making Educational Technology a breeze... sharing a love for technology with other educators!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

EDMODOCON 2014

Yesterday I spent the entire day in the most awesome PD -- 9 hours of amazing presentations that have me invigorated for the new school year. I encourage you to try Edmodo -- not just with your students but for yourself and the community of sharing it offers. I have come to find that teachers are the most generous group of people on the planet -- they embrace sharing: ideas, resources, and time. There is a community group for everything in education and then some.

In a few days the archives of the presentations will be up and I highly recommend checking them out -- totally worth it! From assessment ideas to connecting with students on a new level--but most importantly, bringing the passion for your students' stories and making them the star of the show.  As the dynamic Steve Dembo of Discovery Education said in his Keynote closing, "Make your classroom activities a story worth reading, not a bullet point!"










Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Time Away and Time Again

I have been away from my blog for some time. It has been a time of personal and professional reflection and growth.  Sometimes we have to step back and get a view of the big picture, it really does help with focus. I feel reinvigorated and ready to share again (not to mention prepare for the upcoming school year).

My time off has not been without learning. We implemented an iPad mini cart program for our school as well as getting the teachers on board with iPads in their classrooms. It has been a learning process for me as well as everyone involved. Some really great projects have come out of it already, though! (I'd love to hear how you are using devices in your classes).

One of my favorite projects this year was using StopMotion on the minis with my 5th grade class. They were asked to chose a scene from the book Wonder and create a stop animation movie using whatever they wanted for the characters. Such creativity -- we had everything from Legos, goldfish crackers, a mix of action figures, to drawings! The kids were great and their imagination was boundless.

Sadly, because we used the free version, I have yet to figure out how to share these videos beyond our school. But, these are the things that come with new endeavors and technology integration. Some of my teachers are also finding cool uses for the minis as they do research and instant assessment with their students.  It seems the possibilities are endless.

I just finished some certifications and have some ideas I want to flesh out for the new year. The #Edtech chats on Twitter are always food for thought. There are a few learning adventures (PD conferences) coming up -- maybe I'll see some of you at TeachMeetNJ or online at EdmodoCon -- possibly even at the DiscoveryEducation VirtCon.



Photo Credit: Flickr

Monday, April 22, 2013

Our Very Hungry Caterpillars

I love using Animoto with my younger students. They create wonderful pictures on a theme that we are studying and through this cool website, their work becomes an award-winning movie (well in our minds anyway)!
Animoto allows you to select a theme, upload pictures, add text, choose music--and in a flash a video is produced. My kids all think it's  magic and you know, in a way it is!
Check out my 2nd grade's latest creation - a take on Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar:
 Our Very Hungry Caterpillars

Saturday, June 23, 2012

EDMODO - Not Just a Great Place to Network...

I discovered Edmodo about a year ago through a workshop I attended. It has been a fantastic addition to my Professional Learning Network (PLN) and a great source for ideas and solutions.  According to Edmodo, they "provide teachers and students a secure place to connect and collaborate," reaching over 7 million educators and students globally.  But it is just so much more.
I have used it to connect with communities I am interested in as well as join groups that are formed for more fine-tuned specialties. You can create groups (public or private) and share resources via a library, create polls, quizzes, assignments, notes, alerts, and more.
It is a great way to teach with Social Media for your students: facilitating discussions, feedback through polls, or using assignments and grading on the go.  Edmodo is web based and offers mobile apps so everyone can access the site. A plus for students!  My colleagues test drove it in our middle school classes this year and the response was positive--and the kids loved it!

Following that success, we decided to change our school PLN to the site to facilitate more sharing among our teachers. We used the last part of our faculty meeting to get everyone into the computer lab to sign up and into our Group. So far it has been a place where idea and resource sharing is building!
Safe Surfing!





Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Social Learning Summit!



April 21, 2012 -- Join the partnership this year between Discovery Education and Classroom 2.0 as they present a day of learning -- The Social Learning Summit -- a worldwide one-day free virtual conference! The theme this year is the use of Social Media and Web 2.0 in teaching and learning. Come join the fun (and learning)! The conference URL is http://www.SocialLearningSummit.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Looking like a Movie Producer was never easier!

I have been using a digital storytelling website in my classroom for the last year that I absolutely ADORE!  It's fast and easy and makes me (and my students) look like a movie-making genius (ok so the secret is out). The site, http://Animoto.com/education, is fantastic for creating all types of wonderful videos with a plethora of themes.  It's as simple as uploading pictures/images & sorting them, choosing a theme, choosing music, and pushing a button! Animoto takes care of the rest. Within a few minutes, the video is finished and ready to download or share.
Last month, I had my 2nd grade illustrate the parts of the Lifecycle of a Butterfly in MS Paint. I saved the drawings as jpg files and uploaded them to Animoto. We picked a theme (sky and clouds) and a song "Elusive Butterfly" by Geoff Byrd - and let Animoto do its magic. The students, teachers, and parents were thrilled.
video
Recently, I did the same as they drew different scenes from the Nativity story (music by Steven Curtis Chapman -- O Little Town Of Bethelehem). It was beautiful. Check it out.
Animoto offers several pricing plans from Lite (free/limited) to professional, but educators can apply for a free Animoto Plus account for use in the classroom.  It's     worth it whatever plan you choose !

Saturday, October 22, 2011

SYMBALOO - a great visual website bookmarking & sharing site

I love sharing websites finds with my colleagues! Most of the online resources that I have used for sharing or bookmarking my favorite websites have been linear tools that I can put into a category--not always user friendly for the people I share with regularly. Recently at a workshop (NJAET) I was introduced to a visual bookmarking and sharing site called Symbaloo. It is wonderful - as I am a visual person - I can organize my sites by color tiles all at a glance.
The best part is that I can also share my "webmixes" with others through a simple link. I even used a "webmix" for a recent Professional Development workshop on literacy and technology. (Click here to check it out: Casey PD)
My tiles are tabbed and include educational technology websites, classroom links, and professional resources. And again, they're all in one place -- easily editable and organizable! You can also access from any computer -- simply log in on any device with internet access.
SYMBALOO

Like any of the new Web 2.0 tools, there seems to be several levels that offer different accessibility. The SymbalooEdu site has a free version, as well as various subscription options -- obviously with added features as the price goes up.  So far I have been fine with the free version.