The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep 20: Alice Keeler


So the planning for this episode went something like this…

Hey Tim, we’re having Alice Keeler on the show!

Cool. What are we going to discuss?

We’re going to try something new. We are going to have a debate. Chromebook vs. iPad.

Oh, that sounds fun. Who’s she debating?

You. You’re taking the iPad side.

And then came the show…where I made a complete fool of myself. But Alice is super fun and knows her tech like a champ. Get ready for the most entertaining Bedley Bros EdChat yet. And the winner is…

Show Notes

Alice Keeler on Twitter

Alice Keeler’s Website

The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep. 16: Rebecca Wildman and Fred Sitkins



Teacher Rebecca Wildman and her principal Fred Sitkins are changing the face of education through their use of iTunes U for elementary students in Michigan and around the world. Watch as they explain the endless possibilities of this eduawesome platform.


Show Notes

iPad PD Rebecca and Fred’s website where they house their iTunes U courses and a whole lot more!

Flipping PD in iTunes U

Greg Tang Math

GiveBloodPlayHockey.org

FaceTime for Absent Students



Last week, Jordan, one of my fifth grade girls, was caught doing something without permission! AND I LOVED IT!

Jordan’s classmate, Koral, was on a trip out of town to attend a funeral. During our book clubs (literature circles), I noticed that Jordan had propped her iPad up in front of her and was talking to Koral on FaceTime. Jordan knew that our class was a safe place to try something new. She also knew that I would approve of anything she did that enriched her education or that of a classmate. So here is Jordan reading Chomp to Koral, separated by a measly 1000 miles.

The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep. 8: Interview with Erin Klein



With over 19,000 followers on Twitter, Erin Klein is a gifted communicator, passionate educator, and curator of excellent EdTech ideas. Watch as Tim and Scott have an EdChat with Erin about social media, PBL, and more!

Coming May 3: Alex Kajitani, Rappin’ Mathematician and 2009 California Teacher of the Year!

Show Notes

Erin’s website

Erin’s Twitter

Padlet

TonyVincent  Learning In Hand

Pinterest

Educator’s PLN

New Teacher Chat on Twitter

iPads and Google Drive for Collaborative Writing Instruction



In this 2-minute video, I show how I am currently using Google Drive with my 4th/5th grade class to enhance my writing instruction. My learning environment is BYOD with iPads. I set up an account through Google Apps for Education. I gave each student an account (and one for me.) The students work in groups with a shared document. They also share the document with me. This allows me to monitor each group’s progress right from my iPad. We use the Google Drive App on our iPads.

16 Tips for Clean Slide Presentations

By Tim Bedley


One AWFUL slide!
One AWFUL slide!

 

I have been assigning slide presentations to my elementary students for many years. I found myself repeating the same critiques to group after group. Now, I don’t leave “PowerPoint” style to chance. Here are a few of the tips I give my students.

 

 

Text Tips

  1. Use VERY small amount of text. A few words that give the main idea for each slide is good. The big NO-NO: Reading your slides to your audience.
  2. Choose one font style for the main points and one for the sub-points. Use these styles throughout your entire presentation. This includes font name, color, and size.
  3. Be careful with overlap. Text that is barely touching a photo is awkward. Text that sits right next to the edge of the slide is awkward.
  4. Dark text on light background or light text on dark background. Contrast! Make it POP!
  5. No bullet points. Duplicate your slides and put your sub-points on separate slides.

Graphics Tips

  1. Try to fill your slide with one large image.
  2. Faces are better. We all like to see closeups of the human face.
  3. Be careful not to distort your pictures. Grab the photo in the corner, not the edge, to change the size.
  4. Be careful with image size. If you use a small image and resize it to make it large, the image gets very blurry.
  5. Photos are better than clipart. Better yet, make your own pictures by taking photos or drawing pictures.
  6. Cite your source. Always give credit for the images you use.

Overall Design Tips

  1. Avoid using templates. They are cheesy and show little creativity.
  2. Avoid slide transitions. You want your audience focused on the slides, not the switching between slides. NO transition is wonderful!
  3. Simple! Keep your slides clutter free. A nice big clear picture with 3 words to focus the audience is great!
  4. Avoid creating a “The End” slide. If you have a conclusion, great. Otherwise, just make a main topic slide as your last slide. Don’t make a slide that says, “Thanks for watching,” or something similar.
  5. Advanced Tip: Use the rule of thirds. Draw a tic-tac-toe board on your slide. Place items where the lines cross. It’s a bit more complicated than this, but the main thing: try to avoid centering things on the slide.

Note: These tips definitely limit creativity, but my purpose is to teach my students to first create a good clean slide show. Once that is accomplished, then I encourage the students to break the rules…with purpose. It’s similar to learning a new instrument. We first need to learn our scales and copy the masters. Later, we develop our own style and can artfully break the rules.

Screencast Instructional Video: 12 PowerPoint Tips for Kids

Watch here if you are blocked from YouTube

Adding Text to Your QR Codes

By Tim Bedley


PhotoString App well worth 99 cents.
PhotoString App well worth 99 cents.

 

If you’re like me, you love creating QR codes but find it very frustrating to keep track of them because all your QR codes look basically the same. One solution is to use the iPad app PhotoString. The app is designed for making photo montages with text, but I’m using it to label my QR codes. Of course, sometimes you want your QR codes to remain a mystery before they are scanned, but when you don’t, here’s how to label them.

Steps to Create and Label a QR Code

  1. Create the QR code using an app like QRafter or http://goqr.me/ website.
  2. Save the QR code to your photo roll.
  3. Open PhotoString and choose the icon at the bottom that shows one picture with text below.
  4. Import your QR code.
  5. Resize to fit in the window.
  6. Identify the QR code by writing a caption below the code.
  7. Export the finished product back to your photo roll.

Now you can have several QR codes stored on your iPad or computer and actually be able to identify them.

Example of QR Code with caption created using PhotoString
Example of QR Code with caption created using PhotoString

Using Google Forms for peer critique

By Tim Bedley


Students use iPads to peer critique.
Students use iPads to peer critique.

I use Google forms to help guide my 4th and 5th graders through the writing peer critique process. I have created tailor-made forms for Response to Literature, Summaries and more.
My students bring their own iPads to school. The few that do not own one borrow a class iPad. Students sit in pairs around the room with their iPad and recent writing assignment in hand. Each student is given about 15 minutes to critique their partner’s paper. I set a timer for this.
When the form has been completed, students use their iPad thesaurus to help the author enrich vocabulary.
I train the students to do this independently. It takes several times running through things with a lot of modeling and reflection to get the students able to work independently and effectively at peer critique.

You can see my critique forms at my class website.

APP-athy

By Tim Bedley

 

What is APP-athy? The point where you just can’t stand the thought of adding one more app to your iPad. There are now over a quarter million iPad apps. It’s impossible to keep up with them all. How many drawing apps do I need? Where did I save that picture of the kids? iCloud? Dropbox? Google Drive? Ugh.

It’s important to stay on top of the latest and greatest; however, there comes a point where the cost of change is not worth the upgrade. There are lesson plans to write, new children’s literature to read, and naps to be taken. Think about how many apps you’ve downloaded that you’ve used only once, or perhaps never at all.

Don’t sweat it. It’s ok that there are new educational apps that you’ve never heard of. If that new app is worth using, it will appear on a top 10 list in the days to come.