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:

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.

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.


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  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 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!