Monday, November 19, 2012

Technology Update

Now that the first trimester is under all of our belts, I wanted to send another technology update to let you know what's going on in our technology lab.

Junior High
All junior high "grades" were posted last trimester on Edmodo (  This trimester they will be posted on both Edmodo and Teacherease.  Details of each assignment are on my webpage on - Classes - Mrs. Allen.  With Edmodo, parents can look at their progress by having their child log into the system, or they can have their own account by obtaining a parent code.  If you'd like a parent code, please let me know.  I will have grade results on Edmodo first and then transfer them to Teacherease.

8th grade
Students continued to add a few more posts to the writers club (  The also joined a group on the site that was already formed.  I want them to know how to communicate through a group format and know what and when to contribute.  They are also practicing their typing skills using  They are recommended to be able to type 35 wpm by the end of the year.  Right now, they need to type 25-30 wpm.  Soon they will be focusing on the technology assessments given by the Diocese.  They will review technology/computer hardware and software information, create a document, chart, presentation and a spreadsheet.  This will take up most of the trimester.

7th grade
They are continuing to work on the Digitween project (  This trimester will focus on content added to the wiki (the address I provided) and the final action project.  They have the option to create their final project on their own or with the members of their small global group.  They can use SlideRocket (enhanced power point), Prezi (zooms in and out presentation) or "just" Google Presentation.  This is ultimately due before Christmas break, but they will present their final project to classes around the school and to a global audience through Skype or Blackboard Collaborate (online presentation tool). 

6th grade
They are finishing up a Diamond Poem Project for Kidlink (  They created a diamond-shape poem and used Microsoft Paint to illustrate it.  Last week they uploaded their project to the Diamond Poem project site ( - you can click the drop down button to see the student pages.  Next they will look at other students’ work from around the world and comment on them (2 positive comments and a question).  The next thing the students will participate is the Global Hero Project (  They will research a hero and answer 4 basic questions and use Voicethread to create their final project.  This is last year’s project:  

5th grade
The students are finishing the iVote project by adding a webpage of their research to the iCollaboratory site ( They will comment on other students’ iVote projects and read the comments they receive on their page. Next, the students will be preparing to Mystery Skype ( with classrooms around the world.  They will learn more about their country, state, and city while learning more about the places around the world.  This will be a great introduction to the Landmarks Game ( which they will do in February.

4th grade
Now that the Monster Project is over, the students are focusing on the Crazy Crazes Project (  They will use Edmodo and the wiki to show what’s new, popular and “hot” right now in our area.  This is a great project to learn about cultures and ways other students live as well.  We hope to use Skype to communicate with some of the classes, too!

3rd grade
Mrs. Hinthorn’s class is participating in the Edmodo Pen Pal Project ( where they start with a topic and discuss on Edmodo.  They just began the project and it will run through February.  We hope to use Skype to meet some of the pen pals “face to face”!  They are also practicing their typing skills using Dance Mat Typing.
Ms. Kinsella’s class is working on typing skills and will be participating in the Mystery Skype project in their homeroom ( while learning basic skills while writing about it in computers.

2nd grade
Mrs. Ratajczak’s class is also participating in the Edmodo Pen Pal project in a different group than Mrs. Hinthorn’s class.  Mrs. Buhr’s class will participate in Christmas Around the World ( where they will learn how Christmas is celebrated around the world and contribute to a Voicethread as well (

1st grade
The first graders have been working on typing skills using Dance Mat Typing and are also playing educational games.  Our next project is creating part of a few stories that we’ll share through Voicethread.  The students will illustrate a page and then we’ll share w/ Mrs. Schur’s class in Wisconsin.  Here are some of the projects from last year: and

The students worked on typing skills using Keyboard Climber (  They also practiced reading skills with Starfall (  Next they will work on math skills using sites like and  

The students enjoyed beginning reading games last trimester with Learning Planet and Sheppard Software.  They also played fun, educational games.  This trimester they will work on math skills with sites like The Learning Planet ( and others.

Early Childhood
Even though the students aren't at their own computers at this time, they interact with what they see on the computer screen while in the lab.  They enjoy interactive sites as well as themed-sites as well (we had a spiders, pumpkins, and bats themes for October!  They will be enjoying sites on their own before Christmas break.  I need to show them how to use the touch pad and the click buttons on the laptops before they “play”.

That's what is going on in our lab. Have a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving break!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Global Education Conference

Last week (Nov. 12-17) marked the annual Global Education Conference 2012.  This conference hosted hundreds of presentations with the global ed theme from all over the world.  I was fortunate to present the EVPD (Educator Virtual Prof. Development) series which showcased over 10 teachers who presented Web 2.0 tools to my staff and world in a virtual environment.  This 3-hour workshop highlighted  12 tools in a "smackdown" format where presenters had 10 minutes to show the tool and it's effectiveness with students in education.  

You can listen to the recording to find out more!  Also check out the EVPD wiki to see videos and resources about each tool.

Some of my global colleagues presented as well.  In some of their presentations, I contributed a slide if I was involved in some way.  Others I attended as support or just to learn more about what they were presenting:

Global Education Conference Presentations and Recordings

1.  The Continued Adventures of Teaching and Learning Across the Globe
Presenting on: Tuesday Nov 13th at 10pm, Melbourne Australia time (gmt+11) (your time here)
Presented by: Lorraine Leo and Anne Mirtschin
Link to recording

2.  “Hello Little World”
Wednesday, Nov 14th at 10pm Melbourne  (your time here)
Presented by: HLW Skypers - those who can be present including founder Katherine Zablantik!
Session details
Recorded Session: (click “play” button on the right)

3.  “Aspects to consider when addressing a Global Audience”
Presenting on: Wednesday Nov. 14 at 2:00 pm CST (your time here)
Presented by: José Popoff
Link to the recording

4.  “Educator Virtual PD Series”
Thursday Nov. 15, 4pm CST (your time here)
Presented by:  Theresa Allen
Link to recording

5.  Snapshots of Learning Beyond Borders
Presenting on Thurs, November 15, 9pm – 10am, Malaysia time (GMT+8)
Presented by: Veronica Woo Eu Cheng ( TESL Teacher-cum-ICT Teacher )

6.  World Museum Projects - Collaborative Projects in Scratch
Wednesday Nov 14th, Melbourne Australia time (check your time here)
Presented by Lorraine Leo, Yoshiro Miyata, Jose Saez

7.  The Global Classroom Project - Stories & Project Launch (2012-13)
Nov 16th at 7PM Perth, Australia time (GMT+8) (your time here)
Presented by Michael Graffin, with Effie Kyrikakis, Sebastian Panakal, Linlin Tan, Karen Stadler, and hopefully Govinda Panthy
Session Details
Link to recording

8.  From Zero to Hero
Friday, November 16th at 2:30pm, Kerala India time (check your time here)
Presented by Sebastian Panakal

9.  Moon Over Us and Other iCollaboratory Projects
Presented by Bonnie Thurber
Link to recording

To see more recorded presentations, click the link here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Midwest Google Apps Summit - Notes to Remember!

Midwest Google Summit
Wisconsin Dells 11/12-13

I made it!  

Molly Schroeder:
Chromebook Classroom:
Great intro to Chromebooks!
Gotta look at this more
You tube
Make sub plans
Videos for assessments
We video
Book commercials
Classroom in the cloud
Use Prezi and SlideRocket w/ 7th grade for action project
Good Internet safety links
Lunch - met Melissa Schur - tech teacher from WI I collaborated w/ last year:  

You Tube for EDU 1:30-2:30:
Create a playlist with YouTube EDU account.
Here’s mine:
I’m here now:
Waiting for teachers to create their own channel.
Ted-Ed - pair extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of exceptional educational videos. Watch/Think/Dig Deeper - students subscribe and answer questions while watching
Example of a playlist:
To show ONLY your video:
Ctrl-Click to pop it out
Install Quiet Tube on Google Chrome:
Can add intros to playlists - add a question for students to answer after
Can create a video scavenger hunt w/ YouTube (This sounds GREAT! - Janet) - I just gotta play around a bit to try it.  :)
Video editing tools in YouTube:

Getting Going with Google Chrome 3-4pm
Acer Chromebook:  199!
Samsung:  249!
Chrome Basics:
  • Omnibar - magic!
    • don’t have to open a search engine - just type in box
    • search bar - URL, too
  • Tabbed browsing
    • pin tabs to permanently stay - right click and pin
    • bookmark from tab
      • take off name to add more bookmarks and show just icons
      • create folders
  • Incognito window
    • private browsing - no history
    • When on public computer
    • Check personal email
  • Multiple profiles
    • Go to “3 lines” on upper right
    • Click on Settings
    • Click Add New user
  • Chrome Extensions
    • tiny plugins to make your life easier
    • run in browser - next to Omnibox

Didn’t attend, but great resources:

Google Vision for the Future 8:30-9:30

Chrome Ninja  9:45-10:45  Molly Schroeder

  1. CTRL + T =  Opens a new tab
  2. CTRL+ W  = Closes the current tab.
  3. CTRL + SHIFT + T = Reopens the last tab you’ve closed. Google Chrome remembers the last 10 tabs you’ve closed.
  4. CTRL + SHIFT + N = Opens a new window in incognito mode, for private browsing
  5. CTRL + H = Opens your browsing history
  6. CTRL + SHIFT  + DEL = Takes you directly to the page to clear browsing history, cache and cookies.
  7. CTRL + J = Opens the downloads page
  8. CTRL + D = Saves your current webpage as a bookmark.
  9. CTRL + SHIFT +V =  Paste content from the clipboard without formatting (ie, pastes plain text)
  10. CTRL + SHIFT + J = Opens Developer Tools.

  • 3 lines (where wrench was) - sign in to sync bookmarks
    • Settings - Users - have multiple accounts
  • Don’t add “www” when searching or typing addresses
  • Use omnibar as calculator, time converter, measurement, use a minus “-” when searching
  • When students, have students go to advanced search first
  • Tabs:  drag and drop, pull out to new window - put back
  • Pinned tabs  - right click to permanently add them when opening a browser.
  • Tabbed management:  Right click to close certain tabs, reopen closed tab
  • Bookmarking:
    • Star at end of omnibar
    • Click on star - will turn yellow and will add bookmark
    • In Settings - checkmark “show bookmarks”
    • Highlight website and drag to bookmarks bar
    • Can remove wording on bookmarks to show just icon on bookmarks bar - edit
    • Add folders to save multiple bookmarks on bar
  • Chrome Web Store for Web Apps and Extensions
40 Ways to Use Google Apps in Classroom
Steve Butschi
  • - presentation link
  • Gmail - in presentation
  • Talk - in presentation - Google Hangout
  • Groups - in presentation
  • Calendar
    • Share w/ colleagues (all or free/busy)
    • color differentiated
    • shared resources (open lab times, chromebook cart)
    • map out standards
  • Drive (Docs, Sheets, Slides)
    • Collaborate on lesson plans
    • Take meeting notes - running record
    • Create a shared lesson plan
    • share a folder
    • Improve writing process
      • comment
        • use @email address to instantly send email of comment.
    • Publish student work - sharing settings
    • Translate letters home to parents
    • Track students’ homework (sheets)
    • Make sign up sheet
    • create/graph data w/in spreadsheet
    • Make flashcards in sheets:  Go to Insert > Gadget... > Flash Cards Gadget
    • Google sets!  WOW:  Type in at least 3 related terms. Highlight the three terms and [hold Control + drag] or [hold Option + drag] to fill the set.
    • Use Google Forms as assessments w/ flubaroo
    • Survey
    • Collect data
    • Use for reading records online
    • Keep track of discipline referrals
  • You Tube for Schools - whitelisted content
  • mooc google search (massive online open content)

Let’s Hangout - Chad Kafka
1-2pm - Presentation
  • Only in personal google accounts right now. (legal reasons w/ video chatting)
  • Up to 10 people
  • Lower 3rd - add name at bottom
  • Add google drive app
  • K-12 account - only “lite” version - 1:1 video only
  • Can start a hangout in gmail and not necessarily google +
    • need a google + account to start a hangout
  • Features:
    • Chat
    • Screenshare
    • Google drive - share/edit
    • YouTube - watch together
    • More - go to add apps
    • Effects - hats, accessories, sounds
  • Examples
  • How to Get Started
    • Upgrade personal account to G+
      • Name
      • Create Circles
      • Be Awesome...?
      • click - Start a Hangout
  • Tip:  
    • Enable right side chat LAB in gmail
    • Turn off shared folders and other apps to help not slow it down.
    • Hangout Chrome App
  • How to join a hangout
    • Receive a link through chat message
    • seeing a post in G+
    • Going to hangouts area
    • Add to calendar event
    • Can start/answer from computer or mobile device
  • Live demo

Demo Slam:
3 min presentations
Timer Chrome App
Cap number of entries on Form
Research right from google doc
Chrome remote desktop
Teacher Dashboard - can see Chromebooks - can close sites students shouldn’t be on
Dictate into Gdoc with phone
Make own auto substitutions in Tools - Preferences
Use Last Pass
use 2-step verification
Scripting:  in sheets
connect spreadsheets from school database