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Showing posts from May, 2013

Google Drive for ENSC

Last year, Zack and I tried to promote Google Drive heavily due to the collaborative nature of it. In fact, since then I know of teachers that have made entire presentations without meeting face to face. This is a huge time saving tool for those of you that have a tight schedule that does not always allow you to come extra early before or extra late after school. We did run into a speedbump. Most East Noble teachers will remember it being a little bit of a mess because we could not use our East Noble School Corporation email addresses to create Google Drive accounts. Many teachers had started, but it was put to a pause as Google noticed an abundance of users signing up with email addresses ending in So the solution was to use personal gmail accounts. That temporary fix also came to be a problem since you had to know the email address of others within the district to share documents. This was not that tempting since it was taking extra steps to accomplish the task. Th


The Indiana Department of Education is providing a free reading resource for all Hoosiers for the summer of 2013. MyOn will provide students with the opportunity to read to self as well as listen to read since many of the books include audio. Directions on how to log in are posted below. If you are an East Noble Teacher, feel free to promote this opportunity as you wish.

Get Smart

Get Smart - Home . Get Smart  is a great resource for teachers that have interactive whiteboards. This website provides a vast amount of interactive web-tools that would be great for introducing topics or having students practice on your whiteboard. Thanks goes to Peggy Demchak for coming across this valuable find. I'm glad she thought of me!

ABC Books with Story

Story has quickly become a very popular app amongst teachers. Students can quickly create a high quality presentation or digital book with the app. It allows the user to put in pictures, captions, and full pages of text within the book. Here is an example that Mrs. Yoder had her first graders build. For several days, the students collaborated and built a list of animals for each letter of the alphabet. Mrs. Yoder sent the list to me and I used Morgue File  to gather royalty-free photographs. I then sent her about four or five letters worth of pictures to her so that she could forward them to her students. (Yes, teachers can email fairly large amounts of photos to students. In this project, I was able to send 26 pictures .) The first graders downloaded the images to their camera roll, imported them into the Story project, and if students had additional time, they added facts about animals. There was one little hiccup though. Mrs. Yoder quickly found out toward the end of the projec

East Noble Theatre Department Promotes Digital Citizenship

I was recently provided with a copy of a video that the East Noble Theatre department created to promote digital citizenship. It is primarily targeted toward our laptop users in upper elementary, middle school and high school, but I think that it is full of reminders that would be good for all the staff as well. Reminders about updating the laptops  is a good one as I've noticed a lot of laptops running sluggish lately. (A resource is linked here to share how to update your PC laptop.)  Yes, it will take a lot of time to get your machine up to speed, but if you make a habit of doing it at least once per month, you'll find that it will not take as long and your machine will run faster. Another good reminder is the subject of pirated materials. You need to make sure that you do not have illegal downloads of music, movies, or even...teaching resources. Believe it or not, if you have paid materials from Teachers Pay Teachers  that a "friend" gave you, you are stealing

Butterfly Project with Story Kit

Story Kit  has been around for quite some time. It was one of the first applications that the teachers of East Noble really jumped on using to have kids create projects with their iOS devices. Now there are so many options for students to produce work and send to their teacher. However, instead of looking for a new tool, Mrs. Carroll of North Side contemplated how the tool could be used. Here she has provided two examples of her Butterfly project. The students recorded the events that occurred with their own butterflies as well as reported about facts and vocabulary that they were learning over the course of the project. Overall, I am very impressed with the quality of work from these second grade students. Story Kit worked well for her students because it allowed them to save their projects on a daily basis, take quick pictures and insert them into the work, and record briefly each day. Try looking at the examples that she provided:

Here is a blog-post by Mark Brumley about this fine webtool called "Jog the Web.   For the sake of not stealing his thunder, I will keep this brief because I'm sure he would much rather you visit his blog to find out more information about it. allows you to create a collection of websites with descriptions. They all are previewed on one page, so the viewer does not have to get lost in a bunch of links. This would be a great tool for webquests. Here is a video to show you how you can make your own "jogs:"

Face on Coin Booth and Pic Collage

I have two sets of examples to post today. The first one I had blogged about several weeks ago on the presentation tools section of this blog. It is called Face on Coin Booth . Mrs. Sibert invited me into her class knowing she was going to cover decimals involving money. This provided a great opportunity to use Face on Coin since it was a really obvious application. Here we had students take their own picture, write the sentence "decimals separate dollars and cents," and write three different ways to write a cents amount. Check it out for yourself: I also picture this application useful in areas such as writing character traits, telling import parts in a chapter, or even recording quick facts that were learned about a topic. I like to think of this app as a good one for quick projects to share knowledge and understanding. It is without a doubt not for upper level thinking, but it does make for a more engaging experience in the classroom. Another set of examples is  is a free webtool that allows you to annotate the web. You can point out, circle, and highlight any website to your liking all with the easy to install bookmarklet. Any site that you want to annotate can be done with a quick click of the bookmarklet, a new page will then appear with your annotation tools at the top of the website. You can do all of this without even creating an account. How this could be useful to you as a teacher you ask? You can quickly annotate a website and email it out to your students just by sharing a link. It does not require a lot of extra time, and your students receive your notes right away. You could also place directions on the website so that you are not sending out multiple documents for a task. Students can also respond back with your annotations on the page. You could then view their work when they send their own "Markup" back to you. There is one unfortunate detail about Markup, and that is the annotations will not appear

Explore 7 Principles of Ocean Science On This iPad App | iPad Apps forSchool

Explore 7 Principles of Ocean Science On This iPad App | iPad Apps for School . This is a great application for your oceanographers in your classroom. It includes tons of interactive features along with the text to enhance the learning experience in science. This would also be a great application to use as a resources when studying the Water Cycle. East Noble teachers that have students using iPods do not have to be left out because they could plug their iPad into a projector to display the content. Make sure you check out Richard Byrne's post. via Explore 7 Principles of Ocean Science On This iPad App | iPad Apps for School .


StudyJams. Study Jams is a resource provided by Scholastic that covers a multitude of elementary mathematics and science topics. It has a variety of resources that consist of videos, interactive activities, and karaoke. I would highly recommend it as a resource for introducing or reviewing topics as it focuses heavily on key vocabulary for each skill. Here is the drawback, it is built on flash. What does that mean? It will not work on iOS devices. So the solution for the elementary teachers I work with would be to just use it in a whole class setting or use it in the computer lab. You could also use some of the songs and videos as a transitional period between subjects. A great way to make this happen would be to create your own Symbaloo page. Zack gives some fine directions on making your own Symbaloo page here . By making your own Symbaloo page, you can link specific examples all on one website because you may not want to use all the resources listed. This would allow you to

Mrs. Sims' Field Trip to the Zoo

Zack recently posted about the field trip project that Mrs. Millus' class was able to complete earlier this week.  I was able to follow up with Mrs. Sims today to go a little further into the project. This time we had students create a title page with their name, add five photos, and add a fact that they know about each animal. I took roughly ten minutes to orient them through the app. I taught them how to start a new Story, edit the title page, insert photos, and insert more text boxes. Along with that, I also had to teach them how to move pictures or text boxes that may seem out of place. The students quickly caught on surprisingly well since this is the first time that they have ever used the application. If you are uncertain of how to do all those steps, I do have a video that will help orient you with the application.  One downfall of this application is that we had to type in the teacher's entire email address. Typically when students email work to their teacher, they

Coding Kids

The video makes some very interesting points that coding is really like teaching a foreign language. A language that people all over the world learn to speak. You think about the vast changes that have occurred in the realm of technology. Those changes are all thanks to people that have jobs where they use this language that causes a computer to perform tasks. (I'm actually friends with quite a few of them.) Sadly, I have never learned to code, but I think it is about time that I start to dabble in it if I am going to prepare students for a future that is going to be saturated with technological devices. So just like how the video ended, I will be visiting  to start the process. There are two big opportunities for our students as part of East Noble School Corporation to become familiar with coding language. The first one is Hopscotch for the iPad. Not only does it gives students the concept of basic coding, but it also focuses on relevant elementary mathematics ski

Compound Words with First Grade

Today I had the pleasure of helping the media specialist at North Side utilize the iPods with first grade students. (Thanks for asking for help, Mrs. Valenti.) I gathered together a bunch of pictures from Morgue File  that would make great options for compound words. For example: I found a picture of a dragon, a fly, and a dragonfly. Altogether, I had 26 pictures in the email. This process only took me about five to ten minutes to gather all the pictures into a folder and send them away. How long would it have taken me to make copies of all the examples, get paper ready, glue, scissors, and coloring utensils? As the students came in, I showed them how they can download all the pictures at once by clicking on the "save 26 images" icon when the user taps on just one picture. This saved all the pictures to their library so that they would be able to access them for their Pic Collage project. I would love to get to the point where we could use a classroom Dropbox, Box, or Sky

To be honest, I wasn't really sure where to place this post. Keyboarding is really a category all by itself. So I placed it as a teacher tool. If you think it fits better under a different category, don't be afraid to speak up and let me know. is a free resource for keyboarding instruction. You as the teacher can create student accounts to track their keyboarding progress. This web-tool works on the iPad as well as a traditional PC or Mac computer. There are also games available, but only on those traditional machines. Try it out!

iteachwithipads net This honestly has to be one... This honestly has to be one of the most inspiring elementary edtech blogs that I have ever come across. Kristi Meeuwse is a kindergarten teacher from South Carolina that frequently blogs , tweets , and pins all kinds of useful ideas on the internet. Her intellectual property is extremely valuable. I am always appreciative of someone that is so willing to share for the greater good of education. In this blogpost , Kristi has students use Pic Collage to report about "pirate vocabulary." They also use Doodle Buddy to illustrate their own pirates to place into the collage. Along with the text, illustrations and pictures, I would say that these kindergarteners were able to produce some mighty fine products. Please take some time to look at her blog. I think you will find inspiration there as well. :)

Setting Restrictions

I recently had a teacher speak with me about her frustrations with one student in particular that can't seem to keep his fingers out of the App Store. He also has a tendency to continually delete apps. When you have a frequent offender, this can be an extremely frustrating experience. Even to the point that one may even want to not give the student their device. These frustrations are understandable since you have to take the time to fix whatever mess he/she created. One solution for these two issues is to set a restriction. However, keep in mind that you will not be able to download any apps with the restriction turned on. That means that every time you want to download an app, you have to turn off the restriction with a passcode. You will want to make sure you only do this for a select few students in your classroom. Here are the directions:

Digital Citizenship Cartoons

Digital Citizenship Cartoons This blogpost contains links to multiple videos that are even categorized to be appropriate for specific grade levels. These links will provide teachers with a great opportunity to introduce and explain difficult digital citizenship topics in a light and fun manner. Try them out for yourself and enjoy!

Story Instructions and Final Product

Zack recently posted about the Story app by Disney.  I went ahead and made a video to show you how it works. I also made a separate video for those of you that would rather just see the final product so that way you can fiddle with the application yourself. I tend to be one that learns better just be trying it out myself, so I understand those of you that would just rather see the final product completely! Here is the final product video:

Free Technology for Teachers: 10 Time-saving Tech Tips from David Pogue

via Free Technology for Teachers: 10 Time-saving Tech Tips from David Pogue . Check out these tips! I didn't know some of them! It is really fun when you learn new tricks that will speed up your work on your computer. :) I'm sure a bunch of you will be opening up a webpage to see if your spacebar actually does scroll the page down after this one.

Mrs. Becker's Area and Perimeter Activity: Skitch

Thanks goes to Mrs. Becker for this idea. Not only was it a good idea, but it looks tasty too! Here she took a creative activity and integrated it naturally with her class set of iPads. The portion completed with the devices is where she can assess how well the students grasped the skill. Could she use a quiz to accomplish the same task? Yes, but that wouldn't be as much fun now would it? Also, it provides them with some technology skills that are applicable to showing work in any subject area, and even outside of the classroom. There are numerous times that I use Skitch to ask or answer questions through email. Just the other day, I wanted to trade my car to an auto dealer. He asked me if I could show any defects so that he can properly assess the value of my vehicle. I used skitch to not only take the pictures, but to draw the arrows and annotate the issues I saw. These are real life skills. In this lesson, Mrs. Becker had students arrange Cheez-It crackers to form a polygon

Mobile Technologies in the Medical Field

Matt Rickey, high school teacher, recently brought this doctor to my attention. His name is Eric Topol , and he's looking to revolutionize the technologies that are used in the medical field. Here he shares a number of them that he relies upon on a daily basis in this video. I really don't know very much about this doctor other than what I have seen from a few interviews on Youtube. So as far as his stance on medicine or how hospitals are operated, I cannot comment. My reasoning for sharing this is the direction of which the medical realm is moving. All these devices are somehow related to the idea of them being mobile. It provides a convenient way for him to monitor patients, and what he believes to be more efficient as a doctor. Notice that he does not say anything about knowing how to play Angry Birds or Clay Jam. He sees the devices as an essential tool for his work. Mobile technologies are today. Mobile technologies are also in the future. This is why it is essential

First Grade Plural Nouns Using Pic Collage

Mrs. Abbs and Mrs. Yoder sent me a cool idea today. Their students showed plural nouns using Pic Collage. They had them take pictures of the singular form and the plural form of the noun. The students added the actual words to the collage. This activity looks like a whole lot more fun than what I did to learn plural nouns when I was in school. I can't remember that far back, but my guess was that involved a pencil and workbook. :) Next Abbs and Yoder plan on having them do the same thing, but they will be doing it for words that end in "es" and "ies". If they send them, I will plan on adding them to this post. Thanks for the great idea, Mrs. Abbs and Mrs. Yoder! (Click on an example to get the full view.) Here is the later product created by a first grader to demonstrate when to add "es" to a plural noun:

Pic Share

Pic Share is an easy-to-use application that really only serves one purpose: to send more than five pictures at a time from your iPad. This would be handy for teachers that would like to provide students with a collection of pictures to use for a project instead of having the students trounce around the internet looking for images. One reason this should be a concern is because of the fact that we still need to provide some level of protection for our students. If we allow them to just go on their own, it will increase the possibility of them coming across materials that are not appropriate to their young eyes. Yes, I know we have to educate them to use the internet wisely. However, primary elementary students are still pretty innocent. It is my belief that they would have a hard time making the best decision when placed in that type of position. The second reason that it is a concern is whether or not the images are legal. We do need to teach students at an early age that even

Easy Shot Email Cam

Easy Shot Email Cam is a really basic camera utility. The reason I like it: students can only take one picture at a time and email it all from the same application. There is not a lot to say about the actual functionality of the app; it is pretty straightforward. How this applies to teachers you ask? Teachers (primary in particular) need an app that easily allows students to take a picture of their work and email it quickly. Students could share what they accomplished during math or word study. How easy is it to remember what every student accomplished with his/her unifix cubes during math without meeting with every single child and taking notes? It just isn't possible. This app would allow you to receive the proof that Jimmy or Suzy were able to accomplish a few tasks when you were not able to meet with them on a one-on-one basis.

Second Grade Pic Collage: Characters, Inferring, and Vocabulary

Here we go again, more examples of how resourceful just one application can really be for your classroom. It reminds me of when I was first hired by Mr. Jim Tilghman back at the old Wayne Center before we had much technology to work with at all. He was famous for asking the "peanut butter question" during an interview. That question was the following: If you had a classroom, and you only had a jar of peanut butter, what would you teach? The whole point was to see how resourceful you could be on the spot. I don't know how good my answer was, but I am thankful he hired me anyway. :) I am looking at a lot of these apps that you can create with the same way. If you only had Doodle Buddy. If you only had Pic Collage. If you only had 30 Hands. If you only had Perfect Captions , If you only had Skitch . If you only had Multi-Photo Voice Recorder . The list could go on and on, but what would you teach?  Mrs. Gaines of South Side recently sent a collection of examples with P

Visit and sign up for a free account. Here you can create and organize your lesson plans in an easy-to-use online format. What is also nice is that you can import files, links, videos (with embed codes), and images. You can also create your own templates for consistent repeated formats. All you have to do is input your new information for each day. Also, a great value to is is the ability to send your lesson plans. You can provide a direct link to the lesson plan or download it as a PDF file. This could be extremely helpful if you are in an emergency situation with a substitute teacher. It could also be helpful if you are wanting to share a specific lesson with a colleague. There is no need for copying on the copy machine, just send the link. Standards are easily imported as well since you can click on the standard that aligns with your lesson. By hovering over the standard number, the whole description appears without taking up the entire lesson p

Technology Changes - Your Lessons Should Too

Jeff Herb wrote this blogpost in November of 2012, and I annotated it to highlight a few points and share my own thoughts on it. I think it is without a doubt a good read as we all struggle with what technologies we should use in our classroom. I especially need to think through these steps carefully as I scour the Internet and App Store to find resources that will be of great use to you. Technology Changes - Your Lessons Should Too - Instructional Tech Talk via kwout I think the biggest points that I could pull out of are the following: 1. "Do not use technology for the sake of using technology." I believe many teachers get frustrated with technology because they are not sure what to do with it. When those feelings come to surface, then the devices are not used for their proper intent. Since laptops/iPods/iPads are really tools for learning, let's compare that to a common, ordinary tool. If you use a hammer for something other than what it is intended to do, y