Showing posts from September, 2016

TMST: Becoming a SLACKer

I am becoming more efficient this year by becoming a SLACKer.

You might be thinking, wait, what?  How is that possible?  

While I am working to put my motto of "do less, better" into place as much as possible, it's not what you think.
Image made with Canva
What I am really referring to is a new tool my team is using to help us be more productive and efficient called Slack.  Through the Slack site/iOS app/Mac app, teams can work together by sharing messages, chat streams, documents and a virtual workspace.  

My team has always used Skype as a backchannel, Trello for project management and Google Drive for collaboration. For a satellite team like mine that must work closely without being in the same physical space, tools like these are crucial.   But Slack is like Skype ON STEROIDS and it integrates with other apps like Google Drive and Trello.    

Image credit: Slack I admit, I was skeptical to try something new when my team started using it, but I can't deny now that it is …

Schoology and Parents

Schoology can be an amazing management system for your classroom digital workflow.  It also can support the home to school connection when parents are able to participate as well.  This post is designed to outline how Schoology can be used by parents and share key resources for educators using Schoology with parents.

Parents can access Schoology with their child by having the learner login at

Parents can also access Schoology with a parent acccount that can be set up at using the preferred contact email given to Coppell ISD and going to FORGOT PASSWORD.  To learn more about setting up parent accounts, click here.

Using a parent account is beneficial because:
A parent can see ALL of their children in one accountCourse updates and due dates can be easily accessedAssignments and work submitted can be viewed
Interested in learning more?  
Check out the CISD Schoology and Parents Page

Learn more about the differences between parent and student acc…

TMST: Skitch

This is NOT a drill.

Y'all.  SKITCH is back. 

No, I am not referring to Lilo's friend from that cute movie.  I am referring to one of my TOP 10 favorite apps that was taken OUT of the App store for some CRAZY reason.

Skitch for iPad is officially back in the app store, which means that our learners can get back to annotating images to their hearts content without being forced to use only Skitch for Mac (which is also great, check it out here).

Why is this so important to me?  With the Skitch app, learners can:

Snap a picture of a text they are reading and use the highlighter to locate key vocabulary or spelling rules during word work.Create captions for images to be added to a class book.Practice locating and labeling non-fiction text features.Locate shapes, lines, angles, etc. "hiding" in famous art or in their own photographs.Label parts of  body systems, food webs, weather cycles, flowers, etc.Annotate a map with regions, cardinal directions or important landmarks.

TMST: An Apple A Day

I was once told that it is important for us as educators to remember what learning feels like.  To do this, we must actively involve ourselves in learning new things.  

Last week, Apple released its Apple Teacher program, which is a professional learning challenge to help educators learn more about using iPads and Macs in an educational setting.  This self-paced challenge provides educators several modes (Multi-touch book, help site, or from the Apple store)  in which to learn about using Mac and iPad in education.  Upon successful completion of a quick 5 question assessment for different skills, educators earn electronic badges.  

To me, this was a perfect way for me to remember what learning feels like.  

I immediately went into NERD mode and began the program.  On a Friday night.   Yep, I'm super cool.  But the neat part was that a few of my awesome CISD friends were also doing it too.  Back and forth we went on Twitter andI was reminded how fun learning can be when it is "to…

TMST: Schoology FAQ

Since I cheated a bit on Teach Me Something Tuesday, I thought I'd give you a bonus edition this week.  Without further ado, here is TMST:  Thursday Edition.  Our topic today?  Schoology Frequently Asked Questions.

Yesterday, I gave one of my campuses a small Schoology sprinkle at their faculty meeting. I'm excited to be supporting them as they go deeper into Schoology this year and will be providing FedEx sessions, Team Time trainings and 1 on 1 support as the year goes on.  As with all new things, this kind of follow up is essential.  

Being the believer I am in responsive teaching, however, I wanted to take this post to answer some of the questions that came from yesterday's quick sprinkle.  Hopefully it can help!  I decided to do it "vlog" style so please enjoy the quick videos below!

Do I have to use the courses made for my class in Schoology or can I build my own?

How do I get Schoology on my Schoolwires page?  What does that even mean?

What do parents see in Sc…

TMST: Priorities

Warning: This is not your "typical" Teach Me Something Tuesday.  I promise to get back to dazzling you with amazing digital learning strategies soon, but this Tuesday, I have something else in mind.

My Aunt passed away this weekend.  I haven't told many people.  She was 90 and lived an amazing life making her family happy and perfecting the most amazing cheesecake and strawberry pies I have eaten (sorry, Mom).  It is hard being away from my family as the service will be held in my hometown up north.

The reason I share this is for 2 reasons...

The first is an answer to a popular question I get asked a lot.  People assume because I am a digital learning coach that I am obsessed with technology.  They ask if I have always been "techy".  The answer is usually that I am naturally curious and like learning in all forms, tech included.  The truth is, what made me "techy" is the need for connection.  With my parents and family in other states, I sought ways to c…