Making Teaching Simpler...

Through Technology

Kid President's Pep Talk to Teachers and Students!

Using Technoology in the Classroom

Using technology in the classroom should not make life harder, though there might be a little work ahead of time. It could be used in two different ways: teacher centered and student centered. Teacher centered would be focused on you and ways to improve your day to day tasks. Student centered would be ways to help kids practice or master new skills, or demonstrate content knowledge.

Today's Talk: Back to School Tech

Heather's Top Ten Tech (+2)

  1. Microphone
  2. iMpad (Moby) A how to use video
  3. Planbook: $12 a year. Website/ iPad supported. Lesson planbook online. Free 30 day full version trial.
  4. Youtube
  5. GoNoodle: Site that turns students brain breaks into a video game experience.
  6. Calm and soothing music or guided meditation. The 5 minute meditation with kids works wonders.
  7. Pinterest
  8. AirServer (not my fave, but VERY useful) This is what makes your iPad talk to the projector. If you are showing videos, then it will usually kick you out. (frustrating when it's videos that you create with your kids).
  9. ClassDojo (iPad/ Website): I'll present on this during the afternoon of the September 3 PD. The short of it, turn your clipchart into a online tool, only better.
  10. DoodleBuddy (iPad): If you are using a school iPad, it's already on there. It's a digital whiteboard. Combine this with AirServer and there is a lot you can do with iPad to teach with.
  11. ChatterPix (iPad): Give a voice to your photos. A free app to have your pics talk. Combine this with a QR code and you've really got something.
  12. Educreations (iPad): This app allows you (or your students) to create your own tutorial videos.
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Beyond SAMR: The Teachers Journey to Technology Integration

This is a blog post written by a teacher for tech integration. It is nicely laid out in a non-threatening way. Have the courage of an expert, even when you are only a beginner.

But what can help you out the most?

#1: PLC using through social media

This acronym has been update, PERSONAL Learning Communities. In today's world of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest), it is up to you to find people who you consider to be 'experts' and 'follow' them. (not stalk them, LOL) It's time for us to take charge of our own learning (and it's free). In today's world, you don't necessarily need a magazine subscription to learn the latest and greatest. Now you can blend it in to your daily tasks.

Let's share... who do you consider to be an expert in an education related field? Go to your preferred social media and search for them. But don't stop there... see who they are following and build your network that way. Here's an example of one of my chains... Tech related, of course.

Erin Klein > first, I look at boards to follow and then people > I found Irene Hines. I notice that she has over 32,000 followers and follows 247. When she has that many followers, I'm curious. When I get to her Pinterest boards, she has 189. I'm looking for boards to follow or the whole page.

If I'm just starting out with building my PLC then I might continue finding new people to follow OR to avoid being overwhelmed, I might stop there and wait to see what happens.

The FINAL step... share with your colleagues!!! Send them the pin... post on your FB and tag them... shoot them an email... take a pic with your cellphone and send them a text... OR, talk to them when you are waiting at the copy machine.

#2: YouTube

YouTube... it's free, but it has some naughty ads and when we are in the moment and the kids are excited about learning... you don't need it blown with the newest Trojan ad or suggestions on the right column that the kids always shout out for. So here's what we do...

  1. Go to Quietube.
  2. Drag the button to your toolbar
  3. Go to YouTube and find your video. When you have the video hope, click on the quietube button. Then save this link.
  4. Bookmark organizing: use folders and lesson/topic names to help you remember why you saved it.

Okay, so you've gotten rid of the ads, but when you create your own YouTube channel you can organize your videos there. The bummer of Quietube is that you cannot build a playlist and just have it play, like with YouTube. Playlists come in handy with Brain Break and Class Music lists. YouTube is also a great spot to 'store' your videos that you don't want to lose. (example)

Now, do I have to sell you on all of the AMAZING resources on YouTube? Curriculum topics, help with understanding vocab, motivating kids (I LOVE Kid President)... these are just to name a few ways I love to use YouTube.

(on a side note)

Bookmarks, Tabs, and Less Work... Oh my!

How do you bookmark your internet browser? What about tabs? Are you pro-tab? Are in you favor of tabs being saved and opening EVERY time you open your browser? No? Why not?

First, shortcuts:
ctrl-a: select all
ctrl-<-: select whole words at a time
ctrl-c: copy
ctrl-v: paste (NOT ctrl-p, that is print)

Now, what websites do you use EVERY day?
(these are mine, LOL)

So I open each of these in a tab and in the order that I want them to be. Then I go to 'tools' > 'internet options' > under tabs 'use current tabs' > save. Now it should be that when you open this browswer again, then these will be saved and open the way you want. *** Heads up, this is the ish version of the directions. Each browser is different but similar. I'm more than willing to be more specific when I find out the 'normal' browsers. These directions are desktop specific; they will not travel with your login.

Also, make sure you add bookmarks to your homescreen on your iPad for sites (that don't have apps) you want kids to practice on, like MobyMax.

Back to Today's Tech

#3: QR Codes

FIRST... on your iPad, go to the app store and down a QR code reader.
SECOND... try using the app on the provided QR Code activities.

QR Professional Development
: GCCISD Ed Tech (Texas)
QR Codes on Pinterest: to help see other ways of using QR codes. (include a qr code in your newsletter to share videos (that you created) with your parents to help kids study at home)

#4: Multi-apping

Time to have the courage of an expert! Don't let the technology intimidate you... And yes, probably the best way to start using it is when the kids are in the room. Don't panic, it'll be okay.

There are so many apps that you can combine to truly meet the needs of your students. (One reason I LOVE ChatterPix.) Many of the app combos that I enjoy involve the camera, but there are more than that. Here is a great presentation that I saw at MACUL by a retired teacher who is now a tech integration specialist on multi-apping.

#5: Communicating with Families

As we all know, families don't read our newsletters. Well a few do, but the ones who need to hear it... don't. Here's a statistic that blew me away: 90% of all text messages are read in less than 5 minutes. So not only do we need to consider teaching our kids differently, but we need to consider changing how we communicate with their families.

I personally still allow texting. I like that parents can text when they need to. As Elementary teachers we have a much closer relationship with our families. When I offer texting, I have a document and that they fill out. I won't just give it to them. There are conditions. However, I get that some people are not comfortable with that. So let me introduce you to Remind (formally Remind101). This allows one way anonymous texting. It also allows you to set up when texts go out. This could be your new newsletter.

In true desperation, I have sent a video (Flipagram) out to my families made from pictures of my printed out newsletter. One parent texted back asking if that was my subtle way of saying read the newsletter. LOL

Looking Ahead to 2014-2015

In my attempts to work smarter, not harder, here are the apps/ websites that I look most forward to:
  • ThreeRing (app/ website) Blog post by the guys who got me hooked on the idea.
  • Plicker (app/ website) Student response system when you only have 1 iPad or iPhone or Android device.
  • Google Forms: I've set up a Google Form for reading and math to use as a gradebook. An electronic way without the hassle of PowerGrade.
  • Osmo: Oh my goodness! I'm not sure what to say, but the kids are going to LOVE it! Watch the video to see why I'm so excited.
  • More Augmented Reality using Aurasma.
  • Thinglink (web/app) allows you to create interactive images. Here are some ideas and samples on Pinterest.
  • Who like how this presentation was displayed? Check out Smore. It calls itself a digital flyer. It would not replace a website, but could replace your newsletter. You are allowed 5 with a free account.

(a final side note)

A Cheat Sheet for Your Report Cards

Last year I made a two page document that I used to help me fill in report cards. It's a bit of copying and pasting, minimizing, and changing cell colors. However, this document did make filling in report cards much easier. Let me know if you are interested in this and I can I set yours up for you.


Click Here

U: same as your school username
P: Mancelona#1

My Current Favorite "Experts"

Two Guys and Some iPads

I saw these 2 present at MACUL this past spring. I like them because they are entertaining.... they were elementary teachers... they had 10 iPads between the two of them to share. They have GREAT ideas!

When you are setting up your room, watch one of their videos. Most of their videos, the first 20-30 minutes is the techie talk. After that is just other chatter. However, in the link that I'm sharing with you, they talk a bit longer about tech. They have many different topics, but this is the one that sold me. It talks about a lot of the ideas we've talked about here today. Here's a link to their blog.
The Two Guys Show #9: Game Changing Apps

iROCK in Mrs. Roesstorff's Class

Want to get more out of our time working on tech? Then we need to start flipping our education. Here's a fantastic video introducing the idea. It is possible and can make our time together more beneficial.