Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Teacher Orientation

Information and Education Technology

PWSD Systems
1.        Helpdesk
Open a ticket for tech support.

2.       Webmail
Best way to access your email remotely.  Use to help set up your PWSD email on your phone.

3.       Sharepoint
PWSD’s document management system.

4.      E-Community
Student Moodle site: this is where you can house all your course information for students to access digitally.  Open a helpdesk ticket to get your course(s) created.  (Lurk and borrow ideas from course that are already posted!)

5.       Collaboration
Teacher Moodle site: this collaborative site houses AISI and PLC projects.  Visit to find and contribute lesson ideas and resources.

6.      PowerSchool
Access teacher PowerSchool.

Software for home use
1.        Microsoft Office Home Use Agreement
2.       Virus Software & SMART Notebook

Resources for Lessons
1.        Video Streaming: PWSD has licences for 3 different sites.  They allow you to download the videos legally to use them in class.  You will need to go to each site and create a username. Get your passcode from your school.

Access Learning

Discovery Education

Learn 360

Link to the presentation on streaming with how to’s and pros and cons of each site.

2.       Smartboard Lessons
There are lots of places on the internet to find Notebook lessons but this is one of the best!

3.       Learn Alberta
Curriculum specific resources (videos, lesson plans, interactives and entire online courses) Once you have logged in, using the information below, create your own teacher login (you will need your teaching certificate number) which will allow you access to teacher only resources.

4.      2Learn
Another great Alberta curriculum specific resource, check out…copyright friendly image search, Enjoy pages for theme resources, parent page, digital citizenship information and more!

Professional Development
1.        NRLC
Local PD sessions, online and F2F

2.       Read Blogs

3.       Join Communities

4.      Participate in Twitter
#pwsd for all things PWSD
#edchat Tuesdays at 10am and 5pm for organized chat
#sschat, #daily5, #mathchat, almost every subject and grade to connect with other educators!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How I am using the Video Streaming

Since we subscribe to 3 video streaming sites, I have been making a conscious effort to try and include them in any lesson that I have been modelling in the classroom.

Here are two lessons and how I did it:

Grade 6 Science

You can find the complete, with videos attached, lessons that are PWSD password protected here.

How do I go about creating these:

1) Program of Studies - what is the outcome(s), skills or process that I want to focus on for this lesson.

2)  SmartExchange - start here looking for Notebook files to build on.  I look for files that have the interactive flash objects, those items that get the students up to the SMARTboard doing.  Save to my computer.

3) Preview videos from Learn360, Access Learning and Discovery Education - here I am just looking for videos that would fit, once I have found the video I save the portion that I need to my computer.  Make sure to check out the teacher resources as they may have other activities to go along with the video.

4) Interactives - depending on the curriculum area there are tons of interactives that might go along with a lesson.  I usually start with my delicious bookmarks and then a google search.

5) Putting it altogether - couple of things that I like to do
  • Insert (paperclip) a copy of the video into the notebook file
  • Use a graphic to link the video that you have attached
  • Add a title page with subject, outcomes and grade level (makes it easier to share)
Check out this short video!

How are you using the video streaming sites?

PWSD E-Portfolio Instructions

As usual all student my documents are deleted over the summer. Now is a fabulous time make sure that anything students want saved get moved into their e-portfolio.

Every PWSD student and staff have an e-portfolio.  Here are some basic instructions for how to access and add items to you eportfolio.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ed Tech Year End Report

It has been another fabulous year.  Here is the report presented to the Tech Committee

The best part of the Ed Tech position is working with students and teachers.  This year I was able to visit, sometimes extended visits, with almost every school in our district.  Here is a glimpse

Create your own video slideshow at

This year I also had some fabulous opportunities to travel, attend PD and put on various sessions.  Some of the highlights: Sir Ken Robinson, Alberta Education Community of Practice, ATLE, Mighty Peace Teachers Convention, Peace 10 District Day, Digital Citizenship Symposium and many more.

Create your own video slideshow at

Keep them creating...

How are you going to finish off the year? Below are some of the activities that I have used or that are on my hit list to keep students engaged and motivated as the temperature starts to rise and the countdown begins.

Review Game - Using either PowerPoint or Notebook, choose from any number of game templates to create an interactive review game.  Jeopardy, Hollywood Squares, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire or Koosh Throw.  Or set your students loose to create their own.

Live Binder - create an online binder of resources.  Bring a binder to life by including websites, videos, docs and images.  Take a look at a couple examples for World War I, Food Chains and Patterns

Voice Thread - combine images, audio, text and video for a multimedia slide show.  A fantastic way for students to demonstrate their understanding of a concept and engage in a dialogue with other people around what they create.  A couple of examples Pre-Calculus, Read Aloud Shiloh and Periodic Table of Elements.

In Plain English I love the Common Craft videos, their slogan is "Our Product is Explanation".  Students also love creating them which is a fantastic way to demonstrate what they have learned.  My favourites are Zombie in Plain English and RSS in Plain English which we watch to set criteria for a good "In Plain English Video" and then I set them loose on making their own around a topic.  See Grade 9 Social Branch of Government in Plain English

Flash Cards our Division 4 Social Studies group has been using Quizlet with great success.  The site allows you to create a set of flashcards (teacher or student can do this) and then review or play games with them.  Check out some examples for The Giver, Biology Terms or The Very Hungry Caterpillar (included images)

What year end activities do you have planned?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Jump Start your 2011/12 School Year

With some summer PD opportunities! Click through to see the complete descriptions.

23 Things: Independent Study (self paced)

SMART in Social Studies (August 15th)

Moodle - Not as Scary as You Think (August 16th)

Better Together - Social Media Bootcamp (August 17th - morning)

Blogging 101 (August 17th - afternoon)

Learning Coaches - Get a Jump Start on Your New Role (August 18th)

SMARTboard 101 (August 22nd)

Want to Engage Your Students - There's an App for That (August 23rd)

Google for Educators (August 24th - morning)

Web 2.0 - Create, Collaborate and Critically Think (August 24th - afternoon)



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Google Workshop for Educators

This was an awesome workshop!  We went through so many different google tools and their possible applications in the classroom that it was mind blowing.  You can find the entire workshop and resources here as well as my Google bookmarks.

Here are the top 5 that I want to share:

1) Google Advanced Search - you will never look at searching the same way again.  The tiny button at the end of the google search window "Advanced Search" gives you all of these options!

I love and will frequently use
  • Unwanted words - want the Taj Mahal but not in Vegas?
  • File Type - only want PowerPoint, only get them!
  • Usage rights - make sure you can get images or files you can legally use

2) Google Squared - a great way to organize information.  You can add and delelte information from your square as well as export it to a spreadsheet to work on yourself.

3) Adding and annotating a Drawing - I always thought adding arrows and text to a image in a Google Presentation or Document was a pain.  This makes it super simple. 
  • Insert -- Drawing
  • Add Image -- by URL, so it must be somewhere online
  • Add Text, arrows etc and then save and close to insert into your Google Doc

4) Language - again right at the end of the google search box is language tools.  An excellent way to translate anything!
  • A search
  • Type in Text
  • Translate a Webpage (Check out this page in Russian)
  • Change your default language
5) Google Labs -  this is a sandbox for all the things that Google is working on.  Some may disappear or they may become a part of the regular Google toolbox.  Check out:

Honourable Mentions