March 26, 2013

It's ALL ABOUT TIME! Mobile Projects in Minutes

As educators we want to create awesome lessons and projects for our students, but we all struggle with just one problem... TIME! Our days, weeks, and hours are structured as such that we always have very little time to cover very complex content. Prime example: You have this great idea for your students to create a video project to show their learning of a science lesson they just completed, but you don't have a week to spend doing it with iMovie, so you just X the whole project. This happens all the time, and who does it hurt? Our students!

I had a the opportunity to attend a workshop on "5 Minute Mobile Projects" for students at the Midwest Technology conference. The awesome presenter was Greg Lawrence. He made a great point that technology should not just be a replacement for the pencil, because eventually the computer will be just a another tool students will get tired of using.  "Just transferring the analog to the digital technology makes technology the new pencil", Greg said.  He gave me some great examples of creating authentic projects that only take 5 minutes. I am going to share some ideas I got from attending his session, as well as some of my own, to give you some practical ideas for integrating NET-S & Common Core, as well as SAVE TIME!

"Technology is an important tool, but if the tools is only used in traditional ways, then TRANSFORMATION will not take place" -Project Reform Ed.

The kids we teach in 2013, are a part of the Mobile Generation, and Digital Natives. We must ensure that our students are not just "content consumers", but PRODUCERS, PUBLISHERS, and COLLABORATORS!

Here are some great examples of mobile projects you can complete with students in minutes.

Camera App/PhotoBooth - Using the camera app on the ipad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, iMac, Macbook Air
Ways to use it:
  • Reading fluency- students record themselves reading a book, passage, or an essay that they wrote. 
  • Pictures- Snap pictures of specific objects in the classroom
  • Record directions for completing a task, or for showing understanding of a concept.
  • Share visually in math or other subject areas. 
  • Video the classroom to find angles and shapes.

Ways to use it:
  • Take images and create a photo collage. 
    • Find specific items ( ex: find red objects, or objects that rhyme, or start with the same letter of the alphabet)
    • Label parts of picture (ex: parts of a plant)
Check out this 5 Senses Project I did with this adorable little kindergartener

Here is another option for using Collages in the classroom.
Technology Tailgate: InstaCollagePro and Idioms

Auto Rap & Songify
Ways to Use it:
  • Make a song out of a topic to show understanding
  • Create songs as study guides for tests or quizzes
Check out the one I created for the Order of Operations
here  The options are limitless!

Ways to use it:
  • Take photos and annotate them by adding text, shapes, and symbols
  • Find shapes around the classroom. Label parts of a plant, or planets in the solar system.

Newsbooth-create news topic



Ways to use it:
Make images come alive- Figures in History, or animals. Students could research a famous person, or animal, then give it a voice and animation within minutes.
See a sample below


Allows you to create and scan QR codesHave students "beam" questions for other students to answer, by creating quiz or test questions about a topic.

Scavenger Hunts
Exit slips w/ QR codes
Information explaining work, or art.
Add a QR code to access a website or form
Check out an example of Kindergarten sight words ( scan the barcode and listen to the voice pronouncing the word)

Do you ever get tired of repeating directions? Use a QR code to record voice, or provide written instructions

EDUcreations  or ScreenCHOMP
Ways to use it:
Create an instant video showing knowledge of a topic
Complete worksheets

(An App & website)

Ways to use it:
Create professional looking videos in minutes
Create a video showing understanding of a topic
Research results from a problem-based learning project
Highlighting a special event

(An App & website)
Ways to use it:
Create beautiful visual masterpieces, and add your voice to describe the picture. Take it one step further add attach a QR code

Check out more 5 minute mobile projects here when time is not on your side!