I've done Professional Development across the district singing the praises of SOCRATIVE. A few of the reasons I like it so much is that it makes student engagement soar, and it's easy to use. If you aren't familiar with SOCRATIVE, it's a student response system, that mimics "clickers", but that is web based. It can be used on smartphones, PCs, MACS and iPads. Teachers can design their own quizzes and activities in minutes. Another great thing about SOCRATIVE is the customer service they offer. Any time I have contacted them, I get a prompt, helpful response. In addition, they listen to their customer feedback and make changes accordingly. Recently, they updated their website with two new options - the ability to embed pictures in quizzes and gradable short answers.
Those sneaky folks at the SOCRATIVE team have made us sing for our supper, so to speak. Those awesome new features are out there, BUT....you have to give them some feedback in order to turn it on!!! (This is why their customer service ROCKS.)
Please navigate to this address: http://www.socrative.com/garden/
Enter your info and log in to your account and you will be good to go. Yes, it's FREE. All it will cost you is five minutes of your time. Below is a video that shows you how to use these new features. Enjoy!
Blogs - a ubiquitous term in our society today. However, what continues to baffle me is the fact that so many people don't follow them or write their own. Of course there's the age-old excuse of "no time", and I totally get that. It seems, of late, things have been going at warp speed both personally and professionally, and I know I'm not alone in that feeling. But one of the things I feel passionate about in education is professional development. As teachers, we need to stay up with best practice and crave collaboration with other teachers. In addition, we hate reinventing the wheel, so if we can find something to tweak or build on that will work in our classrooms and is aligned with Common Core, we're on it! That's why we should take some responsibility for our own professional learning; one way to do that is through following blogs. With curation tools/websites like Bloglovin
, keeping track of information and reading on your own time is a breeze. Not to mention...wait for it....they're free! Taking advantage of the incredible amount of information out there is a must. So, where do you start? One easy way is by visiting this Edublogs site. Each year, Edublogs holds a contest to find the "best of the best" in the blogging world and then they share that information with us. The link above is the best of the best in Education. Along the right side of the homepage, users will find a list of topics. Navigate through them and pick something that interests you. Math teachers who follow blogs will tell you that Dan Meyer's is a fantastic one. Heck, I follow him and I have never taught math. Mr. Coward's Teaching the Outsiders blog is fantastic. He has loads of followers - yet not all of them teach English. He is also hysterical...an added bonus. Don't even get me started on blogs I follow for personal use. Let's just say that I know way too much about the Pioneer Woman her Food Network show and her family and leave it at that. :-)
By reading blogs, you immerse yourself in new ideas and and give yourself the gift of collaboration - something every teacher can use. If you have questions about how to get started with reading or even creating blogs, contact me!
Folks across the district have said they are sometimes a bit confused when faced with how to use My Learning Plan and what the heck to do to get PDC points after they have attended a workshop or conference. In order to take some of the ambiguity away, I created a step sheet and video tutorial to help. Let me know if you have any questions.
One concept being discussed among tech integration folks right now is the creation and use of "infographics". What is an infographic? Well, for visual learners they are a dream-come-true! An infographic is a visual representation that uses data, text and images to explain complex information quickly and clearly.
Long story short, it's a different way to present information when researching that relies on visualization instead of text. Students begin by picking a topic - think thesis statement or process they want to explain. Research is key and subjects/sources have to be completely vetted before creating an infographic. In addition, all information used to create one must be cited. This is where the most time is spent when creating an infographic, and rightly so. When the information has been gathered, the student creates a storyboard or framework for their final project. They gather images, create charts and graphs and think in terms of mood and tone before they create their product. It's an interesting and engaging way for students and teachers to share large pi
As I said earlier, this is a dream-come-true for visual learners - heck for all of us. Think about yourself and the way you learn best. When you are gathering information, do you like a) text, b) images, c) graphs and charts, or d) all of the above. Did you answer "d"? I know I did and most of the students I taught would have, too. That's what an infographic can give you and your students. An "all of the above" approach to add to your toolbox of presentation methods. Watch this video for more information.
A group of teachers from our district went to the MACE conference a few weeks ago and some were lucky enough to attend an Infographics session taught by Janet Sauber from Salina. Her information was fantastic and she even provided templates for teachers and students to use. (see below) Give infographics a try or contact me and we will brainstorm ways in which they could be a benefit to you and your students.
The Compass of today is quite different than some of you are used to. Progress monitoring and reinforcing skills are just two ways this program can be used. With Common Core lessons and better graphics, Compass is a fantastic tool. Contact me if you need your login information. EDMODO http://usd308.edmodo.com/
Use Edmodo to manage your classroom, create polls and quizzes and communicate with parents. FURLY http://fur.ly/
This is a phenomenal site for students working on projects. Enter as many as 50 urls and they can all be located at one address via a pulldown menu at the top of the page. Incredible. GOOGLE DOCS http://docs.google.com/
Students can work on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations individually and collaboratively with this dynamic tool. GOOGLE EARTH earth.google.com
Allow students to travel all over the Earth, into the stars, and undersea with Google Earth! QR STUFF www.qrstuff.com
You and your students can create scannable QR codes to be used to give students access to information like:
REMIND 101 https://www.remind101.com/
- An online video that students can watch on their own
- Today's homework
- An article in a newspaper for current events
- An online quiz or poll
- A simulation or game
- An image or presentation
- A scavenger hunt
- A place for the students to write on a topic at hand
- A shared Google doc in which multiple students can contribute ideas
A free, safe way to text your students and their parents without revealing your phone number! A great communication tool. SMARTboard www.exchange.smarttech.com/
It’s called an INTERACTIVE whiteboard for a reason. Use your SMARTboard for something other than projection! Get your student actively engaged in their learning. Resources are unlimited. Use our technology website (http://usd308tech.weebly.com
) for templates and resources, SMARTexchange, or simple google “interactive whiteboard lessons” and see what’s available. SPELLING CITY
When teachers sign up for a free membership, they get their own homepages, where they can enter and save customized word lists that their students can access. These word lists may be used in a variety of games and activities. ToonDoo http://www.toondoo.com/
Have students create a comic strip using ToonDoo. Students can use this tool to show main idea, sequencing, predictions, and more! SUPER TEACHER TOOLS www.superteachertools.com
Create seating charts, groups, and randomly pick names within seconds! To maximize your use of this tool, take a couple minutes to create a class list that will be saved online. Pretty cool, and really easy to create and use.
is a simple web tool which allows users to automatically generate a range of interactive browser-based activities based on any text of up to 500 words. Once created, students can use the SMARTboard to complete the activity. Because it is a webb-based program, you do not need to open SMARTnotebook. Instead, create an account (it takes seconds and it's free) and start creating.
To use Textivate you simply type or paste a chunk of text into the text box on the textivate front page and click on the “textivate now” button to see the available exercises that can be generated from that text. The exercises are generated automatically based on the length of your text. You / your students are not expected to attempt all
of the activities available for a particular text. You should choose those activities which are most suitable, taking into account the length and structure of the text, the age and ability of the students, etc. In my example, I used the scientific method. I simply copied and pasted the steps into textivate and then was able to choose from the different assignments available.
Examples below show just a few of the options available. In the first, students would come to the SMARTboard and rearrange the steps into the proper order. The second, has students filling in missing letters, and the third, has another option for putting steps into the right order. (See below)
Tech Day '12 is a wrap. Thanks to all the presenters for putting their time and energy into making the day such a beneficial one! They have each submitted their handouts and PPTs. You can view them by clicking here
, or by selecting the Technology Inservice Materials page of the left. If you have questions or require further help, please leave a comment or email me. Several have asked for the short clip that showed after Dr. Kiblinger's opening. Here it is.
Tech Day is upon us. Tomorrow over 400 teachers will come together at Hutchinson High School for a district in-service day on technology. With 46 presenters and 184 individual sessions, it's sure to be a fantastic day.
To kick things off, Dr. Kiblinger will be addressing the participants via a video she shot at the CTEA with Leann Gleason. Dr. Kiblinger collaborated with Gleason and HHS students using the "green screen", virtual desk and teleprompter.
Finally, for those who missed a session, all materials will be available on this website as of Monday, September 17th. Don't forget, if you want additional information or instruction about things you learned at our in-service, please contact me. Below is the video that will be shown between sessions.
The first four days of school have come to a close. Some of us are still grieving for the lost days of summer, while others are filled with boundless energy and excitement about the new year. No matter which category best describes you, let's face it, everyone is going to have tech issues now and then. It's the nature of technology - heck, it's the nature of the profession we all chose. Things don't always go as planned and we have to be flexible and adaptive. To that end, I thought I would give everyone a little more information about where to go to get the answers you are needing where technology is concerned.1. I couldn't change my email password because I didn't get the prompt. Fill out a TMA and send it to your building secretary. They will let the TSC department know and they will help you get things squared away.2. I need a cord, my computer is acting wonky, I need a printer installed, my contacts for my email are gone, there's a glitch with my PowerTeacher account...
Fill out a TMA and send it to your building secretary. They will let the TSC department know and they will help you get things squared away.3. I am in the middle of a lesson and things went crazy with my technology.Call 5640, the helpdesk. Please understand that there are over 400 teachers that all call that same number. If need be, leave a message. They will call you back just as soon as they can.4. What is it that you do?Good question. Click here to find out! :-)Finally, several of you have requested that I send out the Email tip sheets again. Click here for the link. Have a fantastic weekend!
While the technology department has been working hard to smooth out all the kinks, there are still some of us who look at the new email and are a bit baffled. To that end, Rick Kraus and I created a series of "tip sheets" to help with any questions you may have. Then, at our district technology PD day in September, Rick will be teaching four email sessions in an effort to empower everyone with the tools they need to use the system effectively.
We will start with the basics and then will delve into some of the tricky aspects of Microsoft 365. As you read through the different tip sheets, please email me with any questions you may have, or things you would like covered. You input is welcomed and appreciated! Click here
to access the tip sheets.