Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Gains From Not Attending ISTE 2014

I've always wanted to attend ISTE Conferences!  I never have due to a variety of reasons.  In the past, I've followed the conference via social network on a hit or miss basis.  However, this year, I focused on growing my Personal Learning Network (PLN) by viewing the #ISTE2014 Twitter stream.  I wanted to add new people that represented a variety of educational backgrounds.  From national speakers to elementary teachers and from Australia to my home state, Wisconsin I truly found amazing educational leaders that I didn't even know existed prior to this week!

And so I took this to heart!

Please view these ISTE Conference contributors through my Haiku Deck.  I took screen shots using my iPad, edited them through the camera roll, and then added them to my Haiku Deck.  Haiku Deck is an amazing simplistic, elegant presentation tool.  The most impressive part of Haiku Deck is that the user experience is the same whether it is on the iPad or on a Chromebook/computer!  Perfect for students who start content creation at school on a school technology device and complete it at home on a personal device!

While this is not an all inclusive list, these are great educators added to my PLN creating important gains for me without attending ISTE 2014!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Flex Modular Scheduling - Here We Go!

On Wednesday, our school board approved the implementation of the Flexible Modular Schedule for the 2015-2016 school.  With that, let the planning begin!  We will be meeting in a few short weeks to develop a plan for the upcoming school year.  This plan will focus on ALL the items that need to be completed prior to the schedule impacting our staff and students in August of 2015.

I had the fortunate opportunity of presenting in Westside School District in Omaha.  While it was great for me to give information to teachers and administrators in Westside, it was EQUALLY advantageous for me to receive a tour of their high school and to have a twenty minute conversation with staff and administration on how they conduct their modular schedule in a high school of 1800 students.  They have implemented the Modular Schedule since 1967.

I have compiled a video of the tour of the school.  I used an iPad Air and iMovie on the iPad to edit the movie.  I also used my iPhone and the included Voice Memos app to record the principal and assistant principal providing valuable, candid statements and advice.  I used Garage Band to clean up the audio (we were in a noisy area).  Exporting the "podcast" to my iMac and uploading to Google Drive worked great to get the information to others.

Creating a public Google Drive Folder compiles the recordings into a very presentable format.

WATCH & LISTEN to the conversation!

I am planning to document the continued progress of this journey.  The Green Bay Press-Gazette has already written a story about it! Please join in the conversation on Twitter #FlexMod as I know that the Sheboygan School District and maybe others are implementing this schedule as well.

I am proud of our high school and our district!  This isn't going to be easy, however, nothing great every is!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Westside School District DevelopU Reflection

June 11 and 12 were two days of an incredible experience.  I was blessed to be invited to Westside School District in Omaha, Nebraska.  The Westside School District is doing it right!  At the start of the 2014-2015 school year, all Kindergarten through fifth grade students will have a school issued iPad.  All sixth through twelfth grade students will be issued MacBooks.

Issuing devices is one thing, providing impactful professional development for the teachers and administrators is another!  Westside provided their already incredible teachers with the opportunity to learn so many different effective technology integration strategies from Apple Distinguished Educators.  All of the ADEs are classroom teachers who have effectively demonstrated technology integration which provides valuable learning lessons that involve critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and citizenship.

All of the ADEs are experts in their own fields.  I feel blessed to be able to present with...
Kelly Croy, Bill Ziegler, Matt Baier, Cristin Rold, Matt Lee, Julia Garcia, Gabby Meyers, Katie Morrow, Kevin Morrow, and Josh Mika

All of their presentations can be found on the Westside DevelopU Wiki.

I was asked to present four different topics.

App Smashing: Advanced Workflow on the iPad
About 100 people attended this.  Their energy and enthusiasm was outstanding!
I truly wanted to show how using a simple iPad app is an effective method, but utilizing two, three, and even four apps provides critical thinking and creativity opportunities for students that moves them to a higher level of thinking.

Creating Content with the iPad: What Can I Use For...
About 50 teachers attended this session held in the beautiful Courtyard in the Westside High School.  In my teaching support role, I am asked numerous times in a day, "If I want to edit an image on the iPad, what would be the best app?"  Not only this task gets asked about, but close to twenty different requests are asked.  With that, I created an infographic to help teachers, BUT more importantly students decide what what's the best tool to accomplish a task.

The second day brought me to teaching two different sessions.
Visualizing Learning: Show What You Know Using An iPad
About 30 people attended this.  Mostly elementary teachers who wanted to complete screencasting on the iPad.  Screenchomp, Educreations, and Explain Everything were featured.  I believe that the best part of the presentation was showing MANY real videos of students creating assessments using these tools.  Positive feedback was also provided on the portion of the presentation that included a tutorial for Explain Everything!

My last session of the day was AWESOME!  140 staff and administrators joined in learning about...
Innovative, Personalized Learning Environments
I really tried to show teachers who have removed their traditional rows and desks and created students centered, learning environments.  This doesn't mean that direct instruction areas are eliminated!  We just think about them differently!

An enormous thank you to Paul Lindgren, Matt Lee, Cristin Rold, all of the administration, and the entire teaching staff of the district for making my first trip to Westside one of the most enjoyable learning and presenting experiences I have had!  The DevelopU learning experience and the Wiki are all very well done!  I would also like to thank all of the wonderful people associated with Apple (I will not list them all as I, unfortunately, will probably forget one) as they always make ADEs feel like rock stars!  It is NOT taken for granted and does NOT go unnoticed!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

iPad and iMovie Brings Smiles On Fishing Trip

Two years ago, Mr. Goodness, Pulaski High School physical education teacher, was given an iPad.  He admittedly had no idea how or why he would use it.  However, after numerous conversations with me he started using Coach My Video to help students obtain physical education goals.  The entire process has moved him to use video to demonstrate learning via goals set for each student.  These videos are displayed during parent-student-teacher conferences and parents love them!  The entire learning process for him has developed into a great working relationship between the two of us!

He now takes his iPad everywhere!

On a recent trip, he captured so many precious moments that tears developed while I watched this video.  These students are truly blessed to have Mr. Goodness working with them.  Fortunately, we are able to experience his great work through the lens of an iPad.

View the 2014 Fishing Video

Comic Maker Utilized For Spanish Vocabulary Conversations

Students in Ms. Slusarek's Spanish class were provided multiple technology creation tools to display knowledge of proper Spanish vocabulary in conversation.  While this example does not display proper grammar throughout, it provides a glimpse into creative conversation through an iPad app called Comic Maker.  Comic Maker is part of the Top Tech Tool Infographic and utilized for the first time in our school.  Comic Maker's official tutorial is somewhat lengthy, but detailed.  It didn't take twenty-eight minutes for students to successfully create with the app.

 Overall, the Comic Maker app was easy to use and fit this learning environment perfectly.
View several student creations!

Impact On Students:
Creativity:  Not only did students need to use proper Spanish grammar, but creating a conversation took time and effort.  Students also need to develop characters and scenes.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Explain Everything Enhances and Clarifies AP Stats Project

Last year, Mr. Martinson had AP students complete a project that required students to use every piece of knowledge that they acquired throughout the year.  While the projects were acceptable, for the most part students just lectured to the audience about the step by step process that was completed to meet the requirements.

This year, we decided students needed to include a guest speaker.  They could choose any person or character they wanted to help explain the complete process.  In addition, students were asked to smash the PicCollage app with Explain Everything in any way they could.  While all students loved adding the "guest speaker" students struggled with including the PicCollage in an effective way.  Maybe the PicCollage app wasn't the correct app to smash.  Next year, I would like to include ChatterPix as so many students use M & M or Skittles as their subjects and ChatterPix could be a great way to enhance creativity.  We also encouraged students to limit their video to two to three minutes.

Overall, the final products this year WERE simply outstanding.  Even if you don't know much about stats, you will walk away from watching a more educated person.

Impact On Students:
Creativity:  Students incorporated a "guest speaker" of their choice to enhance the production.
Critical Thinking: Having students attempt to smash an app (PicCollage + Explain Everythin) required students to think how the two apps can enhance the final product.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Lunch N' Learn & Breakfast Bytes Topics Semester II 2013-2014

Don't worry if you missed any of the Lunch N' Learn or Breakfast Bytes topics, there all listed below.  I truly appreciate all of the time that so many of our staff dedicate each Tuesday & Thursday during their lunch or before school to learn new topics!

We ask our students to learn something new every day.  Learning something through Lunch N' Learn and Breakfast Bytes can help teachers continue to improve and implement engaging technology tools.  Lunch N' Learns and Breakfast  Bytes provide this opportunity, and I am so thankful for the Pulaski High School and Middle School teachers who join us for some laughs and learning every Tuesday or Thursday.

January 14, 2014: Two Google + Study Exam Tools

January 21, 2014: Review of Semester 1

February 4-7, 2014: Top Tech Tools Infographic

February 17, 2014: Organizing Google Data From Form  Analyzing Data

February 24, 2014: What's Your Clock?

March 4, 2014: Explain Everything For Creating & Reflecting

March 17, 2014: Google Doc Add-Ons For Productivity and Creativity

April 7, 2014: "Open Mic"

April 14, 2014: "Heartbleed" For Educators

April 28, 2014: App Smash Options For End Of Year Projects

May 5, 2014: Master Concepts Through Creating With Stick Around

May 14, 2014: Auto Expire Usage Rights For Google Documents

May 19, 2014: Google Drive Clean Up with ChatterPix

May 27, 2014: Save Gmail To Google Drive

June 3, 2014: 20 "I Didn't Know You Could Do That!" Internet & Computer Tricks

Semester 1 Topics

20 "I Didn't Know You Could Do That!" Tricks In 10 Minutes

To bring the Lunch N' Learn sessions to a close for another school year on June 3, 2014, twenty cool computer and internet tricks will be provided.  These are worth your time as they can make you more efficient and, more importantly, have your "cool meter" go way up!

How Do I Land My First Job #satchat

I was intrigued by May 31, 2014's #satchat not because I am searching for a new job, but because so many of the conversational pieces were thought provoking.   New teachers could become truly prepared for the expectations for the job of educator.  In addition, veteran teachers can become aware of trends in the educational world, put them into practice, and continue to positively redefine the educational learning environments.

Storify documents the entire discussion among educators on Twitter.  I decided to read through it and pull out the items I felt were thought provoking.  I used the iPad as it is so simple to screen shot (home button + on/off button) anything, edited in my camera roll, and used PicCollage to organize.
*Increase browser percentage or view full screen on computer or pinch to expand on iPad for best reading.

If you are not busy next Saturday morning, consider joining the incredible #satchat on Twitter that will connect you with brilliant educators and stretch you to think, question, and create!

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