Showing posts from 2017

TMST: DASHing Through the Snow

Every year, I look forward to the week we celebrate Hour of Code, but not for the reason you might think.  Sure, the exploration time and engagement during HOC is exciting, but what I really look forward to is what happens AFTER the Hour of Code.

I wanted to triple like this tweet by Jon Samuelson.  Since I couldn't, I am posting it here:

The Hour of Code is meant to spark further engagement and interest in coding and robotics.  So as you head into winter break, consider: How does your classroom #continuecoding? What part does coding play in your learning experiences and curriculum? 

My teammate, Megan Kozar wrote an amazing blog this week about taking the Hour of Code further.  It outlines the why we must continue experiences past the hour, how CISD's Code2Learn initiative is designed to build the thinking skills behind coding and robotics into the curriculum and how we as Digital Learning Coaches can help.

Read Megan's Blog Here

Inspired by her and Jon's words, here is on…

TMST: Google Drive Assignments in Schoology

Early this school year, Schoology advertised a new feature which goes at the top of my 2017 "game changers" list.  After months of using the force copy trick to share links in Schoology, we finally learned that Schoology was adding a tool that could do it for us.  We could assign a Google Doc to learners directly from Schoology, have it make an individual copy and let us interact using comments and all we love about docs within Schoology.

A few of us jumped on it and then pulled out some of our hair when it didn't work the way we needed it to.  (Cue Digital Learning Truths #1 and #2 from above.)  After working with Schoology support on our struggles and applying some patience, we recently tested it again...and it works!  (Cue Digital Learning Truth #3)

Now that we know it is working, let's learn how to use it in under 3 min!  

First, make sure your learners' Schoology apps have been updated and that they are running iOS 11. 

Next, create the assignment using "As…

Coppell DLCs launch PLNs

This year, our Digital Learning Team is facilitating the creation of mini PLNs (personal learning networks) throughout our district. What is a PLN?  Take a look at this quick video by Marc-Andre Lelande that explains it beautifully!

Coppell ISD readers, from January to April of this year, you'll be able to learn with your PLN through a variety of modalities. Your PLN might choose to do a book study, participate in a Twitter chat, meet in person or virtually. The sky is the limit - whatever will help you meet your digital learning goals. Interested?  Visit this form to join a professional learning networkby Friday, December 15th.

You will receive an email from your PLN facilitator the week of Jan 3rd with next steps on beginning your PLN journey.
Have questions? Check in with me! I'd love to talk to you more about how joining a PLN can help you reach your digital learning goals this year!


My team and att…

TMST: Email Leftovers

While Thanksgiving break was beyond needed and appreciated, did anyone else come back to school with more than just turkey leftovers weighing you down?  I'm not talking about the extra pounds we added from all that pumpkin pie, I'm talking about my overfull email inbox.

Yep, it's that time of year when my inbox tends to get pretty scary.  That's why I am linking up with my friends, Monica and Kelly over at CHS to share some top tips for email management.

Check out their post, "No Good Ever Comes From Clicking Reply All" over at Teacher Tech Tools in 2.  

Want to learn what my favorite email feature is right now?  Check out the comments on their blog and while you are there, leave one of your favorite tips too!

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!  

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.  

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 CodeK-12 Resources for educators curated by the Coppell DLCsK-2 Choice board for learners3-5th grade Choice Board for LearnersAre you in CISD?  All of these resources and more can be found in the Curriculum and Instruction Group in Schoology!

How can I help?  Le…

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 positi…

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 indi…

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!

Chrome Shortcuts by Megan at the Lightbulb Lab

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

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?

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…

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. 

FlipGrid Connections

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.
FlipGrid Discovery
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 yo…

TMST: Connections

Next week I am providing a professional learning session on making global connections.  
It has made me think a lot about how we connect and why.  It is so much more than talking to someone on a video conference or connecting to an expert.  Sure, there is great learning to be had from those experiences, but I find myself seeking more.  

As my team talked about our goals this past week, my friend Amanda and I talked about the difference between global connection vs. global collaboration.  Both break down the walls of our classroom, but which leads to deeper thinking, broader perspectives and higher engagement?  As with every learning experience, it has much to do with the way the experience is approached, the reflection that happens after and the questioning opportunities to which it leads.

Even so, what would our classrooms look like if we strived for more global collaboration?  Kids working with other kids and cultures to create, think and design.  Kids who have the ability to communica…

TMST: Scanning in Notes

My love affair with iOS11 continues this week with a small nugget of awesome found within the native Notes app. Like most mind blowing things, this tip is small, but mighty.

Let's take a quick look at how the Notes App has been redesigned in iOS11 to allow you as an educator to scan and mark up documents.  

And, just in case you wondered, the Notes App can be great for our learners too!  

Intrigued?  Want to learn more?  
Check out what else Notes can do:

What awesome small nuggets of learning have rocked your world lately?  Let me know in the comments!

Time to Update to iOS 11

iOS 11  is here and we have received word from the technology department that it is ok to update.   Updates often take a few minutes; therefore, staggering or allowing extra time for updating is a good practice. I have also found that updating goes faster when devices are plugged in.  

If you are concerned about losing content on your device, it is recommended that you/your learners create a backup in iCloud before running the update.

1:1~ Please encourage your learners to update: ​prior to lunch/recess prior to specials prior to leaving for the end of the school day in small groups/shifts Shared (K-3) ~ At this time, older iPad 4’s and iPad minis will not update to iOS 11. prior to leaving for the end of the school day or a weekend In small groups/shifts Educator iPads ~ Please update at your convenience: From home/overnight At the beginning/end of the day iOS 11 has several features that are awesome for education, including screencasting directly from your iPad, built-in QR code reader in the c…

TMST: Podcast Learning Anytime

In this day and time, there are no restrictions on how, when and the type of learning we choose.  Gone are the days where you have to attend PD in order to build skills, be inspired and make a change.  It truly is one of this self-appointed learning nerd's favorite things because we can choose to be in a state of learning anytime.  

I am always exploring new ways to learn and was inspired by my friend and fellow DLC Sam Neal to try out some educational podcasts.  Podcasts are great because you can listen and learn on your phone while driving in the car, taking a shower and/or waiting in line for something.  

If you are like me, searching for Podcasts can be a little overwhelming.  I was so thankful that Sam shared a curated list of some of her favorites.  Check out her list below!

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So this week, I challenge you to listen to an episode one of these and share something you learn or are inspired by OR let me know a podcast you are listening to that is…

TMST: iOS 11 Screencasting

Shout it from the rooftops...iOS 11 is here!  

Never in my life did I think I would be this nerdy happy over a software update, but y'all, this one changes the game.  
With iOS 11, we can screencast DIRECTLY from the iPad.
I'm excited, not just because I can make quick app demo videos for this crazy blog, but because of what this can do for our learners.  With iOS 11 screencasting, they will be able to: model their thinking, recording how they attack a problemcreate reflection videos record ideas and "aha moments" as they review and interact with classroom materialsshare their thoughts about a book snap or articleadd "how to" screencasts to collaborative tools like a Schoology Media Album or Flipgrid
I was lucky to partner with one of our 5th grade classes this week to test it out.  Ms. Voltz's class (Red5) was testing out the update to iOS 11 and so she asked me to come lend a hand.  We taught the kids a little about the new features, and then asked them to…