Locust Grove Tech Tidbits

By Denise O'Brien, LMS/STC

OCTI Take-Aways

This week I had the awesome privilege of attending OCTI - the Oldham County Technology Institute with several Locust Grove Teachers (Kelly, Ashley and Ann). What an exciting and informational 2 day professional development session it was. We each had the opportunity to visit various lab classrooms around the district and see how technology can transform learning. In each scenario, it wasn't about the "tech stuff" that the teacher or classroom had, it was HOW that technology was being used. A few take away's I had from my 2 days:

  • Quality not quantity.....we may not have 1:1 here at Locust Grove but I do not feel we always take advantage of what do DO have here. It's a glass half-empty/half-full perspective. There's SO much you can do with even 1 iPad in your classroom. We have a computer lab of 30 computers to use at your disposal! Use what we have to the fullest potential!
  • You have a Library Media Specialist that would be MORE than happy to come to planning sessions and help your team look and explore ways of integrating technology and using what we do have to its fullest potential. Never hesitate to ask!
  • Technology doesn't change good quality BEST PRACTICE instruction. Technology can enhance, engage and motivate students but at the heart of quality technology integration is still BEST PRACTICE instruction and classroom management.

If you get a chance, I hope you all can get a chance to talk with Kelly, Ashley and Ann about some of their OCTI take-aways as well!

But here's a quick low-down on some of the apps/tech that I saw in action that I think was so POWERFUL. Some are repeats from previous Tech Tidbits and some are some new finds!



Plickers is perfect for a 1 iPad classroom!

A powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data with out the need for student devices. Tailor instruction with instant feedback. Use Plickers for quick checks for understanding to know whether your students are understanding big concepts and mastering key skills.

Check out this video to see how easy it is to use Plickers and a great explanation of it in use!

My Take on Plickers - Automatic Student Feedback with One Device

Plickers in Kindergarten and 1st Grade

Plickers FREE app and How I Use it!

Edmodo - Snapshot

This FREE tool is already built into Edmodo. See what your students know (and what they don't) with this tool that gives you the power to regularly gauge student progress and take the guessing out of assessing. Snapshot sets your classroom up for Common Core mastery with thousands of standards-aligned questions, great use as warm-up or exit ticket, real-time results and recommendations.

Check out this tutorial for using and implementing Snapshot in Edmodo!

Edmodo - Snapshot


Newsela is an innovative way to build reading comprehension with nonfiction that's always relevant: daily news. It's easy and amazing. Every news article in Newsela is written at 5 different levels making it easy for an entire class to read the same content, but at a level that's just right for each student. There's 2 version - FREE and Pro. When you first sign up, you receive a trail version of the Pro version. However with just the FREE you get:

  • multiple new articles every day - each at 5 reading levels
  • students can take quizzes and view progress
  • Archive of more than 500 articles, organized by category and reading standard (common core)
  • no advertisements on pages
  • search for articles by News theme (war & peace, science, kids, money, law, health, arts and sports
  • Or search for articles based on grade levels or reading standard

NewsELA Tutorial

FlipSnack EDU

This VERY cool website will allow you to turn ANY PDF documents into a Flash page flip digital publication that can be embeded into websites, Edmodo, etc. For example, did your students write stories? Take their story and turn it into an interactive book. The FREE provides quite a bit of great features.

Check out some more information and see an example of a FlipSnack book by clicking the link below.


Want to way for you or students to make interactive Timelines? TimeToast is the answer!