Adventures in Technology

News, Tips, and Tricks From Instructional Technology

Su's Schedule Weeks March 28th-April 15th

Monday, April 4th--Office Day

Tuesday, April 5th--Flex Day

Wednesday, April 6th--Flower Mound

Thursday, April 7th--Wellington

Friday, April 8th--Timber Creek

Tuesday, April 12--Forest Vista

Wednesday, April 13th--Flex Day

Thursday, April 14th--Bridlewood

Friday, April 15th Bluebonnet


Please email me if you would like to set up an appointment!

What is Flex Time??? Flex time allows me to meet your unique needs-I go where the request is. If you'd like to take advantage of some of my Flex Time please email me!

Click here to see the whole schedule for the fourth nine weeks.

Check Out These Technology Tips, Tricks, and Ideas!

Google Maps Ideas

Google Maps, part of Google Apps For Education (GAFE), offers several options for integrating map skills into the content areas. Similar to other Google Apps, these interactive maps can be shared and created collaboratively. Creators can add pins, text, images, and web links to their map. Some of my favorite ways to use Google Maps are:


  • Place famous symbols and landmarks on a map. Add pictures and some basic text to your pin.
  • Pin where famous people lived, spoke, or did work that influenced the community, nation, or world.
  • Pin where different animals live. Add pictures and information about animal adaptations. Compare adaptations and geography and climate.
  • Pin a story setting. Place pins at all the different locations the story took place.
  • Create a map based timeline using layers. Plot the locations of different technological inventions by time periods.
Students can work individually or together in small groups or as a class to create a map. Teachers with young students can project and use the SmartBoard interactively to create a class map as a group. To read more ways to use Gooogle Maps and view a tutorial read this blog post. What other ways can you think of? Need help? Email me bruscos@lisd.net

Green Screen Fun!

Students in Joy Hutto's second grade class recently did some work with iMovie and green screen. I've always been hesitant to do much green screen work because it just sounded so hard to me. Joy gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out and I can honestly say it's not that hard and I am sad I waited this long. Here's what we did...


  • The students did some biography research and wrote a script for their video. They dressed up as their person and stood in front of a green screen. Using an iPad they were videoed reading/acting as that person. Because we were using a shared iPad, for practical purposes the same iPad was used for all the videoing.
  • Joy moved all the videos into a Google Drive folder and shared the videos with her students. Again, Joy did this step because we were using a shared iPad.
  • I located fair use, time period accurate images that went with each biography and placed them in a folder on Google Drive. This folder was shared with the kids.
  • The students downloaded their video and the background image they wanted to use from Google Drive to a Mac Air.
  • Using the Mac Air they opened iMovie and imported the background image and their video. Next, they turned on the green screen setting and saved their project.
It really sounds more complicated than it was. If you want to try green screen and iMovie, let me know. I have some tips we learned along the way and I'd be happy to help you. It's okay to start small like we did. Taking a risk is easier with a partner-I'm glad I had Joy to take that risk along with me! If you'd like to partner with me and take a risk trying out some Green Screen action, let me know! Check out some of the kids videos!

ePortfolio Reflections

Reflection is one of the most important pieces in the ePortfolio. It gives the student the opportunity to showcase and talk about their learning and helps provide that personal connection. Having students reflect upon the work seems difficult and many times we just don't where to start. Think about applying a Workshop model; use a mini-lesson, guided practice, independent practice, and debriefing approach. Leading the class through a whole group reflection of an artifact is a great way to model the thought process involved and scaffold students as they are just starting. If you're struggling with having students reflect on the learning that accompanies the artifact, please let me know. Thanks to Heather Shorter, WZ ITF, I have several resources to help you. I am even willing to come in and model how you can get your students to write thoughtful reflections that showcase their learning, not just the artifact. Check out the samples and links below to see examples of a group reflections. These teachers are starting with group reflections and moving forward as their students gain more independence. Don't let this be something overwhelming; together you and I can make it manageable!

Want to try one of these or something else out but unsure how to do it or want an extra set of hands? I'll help!

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