Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pic Collage School Settings

Did you know?  The Pic Collage app has some settings that you can enable to eliminate web searches and social features?  

Simply find Pic Collage in your Settings App

Disable social features and web searches

And voila! Your learners will not see as much of the extra "noise" in the app!

Why is this important?  Well, we want our learners to get used to searching for images that are copyright free and age appropriate.  Our librarians are AWESOME resources in how to use some of our great library databases including Image Quest for this.  Also, but eliminating the social features, we ensure that learners can focus only on their content and creativity.

Have questions?  Just let me know!  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

TMST: Hour of Code 2017

I know we are all in "turkey mode", counting the days until we wear our comfy pants and watch football, but truthfully I am just as excited for the weeks after break.  

In district? Contact me with questions on how to attend!
Not only is my team offering a DLC PLN Launch Party event to kick start professional learning networks within our district (see image on the left), but the HOUR OF CODE is coming!!

You might remember my passion for the Hour of Code from last year when I posted about it here and here.

This year, my awesome team has built up some awesome resources to support our educators and learners as we once again celebrate the week of December 4-10th.

All educators Pre-K-12 are invited to sign up for Hour of Code and check out the resources below!

Sign up for the Hour of Code

K-12 Resources for educators curated by the Coppell DLCs

K-2 Choice board for learners

3-5th grade Choice board for learners

Are you in CISD?  All of these resources and more can be found in the Curriculum and Instruction Group in Schoology!

How can I help?  Let me know what you are planning or any help you might need in the comments!

Monday, November 13, 2017

AirDrop Sharing

The following information is from CISD Director of Instructional Technology, Nancy Garvey.

Recently, the Digital Learning Coaches reviewed the instructional relevance of enabling the Airdrop feature on shared iPads and determined that the feature continues to be valid in an educational setting. AirDrop allows Macbooks and iOS devices to share files wirelessly via bluetooth.
Listed below are some ways that you may consider using Airdrop in your classroom:
  • Airdropping a website from one iPad to another, which is great if they want to bookmark to read later
  • Quickly collect digital assignments (Notability notes, products created with other iOS apps)
  • Share learner in-progress work on a projector/presentation station
  • Educators can send documents, assignment details, presentations to learners
  • Return feedback in the form of notes to learners
  • Facilitate guided or small group instruction and share information between educators and learners
  • Send an image or creative meme to celebrate or recognize positive behavior.
One best practice to consider using with Airdrop is disabling the ability to receive items via Airdrop until you or your learners are ready. In order to customize Airdrop preferences, launch Settings > General > Airdrop. The screenshot below shows an image of the menu of preferences.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns!  

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Be Excellent to Each Other

There's some articles out there that talk about the October wall for educators.  Inevitably we come down off the highs of the new school year, the excitement of building new relationships and the general fast pace of the new school year.  

We get tired, we feel like the battles are more uphill, we wonder if we are truly seen or if what we are doing is even the "right" thing.

We don't get this way because we are bad educators.  We get this way because we are GREAT educators. When things get hard, its not because we are less.  Maybe its because the things we are doing are important.

Kid President says, "It's ok to be reminds you what you care about."  What if we subbed the words stressed, overwhelmed, tired, etc. in for sad?  What if we knew that "the wall" means we care deeply and we focused a little energy on building a network of support to help each other over the wall?

Last week, instead of celebrating the work we have done at our individual campuses, my team participated in an activity called Celebrate Someone.  Using Padlet and some Bitmoji images, each of us took some time to write comments celebrating different teammembers and their contributions to the hard work we do.   This activity could be remade using Padlet's "remake" feature and customized for a class, a team or a campus.  

Celebrate Someone Padlet Template:  

A simple reminder of how others see you is sometimes all someone needs to get over the hump and "stay in the struggle".  How will you help a teammate, a learner, or yourself over the wall?

This year, let's take some advice from Bill and Ted:

Image created at

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

TMST: Chrome Shortcuts

I'm working on a post for later this week that is a combo of reflection and ideas for us as we move into the holiday time of year.  It's not quite done yet, but I figured that while you are anxiously waiting, you might still want to learn something today.  Thank GOODNESS for awesome teammates!

Let's link up with my fellow DLC, Megan Kozar, to learn about some awesome time savers in Google Crome!

Do you share our love of Google Chrome?  Tell me what features you can't live without in the comments!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Attitude of Gratitude

If you have been following my Twitter feed lately, you've seen me use #gratitude a lot. It is because my team has challenged ourselves to spend 21 days of gratitude. I'm finding it is helping me see my world using a lens of positivity and growth.

Speaking of gratitude, we’ve now entered November, and what better time for our learners to celebrate our gratitude than the month of Thanksgiving?

"Attitude of Gratitude" Wall in Stephanie Shannon's 2nd grade space at RJL

My teammate, Sam Neal, has created a FlipGrid just for that purpose. We are inviting you all to share your own gratitude and to use this is a reflection space for your learners!

There are 21 Days of Gratitude sentence stems on the FlipGrid if anyone would like to use that as inspiration or to help the learners express what they’re grateful for. Feel free to use this resource or ignore it completely!

A neat feature you might also explore with your learners is the ability to respond to other learners’ videos. This would be a fun way to connect your classrooms, connect to other campuses across the district, or involve your classroom families!

To add to the FlipGrid, simply go to either:

Lastly, I am thankful for you. When starting this blog, I wrote mainly for me and the few that would read. As I look at my stats 1.5 years in, I noticed I have hit over 5,000 views. I'm grateful to serve in even the smallest of ways. Thanks for thinking I may have something cool to say!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

TMST: Techno Treats

Happy Halloween, Readers!

My blog today is devoted to providing you some quick "techno" treats, aka things that are rocking my world this week!

1.  FlipGrid Connections and Discovery 

Did you ever wish you could find other classrooms' global projects and invite others to participate easily in yours?  Put down the Google Search because FlipGrid's new Connections area changes the game.  

Also exciting is the new Discovery section.  Not only can you search for topics to add to your own grids, but you can add and share topics with other educators too.  This feature is great when you want to share a topic out with other classrooms, but you don't want to include learner videos.  They act as "templates" only.

2.  Seesaw Activities

I am loving the addition of the ability to assign and create activities for learners in Seesaw.  Not only does it organize submissions within Seesaw, but it provides you with some new ideas to add to your class.  My friend, Megan has written an amazing blog over at her site, The Lightbulb Lab all about it so let's link over there to learn more!

Excited about what you learned and ready to try Activities?  Here's an extra treat for you - Seesaw icons that can be copied and shared!

3.  Voting and grading tools in Padlet

Padlet has always been a favorite tool for sharing, reflecting and crowd-sourcing ideas.  Learners easily can share a stickie to the board that includes video, pictures or text.  It is such an easy tool to launch and use even with littles, and I am SO excited to see that it now lets you turn on options for voting and grading posts!  Take a deeper look into this feature at the Padlet blog linked below!

Which of these treats might YOU try this month?  What can I do to help?  Let me know in the comments!!


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