Friday, December 20, 2013

TIES Reflection

WOW!!!! TIES was amazing! I recommend this conference to any teacher who wants to prepare our students for the FUTURE!

I learned so much and am now trying to figure out how to relay all the information to the staff and students at ELC.

Marc Prensky was one of the keynote speakers. While getting my master's we talked a lot about Marc Prensky. He talked about Future*Cation and Past*Cation. Many of our classrooms are preparing our students for the past when we should be preparing them for a future that is unknown. "The main way we understood the world was through reading. The main way today's kids understand the world is through TECHNOLOGY." Change is hard but it is imperative for our students that we change the way we teach. Many things to think about and I know it is not easy!

As the new year is upon us, I want you to know that I am very excited about the direction ELC is headed. Many great teachers with many great things to come!

iSummitMN is another great opportunity for you to learn more about the use of iPads in the classroom!

Techie Tuesdays and a new Google Group will be offered during 2nd semester to help with your own professional development! If you are interested let me know!

Happy Holidays! Enjoy the break!

Day 1 TIES Conference - Pre-Workshoop

Today I had the opportunity to attend a pre-conference workshop at the TIES conference in Minneapolis. My first workshop was Chrome & Chromebooks: The Teacher's Pets. Here is the link to the information presented by Angela & Eric.

I learned so much about the Chrome browser! There are so many apps and extensions to use with the browser to help create and share content. I will highlight some of favorite apps and extensions I learned about today.


1. 1 Click Timer Extension - On screen timer to use to keep yourself on schedule or your students.

2. Split Screen - Allows for you to have two different websites up at once.

3. Send this link with Gmail - Will send the URL of the webpage you are on from your Gmail account

4. ShortenMe - This extension shortens the URL and also gives you a QR Code.

Chrome Apps

1. Google Docs Template Gallery - has some templates you can use or you can create to share with students. (works with Google Drive)

2. Pixlr Editor - allows you to edit pictures (works with Google Drive)

3. VideoNotes - you can watch a video and take notes at the same time (works with Google Drive)

4. Move Note - allows you to video comment on student work

You can find all of these in the Chrome Web Store.

Let me know if you would like more information on any of these. Be sure to join the Google Group to learn more!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stop Motion Examples

I have had two examples emailed to me using the stop motion concept with the iMotion HD app on their iPads. See blog post from Thursday, November 21.

The first one two 3rd grade students created to show the relationship between division and multiplication:

The second comes from a Kindergarten classroom. The teacher created the stop motion video to introduce a book to the class:

Both are awesome! I would love to see your examples from our training! Please share!!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

6th Grade Scene Recreation using Digital Storytelling

I am so excited to see the final projects these talented 6th graders will come up with. They are using either PowToons or Little Bird Tales to recreate a scene from the story "Freak the Mighty". On Monday I went to their classroom to introduce them to these two creation tools. On Tuesday, I get to go back and work with the students as they create their scenes. I hope to have some examples to post here to show you! These students are very excited to put together a digital story based on what they learned from their reading!

Digital storytelling is a great way for students to share their knowledge.

Kathy Schrock's Guide to Digital Storytelling
Digital Storytelling Resources

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stop Motion Professional Development with Leslie Pralle Keehn

What a great day we had yesterday learning about stop motion and how this can be incorporated into the classroom to enhance the student's learning experience. We were lucky to have Leslie Pralle Keehn from the AEA Technology Consultant team here to help us learn about this cool app! We used iMotion HD to begin to play around with stop motion. This app is very simple to use and would be great for kids to use on their own! Another app that Leslie brought up that has more "bells and whistles" is Stop Motion Studio. There are many examples on YouTube about stop motion.

Here is a:
Math example
Science example
Science example

So many uses for this app! Get your kids creating with stop motion!

We are excited to see what our elementary teachers come up with! Please share with us!

Augmented Reality

I came across this blog by our AEA Technology Consultants the other day that reminded me of Augmented Reality. With a simple piece of paper and an app the paper comes to life! So cool!

Here are a couple of AR apps that my kids and myself enjoy:

1. colAR  - Coloring pages that come to life. You can get the link to download the app here along with some free coloring pages and then some pages that cost a little money.

2. Spacecraft 3D - A big thank you to Mrs. Reeves for showing me this one! I love it! Here is the target (paper) that goes along with the app.

As I come across more I will share! If you come across any please share with us! I would love to see what you find!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veteran's Day QR Code Activity

Mrs. Evans had her students learning about Veteran's Day using QR Codes. Kids had packets with questions to answer and 10 different codes they had to scan to find the answers. Mrs. Evans said, "Another successful day!"

She used 3 iPads that she borrowed from middle school staff and 3 Kindles that she had at home! QR Codes are a great way to have the student dive into the content and own the learning!

If you would like to try one of these, let me know I would love to help!

6 Tips for Using QR Codes in the Classroom

Friday, November 8, 2013

New Tech High School ~ Sioux Falls, SD

Today I had the AMAZING opportunity to visit New Tech High School in Sioux Falls SD. This school is doing some really great things that help empower students. The students are involved in integrated classes that dive into real-world applications.

The school functions on Project Based Learning and work collaboratively in teams. As we toured the school, we saw students fully engaged in their projects. The technology was there but was integrated so well you barely noticed it. It served as a tool.

I believe there are many things that we can take away from this type of learning. 
1. Collaboration
2. Student ownership
3. Teacher as facilitator
4. Integrated classes
5. Real-world/Authentic Learning
6. Group Contracts
7. Critical Friends
8. Knows/Need to Knows
9. Likes/Wonders
10. Community Partners

As I think about building a school of my dreams, this school encompassed a lot of what I am passionate about; passion for learning, authentic, technology, student driven. 

What would your dream school look like?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

One iPad + Google Presentations + Sight Words = SUCCESS

I have been working with some elementary teachers on Google Presentations through Techie Tuesday. They came up with the idea to use a Google Presentation to put their sight words on. They have about 44 slides within their presentation with about 5-6 words on each. Now with the iPad this becomes a learning tool for their students to practice their sight words. The teachers downloaded the Google Drive app for their iPads and signed in with their accounts. This allowed access to the presentation. Now the student can practice the sight words using the iPad. Another way besides using flashcards, etc.

I have another group of elementary teachers that have created an ABC presentation in which their kindergarten students can practice the ABC's via a teacher created presentation! AWESOME!

They can take this one step further by emailing a link to their presentation to families of the students. The students can then practice these skills at home or anywhere in the world using their devices as long as they are connected to the Internet.

So excited for what Google can do for our teaching and learning!

Friday, November 1, 2013

1 to 1 Initial Conversation with Dr. Scott McLeod & Mr. Mike Anderson

I had a great discussion with two knowledgeable individuals on Friday; Dr. Scott McLeod and Mike Anderson both work at our AEA. As we begin to look at a 1 to 1 environment, it is important that we take the appropriate steps to do things right.

Our first step is to create a vision of what we want our 1:1 environment to look like and function like. This will be the driving force behind our decisions as we go along in the process.

Here are two questions our vision should answer:
1. Why have we chosen to implement a 1to1 program?
2. Does it tie in with our district mission?

Our vision should:

  • Provide Guidance
  • Be a Foundation of decisions
  • Inform our stakeholders
  • Articulate why and how 1to1 will lead to improvements
Here is a Tagxedo Word Cloud I have put together of keywords to be thinking about as we write our vision:

Do you have any words of wisdom for us as we begin our journey? I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


What is SAMR? Here is a great video that explains it in 120 seconds.

SAMR shows a progression teachers may go through when integrating technology.When integrating technology and looking at these levels it is important to keep in mind the level of student engagement.

Substitution - Using Google Docs instead of Microsoft Word for writing a paper. Same task different tools.

Augmentation Though it is a different level, but we are still in the substitution mentality but this time with added functionalities. Again using the example of Google docs, instead of only writing a document and having to manually save it and share it with others, Google Docs provides extra services like auto saving, auto syncing, and auto sharing in the cloud.

Modification This is the level where technology is being used more effectively not to do the same task using different tools but to redesign new parts of the task and transform students learning. An example of this is using the commenting service in Google Docs, for instance, to collaborate and share feedback on a given task task.

Redefinition Redefinition means that students use technology to create imperceptibly new tasks. As is shown in the video below an example of redefinition is "when students connect to a classroom across the world where they would each write a narrative of the same historical event using the chat and comment section to discuss the differences, and they  use the voice comments to discuss the differences they noticed and then embed this in the class website".

More resources on SAMR Model:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Free Technology for Teachers

Free Technology for Teachers blog written by Richard Byrne is full of technology resources for your classroom. Almost daily there is a new post about a technology resource that is free to use. There are websites, apps, guides and tutorials for you to browse through. You can search by subject area or age to find resources specific to your needs. 

You can follow Richard Byrne on Twitter @rmbyrne
You can like his page on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Educreations App in the Classroom

One iPad in a classroom can be a great addition to your teaching. I had the pleasure of observing Mrs. Reeves (5th grade) teach her math lesson today. The objective today was Exponential Notation.

Mrs. Reeves uses Educreations (FREE iPad app) as her whiteboard. Her Apple TV is hooked up to her projector and then her iPad connects wireless to her Apple TV. A great advantage to this over a SmartBoard is her mobility. She was able to walk around the room and be sure that students were on task and understanding the concept.

There were times when she handed the iPad over to the students to solve a problem.

The students were given a worksheet to practice their exponential notation. Mrs. Reeves took a picture of the worksheet with the iPad and then pulled it up through Educreations. She was able to sample problems with her students using the same worksheet! So cool!

She also used an app called List Selector which is also FREE. This app allows you to generate random groups or select an individual student to call upon.

Lots of great things can be done with one iPad and an Apple TV.

Let me know if you would like to try any of these!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Class DoJo - Classroom Management Application

“ClassDojo makes it easy to keep my students alert and on-task.”

Class DoJo -

This is a great tool to use in the classroom to help with management. This tool allows the students to see how they are doing with behaviors throughout the day. The best part of the tool is that it allows you to share the information with parents.

It is easy to set up a class and then track positive and negative points throughout the day. You can set up what you would like the positive and negative behaviors to be. Parents can go in at anytime of the day to see how their child is doing.

If you would like help setting this up for your classroom, please let me know!

Friday, September 13, 2013

QR Codes in the Classroom

Wednesday, September 11 was a special day in many classrooms across the nation. Mrs. Amber Evans made things extra special and engaging in her classroom. Mrs. Evans is a 7th grade Geography teacher at ELC.

She set up a little museum that the students where able to go through. Each station had a QR Code. Students used devices to scan the codes and get more information on the events of September 11, 2001. The students were able to watch videos, listen to radio broadcasts and look at websites to enhance their learning. She also set out books and had the Des Moines Register newspapers available to her students.

What was amazing to watch as these students went through the "museum", was the engagement of the students. 100%! They were engaged and questioning the events that took place. Mrs. Evans facilitated the classroom as the students were active in their learning. One student group read about some events on their device and then raised their hand asking questions to deeper their learning. So cool to see the kids become the owners of their learning.

Not only did was this lesson engaging but it also enhanced the students' learning. They were able to browse the museum and then reflect on their learning.

Are you interested in an activity like this? Let me know I would love to help you out.

5 Reasons Why I Love to Use QR Codes..

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Welcome to my Blog!

Let me just start by saying, "I am so excited to be your technology integrationist here at ELC!" We are heading in the right direction at ELC and I am pumped to be a part of it.

I am here to help YOU as you prepare our students for their futures! Please do not be afraid to ask me for help.

Technology is changing so fast and it can be hard to keep up. But WE as educators need to be thinking of ways to integrate technology into our curriculum to not only engage our students but to enhance their learning!

This Iowa Future video highlights the drastic changes occurring in Iowa and our world, and shows that schools are struggling to keep up in today's dynamic new global environment. Check out Iowa Future for more information on their education change efforts.
Iowa, Did You Know?

How will you help prepare our students for their futures?
Please let me know how I can be of assistance to you and your classroom!