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Showing posts from October, 2016

Nationwide is on Your Side

Lunch with Lance I love lunch. Yes, I have a deep appreciation for food, but that's not why I'm discussion my love for lunch. I try to spend the lunch hours hanging around the teacher's lounge due to how precious that time is. Teachers frequently ask questions about technical issues they are having or ways to better implement the tools they are currently using. It is such a valuable time for teachers to learn a new tool, tip, or trick that will in some way benefit them and their class. I have no actual data to prove the benefit of being available during lunch in comparison to holding before or after school training sessions, but I do believe it is of more value due to the fact that teachers visit in shifts. I can personalize the learning experience at a much better level than having a sit-n-get session.
Lunch is also of value as the most important ingredient in driving change is to make connections with people. Gaining trust is vital to the process of building a culture o…

Three Reasons Why Teachers Should Blog

Ignite! Ever see or participate in an "ignite" presentation? To say that it is stressful is an understatement. I've done my fair share of presenting in front of my peers or at various conferences, but the amount of time it takes to prepare for an ignite speech is a bit shocking considering that it only lasts a grand total of five minutes. The presenter gets a total of 20 slides that last 15 seconds each. Did I mention that the slides move automatically? 
At the Indiana Connected Educator's Conference, I had the opportunity to give my first ignite session. I suppose it is very fitting that I'm going to blog about my topic: Teachers Should Blog. There are a number of reasons that I run through as to why that is, but it all roots from my own experience as a teacher. I had a website. It was terrible to use, but it is what I had available. I attempted to make the most of it and genuinely made an effort to engage students and parents with it. I would update it frequen…

Custom Color with Colorzilla

What is Colorzilla? To put it simply, Colorzilla lets you select colors from images or any website so that you can match the exact color. Well...not necessarily does it let you select the color, but it allows you to select the hex code necessary to match a color. Not sure what I mean? Look at my banner above. Notice how the colors of the text match the colors emitting from Godzilla's mouth and back. Colorzilla is digital eyedropper that allows you to grab any color on your display so that you can match it accurately. 
I love using Google Slides and Google Drawings. I use at least one of the two on a daily basis. Those that know me best are aware that I'm not satisfied with prepackaged themes. I prefer to customize and display information to my liking. Colorzilla works perfectly with the Google suite of apps as Colorzilla automatically copies the hexcode to your clipboard when you capture a color from your display. You can then easily select a custom color in Google Slides or …

The Indestructible Graphic Organizer

Frayer Model Ann Rice, principal of Angola Middle School, sent out an article to her staff about vocabulary instruction that caught my attention. It provided great information in regard to what we have students do with vocabulary. Because of the ease of access to information with a class set of Chromebooks, having students lookup definitions isn't an effective way to immerse students in the key terms of your unit of study. In fact, I don't know that it was very effective in my school days because I recall copying the dictionary or the glossary of my textbook word for word. In short, we need students interacting with vocabulary in a manner that will engage a student's mind. 
The article offered a couple technology resources. One resource I had never utilized before; The Academic Word Finder. This is a great free resource as teachers can copy and paste a digital text, select a grade level, and it will determine which words are grade level appropriate. This allows the teache…