Apr 262013

Permalink: http://goo.gl/neZs5 or at https://sedcclint.com under the Garageband or Vista tags.

Garageband is an amazing tool on the Mac that is unmatched on the PC at the same price and feature set. It’s a full featured audio recording studio – you can mix up a song by using a wide array of loops, by recording your own virtual or real instruments or a combination of both! It’s also a great podcast creation tool.

If you’d like to go beyond what I was able to present to you today, take a look at the Garageband Lessons and Help page. There is a full tutorial/lesson you can use and adapt from Stanford, as well as an entire Curriculum for Digital Media Creation from Apple (PDF).

What sorts of learning projects and activities can you with audio and podcasting? Here are a few ideas from my training site:

  • Tutorial – describe a step-by-step process.
  • Reporting – describe how a problem was identified and solved
  • Descriptive – paint a picture with words about a place, memory, or image
  • Biographical – capture the history of the “Old Timer’s” with interviews about their life
  • Autobiographical – relate some of your own life story and discuss your family history
  • Tour Guide – make an audio tour of a local museum, describing the background of the exhibits as the patrons walk around
  • Reactionary – record your thoughts as you experience something for the first time
  • Conversational – gather a group together to discuss a topic of interest and record
  • Serial Storytelling – a series of classes each make up and record a chapter of a story
  • Screencast – Capture sound and screen shots as a process is explained on the computer about a piece of software or whats on the screen
  • Book Trailers – Instead of creating a movie trailer, have students create an interesting trailer for a book that has been read in class.
  • More podcasting resources and information at SEDCClint.com.

Other helpful Garageband resources I found ‘Out There’:

Getting Started with Building Music from Loops

  • Launch Garageband, and choose New Project –> Loops. Give it a name, and save it where you can find it.
  • Tour the Interface: Add new track, edit tracks, show/hide loops, track info, and media browser, play/pause controls and metronome
  • View the Loops browser, and browse for the loops you’ll use with the filter buttons. Click ‘Reset’ to choose a new type of loop.
  • To add a loop, just click and drag it into the Tracks area.
    • Don’t combine loops from different instruments on the same track!
  • Start with a beat, and build from there!
  • Extend a loop  – hover over the top right corner of the loop ‘bubble’ to see the circular arrow cursor. Click and drag until the loop is as long as you’d like.
  • When your masterpiece is complete, save your work, and then use the Share menu to save your track as an AAC or MP3 in iTunes or Export as a stand-alone file

Creating Podcasts with Garageband

  • File –> New, New Project –> Podcasts. Give it a name, and Create
  • Need inspiration? You can find sample radio scripts here and here.
  • You are presented with some default tracks:
    • The Podcast track will allow you to insert images to create an ‘Enhanced Podcast’ – sort of like a narrated slide show
    • Male Voice and Female Voice are used for recording the respective voices with a microphone
    • The Jingles track is where you can bring in included sound effects, jingles and stingers to give the podcast some color, or to add some ambiance to your story.
  • Edit recordings – useful with voice recordings
    • Click the edit button – scissors button – to show an expanded waveform of the recording
    • A tale of two halves – top half ‘squishes’ waveform and mutes audio, bottom half you can select and crop/delete the audio from the track entirely.
    • Pitch can be adjusted, as well as AutoTune your audio.
  • Want to create a video podcast? Here’s how.

Not enough microphones? Use Audioboo on about any mobile device to act as a mobile recording studio. Audioboo will save the recordings, make them available online, and even create a podcast RSS or iTunes feed. Subscribe to your own feed in iTunes, and you have access to all of the recorded video to use in Garageband.

Apr 232013

Permalink: http://goo.gl/ZRrzu

Training Checklist:

  • Download your Posterous backup, and extract it by double-clicking on the .zip file
  • Create a new WordPress account, using your @ironmail.org email account. Choose the free WordPress.com option by clicking the ‘Create Blog’ button at the bottom of the page.
  • Fine tune your settings
    • Settings –> General from the left menu. Update the time zone to ‘Denver’, pick the date and time format  that you prefer, and save changes at the bottom.
  • Select a theme for your site
    • Appearance –> Themes from the left menu
    • Appearance –> Customize if you’d like to tweak the colors and other settings
    • Appearance –> Widgets to add some cool functions. Add the ‘Links’ widget, and we’ll customize it later. You may also want to add Authors, Calendar, Category (or Tag) Cloud, Follow Blog, & Twitter (if you use that service). You could remove the Recent Posts and Recent Comments if you’d like.
  • Add any other grade level teachers as Administrators to your blog
    • Users –> Invite New from the left menu
  • From your new blog dashboard, let’s import your Posterous content
    • Head to ‘Tools’ on the left side of the page, and choose ‘Import’
    • Click the ‘Posterous’ option
    • Click ‘Choose File’, and then browse to your Posterous back up folder. Select the WordPress export .xml file, then click the ‘Upload file and import’ button
    • Assign users to the proper Posterous posts on the next screen.
    • Wait patiently as your content is brought into your new site!
  • Add new Pages to your site, just as you had in Posterous: Pages –> Add New in the left menu
    • Link back to NES Home – http://north.iron.k12.org/
    • Upcoming Events – We’ll bring in your Google Calendar
    • How to Help
    • Expectations
    • A page for each teacher
  • Add Links
    • Links –> Link Categories and make a new category called ‘Sites I Like’
    • Links –> Add new from the top or left menu, and add links to the sites you’d like your students and parents to have access to. Add them to the ‘Sites I Like’ category
    • in Appearance –> Widgets, change the ‘Links’ widget to display only the ‘Sites I Like’ category.
  • Add your Google Calendar to the Upcoming Events page
  • Add other features you may have used in Posterous
    • Post via Email: Dashboard –> My Blogs from the left menu. Click ‘Screen Options’ on the top right of the window, and make sure that ‘Post by Email’ is checked. Now, click ‘Enable’ under the ‘Post by Email’ heading beneath. Record the email address listed there – this is the address you’ll need to send your new posts to.
    • Publicize: When making a new post, look for the Publicize options within the ‘Publish’ box on the right. To start, it will say ‘Publicize: Not Connected’ Click the ‘Show’ link and connect your blog to the services you’d like to share your updates to. These settings can be changed on a per-post basis.
  • Now that you have a new WordPress site, you may want to add new information to it!
    • Add a new post: Posts –> Add New from the left menu
    • Edit pages: Pages –> All Pages, and click on the name of the page to update
Apr 222013

What you’ll need:

  • A backup of your Posterous site. Instructions for this are below the video.
  • A Dropbox account: If you don’t have one, create one here.
  • A Google Site: Instructions to create a Google Site are below the video as well.

Note: This process will not import individual posts from your Posterous site. I’m only showing the steps to embed the content of your Posterous site as an accessible archive. If you’d like to have each post imported, use WordPress.

All you need to know about archiving your Posterous blog/site/space in a Google Site:

If you have not done so already, you’ll need to request a backup of your Posterous site if you do not want to loose the posts, media and content you’ve uploaded to it. The steps to do this are:

  1. Go to http://posterous.com/#backup.
  2. Click to request a backup of your Space by clicking “Request Backup” next to your Space name.
  3. When your backup is ready, you’ll receive an email. Each time I’ve done this and everyone I’ve talked to have never received an email notification. Just move on to #4 after a few hours.
  4. Return to http://posterous.com/#backup to download a .zip file.

Creating a new Google Site is easy. If you do not have a Gmail account, you can sign up for one here. Once you have a Gmail account and are signed in, follow the steps below:

  1. In Gmail, look for a black bar of links near the top of the page. Click Sites in this bar.
  2. Click the red Create button.
  3. The Blank template option is chosen by default, and I would recommend sticking with that.
  4. Name your site – this will become the site title or banner text.
  5. Google will automatically give you a Site location, but this can be altered or shortened if you’d prefer (for example, sites.google.com/site/yoursite) as well as an optional description of the site. The URL you choose can’t be changed after you create your site, or used again if the site is deleted.
  6. Pick a theme for your site.
  7. Explore the More options choices and include this information if you wish.
  8. Click the red Create button near the top of the window.
  9. Now that you’ve created your site, you can create a new page by clicking the Create page button.

Google Sites for Teachers

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Apr 182013

Take a look at my Demo Site which shows and describes the types of pages you can create in your Google Site. Be sure to check out the Google Sites Help Center to help make your site great!

We will also take a look at a wonderfully visual bookmarking site called Symbaloo. It’s free to sign up, and you can create custom ‘Webmixes’ with tiles linking to your students favorite and most used sites. Here’s my Webmix of my recommended educational iPad apps.

Apr 112013

More and more teachers have an iPad, and I’d say 99% of them would LOVE to be able to engage students by showing what is on their iPad screen to their class via the classroom projector. There are a few other ways to do this (direct with a VGA Connector, AirServer or Reflector), but the most convenient and reliable (albeit expensive) way is to incorporate an Apple TV into your classroom technology toolkit.

You might think that once you get your Apple TV up and running (described below), that you need to ‘connect’ your iPad to the Apple TV in some way – Bluetooth, an additional app, something – but that is not the case.

Here’s the deal… The iPad and the Apple TV do not communicate with Bluetooth for mirroring – there is WAY too much data going back and forth for that. Nor does it require the installation of any other apps on the iPad or Apple TV. It’s all built in! These devices communicate with each other through the wireless network. These are consumer devices, and work seamlessly on a home wireless network. At school however, things may be different…

PLEASE NOTE that in MANY school networks this screen sharing (and wireless printing) will simply not work unless your school or district has a Bonjour Gateway configured for the network. This is no trivial task – it’s not simply a ‘switch’ that someone can flip. Proceed cautiously  if you are in this situation with the knowledge that it may not work, ever, without the support of your district/school IT folks.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is no additional software needed to get the iPads and Apple TV to ‘talk’ to each other and to do the screen mirroring from the iPad, once they are connected to the network. It’s all built in, but it’s not instantly apparent as to how to start sharing or mirroring your iPad screen to the Apple TV & projector.

This YouTube video (from itseconomics) does a pretty good job of showing what you need to do. I’ll make some annotations below with the time code to point out other things to know.

  • 0:00-1:05 – Connection: You need to connect your projector to the Apple TV.
    • If your projector is new enough, you may be able to connect it directly with an HDMI cable.
    • If your projector is older, you’ll need a HDMI to VGA Adapter.
    • If you have your computer AND the Apple TV connected to your projector with separate cables, you’ll need to use the projector remote to select the source. Look for an ‘Input’, ‘Source’ or ‘Source Select’ button and click it until you see HDMI as an option. When you see the Apple TV screen, then you are on the right one.
    • You’ll need to switch between this input and VGA (probably) to get back to your computer screen.
  • 1:05-2:05 – Connect to Network
    • In order to work without the Bonjour Gateway, your iPad and Apple TV must be on the same wireless network.
    • If the Bonjour Gateway is set up, you should try to connect your Apple TV with an Ethernet cable. This will eliminate the need to configure the wireless and will improve the streaming performance and response time to your actions on the iPad.
  • 2:05-2:27 – Settings/AirPlay
    • Follow his steps and double check this to ensure that AirPlay is set to On.
    • He’s showing an older version of the Apple TV, so you’ll have a few more options here…
      • You may want to turn the ‘Onscreen Code’ which will require people attempting to connect to your Apple TV to have a 4-digit code to connect. The code is displayed on the screen so that only people in the room can connect to it.
      • If the onscreen code is not enough and you find that other teachers or students are connecting to your Apple TV, you can set a password to connect.
      • This article explains these settings in more detail.
  • 2:27-4:07 – Setup or start AirPlay Mirroring
    • Double-tapping the home button works (2:34) , but you can also use the 5-finger vertical swipe gesture (swipe up the screen) to bring up the multitasking bar, if you have multitasking gestures turned on.
    • At 2:42, he shows you the AirPlay icon. Look for this icon in other apps to send the audio or video to your Apple TV!

He didn’t cover how to end AirPlay Mirroring. You basically do what you did to start mirroring to end it. Bring up the multitasking bar, swipe from left to right, and tap the AirPlay icon. Select ‘iPad’ to end screen mirroring.

I hope this helps some of you out there. I tried to explain it as simply as I could, but in a school setting this is not as simple of a solution as it seems. Leave your comments below if you have any questions or if I’ve left anything out!

Apr 102013

Curious about what the new assessment system for Utah will look like? You can try out several sample items on the demo site here: http://demo.tds.airast.org/AIRAssessment/

It’s surely not your Mother’s (or even my) old multiple-guess test that students could blow through in 5 minutes (if they were so inclined). Rich items, interactivity, and constructed responses – all machine graded. Make sure to use the drop-down menu at the top to choose from the many different item types. Even works on an iPad! Note: item grading is not available at this time, but should be available in a few weeks.

More information about the new assessment system can be found on the USOE Assessment page. Take a look, kick the tires, and let me know what you think!

Apr 092013

This great post from @tomwhitby got me thinking… Do I use Twitter for more than keeping up on new things in EdTech and for my own Professional Development? Being a trainer, I’m usually the one in front of the group. It’s rare that I get the chance to sit back and learn from others in traditional settings. The only chance I get to learn from others is from Twitter.

Twitter has been most of my PD for the past few years, but I have not yet effectively been using it to collaborate with other teachers. My first great success in collaborating or reaching out to other teachers via Twitter was just yesterday. I sent a question out about good anti-bullying resources and almost immediately, a teacher in my region sent me back a link to an amazing YouTube video.

I have tried this in the past, but it seemed like I was shouting into the wind. Today, there was some great positive reinforcement for me to use the tool in this way. I’ll certainly use it more for collaboration in the future, while continuing to share what I find and learn as well as listen to others for their great ideas and suggestions.

What type of teacher are you – Connected or Not? What effect does this choice have on your instruction?

Anti-Bullying & CyberSpace Dangers Resources for BHS Parent Awareness Night

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Apr 082013

Utah Nick Vujicic Presentation:

To This Day video (7:37 min) on YouTube from Shane Koyczan To This Day Project

Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents (PDF) from the Council for Prevention.

What Parents Need to Know about Internet Safety – resources and information from NetSafeUtah.org