Timeline JS – open source timeline tool

timelineBelow is an example of a timeline I made using Timeline JS. TimelineJS is an open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually, rich, interactive timelines. Beginners can create a timeline using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet.  For my sample, I created the images in Haiku Deck.  Then I exported them to PowerPoint so I could save each as a jpg.  Then I uploaded them to Flickr so I could get a specific URL for each image (I tried Google Drive but it didn’t give me an URL that ended in *.jpg).  This is a lot of steps so you might consider just using online images instead.  This is what my original Google spreadsheet looks like.

Step One:  Create your spreadsheet

Build a new Google Spreadsheet using their template. Drop dates, text and links to media into the appropriate columns.Note: Don’t change the column headers, don’t remove any columns, and don’t leave any blank rows in your spreadsheet.

Step Two:  Publish your spreadsheet

Under the File menu, select “Publish to the Web.”  In the next window, check “Automatically republish when changes are made.” Uncheck all other boxes. Click “start publishing.” This will give you the URL to embed in your HTML file.

Step Three:  Copy/paste spreadsheet URL into the generator box

Make sure you have published the spreadsheet first, then paste the URL at .  Feel free to customize then select PREVIEW.

Step Four:  Embed the code into your website

It will look like this when you are done or you can view it in a new browser:


Library of Congress is on Pinterest!

I am always trying to get my students to use primary source documents for their projects and have often sent them off to the Library of Congress website to browse their collections.

Did you know that the Library of Congress has a Pinterest page?  This page makes is SO EASY for students to browse the collections but still provides the source information.  Great job LOC!

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Creative iPad apps from Adobe

Adobe has released some great iPad apps and I have been creating samples to share with my faculty.

Adobe Voice

Voice is a free iPad app that helps you create stunning animated videos in minutes. No filming — just talk to tell your story. Pick from over 25,000 beautiful iconic images to show your ideas and Voice automatically adds cinematic motion and a soundtrack. Persuade, inform and inspire anyone online. Make an impact.

Check out:  My Voice sample project


Adobe Slate

Adobe Slate is a free iPad app that is the easiest, most fun way to turn any document – a customer newsletter, a book report or a travel adventure – into a beautiful visual story, in minutes. Simply tap on one of the professional themes and beautiful fonts, magazine-style design and motion automatically transform your story – guaranteeing a delightful read on any device.

Check out:  My Slate sample project  For some of the images, I used Canva, Haiku Deck, Phonto and Pic Collage.  Great for #appsmashing

The Ethics of Digital Manipulation



Ideas swimming around in my head after attending #NCCE2015



  1. Put in for funding to upgrade our version of Photoshop so students can design for the 3D printer
  2. Make another Infographic with Illustrator
  3. Purchase Sphero balls for Makerspace
  4. Plan out initial ideas for start-up incubator space
  5. Share Joe Dockery’s iPad Arts and Creation website with staff
  6. Investigate Intel K-12 Blueprint toolkit resources – especially Active Learning Spaces
  7. Participate in monthly #NCCE2015 Twitter chats
  8. Screencast some tutorials for Adobe Voice, Adobe Clip, Snapsneed, Trello
  9. Get a new stylus for sketchnotes!

NCCE 2015 Technology Educator of the Year

2015 NCCE Technology Educator of the YearAt the #NCCE2015 conference I was surprised and honored to be selected as the NCCE 2015 Technology Educator of the Year.  I have been attending or presenting at the NCCE conference for over 15 years and am thrilled to be part of this organization.  I have seen it grown over the years to know include hands-on workshops bringing in innovative speakers and educators.

I have to first thank the administration and colleagues at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.  Ever since I received my Masters of Educational Technology from Pepperdine University, I have been seeking an educational environment that embraces technology and has a strong vision for student-centered learning.

La Salle Prep commits to a strong professional development for their faculty.  I love that our faculty works together to grow professionally.  We went 1:1 with iPads this year after three years of planning, collaborating, and working towards a common vision.  Faculty members share iPad best practices, collaborate on common assessments, focus on questioning strategies, and plan for literacy development throughout the curriculum.

I also want to thank my educational technology community.  My learning and teaching has been challenged by the experiences I have encountered throughout my career.

10415622_10203875812803171_2226749199090434807_nI accept this award and share it with all the educators I have met and worked with at:

And the various organizations that have shaped my teaching throughout my career:


Thanks also to Troxell Communications for sponsoring the award.



NCCE 2015 conference sessions

Next week I will be presenting at NCCE 2015 …


Wednesday 2hr workshop – Extend Learning using Online Discussion Forums

Extend learning by using online discussion forums with middle and high schools students.  Provide opportunities for your students to demonstrate their understanding of concept presented in class, have conversations with their peers, debate topics in a safe and respectful manner, and share resources using online discussion forums.  We’ll learn how to set up online discussion forums and compare features of Schoology and Edmodo (and others) to see how to give every child a voice in the classroom.  Bring your own device!



Thursday 1 hr session – Using Mobile Devices in the Research Process

How can teachers and Librarians using mobile devices to foster critical thinking during the research process of brainstorming, searching, evaluating, curating, organizing and presenting. We will discuss best practices and strategies and compile a list of useful apps or websites. 

Notes from presentation: 
Slide Deck:  
Padlet Wall:


Digital Learning Day



Digital Learning Day – Friday, March 13th – happened to fall during our school theme week this year.  With already a ton of extra scheduled events to explore social justice issues around water, I wanted to find a simple but fun way to celebrate Digital Learning Day.

Since we went 1:1 with iPads this year I thought an iPad Demo Slam might be a fun way to quickly share how students were using their iPads in class. We set up a projector in the main hallway and invited students to display their device and show off an app, a project or a creative way they are using their iPad.  We passed out treats to encourage a crowd and posted everyone’s ideas to a poster board.

Check out the following apps shared in the iPad Demo Slam:

  • Notes+ (similar to Notability but more powerful)
  • iStudiez free or Pro – student planner
  • Pythonista – program your own games on iPad
  • Canva – beautiful templates for posters, photo albums, social media
  • Songbook – organize your music
  • Let’s create pottery – virtual pottery creator
  • Akinator – Q&A fun game
  • Skitch – draw on your images
  • Art Rage ($$) – Art creations for the serious artist
  • iMotion – stop motion animation
  • Quizlet – make your own study cards
  • Tellagami – talking avatar
  • Anatomy 4D – augmented reality 4D versions of body & heart
  • Comic Life ($) – Create your own comics
  • Phonto – Add creative text to images
  • PiksArt – create art & photo editing
  • Wunderlist – organize your life & share calendars with friends or family
  • 1Password ($) stores all your passwords
  • Day One – daily journal



Narrated Slideshows (pt 2)

Notes from our Narrated Slideshow professional development session at school:

Narrated Slideshows give students an authentic voice to a  larger audience.  It raises the engagement level by providing an alternate to the traditional “write a paper” lesson.  Consider having students create narrated slideshows vs. listening to 30 presentations during class.  Embed the videos on a webpage or wiki or create a YouTube playlist.

Ideas for narrated slideshows:

  • iMovie app iconSpeeches
  • News shows
  • How to videos (take photos during Lab and record directions; PE)
  • Language practice
  • Meditations or prayer

The bulk of the instruction takes place before you even use the iMovie app

Using iMovie app to make the narrated slideshow

  • You must insert images into iMovie before you can record a narration.
  • Have student “chunk” their editing:  Insert 3-4 images, record narration that goes along with images, edit the length of duration of images to match narration, add titles, etc
  • Repeat for each section – vs trying to record the whole narration in one sitting

Benefits of using iMovie on the iPad

  • Students can record in the privacy of their bedroom – less background noise & better vocal quality if you take time to rehearse
  • Students can re-record sections
  • Easier to complete the assignment since they have iPad 24/7
  • Easy to import images from camera roll
  • Upload final movie to YouTube using account for easy sharing


  • Limit the speeches to 4-7 minutes otherwise you need too many images to make the video interesting.
  • Takes up space on iPad
  • Must be in quiet room when recording narration
  • Must transfer images to Camera roll (use Google Drive)
  • Takes time after editing to export the video and/or upload to YouTube (requires wifi)

Adobe Voice appDon’t have time to dedicate to the editing process using iMovie?  Consider these apps instead:

  • Adobe Voice – super easy storytelling app that makes it easy to record & re-record individual slides
  • Any screencasting app:  ShowMe, EduCreations, or Explain Everything


Part 1:  Step-by-step directions for iMovie on the iPad


Using iMovie for Narrated Speeches

My Multimedia class is considered a “Communications credit” since students learn how to communicate through visual images, web design, multimedia and spoken word.  One of the assignments is to prepare a speech orally in class and another is to create a narrated speech using iMovie.  Below are the directions I give to my students on creating these narrated movies.

YouTube playlist featuring iMovie Speech projects from December 2014

Creating a Narrated Slideshow using iMovie on the iPad

When recording a narrated speech using iMovie you must pay close attention to the quality of your voice, inflection, and pronunciation.  The visual images are even more important than when you give a speech orally in class because your audience is not looking at you during the speech.  The audience pays more attention to your choice of images, how they are manipulated and why you chose specific images to match your message.

Some things to consider before making an iMovie narrated slideshow:

  • Choose good quality images that are large enough (horizontal layout works best).  You probably want to change the image every 10-15 seconds during the speech.
  • Make sure your speech recording is loud enough or adjust the volume.  Rehearse!  Change your voice, inflection and have perfect pronunciation.  Record small sections of your project at a time.  This will make it easier to trim the beginning/end of each section.
  • Consider varying the look of your images.  Trying zooming in using the Ken Burns feature; other times have your image be full screen or try varying the transitions.
  • Add a title before the movie or on the opening image.
  • Give yourself credit with the title or at the end. (optional)
  • If you decide to have background music, turn down the volume on that track so it doesn’t drown out your speech. (optional)

Creating  your iMovie on your iPad — Narrated Slideshow

  1. Open the iMovie App.  Create a new project by choosing the + in the upper right hand of screen (not a movie trailer).
  2. Tips:  Turn your iPad sideways for full screen access.  Make sure your selected images are in your Camera Roll before you begin.
  3. Insert the 2-3 images for your Introduction to the timeline.  Click on the image to adjust color effects, if desired.
  4. Select the first image on the timeline and then select the T from the lower toolbar to add a Title to the opening image.  You can also add titles on individual images, if desired.
  5. Select the microphone in the lower right hand of screen to record the narration of your introduction.  Adjust the volume as needed.
  6. Adjust the timing of each of the images by pinching in/out to trim to desired length making all images equal to the narration.
  7. Transitions are automatically added in between each image but the length and type can be changed, if desired.
  8. Adjust the length of all images and transitions so the images match up with the audio recording.
  9. Optional:  You can add Theme Music as background music but make sure to turn the volume low so it doesn’t complete with your narration.
  10. Repeat these directions for each section of your narrated speech.

Ken Burns Effect on still images

You can adjust the Ken Burns effect so that the motion starts and ends on the parts of the image you specify.

  1. In the timeline, tap the photo you want to adjust.
  2. The Ken Burns effect controls appear in the lower-right corner of the image in the viewer.
  3. To set the way the photo is framed at the beginning, tap the Start button .
  4. Pinch to zoom in or out, then drag the image in the viewer to frame it the way you want.
  5. To set the way the photo is framed at the end, tap the End button .
  6. Pinch to zoom in or out, then drag the image in the viewer to frame it the way you want.
  7. To close the controls, tap the Ken Burns Effect button , or tap outside of the clip.
  8. If you don’t want the Ken Burns effect applied to a photo, set the image position and zoom level to be the same for the start and end points.

Finalizing your iMovie Project

  1. When done editing, return to the main iMovie Project menu and change the name of your project.
  2. Click the preview arrow to watch the entire movie before finalizing.
  3. Select the Export icon and share the movie with iMovie Theater. iMovie Theater will rebuild your movie frame-by-frame and play it full screen on your ipad.
  4. Go back to main iMovie screen where you see three options (Video, Projects, Theater) and choose the Theater option.  Play your movie here.
  5. If desired, select the Export icon and export your iMovie project to YouTube using your email account.

ADE Class of 2015 Application

I am applying for the Apple Distinguished Educator program for 2015.  There are many reasons why I want to be involved in this program.  Its not about the title or its exclusiveness. Now that we are completely immersed in our 1:1 environment at my school, I am looking for a professional community where I can be inspired and see best practices but also contribute my own learning. 

My school went 1:1 with iPads this past year but I have been actively involved in the planning during the last three years. I spent an incredible amount of time in the planning process, evaluating devices, choosing eTextbooks, training the faculty, and preparing our students by running the iPad online modules and bootcamp.  I learned so much working closely with our Mobile Learning Initiative team. 

My ADE Application video

I recently spoke with our local rep and he told me there are less than 10 educators in the Northwest who have the designation of “Apple Distinguished Educator.”  I was surprised. There are many places like Texas and Florida that host fabulous iPad events –  we need to bring that type of energy to the NW and I want to be part of it. 

I am realistic and I know the selection process is very competitive but I truly believe I have something to offer the ADE community. Thanks to my ADE friends and the #adechat community who have encouraged me to apply. I am honored to be considered!


ISTE 2015 – Unleash the Power of Your iPad with “App Smashing”

Join me at #ISTE2015 and come play and learn the power of App Smashing, the process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a new and creative final task or project. We’ll put together fun combinations of apps to use with middle and high school formative assessments, presentations and student work.

Pre-registration required. Register now! Seats are still available.
[Explore and Create : BYOD]
Wednesday, July 1, 1:15–2:15 pm

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to provide participants with a hands-on session where they can extend the power of their iPad or mobile device to improve student learning – specifically geared towards middle and high school students. Participants will learn about and explore various iPads apps and learn how “smash” the apps together to form a new product. Workflow solutions will be share as well as suggestions for managing classroom activities.

ISTE 2015

Essential Questions:

How does using mobile devices encourage creativity and collaboration?
How can I encourage problem-solving by “thinking outside the box” and brainstorming solutions?
How can I combine free apps to create a new and unique product?
How can I plan workflow routines that keep students focused on learning and not just on doing?
How can my student showcase their creations for authentic audiences?

Participants will demonstrate success by documenting their app smashing product and sharing during the public showcase.


1. Introduction / Goals
2. App Smashing defined – kudos to Greg Kulowiec for the term.
3. App Smashing showcase – share real examples gathered from classrooms.
Basic Example: Camera roll + Photo/Strip Designer + Thinklink/Explain Everything = Interactive photos with narrations and links.
4. App Smashing workflow tips: Begin with the end in mind, brainstorm apps that will be smashed, decide smashing workflow. storage and transfer, and then create the final product and decide how it can be shared.
5. Let the Smashing Begin! Workshop members will create project for their subject area.

Step One: Create products from apps that can be “smashed” using: the camera roll, photo editing apps, comic strip apps, simple presentation apps, simple video apps — which then … Step Two: Can be combined with more sophisticated apps that allow embedding, annotations, narrations or sharing/publishing to a wider audience.

6. Academic App Smashing: combining apps to improve and produce a smoother and seamless academic workflow. Example: Schoology + Notability + Google Drive apps = assignments that have annotations which then can be shared with small groups.
7. Share final products using a Gallery Showcase.
8. Questions / Evaluations

Supporting research

App Smashing – Unleasing Creativity by Greg Kulowiec

App Smash Creations –

App Synergy –

The Definitive App Smashing Guide –


Schoology Workflow on the iPad with Notability and Google Docs

A video to showcase how teachers at La Salle Prep are using Schoology with their students, including integration with Notability and Google Drive.

Schoology Workflow video – watch on YouTube


8 Facets of Learning

A team of teachers and administrators at my school identified 8 FACETS of LEARNING as part of our 1:1 Mobile Learning Initiative where we feel that mobile devices could really impact student learning.  This is not an exhaustive list but represents how we need to really look beyond the iPad as a  consumer device and look for opportunities for content-creation, authentic learning experiences and collaborative projects. Focusing on the learning objective is essential when planning on using devices in your classroom.  The embedded presentation showcases a few of the ways that we plan for this focus.


Photoshop video playlist

This is my collection of Photoshop editing videos that I use in my Multimedia/ Web Development class at La Salle Prep.  I find it very useful to make these screencast videos using Camtasia.  I use the videos to introduce the editing concepts in class and then the students use them for review whenever they need them.

This Photoshop playlist contains nine videos showcasing various editing techniques for Photoshop CS3.

Here are a few Photoshop CS3 tips:

  1. Use the Quick Selection tool (or marquee tools) to select a portion of an image and then apply the adjust layer to only that section.
  2. Adjustment Layer – An adjustment layer (Go to Layer / New Adjustment Layer) applies color and tonal adjustments to your image without permanently changing pixel values.  The adjustment layer sits on top of your image in the Layers Panel.  Paint on the adjustment layer’s image mask (with the black paintbrush) to apply an adjustment to part of an image (for example:  to allow the color to see through).
  3. Layer Effects & Styles (fx) – You can add a variety of effects—such as drop shadows, glows, strokes (outlines) and bevels—that change the appearance of a layer’s contents.  Go to Layer  / Layer Style and choose the appropriate effect OR use the (fx) icon on the bottom of the layers panel. You can apply layer effect to images or text.
  4. Filters – You can use filters to clean up or retouch your photos, apply special art effects that give your image the appearance of a sketch or impressionistic painting, or create unique transformations using distortions and lighting effects.  Go to Filter / Filter Gallery and choose the desired filter.  You can adjust the features of the filter by  using the slider bars in the panel.  Smart Filters applied to Smart Objectslets you use filters non-destructively & can be readjusted anytime.
  5. Mask – Select the portion of image with the Quick Selection tool or marquee and then go to Layer / Layer Mask and choose Hide All to hide everything except the selection.  This is a non-destructive to to cut out or MASK a portion of an image.  You can also use the mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
  6. Because all of these adjustments are non-destructive you can into the layers panel and temporarily hide them or remove them if you want.

Mobile Learning Parent Meeting

An essential part to rolling out any 1:1 mobile learning initiative is to get your parent community involved and provide opportunities to educate parents and answer any questions or concerns.  At La Salle Prep we put together a parent information night last Spring to present an overview of how mobile devices will impact student learning, plans for digital citizenship lessons, updates on infrastructure, information about eTextbooks, etc.

Parents had a choice to attend two of four sessions:

I presented on eBooks and Digital Resources.  We decided to attempt to convert most paper textbooks to digital versions.  Every department conducted a lengthy review of textbooks and chose the best for their subjects.  At this point many textbook companies aren’t quite ready to offer every textbook in digital format.  We also were looking for stand alone textbooks vs. purchasing subscriptions that we needed to manage.

Here are some presentation notes:

eTextbooks:  An important aspect of La Salle’s 1:1 mobile learning program

iBooksLa Salle Prep is committed to securing eTextbooks for most classes next year so that students will be able to use their iPads for course materials.  Teachers have spent considerable time this school year reviewing and selecting eTextbook options for their classes.  These textbooks are from a variety of different publishers and available in various formats:  iBooks (iTunes store), Kno Textbooks, Pearson eText, non-fiction books purchased with Kindle app for iPad or Google Play Store, and eTextbooks by specific publishers.

Once the student schedules are complete in early summer and shared with families, La Salle will make the textbook list available on the La Salle Prep website.  This listing will include: course, title, author, price, format and a direct link of where to purchase the eTextbook. iBooks can be purchased in the iTunes App Store.  Families can purchase an iTunes gift card for their child and load the value onto an iTunes account to purchase iBooks and apps.  Families might consider a family iTunes account to purchase eTextbooks to share books with siblings but then each individual child can have their own iTunes account for personal use. Families will need to coordinate credit card purchases with their son/daughter for books that need to be purchased by specific publishers, Kindle store (Amazon) or the Google Play store.

Most textbooks fall between the $15 – $25 range except for some of the specialty AP eTextbooks which are priced more like college-level textbooks. There is no need to purchase the materials too early.  It is better to wait until the student’s schedule has been confirmed before purchasing books because you are buying them direct from the publishers. La Salle Prep will not be responsible for refunds if your child changes classes.

The La Salle Prep Library has invested in numerous digital resources to support the 1:1 mobile learning initiative.  This includes digital databases, non-fiction and reference eBooks, links to free Project Gutenburg ebooks in ourDestiny Library catalog, video tutorials for specific apps and iPad procedures, and more.  Many teachers will also provide course materials through Schoology, use Google Apps for productivity tools or may require specific apps for class.

We are making every effort to assist students and families with the transition to a mobile learning environment.  All students will be required to complete Online Modules (posted in Schoology) that will cover basic use and care of an iPad, digital citizenship, rights and responsibilities.  The modules will also cover steps students should take to prepare their iPad for the first day of school.  These modules will be available beginning in early June.

All students will also be required to attend a 3 hour On-Campus Bootcamp in August.  Sign ups for iPad bootcamps will begin online on May 16th.  Students should bring their iPad to the bootcamp to register their device with La Salle’s mobile device management system and set up appropriate accounts like email, Schoology, Google Apps,etc.

Many students have commented that they are looking forward to having all of their textbooks on one device and they won’t have to carry around such a heavy backpack.

Using eTextbooks is an important component to the success of our 1:1 mobile learning program.  Please contact Mario De Ieso if you have further questions.

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