Friday, June 28, 2013

ISTE13 - See New Technology, Hear New Technology, Speak New Technology

This week I attended the ISTE conference in San Antonio, TX.  The big message from this conference?

 "Where the Energy is Palpable"  
Not only did I feel the energy, my senses were heightened on every level.  Let me share with you what I saw, heard and spoke. 

#1 See New Technology - As I attended different sessions a few new technologies were mentioned.  One is something called:

"Wearable Technology"  

This is literally people wearing devices that have technology attached to them.  Here are some examples:

Google Glass
These high tech glasses allow a person to record live what they are seeing, use a built-in GPS to navigate where they are going, receive social media updates, take a picture, send a message, ask a question, and more.

This is Adam Bellow one of the Keynote speakers.
Watch 10 minutes of Adam Bellow's Keynote speech as recorded through his Google Glasses.  

Up by Jawbone is a wearable wrist band:

How about a Wifi Detector T-shirt?  Seriously!
#2 Hear New Technology - The Keynote speakers at ISTE this year were so amazing!  

Jane McGonigal's Learning is an Epic Win spread the word about including gaming in your classroom.

Steve Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From reminded us that ideas take time to develop and that learners solve problems by borrowing ideas from multiple fields of thought.  Steve delivered a very insightful keynote.

And Adam Bellow, someone I have followed on Twitter for a long time, performed the final keynote address: You're Invited to Change the World.  I wasn't able to addend Adam's speech because I flew home on Wednesday, but it will soon be published to You Tube.  I will add Adam's Keynote when it is published.
In the meantime, here is a short interview at ISTE13.

#3 Speak New Technology - This blog post is getting long and I still have so much to say and share with you!  Therefore let me share a few links to some of the resources from the sessions I attended.  

I intend to share more, in future blogposts, of the specific tips, tricks and tools that I learned while at ISTE13.  I want to thank the School District of Ripon and my principal, Randy Hatlen, for giving me this incredible opportunity.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Adam Bellow and eduTecher

It's my first #ISTE13 post and I haven't even arrived in San Antonio yet.  However, I just had to share this before I arrive at the conference.

One of the Keynote speakers this year is Adam Bellow.  Unfortunately I will not be able to hear Adam talk since I will already be back in Wisconsin. 

Adam is the founder of the web site as well as

If you haven't used either of these sites, you should check them out.

The site is used as a way to keep track of the growing number of web tools that could be used in the classroom setting.  The website's mission is to help educators and schools around the world effectively integrate technology and web tools into the classroom.

Here are three reasons I love the eduTecher site:

1)  eduTecher site has eduTecherTV videos made by Adam himself.  As you may know, one of my favorite ways to learn is through videos, so this part of the website really appeals to me. 

Check out this video from the site about a tool called Poll Code:

And this video on Blip Snips:

2)  Another tab on the eduTecher site is the links tab.  This tab lets you search for web tools by subject area.
There are so many great tools to explore!

3)  One of the neatest parts of the eduTecher site is the eduClipper tab.  Think of eduClipper like a version on Pinterest.  This site lets you clip and share sites from the web with others.

In my opinion, eduTecher is one of the best web sites for searching and learning about new web tools.  Kudos to Adam Bellow!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sparta's Tech Boot Camp Experience

This week I was a presenter at Naomi Harm's Mobile Literacy Boot Camp in Sparta, WI.  Kudos to Naomi and Jeff Harm for putting together this Technology Camp.  I can only imagine what it took to make this happen.  It was truly an amazing experience for many educators.

As a presenter, one of my sessions was on the topic of Flipped Teaching.  This is such a hot topic right now in education.  I was more than ready to share the pedagogy and benefits of using Flipped Instruction in a classroom.

My Presentation:

I made sure to include plenty of

  • personal stories 
  • engaging videos
  • a video directly from our classroom
  • a backchannel to "hear" from my audience
  • digital tools to add to our digital toolbox
  • examples of flipped videos
  • time to work with the tools and practice making videos
The feedback I received from the audience was so positive and energizing.  One success story I just have to share is about these three lovely teachers:
After listening to my presentation and learning how to make a quality flipped video, these 4th grade teachers from Sparta sat down and collaboratively created two flipped math videos for their students.  Imagine how surprised their students will be next year when they watch and learn their math lesson from not just one, but three teachers taking turns teaching a math concept. Very impressive.

The other presentation I had the privilege to teach was on Schoology.   Schoology is a learning management system (LMS) for hosting content online.  Schoology and flipped teaching go hand in hand.  This session was very hands-on.  

We started with the participants joining a course I had created in Schoology.  They experienced Schoology from the student point of view and had to complete assignments, take a quiz, engage in a discussion and use a flipped video to create a web site.  The participants worked hard!

Next, the participants created a course of their own!  They learned what it takes to take a course and put it into Schoology, including creating assignments, pages, links, tests and quizzes, discussions, and embedding a video.  The participants were impressed with how much they were able to learn and accomplish on Schoology.

It is difficult to put into words what it meant to be a part of this Tech Boot Camp in Sparta, but let me try. 
It was exciting to see my name and picture being displayed as a presenter.  Not because of the recognition, but rather because I felt as though I had accomplished a goal I set out for myself, which was to pass on what I had learned about educational technology to other educators.  And as a result, students in other classrooms will gain a richer, more technological education.

And when the participants would thank me for teaching them and helping them, all I could think was how much they had helped themselves by being willing to try new things and better their teaching practice and knowledge base.

In the end, I feel I am the one who gained the most, because I met and spent time with the most amazing group of presenters with whom I have been connecting with on Twitter for some time now.  These friendships are invaluable and fill me will inspiration and motivation.  What a privilege it is to be a member of Naomi Harm's Consulting Team.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Summer Goals (Caution: This Post is Not all About Technology)

Ahhhh!  Summer is almost here.  I am beginning to set some goals for myself.  Do you set summer goals?  Here is what I'm planning:

#1 Read.  I have not picked up my Kindle in over a month.  That makes me very sad.  My first goal is to read a book a week this summer.  My favorite ways to find good books are the New York Times Best Seller List on Amazon or Pixel of Ink.

#2 Walk.   I truly need to get out and walk more to get some exercise.  Perhaps I will use the Map My Walk app to get me motivated.  Losing weight would be wonderful too.  It will be much easier to work on this goal this summer when I have the time to dedicate myself to this goal.

#3 Cook.  During the school year I really struggle to create different meals each night.  I tend to rely on the typical tacos, spaghetti and pizza.  My goal is to find some healthier recipes to cook for my family.  One place I look for recipes is  I also really like watching the Food Network channel and I have become a fan of The Pioneer Woman's blog and TV show.  Oh, and I also like Trisha Yearwood's Southern Kitchen show.

#4 Baseball.  I plan to attend every single baseball game possible this summer.  My son, Ryan, is such a talented baseball player.  He always amazes me with his quick thinking and skill as a catcher.  For me, baseball is a chance to laugh and relax with friends and to support my son in his love for this sport.

#5 Technology. You're not surprised by this one, are you?  My goals this summer are to participate in more webinars, expand my Google Plus circles, keep up with my Feedly, master Camtasia Studio and create new flipped videos for next year's math series, design more blended learning courses on Schoology,  spend more time on Twitter supporting my PLN, explore more Google Apps, have successful presentations in Sparta, WI as a member of Naomi Harm's Consulting Team, and finally make the most of attending ISTE in June.  I'm sure I will add to this list as the summer progresses.

Well, that should be enough to keep me busy.  However, there is one more goal that I have set for myself, and that is to continue to blog through out the summer and share technology with all of you. Blogging is something I enjoy so very much.  Thank you for taking time to read my blog and for giving me an audience to share it with.

Happy Summer Everyone!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Wrap Up of Our Year In Student Blogging

This has been a very successful year for our student blogs.  This is the first year that we opened our blogs up to the community, state and nation.  It is also the first time that I have made sure to include more technology and web 2.0 tools into our blog posts.

Here is a recap of our year:

#1 - September- "All About Me"  Students wrote interesting facts about themselves.
#2 - October - Students created a Thinglink to show different places that they have been.This post tied into our unit on map skills in social studies.

#3 - November - Our students used iPads and Educreations to make video tutorials.

#4 - January - Students made New Year's Resolutions.

#5 - February/March We made eBooks during RTI time.

#7 - April / May Students created a survey using Google Forms.  We sent our surveys to Middle School students but also created a survey for our blogs.

A special thank you to all of my friends and colleagues that took the time to comment on our students' blogs through out the year.  I'm proud of my students and all that they have put into their blogs. Next year should be even better!