30 Hands – First Grade How-To Pieces

Here are a few examples of “how-to” pieces created by first grade students in Mrs. Yoder’s class. This activity took place over a couple of days to work with their devices.

Steps in the activity:

  1. The students created their rough drafts on paper with illustrations. The paper included four boxes and four spaces for text to make the piece a grand total of four steps.
  2. The students then used Pic Collage to snap a picture of the illustration and type their text in order to make “slides” for their presentations. It was then saved to the camera roll.
  3. The slides were imported into 30 Hands. Recordings were made for each slide as the students read their pieces aloud. The final product was saved to the camera roll as a video.
  4. The last step was for students to upload their video to Kidblog using the title of their work for the title of their blog post.

After finishing this project, the students were very excited and engaged in the process. The students love the opportunity to create a high quality publication using their iPod touch. So much potential lies within those devices. When students are given the opportunity to share their work through a creative means, it becomes very motivating for them. The amount of students off-task in other applications or in the settings was kept at a minimum due to the nature of the activity.

How to Write a Story

How to do University Time

And my personal favorite…

How to be Good


Big Universe Learning – Engaging Online Reading and Writing Platform for K-8

Big Universe Learning – Engaging Online Reading and Writing Platform for K-8.

Last October I had the opportunity to participate in an interview about the benefits of using tools like Big Universe and also having a 1:1 technology initiative. Earlier this week I was contacted by Anil Hemrajani (CEO of Big Universe) about using the article to help promote his product.

I found it to be a great honor, and an awesome opportunity for East Noble Schools to shine in the ways we are integrating technology.

As I was reading through the article, I couldn’t help but think that the vision of how we use technology has not changed a bit since October. We have to keep striving to communicate to the kids that their devices are tools for learning.

Now that East Noble School Corporation is entering into their third year of being a 1:1 technology school district, we really need to evaluate how we are using the technology. I challenge you all to think of ways that we can pursue “transforming” uses with the technology we have placed in the students’ hands.

Are we having students accomplish tasks with the devices that were previously inconceivable? I think Big Universe can be included in this type of activity as students could take screenshots of parts of texts that they want to reference and annotate. They could then use apps like Skitch  to mark, highlight, and annotate as they wish. All of this without using a single bit of paper. Lastly, they could use an app like 30 Hands to create a slideshow with their voice recording what they accomplished so that it can be sent to a teacher in a video format.

When I was teaching fourth grade, these were activities that I could only dream of doing. Now the reality is here. Let’s take advantage of it!

30 Hands – Example of 1st Grade Math

I had a pleasant surprise yesterday in my inbox. It was close to the end of the day and there was a video sent by a student in Mrs. Yoder’s first grade class. This is using the 30 Hands application that I recently blogged about in the Presentation Tools section.


Here the student took pictures of his math manipulatives, and recorded his voice telling what addition number sentence he was solving. The students not only sent it through email, but also posted it on their Kidblog.

The real benefit was when I went home and Mrs. Yoder was able to watch each video. Instantly, she was able to determine how well each student understood the lesson. It was as if she was able to check-in with every student all from one location.

Let me know what is working for you. Have a few students send me a sample from time to time. I think all teachers could benefit from seeing the products that our students are capable of doing with their devices. When you share, we all gain.