Thursday, January 31, 2013

Google Template To Guide Students

If you are starting to produce more Google Documents, Sites, or Drawings to guide your students creativity and learning, consider using a template.

See how to submit a Google Template.

View students using Google Templates

Google Forms Major (Positive) Update

Google forms became a whole lot easier to use today.  Not sure how to use Google Forms, see below

See the changes!

Book Reports iPad Style

Hearing that "Book Reports" or "Book Reviews" from students to a class and or a teacher, provided inspiration for thinking about iPad apps that could be great support for a book review.

Reading books is still an important part of a student's learning process.  Use these seven options for students reviewing books.  Many of these options allow for students to produce a product to the camera roll.  Sharing it is as easy as sending it to the students' Google Drive.  See the presentation.

PixNTell Example

Doodle Cast Pro Example

Supalogo Logomaker On iPad

This could be a viable source on the iPad for students to create logos.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Explain Everything and Google Forms For Analyzing Exponential Functions

Many tools could have been used for analyzing, but our students have successfully used Explain Everything prior to this class period.  Using the tech tool over again was helpful because it allowed for the learning curve to be minimal.  This allowed students to focus on the data and the mathematics summarizing.

Google: Access? Activity! Takeout!

Original idea from @rmbyrne at FreeTech4Teachers!  Thank you!

Checking your Google Account periodically as to what third party applications have access to your account can be beneficial.

Google Security
  • Remove unwanted/unauthorized apps
  • Affirm you want the apps to have access 

Account Activity
Get a monthly update of your activity on Google

Monday, January 28, 2013

Google Search Applications...In 20 Seconds

Another great options for discovering apps that can be implemented into an educational setting.  Available on the iPad using Chrome &

iPad Spotlight Search Settings

If you, as an educator, are using your personal iPad in front of students, you may want to individualize the spotlight settings.

What are Spotlight Settings?

The Spotlight is an opportunity to search any word/phrase that is housed on your iPad.  This is great for people who have pages and pages of apps and storage files on your iPad.

Consider following the Spotlight settings found below...In 20 Seconds.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

In-Service Shareshop

We are always expressing how as teachers we would like to see more time to work on projects or plan with our fellow teachers. A brilliant move by our Technology Instructor Director was to make time for a Shareshop.

Shareshop: an amount of time devoted for teachers creating or completing a
technology project that was learned about through an in-service

Over fifty staff members joined us in the Library, worked on tech projects, listened to music, and had fun doing it!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Blog To Make A Blog

Thanks to the efforts of our Instructional Technology Coordinator, this Friday will be our school district's 5th annual technology in-service in which staff members can choose two different sections to learn new technology techniques.

We are focusing on apps:
  • Google
  • Apple
  • SMARTboard
In addition, we are providing an additional one hour for teachers to follow up with support on any topic that they may have learned in the two initial sessions.  View the format by clicking here!

I am teaching "Classroom Conversation With Blogger"  I decided to create a "Blog To Make A Blog"  Each step of the creation process is detailed in a two minute video which teachers can play in front of students.  Teachers can experience being a student and learning the blogging process, but don't have to master it.  The videos will be the teacher, with support from the content teacher.  In addition, examples of uses of blogs will be presented.

To access the opening Haiku Deck (iPad app) presentation view below.
Specific Presentation!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lunch N' Learn End Of First Semester 12-13

In cased you missed any one of the Lunch N' Learn's since October 2, an entire list with links can be found below.  If you haven't been to a Lunch N' Learn, consider attending next Tuesday.  We'll NEVER treat you like this:

Thank you for a GREAT first semester.  I look forward to another great semester implementing technology with you and your students.

January 22: YouTube Educator Channels

January 15: iPad Picture Apps

January 8: Promote Yourself, Promote Your Content

December 11: IFTTT - If This Then That

December 4: Why Should I Use Evernote?

November 27: Chrome Extensions

November 20: Twitter

November 13: Everything YouTube

November 6:  Google Documents Features For Students

October 30: Three Ring Digital Portfolio

October 23: Google Calendar For Lesson Plans

October 16: Change That Password

October 9: Google Drive on Computer & iPad

October 2: Gmail Filters

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Google Sites Templates Cancer Unit

To meet an ITLS standard, science teachers will be requiring students to complete a five page website using Google Sites.  I wanted to provide the students with five templates which allow for some structure and some creativity.

See how the students are going to access the site templates.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coach My Video & Physical Education

This might be the BIGGEST SUCCESS story of my two year involvement with iPad use.  Our physical education teacher met with me for a total of about two hours.  During those meetings, we discussed video taping students in physical education class to demonstrate proper fundamentals.  In the past, the teacher would review the videos and try to verbally apply that to the next class period.

With the use of CoachMyVideo and the iPad, today he showed the students directly on the iPad the movement of the students, added lines, and talked about correct fundamentals for jump roping.

The success comes in that for three years the student progressed minimally.  After ten minutes of the student being video taped and correcting the jump rope movement, the student HAS successfully mastered jump roping.

The iPad, the video, the instructor, & CoachMyVideo led to immediate gains of success!

Please wait until :55 seconds to hear the teacher tell the great story!

YouTube Resources For Educators

It's Finals Week, teachers have a great deal on their plate.  If a break from correcting exams is needed, sit back and learn something.  The idea for the Lunch N' Learn started when this list of TOP 7 YOUTUBE CHANNELS FOR SUBJECTS WAS FOUND.

Considerations When Using YouTube:
YouTube videos can be viewed on any device and operating system.

Thought Provoking, Creative, Writing Prompts, Informational, Funny

YouTube Teachers

YouTube Mathematics

YouTube History & Social Sciences 
7 Outstanding YouTube Channels For History

YouTube Languages  Spanish

YouTube For Science Teachers       Spangler Effect

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Brydge iPad Laptop Keyboard

I recently received The Brydge Laptop Keyboard as I travel so much during the day. I always take my iPad as it has many apps in which I can demonstrate to our staff. I also like the calendar on the iPad as I can quickly create a meeting with a staff member! Carrying my Dell laptop had become a serious problem as it is not light.

I also decided that if I am going to have this keyboard, I should attempt to do everything I can on it to see if it is truly a viable option for our school district staff or students.

I blog at least two to three times a day and needed an app that would provide everything I need to create a blog post. I had purchased Blog Press a number of months ago. This is my first blog post using it!

See my review of the contents in the Brydge box.

It did take some knowledge of HTML code to post the YouTube video into this post. Just placing the code into the blog post worked. I needed to use Chrome on the iPad and change to "Request Desktop Site" to get the code.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Laptop Organization in High School Library

This is finally the way we want it.
  • All chords hidden
  • Easy identification of computers present
  • Easy accessibility

Reflector App For Traveling

An app that projects iPad content to computers for display with digital projector.


Reflector App

Thursday, January 17, 2013

FACS Infomercial Using iPad iMovie

It may be just my belief, but the specialist areas of our educational system get over looked to a degree.  It was with this that I approached our Family and Consumer Science (FACS) teachers Mrs. Moehr & Miss Martens  back in September about creating a YouTube channel with videos of students cooking.  Not quite like the Food Network, but similar in fashion.

Our first attempt came to reality over the last three days.

Day 1 provided a short description of video tips presented to the student by me.  Examples included where the camera app exists on the iPad, rule of thirds, where the mic was on the iPad, how to delete a clip that is not wanted, and making the video clips short, concise, and to the point. During Day 1 students asked myself and the classroom teacher trouble shooting questions.  One important aspect of this was that the FASC teacher created a iMovie on the iPad prior to students creating their project.

Day 2 was more video taping, but not with me present in the classroom.  The FACS teacher was totally in charge of any iPad video trouble shooting.  I was available by email for support.

Day 3 consisted of a short iMovie tutorial by myself.  On of the great realizations is that throughout the school many of these students had created a video project with iMovie prior to this class.  FANTASTIC!  Now there were many additional student experts in the class along with the FACS teacher and myself.  We also demonstrated to the students the publishing process and sharing the final product with the teacher via Google Drive on the iPad.

Day 4 will be today, and I will not be in the classroom.  The FACS teachers will be the content teacher and the technology teacher.  They will have support through email and a "check in" by me at some point.

I really appreciate the FACS teacher's willingness to try something new despite only six iPads and no prior iMovie experience.

See the process:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Top 5 Bottom 3 Picture Apps

I like these apps because it provides a way to culminate a unit or brainstorm ideas.  Students can also take pictures of their work completed on paper or in other learning atmospheres and develop them into beautiful visually appealing creations.  These apps can also be used to get people's attention.  They are eye catchers!

TOP 5 Picture Apps
1. PicCollage Probably my favorite because it was the first one that I used.

  • Text, Clip Art & Photos
  • Free, but in app purchases available
  • Rearrange & Enlarge or Shrink Objects
  • Access photos directly from the web

2.  Phoster Absolutely beautiful final poster products

  • $1.99 (worth it) 
  • Single Photos
  • Pictures
  • Great adjustments to pictures

3.  Over HD Amazing Fonts Create Stunning Images

  • Place word or phrase OVER a picture
  • Simple to use
  • Great amount of fonts
  • $1.99 (worth it)

4.  TurboCollage

  • Free
  • Five layout options provide for unique creations

5.  CollageIT

  • Free, but with many in app purchases
  • Add up to nine pictures at a time

Bottom 3 Picture Apps
3.  PhotoMess

  • Similar to PicCollage 
  • Free, but limited
  • In App purchases provide more options

2.  Pictify Take one picture and break it into parts

  • Free
  • Borders of original picture break up picture
  • Only one picture can be used

1.  Layout  Places pictures into sections

  • $1.99 not worth the crashes
  • Only 3 picture adds at a time

Monday, January 14, 2013

iMovie To Document Hunger Banquet

Something exciting happened today.  Students who had multiple experiences using the iPads to record video footage while using iMovie recorded a Hunger Banquet that was occurring with a group of students.  Not only were the students using the technology without any instructions, the teachers thought about and planned for the students to record the event.

Thank you to Mrs. Stainton and Mrs. Brylski for providing a real, thought provoking, learning experience.

GMAIL Canned Responses

So many staff members need to reply to so many emails.  In order to become more efficient with Gmail communication, canned responses may be of some help.  Ideas for using canned responses:
  • A final "If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know." at the end of emails.
  • For librarians, "The book you requested is in and available for pick up."
  • For teachers to parents, "Thank you for your support in educating your child."
  • For administrators to teachers, "I appreciate how you..." of course the ending would be specfic
The possibilities are endless and can be learned about...In 20 Seconds.

First, make sure you enable the canned responses in the Gmail settings.

Second, create your canned responses.

Friday, January 11, 2013

ePortfolios and Professional Digital Presence Teachers & Students

Different methods can accomplish the same objective.

Objective:  Develop a digital, professional presence for students on the web.  Created by teacher or created by student.
Takes on two forms:
  • Running record of student's educational journey  
  • "All the Best" of the student's work from the year

Two different types: 
  • Created by teachers 
  • Created by students

Students Created:

Evernote (Playlist of all videos):

Teacher Created:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Physics Lab Report Enhanced With PicPlayPost

"More engaging than our usual paper reports."

"I liked how the video was right next to our graphs."

"Creating the backgrounds was fun!"

"It's easier than using a slide show."

All statements from students in class.

Lab reports have been created for years.  To enhance the reports, we decided to use the PicPlayPost app as a technology tool to incorporate the Venier Video Physics app and the graphs that were prepared from the analization of the video.

Some challenges that we did run into occurred prior to creation.  The students worked extremely hard at applying the initial vertical velocity data, as recorded in the Video Physics app, to the horizontal distance that a dart could travel.

I liked how the teacher set perameters for four parts of the PicPlayPost and left up to two more parts for creativity.

This lesson could really have taken off with more time for interviews by the students who could have verbally explained the process and interpreted the data.

Finally, students shared the lab report with the instructor by using the Google Drive app.

View the process!

Top 5 Bottom 3 Apps Used Daily

One of the great parts of my day is listening to the Scott Van Pelt & Ryen Russillo radio show on ESPN Podcast.  A segment that they complete every Tuesday during the NFL season is the Top 5 Bottom 3.  A sort of power rankings for the NFL.


I have downloaded more than 500 free & paid apps since integrating iPad/iPod apps into education in 2008.  Periodically, I will create some iPad/iPod Power Rankings known as the Top 5 Bottom 3. A sort of power rankings for the TTL, Teacher Tech League.

Top 5 Bottom 3:  Apps Used Daily on My iPad

Top 5
Mail - Generic, but with my technology integration specialist teaching position, I can always provide technology instruction support through email.  Our school district has also set up a certificate that can be installed so that all contacts can be imported.  This provides every staff members email, including groups of staff members.

Twitter - PLN. Enough Said!

Evernote - Through IFTTT, I have every favorited Tweet traveling to Evernote, Pictures of meeting notes on a whiteboard can be saved, and resources found during researching can easily be pulled up to show teachers ideas and resources.

Skitch - create bumber pages for all video tech tutorials and recording of iPad apps and tech tools being implemented with students.  Follow up videos are great for showing other teachers how teachers in their building are implementing the tech tool.

iMovie - easiest app for creating video footage of efficient tech tool implementation with students

Bottom 3
3.  Reminders - preloaded on iPad, have never opened it, would delete if I could

*No video, I don't ever use it!

2.  Messages - preloaded on iPad, this is NOT my method for communicating with staff, again, never opened it

*No video, I don't ever use it!

1.  Game Center - preloaded on iPad, would order the iPad without it if I could! Moved it directly to the last page of my iPad!

*No video, I don't ever use it!

So there it is! Thanks to the SVP & Russillo show, my first Top 5 Bottom 3 daily used iPad apps.

PicPlayPost To Produce Video Physics Lab

See a sample of how students are going to pull the entire contents of the lab, both data and final product, together with the PicPlayPost app.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Promote Yourself; Promote Your Content

Promoting yourself as a professional educator or providing a "here's my content" from my class can take many forms.  You could use one of these tech tools to promote a high school department, complete with staff information.  The tools could be used for proclaiming the great information found in a class.  A group of teachers could promote their class in just a few simple steps.    In addition, anyone of these tools could be used as a tech tool to instill classroom concepts.  Maybe an about page is used for a historical person or a historical event!  Finally, are you starting to create a classroom digital presence?  Are you blogging about your instructional techniques?

Below you will find some great tech tools that may help to promote yourself & your classroom content as an educator!
Free, easy to use, stylish
My Example
Good, but slow loading
Works On iPad, Great quick option for class concept!

Google Sites
Use personal Gmail account

     Great customer service!
     Easy user dashboard

1and1 - Custom Website
Create a custom url for your information page that you created above.  Easy to connect!
Easy Gmail extension to enhance your email

Vernier Video Physic App In Action With Students

Today, was the culmination of a few hours of prep work with and without the physics teacher, Steve Blackford.  I completely taught the Video Physics app during first hour while the content teacher focused on the objectives of the lab.  The classroom teacher and I took more of a team teaching approach during second hour.  During the third hour, I was present in the classroom to simply provide support and to answer any tech questions that may arise (there were very few) during the content teachers complete explanation of the lab and the tech tool being used.  For the rest of the day, the content teacher is teaching both the lab and the tech tool features that will be implemented to fulfill the lesson objectives.  If he does have any questions, he can always review the video tutorial that was made for him.

I believe that having gradual release of the tech tool responsibility to the classroom teacher is truly the best way to support implementation of tech tool into the content area. Combine that with discussions with the content teacher to determine the best tool prior to the lesson and students are receiving quality, efficient instruction.

See how the day progressed!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Evernote Sharing Notebooks For Partner Research

Writing a paper for a problem/solution topic in English starts with great research.  To be efficient, today our students used Evernote and the web clipper.  Because students are working with partners, we were able to share a notebook.

See how it was done.

Lunch N' Learn @ PCMS

Starting January 17 for 10 minutes, technology tool tips will be presented to make your life more efficient!

When: Thursdays Sixth Grade Lunch OR Seventh Grade Lunch OR Eighth Grade Lunch
Where: 6th Grade: Mr. Pratt's Room; 7th Grade: Mrs. Schmidt's Room; 8th Grade: Mrs. Mills' Room
Why: To Utilize Tech Tools To Be More Efficient

Topic: Different Every Week

Get all the details in the video below!

Vernier Video Physics App

For the next few days our Physics students will be plotting the motion of an object.  Our physics teacher decided to purchase the Video Physics app which will allow for videoing and graphing options.

Since I can't be in his class for all seven class periods, I created a four minute video that can be shown to all students prior to use of the app.  The video allows for the teacher to not have to master the use of the tech tool, but can focus on the content which is a much larger aspect of the learning than the tech tool.

When creating these video tutorials, I always act as if I am presenting in front of the students.  This way, I virtually am!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

AP Human Geography Understanding Information

The AP Human Geography students used one of two technology tools to organize information found in a section of information text.

The first class used the SimpleMind HD app to organize this information.  Some students from 2011-2012 school year demonstrated how to use this app.

Because we share digital devices, the second class was not able to secure the iPads for use.  We chose to have them create the information on a Google Draw (ing) document.

The positive aspect of using Google Draw is the aspect of collaboration & sharing.  Both are easy to do and can add to the learning experience.

This is the first time I have used Google Draw and may look to use this tool in the future due to our success incorporating it!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Semester Exam Study Tools

Even if only one student takes advantage of any of the following options for studying semester exam material, it will be worth it!  Choose one or more to implement with your students' preparations for semester exams.
*Links provide video of students in action or tutorials with the apps or the web resources.

iPad Apps
Study Blue
Great opportunity for students to create digital flash cards with audio and pictures combined with text.

Flashcardlet 2
Combine this with Quizlet, and studying terms becomes painless.  The lack of audio and video puts it slightly under Study Blue.

Create posters with words and pictures that represent concepts from classes.  Send them to an email or create a slide show on the iPad camera roll.

Explain Everything 2 3
All of these apps can be a great way for students to review and summarize concepts prior to semester exams.  Being able to explain the concepts solidifies the concepts.

Draw Venn
If semester exams require compare and contrast clarification on two or more concepts, this app can provide great visual thoughts that can be emailed to students.

Google Drive
Create a document that is shared with students to collaborate and discuss concepts that may be on the test.  With everyone contributing thoughts prior to the exam, everyone wins.

Skitch 2 3 4 5
PicCollage 2
Over HD
Photo Mess
All apps above can be used to add text to pictures.  Create a list of terms and associate them with a picture.

SimpleMind +
Have students create a graphic organizer of semester concepts.

Quizlet 2
Create flashcards of semester content.  Having two learning games and quizzes available of the content can provide learning opportunities.

Study Blue
Fantastic compliment to iPad app.  Extra features include printable paper cards created from cards made on the iPad and quizzes created from the cards.

Google Drive
Create a document that is shared with students to collaborate and discuss concepts that may be on the test.  With everyone contributing thoughts prior to the exam, everyone wins.

Google Hangout
Teachers may need to use their personal Gmail account for this.  Can see if students would create their own Gmail account for a true hangout, but Hangout could be combined with Todaysmeet or an email chat.  Questions submitted by students via text can be explained by teacher through video.  If students don't or can't create own Gmail account, choose YouTube live hangout as an option.

Google Site
Create a Google site and share the site with students.  Have them add content in preparation for the semester exam.

Evernote Why?    How To    With Students
Create a notebook that can be shared with students that represents notes from class.  Have students collaborate on a discussion

Create an online controlled chat room on concepts.  Choose a certain evening for the conversation prior to the exam.

Exam Time
Create online flashcards, mind maps, & quizzes for free. For teachers, there is a "class group" section, presentation tools, sharing, collaboration, and goal setting.

I love their slogan.  "It's not safe to study alone!"  Ability to upload files, have an online interactive whiteboard, video chat, and insert math equations with a great math equation editor.

More online flashcards.  Create your own grouping or choose from other people's submissions.

Insert Video with Explain Everything 2.0 Beta

I have been blessed to be able to test the new Explain Everything.  It is not available to everyone, and I appreciate the opportunity to test it.

With that being said, I believe one of the greatest additions to Explain Everything is the opportunity to insert not just pictures and web content, but video.  Video that can be acquired via the camera roll or directly from the camera.  Not only can the video be inserted, but it can be played while being annotated and voice recorded at the same time.

See three different options as to how I see this being used by staff and students.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Study Blue

The anatomy teacher wanted study cards that would incorporate pictures and audio.

Study Blue delivers.

Study Blue actually used in class by students.  See how they did it!

Blogger Changing Labels

Changing labels on a blog is not easy, but if a teacher is just starting out, some simple steps can set things straight.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Explain Everything Calculus 2

Explain Everything became the perfect tool for Calculus 2 students to prove that they understood the concepts from their class.

Since so many symbols are used while completing one of these problems, pencil and paper with steps of completion provided great subjects for the camera feature of the iPad.

The true reason for our staff using the Explain Everything app is for the individual assessment piece after group conversation.  Having students discuss the steps provides direct practice for the Common Core State Standards test that is coming.  Helping students prepare to explain processes will be beneficial.

See how the process evolved.

Home Video and Angry Birds To Find Parabolas

Using home videos with an overlay of graph paper created with Camtasia, the math students discovered parabolas in real situations.

See how this was so easily accomplished with the use of an iPad.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Posts of 2012

The obligatory Top Five Posts of 2012.

  1. Google Docs on iPad
  2. 8 Burning Questions, Answered!
  3. Creation Apps on the iPad
  4. Teaching Teachers Who Will Implement iPads
  5. Common Craft Type Videos Completely on iPad

Anatomy PBL Video

An example of a student using Skitch and iMovie to help a patient diagnosis their medical condition.

Of course, this was only a PBL situation, and the patient did not really have any medical condition.
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