EdTech Update

First Colonial High School 12.15.15

Google Update

Google Apps for Education (GAFE), a free productivity tool for classroom collaboration, has been configured and made ready for use in VBCPS. The GAFE apps are now available and can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection by using the Chrome browser.

GAFE Applications Available for Staff Use:

Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sites, Hangouts, Groups, Sheets & Forms, Slides, Google Plus, Blogger, Classroom, and YouTube.

GAFE Applications Available for Student Use:
Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sites, Hangouts, Sheets & Forms, and Slides.

Instructions for logging into GAFE using your network credentials can be found here in my One Note Class Notebook of Teacher Resources.

Naming & Saving Convention

Share with your students that it is in their best interest to follow a naming convention when saving files. For example, including their last name, subject, bell, and assignment title will make both of your digital lives infinitely more simple. They will be able to search for lost files and stand a greater chance of actually locating the missing item. As students submit work to you using a naming convention you will not have 75 copies of "social studies essay" to organize and keep track of.

FCHS Technology You Tube Channel

We have created a FCHS YouTube channel to house video tutorials, the link to the channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt8c4A69_m8cE_HsNYPMO2Q. We have posted one video already on how to add a "resource" to your gradebook.

Tech Conference Update

Due to calendar constraints we will offer various instructional technology professional development opportunities after school beginning in January. Please sign up and participate as your schedule allows. These opportunities will be posted in MLP and details will be e-mailed once the sessions are approved.

100 Videos and Counting: Lessons From a Flipped Classroom

Here is a link to an interesting video - a teacher's reflections on creating a flipped classroom. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/100-videos-lessons-flipped-classroom-joe-hirsch

Ninth Grade Earth Science with Ms. Miekina

I recently collaborated with Cathy Miekina to plan a differentiated lesson where her students created a virtual poster about one part of the solar system. Students researched and gathered information on a pre-assigned planet, dwarf planet, comet, asteroid or meteoroid, or other topic such as habitability of another planet or the ethical implications of colonization of other planets. Students learned how to organize and structure their writing and information presented, how to search for free use images, and how to create a bibliography for their virtual poster. Once the posters were digitally submitted, students were able to view fellow students products and complete a larger assignment that pulled all the individual projects together into one large picture.

Check out these great examples of student work:

https://www.smore.com/rwa37 (by Bailey Fifield)

https://www.smore.com/hqm8m (by Jade Jones)

https://www.smore.com/92rxb (Amani Bulger)

Debbie Robertson's Geometry Students

Debbie Robertson's Geometry Series Students completed a City Designer Project to wrap up a unit on lines and angles. Students had to find or create examples of various angles, and parallel, perpendicular, and skew lines and label them on a map of a city. Students had the option of finding images that contained these items and explaining their significance. Mrs. Robertson's students uploaded their completed projects to her Edmodo. Mrs. Robertson said, "Many students are not only reinforcing the skills in this unit, but their technology skills as well".

3D Printing

Thomas has been working with a few students in Ms. Spruill's classroom with the 3D printer. The students have a maker competition coming up and they have to create a product that they can mass produce and pitch to a panel of judges "Shark Tank Style." Currently we are working on the balance between speed and overall attractiveness of our design. To find out more about the Maker Expo please visit this site: http://www.vbstemtrifecta.com/maker-expo.html

Students as Consumers of Instructional Technology

Kevin Denson is using blackboard Ultra to hold test reviews in the evening before the day of the test.

Miriam Mason's students just earned an IXL certificate for completing over 20,000 math problems while completing 6 different lessons in the computer lab. "I was amazed at the amount of learning that took place! Students who have been struggling now understand. Students who are passive, completed assignments with success! More advanced students were able to move ahead and chose to challenge themselves with higher level tasks. It was the most rewarding day for teacher and the geometry students! A thank goes out to those who recommended FCHS purchase the program and for those who approved it and paid for it!!!"

Lynn Hull still has her Algebra II students practicing skills using IXL. "I give them a list of skills to practice and they have a choice of which ones to complete. During the polynomial unit, I made one skill mandatory and then they chose 2 of 4 other skills to do I continue to use Edmodo to post the daily notes and assignments - and I use Edmodo and remind to send out announcements to the class or to individual students".

Cheryl Tennant is using IXL daily in her Algebra 1 lab for extra credit options. In Algebra II and AlgII/Trig all solutions and daily handouts are uploaded to Edmodo. Students are playing SMART games (with the SMART board) and with Kahoot.

Dr. Antony is using using Periodic Table Live to graph periodic trends. Her AP Bio students will be using I-Pads to investigate the organelles in a virtual cell next week.

Donna Draeger's Finance classes are competing in a stock market challenge this month. They buy $100,000 in stocks in real time and follow the stocks for 2 months. We are using the program howthemarketworks.com and each class competes against each other. The contest ranks them each day to determine who has made the most in capital gains.

Students as Creators with Instructional Technology

Mika Tanaka's students are using appslike imiwa? and KanjiQ to practice their Japanese.

Herbert Horn has a groups of students creating a publication such as newsletter or a brochure. Each member of the group contributes an article to the publication that are related to accomplish a common goal. The same group also creates a video with each member contributing.

Steve Butler has his students creating shared documents and Padlets for collaboration. He also has them creating presidential music videos and uploading to You Tube.

Laura Pettay's students are creating INFOGRAPHICS to demonstrate what they learned while developing their research papers.

Barbara Fehn's Journalism I students used Prezi and PowerPoint to create presentations on influential journalists. "One student used a platform I'd never heard of - Powtoon - to create a cool animated presentation."


Students have the option of using an iPad or their phone/computer to use Nearpod.

My students have used BYOD to utilize Mentimeter (for formative feedback), Vocabulary.com, and to compose essays.

Students can check their stocks and buy and sell quickly using their phones. After the initial registering and purchase of stocks, I allow a few minutes each class to check stocks and phones are quicker than the ipads.

Resource Suggestions from Colleagues

https://www.jeopardy.rocks/ - make your own Jeopardy board and play.

http://flipquiz.me - also allows you to create Jeopardy style games and save for future use.

https://tackk.com, which is very much like Smore but can supposedly be private, collaborative, social (comments allowed), and unlimited (as many projects as you like, unlike Smore). Seems easy to use.

Buncee edu for user-friendly multimedia digital storytelling.

Good Point!

It is important for educators to keep in mind that while students may understand how to use technology such as interactive smartboards, they don’t necessarily understand how to use it to learn better. This is where teachers must use technology as a tool for learning and stand firm in their roles as guiders of the learning process. Otherwise, integrating technology will not enhance learning in the classroom. http://www.k-12techdecisions.com/article/learning_technologies_are_getting_easier_to_use_but_are_they_fully_classroo/P2