CR6 Tech4Learning

Personalizing 24/7 Learning to Create Life-Long Learners

Tech Updates!

Hi Everyone!

I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with lots of food, fun, and family! I know I enjoyed the break, so I hope yours was as restful as mine was.

Here are your tech updates:

1. Apple released updates for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for both MacBook and iPad. These updates include backwards compatibility for '06 and '08 files, so if you have older Mac files, our laptops and iPads should now be able to open and edit them. You'll need to go into your App Store on both your Mac and iPad to download the updates. If you're not sure how to get the updates, let me know, and I'll come show you how!

2. The Teacher Tech Committee (TTC) recently met to discuss the best ways to communicate to staff, parents, and students about our Tech4Learning initiative. The TTC proposed several ideas, including a Parent Tech Corner on our school website. I shared with the TTC an idea from the admin team about sending out a 1:1 survey to parents. The TTC agreed this would be useful data and also talked about how the staff could promote maximum parent participation in the survey. We talked about developing a framework for integrating technology appropriately while unit/lesson planning. Finally, we discussed the need for clear expectations for tech use. We'll continue to work with the admin team to develop these ideas and put them into practice on your behalf. Our next TTC meeting will be December 8th at 3:30. If there's anything you'd like us to discuss, please let your TTC rep know!

As always, let me know how I can support you in our technology adventures!

~Sarah :)

Tech Tip!

Search with iTunes

iTunes is a great way to find resources for your classroom. Here's how I would use it if I were a 6th Grade Science Teacher.

First, I check my standards. In the new proposed Missouri standards, I have 6 standards that will work well together because they focus on earth processes and their effects on ecosystems. Here's one of those 6 proposed standards:

MS-ESS3-2 - Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects

Next, I determine how my students will demonstrate their mastery of those standards. In the case of these standards, I want my students to develop a response to the questions, "What would happen if the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted? How would that effect the ecosystems of our planet? Based on your knowledge of Earth's processes current and historical, can the supervolcano eruption be prevented? As a scientist, what would you recommend to the lessen the effects of the supervolcano eruption?" Students can choose how they'll answer those questions, and I'll provide them with a rubric that will show them what mastery means.

Now, I need to provide students with resources and activities that will help them master the content knowledge needed to answer their learning questions. I create a list of content knowledge and vocabulary that students will need. Based on my content and vocabulary list, I perform a search in iTunes. (Watch the video tutorial below!) I can add any resources or materials I find to my iTunesU course for my students to access on their iPads. Or, I can add materials to my video library or iBooks library to show to students in class. I can also use the materials from my iTunes search to make a list of experts that I can invite to virtually speak to my students using FaceTime.

In class, I give students time to look through the resources and complete the learning activities. I periodically give formative assessments to be sure my students are mastering the content. Based on the data from my formative assessments, I'll look for other resources in iTunes and adjust learning activities accordingly. At the end of the learning period, students present their findings for the learning questions to the class. I could also invite a local expert, such as a Geology professor from Mizzou, to come evaluate the scientific content of each presentation.

Searching iTunes for Classroom Resources

Website of the Week!

Easy Test Maker!

With the end of the semester coming up and final quizzes and tests, I wanted to find a site that would make your life easier. Enter Easy Test Maker!
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By creating a free account, you now have the ability to generate multiple choice, true / false, matching, and short answer questions. You simply enter the question content, and Easy Test Maker perfectly formats your question. It will also format your test title, headings, and instructions. The free account gives you access to 25 free tests and answer sheets.

Tech Try of the Week!

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App Task Challenge!

Craig Badura is the Technology Integration Specialist for the Aurora School District in Aurora, Nebraska. He has created several App Task Challenges. Each challenge is a series of steps that will get you creating with a particular app or apps.

You can find the App Task Challenges here:

Google Drive Folder of App Task Challenges

Your challenge this week is to:

  • Look through the folder for a challenge that will stretch your digital skills.
  • Perform the App Task Challenge.
  • Document your response to the App Task Challenge on Twitter. Use the hashtag #cr6best and include my Twitter handle @EdTechCR6 so I see your awesomeness!

At the end of this week, I'll randomly select an App Task Challenge completer to receive a $10 Gift Card for iTunes!

If you need help with setting up a Twitter account or with completing the challenge, let me know!

Thank you to Craig Badura for creating and sharing his App Task Challenges!

Upcoming Learning Opportunities


Spotlight On...

Danielle Bennett!

Danielle has created a MakerSpace for the students at CHS. A MakerSpace is a community area with tools for creating. Danielle's MakerSpace includes a 3D printer, robots, spray paint, and other crafting tools. I got the opportunity to play in the MakerSpace last week as Danielle was setting up for the CHS Art Club sponsored MakerSpace night.

My favorite was the MakeyMakey circuit board. As long an object conducts electricity, you can connect it to the MakeyMakey board. This allowed me to play the piano using Mountain Dew cans, a cup of water, and a banana! This summer, Danielle taught a MakerSpace class that allowed students to create with the MakeyMakey board. Students had to problem solve to determine how to use the MakeyMakey board correctly to complete a task. My favorite - using balloons to play Dance Dance Revolution!

Makey Makey Piano

Danielle has also partnered several times with Alicia Hancock's Crafting Exploratory class to bring 8th graders to CHS to use the MakerSpace. The MakerSpace is free to all, so definitely stop by CHS and check it out. Danielle can also always use supplies for the MakerSpace, so please donate!

Here's a list of common MakerSpace supplies that would make great donations:

  • Dowel rods/wooden skewers
  • Popsicle sticks/paint sticks
  • Florist wire/wire gauge
  • Rubber bands
  • Fabric scraps/buttons/spools
  • Nails/screws/nuts/washers (variety of sizes)
  • Cardboard pieces
  • Styrofoam
  • Tin cans/metal containers (mint, band-aid, etc.)
  • Metal and plastic bottle caps
  • Plastic containers (yogurt, fruit cups, small butter, etc.)
  • Plastic & metal lids
  • Corks/clothespinsScrap wood
  • Metal hardware (hinges, pulls, keys, eye hooks, fasteners, etc.)
  • Old paintbrushes (variety of sizes)
  • Dominos/golf tees
  • Metal rings/clips/brass fasteners
  • Sandpaper
  • Craft materials (pipe cleaners, pompoms, foam stickers, feathers, googly eyes, etc.)
  • Stencils
  • Springs/plastic toy parts
  • Playing cards

**anything small, old, metal, or interesting to make cool and unique projects

Old electronics:
DVD/VHS players, keyboards, hard drives, desk phones, adding machines, blenders, toasters, coffee makers, toys that light up or make sound, big calculators, cameras, etc.

**anything with screws that can be taken apart as long as there is no glass or hazardous materials

CHS 3D Printer in Action!

Danelle Mathews!

I recently had the opportunity to watch Danelle's CIS orchestra kids in action. The kids were struggling with a specific stretch of music, so Danelle quickly got out her iPad and began recording while the kids were playing. She then played the recording back for the students while they followed along in their music. Next, she asked them to tell her where they needed to make improvements. Students began volunteering ways to improve their playing.

I loved this for many reasons. First, Danelle used her iPad as a formative assessment tool. Second, she used the iPad as a tool to allow her students to do self-reflection. Third, using the iPad was simple and effective because the process allowed for immediate tangible improvement in student learning. And all in less than 5 minutes! High five, Danelle!

Orchestra with iPad

If you should need me...

FaceTime or iMessage me with your iPad! Also, check out my resources on my Pinterest page.