Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Loupe Collage - Create A Year Worth of Pictures

There are many ways to celebrate the end of the school year. One of the more popular ways is with pictures. Perhaps your students would like to try Loupe Collage which is a Chrome App.

Loupe Collage lets you create a collage out of your own pictures, and that collage can be in many different shapes and forms.  You can choose a pre-made shape, use your own text, draw your own shape or use a grid or create with a photo pile where you can arrange your pictures in any arrangement.

Check out my collage:
Click here to interact with my image.  If you hover over an image it will zoom. I included images from this year from my Facebook, Google+ and Google Drive accounts.

Another collage using the photo pile option:

Here is how Loupe Collage works:

Give Loupe Collage a try and share the link to your collage in the comments. It would be fun to see everyone's year in review using all of the various options in Loupe Collage.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Redefinition - the SAMR Model - We Can Do This!

Recently we discussed the SAMR model of technology integration with our staff. This model provides us with a great reflective tool for evaluation of our lesson planning and engagement with our students.

Check out this video about SAMR to become more familiar with the model:

Here is a useful image:

Today I am going to share with you several examples that I feel reach the redefinition of SAMR. When we consider the learning that is taking place instead of the tools being used, these redefinition examples promote student engagement and higher level critical thinking.

#1 Cultural Awareness and Exchange:
My colleague and friend, Ms. Gorges, used Google Hangouts to record a video for her students while she was traveling in the country of Russia. She created a Thinglink to for easy sharing. When we connect with others via web conferencing and experience a culture through the eyes of someone we know, the learning becomes more relevant and realistic. Kudos to Ms. Gorges for promoting this type of technology with her students.

#2 Public Blogging:  
When students publish written posts about topics that interest them and have personal meaning to them, there is an investment in the task at hand. At the same time, when students get comments back from others outside of their direct circle of peers, the feedback can be more eye opening and can expand learning beyond what the student knows or believes.  The public posting, which can reach out globally, is what helps us to reach redefinition on the SAMR model.

#3 Twitter, Voxer and Google+
Twitter can connect students with people from a variety of locations and backgrounds. It is also a great lesson in writing with 140 character limitations.  Twitter Chats can focus on preparing for, moderating, and supporting others in a chat group.

Voxer allows students to hold a group conversation and allows for audio, image and text communication.  Rather than having a classroom lecture or discussion, why not use Voxer to allow for an online group discussion for sharing student learning.  

A Google+ Community would be a media rich platform for sharing resources and projects  with the ability for commenting and reposting.  There is also the possibility to hold a Google Hangout to connect the community in real time.

#4 Green Screen Technology
Video creation is very popular among our students, so when we add in Green Screen technology, there is the ability to place ourselves in any setting.  Students have created newscasts, public service announcements and short skits via the use of green screen technology. Students practice communication skills as well as knowing how to use the Green Screen technology properly.

#5 A Portfolio of Knowledge Over Time
Using an application such as, Livebinders or Pinterest, students can keep a running record of their learning. The portfolio can also serve as a reference guide outside of the classroom for help after class. This would be especially useful in a math class where the content builds upon itself.  Giving students ownership of their learning for their own benefit and purpose is the key. Adding in a collaborative option to work together on a Portfolio of Knowledge is also beneficial.  And providing students with the time in class to post to their portfolio is essential.

No matter what level of the SAMR model you are focusing on, keep in mind these three important standards:

  • Students should own their learning
  • Students should consume information critically and intentionally
  • Students should communicate clearly and powerfully.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Staying Connected

In May we focus on Connected Parents and Families.  In this Chat with Deb, I show two sites for connecting and communicating with students, parents and peers.  

Here are the links to the two sites shared in this video:

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