Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ScratchJr Update! Easier Sharing!

I just received this email from ScratchJr and thought I would share it here. This is great news for our primary teachers using the ScratchJr app!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

So, you want to be a Google Genius, eh?

Attention all GISD Teachers...

We are offering a great professional learning opportunity...the chance to become a Google Genius.

This is an all-day training on May 7th that will make you familiar with nearly all of the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) in our District Google Suite.

You will learn all about Chrome, Sites, Classroom, Drive, and how to integrate them into your instruction with your students. By the end of the day, you will definitely have take-aways to use in your room the next day!

Please talk with your administrator about getting a sub for professional learning and join us on May 7th!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just When You Thought @RemindHQ Couldn't Get Any Better....

Hot off the press: Remind has announced a new feature called Stamps that will make you very happy!

This new feature will allow users to receive instant feedback to questions that are posted in the Remind app. Imagine sending a quick question to parents like 'Who can volunteer for the class on Friday?' or to students for understanding on a lesson. 

Image from:

The feedback comes to the teacher's Remind account instantly and only the teacher is able to view it. This keeps the privacy that Remind is so well known and loved for. 

One important note is that the Stamps feature is only available for response through the actual app. Read all about this great new feature on the Remind blog here!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dimension U is now on the iPad!!

DimensionU's Towerstorm iOS app for Math and Literacy is now available in the app store for iPad and iPhone.  It can be accessed via the following link:

Happy gaming!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Do You Have Golden Nuggets in Your Twitter?

Have you made the leap and joined Twitter yet? It's time to drink the Twitter Kool-aid and here's why...

Twitter is THE most adaptable, on-demand PD that I have ever experienced. Many people like to say, "I am not on Twitter because I do not care what someone posts that they had for lunch." My response to that, "Unfollow. Done." Imagine a world where you can immediately find the experts for advice or resources to help with that one question you have. 

Let's say you are a new teacher, just starting out in the jungle that we call teaching. Doing a quick twitter search for #ntchat (new teacher chat) I am able to find a plethora of support:
I, the newbie teacher, now have a list of resources to help me on everything from 'A Survival Guide for New Teachers' to a collection of new teacher resources on Pinterest. Plus, I have a start to building a PLN (following others) that tweet items that will directly relate to what I need. No lunchtime follows here! 

As you begin to grow your Twitter expertise and build your feed with great Tweeple, your golden nuggets of knowledge will multiply. 

Here are two golden nuggets from my Twitter feed this morning, that are share-worthy:

Happy Tweeting! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nerding Out with the iOS 8

This week, Apple held their annual WWDC, which is where they announce all of the cool, new features that are coming in the fall with the new iOS update. 

ios 8 730x486 Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2014 in one handy list

With our district now having at least one iPad in every classroom, there are many new features that will make you give a little happy dance. 

Interactive Notifications: Devices will now allow for the user to respond to the notifications that come in to your lock screen and banner across the top. For example, if an iMessage comes to the banner at the top of your iPad, you can literally tap on it and reply to the person directly from the notification. You can also accept or decline notifications as well. 
wwdc 2014 659 730x486 Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2014 in one handy list

Messages: There are going to be several new features added to messages. How many times have you been included in a group text and by the 100th reply you want to pull your hair out?!?!? With iOS8, you can opt out of the group text or even set 'Do Not Disturb' times within the message to stop them from coming through. Another added feature for messages, will be the ability to send audio recordings within your message conversation. (GREAT way to minimize the possibility of texting a driving!) 
wwdc 2014 848 730x486 Apple announces iOS 8 with interactive notifications, HealthKit and predictive typing

QuickType: iOS 8 will also feature a new keyboard with predictive test built in. As you begin typing words appear above the keyboard that you can select and insert into your message. The cool thing is that the predictive text will learn your communication style an start predicting words that you typically use.
wwdc 2014 759 730x486 Apple revamps its iOS keyboard with contextual QuickType predictive texting

HandOff: This feature is one that I am most excited about. Apple has developed a new communication scheme between devices. Basically, if you have a document or email that you have begun writing on your MacBook, your iPad will identify where you left off and let you continue writing on the same message through the iPad app. A bit confusing to explain, but VERY cool to see. Click here to see a more thorough explanation.

These few features along with many others are going to make iOS 8 a great update to have on your devices. If you would like to watch the announcements in their entirety (with demonstrations!) check out the video here

And because I think this is completely amazing, check out this great recap of the event in musical form... 

Photo credits: 


Monday, June 2, 2014

7 Ways to Use Technology with Purpose

A newsletter I am subscribed to had some interesting questions worth sharing.  AJ Juliani asked the following:

Why are you using technology?
How are you using technology to better the learning in your classroom and/or school?

In order to make sure you are using technology correctly, you must ask yourself "Am I starting with why?"  If students understand the "why" for using technology, then class will have purpose and any glitches or issues with technology can be worked through.  Major problems arise if students don't understand the "why."

Listed below are 7 ways technology can be used with purpose in your classroom or on your campus:

1.  Collaboration in Real Time
2.  Reflection and Sharing
3.  Better Research
4.  Write and Re-Write
5.  Make Something (that matters)
6.  Keeping a Digital Record
7.  Mastery Assessments

Don't forget the "why" to your students!

Click HERE to visit the site for detailed descriptions of the ways to use technology with a purpose.