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Showing posts from February, 2014

Show Me: A Great App for Flipping the Classroom

Flipped learning has become a hot item, but it can be much more than just an opportunity for students to learn the information from a video in the comfort of their home and doing the heavy work at school. Yes, it is powerful because it allows the teacher to work with small groups of students. It can also be used to flip lessons during class time. A teacher could create a video for the students to view during class while working with small groups. Ever feel like it would be nice to be able to clone yourself so that you could be more effective as a teacher? Show Me for iPad essentially lets you do just that.

There are many apps that perform the exact same task, and may even provide a better user experience than Show Me. However, I'm focusing on Show Me for the sake of my teachers as they are in need of providing an e-learning experience for students that may not have internet at home. What separates Show Me from the others is the ability to download your own videos instead of stream…

Edtech and P.E.

Generally, one would think it would be a bad idea to combine technology with an elementary P.E. class. (I don't even like the idea of taking my smartphone on a run.) However, there are some practical ways to get a workout in for that much needed brain-break utilizing technology.


Mr. Starkel at Wayne Center Elementary is using Adventure to Fitness  for younger students and using Just Dance videos on Youtube (Here is a playlist I made) to get older elementary kids moving and active. I have found Adventure to Fitness very beneficial as it combines social studies and science concepts within the physical activities. It would not be surprising to find a video to match the content areas within the classroom. Adventure to Fitness has a lot of free content. I would recommend looking over the site yourself.





Last week I sent out a quick email to teachers about an app called "Tabata! Daily 4-Minute Workouts." This application is for iOS and was only free for a couple days. The app …

Blogging = Power

Kidblog.org has to be one of the best opportunities for elementary students. The makers of this product have given the teacher so much control, and have adapted the environment to meet the needs of a classroom extremely well. 
For the last few weeks I've had the opportunity to work with the fourth graders at Rome City Elementary. (However, it has been a little broken up due to all the snow we've had.) To get these classes going, I used three different sequential lessons to help launch a successful experience with blogging. Blogging does take some work, so setting high expectations from the start always pays off. If the expectations are not set, the teacher will more than likely become frustrated and give up. (This is speaking from experience from about five years ago.) 
With all this in mind, Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. McKibben wanted to have a blog so that they would have a great place to dialogue about reading. The focus will first be on a whole class text and then eventually bran…

Blogger as a Teacher Website

This post will be dedicated toward preparing a teacher to utilize Blogger as their teacher website. The tutorials and content here greatly reflects the needs of the elementary teachers in East Noble School Corporation. However, some of the content might be useful as far as the directions on how to post, use the Blogger app, or creating shared folders. 
East Noble has used Edline as the primary method of teachers having not only an LMS, but a place to host teacher websites. Though Edline is a powerful product, we also found that it did not meet the needs of the elementary classroom very well. In fact, most products do not. What elementary teachers need is a place for them to quickly communicate what is happening within the walls of their classroom without spending hours deleting old content and uploading the new. A simple solution that I was able to come up with is Blogger
Any school that has an association with Google should have the ability to utilize their Blogger platform for te…

Snag-It

Snag-It is a tool I probably use on a daily basis on my PC laptop. It allows me to create quick screencasts for teachers and students. It also allows me to grab screenshots and edit them with text and shapes. I can edit photos and merge photos together onto one template. There are multiple possibilities for this piece of software. My PC users are fifth and sixth graders and I was able to get a few classes on board with utilizing this tool. However, it is very overwhelming due to the vast amount of possibilities within this piece of software.

Here are some previous posts where I have discussed the use of Snag-It.
Teachers that have students using this tool may want to consider sending the tutorial site Techsmith has developed. It has written and video directions on how to utilize this tool.


Ask3: Screencast and Collaborate

Ask3 is a product by Techsmith that I've known about for quite some time. In fact, when it first came out I quickly went on every classroom iTunes account and secured the download before it turned into a paid application. It has been over a year since the release of Ask3 and as it turns out, it is still free. :) Also, Techsmith even did an online interview with me last year about the use of Ask3 in East Noble School Corporation. That was an exciting opportunity for me as a tech coach to participate in the product development. 
Ask3 gives the teacher the opportunity to easily screencast instructional videos, distribute them to students effortlessly, and allow the students to respond and collaborate with text and video. In a sense, it becomes a video blog. It is a great opportunity for "flipping the classroom."
If you want to "flip the classroom" but your students do not take devices home, you can always create a 5-10 minute instructional video and have the stude…

Pic Collage: Collaborative Tool?

Thanks to our new third grade teacher at Rome City, Cheryl Herber, I came across yet another way that Pic Collage could be used. She asked the question about whether or not it could be used as a collaborative tool? the answer is "yes." However, it isn't a live collaboration tool like you would get from Google Drive. It is a place where students can share their projects and fellow classmates can share comments. If you do not have a class blog or an LMS like Edmodo(This link only works for East Noble employees.), but utilize Pic Collage frequently, this would be a great opportunity for you. 
Since my focus on technology integration is at the elementary level, a classroom account is necessary due to the students being under the age of 13. If you are an elementary teacher and have not set up a classroom account, please view my previous post about this process. 

Scrap Pad

Scrap Pad  was an app I came across last week when it was on "Apps Gone Free" . So I scrambled and stressed all my teachers out trying to get this application on their class sets of iPads. :) It is now $4.99, but I believe all the teachers that I work with were able to get it on their class set of devices. (A big sigh of relief.)

This application is very easy and fun to use. It can be applied to any subject area to allow students to creatively share their knowledge. If you have a creative way that you are using ScrapPad, please share it here in the comment section.

This video can be used for your own benefit for learning the application, or if you would like to share it with your students, that would be appropriate as well. This would be an easy way to introduce the application if I am not available to demonstrate it to your class.


Pic Collage: Management Tips

I know I tend to use and abuse Pic Collage, but when you have an app this versatile, it is hard not to do so. many teachers within my schools use this tool, but I want to add an element that I think will make it even more useful.  If you create an account and log all the student devices into that account, the student work will automatically distribute to your iPad. That also has some disadvantages, because it will also go to all the students' iPads. The later issue can be resolved with proper expectations being set and procedures firmly established.  Make sure all students are clear that they are not to edit another student work. I often use the comparison of a younger brother or sister coloring all over a piece of artwork they have created. How irritating that is tends to hit home with students.Make sure you establish that this is a great opportunity. By having access to every students' works so quickly, the teacher will greatly benefit because of the ease of use. The students…