Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Personal Story - My Healthy Journey of 2015

Even though this is an educational technology blog, I've decided to take a different approach with this post and share a personal use of technology. 

At the beginning of the new year, 2015, I made a life change. I decided to start eating better and making my health a priority. My motivation came from losing a close family member to alcohol and overeating. At that time, I realized that I wanted to get back in control and try to change my habits.


Here is a picture of me in December of 2014:


And here is a picture of me today, December 2015:


Technology helped me to take on the health challenge in several ways and if sharing some of these sites and tools helps others, I'll feel so happy.

I joined an online community of other people who encouraged and motivated me to eat well. I do not promote a certain kind of diet or eating. This is just what worked for me. Diabetes runs in my family, and I knew that cutting out sugar and carbohydrates would be the right decision for me. Just reading posts from others who are having the same struggles and successes as I am is a huge support.

This site saved me from getting stuck in a rut and eating the same thing every day, which has been part of the difficulty in the past. By searching for sugar-free / low carb foods, I found and collected many great recipes that I love and treasure. Here is my collection of low sugar / low carb foods that I have tried and are delicious!

These two apps have been a daily go to.  I use My Fitness Pal to log what I eat and see the nutritional value of any recipes that I make. PopWeight helps me to track my weight every day and visually shows me how I am doing.

Online shopping
I found a few great sites for ordering foods that are low in sugar and help with my cravings or sweet tooth. Netrition (this site has low carb bread and also has great recipes), Labrada (I buy my protein shakes here) and Amazon (I ordered this ice cream maker and it has been heavenly this year).  I do spend a bit more money on food, but then I have to weigh that against being healthy. I think it is worth it.

A few other changes that I have made is to put eating healthy first. I used to eat in order to please other people like at a party or holiday celebration. I now realize that eating healthy is a personal choice I am making and I try to focus on the idea of spending quality time with others when with my friends instead of food.

I also am working on finding a balance between work and home. This is very important to me and has made a difference in my quality of life and health. 

And finally, I choose to spend time with the people in my life who are supportive, kind, thoughtful and understanding. There are always those people who are negative, hurtful or untrustworthy. I am choosing to politely keep my distance.  

I pray every morning that I will be able to continue eating healthy and having the will power and motivation to continue this healthy journey. Sometimes life can get in the way, but I believe in myself and my determination, and that is what is most important.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope by writing this personal story I can help others who are going through a challenge. Perhaps technology can also be helpful to them in a personal way.  


Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's Okay to Have a Little Holiday Fun

Take some time to have some holiday fun with these sites. Holiday cards, snow line and decorating cookies are on the agenda.

Watch this Chat with Deb to see some great sites to share with your students for a little holiday fun.



Sites shared in this video:
Another Build a Snowman

Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb post. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hour of Code- Chat with Deb

 Explained in Just 10 Minutes 


This week we celebrate Computer Science Education Week and along with that Hour of Code.

For many educators, committing to doing an hour of code with our students can take us a bit out of our comfort zone because we haven't experienced coding before. Well, fear not, this Chat with Deb video will take you through an hour of code activity and help you to feel knowledgeable about what to expect. And it will only take about 10 minutes of your time.



Here is the URL to the website with all of the Hour of Code activities - www.nortonaasd.weebly.com

For more information on Hour of Code check out - www.code.org

Let me know if this video was helpful and if you decide to support the Hour of Code with your students.

Thanks for watching and for all you do in the classroom.
Deb

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My Notes Tell it All

Notetaking Tool from Readwritethink.org Integrated with Google Classroom

Video Series - #7 Google Classroom Tech Integration





This video demonstrates how to use Google Classroom to assign note-taking using a student interactive from readwritethink.org.  Students can add big ideas, sub-topics and more





The student interactive can be found at Readwritethink.org Note Taker


I hope you found this video helpful for technology integration in your classroom.

Let me know if you decide to give Notetaker a try.


Click here if you would like to be awesome and discover more  tools to integrate with Google Classroom.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Experience Websites Differently

DocentEDU - Add Meaning and Purpose to any Website 

Insert a Quiz question, YouTube Video, Discussion Question etc.

DocentEDU is a marvelous tool for enhancing any website to become more interactive and meaningful.  Teachers can gather important assessment data when the students view DocentEDU content on a website.

Watch this Chat with Deb and view DocentEDU in action.




If you decide to use DocentEDU, let me know how it goes. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you to Intel Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb.

Real Time Assessments with Go Formative - Chat with Deb

Formative is one of my favorite tools I've ever shared for assessing students. The feature that makes Formative stand above others is the ability to award points and give feedback in real time. There is also the ability to view students while they are being assessed.

Another amazing feature is the ability to add questions and content onto any file such as a word file, pdf, or image. This is a game changer! 


Watch this Chat with Deb video and see all the of features of Formative.



If you decide to use Formative, let me know how it goes. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you to Intel Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Help, I need to Cram!

Cram is a Flashcard Creation Site with Some Terrific Features!

Do your students a favor and introduce them to this site.


Students appreciate using applications that help them study for tests, quizzes and to help them memorize.  And they are especially interested when the application includes a gaming feature!!

Cram is a site that was shared with me by one of my colleagues (Thank you Catherine Wood!) who has been using Cram in her Spanish classes.

Cram is appealing, simple and can be used on a browser or as an app.

Here are some great features:
  • Browse Cram for premade and ready to use flashcard sets. 

 It is obvious that Cram is quite popular and well used!


  • Create a flashcard set from scratch or import a set from a file or from Google Docs

  • Use shortcuts to practice the flashcards, with the ability for hints and text to speech.

  • Use the Memorize tab to keep track of your progress. Keep practicing the facts you need to work on.



  • Use the Test tab to test yourself with a matching exercise.

  • Use the Games tab to pay two challenging games with the content you are studying.  These games are really great! They make the learning entertaining and are similar to modern games that are played today on social media.

I highly recommend using Cram with your students. They will appreciate the different ways to study the flashcards and also the games that will make the learning more fun.




Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Twist Things Up

Student Created Podcasts Using Twisted Wave Integrated with Google Classroom

Video Series - #6 Google Classroom Tech Integration




This video demonstrates how to use Google Classroom to assign and grade a podcast (or audio recording) using Twisted Wave.  Students can add copyright free music and their own audio. Students can also edit the recording and add effects to the audio.



Twisted Wave can be found at Twistedwave.com

Click here for the YouTube Creator

Click here for Sounzabound

I hope you found this video helpful for technology integration in your classroom.

Let me know if you decide to give Classtools a try.

Click here if you would like to be awesome and discover more  tools to integrate with Google Classroom.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Create a Connect Fours Quiz and Integrate with Google Classroom

Challenge Students with a Connect Fours Quiz Integrated with Google Classroom

Video Series - #5 Google Classroom Tech Integration


This video demonstrates how to use Google Classroom to assign and grade a unique quiz using Classtools.net Teachers can create a Connect Fours Quiz and ask students to take a screen capture of their results. Students can also use the Connect Fours Activity to demonstrate their own learning in a more critical way.


Classtools can be found at Classtools.net

Click here for the unique Connect Fours Quiz Maker

I hope you found this video helpful for technology integration in your classroom.

Let me know if you decide to give Classtools a try.

Click here if you would like to be awesome and discover more  tools to integrate with Google Classroom.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Be Creative with A Remarkable Scrolling Movie Text Tool Integrated with Google Classroom

Scrolling Movie Text Star Wars Style

Video Series - #4 Google Classroom Tech Integration


This video demonstrates how to use Google Classroom to assign and grade a student interactive at Classtools.net for creating a Star Wars themed scrolling text. There are options to add text, images, hyperlinks and of course, the Star Wars theme music will play while your text is scrolling.


Classtools can be found at Classtools.net

Click here for the scrolling movie text student interactive

I hope you found this video helpful for technology integration in your classroom.

Let me know if you decide to give Classtools a try.

Click here if you would like to be awesome and discover more  tools to integrate with Google Classroom.


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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Using Read Write Think Venn Diagrams Integrated with Google Classroom

Video Series - #3 Google Classroom Tech Integration



This video demonstrates how to use Google Classroom to assign and grade a student interactive in Read Write Think for creating a venn diagram.  There are options to add labels, resize the circles, add terms, add descriptions, save as a draft and save as a PDF for turning in the assignment.


Read Write Think can be found at readwritethink.org

Click here for the venn diagram student interactive

I hope you found this video helpful for technology integration in your classroom.

Let me know if you decide to give Read Write Think a try.

Click here if you would like to be awesome and discover more  tools to integrate with Google Classroom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Brainstorm any Topic Using Coggle Integrated with Google Classroom

Video Series - #2 Google Classroom Tech Integration


This video demonstrates how to use Google Classroom to assign and grade Coggle for creating concept maps. Coggle allows for collaboration with others. There are options to include images and hyperlinks.


Coggle can be found at coggle.it

I hope you found this video helpful for technology integration in your classroom.

Let me know if you decide to give Coggle a try.

Click here if you would like to be awesome and discover more  tools to integrate with Google Classroom.

Make Your Next Lesson a 3D Gallery Exhibit Integrated with Google Classroom

Video Series - #1 Google Classroom Tech Integration


This video demonstrates how to use Google Classroom to assign and grade a 3D Virtual Museum Exhibit.  The 3D Gallery can include images and videos as well as titles and descriptions with hyperlink capabilities.  Students can share their 3D Galleries with a link. 


3D Gallery can be found at the site Classtools.net by Russel Tarr

I hope you found this video helpful for technology integration in your classroom.

Let me know if you decide to give the 3D Gallery tool a try.

Click here if you would like to be awesome and discover more  tools to integrate with Google Classroom.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Interactive Stories with Twine

What is Twine?

Perhaps you have had fun playing with "choose your own adventure" type stories, games or surveys. Social media has been buzzing with such surveys like this one: Which Disney Character Would Play You In The Movie of Your Life?


Recently I came across Twine (twinery.orgfor creating your own interactive stories, surveys or games. Creating a story is a simple as generating a flow chart such as this one:


What makes Twine so great is that you only need to type text into a box and then put brackets around the word or words that you wish to have the next part of your story linked to.  Any words in brackets will automatically generate a new box on the flowchart.

Watch this short video demo to see how a Twine is created:



Click here to experience the Twine I created called, "What Kind of Teacher are You?"  I took the information to create my Twine from this site. FYI, I'm not responsible for the type of teacher my Twine survey chooses for you.

There's More: Twine teaches coding

That's not all.  Twine can be used to introduce writing code to your students.  There are other codes, besides the brackets for linking, that can be used when creating a Twine. You can find tutorials by clicking here. Twine uses CSS coding, which is used for basic web design. 

I love the possibilities that Twine has for students whether it is in literacy, science, math, history or any class. Students can create many different types of activities using the Twine and learn about the concept of flowcharts and coding. Sharing a Twine is a simple as sharing the URL.  I highly recommend giving Twine a try.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I'm Loving Adobe Slate for Creating a Presentation

Presentations help to tell a story or give information

There are many choices for making presentations, but one of my favorites is Adobe Slate.  There is an iPad app as well as a web version.  Here are some of the features that make Adobe Slate a favorite of mine:

  • Scroll through the presentation and check out the awesome effects and features.
  • Easily add text, window images, captions, links, picture galleries and a cover photo.
  • Edit or add more content as you go. Easily move any content around to readjust.
  • Publish and share your presentation with a link or embed code.



Click the image below to view my Adobe Slate presentation.
My Perfect Day

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ways to Participate in Connected Educator Month - Chat with Deb

October is Connected Educator Month. How do you stay connected with others in the education world? Skype, Twitter, Facebook or Google Hangouts? There are multiple ways to connect with others and learn from one another.

Watch this Chat with Deb and see a few other possibilities that might be new to you:



Resources shared in this video:
Periscope
Bloglovin
Connectededucators.org

How do you stay connected with educators from around the globe. Please share. I'd love to hear about it.  

Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb.



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Makerspace Essentials for CTE

Makerspaces and Career and Technical Education (CTE)


What are Makerspaces and how do they help with CTE ? Think back to when you were younger and enjoyed a hobby or interest. Perhaps you enjoyed building or a craft. Maybe it was music or art? Or, if you were like me, perhaps you enjoyed electronic devices and games.  These are all examples of the Makermovement or Makerspaces. 

Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares our youth for a wide range of high-skill, high-demand careers with cutting-edge, rigorous, and relevant educational experiences.

When Makerspaces- hands-on areas of creation and discovery in the learning environment, combines with CTE, great things can happen.  Think of this as technology blended with hands-on, skill-based learning environments. 

There is a big movement in education today to bring more creation and hands-on time to students; to give students time to explore and learn from their personal interests (20% time or Genius Hour); and to incorporate learning through newer and cutting edge technologies such as drones, green screens and virtual reality.

The more I learn and develop my understanding of Makerspaces, the more I think, "This is what is good for students and learning." Tapping to our student's interests and allowing them the time and resources to discover on their own is the key to developing strong 21st century learners for our future economy. And at the same time this can meet many career clusters for today's Career and Technical Education initiative.

Let's take a look at some Makerspaces that can educate students for a range of career options. 

Google Cardboard and View Master Virtual Reality

Virtual reality allows us to experience locations and worlds that we may not normally have access to. Using Google Cardboard or the View Master VR viewer are an exciting way to learn about new topics.
Here is a video demo of Google Cardboard:
And here is a video about Mattel's View Master:

Virtual reality (VR) is growing in popularity and this technology is going to be used in many careers and educational settings in the future. Soon, our students will be learning through VR and many careers will involve training and exploring through VR.  

Stop Animation Videos

Animated film is big business. It doesn't take much to allow students to explore and create this technology. All you need are some props and an app such as the Stop Motion Studio.  Students can easily create an animated video and experience the full process of animation through this free app.
Watch this video:

As with most Makerspaces, this process involves combining the technology with hands-on creations. Involve students in the full process of story-boarding to filming to audio. These are great skills to have for any career in advertising, film or storytelling.

Green Screening and Film

I love how this young lady describes using the Do Ink app to film a video or take a picture using Green Screen effects:


Whether students are filming an interview, a public service announcement or even a personal narrative, this technology can help to superimpose the character into a location otherwise not possible. The Do Ink app makes the whole green screen process manageable. Even the green screen cost is quite reasonable.

DIY.org

This amazing site can help students to explore, create and try out a skill that they are interested in. 
Explore being a business innovator or a solar engineer.  Whatever skill you try, there are how to videos, tutorials and examples. Students can upload their projects and earn badges along the way. I remember how much I loved earning a new badge when I was in Girl Scouts. This takes that experience to a whole new level for today's students. The possibilities are endless.

Reflection

If you could have explored a career in CTE or had the chance to try a Makerspace in your classroom, what would it have been? What was your passion when you were younger? Does your job today reflect your passions and interests from your youth? Personally, I love my job today and technology, science and education have always been my passion.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Social Media - Videos for Digital Cititzenship

October is Digital Citizenship Month

As a technology integration specialist, I am often asked to find resources for classroom teachers on Digital Citizenship. Below is a collection of videos that specifically cover Digital Citizenship and Social Media.  

Talking to students about their behavior online is very important to me. I know first hand with my own two sons, ages 15 and 17, that kids need direction and reminders of how they behave, not only online but in any social situation, including the classroom, in public and online.

Here are four excellent resources for the classroom and for parents to help talk to students about Digital Citizenship and Social Media.

Hashtag, You're It shows the consequences of giving away your location and personal information using hashtags in social media. It's amazing that the people in the video are shocked by how much the host of the video knows about them when he approaches them.



Kindness and thoughtfulness should be expected not just in our classrooms, but also in social media. 
Facebook, YouTube, Texting: Rules of the Road for Kids is a Common Sense Media video of kids talking about the consequences of their unkind and hurtful actions in social media. 




You Can't Take it Back is a real life story from Netsmartz.org  which tells the story of a teen who regrets his participation on a website created to rate others at his school.  I've noticed, when I go into classrooms, how common it is for students to play pranks on one another or to make fun of their peers. I always take the time to have a conversation with students when I see this happening.


A spoken word film called "Look Up" shows the consequences of letting our devices distract us from what is happening in our world. I often talk to students about not letting their phones and Chromebooks from becoming such a distraction that they miss what is happening right in front of them.


I hope you can take some time this month to talk to your students and children about Digital Citizenship and being safe online.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cyber Safety with Powtoon

October is a time to focus on Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety. In this Chat with Deb, you will learn how to use a video / animation site called Powtoon with your students for the purpose of creating a video about Cyber Safety.


Here is the published Powtoon video:

Here are some sites with resources on Cyber Safety:


How do you bring awareness to Cyber Safety with your students? Please share if you have a good resource or activity.
Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this video.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Sometimes It Is All About Fun

Today I'm sharing some tools for making avatars and emojis. Today it is all about fun, engagement and using tech to make us feel good and connect with others. 

Stadium Takeover -
This site is sponsored by nflrush.com and allows you to create an avatar based on your favorite NFL team.

Another fun part of this site is watching which team is winning the Stadium Challenge:

Regardless of which team you root for, this avatar maker will put a smile on any football fan.

Get Peanutized - is another avatar maker that lets you create yourself as a Peanuts character. You can share your avatar as a wallpaper or as a profile picture.



Bitmoji is an emoji app that will allow you to create an avatar and then use that avatar to insert emojis into Google Docs, blogposts or most writing platforms on the Internet. Even this blog post:



There is also a Bitmoji extension that will make it easy to add an emoji at any time. It even works in Gmail!


Today I give you permission to have fun, create an avatar and share it with others. It is ok to have some fun on a Friday. Enjoy!





Monday, September 28, 2015

Something Purple, Working for a Burger, Cool Video Creator, and 2048 - A Very Random Post

Today's post is about updates, tools or sites that I found interesting as I was searching the web.  Perhaps you will find something of interest to you or your students.  Check these out.

#1 Google Forms is getting an update and it looks pretty sweet! The new icon is purple.
Read all about it here.



#2 Salaries in Real Time
How many hours do you need to work in order to buy a burger?

11 minutes and 5 seconds until my next burger. :)

#3 Biteable - a simple video animation maker
This looks like a very useful tool for creating a tutorial or a visually animated infographic. 


#4 2048 GameI often spend time in study hall or in the lunch room to see what students are choosing to do on their Chromebooks during their free time. This tile game has become quite popular among our high school students. The game is simple, move like numbers together to add the tiles up from 2 - 4 - 8 -16 -32 -64 -128 - 256 - 512 - 1024 - 2048.  Although the concept is simple, to win the game is still a challenge as the boxes fill up and soon you are without a move. 
As far as games go, this one is right up my alley. I love anything mathematical.



Sunday, September 20, 2015

An Important Update


Old

Change is good and this blog was due for updates and change. The name of the blog changed from "Sharing Technology" to "DN Tech & Integration".  

New

The url changed from www.sharingtechnology.blogspot.com to www.debnortontech.blogspot.com

And the entire look and color scheme of the blog has been updated.

If you are a follower of my blog please change your RSS feed or bookmark.

Thank you to all of my followers and to those who read my blog regularly.  I truly appreciate your friendship and follow.


Creativity Challenges

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
How do you promote creativity in your classroom? This Chat with Deb will show you several digital creativity exercises that you can do with your students.

Here is the presentation from this video with all of the digital resources.



Do you have an idea to share for promoting creativity with your students? If you do, please share. 
Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this post.