Tech Tuesday

Finds and Thoughts about Tech Integration

Hoarders: iPad Edition


Hi, my name is Lisa, and I’m an app hoarder.

Everyday, I watch my PLN Twitter stream and subscribe to app review blogs all in hopes of snagging a FREE app.

I download, download, download. All with good intentions, of course. That app may be good for grade 3. That app may be good for science. Oh, my. Can’t let that app get away. It may be useful to someone at some point! And right now it is free.

I do try my best to try out the apps, but there are so many. I keep adding them to the iTunes account; however, there isn’t enough time in the day to get them installed on the iPads and figure out which app would match which teacher’s style and curriculum. I admit it: I just can’t keep up. I’m trying to drink from the fire hose.

I read some good advice recently… and unfortunately, I’m not sure where as my mind is filled up and clouded with apps (and allergies- that’s another issue)… but someone said just find a few good apps that work across grade levels and subjects. Then give those apps a chance. Show them to teachers. Get people thinking about the possibilities. Try the apps out with students. Experiment. Hopefully, this will lead to the discovery of new applications, and of course, learning.

Going in this new direction, I only have loaded a few (well, a decent sampling of) external apps from my extensive downloads on our iPad Minis. Instead of making particular subject matter folders of apps (which would be bursting at the seams… and I’m pretty sure they all wouldn’t fit any way), there is a folder titled: Create.

The Create folder contains:   Animoto, ComicBook, iMovie, My Story – Book Maker for KidsPic CollagePicPlayPostScreenChomp, Story Creator, and Tellagami

These are apps that I think can be used in multiple ways to help students analyze and even synthesize their learning. Some of the choices are based on last year’s trials as well as other teacher’s recommendations. (Yes, a couple are similar types of apps, but I think I will have more of a chance to evaluate which one works best. Then I’ll slim things down more.)

So, I am moving forward. Of course, I can’t help myself and still will LOOK at those free apps and reviews- just in case. (Did I mention I still have dozens of laundry detergent caps and shoe boxes still stashed away from when I taught first and second grade in the late 90’s?! You know- I may need those some day!)

Archived Webinars – PD On Your Time Table


As someone who leads professional development workshops and classes, I know first hand how hard it is to coordinate a place and a time that meets everyone’s schedules. I don’t usually like to admit defeat, but it seems to be IMPOSSIBLE these days. Therefore, I am extremely grateful that more and more people are archiving their PD sessions for people to attend on their own time table. (I know this saved me in #ETMOOC this winter.) Of course, the drawback is not being able to interact with other participants or ask questions live, but being able to get some great ideas from other educators and leaders in your content field when the house is finally quiet; the laundry is folded and the pajamas are on: priceless!

Recently, I discovered a page of webinars hosted by Thinkfinity’s Content Partners and ISTE. The topics vary from mobile devices, digital citizenship and how to use tools – to name a few. The page seems to be updated on a regular basis, too. Perhaps, there’s something there that you have been looking for, but not the time to seek it out.

Community-Sourced Project


The #ETMOOC lip dub inspired me to make a community-sourced Abbot School Pledge & Code of Conduct video. Staff were asked to submit a video recording of themselves reciting the pledge or code of conduct in a recent post and email.

Below is an excerpt from the original email:

I want to create a video of the Abbot Student Pledge and Code of Conduct being read by as many staff members as possible. However, it won’t be a unison group reading with all us huddled in front of a camera. Everyone’s voice needs to be heard. Everyone’s face needs to be seen.

I am asking that every interested staff member video record him/herself reading/reciting the Abbot Student Pledge and Code of Conduct. If this is too much of an individual risk, feel free to do it as a team or cluster of staff members. I then will look at each of the videos submitted and take a segment from each to compile a cohesive reading of the Abbot Student Pledge and Code of Conduct.

Why am I even suggesting this activity? Today, we live in a very connected world. Everyone has an opportunity for his/her voice to be heard and to share his/her thoughts, feelings and learning via online outlets. Crowdsourcing is a method of gathering information. In our case, we will gather everyone’s unique reading of the Pledge and Code of Conduct. We want everyone to have a sense of belonging and significance at Abbot. We have high expectations/guidelines that we ask the students to recite and then follow every week. Let’s show the students that we as an adult community believe in these expectations. Let them hear us saying the words and see the expressions on our faces. Let them see via this product that we all work together to make things happen at Abbot.

The video debuts at Community Meeting today. Please take a look: Abbot Student Pledge & Code of Conduct

Crowdsourcing: A Connected Learning Experience


I took a risk and participated in a crowdsourced lip dub for #ETMOOC.

What did I take away from this experience?

  • Teamwork: I was just one of the many people who signed up. I worked hard to get my section right (following the guidelines) and submitted on time, but then I had to rely on others to do their part for the whole thing to come together.
  • Partnership: There truly is safety in numbers. I enlisted my son as I honestly felt a little self-conscious going about the task alone. It was great to see that I was not the only one who used the buddy system.
  • Awe: I have admiration for those brave souls who performed solo!
  • Appreciation: Everyone’s own interpretation and approach to the task are valued. I love the creativity and individualism that shines in the finished product.
  • Pride: I was a part of a great project.

Abbot School’s Community goal is for all members to have a sense of significance, belonging and fun. This project certainly achieved that goal for me as I’m sure it would many of our students. Thanks, #ETMOOC, for modeling connected learning!

Oh, and if you haven’t seen the video yet, here it is… Can you find me?

Teacher Challenge


I feel like I’m bursting at the seams with new ideas and approaches to share with teachers, but there is never enough time during the school day to grab their attention. And a jam packed curriculum makes things a very hard sell these days. But I know that teachers want to learn. I know that they want to use creative and authentic ways to prepare their students for a global community. So I don’t give up trying to reach them. Yes, it’s a challenge. Therefore, I am formulating a plan to get some face-to-face time with brave souls who want to try something different even though there is only eight weeks of school left. Stay tuned…

In the meantime, I was psyched to come across free, online, technology professional development. Teacher Challenge is a web site supported by Edublogs. The purpose of the site is to take teachers through 30 day challenges to increase their technology skills. Some of the challenge topics include: teacher blogging, student blogging, the best of free web resources and student safety on the Internet.

A wonderful feature: the challenge is 30 days; however, the teacher can complete the tasks on his/her own schedule. Interested in the topic, but stretched too thin right now? Not a problem. The challenges are archived. I’m thinking this would be great for a collaborative or study group to explore through out a school year. Or maybe, summer by the pool with your wireless connection is your preference? Either way, it’s your time table.

I’ll conclude with a quote from the site: ‘The greater we support and increase a teacher’s skills, the better they are able to support their students use of web 2.0 technologies.’

I couldn’t agree more!

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