Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Alternatives To Written Sub(stitute) Plans

Teachers don't expect or want to be absent, but it happens.  In terms of writing lesson plans, there are numerous digital options for teachers.

All options can be integrated into Aesop Online which is our online absent request for teachers. Aesop is also available through your mobile browser.

  • NEVER provide your username & password to subs
    • They are provided a temporary username & password when arriving at our school
  • Writing lesson plans is ok, you just might not want to write everything out!
  • Use a Google Doc template to find the perfect lesson plan template for your content. View Mr. Mannings easy to use version. View Amy Uelmen's CCSS related lesson plan.
  • Don't worry about being perfect when you "speak to the sub" through a digital tool.
  • Include pictures or video!  This will greatly reduce your typing time when "writing up lesson plans"  
  • Include audio!  It is so much easier to speak your lessons versus writing them.  
  • If you want to use a combination of typing, voice, or video combine them all into a Google Doc for a cloud based link that can be added to Aesop Online.
  • Include a QR code created by Google URL Shortener and it would be easy for the substitute to obtain the link using their smart phone.  Use shortened link for description in sub plans.
    This picture can be 

Google Drive: Any video recording, audio recording or picture of any document can be uploaded. If the blue sharing button is clicked and the settings changed to "anyone with a link", the link can be pasted into the "Notes to Substitute" section.  Include a small note stating, "copy and paste the link below into a new tab on your web browser" and substitute teachers can view your digital documents.

Cellphone:  If you own any smartphone (iPhone/Android) you can use the camera app to either record a video or take pictures of information the sub will need to see.  Use the Google Drive app for uploading the picture/video to the cloud.  Share the link containing the content.  Don't forget that using the Skitch app can annotate the information on the picture. Get Skitch for iPhone or Android.
Video Link

iPad/iPod:  Using the camera, consider talking through the content that you want the substitute to cover during your absence.  The video below was uploaded to YouTube and unlisted.  However, with the ease of Google Drive, simply upload the video and share the link associated with the video.

iPhone/Android YouTube Capture App:  With one click, record your lesson or instructions for your lesson and send them directly to YouTube.

Flip Camera/Bloggies:  These cameras are available for checkout from the library. There are plenty to go around.  One touch record, USB connection, one hour record time, upload video to Google Drive.

Digital Camera:  Most digital cameras take photos and videos.  If you can snap it or record it you can upload it to Google Drive.

Laptop (SMART Recorder/Screencast-o-matic.com):  If you would like to be present in the classroom, but not physically there, create a video recording of your computer screen using the SMART Recorder or Screencast-o-matic.
SMART Recorder


Google Presentations: Similar to PPT, but so easy to share with teaching using a public link. View the three part series to making great presentations.

Vocaroo: One click audio recording only.  No username and password needed. Example

Soundcloud: A great place to store multiple recordings.  Listen to an example.

Audacity: On our computers to record audio.  Create file and upload to Google Drive.

Digital Alternatives To Writing Sub Plans Invitation

I used Canva to invite our teachers!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Resizing an iPhone/iPad Picture For Use In Google Presentation

A student needed to upload pictures from her iPhone to a Google Presentation.  She received an error message when attempting to do this as Google Presentation was stating that only 2000 x 2000 pictures were accepted.

To alleviate this situation, we used PicMonkey.com to easily upload her pictures from her iPhone, resize them, download them to her network drive, and insert them into her Google Presentation.

PicMonkey doesn't require a username and password!

Video Link of Student Using PicMonkey

How I embedded a Google Drive video to my blog!  Our iPads are on a network in which YouTube is blocked.  Therefore, I can't create videos on my iPad and conveniently share them to YouTube.  Using Google Drive as the host of the video still allows me to make the video look great on a my blog.

Video Link

Illustrating A Book On an iPad or Online

A teacher recently sent me this:
I was wondering if you knew of any apps for students to create scenes?  Students have written stories in Jenny's class and we were thinking they could illustrate a story/plot outline of five scenes (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution).  I threw out a couple examples, one using Google drawing and another using a free Photoshop type program that I have installed in my lab (Serif), but was wondering if you knew of another program for iPad or web-based.

iPad Options:
  • Book Creator for iPad: Illustrate pictures or add photos--combine with text or having the pictures standing alone creates a great book

Web Options:
  • Google Draw: if you are a GAFE, this may be THE option.  It's located in your Google Drive. Create a Google Doc, a page for each drawing, and insert a drawing on each page.
  • Draw.io: Looks like Google Docs, connects with Google Docs! Insert picture and annotate it.  Drag and drop numerous figures and add to them. Search images and drop them into your drawings.
  • Draw Island:  Free, numerous drawing options, download images, no username needed
Impact On Students
  • Creativity: Students connect the words from their stories with images.  They create the images completely on their own.
  • Critical Thinking: Students must determine the level of clarification that their drawing will relate to their writings.  Some students may work to make the drawings completely clear, others may decide to make the drawings more abstract and left to interpretation. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

LucidPress For Class Newspaper

LucidPress was presented by me as an option for seventh grade students to create a collaborative newspaper. Collaborative in the sense that all students across multiple classes have different responsibilities ranging from report to writer to layout to tech.  The students immediately recognized the features that would prove valuable in a class creation.

LucidPress Has Effective Features:
  • Google Drive Integration:  this is it!  Students write articles in Google Drive and share it with the students who are in charge of layout.  Students who are designing the layout of the paper can connect LucidPress with their Google Drive account.  The article immediately appears in the newspaper with the options of changing the design.
  • Templates:  There are enough templates to start to resemble Microsoft Publisher.  Since we are a Google Apps For Education school, Publisher as been eliminated.  Now it is back in some form!
  • Collaboration:  Multiple students (in this case the designers/layout specialists) can work on the same newspaper.
  • Publishing:  Multiple methods for publishing including instantly on Twitter & Google Plus via a link.  I like how the published item is a flip book format.

Impact On Students:

  • Collaboration:  Multiple students designing a LucidPress publication.  Multiple students contributing to the LucidPress publication through their Google Docs creations.
  • Creativity:  While templates do exist, the blank publication is available as well.  Students need to make decisions on design, placement, colors, texts, and publishing.
  • Critical Thinking: Students must decide so many facets of the design.  Layout of the design continues to be a critical thinking skill.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

iMovie Updates In iOS 7

Many great features have been added to the iMovie app in iOS 7 for iPad.  My Explain Everything video will, well, Explain Everything.  Providing students with a storyboard prior to creating will help in the process.

Important Features

  • Three tabs get you access
    • Video
    • Project
    • Theater
  • ? Button always has answers (use it)
    • Yellow tab has > provides more information
  • +
    • Movie
    • Trailer
  • Movie
    • Flexible, Creativity
    • Pictures/Videos
    • Add any music you want
  • Trailer
    • Set areas for pictures/videos
    • Set areas for text
    • Rigid
    • Music is provided
  • Projects Tab>Click Specific Project
    • Small Triangle Button--play video without producing it
    • Box With Up Arrow--produce video
    • Trash Can--Delete
    • Pencil--Edit Title

Video Link

CANVA--Creation Tool

Impact On Students
  • Creativity--It's all about creativity.  It's endless
  • Critical Thinking--Providing a storyboard prior to creating a video will enable efficiency while using the app
  • Citizenship--If the videos are being published to the web, consideration must be made for proper digital citizenship.
Medium--informational text

Gmail Attachment Download Options

Video Link

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

PDF Escape For Fillable PDFs

PDF Escape is a fantastic technology tool to create pdf documents into editable documents.

Have a document that you want students to fill in? 

  • Create document in Google or Word
  • Convert it to a PDF
  • Create an account in PDF Escape
  • Upload the document
  • Add editable text boxes directly in the areas to be filled in
  • Save document
  • Download the document
  • Send as attachment in an email or upload to Google Site
Your document will look like this while creating it.

Perfect for:
  • Articles summaries
  • Book reports
  • Video reflection
  • No need to recreate documents if already a pdf, just make the pdf editable.
Thanks to Mr. Rusk for inquiring about this which allowed for me to find a new technology tool.

Impact on Students:

  • Critical Thinking: Reflection questions can be posed to students who must thoughtfully answer the questions.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blog Post of the Week

Canva continues to provide great creation tools.

Lunch N' Learn Promotion Using Canva

After reading another blog post on Free Tech 4 Teachers, I learned about Canva.  I decided to utilize Canva as my promotional medium for tomorrow's Lunch N' Learn topic on the new iMovie on iOS 7.

  • Amazing amount of advanced looking clip art which are customizable
  • Drag and Drop
  • Colorful
  • 10 Templates
  • Instant updates to published product
  • Live final product sharable in multiple forms
    • Live Link
    • Images (jpg)
    • PDF

  • Students may find an image and it may not be free (all premium features $1 a piece)
  • No Embed Code
  • Only available on desktop/chromebook (no mobile device, yet)

Learn What Canva Can Do: Video Link

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tellagami App Used For Breakfast Bytes Promotional Video

The Tellagami app was used for promoting tomorrow's Breakfast Bytes.
Tellagami app was...
  • easy to use
  • adaptable to my creativity
  • sharable

I also added this to the "Creation Apps on iPad".

Google Maps Tour Builder Tutorial

Reviewing and providing information on Google Maps Tour Builder provided great feedback from our staff. A request came in from a staff member for a video tutorial.


*The video is for teachers and students.  Consider playing the tutorial in front of students!

Essential Skeleton 2 iPad App For Anatomy

The Essential Skeleton 2 iPad app provides every student with a model skeleton that can be used to learn and master the bones and all their features.  Mr. Anderson believes this app is a great app especially in large classes.

Some benefits include of the app:
  • Seeing individual bones
  • Rotate bones 360 degrees
  • 3-Dimensional
  • Full model for each student (great for larger classes)
  • Mobile
  • Highlight individual bones
  • Identify and isolate an individual bone away from the full model
  • Annotation tools
  • Zoom In & Out 
  • Screen shot for Pic Collage and SMORE
  • Correct audio pronunciation
  • Multiple search options
  • Exporting options of annotated objects
  • Quick Reference to all skeleton parts
  • Quiz Set Up-multiple choice & free response

ITLS: Standard 3
The impact on the students...

  • Collaboration--N/A
  • Creativity--Combined with SMORE or Pic Collage provides for creative finished product of concepts learned
  • Critical Thinking--Quiz format for analyzing aspects
  • Citizenship--if documents are shares, students will understand that their creations are visible by the world.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Google Maps Tour Builder

Because of @rmbyrne 's FreeTech4Teachers post on Google Maps Tour Builder, I was able to create a tour of our school district's schools.  Our district encompasses a large geographical area consisting of five elemendary schools, one middle school, and one high school, a Google Map Tour was a perfect medium to show case our schools.

In 2009, my students created Google Earth Flying Tours.  While it was easy in the end, there was a learning curve that caused some students to struggle.

Google Maps Tour Builder required little to no learning curve.  Since we are a Google Apps For Education school, logging in and creating a tour will be a very simple process.

An additional bonus is the ease at which one can keep the tour private or share with a peer or staff member. Sharing documents through Google is second nature to our students so this process will be efficient.

View My Tour   View How To Make A Tour

Google Earth is available in BETA for Chromebooks
Google Earth integrated with Google Maps

The impact on the students...

  • Collaboration--Students could work in partners or groups to create their tour
  • Creativity--adding additional pictures that students take or find to each destination can provide additional insight.  The opportunity to include additional comments for each destination is important for deeper understanding.  Students need to determine the best path for their tour.
  • Critical Thinking--similar to creativity
  • Citizenship--students will understand that the map while by default is private, it may be shared with peers and teachers.  The map is on the web!

Google Presentations For Student "Life Choices" Choose Your Own Adventure

This was truly a collaborative effort between staff members in our district.

Last April, Mrs. Hocking asked me how to digitize a "choose your adventure" experience with sixth graders. After it was a great success, I blogged about it.  Some time later, Ms. Barszcz inquired to me about resources for a "life choices" experience that our middle school physical education/health teachers wanted our students to experience.  I immediately thought of the "choose your own adventure" experience with Google Presentations.

It has taken a great deal of planning by Ms. Barszcz, but the final products are outstanding!
*Material may be sensitive, but is in our health curriculum.

Information Provided To Students

Presentation Link

Presentation Link

**If you are a tech coach and haven't started making your teachers rock stars by blogging or video taping them integrating technology, consider promoting them so as to move your entire staff forward!

iOS 7 For Pulaski Educators and Students

We have now updated our school district iThings to iOS 7.  What does that mean for you (T-Teachers) and your students (S-Students)?  There are many new features that you should know about!
  • Slide To Unlock (T & S): finger to the right if passcode is on
  • Camera (T & S): shoot in burst mode with volume up button
  • Multitasking (T & S): 
    • Double Click Home Button>quit multiple apps with swipes of as many fingers as you can
  • Control Panel (T & S): quick calculator, flashlight (only iPhones)
  • Apps (T & S): swipe backwards
  • Location Services (T): 
    • Settings>Privacy>Location Services>System Services>Frequent Locations
  • Messages (T): See the time stamp on SMS, MMS, or iMessage by swiping left
  • Accessibility Settings (T & S): Settings>General>Accessibility
  • Sounds (T & S): Settings>Sounds>Sounds and Vibrations
  • Siri (T): Hold down Home button and say, "Read my emails"
  • App Folders (T & S): No limit to number of apps in a folder
  • Apps Background Refresh (T & S): Settings>General>Background App Refresh
  • Apps Automatic Updates (T & S): Settings>iTunes  & App Store

  • AirServer (T & S): Swipe up>AirPlay
  • Spotlight Search (T & S): Swipe Down
  • Photos (T & S): Collections>Years>Months>Day
  • Photos (T & S): Edit-Upper Right, Share-Lower Left, Delete-Lower Right

  • Friday, November 8, 2013

    It Ain't About The Device, It's The Impact That It Has

    Coach My Video has so many options for physical education class. Last January, Mr. Goodness made the jump into using Coach My Video to aide in the student's understanding of a concept that was being taught. The iPad video and the drawing tools provide instant feedback to the student as to what they can improve so as to accomplish a task.

    While this is great, the purpose for this blog post is the following email received yesterday from Mr. Goodness.

    I just had an amazing session with a student.  I was using the CMV app
    with a student to help illustrate what he was doing and then used the
    drawing tool to show what to change.  He got it!!  The best part was
    that we sat down together and he was able to communicate to me via
    drawing on the iPad what form was better and why.  It gave me
    Have a great day,

    Using technology is tremendous if it's used beyond "this app is cool".  In the above situation, the student couldn't visualize what they were doing.  However, with the use of a portable tablet (iPad) the student was able to instantly visualize what was being performed correctly and what needed to be fixed.  The inspirational part was that they student and teacher were able to communicate via the drawing tools from Coach My Video.

    Techcoach's need to continue to know that what they are doing is for a purpose.  The purpose is to implement the correct tool at the correct time for the correct reason.  This truly points our focus to the SAMR model.

    I am so blessed to work with teachers who understand it isn't about the coolness of the tool, it's about how the tool impacts a student's life.

    Video Link

    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    Attachments For Gmail Extension...In 20 Seconds


    Video Link

    Attachments For Gmail is a great way to quickly get a visual of what type of attachment is connected to Gmail.  I used the Google Translate option for creating a different introduction.  Consider getting this extension to help make sorting through Gmail easier.

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    Lunch N' Learn: SAMR Model and iPads

    The Poster

    Pic Collage For European Beverage

    Mrs. Brylski, World Geography teacher, challenged her students to create a beverage to sell to customers after they had learned about their culture.  Using Pic Collage on the iPad, students created a marketing tool to sell their created beverage. Upon completion, the flyer will be evaluated by the teacher and by an ad marketing agent using a Google Shared Folder.  Inside the folder will be the ads and a Google Document that will provide an area of comments for the marketing agent.  Students will take these comments and improve their add for an ultimate "winner" to be chosen.

    Video Link

    ITLS Strand 1
    SAMR Redefinition

    Monday, November 4, 2013

    App Launcher Customizer For Google

    The black bar has been replaced by the Google App Rubric Cube.  There is a way to customize this bar to your liking.
    •  Chrome Store > App Launcher Customizer
    • Add To Chrome
    • Click 3 x 3 App Launcher
    • Bottom of Box > Configure
    • Drag & Drop The Apps You Want To Show

    Friday, November 1, 2013

    iDevices, Google Drive, and Over App To Document Successes

    Mr. Fullerton, our middle school principal, and Mr. Krause, our middle school assistant principle, created an opportunity for staff to use two and one half hours of a professional development day to allow staff to create their own learning environment.  Staff were able to choose their own area to think, question, collaborate, and create.  Some staff chose our own school forest and made bacon over an open fire, some chose a local coffee shop, while others chose a comfortable couch in our school.

    To document these great areas of learning, Mr. Fullerton and Mr. Krause asked staff to send in a picture via email or text of their learning environment and who they were with.  After receiving the pictures a place to house the photos was needed.  Before doing this, the Over App was used to include messages that were sent with the picture.  The Over App allows for text to be placed on a picture.  A Google Drive folder could be accessed by both men so they could simultaneously upload pictures to the same digital area.  To share the folder, the two gentlemen placed the link on their Google Docs agenda.  This work flow provides digital documentation of successes from the original agenda.

    I am extremely proud of our middle school administration team as they are utilizing the technology to enhance their learning environment.  As they become familiar with the technology, they can offer innovative technology solutions for our teachers!

    View Their Story!

    Lucid Press In Family And Consumer Science

    I stopped into to see if Ms. Treptau needed any assistance with technology integration.  After some talking, she mentioned that she discovered a great use for Lucid Press, a Chrome Web App.    LucidPress is providing her students with a digital resource to create an informational brochure on a health career. LucidPress is a great tool that fits in the Augmentation category of the SAMR model. The Pulaski Middle and High School teachers are so great as they are not afraid to try implementing different technology tools for the right purpose.

    Hear her story and how easy it is to use.

    Video Link
    ITLS Standard 1
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