Technology Treats


January 2016 Edition

Welcome back for second semester. I hope you had time to rest, rejuvenate, and get caught up with family and friends during our break. The warm weather made for an unusual Tennessee Christmas, but I am not complaining. For Christmas, I asked Mike for cute warm hat for walking the dogs this winter. This is his idea of cute!

Making New Year's Resolutions?
Daily Devo Apps
Healthy Lifestyle Apps
Do you have a favorite self-help app you want to share?

Thinking of Rearranging Your Classroom Space for the New Semester?

Check out this infographic for optimizing classroom space for differing activities. According to this study by the University of Southern California, classroom environment can have a significant impact on student learning.

Just in case it SNOWS - Be Prepared!

Are you ready for SNOW DAY Virtual School? These are some suggestions you may find helpful.
  • Take your laptop home with you everyday - JUST IN CASE! It will make setting up assignments easier than using your iPad.
  • Make sure your home WiFi is fully functioning.
  • Schoology is your friend (see below)
  • Require your students now to check their school email and schoology daily.
  • Practice creating a screen cast now - USE Screencast-o-matic and upload your finished recording to your YouTube channel connected to your school gmail account (Tutorials)
Schoology options:
  • Assignments - Use this option to give directions and have the assignment submitted back to you .
  • Discussions - Use this option when you want all students to see what is written and engage in online discussion. Give them directions to comment on 2-3 other student posts (nice comments only!)
  • Big Blue Button - This option allows you to do live audio/video conference with up to 50 students at a time.
Best practices for teaching online:
  • Use Standards based assignments
  • Set Expectations - Make sure students understand your online expectations like when work is due and are they allowed to work together online,
  • Grading/Feedback - Communicate frequently (If you assign it on a snow day, you need to give feedback on a snow day.) - Let them know what they missed, and allow students to resubmit. Give meaningful feedback often, and use other means of assessment other than traditional tests.
  • Tests - Open book testing is a great option. Schoology quizzes can be used instead as guided reading assignments.
  • Communicate - Setup times when the student can know they can ask you questions (ex. before 10:00 pm.) Let them know you will get back when you can.
  • Variety of assignments - Find projects/problems for them to work on so they have to actually put to use the material they are reading/learning. Think real world applications, such as interviews, apps, web 2.0, etc. that use creativity, critical thinking, and digital/visual literacy components. Make it fun. Connect the assignment to snow, the date, local news, etc. The way you usually teach it in class is not the only method. Teachers can be creative, too!
  • Collaboration - Have students work together on projects. They learn from each other. You may want to plan groups now that you use in the future if needed. Google Docs, Slides, and other online apps are great for group work. They do not have to work at the same time. They just need to be able to connect digitally.
  • Discussion - Have students comment on other students comments. Use open ended questions, not just facts and ask them to justify their opinion. Teachers should participate by asking good follow-up questions. Have 2 due dates - one for original comment, 1 for other comments on the original and questions

See this link for suggested apps for student created assignments:

Here are some of my personal favorites: (use the free versions)



Glogster (get sign in information from me)

Bookemon/BookPress (set up your own classroom)

Videoshop app (iPhone/iPad) Well worth the $1.99 cost to easily edit video.


Pic Collage

Voki (a great way for teachers to intro a lesson)


3D Printing

All three 3D printers are here. We will have 1 in the library computer lab, the HS computer lab, and the MS computer lab. If you are interested in 3D printing with your class, please see me and we all learn together! You can explore items that have already been created for printing at Thingverse. Also, please check out the link below titled, Making and Learning with Real Aritfacts. Ideally, we will use the printers for student created designs. These would be great collaborative projects. Tinkercad is the free, online program we will use to design items to be printed. Tinkercad has great tutorials if you get the urge to try your hand at design. The print process is slow. Small items (think key chain) take around an hour to print, so think small! I will send out an email the next couple of times I am printing something so if you are available, come and see the printer in action.

Beyond the Presentation

No matter what subject you teach, you too can become a part of the maker movement! Expand your classroom project. Presentations are fine, but think hands on. Have students create something to go along with the unit you are teaching. If you require a presentation, have them actually make something "that can be held in your hand", to illustrate their project. Have them include pictures of themselves making the project to include in the presentation. Such pictures are a great way to keep the audience (other students) engaged in/listening to their classmates presentation. Students learning from students.

Rubrics - Schoology Feature

Rubrics are a great way to bring consistency to student expectations and your grading. It is a prime example of incorporating (UbD) backwards design. This article is a great one if you need to be convinced about the importance of using rubrics.

Schoology offers a simple way to create rubrics in the grade setup area, assignment area, or resources area of your course. See this link for complete instructions.

You will want to use the gradebook feature of schoology in conjunction with rubrics.

Here are some examples of technology rubrics created with Rubistar, another option for rubric creation. Feel free to adapt or use these for your next project.

Big image

Teachers Modeling Good Tech Practice

The info-graphic above asks questions about students. Try substituting the word educators for students. As teachers we want to be sure we are being good digital citizens. Teacher do not have unlimited right to everything on the web. Make sure you link or properly attribute anything you have gotten from a website, including pictures. (ISTE Standards for Teachers 4a and ISTE Standards for Students 5a) Below, find a couple of links for finding pictures for your own and your students use.

Free E-Book if you sign up

Google Cheat Sheets
Follow the link to get a great free e-book just for signing up to follow the blog. Thanks Kasey Bell and

Title Money May Still be Available for the Conferences Below

Donna Brasher

I would love to hear about your technology wins. If you have an article you would like to contribute to Technology Treats, please contact me. If you have a suggestion for upcoming technology PD, please let me know.