Tag Archives: Blogs

Thinking Inside Your Box: an iPad activity without an iPad

I ran across a blog post this morning from iPads at Burley called Photography with 5th Grade Students. The teachers shared an idea for using photos and their student iPad cameras as a learning tool during a short science lesson. At first I dismissed it thinking “eMINTS classrooms don’t have iPads or access to those kinds of Apps”. But then I started wondering how easy it might be to recreate this learning experience with the hardware and access to online software that eMINTS’ students do have.

The person writing the blog post has a classroom full of iPads with Apps that the students used to make this idea possible. But this can easily be done in an eMINTS classroom as well.

Click for Source

All eMINTS classrooms have digital cameras and the i3 classrooms have student and teacher laptops with a webcam that is similar to the built in camera on the iPad. Students all also have access to websites, like iPiccy or PicMonkey, where they can upload their pictures, edit them, and then save them back to their computer just like the students did with the Snapseed App in about the same time. In fact iPiccy lets you take a picture directly from your web cam into their editing tool. Students can then share the images easily through email, a class blog or student blog (or classroom website), and even Edmodo just like the students in this blog post did using the Edmodo App.

It’s very easy to think something can’t be done just because you don’t have the exact same hardware or web access. But if you take the time to think about what you do have sometimes you can find a way.

What are some ways you have been using media literacy and technology tools to make engaging classroom lessons for your students?

By the way, I came across this and many other great ideas for using iPads in classrooms through the ScoopIt! iPads in Education curated by John Evans. On the same ScoopIt! I also found a PDF app that lets you make your own PDF file editable without converting it to other format and more.

Brooke Higgins is an aspiring photographer and instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read this post and more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

eMINTS Conference: Session 2 (Friday)

Design Patterns 2.0

Our good friend Bernie Dodge presents on how the best WebQuests are those built around tasks that resemble the authentic work that people do outside of school. Design patterns provide us with a way to describe that work and make it easier to create WebQuests that better prepare our students for life. This session will be the world premier (since yesterday’s session) of a new set of design patterns that will kick lessons up a notch.

Journals, Blogs and Wikis to Enhance Reading and Writing

Presenter Denis Knight provides participants an opportunity to gain a better understanding of various web-based instructional opportunities to use to enhance reading and writing skills. Participants learn how to use online journals, blogs and wikis to develop innovative ways to not only communicate with students, but provide an avenue for creative written expression. Teachers can generate online journals for students to reflect on classroom activities; blogs for addressing constructive response questions and article reviews to address reading comprehension. Participants learn to create a classroom wiki to provide opportunities for interactive discussion and peer evaluation. When used with appropriate assessments, these online sources can give teachers the flexibility to use internet sites as a way to move from the paper and pencil past to a new and exciting learning experience.

Personalize Your PD

Presenter Stephanie Madlinger helps teachers expand and take ownership of professional learning by creating a PLN (Personal Learning Network). Having a PLN allows one to learn and share with others around the world, 24/7. A PLN is a reciprocal network created and based on your interests and needs. Generate multiple opportunities to learn from, connect with, gather information and resources, then create and share with people like you. Participants learn which online tools to use to personalize their own PD. They explore online learning communities like Google Groups and SchoolTown; social networks like Facebook and Twitter; and social bookmarking like Delicious and Diigo.

Put Some WOW into Your Website

Krissy Venosdale of Hillsboro R-3 School District helps teachers explore ways to use the classroom website to enhance the learning environment. Using various Web 2.0 tools, sprucing up certain areas of one’s site, and encouraging interaction on the classroom site will enhance learning both in and out of the classroom. Digital portfolios, online projects, and weekly contests can all be used to engage students in a site and most of all, in learning.

Class, get out your cell phones please for bellwork. Seriously!

Presenter Roger Brallier of Mexico Public Schools help participants learn how to use cell phone technology to add an extra spark to bell work or preassessment in the classroom. Roger demonstrates how to reduce “under the table texting” and unlock the power of the cell phone (which may be greater than some of our older computers). Additionally, participants learn the basics of “Poll Everywhere” – a free online tool that shows real time results using the texting feature of a cell phone. Even without a phone, one can still use a webpage link.

The Flipped Classroom Approach in an eMINTS Classroom

Presenter Melody Paige of Monett School District presents a flipped classroom approach that entails “flipping” instruction in which students watch and listen to lectures for homework or at other non-instructional times. This gives learners control to pause or rewind lessons for understanding. Precious class time is then used for what typically was done as homework: tackling difficult problems, working in groups, creating, collaborating and researching. The concept is simple; but how does one make the “flipped” approach work in the real classroom? What software is needed? In this session, teachers watch videos of this concept in action and provide many resources for creating flipped content. There are many free completed lessons and videos ready for use in the classroom.

HD_Links: Blogroll

blog cartoon
Click for source.

Although we don’t keep an official blogroll (Maybe we should?) here at Networked Teaching & Learning, we read a lot of blogs, mining them for resources and ideas. I try to give credit where credit is due, but sometimes useful blogs slip through the cracks. The following blogs may not always lead directly to posts here, they do offer plenty of inspiration and influence what I do on a daily basis.

Classroom Talk is a new discovery that covers similar ground to what we cover here. In other words, it covers nearly all educational topics imaginable. However, the focus is slightly different from NT&L in that it also focuses on parent resources in regards to how students learn. It’s a good read you should really check out. (H/T Laura Brashear)

Venspired was previously known as Teacher Factory but still features the same great collection of blog posts. Written by gifted teacher and sometimes NT&L contributor Krissy Venosdale, Venspired covers a wide array of topics, mostly focusing on creativity and student-centered learning. Get inspired and add Venspired to your blogroll now.

There are good things coming from over seas in educational technology. Two blogs to check our are Australia’s EdTech Toolbox and England’s EDTE.CH. EdTech Toolbox features a new online tool 2-3 times every week. That’s more than I can handle sometimes. Although EDTE.CH‘s Tom Barrett has been suspiciously absent from posting as of late, his insights, recommendations, and tips are among the best in the field. Also, this is where he keeps his “Interesting Ways” collection.

Dan Meyer is a math teacher that would have fit right in at eMINTS. His blog is dy/dan and within this blog, Dan demonstrates how creativity and putting learning first materialize in the mathematics classroom. Although he’s now working on a doctorate at Stanford, Dan is always looking for ways to make Math real and tangible for students.

Those are five blogs that provide a lot of inspiration around these parts. What blogs do you look to for inspiration and insight? How can reading blogs and participating in their conversations help us as educators?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.

Monday Message: Guest Blogger – Krissy Venosdale

We are excited to announce this week’s Networked Teaching & Learning blog will be hosted by guest blogger, Krissy Venosdale. Krissy has been a teacher for more than 10 years, she’s a veteran eMINTS teacher, and now teaches 3-6 gifted education in Hillsboro, MO. She writes at the Teachfactory.com blog sharing her creative ideas, projects she works on, and her beliefs about teaching, learning, and so much more. Krissy’s main passion is teaching and her students. She hosts their classroom website, A Great Day to Learn. The site is the hub for everything happening with her students including projects they participate in and even ones she hosts.

The poster above is just one example of her creativity at work. Krissy creates lots of classroom posters and decorations using Photoshop (another one of her hobbies). She shares some posters through her blog and publishes them on Flickr under the Creative Commons license allowing anyone to download and print them for classroom use for FREE.

On top of all of this, Krissy is a wife and mother who enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and photography.

We thank Krissy for all that she is sharing this week and look forward to other guest bloggers in the future. If you are interested in being a guest blogger on the Networked Teaching & Learning, please submit your ideas here.

HD_Links: Blogs You’re Reading

The fun part about managing this blog is the number of quality submissions I receive. Some are just resource links, while others are fully-written blog posts. Both kinds of submissions teach me so much and provide a lot of content for Networked Teaching & Learning. Thanks to all of those who have submitted posts! It’s not only made it easier to keep this blog going, but it has also exposed me to some great resources.

That said, several of you suggested blogs and specific blog posts for us to cover. I figured I would lump those together for today’s HD_Links feature. So, here are some blogs our readers are reading (when they’re not reading our posts):

Austin Houp of Ash Grove Schools pointed out this post from the excellent blog, Education Stormfront. Blogger crudbasher makes the point that simply adding technology to our classrooms is not the final goal. A quote:

No, no, no, and no. Technology in the classroom is not the wave of the future anymore than a nice cell phone is the precursor to a good conversation. You have to look at where this all will inevitably lead.

Communication Arts teacher Hollee Ellis suggested reading I Want to Teach Forever‘s post on iPhone and iPad resources. Aside from this extremely useful post, IWTTF‘s posts are short, to the point, and loaded with ideas and resources. For a quick, informative read, this is the blog for you.

Matthew Ketteman, an elementary teacher in Valley Park, had two blogs to share:

The first is http://brooklynmusic.wordpress.com/.  I enjoyed all of the detailed music information on this blog. Everything from national standards to how to get your students in Julliard! But the thing I really enjoyed was the plethora of student centered links on the bottom of the blog. I had no idea there were so many professional sites geared towards students musical development!

The second blog that really caught my attention was a personal blog from a Kindergarten through 4th teacher in Arkansas. Here blog can be found at http://yourangelofmusic.com/. Her ideas were very practical and all about sharing experiences. She tried things, shared them, took ideas, adapted lessons and shared it all! Very cool!

Reader Rebecca Smith suggested we check out The Bubbly Librarian, an informational and thought-provoking blog on being a school librarian in the 21st Century. This blog would have fit well with our recent list of librarian links.

Thanks to all those who submitted blogs for our reading pleasure. What are some blogs you’re reading?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. He welcomes submissions. There is a link to our submission form along the right side of this site or you can go here.

Monday Message: Summer “Break”

Ahhh, Summer – a Teacher’s Vacation; or that is what a lot of people think. During this time many of you are teaching summer school, continuing your own education, making plans for next year, and hopefully relaxing and rejuvenating yourselves for the coming school year.

As you begin your Summer Vacation you may want to take a look at a project one High School English teacher has taken on.  Charles Ripley, creator of the 2000 Hours blog, will be logging and blogging about all of the hours he puts in as a teacher for the next year to “change misconceptions about teachers in the United States.”

Watch his video, part of his first post, where he explains his thoughts and reasons for this project and follow his blog to learn more about it. You can even monitor his progress on his Google Docs 2,000 Hours Spreadsheet.

Those of us here at eMINTS hope you enjoy your Summer and all the things you decide to fill your days with.

Brooke Higgins is an Instructional Specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

Klearchos Kapoutsis (Photographer). (2007). Summer Shoes. [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/klearchos/3601744848/- used with permission under the Creative Commons license.

4ALL: Shared Experiences

While scrolling through my Google Reader, I stopped at a post in my subscription to WordPress’s Freshly Pressed feature. “So I was on a plane to Florida…” was the one that caught my eye. Blogger and Twitter enthusiast Stefanie Gordon tells her story of Tweeting a picture of the Space Shuttle Endeavor breaking through the clouds as seen from her seat aboard a flight on Delta Airlines.

Gordon goes on to tell her story of how this image made her an instant sensation. The picture and her name spread throughout the internet and all over mass media outlets. One Tweet provided her fifteen minutes of fame.

While the effect her picture going viral had on Gordon’s life is significant, what is even more interesting is the fact that her little share allowed the world to experience what only she and any other passengers on her flight could have experienced. This is the real power of social media and why wouldn’t we want our students to have access to these experiences?

Twitter especially is adept at sharing experiences. Instantly, from wherever, Twitter users can share perspective, images, even video of their experiences. While many of these experiences can be somewhat mundane, a few are as amazing and worthy our time, much like Gordon’s picture of the Space Shuttle.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center and he Tweets.

Thursday’s Tip: NASA TweetUp – eMINTS Teacher @ Space Shuttle Launch

Veteran eMINTS teacher from Hillsboro, MO, Krissy Venosdale, GreatDayToLearn.com and TeachFactory.com, is blogging and tweeting from NASA’s launch site this week. She was invited to attend and be a part of the NASA TweetUp.

“What is a Tweetup? A Tweetup is an informal meeting of people who use the social messaging medium Twitter. This Tweetup is an opportunity to learn more about NASA, explore NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and experience a space shuttle launch.” Krissy, known as KTVee on Twitter, is one of a few applicants that will be allowed behind the curtain to share with the world what happens, moment by moment, at the launch of the Endeavor space shuttle.

T-Shirt Krissy made with her students names so they could "attend" with her.

She wants to bring this awesome event to her students and yours by sharing her experience. Her blog will provide a live countdown, videos, pictures, interesting facts, teaching ideas, and her latest tweets. You can even ask her a question that she will pass on to a real astronaut.

What a great way to get your kids excited all while learning about math, science, and more. Check out her event blog, Learning Endeavour: One Teachers Space Shuttle Launch Experience to learn more and be a part of the Friday launch.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

*NASA, . “Connect and Collaborate with NASA.” 04apr2011. Discussion Board.
*“Endeavor.” Flickr – Koocheekoo. Web. 27 Apr 2011. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/koocheekoo/2331555537/>.
*“NASA TweetUp T-Shirt.” Flickr – KTVee. Web. 27 Apr 2011. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/5657841099/in/photostream/>.

Thursday’s Tip: Why Should Teachers use Blogs?

There are many different tools that can be used in the technology-rich classroom. Tools that can be chosen based on what they do, or what they provide for students and the teacher. One tool that is often used in classrooms is a blog. As one second grade teacher found in her own classroom blogs can be used as a motivational tool for students who are reluctant readers and writers. Look at the blog to find out how she used blogging with her students to provide motivation: For the Love of Teaching.

Here are several examples of other classroom blogs that teachers are currently using to compliment and enhance their teaching and what is happening in their classrooms.

Mrs. Adams’ Third Grade Class
Krebs Class Blogs
The Greatest Middle School Blog in the World

There are many places teachers can go to create their own blogs, and many free services available. Your only job is finding the one that works for your classroom and your students. Some possible options to look into are Blogger, WordPress, and Blogmeister.

Just another tool to utilize in the classroom that offers endless possibilities for both teacher and students.

Angie Esser is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.

HD_Links: Networked Teaching and Learning

As educators we are constantly searching out opportunities to grow professionally through conferences and workshops. Sometimes those issues of time, money, and of course the big one, being out of the classroom once again, rear their ugly heads and make the opportunities seem impossible. That’s why networking has become such a valuable asset to the teaching community. We need to learn from each other. With that in mind, I would like to share 3 of my favorite blogs that I follow in the hope that you might find them of interest and value too.

1. Teacher Challenge – A blog dedicated to professional learning. It is divided into 30 day professional learning challenges to increase your knowledge and skills on a variety of topics. Best of all, you go through it at in any order and at your own pace.

2. Master Learners – Ok, I follow the facebook page more than the actual blog but it is a page so worth following. It provides resources and information on current education topics. I love the way this focuses on educators as life-long learners.

3. Teachers Love SMART Boards – What an appropriate title because they do. This provides files and sites that are perfect for SMART Boards.

Now it’s your turn to share. Please comment with at least one tool or resource of some type that aids in your professional growth so I can possibly add it to my list.

Terri Brines is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.