Tech Connect!

Anna ISD, February 2016 The New Bulletin Board

During February's Conference and Cookies, teachers were introduced to, a virtual bulletin board that allows teachers and students to collaborate on one digital canvas together, at the same time! Teachers loved the idea that students could work on one surface all at the same time AND that they could use ANY device to access Padlet. Take a look at some ways that teachers used THAT DAY!

Dictionary Skills with a QR Code Twist

(AMS) Mrs. Barbara Coleman saw the need to review dictionary skills with her sixth grade students, but knew that she didn't want to give them just another worksheet. Mrs. Coleman instead used the worksheet to create a QR Code Scavenger Hunt, where students had to get up out of their seats to venture around the room to complete the assignment.
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Chromebooks in the Classroom Updates

Review Days are Always Better with Kahoot

This is the day the class looks forward to every unit. I have been using Kahoot as a review tool for the last three years, however this is the first year I have been able to Kahoot on demand and not a hope a prayer. For those of you who have not used Kahoot in class let me send a little time on what makes this just in-class game so different and entertaining. As teachers time is the most valuable item we have, so when you find a site that cuts down on the time it takes to create a test review we are all for it. Kahoot for me has become that site. If you are the type of teacher that finds joy in creating new activities for students Kahoot offers an easy to use interface and allows you to quickly and easily add text, images, and videos to create questions over the topic you are covering. If you are the type of teacher that needs to find a review quickly or you just don’t like creating review; Kahoot can help you out as well. The teacher community have created over 6 million Kahoot reviews on just about any topic or subject you can think of. These Kahoot can be used as is or quickly edited fit your classroom. The second thing that make Kahoot so different from other review games is that Kahoot does not allow students to stare at only at their own screen. Kahoot is fashioned so only the the questions answers, which are represented as colored rectangle with a white shape, are shown on the student's screen. The question and long with answer choices are only shown on the main class screen. The student must look up for their screen to read the question and the choice related that question, they then need find the color that represents their choice and then click the answer as fast as they can. Why fast you ask? This is why the students have fallen in love with Kahoot. Like over review game the student does get points for correct answers but the points are also based on how fast the students correctly answers the question. The cheers and cries disbelief grow with every question. After each question the main board will show the class the five highest rank students in the class. Kahoot will also tell each student what student they are trailing and by how many points. The create a class full of competition that push all students to try and do their best.

Lee Whitehead

Biology Teacher, Anna High School

Padlet Makes Shakespeare's Macbeth Manageable

We’ve been reading Macbeth in my English IV classes for the past few weeks and after attending a technology conference in Austin earlier this month, I was equipped with so many new and exciting ways to integrate technology into what we were currently reading. Shakespeare can be a bit intimidating to high school students (or anyone really, for that matter!), so I was looking for a way to break down the characters and do some character analysis in a new, fun way that wouldn’t put my students to sleep. And that, my friends, is when I discovered Padlet. Not only is Padlet easy for teachers to learn and use, but students think it’s super cool, too. There is little to no learning curve and my students blew me away with what they put together using this awesome program in one or two 45-minute class periods. I decided to have them do their character analysis in the form of a “recipe” card, where each “ingredient” would be a trait or characteristic of their chosen character. For example, to make a Murderous Macbeth Stew you might need a pinch of jealousy, two tablespoons of greed, and three heaping cups of lust for power. They were also required to provide text evidence and/or an explanation to support each of their chosen ingredients. Here are a few examples of what my students created using Padlet:

I hope you’ll agree, Padlet is a very helpful, visual tool and can be used in a variety of ways, for just about any subject. Since using Padlet in this lesson, I’ve used it numerous times to “flip” my lesson, and have even recently put it to use to walk my students through a planned lesson and assignment on a day when I was absent from class. (To see a sample lesson click here.) I encourage you to try using Padlet in your class in some way as well. I think you will find it is truly a valuable tool with endless possibilities that can really spice up what you are probably already doing, and as I mentioned above, it is SUPER easy to use. There is really no reason not to give it a try! Of course, if you do try it and love it, please let me know how you put it to use. I’d love your feedback and ideas, no matter the grade level or subject that you teach!

Until next time, keep living and loving kids!

Ellen Peeples

English IV and English IV AP

Annual TCEA Conference Provides Numerous Tech Tools

This month, the Anna ISD Technology Integration Team visited Austin, Texas for the annual TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) Conference. iTeam members took over 40 pages of collaborative notes on sessions they attended and were inspired by many presentations. The elementary iTeam presented their favorite tools in "Tech Smackdown" at both elementaries, showcasing the upcoming trainings they would be doing on the new tools. The high school iTeam presented their favorite tools at the monthly faculty meeting and teachers are excited to know more about what they learned.
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Texas Google Summit by

Saturday, May 14th, 8-10am

3003 Stonebrook Parkway

Frisco, TX

For more information, visit