Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Educate the heart

Education is more than academic studies... Video from Sir Ken...

Monday, December 17, 2012

For all you nerds out there

Need girl

Friday, December 14, 2012


I can't even describe how I feel after hearing the news today. The tragedy in Connecticut is shocking, and quite frankly makes me feel sick. I can't imagine what those parents and community members are going through. I don't have any words, I just have prayers for those families.

My heart just hurts.

More teacher podcasts...

How to implement BYOD...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

For Twitheads

Love Twitter??? Lots of ways to use it in the classroom!!


Internet 4 classrooms - k-12 resources , websites and prof learning

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More Tech to Try

Need more tech ideas to try?? Why not... Edtech is like Jello, there's always room for ----! If you are willing to dive in, see the info at the link below...

10 things students should know about their on- line profile

So who cares what you do on-line, right?? Oops! Wrong attitude! You might not care now....but wait til later!

Read the interesting article below taken from:

10 Things Your Students Should Know About Their Digital Footprints

By: Digital Media in the Classroom
Building a digital legacy is an issue I believe doesn’t garner enough attention in our personal and professional lives. In fact, some of the heaviest users of online tools and social media, are our young students, who are growing up as a generation of visual learners and visual attention seekers. This is in fact the Facebook and YouTube generation, and the reality is that many teens are unconcerned about the dangers of sharing personal information online.

A highly respected education advocate, Kevin Honeycutt, once asked me if any of us from our generation (GenX and before), had ever made a mistake in puberty. He then asked if our mistakes are “Googleable.”

The reality is that our mistakes from puberty are not “Googleable”. But our students’ mistakes are. “They’re on the record you see, ” Kevin continued, “so if they’re gonna do it (live online) anyway, I think it behooves us as educators to help our students shape and build a positive legacy.”

With that in mind, I have developed some important facts and opinions that our students should be completely aware of as they live in their digital world, creating digital footprints along the way.

1.) College admissions and employers do read your online profiles and they do make decisions based upon information they find out about you online. In fact, college’s will make decisions based upon many forms of questionable involvement. Scott Cornwell, College and Career Adviser at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Missouri said, “I had a case where a parent sent an email to a college suggesting they look at the Facebook page of a student who was applying to the same school as her daughter. The Facebook page showed the other student at a party with alcohol. The mother's goal was to get rid of some of the competition her daughter would have at this selective school. In the end, both the student at the party and the daughter of the mother were rejected (the first in part because of the Facebook page, the second because the college was concerned about dealing with such a manipulative mother for four years).

2. ) As illustrated in the example above, educators and parents do see, read, and hear about your online escapades, even though you go to great lengths to hide them from us. There have been many times I wish I hadn’t stumbled upon a student Twitter or Facebook post, but I have. These experiences, which included foul language,cyberbullying, and basic immaturity, have only reinforced to me that digital citizenship needs to be taught in our schools as early as possible.

3.) Educate yourself on the basics. What does Digital Citizenship mean to you? What should it mean? These are important lessons that students can research on their own. However, wouldn’t it be fantastic to offer some of this education in our schools as well?

4.) Create a profile that says simple, non-specific details about yourself, but that is still identifiably you. Ultimately, we are all personally responsible for our digital reputation, but many of our students, and quite frankly many adults, don’t know how to accomplish this important task.

5.) Create separate accounts so you can consistently remain positive in public online spaces. If you have already developed a full identity online, you don’t necessarily need to “scrub it clean”, but it would make sense to create a professional identity, and limit the amount of personal information you share publicly. Increase your privacy settings on all of your personal information, and publicly share all the wonderful things you are contributing to the world.

6.) Learn from others. Find teenagers, professionals, or reputation resources who are doing things the right way and model your online presence in a similar manner. Read the survey’s that have been conducted and make informative decisions on what personal material is appropriate to share publicly, and what is not.

7.) Keep private information private. Have you heard the saying the “Internet is forever?” You may think you can easily hit delete, and what you sent goes away. But it truly doesn’t. Be aware and learn why the Internet is permanent.

8.) The Golden Rule. Never has this rule applied more than to how you speak to others online. What are you truly accomplishing by saying things behind the veil of a computer screen, that you would never say to someone in person? Treat others as you would like to be treated. Simply put, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Remember, you can’t truly delete when you SEND.

9.) Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, but be mindful that being careless, too open, too trusting, and realize spending too much time on the Internet, has real consequences.

10.) Build your own positive image and brand yourself in a great way. Say “iAm” to the world. I created a wonderful lesson for my class by asking them who they are as people, not as students. I then asked them to create a short video to show me who they are. It was a great success and I learned a lot about my students in a very positive way.

What does digital citizenship mean to you


What does digital citizenship mean to you?

Digital citizenship is usually defined as the "norms of behavior with regard to technology use." It encompasses digital literacy, ethics, etiquette, online safety, norms, rights, culture and more. Microsoft recognizes that good digital citizenship, when you use computers, gaming consoles, or mobile devices, promotes a safer online environment for all.

The visual whitepaper, "Fostering Digital Citizenship," discusses why digital citizenship matters and outlines the education young people need as they explore, learn, and essentially "grow-up" online. This paper also addresses the three types of risks you might encounter in online activities: Content, Contact, and Conduct.

Managing your online behavior and monitoring your reputation are important elements of good digital citizenship. Microsoft recently surveyed teen and parental attitudes, awareness of, and behaviors toward managing their online reputations.

Teens share considerably more information online than their parents and, as a result, expose themselves to more risk; they also feel more in control of their online reputations.

Teens believe the benefits of sharing information online outweigh the risks, with the exception of sharing a physical location.

Teens and parents worry about different things. Teens are most concerned about getting into college (57%), landing a job (52%,) and being embarrassed (42%). Parents worry about fraud (54%), being embarrassed (51%,) and career (43%).

The encouraging results suggest that American parents and teens are actively managing their online reputations—and with an eye toward good digital citizenship.

Below are resources to help you learn more about digital citizenship and protect your online reputation:

Policy background: Digital Citizenship (PDF)

Digital Citizenship: Testimonials from the Experts (PDF)

Own Your Space – An Online Reputation That Counts: A Guide for Teens supplemental chapter (PDF)

For educators: Top Tips for Secondary Schools (PDF)

Fact sheet: Take Charge of Your Online Reputation (PDF)

Tips for the disorganized student

Tips taken from the following blog, Teacher's Hub

A disorganized student is often described as forgetful and messy. They have a hard time keeping track of their materials and using their time efficiently. These students tend to have messy desks and repeatedly forget their homework. The simplest of tasks can baffle a disorganized student. This lack of organizational skills can be easily fixed by providing students with a few strategies to keep them on track.

Use the following tips to help disorganized students become organized and learn how to manage their responsibilities.

Set up and Stick to a Routine

Establishing a daily routine will help disorganized students feel less frustrated and give them a sense of structure. Provide students with a class schedule that they can reference throughout the day. Place this schedule in their take home folder, tape it onto their desk, and post it in the classroom. If you make it accessible, then this will lessen the student's confusion of what it expected of them.

Clean Out the Clutter

Disorganized students tend to have very messy desks. They will never voluntarily choose to clean them out, so it is up to you to set aside time each day or week for them to do so. Show them specific ways of how to keep their desks tidy. For example, throw away old assignments and materials you no longer use, place small items such as pencils and scissors in a container, etc. Doing so will give them the skills they need to maintain an organized life, and manage their responsibilities.

This tip goes hand-in-hand with enlisting support from the parents. Require that homework goes home each night, and is signed and returned to school every day. This will ensure that students are staying on track, and will encourage students to be responsible for their belongings.

Enlist Help From Parents

Parent-teacher communication is essential when you are dealing with a student who has no organizational skills. Keep parents in the loop daily or weekly by notifying them on their child's progress. Having parental support will show the student that you mean business, and you are working together as a team to help them become self-sufficient.

Create a Checklist

Clearly define expectations by creating a checklist. This is truly the best tool to help students visually see what they need to accomplish and stay on track. Show students how to prioritize their list and check tasks off as they complete them.

Use Memory Aids

Memory aids are a great way to help disorganized students remember their tasks and class materials. Provide students with aids such as sticky notes, rubber bands and timers. Have them tape checklists and class schedules to their folders and desks. Teach students acronyms such as CATS (C=Carry, A= Assignment, T=to, S=School) or PANTS (P=Parent, A=Assignment, N=Notebook, T=Textbook, S=School) to help them remember what to bring to school.

Use the Buddy System

Enlist the help of a classmate to remind the disorganized student of important tasks and student expectations. Pair the student up with a responsible student that you can trust, to help them out when you are busy or absent.

Label and Color Code Everything

The best way to keep students organized is to label and color-code all of their materials. Students who have a lack of organizational skills may feel overwhelmed when their materials are all over the place. Having specific colors for each subject will help students find assignments quickly and effortlessly.

All of these ideas can help transform your disorganized student into an organized one. These strategies will give students the tools and skills they need to manage their obligations and lead an organized life.

Read Other K12 Education News

Best Back to School Deals for Teachers

Top 20 Teacher Jokes

December Bulletin Board Bonanza

The importance of teacher blogging

Tired of justifying that blogging is a good thing??? Sometimes I feel that way... Read the blog post from teacher hub, reasons to blog are all there!

Now what will I blog about??

Edcamps the "unconference"

So what's an edcamp, other than a really nerdy event I would probably like to attend?? Edcamps are "un-conferences" in which teachers come together to create their own professional development and to learn from one another.

Sounds awesome? Well I think it does! Read up on it ... Go to the following link...

Edchat radio

Now I can even listen to topics that interest educators.... I'm really getting teacher-nerdy now!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ASCD tech tips

Just check out this link for tips from ASCD.... basically lots of links and tech tips, maybe handy for some.

Grappling's Exploration of BYOD

Basically check out Grappling's PDF to see how to fully use BYOD in the classroom. There are 3 levels that are explored varying from Tech Literacy uses to Adapting uses to Transforming Uses.... This document explores technological use with hierarchial levels of understanding. Three areas are described Technology Focus, Instructional Focus and Technology Use.

The first level, Tech Literacy is basically using the technology for the sake of using the technology. Basically, the tech use has not gone beyond the "bells and whistles" phase in it's integration. For example, using an on-line interactive "presentation poster" like Glogster, for the sake of using Glogster, not because it's the best way to present a project.

In the second level, Adapting uses, the focus is using programs for drill and practice or for games that fit into what you are currently studying. It may also be using word to type a document, rather than writing it. An example of this would be practicing math drills with Khan Academy, Manga High or Mathletics.

Finally in the third level, students use the technology to collaborate and extend their understanding. The technology is more of a tool that is found to fit the purpose of the activity. For example, using blogs, like kidblog, to compose Reader's Responses because it allows peers the chance to collaborate and give feedback, plus it allows for sharing in an authentic way with peers as the audience. Another example would include using Google Docs to collaborate for a group assignment or Wallwisher.

Just to clarify, I believe that classrooms have to operate at all of these levels at different times. If you are just learning how to use an on-line form of software, you might just do a small project, with the main objective being learning how to use the software. Once students have attained a level of mastery, then they are ready to use the software when it is best suited for different projects. There is of course logical times when a student would be in the Adapting phase, sometimes, drill and practice is just what's required to practice basic math concepts and it does have it's place in learning concepts better. And we all know it's not a central focus of the curriculum. When students have been exposed to a variety of forms of technology in the classroom and have had a chance to use these forms on a regular basis, and not just as an activity for that particular lesson or unit, then they can move into the transformative phase.  Honestly, with our students being the "Digital Natives" we will probably find as teachers, they can help guide and teach us... as the "Digital Tourists".

Anyways, read the post previous to this one from Scoop it! It's far more engaging and explores the Grappling document more effectively.

Levels of use of BYOD or BYOT

all info from...

Levels of Use in BYOT – Transforming Learning Experiences

When students are encouraged to bring their own technology to school, this initiative has the potential to empower students and teachers in their learning experiences.  We now have BYOT being implemented in all 35 schools in my district, and it is still gradually spreading from classroom to classroom.  We have noticed varying levels of use of the technology devices that the students are bringing to school, yet our goal is to achieve the optimal potential of BYOT to impact student learning.  To describe the use of instructional technology in our classrooms, we use Bernajean Porter’s Grappling’s Technology and Learning Spectrum to differentiate between Literacy, Adapting, and Transforming uses of technology.  In fact, this spectrum has been incorporated into the classroom observation of our teachers to help focus on areas of strength and potential areas for future growth.
Here are some ways that this spectrum can translate into instructional activities of the BYOT classroom as well as some suggestions for encouraging higher levels of use.
Literacy Uses
Bernajean Porter describes Literacy Uses of technology as the focus on the technology itself rather than on the curriculum.  When the students first bring their own technology into the classroom, they have to learn how to connect them to the districts wireless network.  They are excited about the apps and capabilities of their devices, and they are eager to share and discuss them with each other.  The students often have to help each other with using the technology within the infrastructure of the school district.  This is part of the process of encouraging BYOT in the classroom, and the amount of time that it takes to progress through this level of use varies based on the experiences and abilities of the students.  In my observations, I have seen this level  of use quickly pass, and then the students look for some direction about new uses for their technology tools.  The students are often not used to learning with their own devices.  They may have used them for playing games, texting, and consuming content, but they need their teachers to facilitate some educational and productive uses.
A classroom can get stuck in the literacy level when BYOT is relegated to one day of the week or when it is seen as something extra to be used as a diversion or a reward in the classroom.  To help BYOT progress to the next level of use, the teacher needs to brainstorm with the students how their devices can assist their learning on a regular basis in the classroom.
Adapting Uses
When students begin to use their technology tools to do the same types of assignments they completed without BYOT, then they are engaged in Adapting Uses of their devices. Some examples of adapting BYOT to the classroom can include the following: entering assignments on the calendar of a smartphone instead of writing them on an agenda; taking notes during a lecture with an app; using a word processor to complete writing assignments; making use of the calculator on a cell phone to finish a math worksheet; and researching facts on a topic.  When a student logs into a website to play games with the sole purpose of improving their basic skills in grammar and math or even to watch instructional videos on a topic, they are also using their technology on the adapting level.
In typical 1 to 1 programs where every student has been provided with the same device, classrooms can easily get stuck in the adapting uses of technology.  Instead of reading from a paper textbook, the students are sometimes given the assignment to read the digital textbook and then to enter their answers to questions at the end of the chapter on the device.  Another example of an adapting use is when the teacher directs all of the students to complete the same project using the same software, and the end products all end up being basically the same.  BYOT can help to encourage higher levels of use because assignments have to be more open-ended to account for the students’ differing devices.  To move to the next level of use, the teacher has to provide flexibility for student choices and to be willing to learn alongside the students.
Transforming Uses
As teachers begin to empower students with the Transforming Uses of their technology devices, the tools seem to disappear in the classroom, and the focus becomes centered on the construction of new meanings.  The teacher’s job shifts from teaching about technology or directing instruction into a more facilitative role of learning.  The most important ability a teacher needs to possess in this BYOT classroom is knowing how to ask the right questions to help students collaborate in inquiry, to decide on the right tools, and to create original products that show what they have learned.  The process of learning in this environment is as important as the end product, and the technology that is used is essential to the ultimate outcome of the learning experience.  In addition to being consumers of content, the students now become producers of information to be presented in exciting new ways.
An example of a transforming use of technology in a high school classroom that I observed was that after reading Shakespeare’s Othello, the teacher had the students watch the modern movie adaptation.  This would just be an adapting use of the technology; however, the experience became transforming as the students watched the movie and participated in a back channel discussion on their devices.  They compared the movie to the original play via Skype.  The teacher actively monitored the thread of the discussion on his own laptop and promoted further in-depth dialogue in the online chat by commenting and asking thought-provoking questions based on the students posts.  In this instance, the activity could not have been completed without the use of the technology, and the discussion progressed to higher-levels of thinking.
The Next Steps…
When you begin your BYOT initiative, realize that teachers and students will naturally move back and forth among the above uses of their technology tools.  If teachers, do not have a goal for BYOT or provide opportunities for students to own the learning, they will sometimes just stop bringing their devices to school.  Explore ways to implement BYOT as a regular part of the class day, and be open to transforming learning.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Scoop it!

Great articles using technology in the classroom...

BYOD in the classroom

Really awesome ideas on implementing BYOD - all explained simply and would be fairly easy to follow...

How would I prepare to teach a BYOD class?

My answer: "My class will teach the world what they learn with me. Everything will be accessible online and on a mobile device."

Wall wisher and uses in the classroom

Wall wisher.... On-line program to share docs and collaborate.

What is it? How can you use it in teaching? View the following PowerPoint.

Really creative and engaging ways to use wall wisher in the classroom!

More ways explained on how to use wall wisher - see blog.

I don't get it?!?!

We never hear the phrase, "I don't get it!" Check out the strategies at link below to help students "get it". Once again technology can help us engage and motivate students to learn better and it might just be ... easier.

Anyways, check out this awesome document I found in Google docs, created by Dennis Grice. You can see the original doc at the link below or view it in this blog post.

"I Don't Get It" - How to Get Your Students Thinking
Presenter: Dennis Grice
What do you do when reading the book and completing the worksheet doesn't work? It's time to get creative! Discover some technology-infused lessons, activities, and projects that motivate students to think and express their creativity.

Elementary & Middle School - Writing
Designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog. Allows students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs.
Elementary - Writing
Rapid fire progressive stories. Students start at one computer, select a set of art and create the first page depicting the setting of the story. After 5 minutes, SWITCH! Students move to the computer next to them and add a page to their classmates story introducing the main character. SWITCH! Give the main character a problem. SWITCH! Explain how the main character solved the problem. SWITCH! Come up with an ending for the story.EXAMPLE
Middle School - Spanish
Students practice language and vocabulary skills by using Storybird to write stories in Spanish.
NOTE: Storybird also lets you create classes and individual student logins  - and it doesn’t require students to have e-mail addresses! This is also FREE! Using this feature you can have students pair up and take turns working on a collaborative story. It can be students in the same class or students in two different classes across the country or the world!
Get Creative!
Elementary - Social Studies
Native American Posters EXAMPLE
Middle School - Language Arts
Book reports. Add information about theme, setting, character study where students dress up a character and use web cam to let character explain about themselves.
Middle School - History
Renaissance. Make a glog about a specific invention/innovation, artist, scientist. EXAMPLE
Get Creative!
Primary - Reading/Writing/Art
Hungry Caterpillar Book. Students draw their own page for the book. Pages scanned/imported to Voicethread. Students add their voice narrating their page of the book.
Elementary - Science/Writing
Animal Riddles. Students create animal riddles with PhotoStory3. (Tutorial) Then teacher uploads each riddle to Voicethread for online sharing and comment. EXAMPLE
Immediate class feedback on a discussion topic. Students post thoughts and see immediately what others are saying.
Brainstorming ideas on a topic.
How to Use WallWisher (a VIDEO explanation)
Elementary - Language Arts
Students practice parts of speech using this tool to create “Mad Lib” type stories.
Primary - Math
Students use the money mat to play “Money Hungry Pigs” Take a dice and replace the numbers with letters P, N, D, Q, H, & S for Penny, Nickel, Dime, Quarter, Half Dollar and Sweep. Students open blank money mat and stand at their computer. Roll dice. Stamp the coin for the symbol rolled. If an S is rolled, the students must sweep their maps and start over.
Spelling & Vocabulary
No Prep - Students type in their spelling words and can then play games with spelling and word definitions.
A Little Prep - Register as a teacher. Enter your word lists for students to choose from. Just enter the words, spelling city finds definitions and sentences for you.
Primary & Elementary
Is 15 or 20 minutes, once a week in a computer lab really enough time for students to truly learn keyboarding skills? If they’re going to pick it up they need to practice at home too. Here’s a list of fun Fun FREE web tools for keyboarding practice.
Middle School Math (Pre-Algebra)
This is an interactive adventure game where students must use logic and solve problems that require Algebraic thinking. Teachers can setup a class, track how many puzzles students have solved, how many attempts it took them to solve it, and how long students have spent playing the game.
Elementary Science
This is a FREE download. Developed at New Mexico State University through a grant from the USDA, this game is designed to teach middle elementary kids about the scientific method and food safety. All the pirates on the ship are sick with something the game calls “the curse of Brownbeard”. Students must explore the island searching for the cause of the ailment.
US History - Revolutionary War
This is a role playing simulation. Students take on the role of a printing apprentice and as meet people and learn about the causes leading up to the Revolutionary War.
Students can play online or the game can be downloaded and installed if you have limited bandwidth. (Internet connection still required to access saved games.)
Elementary - Math
Students use this tool to learn parts and types of graph by creating their own graph.
Elementary/Middle School - Multiple Subjects
Help students learn by making them the teacher. Students put in groups of 3-4 and given a concept to teach using paper slides (pre-historic PowerPoint) and FlipCams. Videos are then uploaded and posted online for other student to use for study and review.
EXAMPLES: Paper Slide Videos made by teachers at Nov. 10th TechNet Meeting:
Map-A-List / Google Forms
Elementary - Social Studies
State Reports. Create a Google form (EXAMPLE) and have students complete the information for their state. Use Map-A-List to create a collaborative map of all the students’ state information.EXAMPLE
Elementary - Math/Social Studies
Have a class work together to create a survey using Google Forms including location information. Send that survey out via Twitter, e-mail, word of mouth. Use Google Forms to study results of the survey. Use Map-A-List to see results based on location.EXAMPLE Discuss results and look for relationships between answers and geographic location.
Primary - Phonics/Reading
High frequency words, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day
Elementary - Reading/Lang. Arts
Copy & paste Book Report. Print and post. See if students can guess your book. Same thing for President reports.
Middle School Literature/History
Copy and paste sections of text into wordle. See which words are empahsized. For History examine presidential speeches. For literature copy poems or selections from books to examine the voacbulary and writing styles.
Upper Elementary & Middle School
Students can take a picture of an animal or person and “make it talk.”  Would be great for an animal report or a biography project.
Elementary & Middle School
Students can create their avatar and use it to share an idea.  One example would be for students to record their voice explaining a math concept or a book summary.
Elementary & Middle School
Prepare your kids for a world of social networking with this “walled-garden” Twitter/Facebook designed for use in schools and classrooms.
Oh! And for those of you who asked for it, here is the Jeopardy Template for PowerPoint.