Adventures in Technology

News, Tips, and Tricks From Instructional Technology

Su's Schedule for the Weeks of January 25th and February 1st

Tuesday, January 26-Flex

Wednesday, January 27-Bluebonnet

Thursday, January 28-Forest Vista

Friday, January 29-Bridlewood

February 1-5--TCEA Conference, Austin

Please email me if you would like to set up an appointment!

What is Flex Time??? Flex time allows me to meet your unique needs-I go where the request is. If you'd like to take advantage of some of my Flex Time please email me!

Click here to see the whole schedule for the third nine weeks.

Check Out These Technology Tips and Tricks!

Student Newspaper Using Google Drive Template

Ms. Fulton' fourth graders at Flower Mound collaborated and created a newspaper about the happenings at their school. What a fabulous way to provide a meaningful and authentic writing experience! The students used a newspaper template found in Google Drive. They're pretty cool; I didn't even know they were there until recently. Once the template was shared the students decided what topics they wanted in their newspaper and divided out the work. They and Ms. Fulton used the comment feature within Google Docs to provide encouragement and help each other revise and edit. Their newspaper turned out so well and they were so proud! Check out their newspaper here.

Teach Your Monster to Read

TCEA recently highlighted this website in one of their technotesBlog posts. Emergent readers can work on their reading skills as they take on an adventure through a magical world. They'll meet fun characters and play games all while they work on everything from letter and sounds to reading full sentences. You can read about what is covered in each of its three levels here. The web version of Teach Your Monster to Read is completely free. Teachers create a free account and then adds students. You can leave the password requirement on and print login cards, or you can turn the password requirement off making it easier for young students to login. Visit the Teacher's Page to see how other teachers are using this website to help their students develop early reading skills.If you teach emergent readers this website might be a valuable addition to your Tizmo's page for your Chromebooks.

LISD Student Filmfest

LISD's Second Student Filmfest gives students the opportunity to use their unique voices to express their passion, interests, and knowledge through the creation of a video. Student entries are due March 18th. Awards will be distributed during the Red Carpet Awards Event on May 21st. Looking for a way to "hook" you students? Watch the video below to learn more! Go to to locate the application and find the rules for entering!

ePortfolio Tips and Tricks

I've been working with a lot of teachers and students as they jump into the world of ePortfolios. Most of my work has been with teachers and students creating sites, but a few have been ready to upload a few artifacts. Along the way I've learned some tips and tricks and I thought I'd share them with you.

  • The LISD ePortfolio site has some great tutorials located under the "Technology Resources" tab.
  • When you are ready to have your students share their site with you have them share it using a Google Form you create. If you need help creating a form and sending it to your students please let me know and I'd be happy to help you.
  • You can link any ePortfolio sites students might have created in the past to this new LISD template; I'd be happy to show students how.
  • It is best to create an ePortfolio folder and store all the artifacts in the folder. If the sharing permissions are set correctly on the folder any artifact put in the folder will be visible to anyone looking at the ePortfolio.
  • You can upload artifacts using both the Mac and the iPad. Visit the LISD ePortfolio site to learn how.
  • Tutorial videos are located within each student's ePortfolio under the "Tips and Tricks" tab.
  • When using the iPad to upload an image the image must be on the iPad camera. Additionally, pictures that have been edited consistently go in right side up. So before you upload that picture open it and edit it. Crop it just a little or rotate it all the way around so it's right side up again and then save your editing.

Everyone is somewhere on their ePortfolio learning curve, me included. I'd be happy to meet you where you are and help you along the way. I'm still learning too so if I don't know, we will learn together!

Apps for Learning

Quizlet App

Have you heard of the Quizlet App? It's a pretty basic flashcard app that is easy to use. Students received it as part of the initial push of apps so every student should have it. When getting ready to use it create an account rather than signing in with Google. Parents gave permission for students to use it as part of the AUP, so when creating student accounts students will enter their LISD @go email address. This app is great for fact practice! Once you create a study set you can play a matching game that keeps track of your time. Students can play again and again trying to improve their time. Another student favorite is to use the app and play a form of "Headbanz". Student A holds the iPad while Student B tells the answer checking the flashcard on the app to make sure they are correct. Student A must then use the answer and title of the study set (ex. 7's multiplication facts) and state the fact on the card. The students I've worked with are really having fun learning their facts.

ABC-Magnetic Alphabet Lite App

I was recently in a kindergarten classroom where the kids were using an app I had not seen before, called ABC Magnetic Alphabet Lite. It's a pretty straightforward app with "magnetic" letters. Students were suing the letters to spell words from the Word Wall, classmates names, word families, and other words around the room. This app is free (Yay!); however, the free version only contains upper case letters. If you're looking for something different to increase engagement, you might want to take a look at this app.

Resources for Student eLibraries

  • Many of you have heard of the App and Website EPIC! But if you're like me you just filed it away to look at "later" and perhaps it slipped your mind. I recently took another look at this site and it is really good. EPIC! is an ebook subscription service that offers thousands of high quality books from well known publishers. Audiobooks and Read-to-Me titles are also offered. EPIC! can be used through their website; be sure to create an Educator account to take advantage of the free educator subscription. Place the EPIC! link on your Tizmo's page for easy student access. You can also download the EPIC! app on the iPad; this works especially well on shared iPads.
  • Do you have kids who are crazy for animals? WE are TEACHERS has some excellent nonfiction downloadable material in the "Animal Studies". You can always visit the site download and print the material, but another option is to access the site on an iPad. When you go to download the "printable" if you tap in the upper right hand corner of the file when it opens "Open in iBooks" will pop up. Once opened in iBooks it will appear on your iBooks bookcase. These printables are available for the K-2 and the 3-5 group. These printables would be great to use with the Comprehension Toolkit lessons or just to have more reading material in your ebook library.

Want to try one of these or something else out but unsure how to do it or want an extra set of hands? I'll help!

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