Sunday, October 12, 2014

How Teachers Can Use iPads

5 Ways Teachers Can Use their iPads Professionally

chaos-391652_640This is a guest post from Jennifer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) and EdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site.

iPads are powerful tools for teachers in the classroom. In addition to being robust, mobile creation devices for students, they help you to stay organized, be on top of your classes, create content and lessons, focus on continued learning, and build your PLN. Here are five ways to turn your iPad into a robust, education machine!

Organize Yourself

You can easily sync your Outlook or Google Calendar to your iPad by going to iPad Settings → Mail, Contacts, & Calendar → Add Account.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Free Online Tech Course

I came across this online tech course. It looks like it's free. Check it out if you're interested and if it is indeed free, please leave a comment so we can all know for sure:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

How is Cheating Being Redefined?

Cheating vs Collaborating in Online Learning Environments

Say what you like about technology use in the classroom, the biggest difference for me is that it changes the way I teach, and the way my students learn.

That may seem easier for me to say, since I’m a mostly-live online teacher. But I’ve joyfully discovered that there are plenty of benefits that affect educators in face to face or asynchronous education as well.

One big plus of utilizing online tools is the ease of organizing course material. Here is a photo of a student locker at a private school in Paramus, NJ. Sadly, this was not the only one: there were rows and rows of these disaster areas.

The division head who showed me around the school waved it all off with a smile. “Yes, they always look like this.” How can students keep track of their belongings and assignments when this is what their lockers look like? Are students taught organizational skills or given time to organize and leaf through old material?

A huge benefit of using a Learning Management System (LMS) is never receiving the excuse: “I lost my classwork/homework.” It’s true that students find other excuses – “I didn’t see that question posted” and “I didn’t understand what to do” are popular. However, most of my students get the hang of and appreciate the benefits of using an LMS.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014


Here's a good video on Educational Technology Integration featuring the SAMR and TPCK models.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NCCE Notes

I put together this Prezi with my thoughts and takeaways from this year's NCCE Conference. The conference was a great experience full of great learning and great people.
  Here's a link in case the embed doesn't show up.

NCCE Livebinder

This livebinder includes notes from three sessions at NCCE.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Digital Learning Goals

I asked to borrow this image to give us ideas about a simple digital learning goals from a small, rural district in CO for our District Tech Plan.

Here is another one from a small, rural district in WI:

Most Important Goals:
  • Ensure that we are utilizing existing technologies to their fullest potential.
  • Integrating technology effectively into teaching and learning.
  • Creating students who are 21st Century ready.
  • Maintaining and expanding the district's infrastructure.
  • Tight budgets/having to share equipment throughout schools/district
  • Adequate professional development, in-service and training for educators.
  • Finding time in busy schedules and curriculum to fully integrating technology into all content areas
  • Complete support and "buy-in" among all administrators and staff members.

Here's another one from another small, rural school in CO:

What are the most important goals for updating teaching and learning in your classroom, school, district or organization?
  1. Integration of technology into curriculum with a meaningful purpose
  2. Internet safety and appropriate use education in curriculum
  3. Elementary access to electronic devices

What are the biggest challenges you and your colleagues must address to achieve these goals?
  1. Bandwidth - this is our largest factor.  We currently very limited by the amount of bandwidth (6 MB ) we have available.  We also pay an exorbitant price of $200/MB.  We cannot add any more devices or curriculum until we have the bandwidth too support it. 
  2. Staffing - We have a 5/7 time technology coordinator.  We continue to add devices and technology needs but we do not increase the time for our technology staff.
  3. Infrastructure - We made a great deal of progress this past summer with the additional of wifi access throughout the entire school.  As we continue to see more devices including byod, we will need to build upon our infrastructure.
  4. Professional Development - With limited staff, time and money, we need to provide more professional development to our staff to help them integrate technology into their curriculum.

NCCE 2014 Tweets

Here are our District Tech Committee's tweets from the NCCE 2014 conference. Our tweets capture our learning and the resources we collected and curated at the conference. We will use what we learned as we develop our district's tech plan.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

MOOC Unit 5 Professional Dev

Unit 5 of the Digital Learning Transition MOOC speaks to Teaching and Professional Learning.

The two questions for week five are:

How well prepared are teachers and administrators for the changes in their knowledge and practices required for a successful digital learning transition?

How can effective professional development be provided to prepare teachers and administrators for the changing expectations involved in digital learning?

This week there were two specific resources on professional development that stood out for me.

The first was the article: Project Tomorrow Speak Up National Findings, May 2012. This article includes a summary of the teacher component of the National Speak Up survey. The focus is on the way that educators use technology for student learning, and how this reflects their own online learning, social network and digital content experiences.

The second resource was the audio of the Unit 5 Expert Panel discussion. During this discussion there were many different approaches to effective professional development, examples included; professional learning communities, online learning, peer coaching, teacher feedback and more.

Other strategies for professional learning formats were suggested such as encouraging teachers to provide leadership and support in creating the professional development activities, and to provide a learning experience that exemplifies effective classroom practice. This 45 minute audio/video is well worth the time.

The experts participating in the discussion forum, are:  
Lorie Kaplan, Executive Director, eMINTS National Center, University of Missouri – Columbia
Joellen Killion, Senior Advisor, Learning Forward
Thomas Murray, Director of Technology and Cyber Learning, Quakertown Community School District, PA
Barbara Treacy, Director, EdTech Leaders Online, EDC, Newton, MA

I agree with this panel, effective professional development for our Chimacum staff will be essential as we integrate Common Core State Standards, technology and our teacher evaluation system TPEP. As Technology Committee members, we need to be thoughtful about making PD recommendations within our Technology Plan.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ideas for Transforming Teaching

Here's a document started a few years ago for teachers to share, add, and get ideas about how to transform teaching for the 21st Century (click here to access this document on your Google Drive and feel free to add to it):

Using the ideas in the above document, how can we transform schools into student-centric learning environments?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The 3 R's or the 3 C's?

Watch this video to hear from Tom Whitby why the 20th Century 3 R's need to give way for the 21st Century 3 C's:

Tom blogs here and tweets here. Connect with him!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An Eye Opening Experience

Third Graders Provide Eye Opening Experience

I had one kid in my class that was always talking to me about MineCraft.  He just seemed possessed about wanting me to know that he was doing "stuff" with it.  He was talking about 'mods' and 'events', and I just couldn't get a hold on it.  So, last night I started to check it out.  All of a sudden, I'm in a new role - finding out what and how my kids are learning and doing in technology.  I would never have thought to check it out if our Tech Comm had not had some video about how role-playing games provide new and very different (personalized) learning experiences for the 'learner'.

So, this morning, I learned a bunch!  First, I asked my 23 3rd graders what kinds of 'devices' they have access to - what a surprise!  15 of 23 kids have access to a laptop, tablet, iPod Touch-like device, or a smartphone!  These are 3rd graders!  Then we talked about 'apps' and games.  I asked about which were role-play and which were 'player' apps.  They wanted to tell me about which were multi-player and more platforms that they might use; PlayStation, Wii, Game Cube, X-Box.  They also wanted to tell me more about what goes on the inside the games - the various parts.  I let them go to make a list for me of what they could think of and talk to each other.  Kids were asking kids about various games and apps.  I then realized that my World Golf Tour is just one of those apps that I learn from; places, options, weather, ball flight dynamics, geometry, etc.  Wow!

Anyway, I thought, "How can I get just 10 more devices so that every kid in my class could have one in class to go in their way, and maybe contribute to a class effort?"  Got any ideas?  

By they way, do any of you have a Movie Star Planet account?

Monday, February 3, 2014

10 Ways to Transform Our Schools

What do you think? How can we start meeting the expectations of the 21st Century learners in our classrooms?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Anytime, Anywhere Learning

Here's rural school district taking full advantage of digital learning:

What can Chimacum take away from the above video? What can we do for our kids with digital learning?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Changing Teaching and Learning

Unit 2 of the Digital Learning Transition Course begins today! And registration doesn't close until Feb 7!

Answer the following questions by leaving a comment:

  • What changes in the culture of teaching and learning would you recommend for your school or district?
  • What do you see as the major challenges to making these changes?

Tech Standards for Students

On slides 17 through 23 you will find the ISTE NETS Standards for Students. I think those are excellent and go deeper into 21st Century Learning than the EALRS. 

What do you think?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Digital Learning from Student POV

Digital Youth Portraits

Edutopia provides profiles of technologically sophisticated students, with both a video and a written interview for each. The 10 students range in age from nine to 18. They are engaged in a of variety productive, creative uses of technology, including: producing videos; forming groups engaged in social activism; creating animations; writing blogs; and creating educational and other types of web sites. The link above  takes you to a menu where you can choose the profile of one or more students.

What takeaways are you getting from the profiled kids? How can the ways they are using technology be used with our students?

Digital Learning Transition MOOC Intro

Unit 1: Envisioning Schools in the Year 2020 from MOOC-Ed on Vimeo.

More 1to1 Ideas

Making 1:1 Work

1/6/2014 On Tech&Learning:

We checked in with some districts that have been using 1:1 programs for a long time to get their insight into what makes these initiatives strong and how they can be sustained. Here are their thoughts.
Scott Ribich

Director of Technology, Bluffton-Harrison (IN)
Metropolitan School District

Describe your 1:1 program “Each of our 1,483 students (K-12) has a third-generation iPad. Students in grades K-4 leave their iPads in the classroom, and those in grades 5-12 take them home,” says Ribich. Grades K-4 have 16GB iPads, the older students have 32GB ones. All teachers and administrators have MacBook Pros as well as iPads. “We are in the second year of our 1:1 program. We decided to move toward a 1:1 [program] in 2010, but we wanted to take our time and do things right. In the summer of 2010, we purchased SMART Boards for every teacher. In 2011, we upgraded our infrastructure so that it could handle a district-wide 1:1 [program]. In 2012, we handed out the iPads.”

What have been your biggest successes? “We went from a district that wasn’t heavily invested in technology to being one of the leaders in the state in a very short time. Our middle school is the only SMART Showcase school in Indiana and our district was just named an Apple Distinguished School District. We’ve hosted more than 40 school districts across the state to see our 1:1 program, and we were awarded the Imagining and Creating Grant from the Indiana DoE last year. I was named the 2013 Technology Coordinator of the Year at the Hoosier Educational Computer Coordinators conference. We have stories of teachers who barely knew how to use a computer who now create their own digital curriculum, students who were below average who are now on the honor roll, and our test scores have risen. We know that technology isn’t the reason for this, but we feel the increased student engagement has led to better scores.”

Your biggest challenges?

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

In a 1to1 Classroom

5 Demands Placed on Students in a 1:1

by Shawn McCusker

1. Manage the Technology: In addition to learning and completing assignments students have an array or responsibilities simply in managing the device.  The device needs to be charged, apps and programs need to be updated so that they continue to function correctly. At first students and perhaps parents may scoff at the idea that these tasks are part of learning. It can be hard to keep them accountable for them, but just as important as it is to have paper, a pen, a PE uniform or safety goggles, having a functioning device is key to being “ready to learn.”

2.  Make Learning Choices:  The volume of data being evaluated and sifted through and the freedom for students to construct ideas with their own information make 1:1 powerful. One roadblock to this is the “Tell Me What To Do?” mindset that many students have. 

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