Taylor ISD DuckLink #25

empowering student success and school improvement

"A leader's job is to look into the future and see the organization, not as it is, but as it should be." - Jack Welch

Data Collection Made Easy with Nearpod

Educators hear the phrases "Whats the data say?" or "Let's do a data dig." all the time. Too often the practice of analyzing test data is reserved days or weeks after the student work has been done and the opportunity to intervene has passed. In Paul Bambrick-Santoyo's booked entitled Driven by Data, he expresses that done skillfully, real-time assessments do have a powerful effect on improving teaching. They give teachers immediate data on which students aren't learning and why. Technology can often assist in conducting effective just-in-time assessments. My absolute favorite tool to accomplish this task is Nearpod. Nearpod is best used when each of your students have access to an iPad or laptop. However, the tool can be used in a computer lab setting. Learn more...
Get engaged with Nearpod!

JP's Top 12 iPad Apps for Educators

Here is my list of top 12 iPad apps I think every educator should have. They are all so good for different purposes so I could not rank them. As a bonus, most of these apps also have a desktop or online version.


  1. iBooks- Organize digital copies of books, highlight, and make notes. Some books may include embedded videos and interactive tools and quizzes. This is also available on Mac.
  2. Prezi- Make beautiful presentations that zoom in and out to emphasize your point. Select from 15 templates, change layouts, add frames, insert images, and embed videos. This tool is also available online. (Example)
  3. Haiku Deck- Quickly put together a slideshow of stunning pictures. Includes themes, text, layout, a picture search feature, charts, and notes. This tool is available online. (Example)
  4. iMovie- Create simple movies using video, photos, and audio in a drag-and-drop fashion. Add theme music and backgrounds. Then publish to Videos, YouTube, or email it. This app is also available on Mac.
  5. Twitter- Use Twitter to stay connected to other like-minded educators. Take advantage of instant professional development by sharing ideas and resources. Join in on scheduled chats for many topics across the world. (Getting Started with Twitter / Chat List)
  6. Skitch- Annotate and markup pictures quickly on your iPad and on Mac computers. Then send it in an email, Tweet it, or send it to Evernote.
  7. Zite- Keep up-to-date on the latest news on any topic of interest. This digital magazine can be customized to the topics you enjoy along with importing content from your Facebook or Twitter pages.
  8. Google Drive- Keep all your files in one place and access them on most smartphones, tablets, and online. The app includes the ability to create and edit documents and spreadsheets. Quickly share your files with others including collaboratively editing the files.
  9. Explain Everything- Create video and audio recordings using a variety of tools. Easily import items such as videos, photos, audio, files, and an Internet browser. Export images and video to your camera roll, email, pdf, Dropbox, Evernote, Youtube and Google Drive.
  10. Keynote- Design slideshow presentations with themes, text, pictures, videos, transitions, and effects. This software is also available on a Mac, iPhone, and iCloud. Easily share your presentations via a link.
  11. Nearpod- Share a variety of content with your audience while controlling the pace of instruction or allowing them to complete it later. The features include uploading .pdfs to create a slideshow, inserting pictures and video, polling, quizzes, open ended questions, and drawings. Nearpod provides many ready-made presentations. This app is also an online tool that teachers and students can use on laptops. This is a fantastic interactive tool.
  12. Evernote- Keep all your notes in one place and gain access to them on just about any device such as iPad, iPhone, Mac, or PC. Share you files with students and staff easily. (Examples: The Flipped Faculty Meeting / JP's Top 12 iPad Apps for Educators)

Taylor ISD Technology Tools

Here are some technology tools that some of you may have missed.


  • Discovery Education- All classroom teachers have access to this great video collection. This handout may be helpful. Creating a Discovery Education Account.
  • Learning.com- All 1st-5th grade students have an account that should be used to address the Technology Application standards. It includes great integration lessons with multiple subject areas. Learn more by visiting this site. Learning.com Resources
  • Project Share- The following supplemental courses are available for students. Algebra I, Biology, US History, English I, and English II. Every student should already be enrolled.
Want to learn more about Twitter? A Visual Guide to Twitter

Follow @taylorisdnews or follow me @edtechminute


Be sure to visit the Taylor ISD Instructional Technology site for more information.