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Monday, February 29, 2016

NCCE 2016 Takeaways #ncce16 #edtech @NCCE_EdTech

I was lucky enough to attend and present at NCCE 2016 in Seattle and here are some of my random thoughts after three days of workshops and sessions:

  • Thursday's keynote by Kevin Honeycutt was brilliant.  What a great storyteller.  Funny, passionate and creative.
  • I want to find a free tech ticket system that students can use for a student help desk
  • I love the name Tech Ninjas for student helpers, come in silently, get the job done, but train others to be masters too
  • I love the thought of students getting trained to fix Chromebooks.  They need to be empowered.
  • Drones are cool.  I want one.  Especially when students pair with community members and businesses and shoot photos and videos for them for training.
  • Sustainable change comes from the ground up, not the top down.
  • Cool Google Drive keyboard shortcuts
    • Shift + t - new Google Doc
    • Shift + p - new Google Slides
    • Shift + s - new Google Sheet
    • Shift + d - new Google Drawing
    • Shift + f- new folder
    • Shift + o - new form
  • OneTab is an awesome way to organize a lot of tabs.
  • Switcher is a great Chrome extensions manager, better than Extensify.
  • Sqord looks like a cool fitness tracker for kids.
  • can also be used to check out devices.  Never thought of it in that way.
Beyond the cool tools, I noticed what a foothold Google has taken in technology and education.  Their mark is everywhere from Google Apps for Education to Chromebooks to hosting their own summit at NCCE.  I saw how allowing kids to invest in the technology learning, building, fixing, and teaching is very valuable.  They want to be a part of the process.  They want to have a social presence.  They want to be experts.  But they are kids and they will make mistakes and we need to teach them constantly and let them learn from their mistakes.

Digital citizenship is not going to become any less important so we need to be teaching it to kids from Day One to Cap and Gown.  We also all have a story to tell and an obligation to share stories for those who cannot.  Be social.  Use Twitter and Facebook, Seesaw, blogs, web pages and communicate with parents.  Create a digital refrigerator and use it for more than just stale milk.

Let students see you reflect on your learning and more importantly your mistakes.  That's where true learning lives.

“Wanna make change? Break into the classrooms and burn down the file cabinets full of lesson plans.” Kevin Honeycutt

Finally, apparently there is a delineation between Geeks, Nerds and Dorks.  I'm still searching my soul for my best fit.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Middle School Student eBooks #ipaded #gafe #ibooks

One thing we stress with our 1:1 teachers and students is to use the devices they have for more than just substitution, meaning don't just do the same stuff you always do in class with an expensive tool.  Look beyond the walls of the classroom and stretch kids' audience.

Mr. Hansen from Foothills Middle School in Wenatchee did just with his students by publishing three eBooks that were created, edited and published all by students.  You can check them out below.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Digital Challenge #11 Winners! Best Force Perspective Image #ipaded #edtech

Digital Challenge #11 - Best Forced Perspective
Congratulations to this week's winner

Winner is from Columbia Elementary - Judges were looking for a forced perspective image that:
  • was visually appealing, meaning the picture caught the judges' attention
  • contained interesting, original or creative subject matter or location
  • (optional) you may use an app to add graphics
Congratulations to a 5th grader from Columbia Elementary who took first place for his great forced perspective image that we titled "Genie in a Bottle". The judges liked the emotion in the face of the person coming out of the cup. The perspective was right on and the picture was framed well so that it looked realistic. Great job! You will receive your selfie stick prize shortly.

*We do not have parent permission to share his photo.

Honorable mention went to Estefanye from Orchard Middle School who had a great image of being plucked up by a huge hand.  We liked the fear in her face and how big the hand looked in comparison with the girl in the doorway.  Good job Estefanye.

*We do have parent permission to share her photo.

Next week's digital challenge last for two weeks and it's about who can create the best original song.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mystery Hangout with Independence, MO #mysteryhangout @SamalaRobinson @tinanicpanbrown

I got to spend the morning with Mrs. Nicpan Brown's class at Abraham Lincoln Elementary doing a Mystery Hangout with a classroom in Independence, MO.  If you've never heard of a Mystery Hangout (or Skype) here are the details.  Two classes try to guess where the other class is located based on yes and no questions.  Each person in the classroom has a job to do so they stay on task (here is our jobs list) and keep motivated.  Google Hangouts is a great tool to accomplish this.

By process of elimination each classroom uses a map to try to narrow down where the other school is located before making their final guess.  Although we didn't "win" this time, we had a great time connecting with @SamalaRobinson and her 5th graders.

After the Hangout, each classroom shared a bit about their school and their city, including school songs, weather, mascots, and, in our case, construction!

Below: students use sticky notes on an old school map to narrow down the other school's state

Friday, February 5, 2016

Digital Challenge #9 Winners! #ipaded #selfie #edtech #wsdtech

Digital Challenge #9 - Best Selfie
Congratulations to this week's winner

Kaylynn from Abraham Lincoln Elementary - Judges were looking for a selfie that:
  • image is visually appealing, meaning the picture catches the judges' attention
  • it contains interesting, original or creative subject matter or location
  • (optional) you may use an app to add graphics or filters
Congratulations to Kalynn from Abraham Lincoln Elementary who took first place for her great rainbow selfie. The judges liked how her face filled out the frame and how the washed out rainbow affect enhanced the overall image. The judges liked the Mona Lisa look that Kalynn portrays as well and especially how the selfie was captivating and we didn't lose interest the more we looked it. Great job Kalynn! You will receive your selfie stick prize shortly.
Jodi, also from Mrs. Nicpan Brown's classroom at Abraham Lincoln Elementary, took second this week. The judges liked the clarity of her image and the 'cuteness' of the placement of her hand and smile. We also appreciated the amount of work that went into the picture and despite the amount of work involved, it didn't look too overdone. Initially, it jumped off the screen and made us say 'wow'. Great job Jodi!

The judges enjoyed looking at all of the great selfies. The next (Super Bowl) challenge will be posted later today!
* parent permission was given to post student images online