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Showing posts from December, 2015

Boomerang for Gmail

What is Boomerang?  Boomerang for Gmail  adds some pretty cool features to your Gmail account. When you install Boomerang, you'll instantly notice that you have an additional send option when you go to compose a new email. In this post, I'll cover a couple options you have with using Boomerang for Gmail. The first covers receiving confirmation emails. The second covers how to schedule emails or create recurring emails.  Confirmation Emails Have you ever wanted to know whether or not someone has opened your email? With Boomerang, you can select the span of time someone has to open your email. You can then get a confirmation email letting you know when the message had been opened. You can even have it send you a response regardless of how someone responds to your email. This is a great way to remind yourself of a conversation that you initiated and will require followup. To do this, check mark the box below your typical send box, set your time and parameters, and send

Parent Access and Google Classroom

Keep Parents Informed How do you keep parents informed about assignments in Google Classroom? This is a question I frequently receive and it is a legitimate issue. Having the students sign into their Google Classroom account and showing it to their parents is about the only advice I have given. However, if I were a parent that had never explored Google Classroom before, it would appear to be an unorganized mess of assignments and announcements. A Google Calendar may provide a solution that would be less intimidating for parents. Google Classroom Calendars in Google Sites Earlier in the 2015-2016 school year, Google Calendar started integrating with Google Classroom. This provides an opportunity to keep those communication lines open. The key is that you must make good use of your teacher website to be able to do so. In the video below, I demonstrate how you can import your Google Classroom calendar into a Google Site. (Please keep in mind that would need to create a separate c

Flip Your Classroom Chapters 8-9

As the author's wrap up the last two chapters, they clearly communicate that there are many different variations of flipping the classroom. Really, it all depends upon the needs of your learners. Chapter 8 is dedicated to the frequently asked questions they receive about flipping the classroom. As you read through the questions, were there any responses that stood out to you or possibly left you hanging? Do you have any further questions that were not listed? This will be great to formulate a list as we will be chatting with Jon Bergmann on January 7th via Google Hangouts!

Seesaw with First Grade

This week has been an exciting week for my MSDSC primary teachers and students. I was able to work with teachers during a collaboration on utilizing Seesaw as a tool for student/teacher communication. (The parent feature will come later.) I was also able to jump into a few classrooms to help teachers and students get more acquainted with this awesome tool. I just wish Seesaw had been around when I took on the role as a technology integration specialist five years ago. It would have made my job a whole lot easier! (I had kindergarten students sending emails from iPads to turn in content.) At Ryan Park Elementary, I was able to work with Mrs. Moor's first grade. They had some experience with Seesaw, but Mrs. Moor really wanted to know more about the capabilities of this tool. Being the first year she and her first graders have had devices (iPads), Seesaw can feel a little overwhelming with all the various opportunities it holds. One of the options I find very useful is the abi


What is PiZap? PiZap is a free resource in the Chrome Web Store , or you can just visit . It is a webtool that you can use to edit, combine, and annotate images. You can edit individual images or create entire collages with text and stickers. You can be as creative as you desire.  Why PiZap? Students often need images cropped or edited for videos or presentations. They may want to add their own design with the drawing tools, recolor images, or add a caption. Students can also use it to combine multiple images and add speech bubbles. All edited photos can be used as a single project idea or in conjunction with a larger presentation or video.  Teachers can also use PiZap if they desire a custom banner for their social media outlets. PiZap has presized banner templates so that you can create your Youtube cover art to match your Youtube channel. If you use your Youtube channel (or other social media outlet) to display student work, this would be a great way to

Chapter 7: How to Implement the Flipped-Mastery Model

"We describe our classes as hubs of learning. The focus of the classroom is no longer on the teacher, but rather on the learning."  - Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams Chapter seven is on the implementation of the flipped-mastery model. There are a lot of great tips and things to keep in mind that the authors bring up. They discuss the number of years till they felt that the flipped-mastery model actually seemed to feel comfortable. They discuss training the students to function in their classes. They also describe the types of assessment that are necessary and are an effective means to measure learning. What really stood out to me in this chapter was the quote I put to start this post. What do you think of the authors referring to their classes as "hubs of learning" in comparison to the traditional classroom?Do you feel that the way they describe the flipped-mastery model deserves such a title? Feel free to add any other thoughts you'd like to add about

Orange Slice and the Hour of Code

Looking for an Expert With the Hour of Code starting next week, I thought it would be fitting to find an expert in the field of computer science. When I signed up with  to be the site organizer for MSD of Steuben County, having an expert was actually a suggestion and they provided opportunities to get in contact with people as such. Reason being that it helps young minds understand that all their digital content doesn't just magically appear on their device. There is a person and a thought process through the creation of digital resources. There is a skill set required to build the video games they play. I have quite a few experts in my personal life that are software developers for local engineering firms like  Aptera  and  Logikos . Resources were certainly within reach, but I wanted to go a different route.  Immediately I thought the Hour of Code would be a great opportunity for MSDSC's very own, Matt Buchanan, to chat about his experience with programmin

Chapters 5-6: Flipped Mastery Model

The first four chapters really cover the basics and logistics of flipped the classroom and the benefits it holds. Chapters five and six introduce and make a case for the blending of the flipped classroom and the mastery model (flipped-mastery model). The authors discuss how the flipped-mastery model that students are the ones pushing their learning. They work through the content at their own level of learning and proceed when the student has mastered that skill set. In chapter six, the authors mention that the flipped-mastery model teaches students the value of learning instead of "playing school." What are you thoughts on that comment? Agree or disagree as you please.