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Showing posts from March, 2014

SAMR is a Mindset

“ @iPadWells : SAMR success is about Teacher mindset before Tech: #edtechchat ” @ccknipper I love this! — Tracy Edmisten (@TracyEdmisten) March 25, 2014 As I was participating in a Twitter chat last night ( #edtechchat ), I noticed this Tweet that I found very thought provoking in reference to the SAMR model. I've discussed the SAMR model with numerous teachers, and am even guilty of presenting it in an APP/webtool approach. However, SAMR is more of a mindset. I love what this "infographic" says about the modification and redefinition levels. When you reach the modification level, you feel comfortable allowing students to utilize various tools resources allows the learning to be fun an informative. This could be different apps/resources to reach an endpoint, and the entire class may not create the same thing/use the same tools. Reaching this point means the students have a lot of exposure to various tools and understand how to apply them

Featured Educator: Faith Erexson

I decided to start a new series that I would post from time to time called Featured Educator.  The idea is that a teacher shares their insights on utilizing technology in the classroom as a learning tool, and provides activities that are relevant to preparing students for the fast-paced world. The skills that are provided allow students to better understand technology as much more than a source of entertainment. (Trust me, all students know how to use devices for entertainment.) Students also need to know how to create and work with the devices along with their pencil and paper activities. The worlds should blend together much like the business realm. This will build the problem solving skills students need in order to complete tasks with technology as it is going to be a part of their future. Faith Erexson is a second grade teacher at Wayne Center Elementary.  She loves the excitement and passion the students display when they have the opportunity to create. (I get emails from time

I've known about  for quite some time now, but it has been awhile since I revisited it. That tends to happen to me quite a bit as I check out resources and debate on how much I push out suggestions to my staff. However, since visiting Macul 2014 , it forced me to look at it once again to see what improvements have been made. What it allows you to do: Create a wall of pictures, files, and links for you to display. Collaborate with a small group/large group of students. Collaborate with staff.  Download as a PDF or image. Upload your images as a background. Place the items in a "freeform" or "stream" of information Freeform places the items scattered over the screen. Stream places them chronologically much like a Twitter-feed.  (There are other options, but this will give you a basic idea of how it can be used.)  I created a video tutorial using it between a PC and an iPad. It works surprisingly well on an iPad as you can add im


Computer science is certainly a hot topic in education. Why shouldn't it be? Isn't software development a booming business? It doesn't look like technology is slowing down anytime soon. Teachers and students may want to take a more careful look at computer science when referring to the future opportunities. I came across a TED Talk last night by Mitch Resnick. He works at MIT and played a part in the creation of Scratch . Scratch provides users (young and old) with some basic skills for computer programming. It is really a language of it's own as students piece together blocks of commands to create digital animations. If you have 17 minutes to spare, I'd highly recommend watching it. One of the key-points Mitch Resnick makes in this TED Talk is that not everyone will be computer programmers. However, he believes it is important that everyone at least has the experience of programming a computer. I couldn't agree more as I've taken up learning to code

Office 365: An Overview

I'll be honest, I love Google Drive . I use it on a daily basis. I am able to access it on my Android phone, PC laptop, iPad, and Chromebook. What I love about it, is the versatility, share-ability, and user-friend-ability. (I know the last one is a stretch, but I wanted to stick with a pattern here.) With all that said, while at the Macul conference, we tried to share document and having a bunch of people trying to use Google Drive all at once across different platforms didn't work well. I didn't want to lug my PC around, so I was forced to use my Android phone because my iPad 2 couldn't keep up. (It is faster for me to swipe my keyboard on my phone anyway.)  I never thought I would say this, but Office 365 would have actually worked better between our PC and iPad users. The online version actually works fairly well on an iPad. I do not prefer Office 365 over Google Drive, but considering that Google does not turn off data mining when dealing with individuals un

MACUL 2014

I'm very excited to say that I will be presenting at MACUL 2014 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This will be my third MACUL conference, but my first one not in Detroit. Last year, Zack Linson  and I presented together for a couple of sessions. We attempted to do a live Google Hangout, but I'm not sure that we were very successful. I will attempt to do the same again this year. Google has improved the ability to do a live cast from one year ago. It is so impressive that you can schedule your event prior so that it begins streaming right when you have it scheduled. I may even start doing my professional development sessions at school in this manner for teachers that are unable to participate. This year I'm presenting by myself. I've titled it: Organized Chaos.  Ultimately, that's what it is like at the elementary level. Kids are so excited to learn and do things, but it is a matter of channeling that energy toward the learning objectives. I'll be chatting with

Vocabulary with Text Here and Pic Collage

I have been having quite a fun time working with first graders at Rome City Elementary . Ms. Ruse and Ms. Doyle are utilizing technology into their vocabulary instruction and doing it with two different resources. This is all with a focus on a "word of the day." They then have students look up the word using digital resources. Next, students record their results in an application that allows them to be creative. Lastly, the students post their results on . Ms. Ruse is using Freesaurus to collect synonyms and antonyms. I often have teachers asking for a dictionary that is more age appropriate. Freesaurus starts out as a thesaurus, but you are also able to find the definitions of words as well. This is good practice for the first graders as they were able to look up the work for themselves and make suggestions for synonyms and antonyms. Next, Ms. Ruse provided pictures that matched the synonym and antonym for their "word of the day" through email. The

Show Me: Student Account Creation and Tutorial

Show Me has been a big focus of mine lately. This has been mostly in the context of a teacher creating a video and either sending it out to students, or being able to download the content so that it can be stored on student devices for flipped learning purposes. Teachers in possession of an iPad have such an opportunity as creating video lessons is a breeze on a touch enhanced device. Show Me makes it even better since they give you so much freedom with your content since it is video that is watchable across multiple platforms and can be downloaded for keeping. In the following video, I discuss student account creation. If you look at the Terms of Service.  It states that parent permission is required. School districts can cover that by having parents sign off on use of Show Me at registration. However, under a teacher's account it is even more secure. Because it does not require that the student submit an email address or other personally identifiable information other than a n

eLearning Practice Day

I apologize to my visitors that are not from East Noble School Corporation, but most of the content on today's post applies to my schools. The reason this content is necessary is because the students will be required to complete a practice "eLearning day" to make up for some of the missed school due to lots of snow. However, some of the content might be applicable if you are interested in using Show Me to flip the classroom. The official practice eLearning day will be a homework item on March 19th. I would recommend making a video prior to that date as it sometimes takes several hours till the Show Me website allows you to download the video. In case you are curious, I made a sample lesson for first grade with Show Me.  Teachers creating videos through Show Me will need to view my previous pos t about how the basics. The following content relates to the downloading process and sending to students through email: After you create your video, the stud

Making PDF Files: Genius Scan and Word

There are lots of apps out there that allow someone to create PDF files with their iPad. However, I like the simplicity of Genius Scan . Making PDF files is easy to do and students can either conveniently store them in iBooks , or students can write on the PDF using Type on PDF . Why should we use PDF files? You can view them on almost any device. In this video, I demonstrate how to make PDF files out of both paper items and online content. If you would rather type out all your content into a word file, I would recommend saving it as a PDF as well. I would have made directions myself, but the young gentleman below did a pretty good job.