book as a PDF: Tech Tips for Teachers 14mb pdf.

In their first lesson students were introduced to Adobe Spark post and asked to design a meme and use it in a post on our WordPress blog. Both apps were new to them, but there was no direct instruction. Only short YouTube videos to guide them. By lessons 11 and 12 – they were split into teams and given three apps for creating the product. They worked in teams to figure out the app and then report back to the class on it’s utility. Afterwards each student picked one of the apps to produce the product and explain it’s pros and cons. 

Students were asked to pick an app and design a showcase chapter for this book. We used iBooks Author to create both the multi-touch book and PDF version. Chapters are in roughly the order we used the apps in class.  

  1. Michael Birkhead: Adobe Spark Post
  2. Nick Krautscheid: Google Apps
  3. Margaret Buzard and Melissa Sta. Maria: MyMaps + Google Forms
  4. Madison Hughes and Bridget Ponzetti: Padlet
  5. Jordyn Geenty and Kiana Okino: TedEd
  6. Lauren Yount and Dylan Hite: EdPuzzle
  7. Laura Barros / Hanna Knouf: Toontastic

Class 12: Get Started with iBooks Author

Get started with iBooks Author
Spring ’17 Class Book on iTunes

This week we will spend some time looking at Apple’s versatile publishing app –  iBooks Author (iBA). We will then begin the process of designing a showcase book to be published on iTunes. Click here to see my many student-designed iBooks on iTunes.

Building on what we’ve already done, iBA can easily accept audio, video and image files.  Keynote presentations with all their builds, animations and transitions can simply be dragged into the app. iBA also offers a variety of interactive widget that can be used to design a learning activity.

Working individually or with a partner, students will decide on a “edtech” learning activity to be included as a chapter in our book. They may build on a previous project on or develop something new.

Find great widgets at Bookry

Here’s a quick guide to managing your files to get ready for iBA:  edtechMethods Tool Kit: iBooks Author  and a YouTube channel with some short tutorials that students may wish to refer to. See iBooks Author Tips.

Assignment Due April 17 | Completed Work

Students should do a blog post that serves as a proposal for their final project. It should include:

  • Context – grade, subject, time frame, etc; for the learning activity.
  • Content – what will students be learning.
  • Process – what will the students be asked to do.
  • Layout – how will the lesson be presented in the book.  Use of widgets?
  • Audience – Will the learning activity be designed ready for a student to use or as a lesson idea that might be used by another teacher.

Image credit – Adobe Spark Post  / Rawpixel

Fight Fake News with Critical Thinking

Lessons in Critical Thinking is now available free at iTunes. It includes critical thinking lessons in science, math, literature and media literacy.

During our discussion of digital literacy and “Fake News,” we realized that our middle and high school level students need more practice in the critical evaluation of information. Using some of our favorite edtech tools, we developed six engaging lessons which promoted critical thinking skills in a variety of content areas. Then, using iBooks Author, we compiled the lessons into this iBook .

For more work by this fine class visit our students page.

Student-designed critical thinking lessons include:

  1. Dihydro-What? Science Lesson by Kristen Turner
  2. Using TV Ads to Teach Persuasive Writing by Jennifer Upchurch
  3. The Choice is Yours: integrating a “choose your own adventure” into math class by Eli McElroy and Tamalin Salisbury
  4. How to Read Between the Lines of Research by Hannah O’Brien
  5. Do You Believe It To Be True Or False? by Jeremy Jon Reyes Pingul
  6. Civically Sublime by Kurt Anderson, Bekah Kolb, Ryan Greenberg

Class 14: Working with iBooks Author

Digital technologies have put us in charge of the information we access, store, analyze and share.  Creating an iBook harnesses those motivational factors into an engaging learning experience. The ease of distribution across the world (via iTunes) means students can communicate with a broader, and more authentic audience than just their teacher and class peers.

This week we will wrap up our first drafts of our critical thinking lessons for inclusion into our collaborative iBook.

Technical aspects

The iBooks will be designed using iBooks Author in the Mac lab. Students will bring digital versions of their project content – including all image and sound files, text files, citations and URLs. Here’s a quick guide to managing your files to get ready for iBooks Author: edtechMethods Tool Kit: iBooks Author

I’ve created a YouTube channel with some short tutorials that students may wish to refer to. See iBooks Author Tips.

We’ll take a look at Adobe Spark / Posts for making some graphics to add to our project.


Students should write a brief blog post that serves as a course reflection. Begin by re-reading your first post in response to the prompt “What do you want to learn about edtech?” What progress have you made? Successes, frustrations? Suggestions for this course?

Please post by April 27th.

Image credit: Adobe Spark