Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blog Set Up For Teacher and Classroom Digital Presence

To create a blog from scratch, I walked two teachers through a short step by step process.
  1. Log Into Google Account
  2. Create new tab in Google Chrome browser
  3. Type in in the URL area (this will automatically have you logged into your Google account)
  4. Click "New Blog" on left hand side of screen
  5. Type in the title of your blog...this can be changed later
  6. Type in address of your blog.  This will be the EXACT web address you provide to your students.  Take into consideration that you may create a new one of these each year.  Suggestion:  use the year in your web address.  Example: teacher1213
  7. Choose a template (this can be changed later)  don't spend too much time at this point deciding.  Start with SIMPLE.  The dynamic gets slightly complicated.
  8. Click Create
  9. You may be asked to create a profile.  Just choose the left "limited blogger" profile.
  10. The title of your blog will be in the middle of the screen.  Click on it.
  11. On the left side, will be a list of nine words.
  12. Click on Layout
  13. Numerous sections will be in your blog.  You can decide which sections you want.  The main section "Blog Posts" is a section you will want to keep.  This will be where you make the content of each day known.
  14. This section will allow you to add or delete any gadget that you want.  Gadgets are tools that can be added. 
  15. If  you are unsure of choosing GADGETS, now will be a great time to contact me for additional help.  
IMPORTANT: a navigation bar always exists in a Google Blog.  Use the following code to remove the navigation bar so students cannot advanced to a random blog.  The complete directions are here.

#navbar-iframe {display: none !important;}

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blog vs. Site For Digital Teacher Presence

Teachers are starting to inquire about which tech tool may be better for their classroom presence.  After a thirty minute session with two outstanding teachers, I decided that a blog post detailing blogs and sites would be appropriate!

Two happy clients on their way to having a classroom digital presence.

  • If you don't have time to read the entire post, take this:  blogs are updated always, and sites are static.  You may also need to create a new blog each year!

Google Blog Positives
  • Updated information always at the top of the website.
  • Labeling as a use of categorizing
  • Embed YouTube videos
  • Embed Google calendars
  • Embed Gadgets
  • Embed Pictures
  • Links to anywhere on the web
  • Create pages
  • Multiple layouts, designs, templates 
  • Shorter URLs (web addresses-your address(.)
  • Searchable by Google 
  • Can leave comments to blog posts
  • Archiving of blog entries
  • Can create pages, but cannot have blog posts on these pages
  • Multiple authors (great for collaborating with other teachers)
Google Site Positives
  • Static
  • Insert a wide variety of tools (see below)

  • Create pages
  • Updated announcements (similar to blog posts) can be placed on a page, but cannot be organized or labeled
  • Pages can have an area for comments to be placed, usually on the bottom
  • Can upload files in numerous formats (could be useful for previously created documents in Word)
  • Protect certain pages for viewing by a select group
  • Templates available, but not as many as blogger
  • Multiple authors (great for collaborating with other teachers)

Articles from other sources that may help you decide.

Bottom Line:
Both are great!  You decide!  Either way, your students and parents will be provided with great resources from your classroom!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Are They Clients?

My role in our district will be changing as of the 2012-2013 school year.  I will be a technology integration specialist.  I will be a resource for teachers and their ideas of using technology tools in the classroom.  I have been pondering whether I can call the teachers in our district that I will be working with "clients".


Client(s): a person or group of people receiving the service or professional advice from a source DEFINE

Am I that?  I professional advice person, a service?  I think so.  My vision is for teachers in our district to provide their content and their idea for implementing technology as a tool to accomplish a task relating to the content.  I am the professional advice.   The person who can take their "big idea" and provide specifics.  Specific technology tools to accomplish their goal.  My whole focus will be to make the teacher's job of implementing technology as easy and painless as possible.

As @followmolly would say:  "I am not trying to change the content being taught.  I am trying to change the way the content is being taught."

Classroom teachers want to use technology but don't always know the best tool to use.  Since it is my passion to continue to "fill the tech toolbox" as @kmtitler likes to say, I will provide teachers details of technology tools that can be used.  I will co teach a lesson with them.  They deliver the content, I help instruct the details of the tech device.  Maybe I create a tutorial of the tech device for the teacher to view and they teach it.  Whatever the teacher (client) wants,  I will help in whatever way I can.

In order to do this, I have begun the process of developing a Google form that will allow any district staff to complete in order to receive help.  

Client?  Yes, client.  Me: professional person, helping teachers integrate and implement technology tools.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Past Speech- Using Google Docs and iPad

A student in my house was chosen to create "The Past" speech for our 8th grade promotion ceremony.  She used Google docs on a netbook, downloaded it into iBooks through an email, and read it off an iPad.  The reason she read it off an iPad was to use the iPad camera at the end of the speech.

I then added some music and title words through iMovie on the iPad.  The video and audio are from the iPad 2.

I have heard several speeches, but this one really was impressive!

Monday, June 4, 2012

PCMS- Celebrating Our Learning Class of 2016

Our team teacher, Mr. V. had a vision of creating a lip dub to celebrate learning and send words of encouragement to future PCMS students.  All of the work is his except for the song.

It truly has been a magical year!

Friday, June 1, 2012

iPad Integration Year 1 Summary

As of today, our classroom sessions have ended.  It has been one amazing and engaged school year!

389 Blog Posts
60,775 Pageviews
859 Published Videos of iPad use and our classroom
19,521 YouTube video views

Let's look back at the most popular blog posts of the year.

Number 5 with 652 views:
QR Code Check Out  Note: this post was the first post that really showed me the power of Twitter.  You can read the post for details, but I saw a tweet, had an idea, put it into action, and BOOM it blew up on Twitter and this blog!

Number 4 with 2,581 views:
Creation Apps Used On The iPad  Note:  Received an email from a fellow teacher and shared the answers to her questions with the world!

Number 3 with 2,588 views:
Teaching Teachers Who Will Use 1:1 iPads in 2012  Note:  It truly has been an amazing experience to share my lessons learned with others.  It really isn't about what we do, it's about changing the culture of education.

Number 2 with 3,923 views:
8 Burning Questions About iPads in Class (Answered!)  Note:  This was my first major post to hit the thousand view mark.  It really taught me the power of blogging and how if a blog post has good content, it can be beneficial for so many people.

and the Number 1 blog post with 4,303 views is...(drum roll)
Google Docs on the iPad  Note:  At the time of this post, Google Docs was working very well with iPads.  Now, that's not the case.  I hope it gets better, soon!

While those numbers are staggering for me as just a teacher who is trying to give back to the educational community, the real numbers that I cling to are...47, 30, 3, and.

47 - Students
30 iPads
3 Educators
1 Amazing School District

I really felt like we met the needs of ALL children.  The quiet who can provide a view and voice through apps and online discussions.  The loud who can shout there thoughts through creative apps!  The creative who can flourish through daily displays of their talent.  The shy who can have a voice to the world through blogging.  The film stars who love getting videod about a technology or academic find that they can share.  The list can go on and on and on.

For the sake of our children, whether your classroom has 1 digital device or millions, think differently, help less, and demand students to think and create more.  This was evident in the student responses to "What was the best learning experience of your year?"  See the responses below.

A special thank you to all the readers of the iPaddiction website and the friends that I have made through Twitter!  So many ideas so many times implemented!

As for the future, my district has allowed me to become a Grade 6-12 Technology Integration Specialist which means I will have the awesome opportunity to work with teachers to transform their educational settings with technology.  The possibilities of the future are enormous, and I will continue to share everything!

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