Friday, January 31, 2014

Effective Approach To Integrating

A different idea!  Instead of spending the day trying to visit with as many teachers as possible during my day at the middle school, I decided to spend the entire day in one content, one grade level.

Thankfully, four teachers, Mrs. Mills, Mrs. Yarbro, Mrs. Foote, and Mrs. Albers allowed me to observe their classroom when they taught the lessons.

As I was observing, I would listen for key words and concepts that they were discussing or presenting to their students.  As soon as I heard the concepts, I would scour my Evernote resources that I have accumulated over the years or search Google using key words and categories.  I found a number of resources and accumulated those resources on collaborative documents.

After the class period, I discussed some of the resources that I found and why I placed them on the document.  Spending the class period in their room allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the content and educational aspects of their class for the upcoming weeks.  In addition to the resources and thoughts already included on the document, I will add any further resources found in the next couple of weeks.

I truly believe this was a successful utilization of a technology integrator's time.  Instead of short conversations, I had an opportunity to immerse myself into their classroom and provide resources that they may use in the future.

The lists of resources created:

Mrs. Mills (Writing)    |    Mrs. Yarbro (Reading)   

Mrs. Foote (Writing)   |    Mrs. Albers (Reading)

I am truly thankful to these teachers for their willingness to allow a support teacher to visit their classroom with the sole purpose of collaborating!  They are ROCK STARS!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chromebook & AirServer Professional Development

In the Pulaski Community School District, we believe one device is NOT good for all.  We believe that Chromebooks, iPads, iPods, VM Ware, and laptops all have their place in the educational arena.  Therefore, we have not purchased one device for all.  Because of that, our teachers have access to multiple types of devices.

We have had iPads for a year at the high school, but today, begins the implementation of Chromebooks.  Therefore, Chromebook professional development is happening for about 20 minutes for all departments.  I will be combining this with the AirServer training so that teachers can project iPad screens so that all can see the contents.
Presentation Link

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Environmental Health Using Haiku Deck

Mr. Bock, one of our middle school health and physical education teachers, wanted to covert the presentation of an Environmental Health project from paper to digital.  Students needed to know about the constraints and requirements for the project.  I suggested Haiku Deck because obtaining stunning copyright free images is so easy.  In addition, the simplistic word presentation grabs the viewer's attention with simple words that allows the viewer to listen intently to the presenter's words.

The first three slides were at one station while the remaining slides were at another station.  Mr. Bock reflected on his experience working with Haiku Deck,

     "...really easy to work with....enjoyed working with it..."

Presentation Link

Impact On Students:
Critical Thinking:  With the images on the slides, students need to decide what tools they want to use to complete the project.  While many pictures were provided of possible solutions, the students were not instructed as to the ACTUAL tool they should use.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Google Doc For Question & Answer During Active Research

Mr. Landers and Mrs. Koller are allowing their students to develop action research pertaining to energy uses and misuses in our school.  I like how they created a collaborative Google Doc to facilitate questions and answers that they have of the student and the students have for them.

Video Link

Impact On Students:
Collaboration: With only two teachers in classes of 25-30 students, conversations can't always happen. This document allows students and teachers to work through questions and answers relatively quickly.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Parent Guide To Navigating Social Media

Our middle school counselors, Mrs. Gerth and Mrs. Wagner, asked me to create a presentation to help parents understand some of the social media tools their son/daughter may be using.
  • Shared a riveting social media video
  • Provided ten social media tools and some information about them
  • Provided five "Action Items" they should incorporate immediately with their children
    • Create accounts together
    • Model Appropriate Posting Behavior
    • Insist On Their Account Information
    • Discuss Ideal Information Released
    • Search Names, Search Friend's Names
  • Shared Cell Phone Contract
  • Shared THINK Poster
  • Provided Survival Kit that creates conversations about social media

Impact On Students:
Citizenship:  Students and parents need to be aware of the positive and negative affects of their actions using social media.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Splicing iMovie and Exporting To Explain Everything

Our seventh grade science teacher, Mrs. Schwittay, is asking students to "Show What They Know".  She is asking students to create a Rube Goldberg experiment.  Instead of having every group present them one at a time in front of the class, students will be using their iPads to record the creation and hopeful success of their invention.

Students will be using the iMovie to splice the entire experiment into portions so as to describe the different science applications.
Video Link

Once the iMovie has sliced the video, students will export the entire video and portions of it into Explain Everything.  EE will be used for explaining verbally the questions they asked and the information they learned.
Video Link

Eventually, students will export their Explain Everything to their Google Drive and share it with the teacher.
Video Link

Of course, we can't forget to have students log out of their Google Drive access in Explain Everything.
Video Link

Impact On Students:
Collaboration: Working on the Rube Goldberg process will take serious collaboration.  As far as technology use, the students will need to decide as a group what parts of the video and explanation that applies to the video needs to be recorded.
Critical Thinking:  Smashing two apps together takes critical thinking.  Remember the definition of critical thinking? Critical thinking is a process that leads to skills that can be learned, mastered and used. Determining the process of bringing the movie into iMovie, splicing, producing, and inserting takes a thorough thought process.
Creativity: Not only will students need to develop the Rube Goldberg path, but producing an Explain Everything creation could take on a form of humor, fun, light hearted, serious, or determined tone.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

IFTTT Recipe For Weekly Staff Email

Our specialist PBIS recorder, Mrs. Mittag, has been trying to send emails once a week to seventeen other teachers.  She tries to send the email at the same time every week, but with hectic schedules it may not always happen.

Enter IFTTT (If This Then That)

We have used IFTTT for emails to text.  IFTTT can work for so many things, see explanation!

Video Link

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Google Drive i Stands For Activity

Our school Google Domain just received the i Button in our Google Drive.  This allows for quick viewing of the latest activity with a document or file.
Video Link

Lunch N' Learn: Two Google + Exam Study Tools

Google has two items that may interest you.
  • Google + Email Setting

Google Drive Activity Gif Below Source

Semester Exam Study Tools

Last year, I provided a long list of study exam tools that teachers could present to students to prepare for for semester exam.  This year during Lunch N' Learn, I am focusing on three tools that, in my opinion, are the best of the list.

View Presentation

Impact On Students: 
Semester exams are a debatable topic.  Whether your school or individual teachers administers them is not something I want to debate.  However, if the exams exist, lets help students study by offering them quality tools.
Collaboration:  All of the tools can provide collaboration opportunities.  Thinking, processing, questioning together can help remember concepts.
Critical Thinking: Once concepts are presented to students through one of these tools, students can critically determine the right area to obtain the answer and decipher the best answer to remember for the exam.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

English 10 Show What You Know Instead of Semester Exam

Because of Tony Vincent's tremendous work with the Show What You Know infographic, our English 10 (E10) students are going to demonstrate learning through THEIR CHOICE of creation tools.  Students were given the opportunity to read an SSR (Silent Sustained Reading) book of their choice throughout the semester.  While describing the actions and events of the book, students are to think and contemplate how their personal book related to books that were read in class, i.e. "To Kill A Mockingbird".  They will demonstrate their knowledge through a "presentation" to the class.  However, the "presentation" is NOT a stand up and read event.  We want students to provide SOME visual, but not too much as they are to provide audio insight into their knowledge as well.

This morning, I presented nine different tools under four different headings:
  • Collages
  • Comics
  • Posters
  • Slide Presentations

With only a visual and a few tips, students can choose what they want to create.  They were also challenged to "Smash Them".  Can they create something in one tool and combine it with another tool?

We printed the document, so they were able to take the web address with them.
The presentation for the students is below.

Impact On Students:
Creativity:  Choosing the correct tool for the presentation is not the only task.  Designing a quality product that describes the reading and how it ties into books from the class takes creativity.  Limiting the words so as to not overwhelm the viewer also takes creativity.
Critical Thinking: By limiting the amount of specific directions about each creation tool, students will need to learn, master, and use the tools correctly that are provided within each creation tool.

*Thank you Tony Vincent for creating such an incredibly useful tool.  Without it, I would have not been able to create what I did within a short amount of time.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Chromebook Stop Light In LMS

Because of this Tweet from @dprindle that I sent on Friday, our Library Media aide created something to let study hall students know the availability of Chromebooks.

Video Link

App Smash PicCollage and iMovie Student Example

The App Smash Challenge Winner had the idea to smash the PicCollage and iMovie app.  Because of this the Advanced Foods class in creating a "Breaking the Myths of World Hunger" used the App Smash.

Video Link

Impact On Students 
Creativity: One app can spark creativity.  Using two apps while producing content requires thinking, organizing, and completion.  Thinking that one app can enhance the production of another app takes creativity.

Movenote To Invite Teachers For E-Mentoring Program

MOVENOTE UPDATE: A Google Extension (app) is available.

Our middle school counselor, Nicole Gerth, wanted a tool that would provide information and a personal touch when inviting staff to become involved in our E-Mentoring program.  In the past an email was sent out with a presentation.  With the inclusion of a recorded video and the presentation, a personal touch was provided!

Consider using Movenote for your next Screen Cast.

View The Example

Movenote: Send video with Gmail

Impact On Students:
Creativity:  Students can create written scripts which would force them to limit the words on the slide and increase the context of spoken word.  The creativity can also be encouraged through the video shot that would take place and the visualization of the presentation.
Citizenship: As Movenote would like to be interactive, replies are available.  Students need to focus on constructive replies that will be available on the world wide web forever.
Critical Thinking: Students and staff need to concentrate on the flow of the presenation and the words that correspond with the presentation.  Many times we hear people say, "I know what I am doing, but I just don't know how to explain it."  Critical thinking skills are need to explain the information.

Lunch N' Learn Promotion-Semester Exam Study Tools

Lunch N' Learn Topics:
  • Google + Settings
  • Semester Exam Digital Tools To Provide To Students
See You Tuesday!
Video Link

Impact On Students:
Collaboration: Many of the tools can be created by and used individually or with a study group.
Critical Thinking: Students must decide which tool is best for them.  Do they need text, pictures, or video?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Middle School Math Apps (Chicken Coop, Thinking Blocks) Installed Today

The following FREE math apps were installed on our seventh grade iPads today.  Below are some reflections of each math app.

Chicken Coop Fraction Estimation Game

  • Be aware of the music.  Fortunately, there is a button that can mute the music.
  • Three easy, three hard levels
  • Proper Fractions, Proper Fractions of Numbers, Improper Fractions, Improper Fractions of Numbers
  • Middle school students may find it humorous that the chickens raise their backsides an "pop" an egg out
  • Chickens will "fire" an egg toward the correct answer
  • Get the answer wrong and things will get messy
  • The "hard" problems are challenging
  • No method for pausing and calculating while still looking at the problem
  • If a student does pause to work on the problem, the answer is given immediately upon "continuing" of the game.
  • Can adjust "time per question", can create a "no time" game
  • Can adjust "accuracy"

  • Word problem based
  • Diagrams & labeling first, numbers added to the model next
  • Can't proceed to next step without "checking" first
  • Built in calculator 
  • Writing on iPad capabilities
  • Instructions for students (should they choose to read them)
  • Checks along the way provide "new" mathematical manipulatives
  • CONFUSING: Number pad to enter answer, "Calculator On" button to obtain calculator for work

High School Creative Learning Environment

Mr. Rodal decided that over Christmas break he was going to remove 19 desks.  Not all the desks, just some of them.  Group, collaborative work happens every day in his classroom.  The desks were taking up a great deal of space and required constant arranging and rearranging.

He fixed this.

He removed 19 desks from his classroom.

We are documenting his classroom experiences with candid responses from both students and teachers.  Let's hear from the teacher, first!

Video Link

Impact On Students:
Creativity:  Students are able to create their own learning spaces.  They are not confined to a desk.  They must also decide how to utilize the large white boards that are now in the room.
Collaboration: Removing INDIVIDUAL desks has eliminated INDIVIDUAL borders.  Gathering in learning groups is efficient.

More to follow...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 App Smash Challenge Winner!

Congratulations to Tina Mills, PCMS communication arts teacher, for winning the 2013 App Smash Challenge!

Mrs. Mills had students combine the PicCollage app and the iMovie trailer app.  As Mrs. Mills states,
"In the past, students have used the iMovie trailer and had a blast with it.  The only problem is that sometimes they want to include more than one word or image (in a spot in the trailer) and can't change the templates.  I have had them use PicCollage to add multiple texts and images into one image.  They then can insert the PicCollage picture into the iMovie trailer."

Thank you, Mrs. Mills, for accepting the first App Smash Challenge!

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