The impact of #magicmovechallenge on my classroom

The #magicmovechallenge was born on Twitter earlier this year and created by @mcoutts81 and @theipodteacher.

The #magicmovechallenge is based around the magic move feature in Keynote and users usually use it combined with shapes to create an animation.

I initially I stayed away from the challenge. This was a combination of my being to busy with classroom life and the fact that I had somehow developed a fear of magic move in Keynote because some people were so good and I was not!

I took up the challenge over February mid-term and after enjoying it and finding my confidence grew I was thinking of introducing it in my classroom. Little did I realise that some students had followed the challenge over mid-term as well as when we went back asked if they could take part.

The great thing about the challenge is that when students posted their animations @mcoutts81 and @theipodteacher were there to offer feedback and direction. Having teachers and students from all the world interact with your students is too good an opportunity to pass up.

Below are a few of my favorite student creations.

My top 20 apps for the classroom

It is a big deal to go with 1:1 devices. Whether you are considering iPads, chromebooks or other devices preparation is as important as the devices you choose.
One big part of this move is planning the apps you use. There are thousands of apps out there and finding the right one might not always be easy. There are lots of apps out there that educators love and sometimes they might not work for your classroom so it takes time to find your own apps.  I try to limit the amount I use so as not to confuse students. Below are my top 20 apps (in no particular order)

Socrative – for assessment purposes
Google Drive – for storage
Clips – for capturing classwork
Snapseed – for photo editing
Seesaw – for online journaling
Showbie – for eportfolios
Book Creator – for authoring multi-touch books
iTunes U – for sharing class notes
Twitter – for sharing classwork
Pages – for typing up projects
Keynote – for presentations.
Swift – for coding
Sphero EDU – for coding
ThinkLink – for VR
Stop Motion Studio – for stop motion
Green Screen by Doink – for green screen
Garageband – for audio creation
HP Reveal (formerly Aurasma) – for AR
Padlet – for brainstorming and collaboration.
Verso – for peer feedback

CESI 2017 and CESImeet.

This year I decided to take a trip back to the CESI conference run by the Computers in Education Society of Ireland. Admittedly it had been several years since I had been to a CESI conference because the previous wasn’t really innovative to me.
In fact my first event EdTech conference was a CESI conference which I presented at back in 2012 by which stage I was barely teaching.

This time round there was a TeachMeet to go with the CESI conference. TeachMeets have grown in popularity in Ireland over the last couple of years and I have really enjoyed them. At a TeachMeet teachers usually get up and talk for a couple of minutes about a topic of their choice. Usually the selection of presenters is random so it’s always a nice surprise to find out when you are. This was my third TeachMeet and I really enjoyed it. I presented on Virtual Reality and the audience engagement was great and the enthusiasm of everyone was really motivating.

At the CESI conference, I was running the Swift Playgrounds session alongside Apple and iTeach. Swift Playgrounds is something I had been heavily involved in the previous year and so it was great to run this session.
The attendance was really good and again the audience engagement was great. I always enjoy seeing the look on peoples faces when they write their first line of code so there were definitely some star moments here.
The other sessions throughout the weekend included topics like learning journals, movie making, augmented reality and lots more. There was a heavy focus on Microsoft in a few of the sessions but overall I felt a lot more at home there than I did at my previous conference I have to say the conferences have definitely evolved with technology and I will be attending again next year.

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