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Showing posts from April, 2014

PicWall

PicWall is an easy-to-use collage maker that allows you to insert and edit photos, text, and create custom backgrounds. In many ways, this app is much like Pic Collage. It is user-friendly and fairly intuitive. However, one feature I prefer on Pic Collage is the ability to keep your work automatically saved within the app. Primary elementary students have a tendency to forget to save their work. :) One of the biggest points you'll have to drive with students using this app is that they will need to save their completed work before creating a new one. 
If you need students to create a poster, slides for a slideshow/movie, or a cover for a published piece of work, PicWall will meet your needs. 
Feel free to view the video below. I created it with the intention of students learning to use the app. You can show it to your students through a projector or TV. If you are a 1:1 technology school, feel free to send it off to your class. Here is a QR code if you prefer to have students reac…

PD in PJ's: Padlet

Last week I attempted my first Google Hangout for professional development. I certainly learned a few lessons and hope to improve in the future. We chatted about Pocket and how it can be utilized from a teacher's standpoint as well as a way to distribute content to students. I will be providing more resources on that topic in the future as I chose to not record the session like initially planned. 
By the way, thank you to the staff members that were so very patient with me. :) 
Next session will be on Padlet. I have quite a few teachers already utilizing this tool and have had a good response to it. I will focus on it in a couple of ways.  Using Padlet to distribute content to students.Using Padlet as a collaborative tool. The next session will take place on May 6th, 2014 @ 8:00 pm. If you are an East Noble Employee, you are eligible for a PGP for license renewal, but you can still participate if you are not a part of my school district. Please mark if you are going. 
On the day an…

Blogger: Elementary Learning Management System

Last February, I began compiling resources for teachers in my school district to begin moving over to Blogger as their teacher website. I'm excited for the opportunity as it will build communication between teachers, parents, and students at the elementary level. 
Elementary teachers, especially primary, need a site that allows them to conveniently post chronologically so that parents can see what is happening each week. It also needs to be convenient, fast, and easy to use. I pushed Blogger because it works across multiple platforms and is extremely user-friendly.
I'm continuing to build my materials on Blogger as I believe it will also provide a great way for teachers of primary elementary students to distribute content to their students. Prior to this point, teachers in my school district focused heavily upon using email. Sending emails for students is easy enough because most apps have an export feature that directly attaches to email. However, if you attempt to send them…

Connected Classrooms

Last week, I began the process with several teachers to utilize Google+ as well as Google Hangouts to provide professional development opportunities (PD in PJ's).  Another opportunity that exists with these tools is the Connected Classrooms project. 
The idea is that through Google Hangouts, you can participate in numerous virtual field trips. This is essentially Google's response to the decline in actual field trips due to budget crunches. You participate virtually and can interact with the presenters through video chat as well as a typing chat. Questions can be answered live right before all participants. So while you and your classroom are asking questions about Lemurs to a zoologist at the Minnesota Zoo, students across the country get to share and participate in the same discussion. 

What if you really want to participate in an event, but it just doesn't fit your time-frame? That's the beauty of Google Hangouts as they record the event live so that you can watch …

Hello Crayon

Hello Crayon is an easy to use app for coloring and illustrating. It has a variety of textures from crayons, markers, paint brushes, paint-fill, and a pen. Users can free draw, complete coloring pages, and annotate pictures. This app would work well for students wanting to respond to questions and email them, or even create amazing slides for a presentation or slideshow. 
Other great apps where these pieces of work could be utilized:  Shadow Puppet 30 Hands Story
I apologize for the lengthy video. However, it includes a quick tutorial as well as some integration ideas involving CCSS RL 4.1 and RI 1.5. (I also apologize at the poor placing of my text. I didn't plan that very well.)

Interactive Twitter Activity: GE Spring Breakit

Crush. Smash. Blast. Which GE advanced material test do you want to see? http://t.co/lQORif2XLW#SpringBreakItpic.twitter.com/RJOwm3G2ch
— General Electric (@generalelectric) April 23, 2014 GE posted this Tweet today to promote their development of high endurance materials. The science behind these processes is fascinating.

I post this not only because of the fun science content, but also because of the power of social media. Twitter allows you to promote and share like never before. It also opens up a good discussion on the proper uses of social media.

So if you are an educator and you have a Twitter account, try visiting the website and tweeting out which video you would like to see. Within 10 to 15 minutes, you'll get a Tweet back with a link to a video. I chose #Smash It. :)


@Mr_Yoder Here comes the force! #SpringBreakIthttp://t.co/TE5Y0jkkcQ
— General Electric (@generalelectric) April 23, 2014

Update on Story by Disney

Story by Disney has to be one of my favorite iOS applications out there. It is user-friendly. It is versatile. Name a content area that where it can't be applied. I dare you!

I'm posting about the update on Story by Disney because the environment has been completely revamped. In many ways, the app is much easier and stable than it was in the past. You will also want to know that you might have some issues with your classroom account if you had one previously. At first, the app would not let me sign into my account. If you have a device that does not want to sign in, try making a new account with a different email address and then log in with your original class account. Why this is an issue? I have no idea. However, eventually Story let me log in with my original account.

I made a video tutorial on the changes with Story. If I'm unavailable to work with your students on the new version of Story, feel free to show them this video. 

As always, feel free to post comments if y…

Pocket - PD in PJs

PD in PJ's will be kicking off with Pocket. I'm excited at this opportunity as teachers will be able to participate in PD sessions from the comfort of their home. Through Google Hangouts, I plan to not only have teachers participate in the actual meetings, but record for later viewing. Afterward, a small assignment as "proof" of participation will be required for one PGP. (Professional growth point.)

Pocket is a resource that works well across all platforms. You can save websites for later viewing in a more comfortable manner as it "cleans" the page of advertisements. You can also organize the websites with "tags" for easy later finding. This would work well for teachers wanting to organize professional files/student materials, and for students to organize their research materials. 

I have an event planned on Google+/Google Hangouts. You will be able to able to join the session on Thursday starting at 8:00 p.m. You will just need to follow this li…

PD in your PJs

(I know, strange title. I'm calling this "PD in your PJs" because essentially you can participate in comfortable attire. If you prefer to stay in your school clothing, that's up to you.)

One of the most difficult things I've found with being a technology coach is attempting to provide professional development opportunities that meets everyone's needs and schedules. In an attempt to overcome this issue, I am proposing that I move some of my PD opportunities to Google Hangouts
If you are unfamiliar with Google Hangouts, it is much like Skype. However, you can have multiple people participate and can share your screen with the entire group. In fact, I can even take control of your computer if you need something fixed when you grant permission. (I've actually done this a couple times with East Noble Staff.) 
So what does this mean for you? If you are an East Noble employee, I can grant "professional growth points" (PGP) for teachers that particip…

Want to Present at KTT?

Have a digital tool that you love to use in the classroom? Want to share how it has become a benefit to you and your students? Please consider presenting at KnightTime Technology. Here is your chance to share your expertise. Presenters will have a waived entrance fee, free copy of Snag-It by Techsmith, and food! Click here to find out more information!

Kidblog for Publishing

Typically when I speak of using Kidblog, my focus is extremely iOS focused. Mainly because it provides a safe and easy-to-use outlet for primary students. Here in the last few weeks, Ms. Northrup has expressed her excitement as she has been utilizing it with her fifth graders to create dialogue between students about their learning. She loves how naturally engaging the activity is as students love to read each other's posts and comment about it. It is powerful.

This week an idea came to mind as I was reflecting on my old class prior to the days of students having their own device. Ever have students publish their work, and then spend an incredible amount of class time listening to each student share? I think every teacher has done this at some point in time. With Kidblog, pictures are able to be uploaded. So even students using Microsoft Publisher or PowerPoint can save everything as a picture and upload it to the site. Now the students have a location where they can display thei…

eduCanon

eduCanon is a fairly new resource for teachers that do any type of "flipped learning." Whether that be that students watch instructional videos at home or in class so that the for the teacher can more effectively differentiate and work with individuals or smaller groups of students. 
I had come across the resource through Twitter and I tweeted it back out so that others could check it out and also because I wanted to remind myself to look at it. Janelle Foster (sixth grade teacher) came to me the next day and asked about it. I was a little shocked at first wondering how she knew about it so quickly, and she simply responded with, "I follow you on Twitter." So suddenly eduCanon moved up my priority list. :) 
What is eduCanon?
Two Warnings:  1. Students need to have Internet access at home in order to take advantage of this service if you require students to receive the content from home.
2.  Make sure you use Google Chrome.
Ironically, the day after I came across this…