Information for New ITS

Archive for February, 2012

Colored Pencils to Digital Expressions


Technology had me back in 1990 with my one Apple IIe and Bank Street Writer. My special education/exceptional students typed text for their stories and we printed with a dot matrix printer. We then paired the text with their own drawings or photos developed at the local store and pasted to make construction paper books. Next we moved to making big books, poster size, with Big Book Maker Favorite Fairy Tales and Tall Tales from Pelican (Toucan Software). We taped the pages together, colored and bound with a spiral binder. We thought we were really cool creating our books twenty years ago. I can only imagine what my exceptional students could now share with the world. What a great time to be an educator and engage learners with so many great ways to express themselves. Watch this video shared by Jeremy McDonald, Mr. Macnology #unexpected and be inspired.

A Few for Friday – Expression Tools

David Kapuler shared Top Ten Apps for Digital Storytelling at Tech&Learning, but his recent pinning at Pinterest shares more visually at Digital Storytelling Apps and Sites. Follow Kapuler on Twitter @dkapuler.

Ed Tech Ideas, Keith Ferrell, shares 8 Great Sites for Reluctant Writers. Ferrell also share, Keyboarding Sites for Kids, to encourage keyboard awareness . Follow Ferrell on Twitter @K_Ferrell.

Appitic is an awesome collection of IOS apps curated by Apple Distinguished Educators. Check out their list for Writing and Storytelling for recently added apps. Lots of resources are shared to use with exceptional children.

Photo Courtesy of Jonna Pohjalainen – Giant Colored Pencil Sculptures

Enabled, Engaged and Empowered with BYOT

No Comments

High school seniors share song lyrics using Wiffiti to compare and contrast poetic elements as a ticket in the door to begin today’s AP Literature lesson. Elbow partners in US History create WWI collages on different aspects of the war using PicWall, Tubo Collage or other app on their mobile devices. Sixth graders use their personal devices to research and then create collaborative Glogster presentations on specific Greek Mythology topics before reading The Lightning Thief. Fifth grade students use their mobile devices to find answers to questions created by classmates competing in the Stock Market Game and Skype to share with another class in a different school. Fourth graders research for answers to questions that were brought up during science lab and share back with Picto-chat. These were just a few of the observations via our district’s recent BYOT Tour and a visit to one of our high schools for BYOT professional development session. Are these learners enabled, engaged and empowered, the 3 e’s from Project Tomorrow 2010? Yes, we are witnessing the value of mobile devices for leveraging learning in our classrooms. Mobile devices are not evident in every classroom in our district but more and more educators are taking steps to embrace BYOT. Learn more about Forsyth County’s BYOT initiative and listen to the district’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, Bailey Mitchell as he shares the 1:1 program and Making BYOD Work.

A Few For Friday – Lesson Resources for BYOT

Mobile and Technology-Enhanced Community Building Activities from Dr. Jackie Gerstein, shares a wealth of activities to build a community of learners. A recent post at his User Generated Education shares several communication activities on mobile devices. Follow Dr. Jackie Gerstein @JackieGerstein

From Toy to Tool: Cell Phones in Learning from Liz Kolb provides many conversations and resources on integrating cells phones in the curriculum. Kolb shares many lesson ideas including Summarizing by Text Messaging Shakespeare using Wiffiti at Scholastic. Follow Liz Kolb @lkolb.

BYOT Network – 5 Ways to Learn with Nintendo DSi from Forsyth County’s Dr. Tim Clark, provides ways to use one of the most popular devices in the elementary setting. Dr. Clark states as educators and parents we must be willing to learn alongside our students/children to discover the potential for Nintendo DSi as well as other mobile learning devices. Follow Dr. Tim Clark @BYOTNetwork

Love Learning From the Fire Hose

No Comments

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

Phoneography Inspiration

No Comments

This past weekend 259 students participated in our district’s annual Technology Fair with over 206 projects in 14 categories ranging from project programing, robotics, and animated graphic design to digital video production and digital photography. What a great day for students to share their technology passions outside the normal school day. As a judge, I was privileged to view the photography expertise of fifth and sixth graders. Not only were their photos amazing, their passion for taking great photos was evident as they shared their projects.  What was surprising was the low number of entries in the digital photography category. How can we promote digital photography learning? There are great lessons online that weave the art of photography with curriculum as well as how to’s. A great place to start is the Digital Photography School and 13 Lessons to Teach Your Child About Digital Photography. Whether it is a mobile device or digital camera, learners need to capture and share their views of the world. How can you inspire young photography artists?

A Few For Friday – Phoneography Tips and Tricks

iPhoneography is a great site for inspiration on using iPhones. This Week “Through the Eyes of an iPhone” shares a variety of photos from the amazing flickr group – Through the Lens of the iPhone.

Photojojo shares 10 Tips to Make Your Phone Photos Amazing. Practice some of the techniques shared with filtering and exposure and apply with split frames. Great app recommendations are shared as well as some easy tools for photo shoots. is a great blog to follow from Photojojo. Super cool ideas are shared for different mobile devices.

Sunsets, Relaxing and Recharging with Mobile Photography, a previous post, provides more ideas and apps to keep the shutter snapping.