Information for New ITS

Posts Tagged ‘learners’

100th Final Post – Don’t Let the Grass Grow Under Your Feet

No Comments

Three years ago Friday Flash was created to inspire the new Instructional Technology Specialist in my district. This is the 100th and final post of Friday Flash at irewired. It is time to move on and explore new creative ways to share with others. Sharing has been a passion. From my beginning newsletter posts in 1999 and 2000, I began sharing resources for the educators in my school. Learning to post on the web was a passion but in the early days I am not sure the amount of time to learn and share made an impact on my small audience so I kept evolving. In 2002, Munch and Learn was created and professional development was supported with snacking and recipe sharing. The following years e-link shared information and was pushed out as html in Outlook. It was great to learn and make things pretty but time was limited and in the years that followed simple emails delivered information. After retirement and becoming rewired, Friday Flash grew from those push emails and passion to keep learning led me to Word Press. Now it is time to move on from these posts and share my passion in other formats. Remember to evolve and keep learning everyday to make a difference for all learners. Don’t let the grass grow under your feet! You can continue to follow my journey @kathyadkins.

Four for Friday – Ways to Share Your Passion

Simple Booklet provides a free online flip booklet maker. There is an educational version now available. Free version does contain ads as seen in this simple booklet, Twitter Resources.

Snapguide is a another easy approach to make guides for learning. There is a free IOS Snapguide app to view and share guides. Lisa Johnson shares iSnap 2 Learn: Snapguides 4 the Classroom on Pinterest.

Edcanvas is an online canvas where teachers and students can share knowledge. Richard Byrne recently shared Use Edcanvas to Organize and Share Classroom Materials at Free Technology For Teachers.

Flipsnack lets you take your pdf files and create a flash page flip digital publication. The books work great on mobile screens of different sizes.

Image credit: g215 / 123RF Stock Photo

Thankful 4 Conferences

No Comments

Now is a great time to tell educators in your personal learning network how thankful you are for all they do to engage learners and make learning meaningful. Teachers as well as students are contributing to learning everyday and get very few kudos for all they do. Many of these educators and students are sharing incredible resources and knowledge at four November educational technology conferences. K12 Online, Georgia Educational Technology Conference, Global Education Conference and the upcoming Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators online presence provides resources for educators for anytime, anywhere learning. How will we show our thanks? Visit, learn and share with your PLN.

Four for Friday – Online Conferences Resources

K12 10 Day Conference shares so many resources from innovative educators and students. Click directly on 2012 Schedule for overview and check out the links under the Schedule to view awesome presentations. From the Visioning New Curriculum to Students Voices presentation, Authentic Voices, the wealth of information can be discovered via the iPod videos, mp3 audios and supporting documents.

GaETC 2012 resources share presentations by name. You may want to first visit the concurrent session pages listed for Wednesday to Friday and then select presenters name on the resource page. GaETC offered a very helpful app for attendees.

The Global Education Conference culminates today but recordings of sessions can be viewed here. It is incredible to learn from global innovators.

LACUE, Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators, will take place November 25-27. Currently there is a resource page and you will be able to follow on twitter using #lacue.

Image above created with Frame Magic - Frame Magic Lite

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-






Push Like and Move Forward

No Comments

During the opening days of the new school year we are thankful for educational leaders and colleagues that share many items of educational importance via social media channels. The beginning of school can be hectic but we still need to embrace our visions and engage learners from the start. Two great articles, How to Turn Your Classroom into an Idea Factory, a recent post from Mind/Shift and 12 Most Important Things Children Want From Their Teacher, from Angela Mairs, were recently shared via a facebook page. We are thankful for many facets of social media and collaborative channels that remind us of what is most important during this busy time, our students. Remember to like educators and organizations on your facebook feed and follow in Twitter. It will push and move you forward.

A Few for Friday – Like and Follow

Edutopia - This site has shared great inspiration for years. Their team of bloggers provide a wealth of information.  Follow on Twitter @edutopia.

Tech4Learning – Since 1999, this company has created tools to support learning and provided many resources to support instruction using these tools. Follow on Twitter @Tech4Learning.

Mind/Shift – This site has been a leader in covering trends and moving forward to the future. Follow on Twitter @MindShiftKQED.







Digital Footprint Refresher

No Comments

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.



Keep the List Short

No Comments

The web is packed with many educational resources sharing numerous lists for teaching and learning. Tom Barrrett’s Interesting Ways Series such as 32 Interesting Ways to Use an iPod Touch in the Classroom provides great suggestions.  100 Ways to Use Voicethread is a voicethread with lots of great ideas but is it too large? As educators digest these resources, we have to be cognizant of the amount of ideas and tools we provide.  What is the magical number for lists? Would you opt for a few or many? The type of information we share and the time frame for delivery will often determine how many items should be on the list. It is important to keep the list short to maximize retention. What will be your magical number to list items to share?


Five for Friday – Trending with 5′s

Five Tips for Teachers to Become Connected Educators – Lisa Dabbs, founder of #ntchat on twitter, shares a timely post at Edutopia to support new educators. The department of education has declared August as Connected Educator Month and Dabbs offer some great tips to begin connecting.

Five Characteristics of Learner Centered Teaching – Faculty Focus publishes articles for the college classroom, but many topics shared relate to all classrooms.

Five Daily Questions for Technology Leaders – Steven W. Anderson shares questions that will help you focus on your vision and goals as the technology leaders in your building.

Five Ways to Use Pinterest in the Classroom – Edudemic post’s title says 3 Ways to Share Pinterest but actually five are listed! This is very pinteresting!

Five Reasons to Allow Students to Use Cell Phones in the Classroom – The Innovative Educator shares a guest post from Michael Soskil, a fifth grade teacher, and five key reasons to support BYOT.


To the Top – Elevate Your Learning

No Comments

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)




Educator Appreciation – You Hung the Moon!

No Comments

Looking into the night sky this weekend, Saturday, May 5 @ 11:34 PM EST, the moon will be a Super Moon, a perigee moon, a time when the moon is closest to the earth. The moon will be 14% larger and 30% brighter than other moons for 2012.  You can learn more about the Super Moon of May 2012 from NASA ScienceCast. This year’s super moon lights the way for Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11. We are all surrounded by incredible educators that guide our journey and engage our learning everyday. How will you express your appreciation? Will you tell them they have hung the moon?

Five For Friday – Moon Resources

Birthday Moons is an activity to gather data and learn about the phases of the moon. It was created to answer the question, were more of you born on a full moon? Using the links in the web poster and the Excel spreadsheet template, students are given the opportunity to explore and compare relevant data to learn phases of the moon. What kind of relevant project can you create with Web Poster Wizard from

NeoK12 – Moon provides learners with interactives, puzzles and videos to fuel their curiosity of the moon. NeoK12 is a great resource for educational videos.

Photonaturalist, Steve Berardi, shares helpful links on moon photography on his blog, Biggest Full Moon of the Year Occurs this Saturday.

Lightstalking provides 10 great moon photography examples as well as tips for moon photography.

Check out Karen Wheeler’s Moon Phase Pinterest board for photography inspiration. Pinterest continues to grow and provide educators with great resources.

Some Moon Apps

Moon. – Learn About the Moon

Live Moon Pro – Current Moon (Free)

Perpetuum – Moon Phases ($.99)

Photo courtesy irewired. All Rights Reserved

Dick Clark – Rock Star Creator

No Comments

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.



New PLAYgrounds – Tilt that Seesaw

No Comments

Old Playground Circa 1897

Assessment weeks are winding away and hopefully learners will have more opportunity to play and explore new learning experiences. A recent post via Daily Adventures, shared global hero, Henry Jenkins – “Play is at the heart of learning – USA” and his influence on educators throughout the world. “Give yourself and your students permission to play, ” say Henry Jenkins. PLAY stands for Participatory Learning and You. Jenkins goes on to state play is the basic human mechanism for learning. Many schools view play as disruption of the educational process but Jenkins notes that play actually motivates learning and provides new forms of engagement. He highlights five core principals to embrace participatory learning. These core principals are key concepts to frame and apply to learning new media literacy’s. Jenkins says, “New media literacies cannot be an option (meaning new media shouldn’t be set aside for the end of the week if the students have been “good”). It is not about the tools or technology; it is about experimentation, more collaboration, more creativity and more play. ” Read entire post about this global hero in education and be inspired. How will you tilt the seesaw and provide new opportunities for participatory learning? Will you wait till work is finished or testing is complete?

Four For Friday – Apps to Take Outside to Play

VidRythm is free app to share learning experiences easily remixing short video clips. There is no actual game to play but it is a lot of fun to play and create. Promote play by sharing play.

Viddy is another video capturing app with cinematic features that allows you to quickly share memorable moments. Viddy is the instagram for videos.  Check out this one titled “Water!”

Kinotopic creates kinos, which are also known as cinemagraphs. Kinotopic allows you to make still photographs and add small areas of movement. Make some playful animations!

Snapster is new app released this week that allows you to take square photos. To improve your photography skills you have to play and take lots of photos plus it is always fun to play with something new!

Photo Courtesy of iRewired – Old Playground in Colorado