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!