Project Planning Cycle in a 1:1 iPad

What is the Role of Ed Tech?

I, Lisa Johnson @TechChef4u, am an Educational Technologist for Eanes ISD. We are a K-12 1:1 iPad School District and I am housed at WHS where I support 200+ teachers and 2,700 students. When people think about the role of Educational Technologist, they immediately consider co-planning with teachers and offering professional development... but what many don't realize is that I work with students just as much as I do with teachers...

What is the Planning
Cycle of a Lesson?

Pre-Planning with Teacher

This year I worked with Natalie Cannon, @magistracannon, to revise the prompts for her annual Roman Bath project. Rather than asking students to create a cartoon storyboard, the prompt was revised to allow students authentic authorship and purpose through a designated role. Check out her Digital Teaching video below to get an idea of her classroom and teaching style.

Natalie even went one step further and took the original two-page guide prepared for students and turned it in to a Thinglink to both ensure the information would be easier to digest as well as to model the delivery using a tool and technology that was accessible to our students.

Student Planning & Observations

Natalie asked me to share and demonstrate to students a few tools and apps (Tackk,  Canva, Thinglink, Adobe Slate, Snapguide, and Shadow Puppet EDU) that would lend themselves to one of the five projects. Students worked in and out of class on the projects and I returned later in the week to observe some of the projects in action.

No Ceiling on Creativity...

Due to the open-ended nature of the project guidelines and the opportunity for students to choose the best tool for the project (whether it be digital, analog, or a blend of both),  I have to tell you that I was completely blown away by the creativity and content...

Explore 30+ World Language App-tivities

... But one thing was brought to light... there was still more work to do. Truly there is no ceiling on creativity or constructing knowledge. I noticed opportunities to teach appropriate use of screen casting, model the difference between editing and preview mode within an app, and even navigate workflow of multiple images.

From Analog to Digital...

While no student would turn in a poster collage with all of the pieces and elements not securely attached, multiple students screenshot keynote slides in editing mode with misspelled words and would present from Pages so all of the elements within the brochure would move around. At one point, I actually popped up during a presentation and pointed out the "Open In" option in Pages and showed a student how to present their Pages brochure as a PDF so they could zoom in to the images. Truly, PD doesn't stop with teachers and many of these analog to digital "finishing" steps I hadn't even considered necessary to incorporate in the initial professional development with students.

Behind the Scenes

There are some other pieces that are "behind the scenes" within a project:

  • Workflow: We use eBackpack as our primary means of workflow.
  • Presentations: Many times our projects are not digital but still need to be presented to the class so we use a document camera stand to allow students to present models and posters. Using the stand in conjunction with an iPad also allows us to record the presentations for later review.
  • Classroom Management: Classroom Management is very behind the scenes but it can make or break a project. Based on my years of classroom observations in 1:1 schools all over the nation, I have compiled some tips and best practices.

Reflections and Planning

Many times we complete projects without including the reflection phase for teachers and students. Natalie Cannon, @magistracannon, does a fantastic job of meeting with students during the planning process. As we continue to create more and more digital projects, I would love to provide students a publishing and ePortfolio platform to allow for an authentic audience as well as opportunity to reflect on both the product and the process.

The Power of 1...

The Power of 1 is NOT the Ed Tech... Yes, I do provide support and guidance along the way to both students and teachers but the real power of 1 is the success that a teacher has with a project or lesson. When that success occurs, it reverberates within the department and beyond as seen with this book project that expanded throughout the World Language hallway.

District Innovations

Recently Cathy Yenca (@mathycathy), Carl Hooker (@mrhooker), and I had the app-ortunity to speak about our roles within the Eanes ISD K-12 1:1 iPad Initiative. Cathy shared the educator perspective. I shared the perspective of an Educational Technologist, and Carl highlighted the district vision and went more in depth with the support we have provided parents. The Thinglink below showcases each one of these presentations.

Educational Technologist

To organize and share this project planning process, I have included my iTunes page (many thanks to Carl Hooker for this epic template!). The page includes multiple professional development resources I have created, a link to the WHS WIFI iPad Initiative page, as well as guides for S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR.

Many Thanks

Many thanks to both Tackk (@Tackk) and Shadow Puppet (@puppet) for their social media love, kind words and app-reciation for this piece.