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Posts Tagged ‘BYOT’

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.





Art Journaling

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Pinterest continues to be a source of great ideas for inspiration. On a recent timed browsing trip, Melissa Taylor’s board, Art Journaling for Adults and Children was discovered. Taylor’s board and pins lead to more discoveries and a budding interest in art journaling. Dina Wakley states on the get it scrapped blog, “Simply put, an art journal is a journal in which you combine art and words to express yourself.” She also shares, “There are no mistakes in journaling so leave your inner critic at the door.” With more exploration, ideas for classroom journaling and creativity resonated from the usage of old texts and printed paper to how our BYOT classrooms could utilize many of these ideas for written expression on mobile devices from doodling, to collages and photo snapshots. From Kristen McKay’s Journaling Ideas, to using the one little word, from Monica Wright, these ideas will inspire your design and thinking of ways to share art journaling in your classrooms. Connecting the arts with content areas and bringing together these teachers could only make the learning experience more engaging for students. How will you use art journaling in the classroom? See more ideas at the Incredible Art Teacher and inspire others.

Five for Friday – Places to Share Photos, Doodle and Journal

Common Sense Media shares reviews on Journal Apps, Online Dairies and Digital Scrapbooks for different age groups. Some of these are costly and others are $.99.

PicMonkey is a free online feature rich photo editing site that contains a collage section. Create individual images and then load into the collage maker. You can check out some of its features at Constant Contact.

Big Huge Labs has a variety of output for digital content from a mosaic maker, motivational poster to magazine cover. Take a learner’s creation from a doodling app or take a photo of a paper creation with a device to import and share.

Image Chef App for IOS can do amazing things with photos and text as shown by the image above. It is free and has additional layouts you can download.

Skitch is free and its integration with Evernote makes it a great tool for art journaling.

Related Post – Let them Doodle – Tools in Hand

Image above made with Image Chef App



Diversity of the Leaf and Learner

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Fall color is in all its splendid color in some regions and just beginning in other areas. The Miracle of Fall provides many links to follow leaf change with web cams and foliage updates. You can even watch leaf change in less than 30 seconds. This month’s National Geographic article, “The Glory of Leaves” by Rob Dunn takes a closer look at why leaves look the ways they do, from different shapes, colors, size, texture and taste just to name a few attributes. Leaves are very diversified in nature due to climate, competition and defense and as noted in this article, a work in progress. As we observe their majestic fall beauty let us be reminded of their diversity and beauty. Let us also remind ourselves of the diversity of all learners and what shapes their growth. Just like leaves, they are also a work in progress. Let’s do our best to provide the best climate, instill competitive spirit and model best practices in online safety as we guide them in learning. Take a closer look everyday.

Five Apps for Friday – Collage Creators

Photo Collage

Frame Magic

PolyFrame Lite

Photo Wall Lite

Diptic $.99

These collage creators are just tools but a choice for students to share learning.

Photo above created with Photo Collage

Blank Canvas – How will you frame it?

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As a veteran educator it is such an inspiration when young staff members step up and guide others. This week Alena Zink, Instructional Technology Specialist at Shiloh Point Elementaty, inspired me with her post, If We Stop Throwing Glitter in the Air…. Glitter meaning templates and cookie cutter activities. Yes, I have been guilty of throwing glitter over years as viewed in one of my newsletters from 2001 where templates were shared for the younger set as encouragement for teachers. Thankfully there were a few ideas shared that could have led to more creativity.  Zink states in her thought provoking post, “In a glittery classroom, I see students sitting in front of laptops, completing template-based projects that answer only right-or-wrong questions. Each product looks exactly the same as other 25 in the classroom and does not lead to students remembering what they have learned.” Zink lists six important features of what today’s classrooms would look like if we stopped tossing glitter. You can follow Zink on Twitter @ZinkED_u. How will you frame your instruction with open-ended questions so students critically think, create collaboratively and share their voice? Will you provide that blank canvas without throwing out all the glitter?

“Our tasks as educators lies not in force feeding students but in making them hunger for knowledge.”    Amy Pruitt

Five for Friday – Blank Canvas Productivity Tools

Wixie combines paint and artwork with text and voice recording to create the perfect canvas. How you frame the instruction using open-ended questions will provide students opportunity to be creative and own their learning. Tech4learning provides a trial download of Wixie with many resources for educators. Be sure to check out The Creative Educator, their publication that provides articles, stories and lessons on trending topics.

Paint and draw with Sumo Paint, a free image editor for older learners has many tools for creativity. Sumo Paint for the iPad app is $1.99.

Kerpoof is another easy to use drawing program online for younger learners. What directive could you share to inspire young learners to think and share?

ArtPad is a very simple digital canvas that replays the drawing and provides a few frames to frame it.

Electronic whiteboards are large blank canvases begging for creativity in many classrooms. Let them create and share! With learners at the board, allow others to collaborate and design online at Board800. With BYOT initiatives try Jot Whiteboard, a free iPad app with very simple tools for young learners or experiment with Educreations.







Ramp Up Learning with Walk Throughs

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Building walk throughs have become a vital piece in our district’s support of 21st century learning. Walk throughs in years past have primarily been administrators’ role as part of teacher evaluations. Recent walk throughs have become more learning walks involving teams of media specialists, instructional technology specialist and even small groups of teachers from other schools. Teams rotate and spend five minutes in classrooms to observe and provide confidential feedback via Google docs. What is more powerful than the observation is the learning of the observer. On a recent learning walk educators observed students in a science class sharing images, videos, data and strategies posted in their group motion and force wikispaces project. Students in several classrooms were reading literature selections and back channeling in TodaysMeet. Edmodo was used to share Socrative links and various instructional activities. Students were working in the hallway to pair and share Spanish fluency recordings. All of these activities were possible, not because of textbooks, but because students were using their own devices. I should mention textbooks did physically support part of the science motion and forces lesson. When will you conduct a walk through and ramp up learning?

A Few for Friday – Let Learning Drive the Tools

Socrative can be used to drive learning in so many ways as shared by The Landscape – 13 Ways to Use Socrative. Be sure to check out Socrative’s Blog – Socrative Garden to see how to share quizzes and harvest many other ideas.

TodaysMeet is a great platform for discussion and back channeling. Learn it in 5 shares a how to video and here is a two page pdf guide. Have you seen this great lesson from Read Write Think- Seuss and Silverstein: Posing Questions, Presenting Points. Could TodaysMeet be a part of this lesson and give shy students their voice?

How are you using Edmodo? Check out this Edmodo Resources Livebinder with lesson ideas or view a few videos from Edmodocon 2012.  Mr G Online shares Literature Circles -co-starring Edmodo. This passionate educator’s blog is worth following.

Digital Footprint Refresher

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Every school year begins with the review of acceptable use policies and online security. With the presence of mobile devices in classrooms and the vast amount of online tools for sharing personal expression and creativity, all learners have to be refreshed on securing their digital footprint. Scott Hibberson recently shared Getting Learners to Check Their Digital Footprint with Taxedo. This was a creative way to to use a word cloud as an ice breaker to get to know one another and introduce digital footprint. Whether you use a word cloud creator or other creative tool, learners should be aware of their digital footprint now and throughout the year.  A photo or poster of a footprint would be a great decoration for your media spaces. How will you share your digital footprint refresher with your community of learners?

Five for Friday – Digital Footprint Resources

Lesson Plan – Trillion Dollar Footprint (6-8) – This is an excellent resource from Common Sense Media that includes video and handouts. Common Sense Media is a great site to use throughout the year with resources provided for different grade level sections. You will need to register to download the materials.

Six Reasons Why Kids Should Know How to Blog – Mind/Shift shares the importance of a positive digital footprint as more students are blogging. This is a must read as students begin blogging this school year.

Teaching Kids About Their Digital Footprint: the who, the what and the how – This is an excellent post to share with your learning community.

Digital Footprints – What are Digital Footprints? – Kidsmart provides lots of information for younger learners and shares a digital footprint template.

Cybersmart -Digital Footprint – This site also provides content for the younger learner as well as more resources for online security.



To the Top – Elevate Your Learning

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Recent summer travels have allowed me to view many magnificent mountain ranges in Colorado. One particular vista, Carbon Peak (12,079), was on my daily horizon and looked amazing from lower elevation but there was the strong desire to be at the top for a better view. For many summer months the desire to climb the peak and conquer the elevation was on the agenda but time constraints continually interfered. Fortunately this summer presented the time to climb. With tools to navigate as well as visual cairns (man-made pile of stones) along the way, the trek was mastered. What an incredible view from the top of near and far mountain peaks and the beautiful storybook valley below with its winding streams and meadows. The climb was invigorating and the sense of accomplishment rewarding. As we begin the new school year we need to take time to climb and elevate our learning. There are so many resources (cairns) along the way to propel our journey. We cannot wait for the perfect time because that time is now. Will you elevate your learning?

A Few for Friday – Bloggers to Follow that Elevate Learning

BYOT Network – Dr. Tim Clark recently shared First Five Days of School with BYOT. Clark’s blog provides a wealth of resources to support and elevate learning with mobile devices.

Mind/Shift – Tina BerBarseghian provides incredible resources to move you up the hill of learning. Check out 10 Ways to Boost your Game for Back-to-School.

Dangerously Irrelevant – Scott Meech shares his perspective on the intersection of education and technology. Be sure to check out his wiki Moving Forward, a vast collection of resources to elevate your learning.

Image Source – Courtesy of irewired
Image created using Frame Magic Lite
Tracking App – Endomondo (Multiple Devices)
Another Tracking App – EveryTrail (IOS)




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

BYOT Outdoors – The Sky is the Limit

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One of the best perks about having a mobile device in hand is the ability to take it outside. The walls of the classroom are gone and the open space can lead to new conversations. The sky is the limit and the curiosity of the outdoors will lead learners to new spaces of learning. One space to spark outdoor curiosity is Project Noah and its free mobile app. Noah is the acronym for “Networked Organisms And Habitats.” Project Noah provides educators a place where learners can explore nature and document observations. Learners can join missions and become “citizen scientists” solving real world problems. Check out this video on the 2011 BioBlitz to inspire BYOT outdoors. Will you create an outdoor mission? The sky is the limit.

A Few For Friday – Grow Curiosity

Share You Tube Time Lapse Videos of Plant Growth such as Time Lapse of Plant Growth. Time Lapse of Flowers in Growth is incredibly beautiful and a must see!

Visit sites that are interactive and engaging such as The Life Cycle of a Plants which has a whiteboard view. Science Kids has an interactive page with drag and drop features for life cycle. Plants is another short learning experience for younger learners. Note that many of sites contain Flash and using Rover, an app browser on the iPad, works for viewing on IOS devices.

Visit sites with lots of photos to inspire your young phoneographers. Arkive is an incredible site with lots of earth images and videos for student exploration and learning.

Photo collage created by irewired with Diptic