Sunday, June 30, 2013

Google Docs: Play A Global Game Of Connect Four "Live"

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by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog mattBgomez.comTwitterFacebook or Pinterest.
Last month my class played tic-tac-toe live using Google Docs with our twitter friends in Montana (see here) Today we stepped up to connect four and it was a blast. I enjoyed connect four more because it is a longer game than tic-tac-toe and more kids got a chance to play. Connect four is also more challenging of a game and requires the kids to focus with all the different ways to win. Special thanks to @JonFines for making the template. You are welcome to use the template and play your own game with classes around the world using this link
Playing these games is fun but Jon and I know the kids are learning important lessons about collaborating, being respectful and digital citizenship. I love the tweet his class sent my class after the game was over.
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Appy Hours...A Great Way to Share Out!

Oh my gosh...can't believe it's the end of June and I have yet to post something of substance!

I've been involved in quite a few trainings lately and am trying to make sense of all of the great apps that are out there...not just iPad/iPod apps but truly legit apps available online...those great spaces that rock my world and make my head spin!

Not doing that...not today...no head spinnin' will be caused by me today.

I'd like to, instead, plug a great way to share out technology with your friends and colleagues.

Enter..."The Appy Hour!"

Really...this is just about the best way to share out a great app with the fine folks that you share a passion for educating our kiddos using technology.

The format is simple really:  Just send out an invite that encourages your friends/colleagues to show up at a great place (your classroom, the school library, teachers lounge, favorite coffee shop/offsite hangout) for just a few minutes to learn a little bit about a fabulous app.  You can choose to offer refreshments and tunes.  And don't let the "hour" part fool you.  My friends and I got these down to about 20 minutes.

It's informal...it's fun...and it's an energizing format at the end of a long day of teaching/learning.

Nothing fancy...just another reason to get "Appy!"

The best part is that this is a training format that is simple to pick up and a great way to encourage staff members who don't fancy themselves "techie" to share out and take over some training responsibilities.

I started this last year at my campus and invited "guests" to host an Appy Hour themselves.  This became contagious and over the course of the year, quite a few teachers, counselors, and other staff members became Appy Hour hosts themselves.

As you are relaxing this summer, consider getting Appy Hours rolling at your school!

Enjoy the last few moments of June!


Nikki

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

My ISTE Experience

If you have never had the "ISTE Experience" you don't know what you are missing! I learned so much over the course of the last few days and can't wait to share everything with you! Check out my first post  by clicking on my button below about my trip to ISTE in San Antonio. I even met one of the coaches from Technology Tailgate! Our very own Matt Gomez.




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Friday, June 28, 2013

iPads in Special Education and K-6

This summer has been CRAZY for me.  I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing educators through almost a dozen workshops the past three weeks.  Luckily for you, my craziness means an amazing  resource for you!!!  I have searched the web, blogs, and iTunes stores and found some amazing resources.  These hours upon hours of research have resulted in a huge compilation of the best of the best in the iPad world. Click on the pictures below to get to all of my resources for iPads in the Special Education Classroom and iPads in the K-6 Classroom.  Note that these are two separate collections so you will need to open both links to get to all of the goods!  As always, please let me know if you have any other amazing resources that I have overlooked!




Enjoy!



Leah is the author of the blog Learn With Leah.  You can connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or through her monthly newsletter filled with tech tips and more!



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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Integrating Technology into Reading (Daily 5)



Hey, Technology Tailgaters!  It’s Kristin from iTeach1:1.  I’m co-hosting a summer technology linky with Learning to the Core and this week’s theme is all about integrating technology into reading.  We have some great bloggers linked up already and would love for you to stop by and check it out (and link up too)! 

Here’s my post about my favorite techie centers for each of the Daily 5.


Read to Self:
My students’ favorite read to self choice is definitely Tween Tribune, which has current event articles for kids.  I require my students to comment on at least one article they feel they “connected” with.  They get very motivated by the fact that their peers can read their comments and it helps me hold them accountable as well.  Tween Tribune is free and safe for kids since the comments are moderated by teachers.
Read to Someone:
My students really enjoy reading to each other using RazKids on the iPads.  While this site is not free, it has an amazing selection of high-interest leveled books.


Listen to Reading:
Our favorite online storybook sites are Storyline Online and Read to Me.  Both sites are free and have a great selection of stories read aloud by celebrities.

Work on Writing:
My students love writing journal entries using Penzu, which is a free online journaling site. They each have their own personal journals, which are private by default. Sometimes I’ll post photos on our class website so they can add those in for entries about field trips, science experiments, and other classroom happenings.  There is a paid teacher version of Penzu, but we use the free version and love it!


Word Work:
Each week I post our spelling lists to Spelling City.  Spelling City has a great selection of engaging activities for the kids to practice their weekly words. 
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bill Nye the Science Guy! A new FREE app!


Remember Bill Nye?  I sure do!  It was 20 years ago this fall that Bill Nye first came to our t.v. screens- that is so hard to believe! (Almost as much as Junie B. Jones being in her 20's as well!)  Anyhow, I just learned that Disney has came out with a Bill Nye app!  I LOVE it!  The best part of all is that it is a free app!  :-)


Click here to go straight to the App Store to download the latest and greatest Bill Nye!

I've included a few pictures to help you get an idea of the app itself!







You must purchase this section to watch apps from your favorite show.


Science Rules!




Leah is the author of the blog Learn With Leah.  You can connect with her via FacebookTwitterPinterest, or through her monthly newsletter filled with tech tips and more!







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Techie Tuesday Link Up

Welcome to Techie Tuesday Link Up!
Every Tuesday we are hosting a linky for you  to link up with your best technology post.   Please link directly to the techie blog post you are featuring. We are looking forward to seeing your great ideas! 








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Monday, June 24, 2013

20 Microsoft Tools and Resources for Free!



In February of last year, I was able to spend two days with top notch Microsoft Trainers in the Microsoft Office in Detroit.  During these two days I learned about many programs and Microsoft Infinitives in the classroom. For me, the most impressive aspects was the free resources offered through the Partners in Learning Network. Click on the picture above or this link to learn how you can access these programs and an amazing One Note File!  



Leah is the author of the blog Learn With Leah.  You can connect with her via FacebookTwitterPinterest, or through her monthly newsletter filled with tech tips and more!




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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Classroom Website Planning Guide



The single most important technology type thing I have done in my career has been creating a classroom website.  And let me tell you, it has changed me and everything that I do technology wise.  I started my first website years ago and it still continues to grow and change (Check my class website out here!)  This summer, I am teaching a few classes on how to create a website and what to put on it.  I feel this is so important- when I created mine, I just kinda started and added things as I went.  I've never been much of a planner when it comes to that.  Now fast forward 5+ years- planning a website can save you tons of times.  It gives you a road map of where you are going and where you want to end up.  It also helps you to identify who your audience is- parents, community members, teachers, students.  Now, this can change a million times between now and completion time but to help with this journey, I have created a classroom website planning guide.  This guide has absolutely everything that I could think of to include!  If creating a classroom website is on your summer to do list (and it should be!)  be sure to check this out!




Leah is the author of the blog Learn With Leah.  You can connect with her via FacebookTwitterPinterest, or through her monthly newsletter filled with tech tips and more!



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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Transferring Blogs to Bloglovin'


Hi, it's Amanda here from Learning to the Core!  I wanted to pop over to one of my favorite blogs to share something I tried yesterday that was easy!

Did you hear the news?!!?  On Wednesday, July 1st Google Reader will cease to exist.  As far as I heard it was part of  "Google's Spring Cleaning."  Well, seeing as I log in almost each and every day...  (let's be honest it is more like several times each and every day!) to see my Google news feed and catch up on the blogs I follow...I didn't know exactly what I was going to do!

I had heard about Bloglovin' a few weeks ago but got overwhelmed so I just left it to the side.  Now, that Google has their official date set, I didn't want to loose all of the blogs I so enjoy following I thought now is the time to figure out how to transfer over all of my blogs to Bloglovin'

Here is the best part of this post...it's easy, really easy to do!  Just follow a few steps below so you too can keep track of all of the blogs you follow now through Google and have a new newsfeed of them on Bloglovin'.

1. Go to Bloglovin’
Click here to go to Bloglovin'.
You can log in with Facebook or with an email address.

2. Sign up and wait for an email
Once you are signed up (it is quick and easy) they will send you an email to the address listed and confirm your account.  You will see a link in the email that says "You are nearly finished...click the link below."  

3. Click link and select to upload all blogs
After you click the link in your email you are given the option to upload all of the blogs you follow through Google.  

You can always "skip this" step and come back to it.

4. Import Blogs..wait
I am following 219 blogs (I didn't even know I was following that many!) and the import took less then 5 minutes...so it is definitely worth it!


5. Explore
That's it.  Really.  Now you are all set.  Your blogs will be there and you can see them as a news feed the same way we have gotten used to with Google.  
When you change your settings you can decide if you want email daily or not.  

It truly was easy and is worth your time since Google Reader is soon going away.  You can also look for the button that looks like this on many blogs...this will allow you to follow that specific blog: 
 Follow on Bloglovin

Give it a try!  It is definitely worth it so you have all of your favorite blogs in one spot!  If you haven't already come on over to our blog to hear more about how we incorporate technology into our daily teaching of the common core!


Happy Wednesday!
Amanda 
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

iBooks Author Software

If you have a Mac and haven't tried the iBooks Author software yet I would encourage you to check it out! All you have to do is download the software from the App Store on your Mac. I love the possibilities the software has to offer for writing books for my teachers and students and best of all it is FREE! There are so many widgets that will allow you to add video, picture galleries, whiteboards, and interactive quizzes right in your book. How cool is that? If you would like to learn more about how to create your own iBooks you can check out the following posts herehere and here. I also have an iTunes U course of "how-to"videos if you would like to learn more. All you have to do is click on the picture below from your iPad to download the course and then request enrollment.


I also have a new iBook that I created for my teachers to answer some of the questions they had about using iPads in the Classroom. If you are interested in learning more about my new book and how to download the book click on my blog link below. How would you use iBooks in your classroom?




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Techie Tuesday Link Up

Welcome to Techie Tuesday Link Up!
Every Tuesday we are hosting a linky for you  to link up with your best technology post.   Please link directly to the techie blog post you are featuring. We are looking forward to seeing your great ideas! 








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Monday, June 17, 2013

A Guide to Google Apps for Education


For me, Google Apps for Education is one of the most exciting things happening in the edtech world.  It is changing and evolving daily- leaving us with unlimited opportunities to incorporate technology into the classroom. At times, the sheer amount of programs and ideas available can be overwhelming, to help with this I have compiled some of my favorite resources.



Leah is the author of the blog Learn With Leah.  You can connect with her via FacebookTwitterPinterest, or through her monthly newsletter filled with tech tips and more!


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Collaboration..A Web 2.0 Solution

Hi there everyone, this is Kristen from Teacher Playground! Today I wanted to talk about "Wallwisher/Padlet". I have used this for awhile, but it came to light recently in a collaboration meeting. I was working with some Elementary and Secondary specialists and they were talking about how they did not have time to follow up with teachers after professional development trainings and build the connection amongst their campuses. The light bulb went off and I mentioned Wallwisher/Padlet. Imagine being able to input feedback on Wall Wisher and have teachers contribute their ideas and suggestions. You can multiple users on a time.

Here is a little information about Wall Wisher:
Wallwisher/Padlet, allows you to create a “wall” where you can place virtual sticky-notes. You can allow others to also place notes on the board, or keep it so that only you can do so (which is what I would recommend for students). The sticky-notes can include images you grab off the web, videos, or websites, and you can add text to them (you can also just include text without adding anything else). Each sticky has a 160 character limit for text.

Examples:

  • Collaboration amongst campuses (share ideas, what works/what doesn't..no need to reinvent the wheel) 
  • Collaboration after a training (share thoughts, feelings, how did the implementation go)
Once teachers feel comfortable using Wallwisher/Padlet, they can then use it with their students. Have you ever taught a Math topic and then had a student say that they have another way of doing it. This is a great way for students to share their ideas and feel vested in the learning process.

Wallwisher
A great feature I really like about Wallwisher/Padlet is that you can export the board to Excel or as a PDF.

Below are a few other sites that are similar to Wallwisher/Padlet. I like to give you options!
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Building Online Portfolios in LiveBinders

My students final project was to create an online portfolio of the work they have done this year using the website www.livebinders.com.  We added links to all of the projects we have done during the school year, storybirds, glogs, prezis, blog posts, even stories they typed in google docs, as well as photos and videos.  These links provide the “evidence” for learning in each subject. 

I can’t share a whole portfolio with you because they contain private pictures and videos, but here are some screen shots of different portfolios.  Feel free to stop by my blog – Raki’s Rad Resources to find out how we have done it, or download my Student Created Online Portfolios Packet from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

 Create online portfolios with your elementary students using LiveBinders.

Create online portfolios with your elementary students using LiveBinders 

Create online portfolios with your elementary students using LiveBinders

 

 Create online portfolios with your elementary students using LiveBinders

Create online portfolios with your elementary students using LiveBinders

Create online portfolios with your elementary students using LiveBinders

Create online portfolios with your elementary students using LiveBinders

Create online portfolios with your elementary students using LiveBinders

Create online portfolios with your elementary students using LiveBinders

 

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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