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Archive for the ‘web2.0’ Category

Map Your Passionate Learning for 2013

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It is not too early to think about 2013 and how you want to grow and learn to move forward. Listing your thoughts and ideas are great but a better approach would be a graphic organizer. A graphic organizer lets you structure the information and arrange important aspects into a pattern. This allows you to view important ideas in isolation and see how some are related and connected. A graphic organizer helps you stay focused on the task and the visual representation makes it easier to remember once displayed front and center. Whatever method you use, map a plan with learning goals for the new year. Allow young learners an opportunity to brainstorm and share what they want to learn in the coming year. These visual representations may share patterns that can lead to group collaboration and increased ownership of their learning. Will you make choice a integral part of your learning map in 2013?

Five for Friday – Graphic Organizers

Popplet is an awesome online web graphic organizer that will allow five free maps with their free plan. The IOS app is a little pricey at $4.99. For more ideas visit their blog or check out 8+ Ways to use Popplet.

Exploratree is a free web resource where you can access a library of ready-made interactive thinking guides, print them, edit them or make your own. You can share them and work on them in groups too.

MindMeister is a great online brainstorming tool. You must register but once you register you can sync your maps from your iPad to your desktop with their free app.

Realtime Board is an online collaborative board that can be public or private. Find out more about Realtime Board from Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers.

Idea Sketch(IOS app) is a graphic organizer, which converts your graphic organizer to a text outline or vice versa. Diagrams and outlines can easily be emailed or saved in photos.

Image above created from Kidspiration using Lettering Delights Pop School Alphabet  and saving as a .gif. Inspiration Lite (from the creators of Kidspiration) is a free IOS app.



Celebrate Twelve – 12.12.12

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Next Wednesday will be 12.12.12, a date that provides an opportunity to celebrate learning using a variety of engaging activities in the classroom. There are dozens of ideas to celebrate this unique day and integrate it into content. The simplest activity, sharing 12 favorite things, is part of a special student blogging day. You can join 12.12.12. A Special Blogging Day by submitting this form and share learners’ 12 favorites. Canadian educator Nothy Lane, shares Wednesday 12.12.12. Lesson Ideas, which will also get your wheels turning. Whatever you do to celebrate, make your learning engagement relevant and exciting for learners. Even if you do have a list of 12, dig deeper to continue the learning from this list. Have an amazing 12.12.12 Day and try 12 new ways to engage your learners?

Friday Flash – Holiday Activities with Mobile Devices

PNC Christmas Price Index shares the price of the 12 Days of Christmas and provides a lesson on economic trends and inflation. Total Number of Gifts and Total Cost of Gifts are Excel spreadsheets that can be used to crunch the numbers. Learners can use their device to crunch numbers with a calculator and use apps such as Calc Lite Spreadsheet.

Create a QR Code Scavenger Hunt such as this one – The Twelve Days of Christmas Giving at Create a QR Code for the Christmas Price Index so learners can quickly access the site on devices and search for answers. You can search samples quizzes at ClassTools for new ideas.

Create a Socrative quiz using holiday math word problems or practice grammar with holiday sentences. There are so many great ways to use Socrative including ticket in the door or exit ticket. Check out the growing list of quizzes that are shared and can be imported.

Twelve Holly Days and New Year’s Resolution are two MadLibs from Wacky Web Tales. These simple activities work well on mobile devices. Make a QR Code for learners to quickly access these sites.

30 + Free Apps for Celebrating and Learning About December Holidays was recently posted by Shelly Terrell for Tech & Learning. One favorite shared, Red Stamp, allows you to create and share many types of greetings with friends and family. What a great way learners can share gratitude this season.

Image above created with Visual Poetry.





Keyboarding isn’t Dead, Yet


Is Keyboarding Dead?, a recent post from Ask a Tech Teacher – Jacquie Murray, shares interesting points felt by many now that we have entered the age of touch screens. Murray states, “Students are encouraged to use audio, visual, taped vignettes, recorded snippets–everything that ISN’T the traditional MS Word document with a bullet list of comprehensive points to convey the message.” To develop that message they still have to draw, write or type notes to brainstorm ideas and create a storyboard to produce their products. Keyboard awareness remains important but not as a standalone activity as learners progress in age. Younger students, exceptional students as well as ELL students can benefit from short rounds of practice with online sites and applications. As awareness and proficiency progresses, integration with curriculum lessons should be the norm. Transparently embedded into lessons and usage of mobile devices will provide the practice needed. Keyboarding will remain relevant and making your brain and fingers think as you compose and create is not going away. There is just so much more we can do with our brains and fingers. Give them something worth typing about and they will learn.

A Few for Friday – Sites to Move Fingersghost gif

Typing Lessons provides simple, progressive lessons with a few outside game sites and Learn to Keyboard is a wiki with lots of links for drill.

Keyboarding Activities from Lees Summit R7 School District, shares a few integrated activities for younger children. What could you add to this list?

Ed Tech Ideas shares a plethora of game oriented sites to keep fingers moving.

Extra: There is a transparent link called ghost gif on this page that links to five treats. Can you find it? A few treats for a Happy Halloween!

Photo Courtesy-






Appsolutely Blooming Year

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It has been an incredibly beautiful spring in the south with floral blossoms abundant with many varieties extremely prolific and showing splendid color. This abundance could be attributed to the milder winter we have experienced. On the education front, this year has been anything but mild. We have experienced the growth of BYOT in schools and explosion of new applications for learning on mobiles devices. It has been an appsolutely blooming year of the app. Fortunately an abundance of app resources have been shared by educators that are tied to Blooms Taxonomy. It is up to us to harvest and pick the applications that will best fit the learning objectives of our students. It is appsolutely a great time to choose new ways to incorporate these tools seamlessly into the curriculum. What colorful apps will you share with learners to help them grow and bloom?

A Few For Friday – Blooms Taxonomy Apps

Bloomin’ Apps curated by well known educator, Kathy Schrock, provides Google apps, iPad apps as well as Android apps correlated to Blooms Taxonomy.

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, at Langwitches’s Blog, shares two beautiful posters from Learning Today along with her list of apps adapted from Kathy Schrock’s and Kelly Tenkley’s web sites. Her detailed list of apps had to meet certain criteria to be included and several overlap the different level in the taxonomy.

Kelly Tenkley curated Blooms Taxonomy of Apps and creatively shared using the publication site Issuu. Tenkley also shares a wealth of information in her Livebinder, Digital Blooms Taxonomy.

Photo courtesy of irewired and Quirco

Dick Clark – Rock Star Creator

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1929 - 2012

Dick Clark, “America’s oldest teenager” was a pioneer, entrepreneur, and media icon. As creator and host of American Bandstand, he helped to propel rock and roll culture by showcasing aspiring musicians. American Bandstand provided these young artists their first exposure to a larger audience. As a great host he promoted young adults from all walks of life sharing different styles of music. He was a trailblazer and rock star creator by giving young adults voice.  There are so many ways we can learn from Dick Clark but that one gift, opportunity to share voice, stands out. How can we as educators honor, Dick Clark, a true media legend. One way is to provide learners more opportunities to share their voice. There are countless ways for learners to share with the larger audience. What opportunities will you provide?  Will you create a future rock star?

A Few for Friday – Giving Voice

Giving Students a Voice with Voicethread shares a wealth of information by retired Forsyth ITS, Sandy Beck. Beck shared presentation at GAETC2011. Voicethread can be cross-curricular and promote HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills.) Voicethread Project Ideas from Magistra Musing’s blog as well as Examples of Voicethread from Teach it Up VoiceThread Wiki provide many examples to speak and share. Voicethread mobile offers great possibilities in the classroom.

Giving Students Voice Through “This I Believe” Podcasts from Read, Write and Think is a detailed lesson plan for 9-12 grade learners. Audacity is used for recording and lots of resources are shared including a rubric for the podcast lesson.

Richard Byrne, at Free Technology For Teachers, recently shared the free IOS app AudiMemo Free. Byrne provided some additional suggestions for use in the classroom. In an earlier post he listed other podcast tools here.

Photo Courtesy of Dick Clark Productions, Inc.



Love Learning From the Fire Hose

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As life long learners we have to continually grow as we learn everyday and evolve how we learn. Information is coming to us in all directions and as many say we are drinking from a fire hose. It’s not the water we are gulping but the overflow of information we are trying to swallow without choking. Two recent articles from Lifehack shared some valuable information to keep us learning in such an information rich time. How to Consume Digital Information More Efficiently shares strategies on consuming RSS feeds, your Inbox and Social Media Networks. Why You Should Learn a Daily Lesson goes back to that age old question we ask our children and learners, “What did you learn today?” As adults we should be asking ourselves that question. Lifehake suggests writing a short list of what was learned and use that information to take action to improve and move forward. This is relevant for all learners, young and old. What a great idea to put in place after professional development to sustain what an educator has learned. What will your learning list reveal and what actions will you take to improve your future?

A Few for Friday – Ways to List

Wunderlist is a great way to organize your life and it is free for every device. You can even invite friends to work with you on your lists. You may want to check out Wunderkit that was recently released to the public

Evernote allows you create notes by capturing ideas, visuals and audio. There are so many uses of Evernote in education as shown by this Prezi- Evernote-One Teacher’s Perspective or check out Evernote in Education at the Educational Technology Guy.

Popplet is another great way to organize ideas learned and extend where you want to go with new learning. Unfortunately Popplet is seeking information from educators via a survey  at the Popplet Blog and they are possibly moving toward a modest subscription service. Complete the survey and let them know what you think and that you wish Popplet to remain a free Web 2.0 tool.

Photo Courtesy Flickr - Krystalchu

A Collage of Learning – Coffee House Chat

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Building a community of learners through professional development is ongoing in our district as we move forward with BYOT. We continue to invest in BYOT by bringing together educators who share a passion for something they do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better. These educators are part of our Instructional Technology Staff working in schools. Recently we met face to face at a middle school to explore and experience BYOT with the theme, “Coffee House Chat.”

Below are the interactions that built the conversations for professional development:

  • The school provided coffee, donuts and other snacks and welcomed our visit with a personal message from their administration team. The tone was set immediately as our team players relaxed and enjoyed each other.
  • An icebreaker tasked the educators to create a collage using either Frame Magic or other application of available choice. Personal mobile devices included, iPhones, iPads, Androids, and laptops. The collage topics to create a story included share your passions, likes about winter, where you have lived and where you would love to travel and were delivered via a QR Code.  Colorful collages were created to tell their stories in a short amount of time and a museum walk shared their creativity.
  • Breaking into small groups, the educators visited a dozen classrooms to provide feedback to teachers and other ITS on how to seamlessly incorporate BYOT into an existing lesson to enhance and accelerate student learning. Classrooms not using technology were also visited as well as time to talk to students.
  • After the visits, the team recorded feedback and suggestions on a google doc to share ways teachers can use BYOT practices to create more student centered, less teacher directed learning.
  • For closure a Ticket Out the Door was one short answer question using Socrative. Socrative delivered an Excel spreadsheet vis email for a quick session feedback.

So much was gained building a community of practice for all learners. From collaboration and sharing and providing feedback to all stakeholders, the morning was a great success. We will continue to practice building our community. Will you afford your learners time to develop and build their communities of practice?

Building relationships is key to building a positive learning community. Spending time on social and emotional learning enables academic gains. Tweet from Dr. Justin Tarte, Junior High Assistant Principal, @justingtarte.

A Few For Friday – BYOT Guidance and Tools

An Idea Whose Time Has Come, a Huffington Post piece from Eric Sheninger, principal at New Milford High School, New Jersey, shares great lessons learned from their school’s Bring Your Own Technology initiative. Sheninger states, “providing professional development and resources to teachers so they can be successful in implementing mobile learning is one key component for the success of BYOT.”

Read Write Think shares a collage lesson on Love and War for 9-12 graders. Students explore the theme of love of war through texts on camaraderie among soldiers. They then compose a visual collage depicting their beliefs about the relationship between love and war. This extensive lesson shares many additional resources including a visual collage rubric.

Frame Magic Lite is a free IOS app that combines multiple photos into one photo. Easily add text and effects using multiple frame layouts to make a unique collage.

Diptic is another excellent IOS app to quickly combine photos to tell a story. It is currently $.99 at the App Store.

Photo Grid and Photo Shake are free at the Android Market and offer multiple options for creativity.

Photo Collage Created with Frame Magic Lite – Several Photos Courtesy Dr. Tim Clark@BYOTNetwork

A Penny For Your Thoughts – Socrative

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At a recent session with our newest Instructional Technology Staff, each selected a penny from a cup for two purposes. One was to buy a penny for their thoughts to share mid year reflections and the other as a simple raffle ticket for small prizes. Everyone loves to be a winner. To gather their thoughts, Socrative, was used to engage responses using their mobile devices that included iPads and iPhones. Socrative is a free student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets. In this case it was used as an icebreaker to gather information from colleagues. The five short answer questions were simple with a twist of fun.

  • What color are you today and pair your color with an adjective?
  • If you woke up in the morning as an animal, what would you be?
  • What is rocking your work world today?
  • What’s one work related skill you would like to develop?
  • If an alien landed tomorrow and gave you a superpower, what would it be?

As an icebreaker for the session, the quiz opened the door for more reflective conversation and collaboration. Socrative, is a great response system and used by many educators in our district. Learn more about Socrative and ideas for classroom integration at Socrative Garden as well as follow on Twitter @socrative.  Register instantly as an educator at and see how easily you can gather information for assessment or reflection. Will you gather a penny for their thoughts and seek mid year reflections from your learners?

A Few For Friday – Ice Breakers for Anytime

Ice Breaker Questions for Kids is a great list of questions for quick response or as writing prompts.

Ice Breakers for Small Groups is packed with lots of ideas and activities. How could these be used to engage learning?

40 Ice Breakers and Other Warm -Ups provides a variety of ways to build community and impact learning.

Photo Courtesy of morgueFile - A Public Image Archive


Gift of Curiosity – QR Codes

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How we communicate with our staff and students is ever changing with mobile devices and social media. In 2006, the far left tree was created so students could easily select an ornament (button) and visit a site for fun and little bit learning. This past week Jackie Aurisch, one of our district’s Instructional Technology Specialists, created the tree on the right to share her monthly Techie News with her staff using QR Codes. Aurisch sparked curiosity with her staff with the pdf file via an email and explained, “I decided to introduce you to something cool that is wonderful idea for those of you who are interested in BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) but not sure what kinds of things you can do or think it’s too much work.” She guided her staff with directions in her email and shared a QR code reader with a photo to show how to capture the codes. WOW, what an excellent way to inspire curiosity and introduce  a new way to engaged learning.  Thank you Jackie Aurisch for sharing your gift of curiosity - December Techie Times! What gift will you give your staff this holiday season to spark curiosity and impact learning?

Five For Friday – QR Codes in Education

QR Treasure Hunt Generator from can be a great starting point. Give it a try and see what kind of scavenger hunt you can create. Check out the QR Challenge – The Twelve Days of Christmas. This site creates the teacher page as well as one to print codes or use online with your students as shown with The  Twelve Days of Christmas. You can find answers to the quiz by scanning the 12 Days QR code below. QR Challenge – The Events of the Civil War is another example.

40 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom is another site from Tom Barrett that is generated from educators everywhere! Barrett also shares QR Codes Improve Web Access and taking the code to the reader.

Ten QR Codes in Ten Weeks are 10 excellent posts from Allanah King, a New Zealand primary school teacher, teaching at a small rural school. These resources and ideas were shared this week at the K12 Online Conference and feature QR Creation sites, Pick-a Path Stories, Geocaching and other ways to link QR codes. You can view Sandpit QR Code Presentation as well as other great presentations at the K12 Online Conference 2011.

The Best of QRCode! curated by Miss Noor shares so many great ideas.

QR Codes in Education is a LiveBinder from Steven Anderson that shares a wealth of information under the tabs.

Happy QR Coding!

2006 Tree

Techie Times

12 Days

Holiday Reading






Above Image Courtesy of:
Jackie Aurisch – December Tech Times
Kathy Adkins – 2006 Tree


Lots of DIRT to Scoop

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Twitter and RSS feeds dig up tons of robust digital informational resources of technology (DIRT) that is shared daily . This time of year it is difficult to keep up with the wealth of information, or great DIRT, so it is helpful to subscribe to an online magazine or newspaper that gathers these tweets and feeds.!, an online magazine, is used by many educational leaders to share information centered around topics such as mobile devices and technology integration., is another online newspaper creator which was shared in a previous post, and is a great tool used to showcase sites also written by others. You can subscribe to these to receive updates. What DIRT will you scoop up to spread with your learning community?

Five for Friday – Great DIRT from! and

iPads in Education is curated by John Evans, an e-consultant from Manitoba, Canada. He curates his magazine by following blogs, tweets and videos on the web. He also publishes The Tech News Daily at You can follow him @joevans.

Tools for Learners is curated by Nik Peachey and shares of wealth of web based tools to help learners exploit the web. You can follow Peachey @The NerdyTeacher.

EdTechConference is curated by Arthur Preston who shares how technology is impacting and changing education. He also publishes on Paperli at Arthur Preston Daily. You can follow him @artpreston.

Digital Tools and Education is curated by Eric Stockmeyer. Stockymeyer searches for the best articles on using digital tools to improve instruction. You can follow him @stockmeyer1.

#mlearning is published by RJ Jacquez, an Adobe Senior Product Evangelist. You can follow him @rjacquez as well as link to his other publications at

Photo Courtesy of  Kevin_P -