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Showing posts from June, 2013

Can Anyone Hear Me?

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3....can anyone hear me??!?

ISTE has made me think about the amount with which I speak. After repeatedly hearing one key element infused throughout conversations, lectures, keynotes, and Ignite Sessions- I am convinced I talk too much; to the detriment of my children.

When teaching Reading and Language Arts, it seems you must talk by default. Most of the current literacy research states that students show growth in a small group setting with explicit instruction and concrete examples provided. That's a lot of talking...and has students doing a lot of listening. In Scotty Iseri's (@scottyiseri) Ignite speech, Kill Your Players, one idea stuck out and resonated with me- and that is the idea that directions (and in most cases on overabundance of directions) sometimes robs the player of discovery. He spoke of less tutorials on HOW to play actually provided more play time and a better retention of the material.

It made me think of how we handle new items we…

The World TRULY is Flat

According to Members of the Historical Association in 1945:
"The idea that educated men at the time of Columbus believed that the earth was flat, and that this belief was one of the obstacles to be overcome by Columbus before he could get his project sanctioned, remains one of the hardiest errors in teaching."[2]And here we are in the year 2013 only to learn that, at least in educational terms, the world truly is flat.

This week I am attending my first ever ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference and Expo in San Antonio. Until February of this year I had honestly never heard of ISTE. (Sad, I know.) However, in the last few months, that I have had the awesome opportunity to see these truly innovative educators thinking about what engages our students, what drives learning, what tools and resources we can utilize in the classroom to foster learning; I've seen them grow and network and in that small moment of time- have had the opportunity to be a…

Technology Integration

My philosophy of technology integration has changed greatly in the last year. Until this year, I have been so overwhelmed trying to fit inside the “box” of meeting all the requirements (testing, teaching, implementing C-Scope with fidelity, Easy Tech skills each week, library time, figuring out who hit who on the playground, handing out Band-Aids for paper cuts, dealing with issues being brought from home that affect focus, progress monitoring, etc…) that I had lost sight of the ultimate goal: to enable self-motivated, life-learners who cherish education and see the value of it in their lives. And somewhere in between all of those things- I am expected to teach them to read and write along the way.

Until this time, technology integration has been “just one more thing to do.” Then we were told the campus computer techs would be rotating to various campuses throughout the year (our regular computer tech would be visiting a different campus than ours), and I was really turned off. Not th…

Google Forms

One of my tech goals for this weekend was to try out Google forms after hearing about it for the last few weeks and also participating in several surveys that used it. Of course, I waited until Sunday evening to tinker with it, but definitely worth it! WOW.

Google Forms is out of this world; versatile, easy to create, and definitely easy to distribute. I was able to create and send out a survey in minutes. According to the various blogs I have read about Google Forms, you are also able to see the results in real time and receive analytics based on the feedback of your form. I can't wait to use this for parent feedback, student surveys, part of assignments for core content... the possibilities are literally endless!

If you have a free Gmail account, then you, too, have access to Google Forms! Simply download Google Drive and choose "Create" on the left-hand side. Voila! You will see numerous other options, as well. I am excited to try out Google Docs and the other treats f…

ShowMe: a Novice Opinion

One of my favorite things is trying new technologies to see what works well and what doesn't. I try to find tools that are easy to use, easy to understand, and serve the purpose I need the tech tool for.

That being said, my daughter can usually be found either bugging her brother in his room or dancing to music on her iPod in her room. Last week I asked why she doesn't ever watch her own TV, and she said because she doesn't know how to work the satellite remote controller. Oh! Well.... yes.... I guess that could be a problem...

Knowing that I could show her once and she would ask again the next week, I knew I needed something she could review as needed until she felt confident to work the remote independently- and preferably a way that would not require my presence each time. So, we decided to try making a tutorial using ShowMe. First we took a picture of the remote control. Next, we recorded the steps she would follow while circling the buttons she would need to push using…

Overload 101

Nings, AR, blogs, oh my! Make no mistake about it, I am totally in over my head. Like, gurgling in the deep end with no signs of SOS..... and loving it! The ridiculously awesomeness about this is that it is summer vacation, so it is ok to be on overload. Expectation is low, no lesson plans or grades to submit, and nothing is really scheduled except regular summer things.

So far, today I have learned that AR does not strictly mean Accelerated Reader (don't tell my dear friend Mrs. Reynolds. She would be devastated. Seriously.)... For those living in the tech world, it means Augmented Reality. The first video I ever saw for AR was from a teacher showcasing her second graders using the PC program and app, Aurasma ( To an unknowing viewer, it looked like a bunch of little people using iPads to take pictures of things... and although I didn't have an understanding of all that was taking place, one thing was sure- ALL students were focused and learning in a 100% stu…

PLNs: previously posted on Storify

PLN: Personal Late Nights How Twitter and other tech media and platforms have opened up a Pandora's Box of Personal Learning Networks for growing as a teacher... or in my case PLN stands for Personal Late Nights... A few months ago I discovered Twitter- thanks to my friend, Sommer Reynolds and a Mobile Conference at Region 5. Not that I didn't know Twitter existed; you would have to live under a rock to not know about Twitter... I just didn't see its relevance to my life and felt it was one more novelty I truly didn't have time for. However, at this Mobile Conference, the Keynote was@ipadsammyand hebasicallysaid get a Twitter account because all of the cool kids have one... and since the lovely Mrs. Reynolds was always talking about the latest cool tidbits she read about on Twitter, I decided to give it a try. Holy Moly, Batman! There is a whole list of Twitter chats you can be a part of-and some of them aren't even listed on this list!!!!!!!! Educational Chats on …