Friday, April 26, 2013

Tech Showcase

The Technology Showcase was a huge success and I couldn't have imagined it running more smoothly! All of the technology worked throughout the show and within 13 minutes of ending all of the technology was returned and accounted for which blew my mind (at one point I nearly had a heart attack when my "geek" running the QR Code Scavenger Hunt forgot to sign out the iPads/iPods)! This picture is taken AFTER we survived and realized we had no pictures of us!

A huge part of our success was the helping hands and support we had from the staff and my Geek Squad (a team of 13 technology smart kids in 5-8th grade)! We enticed the staff to help by providing dinner (Chik-fil-A) and also by entering everyone who helped into a drawing for a gift card.

We set the gym up like a large exhibit hall with tables along the outside edge for all of the presenters. We had a large corner sectioned off for the VEX Robotics team to demonstrate with their robot. The middle of the room had five interactive stations including Clickers, QR Code Name That App Scavenger Hunt, iPods/iPads, Today's Meet and Geek Squad!

We created and laminated color signs for each table (student names removed) with the title of their project, the app or tool they used, their grade level and name(s). We had some students present in teams while others were pairs or independent. 
Each presenter got a badge to wear and an encouraging note with smarties attached since they are all "tech smarties"!

The parents and students really got into the QR Code Scavenger Hunt running around the gym searching for the ten brightly colored iPads!

Parents and staff members LOVED seeing what is going on with technology in our building! While I post often on my website as well as monthly in the newsletter it is much different to see and feel for yourself!

We were so appreciative of our lovely helping hands that we created little thank you notes with coupons or candy attached for our 31 teachers who assisted!

I provided this app list as a resource for parents which was a big hit! If you have questions or would like copies of any of the resources I created just post a comment or send me an email :)! Happy weekend blogging friends!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Technology Showcase

Tomorrow is our first annual Technology Showcase at school! The purpose of the event is to allow parents and other community members to see all of the amazing technology created projects as well as how technology is being used in the classroom. We (the librarian and myself have planned the event together) sent out a mass evite to the entire school community which was our first try at an evite school wide and we got quite a few responses!

Teachers nominated students in grade first through eighth by using a Google Form. Then formal invitations were sent to 30 presenters! Once we had all of the presenters selected we created a map of the area (which can be found below)! We also created a little welcome on the front explaining how the showcase was set up and what to do! We want parents to admire the student projects as well as learn a little more about the technology we are using and how we are using it so there are 5 "booths" in the center for parents to visit! We also created a resource guide of FREE or ALMOST free apps that our students love with a brief description of the app!
  • Clicker Quiz- Parents can test their technology knowledge with this 10 question clicker quiz and see how the SMRT Response system works! 
  • QR Code- "Name That App" QR Code Scavenger Hunt! I created a 10 app icon identification QR Code scavenger hunt on brightly colored iPads that will be located around the room! We will also be showing the video of students using QR Codes which we presented at FETC. 
  • iPads/iPods- Parents can check out the apps we have, play an educational game or create their own project using one of our apps! 
  • TodaysMeet- Since we don't have twitter and we DO LOVE TodaysMeet we are inviting parents to "join the conversation" about the Technology Showcase and see how to use this awesome Web 2.0 tool. 
  • Geek Squad- Parents can meet the Geek Squad and see some of their finest projects including their School of Excellence video which is linked to the QR Code on our shirts this year. 

How cute are these presenter badges that I created?

I feel like there is lots more to share but I am exhausted and tomorrow is an even longer day 7:30 am technology training, a jam packed schedule of lessons followed by setup, the Technology Showcase and clean up:)! We are really excited about this event. I hope the night runs smoothly and we make it without too many "technological issues"! Follow up to come!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Favorite App Linky Party

The Techie Teacher, Julie is hosting a Favorite App Linky Party! Since I am obsessed with downloading apps choosing just one seems IMPOSSIBLE! So here it goes...! I am sharing an old favorite that has been my go to app of the year!

Show Me is definitely my favorite free app. I have used it with students in grades first through eighth in every subject so I love the versatility. Show Me turns your iPad into a mini SMART Board and is a great app for creation. It records your screen and any marks you make as well as your voice which is great for explaining how to do something, sharing a story, solving a problem, assessing student's understanding, etc. Saving and sharing is easy which makes this app outstanding in my eyes! With just one click your Show Me is uploaded to the website and you can view it on your iPad or online! Once your Show Me is saved you can share it with a link or easily embed it into your blog or class page! Check out a few of our Show Mes. I selected a few from over 500 in my account.

1st Grade Science

 3rd Grade Social Studies

5th Grade Math

6th Grade Language Arts

Monday, April 8, 2013

Apps Gone Free

To say I am obsessed with downloading apps is an understatement. I am constantly searching the app store, checking other technology blogs and just plain stalking people's iPads. I think I am going to start a monthly Appaholics meeting (linky party) for those of you who have the same problem as me!

Apps Gone Free showcases high quality apps that have turned free making the search that much easier! Not all of the apps are educational but I am always looking for good apps whether it be for inside or out of the classroom. Apps Gone Free features 10 apps every day and there are always a few keepers! You can easily fill your iPad with $100s of dollars worth of apps in a few weeks. This is a great way to try new apps without racking up a bill and the best part is that you can delete it without guilt if it isn't what you are looking for! I hate downloading a paid app and being disappointed with it's features and upset at wasting a perfectly good 0.99 cents or worse yet a more expensive app. Most of the apps are free for a limited time so it is important to check daily or every couple of days. 

AppShopper is another great app for finding free apps BUT it was recently taken out of the app store. My headphone jack wasn't detecting my UP band so I had to have it replaced and I was SO disappointed when I couldn't find AppShopper in the app store or in my purchased apps section. I am hoping that it reappears soon! 

What is your favorite PAID app? (perhaps you got it for free)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

April Currently

I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for one of the most popular linky parties, Currently! I love seeing what my other blogging buddies are up to and discovering new blogs. It is also a quick little reflection time for me which I love too. 

Listening: We have been watching Chopped Champions all day! It is one of our favorite shows and we happened to have a whole series of 5 episodes on DVR :)! To say the least we've had a VERY lazy Sunday!

Loving: It seems like we've had a very long and drawn out winter here in VA without the benefits of many snow days so I am thrilled that spring is FINALLY here and the weather is beginning to warm up! I also continue to LOVE MY LIFE but feel like I have said that on every previous Currently haha!

Thinking: I need to start running again now that the weather is warming up I have NO EXCUSES. I signed up for my first 5k Color Run in September which gives me plenty of time to procrastinate. For some reason I just cannot make myself enjoy running and I find myself thinking of the millions of other things that I could be doing with my time haha. My Jawbone UP band is also motivating me since we have a pretty big team of 15 or so at school and I don't like not being in first place so the competitiveness in me will encourage me to get my butt in gear!

Wanting: I am really looking forward to summer for SO many reasons! That is all.

Needing: We've had a really lazy weekend and I need to finish up getting ready for the week! SMART Notebook kept crashing and I got frustrated while creating a third grade edcanvas lesson because I couldn't find any resources.

Advice: This is one of my favorite pieces of advice. Life has given me LOTS of perspective so I feel like this is something that I have learned. It is so frustrating to hear people complain about EVERYTHING and I often find myself shouting (in my head), "SOMEONE ELSE HAS IT WAY WORSE THAN YOU. THIS is not worth the time to complain about." I know we all have bad days and everyone has problems so don't get me wrong but I don't like being around people who complain and are so negative about everything. Life is too happy with the life that you have OR make some changes! Ok. enough of my soap box.

Happy April friends!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

iPad App Icons

Cocoppa app allows users to personalize iPad app icons. I have heard mixed reviews but until I have an issue my iPad looks adorable. It was fairly easy to use but took some time getting used to it. Have you used Cocoppa or a similar app to customize your iPad? I bet you can't guess my favorite  color haha ;)!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Stop Motion

iMotion is a FREE iPad app that let's you easily create Stop Motion videos! I downloaded this app awhile ago and shared it with our art teacher. I didn't really explore it BUT she did and has been creating integrated science Stop Motion videos with 4th graders.

I couldn't believe how easy it was to create. You simply open the app and snap, snap, snap, snap, snap as many pictures as you need while adding to a drawing or moving something, etc. and then save you product! Then plug the iPad into iTunes to export the videos or send them over email! Since they are so small you can attach them to a QR Code using QR Code Maker so she will have the finished drawing on display with the QR Code.

Scan the QR Code to watch a Plant Stop Motion video created by two students in Miss Kohler's 4th Grade art class!


thinglink is the newest Web 2.0 tool that I am in love with! thinglink combines two of my favorite things together photography (in a sense if you use your own photos which I did for my first fun thinglink) and technology! It allows users to create interactive images simply by uploading an image and attaching links. Check out my first thinglink that I created about the National Cherry Blossom. Then learn how to make your own by watching my quick video blog tutorial.

I would LOVE to hear what you think about thinglink or how you could use it in your classroom!


Edcanvas is a free Web 2.0 tool that I learned about at FETC this year that allows users to organize and share various educational resources in a visually appealing format! The "canvas" part of edcanvas is where you arrange pictures, videos, links, files, etc. You can search YouTube, Google (for images or links), Flickr, Educreations, Gooru, add website links or embed codes, upload files directly from your computer, your Dropbox account or you Google Drive account or import links from your internet Favorites! After you have the content all you have to do is drag it and drop it into the square! You can easily rearrange the content, add more rows/squares or change the layout/template of your edcanvas! 

Edcanvas is an amazing way to keep students engaged while hitting different types of learning styles. With the comment or speaking feature you could easily go paperless making grading that much easier! 

I desperately wanted to create a video blog to show you how EASY edcanvas' are to create BUT I'm having some technical trouble (yes, you should laugh since I am the TECHNOLOGY teacher)! First my Java wasn't up to date so none of my screen recoding programs would work. I've tried installing Java several times and restarting my laptop with no luck! I gave up on that and moved on to a screen recording MacBook app which only allows you to record for 5 minutes which would've worked! I got all set up started my video and edcanvas isn't loading properly in Chrome so I will share a few examples and perhaps come back to add a video blog later when things are being more cooperative with me! 

Edcanvas' are easy to share with a link or by embedding! Just click play or open in edcanvas to check out this 5th Grade Fractions edcanvas OR click any of the links below to see other examples! 

I would love to hear what you think of edcanvas! How could you use it with your students?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...