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Showing posts from November, 2013

Introducing PLAYDATEs!

If you are paying attention, you may notice two things:
I accepted that it is no longer fall and the pretty foliage background had to go.I created a new tab called PLAYDATE at the top of this page! (In addition to some other minor tweaks.) So, what the heck are PLAYDATEs? Basically, I am aiming them at those of you who are beyond the basics that I've been focusing on so far this school year. From learning about awesome scripts to use in Google Docs to online learning environments to learning how to use twitter and other social networks for your own professional development.... I want to share it all! So I'm going to host at least one PLAYDATE a week (alternating school) with an ideal focus. But it's basically a time to come and play with technology and have me there to help. All you need to do is come down to my office any time during the PLAYDATE day and we'll, well, play!
I have more information on my PLAYDATE tab and that's where I'll be sharing my resources.

Hey, Art Teachers!

I got word from MLTI that they are once again looking for artwork for their 2014-2015 MLTI Screensaver. This would be a great opportunity to get Bonny Eagle out there in a positive way AND give our students experience submitting their work to a professional organization. If you have any questions at all or if I can help you out, just give me a shout. Here are the particulars as I received them:
Dear MLTI Schools,Over the last five years, the MLTI device screen saver featured eighty outstanding student works of art (twenty each year) with close to two thousand pieces of artwork submitted.This opportunity is once again available for the 2014-2015 Screensaver. Works of art will be submitted and an independent review committee will score the pieces of artwork using a rubric (available online).This opportunity is open to Maine students in grades K-12. MLTI asks that students submit only ONE piece of artwork to be considered for the 2014-2015 screensaver. Please take careful note of the sizi…

Tech. Agenda & Announcements for 11/25-12/6

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Technology with iObservation Key Strategies

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Prepare for inForm...

Yesterday I was at the Sebago Alliance Technology Integrators monthly meeting and one of the other members shared this AWESOME video of the inForm dynamic shape display that MIT has in development. I know for the high school teachers it is the end of the trimester and life is nutty. But this is seriously awesome stuff!

inFORM - Interacting With a Dynamic Shape Display from Tangible Media Group on Vimeo.
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Alternative Keyboards and Doing Math Equations

This morning I was asked by a teacher how her students could do math equations in Pages. That led me to do this screencast to walk you through how to turn on alternative keyboards, such as French and Spanish, and how to access the built in math symbols. I also mention the ability to do math equations within the Daum Equation Editor extension in Google Chrome, which allows you to create the equation and then export it as an image to place within any document.



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Sharing my Compilation of Resources

For those of you who have been around technology a while, you might have used Diigo in the past or maybe you are using it now. I used it during my master's degree and then not much since then. But it is a great way to save and share out resources with your students or the community at large. I've been using it to save all of the resources I've been finding to make it easier to keep track of what I've found and what my thoughts are about the tool, website, or article. If you are looking for resources to use in your own classroom, check out my library on my profile and then start by looking via your subject matter or by the keyword that I've tagged it with.



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Chrome Assistive Technology Toolbox

I found the Chrome Assistive Technology Toolbox website through Diigo and thought it was a cool collection of extensions to use within Google Chrome to help those who may benefit from some form of assistive technology. You can access the website via the link above and here is a short screencast to walk you though why it's a cool site to use.



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Webinar: Teaching Copyright and Fair Use to the Remix Generation

Many teachers have been leary of the 1:1 environment because of concern over teaching with copyright and fair use. EdWeb, a great website to use as a personal learning network (PLN), hosted a webinar on "Teaching Copyright and Fair Use to the Remix Generation" with Gail Desler [Technology Integration Specialist at Elk Grove Unified School District, and co-creator of Digital ID] last week and also posted the content online. Here is the webinar description:
Are your students copyright confused? This webinar addresses copyright, fair use, and remix culture, including resources from Common Sense Media and Digital ID for teaching these topics to meet Common Core Standards. Help students harness their rights and responsibilities as creators! You can now watch the recording of the webinar and then take a quiz and receive a CE certificate. If you aren't an EdWeb member, you can sign up for free to access this webinar and many other awesome resources.

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WS: Utilizing IC Messenger & Newsletters for Student & Parent Communication

Last week I talked about how to use the messenger & newsletter tool within Infinite Campus to simplify your workload and provide better communication with parents & students. Here is my presentation that I did within Google Drive to walk you through both tools. I have also included it within my "Guides & Tutorials" website to make it easy to find later.



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Get Ready for Hour of Code!

"Hour of Code is an initiative to get students to spend an hour of time learning to code, as part of national CS Education Week, December 9-15. Hopefully, after spending just one hour, they’ll want to keep going with many more hours of code." (Khan Academy)

Next month we are hoping to celebrate CS Education Week from December 9th to 15th. If we can hook our kids in to coding and spark their interest, they have the opportunity to go on to jobs that can earn them $70,000+ per year with many jobs available through nontraditional means (telecommuting, etc.). That's huge! I highly encourage you to take the time, if at all possible, during that week to spark their interest. Khan Academy has tons of resources and even has a complete lesson ready for you to use in your class. You may also want to get them thinking about it with this 60 second promotional video that Khan Academy prepared to get us excited.

Anybody can learn to code: A 60 second video from Code.org on how anybody c…

Tech. Agenda & Announcements for 11/18-11/22

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Classroom Management Tips in the 1:1 Environment

One of the constant questions I get now that the middle and high schools are both 1:1, is how the heck do you manage your classroom? What are some best practices? I think that's part of why some teachers seem to be too nervous about them to really give it a shot. So I went out looking for what other integrators had to say.

That's when I came across 's blog called Nocking the Arrow and his post from February of this year about classroom management in a 1:1 environment. I have included his tips here and added in my thoughts and resources, which are highlighted in yellow, along the way to help.

Here are some suggestions to better manage your 1:1 classroom.
Instructional DesignClassroom management should focus on the students. What worked previously in managing the students will continue to work, even in the technology supported environment.Anticipate the worst, hope for the best. Have a plan to deal with off-task, or disruptive behavior.Be attentive to instructi…

Show this to your students!

On Friday I spent the afternoon after school hanging out with some of the high school teachers. Among our various topics of conversation is the mindset that our students seem to have lately. They feel entitled and feel that success should be handed to them on a silver platter without the need to work hard for it. This morning I happened to come across two YouTube videos featuring Ashton Kutcher that I thought really resonated with that idea. So much so that I wanted to share them with you guys so that you could show them to your kids if you had a moment. I think his ideas are pretty sound.





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Changing Your Name on Gmail (and other Google Products)

One of the benefits of using Google is that we are able to change how our name is displayed in Gmail. That is awesome, but not so cool if you change your name to the point that you can't be found. I actually changed my name on Google so that if people type is Susie when they go to email me, they can actually find me now. When you decide to rename yourself, please make sure that people can still find you easily and that they can tell that they are emailing the correct person. We've had problems in the district with students emailing who they thought was their teacher when it's really a student that happens to have the same last night!

Here is a screencast to walk you through how to change your name.



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Energyville, "SimCity" for the Science Classroom

One of my personal goals for the year is to look more at the gamification of the classroom. As a student, I know I spent a lot of my time in front of my computer screen playing games with my dorm mates. If we can harness the same level of engagement with our students in our classrooms, imagine how awesome that would be!

Today I found Energyville thanks to Twitter. It's sponsored by Chevron and I'm really impressed by how much information is put in to it. The cool thing about it is that there is a group way to play so we can get kids to play with/against each other. In fact, I went ahead and created a group game for me so you can try it out and see what you think. Click here to join me!



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Jeopardy Style Games in the Classroom

Several years ago, I introduced a lot of staff members to a website that let you create jeopardy games by create a file online that you then downloaded and imported in to a flash player on your computer. It was pretty cool! And it seemed to be the only game in town. But teachers lately have had problems with it and have asked me for alternatives. I just heard about the student created eQuizShow website on Twitter this morning and it is an awesome alternative that is entirely online (no downloading required). Here is my screencast to introduce it to you and show you how easy it is:



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Fall Tech Skills Survey Results

I know that when I was in the classroom, I hated filling out surveys and never knowing what came of them. So I wanted to get the results from my tech skills survey I did this fall out to you can see the rhym and reason I have for what I'm covering each week.

129 people responded between the two schools; it included ed techs, special ed, support staff, and teachers.37% of the respondents have some sort of web presenceHow do you rate yourself in terms of general comfort with technology? On a scale of 1 (least comfortable) to 5 (most comfortable), the average score was 3.73.
When asked to rate themselves for a series of tools within Google and Infinite campus (0=no knowledge, 1=basic knowledge, 2=very proficient), the averages ranged from 0.13 to 1.42 (out of 2). I am trying to chose the skills that would make the biggest impact for our staff and have workshops or put out information about them as quickly as I can. My goal is to help you see the tools that we already have and take adv…

Tech. Agenda & Announcements for 11/11-11/15

Who Does What?

I had a new teacher inquiry about who does what within the technology department and when they should be coming to me. First off, I am not really a part of the technology department. Like you, I report to the principals in both buildings and I still have my iObservations to do. So, although I do work with them a lot (and who wouldn't want to with how awesome they are?), I am sort of my own little department. In general, here are some pointers to help you figure out who you need to go to:

Me! Tech Help Ticket How do I use....
My interactive whiteboard, Infinite Campus, software, etc.I want to find out how to do...
If you have a vision for a project or assignment that you want to do, just let me know and I'll help you figure out a solution!Best Practices
Struggling with how to integrate tech in to your classroom? I'm your girl!This is broken!
Projector, printer, computer...I forgot my password.
To IC, SubFinder, Gmail, etc.I do not have access to help tickets!
If you are in doubt an…

Pulling a Team/House Grade Report on Infinite Campus

I was asked by a teacher this morning how you can pull grades for the students in your team or house. Fortunately, someone has already set up those Ad Hoc reports for us! So here is a screencast to walk you through how to do it.

Alternatives to Adobe Creative Products

I have had a couple teachers inquiring about the Adobe Creative Suite and getting it on their, or their students', computers. Although it is a great suite, it is super powerful and super expensive. We do have a limited number of licenses in the district, but not enough for everyone. We are also hesitant to put it on to student devices due to the license issue at hand. So, I have compiled a list of alternatives for you to check out that are absolutely free! The nice thing about using these is that the kids can use them after your class is over or when they have graduated and they don't have to buy expensive software to do it.

I will also be posting this list to the "Guides & Tutorials" tab linked above for future reference and will add others there if I find them.
PhotoshopAcorn from Flying Meat: Available in self service or, if you are using one of the old MacBooks, you can download Acorn 3.0 here. Great alternative that has won many awards. I see this as being a…

Tech News for November

Yesterday I presented my news for November at the high school faculty meeting. For those of you who missed it, either via the meeting at the HS or the Monday memo at the MS, here is my Prezi that I used. :)

Tech. Agenda & Announcements for 11/4-11/8

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10/28-11/1 Recap: Last week I covered how to make a website on Google Sites, which was heavily requested on the tech skills survey at the beginning of the year. Some teachers attended with old sites they had started already years ago while others had nothing started yet. I wound up working with 14 teachers between the schools to get them going during my workshop as well as a couple others during my office hours. I dare say the coolest thing they learned was how to embed a Google Calendar in to it so that they could easily update their assignments on their site without actually having to edit it. Talk about a time saver! Thank you to those of you that came.

Click here to view a screencasts on what I covered.
Topic of the Week (11/4-11/8): Syncing, Organizing, and Sharing with Google Drive This week's topic is a great building block to expand on the tools within Google and is definitely something a lot of people wanted to learn about based on the tech skills survey. We are going to f…

WS: Starting Your Website with Google Sites

This week's workshop was heavily requested in the tech skills survey at the beginning of the year. As such, I wanted to be sure I got it scheduled as soon as possible so you could really take advantage of how easy it is to share all the information that parents and students are always looking for.

This workshop was a bit extensive, so I broke down the entire process of starting a Google Site in to four relatively short videos. Because I really want to know how many people are getting the information via my website instead of attending workshops, I have included a question in each video clip for you to answer. (I'm hoping that they show up!) It will help me to better gauge the staffs' involvement in what I put out here. If you don't see the questions I'd love it if you could leave a comment on this post that you watched it and got something out of it.
Video Screencasts Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

We Were Here

I get several emails a day that are newsletters of what is going on in the world of education and technology. Many I just gloss over, but, every so often, there is something that catches my eye. In the Diigo digest I received this morning, I saw that another teacher on there had bookmarked a YouTube video that they found on UpWorthy. I know that his fall has been insane for everyone: changing schedules, new observation form, new administration, getting use to changes on IC, and the list goes on. It's easy to feel like you are barely keeping your head above water these days. As such this inspirational talk by Shane Koyczan, with accompaniment by Hannah Epperson, entitled "Remember How We Forgot" was one that I couldn't help but post here. It's awesome. And so worth the six minutes to watch it. Let me know what you think. And remember, just keep swimming.

Showing Keynote while Using Presenter Notes (Updated)

I've been trying to get through everyone's responses to my tech skills survey from earlier this fall. One of the things a teacher wanted me to show them was how to utilize their presenter notes in Keynote like they were able to in Powerpoint. So I made a short screencast to walk you through it!

This is a new version that goes over more of the options you have and some problems that I've had a teacher report (as well as how to fix it).