Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Final Tip of the "Week": June 24, 2015

As a dear friend said to me over the loss of my daughter, there simply are "no words." There are indeed "no words" to express how grateful I am for the long career and journey I have been blessed to have had in education, and especially in the field of technology integration.  Technology was not my field of choice in the beginning.  Heck, it was barely on our radar!  But I soon witnessed the power that technology had on many of the high school students with whom I worked who struggled academically, emotionally, and socially.  It was then that I became hooked and the rest was (my) history.  

I will leave you with this... Waving goodbye for now.. Remember to dip your toes and splash with joy :)  Please keep in touch..

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tip of the Week: Walk and Talk: May 19th, 2015

I had the distinct honor of working with Dr. Lodge McCammon a few years ago at a Discovery Education summer symposium. Lodge is a speaker, educator (flipped classroom advocate), researcher, musicianpaper slide creator, and movement advocate.  He has contributed many original songs on DEStreaming that can be used by teachers in their lessons.  He created catchy songs for a variety of content areas, from primary grades through high school.

Here is Lodge's Solids, Liquids and Gas song:  

(click the play/arrow button)

Lodge introduced the educators in our summer session to the 'paper slide video' concept which many teachers use here in Sudbury to this day.

My post today is connected to Lodge, the "movement advocate", who has recently advocated for  "Walk and Talks" in our schools.  "It’s as simple as it sounds. If we can get our students or teammates up and moving while discussing information, it will increase cognition, memory, retention, creativity and achievement. Use the #walkandtalk strategy to activate the brain and create a healthy learning environment.... Put students in groups. Give each group questions to answer. Have them take a walk & talk."

Here is a link to some examples being done by both adults/educators:
Walk and Talk

And here is a link to research on the value of kinesthetics in the classroom.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tip of the Week: BrainPop Revisited!: May 11, 2015

Sudbury recently purchased a subscription to the full suite of resources, online activities and classroom management now available with BrainPop.  I sent an update about this last June but since then there has been some confusion about the way to access this product.

Schools should NOT be purchasing site based licenses nor should teachers be logging in with those credentials.

To access our subscription to BrainPop you need to first log in and create an account.  You can find the BrainPop icon in the Google grid located in your email page.  

Click MORE and you should see the BrainPop icon.

After you select the BrainPop icon you will be prompted to select of you're a student or a teacher.  Select Teacher.  This will then bring you to a screen to enter the code that connects you to our subscription with access to all the great resources.

General John Nixon Elementary
sudbury_1, Educator Code: ZRYN4241

Israel Loring Elementary:
sudbury_2, Educator Code: MYIJ3835 

Peter Noyes Elementary
sudbury_3​, Educator Code: YRSA1625

Josiah Haynes Elementary​: 
sudbury_4, Educator Code: MMNN9335

Ephraim Curtis Middle School
sudbury_5​, Educator Code:  WPVB1418

You will then have access to all the videos and other resources as you did before, in addition to being able to give your students a code to access them as well.  They will be connected to you as their teacher should you choose to get into this at this level.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tip of the Week: Teacher Appreciation: May 4, 2015

From author and illustrator Peter Reynolds...

This animated poem was created as a tribute to teachers and their vital role in nurturing the learning spirit in every child. It was also created with the hope of sparking conversation about the state of our educational system.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tip of the Week: Google Maps & PacMan!: April 1, 2015

No, this is NOT an April Fool's joke...! You can now turn (almost) any area you locate on Google Maps into a legitimate PacMan game!  If you choose an area without enough streets it will find one for you.

Go to Google Maps, type in an address, then click the PacMan icon on the bottom lefthand corner of the screen. 

Have fun!
Waka! Waka!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Tip of the Week: Testing, Testing, Testing.. A Refreshing View: Monday, March 16, 2015

Children's author and illustrator, Peter Reynolds, is a friend and colleague of mine (North Star, Ish, The Dot, Judy Moody, Full Steam Ahead, and more!). Peter celebrates the creativity and uniqueness in all of us, but especially in children. I thought you might appreciate these two pieces of his work that deal with testing. Enjoy...


You can find more information about Peter at the following:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tip of the Week: The Power of Audio: Glogster: March 2, 2015

I subscribe to a Glogster blog and found this recent article worthy enough to send along to you.  I think most of us understand how audio can help students learn by reaching those audio/visual learners, but this article explains the impact it can have for ALL learners, and why..

The tool does not have to be "Glogster" .. There are many web tools that allow students and teachers to record their voices or embed music and sounds.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tip of the Week: Symbaloo: February 24, 2015

Symbaloo is a web based visual bookmarking tool or 'webmix' that can be used in many ways to help organize and share resources with your students, your colleagues, or simply for yourself!  Tiles are created for each resource you'd like to link to.  Tiles can link to typical websites but they can also link to audio books or even individual YouTube videos (see previous post about safeshare.tv!)

Megan Bowhers created a Symbaloo linked to audio books and other resources for kindergarteners.

Librarians Janet Jennings and Dorothy Kramer have created Symabloos for their students that include links pertaining to a particular unit of study (Explorers, Civil Rights, for example)... focusing the kids on appropriate resources with the click of a button!

Rebecca Goldthwaite (kindergarten @ Nixon) uses Symbaloo to help her very young students easily navigate to a variety of sites on their iPads that support literacy, math and other curriculum resources.  

Below is a sample of one 'webmix' I created with a few web 2.0 resources we use here in Sudbury:

You can even search Symbaloo for webmixes created by teachers (or anyone) from around the world and use their webmixes, or edit as you wish!  It's amazing how many ideas or new tools you will find by simply checking out other people's webmixes!  There's no need to reinvent the wheel!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Tip of the Week: Uncluttered YouTube: February 13, 2015

At our recent ILAP session, Eddie Good reminded me about and shared the online tool called SafeShare.tv.  SafeShare.tv is a free online service that unclutters the viewing area around YouTube videos.  This tool removes the surrounding "suggested videos", related links, and the comments that are typically displayed while viewing a video.   These extra visuals can be distracting, to say the least, especially in a classroom or educational setting.

Simply search for a YouTube video, paste the URL into SafeShare.tv and turn this:

into this:

This new 'safe' link can be used as a standalone video to show to students.  It can also be linked into Schoology, Glogster, your web page, your class wiki, or even a flipchart ... anything that lets you link to a website!  Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tip of The Week: 4 Tech Skills Teachers Don't Need Anymore: January 26, 2015

Last week I posted about the upcoming trends in education. This week I am sharing the 4 technology skills that educators no longer need in today's environment (according to THE Journal, Jan/Feb 2015)..

You no longer need to:
  • Print documents or worry about disk space. Understanding how to take advantage of external drives and cloud space are the preferred and current methods.
  • Carry flash drives or a day planner (I'm guilty of this!). Using a digital calendar allows you the flexibility and mobility that is readily available on any device you carry.
  • Edit documents via email.  The current strategy is to use cloud computing (Google Docs, for example) to post work, share, review and edit..
  • Sign in with multiple logins.  Where appropriate and available, use the single sign-in to access online accounts..

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tip of The Week: 10 Major Technology Trends in Education: January 21, 2015

According to the THE Journal (launched in 1972 and the first magazine to cover education technology) and a recent survey done by Speak Up (representing more than 400,000 surveys from 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts across the country that included 325,279 students, 32,151 teachers and librarians, 39,986 parents, 4,530 district administrators and, new to this year’s survey, 1,346 community members), the top 10 trends in education are as follows:

  1. Personal Access to Mobile Devices
  2. Internet Connectivity
  3. Use of Video for Classwork and Homework
  4. Mobile Devices for Schoolwork
  5. Using Different Tools for Different Tasks
  6. Paying Attention to the Digital Footprint
  7. An increased Interest in Online Learning
  8. Gaming is Growing, and the Gender Gap is Closed
  9. Social Media in Schools
  10. What Devices Belong in 'The Ultimate School?'

The details of each trend can be found here: