Monthly Archives: June, 2012

iMovie Trailers and QR Codes: That’s the Fun Part

Every once in a while, in the world of planning Professional Development, the most enjoyable segments are the ones that called for the least planning.

This was the case as my partner in all things EdTech, Debbie Smith (@austindeb2003), and I discovered to our surprise, when we were implementing our iPad Immersion sessions over the last few weeks.

We spent a lot of time planning curriculum based critical thinking and creativity activities that integrated iPads.  We wanted the teachers to look at the curriculum they use regularly in a different way. And we came up with some pretty good activities, we thought.

The creativity activities were adapted from the AIMS Science curriculum used in grades K-2 and 3-5. Teachers researched types of weather or planets, created a storyboard with Keynote or the Popplet App then created a movie with iMovie, in partners.

The critical thinking activities came from AIMS Science and Stemscopes Science and involved observing, measuring, recording and comparing. The K-2 group used the Hummingbird Helicopters and the Tables tool in Numbers for their task, along with the video feature on the iPad. The 3-5 group used internet photos of life cycle stages and the Explain Everything App for their task. They were each charged with telling the story of their findings using Keynote.

While they were engaged in these activities and completed them with varying measures of success, engagement and enjoyment in the morning, the real fun happened in the afternoon.

First they watched a video created by our very own Laura Wright ( explaining the nuts and bolts of having a room full of 8 year olds, each with their own iPad. We included this because many of them will be implementing 1-1 iPads in their elementary classrooms next year, and are a bit unsure about the day to day management aspect.

Then Debbie and Jon (@ipadsammy) gave them a quick overview of iMovie trailers and cut them loose to create.  Lots of fun, creativity, concentration and laughter followed. The presenter, Debbie, even got into the fun by creating her own iMovie Trailer , Adventures in iPad Immersion.

Switching gears to QR codes took some fancy footwork, but when they started discovering what they and their students could do with QR codes, they were hooked.
They loved the idea of the Audioboo App, in which students can record anything (book reports, description of a picture, explanations of a project, etc.) and have the recording go straight to a website that they can create a QR code for.







After following a sample QR Code Treasure Hunt, they were sold on the QRCode Treasure Hunt Generator from Class Tools .











When we explored , which is a site in which QR codes can be generated for a variety of things in a variety of colors, they were ready to start creating.

They left with many ideas on ways to deliver the same curriculum in more student centered ways….and commented on how much fun they had learning how to do it.

Post by Margie Brown, Eanes ISD EdTech @mbrowneisd and Debbie Smith,  Eanes ISD EdTech @austindeb2003


Putting the Real Professionals in Professional Development

Our district tried a fresh approach to professional development this summer.We knew we had a lot of teachers doing great things in their classrooms, but all teachers are so busy, that sharing these great strategies and ideas is difficult to do.

So the Instructional Partners, the EdTechs, and our Curriculum Administrators came up with the idea of tapping into the talent we have right here in our district to provide Summer Professional Development. We have been using teachers for several years on special topics. But this year we  decided to showcase the everyday awesome things many teachers do that make their programs so engaging and effective.
Using a Google form sent out by email, the teachers were surveyed for their interest in presenting and their presentation ideas.
Once the presenters were collected, the days were divided into primary and intermediate level presentations called Content-Linked Instruction K-1 or 3-5.

The Instructional Partners formatted the days into a Summer Camp theme, with a set of sessions in the morning and a different set in the afternoons.

Teachers attended all of the sessions according to the rotation schedule in the Camp Survival Kit they picked up when they signed in.

In the morning the teachers gathered in the library to sign in and to learn about the structure of the day

Then they started their rotations.

Here’s a sample of the offerings:

Interactive Science Journals

The Power PLCs and Data

Engaging Writing Ideas

Let’s Blog in Kindergarten

Primary Poets

Phit Phonics

Daily 5 Math

Edmodo in the Classroom                                                        Depth & Complexity

1-1 iPad Initiative

Get Moving!

At the end of the day they regrouped in the library for reflection and feedback.
We used Today’s Meet for feedback.

The creativity, and detailed planning and set up by our Instructional Partners resulted in 100% positive feedback, reminding us that some of our very own professionals are the best providers for Professional Development.

Post by Margie Brown, Eanes ISD EdTech @mbrowneisd