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Showing posts from December, 2013

Oh Yeats...

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With vacation rapidly approaching (not fast enough, I know), I thought this quote that I heard on a TED Talk today was especially inspirational. Let's light some fire in these last few days!


8 Ways to Better Use Your Interactive Whiteboard (Smartboard, Brightlink, etc.)

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If you have an interactive whiteboard (IWB) in your classroom, odds are that you are using it as a high-tech chalkboard or as a projector screen. But I bet you aren't really using it for much more than that. Heck, I'll be the first to admit that it took me a while to get beyond that when I was in my own classroom! Wrapping your brain around how to use them the best can be super time intensive and feel very overwhelming.

5 Strategies to Stop High-Tech Cheating from THE Journal

One of the "hazards" of my job is sorting through the tons of links, articles, and resources that I gave. I have a pile of them to go through and I sort them in to categories on my Diigo library of links with annotations on the articles to make it easier for others to use my resources. Every so often, I find something so good that I want to share it with, well, all of you.

And that's how I came to this post with 5 Strategies to Stop High-Tech Cheating from THE Journal, which I gathered from their article entitled From Texting to Plagiarism, How to Stop High-Tech Cheating by John K. Waters back in September.

Teaching with Tech Checklist

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It is tempting to see the technology we are so fortunate to have as an easy to integrate tool that we just start up at the beginning of the day and use. But often times it is just used as a replacement tool in that situation. It isn't doing or adding anything to the class that wasn't there before technology. That is a very, very common "issue". If we want technology to succeed, it needs to be seen as more than that.

Tech. Agenda & Announcements for 12/16-20

Last week of school for 2013. Where did the year go?? I have one last weekly agenda for the year. And I'm going to play with a couple of fun tools as well.

Student Blog: Avogadro Salad

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We all know the students we have who are just fixated on something that gets them SO jazzed up that you can just see the lightbulb burning bright above their head. One option to do with them is have them start a blog about their interest. Sarah Almeda, a 15 year old science lover and artist, started Avogadro Salad and has now been nominated for Edublog’s Top Student Blogs of 2013 List. What an accomplishment! She also posts some really awesome content that could be useful in the science classroom to get kids interested and engaged. Check it out!

3D Hologram Display

My mind is completely blown. This is so awesome! One of the technicians at the high school found it and I just had to share it with you all. Happy Friday!

3D Display - Re-Imaging (Three.js & Leap Motion) from Robbie Tilton on Vimeo.

Friday Humor for You

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I'm working on my agenda for next week, which will feature a tool that I used during yesterday's MLTI workshop on Tools to Make the Flip. In the meantime, here is some Friday humor for you that I saw on Facebook this morning.


5 W's of Evaluating a Website

In a world where creating a website is as easy as clicking "create site", it is really important to get our students to really look at the resource before they take it as the truth. Therefore, part of any research project should be teaching students how to evaluate a website before they use it. During the MLTI flipped classroom workshop that I'm attending today, I came across a simple Prezi on Knowmia that a Kara Heichelbech. I could see it as being a very useful way of showing students how to look at sites very easily. It is a bit more drawn out, but could be used to get a conversation started with the different questions that it asks. Check it out!

MLTI: Flipped Classroom

I am attending the MLTI workshop on Flipping the Classroom today being held in the Middle School library. I will be tweeting out @SusieTechIntegr today and then posting my notes in the Google Document shown below. I will be sharing the knowledge that I learn with anyone that is willing.

10 Ways to Motivate Students Infographic

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In my on going quest to look at resources for everyone for their iObservation key strategies as they come to me through my email, I came across the following infographic (you have how much I love those!) that seemed to be a great, visual way to send out some tips for those of you who fall within the "What will I do to engage students?" category for your target element.

Creating & Sharing Movies with the Use of Animoto for Education

I was working with a teacher yesterday to work out a plan for her to better receive the videos that she was having her students create in class. Some came through Google Drive, others came through ways she couldn't seem to open, and still others came through her passing them a USB drive and having them put the file on to it. Talk about chaos!

Visually Explained Inquiry Process

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One of the problems with the technological world we live in is tracing back resources that I find to try and figure out who is responsible for the cool things I found. This graphic I came across is a clear example of that. It appears to have originated in Australia via the website that you can go to by clicking on it.

"How Games Make Kids Smarter" TEDx Talk from Gabe Zichermann

As you likely know by now, one of the iObservation target elements I have for this year is "Using Academic Games" and, as my own personal interest, the gamification of the classroom. There are twitter feeds galore, websites, articles... you name it and there are resources on it. As someone who skipped more meals in her lifetime thanks to games than I care to count, I have a personal interest in the topic.

Tips from LearnZillion to Prevent Winter Break Brain Drain (ELA & Math)

With winter break rapidly approaching (YAY!), which is when all of us seem to turn off our brains and relax. It feels good, but we all know that it takes a while to get back in to the swing of it once we get back in January. It's not just teachers. It's students, too. So, how do you help prevent the winter brain drain?

Free Science Webinar from Antartica!

I just got an email from EdWeb this morning announcing an awesome live webinar on Thursday, January 23rd at 1PM. There is even a way to submit questions in advance when you register. Check it out and show it in class!

Things that make you go "Hmmm...."

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Do you have trouble getting your kiddos going at the beginning of class? Especially first thing in the day (like right now)? I came across a link to a webpage entitled "365 things to make you go hmmm..." that features a thought provoking question each day to get your brain going. There was a question posted a couple days ago that asked "What color is snow?" That would make for a great one today. At any rate, by utilizing this website at the beginning of class while your students are starting to come in, you can get them focused on thinking. Better yet, it's already done up for you so you don't have to come up with a question on your own. Click on today's question, below, to go to the site.


Using Google Calendar as an Assignment Notebook

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The idea of using Google Calendar as an assignment notebook that teachers can embed on their website was one that I taught to any faculty that asked for website help this fall or attended one of my workshops on it. It's an easy, straight forward way to ensure that your website is up to date AND it provides your visitors with information in an easy to access format. This morning I found a link on Diigo Education to a post a special education teacher wrote on on how to use google calendar as an assignment notebook, which is primarily aimed at students and especially at those who are in need of a little extra help.

Instead of cross posting her long post to her, I highly encourage you to go right to her website and check it out by clicking on this link or clicking on her blog logo below.


Backwards Educational Technology Flowchart

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I think by now every who has followed this blog knows that I take in a TON of information each day in hopes of finding you information that I deem to be useful to pass along to make your day easier. I feel a bit like a clearing house in that regard. Many have told me that technology is awesome, but that it is so hard to determine what tool to use and when not to mention learn how to use it. Fortunately for you, that's pretty much my job (so use me!).

In a recent summary of links from the Diigo education group, a member had posted a link to Katie M. Ritter's Backwards EdTech Flowchart. Once I read her post, which you can read by clicking here, I knew that I had to pass along her flowchart to you guys, too. The basic premise of her flowchart is simple: decide what you want to do and the flowchart will help guide you to the tool you could use (including links to all of them). It's a pretty well thought out flowchart and especially useful for those of you who are just starting…

Twitter in the Classroom (for more than annoying the teacher)

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Another post that I came across on Twitter today was a great list of way that you can use Twitter in the classroom. Sure, the kids may use it to annoy you or chat with their friends, but there is a plethora of things that you can do on Twitter that will actually be helpful and potentially get your kids more engaged since it is something that they are already using.
My favorites from the long list of sixty ideas are: Classroom notepad, Twitter pop quiz, Classroom connections, Talk to career experts, Daily word games, An exercise in learning to be concise (perfect for long winded kiddos), Conference following, Link sharing, and Twitter art show.

Click on the image below to go to the full list.

If you can't beat them, you might as well join them!

The Modern Desk

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I came across this image posted on Twitter today in one of the #edtech chats. For those of you who aren't all that comfortable with social media, it's a great representation of what they all do. And, for those of you who are comfortable, it's a pretty hilarious way of looking at it all.


Managing Mission Control

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This morning a teacher contacted me looking for help managing desktops in mission control. For those of you like me who wind up with more windows open than you can even imagine by the end of the day, utilizing Mission Control can help you to make sense of it all. As a result of the inquiry, I created a new page over on my "Guides & Tutorials" site to walk you through it. Click here (or on the icon below) to go check it out!

Origins of Common UI Symbols

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I subscribe to the visual.ly emails because I find infographics pretty awesome. I just got this one in my email today and thought it was a pretty great way to learn about where all these (often computer related) symbols came from. Bluetooth actually because of a guy with a blue tooth? Awesome!

by sofyay.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.
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Tech. Agenda & Announcements for 12/9-13

Digital Flip Cards with Flippity and Google Drive

I found Flippity.net a couple weeks ago, but revisited it today when I noticed a teacher online wanting to make flash cards to learn student names faster. I have been putting together my full resource page over my "Guides & Tutorials" website, but here is my screencast that I just posted.



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Middle School PLAYDATE Today!

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Today is my very first PLAYDATE! So, if you are at the middle school, you should come down to 40A whenever you have a moment to breath. My focus for today is Doctopus, which is a REALLY awesome tool if you are a Google Drive avid fan. What is a PLAYDATE? Basically, you come and get to play with the tool. I'll show you where to find the resources I've compiled on how to use Doctopus and then we'll work together to get you started. For those of you who don't need the basics, this is geared towards you. So come on by and play!

Want to know what Doctopus is beyond being so awesome it makes me giddy? Basically, it is a way to distribute Google Documents across an entire group individually or in groups of students and gives you more features than what comes standard in Google Drive sharing. Once you get a handle on Doctopus, you can then build on it with additional scripts that allows you to easily use rubrics to grades assignments in Google Drive and much more. I'll ha…

November Teachers of the Month!

At the beginning of November, I announced that I would be awarding teachers points in Class Dojo for coming to my workshops or utilizing my office hours. Whoever got the most "monster points", as I called them, at each school would be my teacher of the month and I would give them a present to thank them for coming to see me.

Well, it was a tight race at both schools. So I wound up using Random.org to choose a name from the top teachers who were tied for the top spot. Drum roll please....
The November 2013 Teachers of the Month
Sue Hill, English at the High School
In November, Sue worked really hard on revamping her website and making it easier to keep updated so it is a more valuable resource to her students. She has done a really great job, so I highly recommend that you head over and check her site out!
Becky Hutchins, Special Services at the Middle School
Becky may not be the most technology saavy teacher around, but her determination certainly pays off and she's been lea…

HS: Follow Up to Doing the PLP on Google Drive

On Monday afternoon I held a workshop session after school on how I would suggest doing the PLP via Google Drive. I feel that this is a viable solution that would provide the students and staff with skills that would be useful in their other classes as well. It will put the ownership back on the students so that it is easier for them to retain their PLP should they switch homebase teachers.

After the session, there were faculty members that requested the directions to be put out in step by step form. I spent a chunk of time doing just that in preparation for the next extended homebase. All of the directions as well as a screencast and example on it are all on my "Guides & Tutorials" website at this link.

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Hour of Code is Next Week!

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The Hour of Code happens next week and Code.com just sent out an updated list of resources. If you do celebrate next week, let me know how it goes and I'll give you monster points. We also love to be able to share the awesome things you are doing so we can keep this awesome technology around!

Here is the email I got from Code.com:
Next week, nearly 5 million signed up students will try computer science for the first time, thanks to your efforts! Here’s what you can do in the meantime:1) Choose from final tutorialsEvery Hour of Code tutorial is now ready for Computer Science Education Week. We’ve been adding more options and improving what's available every day. 2) Use friendly urlsWhen you’re ready to start your classroom’s Hour of Code, write out an easy “friendly url” on the board. Each tutorial has its own short link. Instruct your students to type it into their browsers to get started. This will help us count participation. 3) Print out this certificateAnd prepare to congrat…

Geeky Publication

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For those of you who are technology oriented, you may want to check out the free "Tech & Learning" publication. It has a lot of good content in it and covers everything from apps to hardware to policy, etc. If you want to check it out, you can use this link to subscribe to the printed publication for free.


HS WS: Doing the PLP on Google Drive

In preparation for my session this afternoon on doing the PLP on Google Drive, here is a short, impromptu screencast on how to set it up. Feel free to share it with your students if it makes your life a bit easier. I will also put it on my "Guides & Tutorials" site to make it easier to find later.



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WS: Online Assessments through Infinite Campus

In my ongoing quest to make everyone's lives a bit easier, to reduce the amount of paper we generate, and to make better use of the 1:1 environment we are blessed to have, this week I'm looking at how to do Online Assessments through Infinite Campus. Now, there is no reason that you can't use this tool to do every assignment you do in class. It takes a bit more work to set up than the simple "Student Work Products" tool that I've covered before. But it also grades three out of the four question types for you automatically (only essays require you to review them). So you will spend a bit more time to save you time in the long run.

If you aren't in need of a full blown online learning environment (OLE) but want to take advantage of doing assignments and assessments electronically, you've got a pretty good option right in IC that gets rid of the extra steps an outside system would result in.

Here is the presentation that I'm using this week to teach …