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Showing posts from July, 2015

Glue in the Notebooks

This idea came across my news feed on Facebook and I loved the literacy connection to notebooking. Gluing is always an issue in the notebooks and this is a great way to introduce the problem of "too much glue". See the entire blog post about it HERE.

I am passing it along in the hopes someone finds it as helpful as I did.

ISTE Idea #1 - TouchCast

This was my "WOW" moment at ISTE and to think I might have missed it! 
When you sign up for an ISTE conference you register for three ticketed sessions. I didn't get any of the three I wanted (or any at all). Not sure why considering the rest of the people I was with got theirs. If you don't get a ticket to a session you can stand in a "wait list" line outside of the room and they open it up five minutes prior to people without tickets (if there is room - learned that lesson the hard way at ISTE in Atlanta last year). Anyway I lucked out on this trip and a random person gave me one of her tickets to a session that she couldn't go to and then my friend Beth gave me hers to this one - "TouchCast How to Make Interactive Touchable Videos"...she had opted for a different session offered at the same time...BIG MISTAKE (which being the good friend that I am texted that to her :).
Touchcast is a FREE app. It allows the user to:
Create an interactive p…

ISTE Idea #2 - Random Poster Session Ideas

Before I get to the #1 ISTE Idea I was looking at my notes and ran across a few random ideas I got from the Poster Sessions (which is basically a walk around showcase environment where you can see a lot of projects in a short amount of time). None of them were giant IDEAS more like small ideas and thoughts about other people's projects that I wanted to look into and see how it could work in our schools (modifying as necessary).


OUT MY WINDOW PROJECT


One poster session hosted by Connecting Creativity had an "Out My Window" project that I really liked. Essentially students took a picture out their window...put it in some design app...they used PicMonkey...and wrote a poem based on the five themes of geography (they had to explain what those were to me...having never taught geography). I'm not sure I could sell that exact project to the teachers I work with but I definitely felt like it had modification potential. Several of our schools are allowing students to take hom…

ISTE Idea #3 - Google Translate

I attend a Google Apps for the iPad at ISTE (click for full presentation) mainly because my boss asked me to. This year I have had a love/hate relationship with Google apps on the iPad (up until recently...it was hate) and I think she was trying to turn my thinking around mainly because we are a GAFE (Google Apps For Education) school district. However last year it seemed everything I wanted to do using Google with the iPads has been troublesome. For example, the Google Slides app wouldn't allow you to put in pictures. WHAT?!?!...You can imagine the four letter words I was thinking when I discovered THAT!. I couldn't get Google Classroom to play with the other apps (like Notability...which we use a lot with students). I pretty much gave up and have been promoting Edomodo as our classroom management platform, at least in our iPad classrooms (grades 3-5).
Thankfully I ran into several teachers/presenters at ISTE that assured me that these problems have been addressed and fixed …

ISTE Idea #4 - Text to Table (and Wordle)

This idea was presented at a Poster session titled "Unleash Cool Unknown Tools with Microsoft Word and OneNote." It wasn't on my list of Poster sessions to check out but I stopped in my tracks when I passed by her table and saw the presenter go over this Word feature I never knew existed and then she showed how it can be used in the classroom.
It is a feature in Word which is called Text-to-Table and it allows students, after typing their draft copy of a writing piece, to look at their document (for revision purposes) in a different way - by changing their paragraphs into single rows of text in a table.
Anyone who has taught children know that they HATE to review and revise their writing. They always think it is good on the first go round. I thought this was a unique way to teach students how to look at their writing line by line (in a table format), make their changes, and then revert it back to the paragraph form. 
The presenter (Gwynn Moore - click for her ISTE prese…

ISTE Idea - #5 - 100 Word Challenge

I saw this at a poster session and am very excited about getting some classrooms to try this 100 Word Challenge this coming year.

In a nutshell The 100 Word Challenge is for children under the age of 16. They are given a prompt and are allowed to use 100 words to produce a creative piece of writing (there is a 5 sentence challenge for younger writers). Prompts are given which can be anything from an image to a series of individual words. Students receive encouraging comments from their dedicated 100 Word Challenge Team and Peers.

It looks like in the past you had to have a blog and link back to the 100 Word Challenge but they posted this on their site:

"The new 100WC will launch in September 2015.  It will still be free to enter but you won’t have to have a blog to take part and for those of you who comment, all the posts will be in one place! So much easier! "

Not having to have a blog is definitely a big help in selling it to teachers...we don't have many dedicated cla…

ISTE Idea - #6 - Shutterfly Photo Story in the Classroom

This idea came from a Poster Session led by folks at Shutterfly. They have a Photo Story in the Classroom app for iPad and had several student sample book projects on hand to look through. 
I liked this much better then the Book Creator app we currently use. I've found the Book Creator app very difficult when it comes to sharing. You can upload it to Google Drive but it becomes a PDF with no fun book features (like flipping pages) and in order to share or purchase a book using Book Creator you have to download a secondary app (iBooks).
The Shutterfly app is much easier to use. Students can insert pictures, text, audio and easily share with an email address. If a parent or teacher wants to print out a project it is easy to order one through their program as low as $10 (the books pictured above were the 8x8 softcover books) or they can simply share for free with email.
The students will need an email address to signup but it can be a made up one because there is no email verificati…

ISTE Idea - #7 - Padcaster

This was by far the coolest "tech tool" on the Expo Hall. The tool is called The Padcaster and it turns your iPad into a video recording studio. My friend Beth (in the first picture) and I were fascinated by it because we both are interested in starting up/improving student morning shows and find ways that students can record "out in the field" with their iPads more professionally. Basically you get the frame and the hardware to mount accessories - like an external mike, lights, etc. There are lots of video on YouTube that review the Padcaster (although they really need one demonstrating its use in a school). The cost was doable - $399 with the understanding that you have to buy the auxiliary equipment (i.e. the tripod).

Beth got her principal to purchase two of them and they bought The Newscaster Bundle. They got a discount so I believe the total for the two was in the $800 range. They are going to need to get two tripods to get started.

The folks that were there…

ISTE Idea - #8 - Quizizz

Kahoot! was the most popular and used tool this year for classroom assessment. Students and teachers loved it. When I was at ISTE one of the sessions (Gifted Resources - @MrsMHenning) featured a similar product called Quizizz.

I liked that it didn't emphasize answering questions quickly like Kahoot but also gave you a FULL leader board - not just the top few students. It also allowed for a self-paced option for those children who need more time to look at their answer choices.

In an effort to "sell" it to my tech team I looked up the differences between Kahoot and Quizizz and came across this great blog post on the topic. Since we also have Pear Deck in our district it was a nice comparison.

I think teachers will still like to use to Kahoot! but it is nice that we have other options to share.

ISTE Idea - #9 - Mystery Skype

Last year I did my first Mystery Skype in the Classroom. I did a Mystery Number Skype with two first grade classrooms in my district (second picture). I first saw the idea on THIS BLOG and managed to talk two first grade teacher into trying it in their classrooms as part of their tech requirements for the district (our district requires 30 hours of tech training over a five year recertification cycle and documented proof of tech integration in the classroom). Since it was a first for everyone involved - both first grade teachers and myself - we thought this was the perfect starter project.
Everyone involved loved it...the teachers, the students, and us (the two tech coaches involved). The success of the experience made me want to try other Mystery Skyping sessions in the coming year so I was excited to attended a session on the topic at ISTE. 
The session was led by Katrina Keene (@teachintechgal and www.teachintechgal.com). The presentation was outstanding (Here is a LINK to the pre…

ISTE Idea - #10 - BrainPop Concept Mapping

I used to use BrainPop a lot when I was in the classroom. Mainly I used it whole group as part of a lesson. I would show a video and then students would answer the questions on an erasable white board (and then later with our ActivExpressions). We had a classroom subscription at our grade level (we had three 4th grade teachers at the time). In our district BrainPop is not a district "given". If a school wants to purchase BrainPop they have to do it on their own. In my case we (our grade level) was given a certain amount of money to spend and this was one of the ways we chose to spend it (classroom subscription is $220).

At this time we were not 1:1 with our devices so a classroom subscription was sufficient.

The BrainPop workshop I attended was definitely eye opening because it is no longer the "old" BrainPop I was used to using. There is a lot more student interactivity, high order questioning, and tools built into the program that allow students to engage and us…

ISTE - Tech Conference - The Rule of 10

I am very fortunate that I got to to attend the ISTE conference in Philadelphia this summer (International Society of Technology Educators). Whenever I go to a conference, depending on the size and length, I try to find at least ten usable ideas that I can bring back. A lot of times I "forget" the ideas once school/life gets going. In an attempt to remember I am going to write a series of posts 1 through 10...so this is my warning post :)