Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Literacy: Digital Ways to encourage Writing

Here is a couple of websites that I have seen used successfully this year to motivate and encourage students to write.

I think what has been key this year is giving students an authentic audience to write for.  When you can put your ideas and thoughts out on the Internet and have other people, sometimes strangers, comment on what you did...the feeling is unbelievable! 

Click here for links and details http://sqworl.com/mmwk3r

Thanks to Shelley Friesen for showing me Sqworl, the cool visual bookmarking tool!  Let us know if there is anything we can do to help!

12 days of Educational Technology

On the twelfth day of Christmas my Ed Tech shared with me

Twelve must have items,
Eleven parts of Google,
Ten Video Options,
Nine Ways to Wiki,
Eight Keys to twitter,
Seven Presentation Tools
Six Cartoon Generators
Five Avatar Creators
Four Word Clouds
Three Blogging Tools
Two Sticky Walls
One Creative Commons Search

Please check out the full course http://ecommunity.pwsd76.ab.ca/course/view.php?id=947 (there is a moodle zip if you wish to deploy it in your own moodle)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

IT/ET Board Meeting Presentation

Some of the files, slideshows, links and videos that we hope to use during the 40 minute presentation.

IT Darcy's handout

Peace Wapiti School Division Facebook Page

PWSD Educational Technology on PhotoPeach

Writing Prompts: 5 Card Flickr

I got this wonderful idea from this presentation, which is part of the Interesting Ways series.

Here is an example of a 5 Card Flickr Story. 

How To

(1) Go to 5 Card Flickr website and start choosing the images that you will write from.  Each time you pick an image the page will refresh with different images.

(2) When you have 5 images selected you will get a dialogue box to type in the title of your story, your name and the story.

(3) Once you have submitted, and your story is now published on the web, you are given the URL of the story.

(4) We then had students add their URL to a forum in Moodle so that they could visit each others stories and add comments!

Comments and Concerns
  • Make sure students use their first name only for publishing
  • Students were initially concerned about online publishing but ended up loving that other people could read their stories
  • Writing for a "real" audience changes how you write, right?
  • Have fun!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Connected Educator

I had a short presentation at our monthly admin meeting this morning where I wanted to show the power of being a connected educator.  An hour before I was to start I tweeted out:
I have been tweeting for just over a year and know that Twitter is something that makes my job easier, more fulfilling and generally just makes me happy to connect with all these fabulous people.  However trying to show that is sometimes difficult, but not today!!

Thanks to my wonderful PLN I think we have a number of administrators that are convinced!

Here is some quick ways to get started:

1) Watch this...Twitter in 60 seconds

2) Sign up for Twitter

3) Download Tweetdeck, it will make your Twitter experience so much better!

4) Find Friends and Hashtags to follow

Might I suggest: #pwsd #abed #edchat and #cpchat
And this list of fine PWSD educators

cc licensed flickr photo shared by The Daring Librarian

Monday, November 29, 2010

November Administrators Meeting

At this meeting we will be going over the Educational Technology in our district for this year. We will also start working on becoming Connected Principals.

Back Channel: either Tweet wtih #pwsd or join http://todaysmeet.com/novadmin

Digital Storytelling: A Day

For a recent school assignment I had to create a digital story.  Being some what creatively challenged I told the story of a day in the life of my job as Educational Technology Coordinator for Peace Wapiti School District.  Wanting a bit of a challenged I set out to create the story completely on my iPhone.  Here are 3 different versions.

This first story was created using a free application called StoryKit. You can find the story here.  What I liked about this application is that I could use capture multiple voices for my story.  I could also crop the images right on my phone.

The second story was created using StoryRobe, another free app.  What I liked about this is how it rendered as a YouTube video.

The final story was created using PhotoPeach which is a free web application.  It is crazy simple to use.

PWSD Educational Technology on PhotoPeach

For a more complete analysis please visit my other blog.

5 Things I Learned at #atle10

1) It's about relationships! I met so many people in real life for the first time. They were just as open, genuine, caring, willing to listen and share as they are in the virtual world. So many new friend were made too, some of even connected to find out we live just down the road from one another. And it is always nice to spend time face to face with the Northern Tech Group. Significant steps forward we made in creating a provincial Moodle sharing spot. It was about the people!

2) iPods are for entertainment and education. I attended an awesome session about Chinook's Edge iPod project. Terry-Ann Robertson is so excited about the project and the changes she has seen in her school that you can't help but be excited along with her. I tried to get all the apps she mentioned down, but she was flying, and promised us a website in the near future. I am wondering if I can swing down for a visit, I would love to see their project in action.

3) Google Apps or Live @ Edu ? Does it matter? There was lots of sharing about what these cloud computing tools can do for students! For students! These tools hold the potential for students to have the anytime, anywhere, anyplace access that is needed.

4) Twitter was fast and furious and I think we have a few converts. Every session I was in had someone helping show twitter or tweetdeck or hashtags. Lots of covert looking at name tags, happy introductions and trying to figure out who actually looks like their avatar. We even had a few twitter stalking moments as people finally met up for the first time.

5) I love elluminate! I got to help moderate the elluminate sessions and learn from the master himself Pat Bohnet.

For each session our virtual room filled and the back channel was awesome. What was not so awesome is the 3 second delay that I listened to, but with the recordings here I get to back and review them again and again.

It was an awesome 3 days and I can't wait until next year!

A Story Before Bedtime

Guest Blogger: Terry Hildebrand, Bezanson School

The web site is called AStoryBeforeBed.com. It is a site with many on line books for ages 1-9. You can record the books orally and with a web cam there is a picture of you reading the book. There are some free books to practice on to just try the site out. You can purchase a classroom licence for $99 and a school licence for $499.00. This give you the ability to record about 29 books unlimited number of times. Lots of classics and old stories that children love. They add to the site often.

Here is an example of Xavier and the Wind:

How we are using it:

1. I first found this site as a free app for my I-Pad under educational sites. It allows me to read books for my grandsons and then e-mail the books to them and they can hear and watch Gramma read them a story before bed.

2. We presented the site to parents at our literacy night as a place they might like to take their children to read a story on line and send it to grandparents, uncles, aunts - etc.

We had a few students demonstrate the recording of a book. You can practice it several times before actually submitting it. Once it is submittted it is your book you can send it to multiple people.

3. We are using it now in our school to have students read stories, record themselves reading and then send them to family or fellow students. For the younger students we received e-mail addresses from their parents so they have control over who the stories are sent to.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Importing Flash Animations to Notebook

Guest Blogger: Tina Sauder, Savanna School

I love PD days and see them as a way to continue to network with my “people” (other science teachers) and I always leave sessions having at least one ah-ha moment that jump-starts the creativity in my classroom. This year, my PD role has changed from teacher as learner to teacher as facilitator. I have been working with junior and senior science high teachers to show them how SMART Boards can be used in their classrooms as part of their everyday practice.

We began our sessions by using a web polling application (polleverywhere.com) to see where everyone was in terms of availability to SMART Boards and their experience using the Notebook software. Most had boards, but fewer were using the software. I was glad to know I really did have something to offer (I truly had my doubts when I first said I would do this!) and we got to work. The material covered was basically the same for the junior high group as it was for the senior high group, but the thing that had the most impact was learning how to import Flash animations (those that end in .swf) from the web into SMART Notebook. For science teachers, there is a bonanza of Flash objects on the web that make teaching topics like diffusion, osmosis, the circulatory system and titration so easy. We spend so much time mining the net to find these animations it is very discouraging find that when we go back to them again the next year using a saved web-link, the link is often dead. By bringing the Flash object into Notebook, once the file is saved, it will always be there …no more dead links to deal with!

I made a video showing the steps for saving Flash objects into Notebook from Internet Explorer. There are other ways to do the same thing in Firefox and Safari that are much easier, but most of us have Explorer as our default at school. I am certain that teachers of other subjects will have as much use for this how-to as science teachers do.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tagxedo & Social 7

Tagxedo is a word cloud creator that runs on Silverlight.  Silverlight was recently added to PWSD core supported software list, which means it will be installed on all machines.  There are lots of interesting ways to integrate word clouds into the classroom but here is just one.

Working with Ann Nordhagen from Hythe Regional School we developed a lesson using word clouds around the Social Studies 7 curriculum.  Specifically the effects of Imperialism. 

In class students brainstormed all the effects of imperialism.  They came up with 3 pages worth of effects.  When they came to the computer lab we asked them to narrow it down to the top 5-7 effects and start making a word cloud
Once their cloud was created and they played around with the settings we asked them determine what they believed was the number one effect of imperialism.  The size of a word in a cloud is determined by the mode, or frequency, of the words entered, so the effect the student determined to be the greatest would then be typed over and over
to make it the largest word in the cloud.

With a little time left in class we asked the students to make an explorers word cloud.  This time adding the names of famous Canadian explorers and then give the 5 characteristics that made them great, again typing the characteristic that is most significant more often.
Students created a beautiful visual of a difficult critical thinking skill, siginficance of a criteria. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cultivating a Digital Classroom (Day 2 of 3)

The whole gang.
Another fabulous day with an amazing group of teachers.  Thanks for hanging in there as I coughed, sneezed and made the FM system make horrible noises.  All of the resources for the day can be found here, under intermediate.

We started the day by signing up for Twitter.  I just finished posting on the PWSD twits below.

Team PWA
After a little inspirational video, we shared what we had been doing in our classrooms in the two months since we had last met.  In August when we met we spent the session working on creating) There were some amazing stories shared about what worked and what didn't work.  PWA teachers shared students were using what they learned in their classrooms, Prezi and Glogster, and were transferring that to other classes and their personal life.  Bezanson shared this fabulous website, A Story Before Bedtime, that they highlighted to parents at the literacy parent's night.  And there were a few that just could not hide their love for Moodle! There were also some challenges shared.  Quite a few teachers have created Facebook groups for their classes but students are just not joining.  Technology had failed at times, files were lost or computer labs were full.  However, the good definitely outweighed the bad.

Team Bezanson
Team Sexsmith

Another video, Changing Education Paradigms and short discussion before we set to work on designing some technology projects for the upcoming weeks.
After lunch we launched into using Outlook to subscribe to RSS.  Since my voice was going and the technology failed me slightly, I created the video below to add some clarity to what I was trying to demonstrate. (This is 2nd only to Twitter in my personal technology toolkit) 

Thanks to all the teachers that participated, they day could not have happened without you.  Looking forward to our next meeting in January!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

PWSD Twits

Anyone who has talked to me lately has probably heard my story about how Twitter is my #1, go to source for all things education

On Friday's district PD day the first thing the "Cultivating a Digital Classroom" session did was sign up for Twitter.  Now twitter misbehaved a little and didn't get us all in as quickly as we wanted, but most of us tweeted and followed and got our feet wet.

PWSD Twits
Right now I have 38 educators on my PWSD list. (Please let me know if I am missing you)  Click on this link to see who in PWSD tweets and start following along with some of your colleagues.

Hashtag #pwsd
When you tweet about something to do with PWSD, make sure to add #pwsd.  It will make it easy to search for tweets about PWSD and for those that are using Tweetdeck it will fall nicely into a column.

So what is going on in your classroom?  Do you have something to share?  A question that you want answered?  Hope to see you twittering soon!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Online Content to Support Student Learning

Joan Coy & myself did a short presentation to the Joint Parent Coucil meeting about online supports for student learning.  We outlined a couple of key places students could go to get some help.

During the presentation I used this Jog the Web and handout, please feel free to download and change them as you see fit.

1) E-community, students can find complete courses or use the content that was put up for them by their teachers.  Your may need your PWSD username and password to get into some of the courses.

2) Learn Alberta, you can search by keyword and subject or click on T4T to get complete courses.  You will need PWSD's password to get into some of the material.

3) YouTube and Teacher Tube are great resources.  Use the search engine and key terms to narrow down what you are looking for.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Moodle: Collapsed Topics

I am kind of enjoying making these!  Here is a new addition to our Moodle servers.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

iPhone Setup for PWSD Email

I get asked from time to time to help with phone set ups, so here is some of the information required to make your phone talk to PWSD's webmail server.

Go into your settings for your iPhone.  Then click on "mail, contacts & calendars".

Add an account using Microsoft Exchange.

Then use the configuration settings below.  Your username will be the name that you use to log onto your computer with.  And yes the domain is pwsb33.ab.ca!

Now for all you iPhone, iPad, iPod peeps, what is your must have app?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Monday Moodle: Lightbox Gallery with Roles Override

I had a request for a how-to video, so here is my first attempt. How did I do?

A lightbox gallery is a Moodle photo gallery.  With a roles override, students can upload pictures.  I love using this in connection with Big Huge Labs to allow students to see and comment on each others work.

I used Camtasia, which has a 30 day trial, and I will admit to liking the program.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Picasa for Image Editing

After downloading Picasa and playing around for a bit three things impressed me. First the ability to edit an image and publish it to your blogger blog or twitter. Since I have multiple blogger blogs this will save me a lot of time. Second was the collage feature which I have been looking for. It is as simple as my favourite app Strip Design for creating drag and drop collages. Now I don't have to do it on my phone. The third feature, which I need to spend more time exploring was the movie creation. Could this be a tool that is more stable than Windows Movie Maker? I will need to add this to my to-do list.

Editing online with Picnik
I will admit I was not expecting much with Picasa. I am instantly turned off by anything that requires a download and install, a result of my k-12 profession. We tend to rely on software that is supported and installed, Microsoft Picture Manager, or tools that are free online like Pixlr . However, I was impressed and ended up downloading it onto both my machines and looking for an app for my iPhone. Great new tool in my arsenal.

Collage using Picasa
When I started the photo editing I was online in my Picasa album, click on edit and it took me to Picnik . While this was not the assignment, I spent a fair amount of time playing around. It has some basic tools to crop, resize and editing as well as some funky additions like buttons and fangs that students would appreciate. I also liked how saving here brought the image back to your Picasa album. As our school division explores cloud computing options, the integration of Picasa and Picnik is a definite plus.

Overall I was impressed with Picasa as a photo editing tool, which surprise me! It was very intuitive and for those of us that already live in the google cloud, it adds to the seamlessness of my online life.

This is a cross post from my UBC blog for ETEC565 which I am taking this semester.

Monday, October 11, 2010

#daily5 October Chat

This group of educators continues to amaze me.  Organized on twitter, using the #daily5 hashtag this group got together for another informal conversation.  They shared successes, asked and answered questions, supported each other and then made plans to do it again in November!  An awesome example of how sharing and collaboration.

Here is the link to the session recording

And on holiday Monday no less!

Peace River PD Day

On September 27th five Peace Wapiti teachers made the trek to Peace River to present at their professional development day. Debbie Harris (HRS), Memorese Walter (HBS), Shelley Freisen (PAVE), Joan Coy (PAVE) and myself presented on a variety of topics.

The day started with a 10 minute keynote, over Elluminate, from the Honourable Minster of Education Dave Hancock.

Elluminate with Minister Hancock

Here is a list of sessions and the accompanying documents.

Using Gallery items in SMART Notebook for Div 3 Science
Deb's Science folks
Debbie Harris
You will be shown examples of how the Gallery items in SMART Notebook can be used to create interactive science lessons. You will have an opportunity to create some interactive lessons that you can use in class the next day, so come prepared to get lots done that you can take away with you. BRING A MEMORY STICK!!

Interactive Resources for Teaching Science using a SMARTBoard
Debbie Harris
If you are new to using a SMART Board and want to find some ready-made interactive resources for science this is the session for you! You will have the chance to explore websites such as LearnAlberta.ca and 2Learn.ca to find science resources that you can use in class the next day. BRING A MEMORY STICK TO SAVE WORK!

Let's Moodle in Science 9-12
Joan Coy
Using a blend of technology-rich on-line learning resources with traditional classroom teaching environments, we can improve the school experience and engage students in self directed learning. Teachers in our large rural division have created a Moodle site that hosts our Science courses and gives students access to high quality on-line courses on their Moodle site (24/7), in addition to classroom instruction. The Moodle site is being used to facilitate differentiation and inquiry learning (i.e. self-checks, self reflections, and project collaboration). Each teacher has their own way of doing this (that's the beauty of Moodle.) Come and see how the classroom has changed!

Advanced Moodle k-12
Joan Coy
This session is designed to extend and enhance the skills of a Moodle course creator. It includes a brief consideration of the pedagogy – Social Constructivism and how Moodle Activities are designed to support this social and interactive philosophy. It will also examine effective strategies for Resources & Blocks – how to provide information to students. The session will show participants, in a hands-on environment, how to use the relevant components of Moodle to support the learning needs of students. You will be able make creative progress in your Moodle course

Introduction to Moodle k-12

Intro to Moodle group
 Jen Clevette
Whether you have never moodled before or you want a refresher on the basics and time to work, this is the place for you. We will be covering some moodle basics like linking WebPages & files, embedding video, adding topics & pictures, glossaries & games and assignment basics. You must have a moodle course created to attend this session

SMART in JH Social Studies
Jen Clevette
Social Studies & SMART
What works and where can I find it? Pre-made materials for the new curriculum are hard to come by, so let's start making our own. We will go over some lesson basics, like title pages & themes, identify the interactives from the Lesson Activity Toolkit that work best and play with some Web 2.0 tools that will add some pizazz to your lessons. Put it all together and we will have lessons to share.
All lessons created will be added to this collaborative website http://tiny.cc/div3SS

Senior High English - Bring them in and start them off!
Shelly Friesen
This session will share some resources that high school English teachers can use for ‘Daily Starters’. Using your SMARTboard, you can establish structure, fill that change-of-class time and get your students thinking about the English language. There will be time to explore, share and collaborate.

Senior High English: How can I use technology to help me?
Shelly Friesen
Teach SMARTer using teacher tools on the web and in your classroom. In this afternoon session we will investigate how to use SMARTboards to help your students learn and help you professionally. In the first few minutes you will help to build the agenda and content direction for the afternoon.

“Playing” with your SmartBoard K/1
Memorese Walters

Mem's SMART session
Non- and beginning readers have special learning requirements that your SmartBoard can help provide. This session will leave you with lots of curriculum links and content that you can take back to your classroom and use immediately to meet their unique needs
2/3 SmartBoards – Curriculum First!
Memorese Walters
Want to know how to better incorporate your SmartBoard into your classroom instruction? This session will provide you with lots of curriculum links and content that you can take back to your classroom and use immediately. LA, Math, Science, and Social activities including pulling it all together on a daily basis and a little extra with the document camera's amazing abilities!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Monday Moodle: Themes

New Themes have been added to E-Community. To change your theme

1) Go to your course

2) Under the Admin Block, Settings
3) Find Force Theme and select the one you want

4) Save Changes

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Listening to Reading

Bonanza is always an awesome school to visit.  In the morning we had a great discussion about using social media in the classroom and Mrs. Evans set up her Grade 1/2 Moodle Page.  The afternoon was an AISI Literacy Meeting that I sat in on.
One of the areas of focus, as I understand it, is listening to reading.  As we were sitting disussing how the year was going, the comment was that it was difficult to find audio books.  This is where I have ideas!
Listening to Reading!
1) Free Websites to download audiobooks
***Once download you could burn them to CD or load them on an iPod for listening
2) Create your own audiobooks

  • Download Audacity, from home just follow the link to install but at school you can either submit a helpdesk request (as this is support software) or install it yourself from Control Panel and Run Advertized Programs
  • Buy a mic or headset

  • Find some cool sound effects from Sound Jay or Sound Bible or Freesound
  • Lots of great tutorials on YouTube or PWSD's Podcasting course
Have fun and let me know if you are willing to share!

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Kindergarten Resources

    70/365/2010 from djainslie
    flickr photostream
     More of our kindergarten classrooms are having projectors and SMARTboards installed, here are 5 quick places to get inspiration an ideas!

    1) SMARTboard lessons for Math, LA, Science and Social.  This American site as tons of ready to use lessons that with a little modification might be perfect for your classroom.  Also checkout the SMART exchange which is full of teacher created resources.  Download an attendance drag and drop, or interactive calender to name a few! 

    2) Interactive websites like Starfall PBS Interactive Games or Mix and Match Feelings can be projected with sound for a fun interactive lesson

    3) YouTube is a never ending repository of video.  Any song that you are doing in class, probably can be found.  Or the life cycle of a frog as a cartoon or documentary.

    Or my new Sesame Street Favourite (all the old favourites are there too!)

    4)  Get Inspiration from others: The websites listed here are other Kindergarten teachers that are sharing their journey in a blog or online journal.  Take a peak inside their classroom, leave comments or considering starting your own to share the wonderful things you are doing!

    What are your go to resources that should be added to this list?

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Elmworth & Digitial Citizenship

    Managing your digital footprint and how to be safer online are two hot topics in PWSD.  I spent a day out in Elmworth with their grade 3-9 students discussing just this.  All of the material used can be found here where you are welcome to use it, modify it or drop me an email and I will move it over to your moodle course.

    Grade 3 (would also be appropriate for grade 4) we used the interactive comic Zoe and Molly online.  In 40 minutes we read the comic together and completed the quiz as a group.  During their next computer class they will create a character and write their own ending to the story.

    Grades 4-9 we did a discussion on managing your Digital Footprint.  All students participated in discussion on how to protect privacy, how search engines work and how information shared on the web is very difficult to remove.  We talked briefly about what makes a good password and why this is important.  Students in grade 7-9 also did a short discussion on copyright and creative commons.  The culminating activity was to create a comic strip on one aspect they learned.

    For the grade 7-9's I recommended following up with an activity on website credibility that was borrowed from the Calgary School of Science.  Then use the Passport to the Internet as a culminating activity.  (There are two level for the Passport, grades 4-6 and 7/8)

    For the Grade 4-6's I suggested following up with a variety of websites on Internet safety and then use the Passport to the Internet as a culminating activity.

    Thanks again to the staff at Elmworth for inviting me to their school and letting me borrow their students.  It was an excellent day!

    Beaverlodge Staff Meetings

    Thanks for Beaverlodge Elementary School and Beaverlodge High School for inviting me to talk about technology integration at their staff meeting.

    View more presentations from jenclevette.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    #daily5 Conversation

    I have mentioned before that Twitter is my go to source for resources, PD and connecting with other educators.  So, when a group of teachers, including Harry Balfour's April Brown, were trying to organize a chat on the Daily 5, I offered up my virtual Elluminate office and volunteered to moderate the conversion.  (This was purely for selfish reasons, I need to know more about the Daily 5 and I need more practice at moderation.)

    It was an amazing hour that just flew by.  This group of teachers from around North America shared resources, experiences and offered tips and tricks on what worked and what did not.  In the room we had educators that were just about to start the school year and never used Daily 5 before to experienced teachers who had been back to school for weeks.

    Take a listen to the conversation and the links shared during the session

    The PowerPoint that was shared was from The 2 Sisters website but you need to sign up, for free, to get a copy of it!

    Interested in joining the #daily5 conversation?
    1) Sign up for Twitter
    2) Download Tweetdeck and watch this tutorial
    3) Add #daily5 as one of your columns

    The conversation continues daily on twitter and the date for the next virtual conversation will be discussed there.  Thanks to all the lovely teachers in the room, I learned a lot and have some great new teachers to follow!