Information for New ITS

Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

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.



Peek, Lurk and Learn


Millions of social media interactions take place every minute of every day. Royal Pingdom posted Internet 2011 in Numbers and shared 2.4 billion social networking accounts exist worldwide. This blog post alone was tweeted almost 6,000 times. Last month Social Jumpstart shared how millions are connecting via an infographic, 00:60 in Social Media. There is no doubt the affection for Pinterest is growing. These conversations on Twitter and pinning of educational resources on Pinterest continue to bring professional development opportunities 24/7. When will you take a peek and lurk to learn? Yes, it is okay to lurk as shared in a presentation from Eric Longhorst via Wes Fryer – Twitter a Powerful Collaboration Tool for Teachers. Longhorst suggests you begin lurking by using hashtags to follow topics of interest. Take time to peek, lurk and learn.

Five For Friday – Twitter Resources – Model Responsibility

The Innovative Educator, Lisa Nielsen, recently posted how educators are using Twitter on her blog, Twitter for Administrators, Teachers and Students.  Follow Nielsen @InnovativeEdu.

Nicholas Provenzano, The Nerdy Teacher, shares guidelines for communicating with students on a recent blog post at Edutopia- On Twitter: To Follow or To Not Follow. Modeling responsibility is key. Follow Provenzano @thenerdyteacher.

28 Creative Ideas for Teaching with Twitter, from Tina Barseghian -MindShift, shares great ideas for educators. Follow Barseghian @MindShiftKQED

10 Women Who Rock … and Teach, is an excellent post from Lisa M. Dabbs, the facilitator of Edutopia’s New Teacher Connections group. You can follow Dabbs on Twitter @teachingwithsoul. She writes and inspires to support new teachers at Teaching With Soul.

Twitter is blocked from students on many districts’ networks. How can you use these ideas to educate young learners on social media? Use TodaysMeet and build learners’ knowledge on using social media responsibly.

Photo captured by irewired.

Approachable & Quotable

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The school year is young with lots of new opportunities to share your passion for learning and engaging young learners. How do you foster and create new avenues for learning experiences with your community? First and foremost, you have to be approachable. Scott Ginsberg,(@nametagscott) shares a plethora of information on approachability and ways to build your personal skills and own identity at his site, Hello, my name is Blog. He is the guy that wears a name tag all the time and actually has it tattooed on his chest. Ginsberg shares 26 ways to be approachable in three parts from past blogs. (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). Listed below are just ten that can jump start you. He suggests writing these thoughts on sticky notes in clear view around your work space to reinforce these philosophies.


  • Be comfortable, confident and consistent to your true self!
  • Be sensitive to others’ experiences
  • Be assertive not aggressive
  • Be someone others can be vulnerable and dumb in front of ….be smart but don’t be asmarty pants.
  • Make it easy for others to be playful around you
  • Share what you are thinking and feeling
  • Expand your openness to others
  • Practice your questioning
  • Recognize disagreements as opportunities
  • and one I really agree with…communicate before you have to

Scott’s wealth of information and ideas on how to get your learning staff to come to you now are ways to guide you to become more approachable. He provides quotes on his Stuff Scott Says website that supports his beliefs and will inspire you. One he shares, “If they can’t come UP to you, how can they get BEHIND you,” is so true. Scott puts himself out there and the only question is will you do the same?

“As leaders it is important to share your passion, not your expertise.” Kathy Adkins

Five for Friday – Quotes to Inspire

BrainyQuote – This site offers several features including Quote of the Day.

The Quote Garden – Grab some inspiration and teacher appreciation to share with your community.

Quote Daddy – Follow on Twitter @quotesdaddy.

Quotations Page – This site contains a large collection of famous quotes from authors.

MyQuoteBox – Shares quotes and offers a place to store your favorite quotes online.

App Resources for Quotes- Grab inspiration daily for free

Ultimate Quote Machine

Famous Quotes

Best Inspiring Quotes 5001

Photo created with Custom Sign Generator This site should not be used by students. Remember to always look thoroughly at generator sites to be sure they are student friendly.



Go Out On A Limb – Take Risks and Support Others

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This tree climber goes out on a limb most everyday regardless of the risks and hazards of the occupation. Do you take risks? As educators we are surrounded with more and more tools and ways to implement instruction. Now more than ever we have to take risks and try new ways to engage the digital learners.

In a recent post by UK educator, Martin Burrett(@ICTmagic) shares ideas for classroom teachers to go beyond the traditional and try new ideas. Try IT this year, Ten Techie Things to Try This Year embraces social media, collaborative learning and creativity using technology. What would  you add to the list? Try something new on this list or grab an idea from below and schedule time to go out on a limb to support new learners in your community!

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” – T.S. Eliot

“Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” – Jimmy Carter

Friday Flash – Five Ways to Support Others

Top 50 School Technology Blogs – Build your Professional Learning Network by following top leaders and sharing their knowledge with your personal learning community. Grab new ideas from these pioneers and collaborate with a first year teacher to design new learning adventures. Empower these new educators to take risks. You will be there to support them!

GaETC, Georgia Educational Technology Conference – Seek permission to leave the building to attend GaETC on November 2-4, 2011 or another professional conference. Kathy Schrock, Alan November and Tony Vincent are just a few of the leading experts that will inspire you to go out on the limb at GaETC. Submit a proposal to present is open until September 6. After attending conference collaborate with a colleague to implement new ideas.

epals Global Community and Skype in the Classroom – Schedule a time to connect a classroom in your building with a classroom in another country with epals Global Community. Check out the National Geographic collaborative projects as well as member projects. Collaborate with the teacher and provide opportunities to connect the classrooms via Skype in the Classroom.

Collaborize Classroom – Collaborate and share with a colleague this free site that compliments learning and encourages discussion. Primarypad as well as are other tools for online discussion. Allow students to pair and share when classrooms are large. Take the risk to try a new tool.

Delicious and Diigo - Make time to save Internet sites of interest using tags with relevant key words to share with the learning community. Share your account with others and encourage them to create accounts. Go out on a limb and create a group account for team members to share resources needed throughout the year. Together is better!

App Resources

Pulse News – Pulse is a free news reading app for the IOS as well as Android. You can easily define the app with your favorite blogs or social media sites. You can even add this site to your news stream

Diigo for iPad – Free

Skype for IOS - Skype for Android – Free

Photo courtesy of irewired and Big Huge Labs – Bobby out on a limb removing limbs one by one from decayed tree. Thanks for taking the risk Bobby!




Busy as Bees – What is Important?

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The beginning of this year seems extremely busier than years past. We are working as busy as bees and dodging barriers and obstacles just as this bee is avoiding the thorns of the thistle. But just as this bee seeks the nourishment from the flower, we too need to reach out and seek new ideas and ways to learn and provide better instruction for all learners. Our learners today are different and are unlike any other generation. Angela Maiers(@AngelaMaiers), a veteran teacher, parent and mentor, shares 12 Most Important Things About Kids Today. This is an incredible list that she proudly shares to inspire and make you so proud of all our young learners. Maiers also challenges us to maximize our partnerships and relationships with them because they still want and need our guidance. How can you take this list and support these important things about kids? Challenge and seek what is truly important to our learners.

Five for Friday – Professional Learning Communities/Networks

Edutopia, provides incredible resources for innovation and learning contributed by professionals from all over the globe. (@edutopia)

HP Teacher Experience Exchange provides professional development resources from lesson plans, webinars, to forums and how to videos. (@HPTeachExchange)

Classroom 2.0 is a social network for educators interested in Web 2.0 and social media in the classroom. (@classroom20)

The Teacher Learning Community offers many free webinars on current topics conducted by educators. August 24, from 2:00-2:30 you can tune into Web Tool Smackdown and receive a free copy of SimpleK12′s ebook – 101 Free Tech Tools for Teachers. (@TLC_edu)

Educators PLN is a personal learning community and great spot to connect with other educators as well as gather material to share with your professional community.

Photo Courtesy of irewired – Colorado Rockies

Sunsets – Relaxing and Recharging with Mobile Photography

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Photo taken with iPhone

As the sun sets on this school year, thoughts move toward vacation and time to relax with family and friends but the question often surfaces whether to find time for professional development. Do you decompress and relax or do you seek time to embrace new learning and expand your horizons? From experience, refueling by taking breaks from the load of the school year keeps you energized and recharged. However as life long learners, turning completely off doesn’t really happen. A recent Edutopia Poll asked, “Should teachers spend their summers developing their skills or relaxing?” With just over 1300 votes, 87% replied “Both – Ideally, teachers should spend time engaging in both educational development and non-work-related recreational activities.” How do you relax and recharge for the new school year? Whether you are chilling or refueling your skill set, keep that camera close by and capture the moments and the  glowing sunsets.

Comment from Poll – “What’s “relaxing?” I need to be thinking and learning to be happy!” Bonnie Yelverton, Secondary Math and Science Teacher

Motivational Poster Feature Using ezimba

A Few For Friday -
Mobile Photography

Mashable recently posted Mobile Photography - 20+ Resources for Apps, Snaps and Inspiration that will recharge your thinking and learning mobile photography as an art form. Why not create an A-Z Photo Gallery of your summer journey?

Ezimba is an incredible online web photo editor that creates so many art forms from an original photo. Be sure to undo before you apply a new effect unless you wish to layer effects. See some of these effects at Digital Diva/Digital Dude or all on this Flickr Ezimba Search. Create posters with the online version.

iPhotography is iphone photography and videography blog that reviews useful iphone apps. Check out the 6×6 App Review and one of many – Through the Lens Challenges. Could this challenge you this summer to develop your skill set and design a “Through the Lens Challenge” for learners?

Favorite Photography Apps

Photoshop Express – Quickly edit and share your photos. (Free)

PhotoPad – Works with iPad, ipod and iPhone to quickly edit photos with several options. (Free)

ezimba free – This is a fully functional free version of ezimba for the iPhone. For androids click here! (Free)

Color Splash – Quickly convert photos to black and white and retouch with color splashes. ($.99)

Videolicious – Turn raw video clips and photography into great looking videos. Check out the web site for more details. (Free)

Photo Transfer App – This is a great photo transfer app that allows transfer to computer or other device. ($2.99)

Friday Flash will be traveling to relax and recharge. As you travel this summer, remember it is not about the destination but the journey.

Photo courtesy of irewired. Taken with iPhone on a recharging trip to Charleston, SC on May 14 aboard the USS Yorktown at Patriots Pointe.

Finish Strong – No Coasting Allowed

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Larry Ferlazzo recently tweeted (@larryferlazzo) and shared his article at Education Week-Teacher, “Finishing the School Year Strong.” Highlighting Daniel Kahneman (Ted Talks) and his research on experience and memory, Ferlazzo shares the Peak/End Rule, where we judge our experiences on how they were at their peak and how they ended. “From this perspective he states, “what occurs in the final weeks of our classes will have a huge influence on how students feel about—and make future decisions related to—learning, schooling and the subject you are teaching.” He offers many ideas to guide students on the idea of finishing strong as well as ways for teachers to remain energized to the end.  Memories/Peaks have been made this school year and with only a few weeks left there are opportunities for a strong finish. Will you finish strong and make lasting memories? No coasting allowed!

Popeye Image Inserted into Toondoo

Few for Friday -
End the Year With a Bang!

Learning Up to the Very Last Minute – Scholastic shares many ideas such as creating a big production, the “What We Know” Math Show. Students brainstorm math concepts and create an innovative way to share and teach to other students. How you present this production and choices for creativity and innovation will determine if this makes a memory.

Wind up Learning and the Year Winds Down – Education Place provides many ideas that can be learner driven with technology infusion. Read and find out about “final exam” project and A Penny for Luck.

We know it is not about the tool but the instruction, however stay energized by introducing your students to ToonDoo and let them create comics that share their learning peaks and memories of the school year. ToonDoo’s Wiki is a resource for help as well as the Teachers’ Guide to Toondoo. Toondoo will provide accounts for students without e-mail addresses by following directions here.

App Resources – Two Story Tellers – Two Comic Creators

Sonic Pics - A great way to create short custom slideshows to share knowledge learned. ($2.99)

Blurb Mobile – A quick way to create short media stories. You do have to have location services on in settings. (free)

Comic Touch Lite – Create comic balloons and captions on photos. (free)

Strip Designer – Use photos from your photo album or camera roll to create personal comics. ($.2.99)

Photo Courtesy Thisisit2

Mentoring Star – Sandy Beck


Sandy and Me

Thirteen years ago this week, my friend and mentor, Sandy Beck, gave me the opportunity to present alongside her at Technology and Learning’s School Expo in New York City. Our session “Using Multimedia as a Teaching Tool with Students in K-5,” shared our love of creativity using Kidpix to guide students in illustrating their knowledge and producing a product. This was the first of many doors Sandy opened for me. Together we attended many conferences and classes to continually learn and share our passion of engaging students with technology to improve instruction. From Picturing Literacy, our district’s Student Spotlight and the STARS project, Sandy guided many initiatives. She was instrumental in bringing the first whiteboards to our district and influential in connecting teachers and students to experts via web conferencing. Sadly, Sandy is retiring at that end of this school year. Her impact on my life long learning and the learning of students has been huge. It would take several more paragraphs and  photos to really share her impact on teaching and learning in our district. You are a STAR Sandy Beck and we will miss you!

Do you open doors for others and provide opportunities for growth and leadership? Mentoring is truly rewarding and one of the best ways to provide support to the great educators in our buildings. Sometimes it takes just one invite to open the door. Will you be a door opener for a future star?




Few for Friday  - Stars and More

Solar System Scope shares an interactive 3D view of our solar system. Select the view on the left tab of the screen and choose the telescope to view the stars. Kelly Tenkley shares more about this site on her blog iLearn Technology.

Your Sky Tonight shares your personal night sky. You can customize for location, horizon view, field of view and different display options. Be sure to check out the Teacher Site that shares pdf activities including a Birthday Star activity.

StarChild is NASA’s site for the younger learner that offers two levels, primary and upper elementary. NASA for Students has a wealth of resources to engage learners interest in astronomy and space exploration.

App Resources

SkyView – Explore the universe and locate the location of even the space shuttle on a clear night.

Hubblesite – NASA’s online home for the Hubble space telescope that contains many photos and facts from the mission.

Walk of Fame Star from Redkid Generators




Tree Hugger – Hang on to Earth Day Everyday

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Capturing moments on our earth doesn’t get any better when the moments share the flora and fauna that surround us everyday.  How can we insure our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and their children have these photo opportunities? We have to share passion for our earth and ecology everyday and not just Earth Day. We have to inspire learners’ curiosity and produce critical thinkers to solve environmental issues in the future.  How can you make an impact so we can hang on to the things that matter?

Five for Friday – Earth Day Resources

Earth Day Network – Millions are signing up and pledging to save our planet with acts of green. What can your learners pledge and share with their community.

Using Google Earth on Earth Day – The Google Earth Blog shares many resources for everyday studies of our earth. This link shares environmental related content.

Scholastic’s Explore Your Earth – Using Google Earth students are guided on making everyday decisions concerning the environment.

Earth Day 2010 – The Big Picture shares awesome photographs from around the globe to spark conversation.

National Geographic Educational Resources – National Geographic’s new educational resource site was launched recently with different ways to view the resources.

Apps for Environmentalists

Pollution – Pollution informs you about your local pollution sources, and their measured exposures. Free for iPhone, iPod and iPad.

Eco Finder – Find out where you can recycle and dispose about anything.

Go Green - Get this app and get collectible Green tips that are saved to your Green list. You get a new Green tip each time you visit the app. Your Green status also changes as you earn more Green tips.

Build it Green – Back to the Beach is an awesome gaming app for the iPad from National Geographic. Unfortunately it is not free. ($4.99)

Photo from irewired – Tree frog hanging on a tree outside my home in the hills of north Georgia.



Presentationzen – Remember

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Images from Japan have conveyed stories of sadness, suffering, resilience and bits of hope.  We are emotional beings and these images evoke the mind and make us feel something as well as remember. Garr Reynolds states in his book, Presentation Zen, “Explaining the devastation of the Katrina  hurricane and floods in the US for example, could be done with bullet points, data and talking points but images of the aftermath and the images of human suffering tell the story no words, text or data alone never could.” This week Garr Reynolds experienced suffering in his home of 20 years, Japan. We are thankful his family is safe but can feel their sadness. Read more current information through his blog, Presentation Zen and personal blog, Garr’s Posterous. Thank you Garr Reynolds for teaching us how to design to remember the stories.

Four for Friday – Photo Sites Shared by Garr Reynolds

Flickr Creative Commons Pool – Flickr users offer their photos under a creative commons license.  Read more about Creative Commons, the non profit that offers an alternative to full copyright.

Image After offers free images as well as the ability to search texture, color and other categories.

Everystockphoto is a large search engine for photos. Select advanced search to narrow the search by attributes such as license and size.

Image Sources contains six favorite Flickr search engines and six free image collections to make your audience remember.

App Resources – Photo of the Day

NGPhoto – National Geographic shares a photo of the day with more information. You can browse previous photos.

Astronomy Picture of the Day – This app partners with NASA to share photos of the skies.

Photo Courtesy: Sota-ya