Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tech Camp 2013... WOW

Picture this! Thirty kids in a classroom. Each kid has a iPad Mini in hand and anxiously awaiting what the day will bring!

Our school district provides an annual tech camp each year. With tuition or scholarship, students in our district are given an an iPad Mini, a t shirt, and themed activities to conquer within the week. This year our students also received a purchased copy of iMovie. Rachel and I were privileged to join the amazing tech staff for this year's camp. 
Now, one would ask, what could we possibly do with an iPad Mini besides show the kids apps to use and play. Well, my friend, you would be amazed at the projects these children where able to accomplish on a hand held device. I was truly baffled myself at the brilliant and creative minds within my lab. 

With a Monster U theme, I worked with fourth and fifth graders. Campers were provided with FREE apps to download each day for the projects we planned. In all honesty these projects were NOT easy, but the campers sure made it look like it was simple. 

Each day our campers were required to download, play with, and journal an app of their choice. To journal their app of choice, the kids used two great apps:

Story by Disney 

Although this app is an iPhone app, it works great on iPad as well. Story by Disney is like an interactive picture book which allows you to load pictures and video from your camera roll. It also allows you to add title pages and unfolds as you narrate your way through the created "story". 

Our kiddos used the app to archive their daily app of choice. They were required to add a title page, a couple of screen shots, and a video explaining the app. At the end of the week, each camper had two stories to show their parents. Initially, we thought they would have one story; however, we learned that the app only allows the user to embed to videos. As teachers do, we quickly had to explain to the kiddos that we were making two stories. Of course, they had no problem with the change.  

If you are looking to download the app, remember to look in the iPhone tab. 


In order to video their description of their app of choice, our campers used this easy app. Tellagami allows you to customize your avatar, record your own voice right on your device, and embed it to your blog or web page. 

Our campers loved creating a Gami each day and routinely produce the requirement each day with instruction. 

I use Tellagami as my introduction to my Blackboard page. It's a great app to have in your classroom as another means for students to communicate their information they have learned. 

With Monster U in mind, our campers created sororities, fraternities, and something that we called "sofrenities" because we had a combination of boys and girls in the group. As a project, they were asked to created a "poster of their group. We gave them a website to develop a motto in Latin. We also gave them a website that helped them create a crest. We ensured pictures were taken of each member and a picture of their group was taken. To put it all together, we used an amazing app called Master FX by Dropico.

Master FX

Think Photoshop! This app is amazing! During the week of camp, the app was free. If you want to get your hands on this app, it will cost you $5.99 for the basic package. With Master FX, students can put themselves in a scene or create a setting with text.

Once we gave the instruction, I was blown away by the utter creativity coming out of these little minds. We had one little boy place himself in the desert. To place himself in the desert, he needed a picture. So he walked up to me and ask for me to perform the task. As I prepared to take his picture, he bent down as if he were tired and thirsty. I had to laugh out of sheer enjoyment of his thought process. We had some kiddos swimming in the ocean, flying in the air, hiding in the forest. It was truly a sight to see. We, as teachers, could only look up and smile at each other.

Many thanks to Ozzy for posing for this picture. His the only one in the family willing to pose for me. 

As we finished up the week, we had our little brains using iMovie to create both a trailer and a little movie. And they truly did not disappoint. Their trailer task was based on a game app they love. It required lots of screen shots while they played which is really difficult. Especially with action packed game apps, but they did it. 


iMovie is priced at $4.99. There are NOT many apps I will purchase, but after seeing this app in the hands of the kids and the ease in which they manipulated it, I was sold.

After watching the magic, I came home and created a trailer with the pictures I took during the week. It gives you so much ability to be creative. I can not wait to add this to the line up of  possible tools to use as a means create reading projects.

All in all, I had the best week! With the start of school mere weeks away, I really shifted the gears into teacher mode. I loved watching our little campers show off during parent visitation Friday afternoon. It reminded me that we have to meet our kids at their level. We are teaching Digital Natives. I know I don't want my natives to be restless!

Wanna check out the magic! Visit the Tech Camp web site.

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