Learn About Social Media and Blogging with an Educational Twist at FLBlogCon EDU

By: Josh Murdock

I’m excited to announce that we’re bringing the best content from the Florida Blogger & Social Media Conference (FLBlogCon) and gearing it specifically to an educational setting. With a push to get students and teacher’s blogging and using social media, we can be your best guide to implementation, best practices, innovative ideas, and practical use when dealing with the unique student demographic.

Our presenters include real teachers who are using blogging and social media daily with their students as well as leaders in the high tech industry. Check out all the great sessions in the Student Track and Teacher & Administrator Track.

FLBlogCon EDU Social Media and Blogging Conference for Education

When: Friday, March 14, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Full Sail University – Winter Park, FL

Who Should Attend:

 Teachers: All teachers (K-12 and higher education) who want to further integrate technology into the classroom. We have both a Teacher/Administrator Track as well as Student Track, so you can sit in with some of your motivated students if you prefer.

Administrators: All school administrators who are charged with encouraging their faculty to adapt to the ever-changing tools available online. Technology is not something to be afraid of and we can help empower and enthuse you!

Students: The Student Track is geared toward high school and college students; however, mature middle school students might find it beneficial at the discretion of the teacher.  We do not recommend bringing elementary school students to this conference. All high school and middle school students must be accompanied by a paying teacher who is responsible for the students.

Cost: Teachers & Administrators: $45.00 (plus fees) or Students: $30.00 (plus fees)

Register Now! Space is limitedhttp://school.flblogcon.com/register-now/

More information about the conference, registration, and sessions:http://school.flblogcon.com/

Interested in sponsoring FLBlogCon EDU? Let me know!

FLBlogConEDU Logo

Twitter: @FLBlogCon
Facebook: http://facebook.com/flblogcon
Conference Hashtag: #FLBlogConEDU


Professor JoshArticle Shared by Josh Murdock

Twitter: @Professorjosh

Blog: http://professorjosh.com 






Secondary App Share

Edmodo Group Code: FS8073

Link To Todays Meet Transcript: Click Here

Presenters: Jenna Linskens (@2teach_edtech) and Carlos Fernandez (@Fernandezc4)

Book Creator:

Book Creator

Book Creator does exactly what it says, creates books, however, it goes through a much easier path when it comes to digital creation then others. Students from 1st grade to 12th grade can use this app to create digital books. Images can be taken or uploaded easily into each digital book. The feature that we mentioned that we really love is the collaboration piece. Now books can be thrown and shared via iCloud and other students can view or comment on your book. Click Here to Access iOS link – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/book-creator-for-ipad/id442378070?mt=8

Platform: iOS (Android – Coming Soon)


My Script Calculator:

My Script Calculator

My Script Calculator is absolutely brilliant. I am not sure if it’s a student’s best friend, or a math teacher’s worst nightmare. It allows you to draw a math problem and it will instantly solve the equation for you. This is a must see app. I have tried basic addition, subtraction, fractions, percentages and more. Check out My Script Calculator Here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myscript-calculator/id578979413?mt=8

Platform: iOS and Android


OneNote, SkyDrive and Outlook:


OneNote continues to be an amazing under utilized educational tool. OneNote can be used for project based learning, collaboration, or student/teacher portfolios. One of the biggest kept secrets by Microsoft is how powerful creating an Outlook account can be for a student or teacher. Once you create an outlook account, that same username and password will work with http://skydrive.com. SkyDrive will give you 7gb of cloud storage for free and more importantly it comes with a web version of Microsoft Word, Power Point, Excel, and OneNote. So now all students have the industry have access to Microsoft Products no matter, what computer they use all over the world. Click Here to Read About Digital Dropbox’s: https://fishingforedtech.com/digital-drop-boxes-options-for-education/

Platform: Windows 8, iOS, Android, and WebBased.




Incredibox is a great way to start off a classroom or allow student to infuse musical beats into a presentation/performance. Click here to learn more about the different ways that you can use Incredibox in the classroom: https://fishingforedtech.com/incredibox-start-your-class-with-the-right-beats/

Platform: WebBased and requires Flash.


 POMT – Bone:

POMT - Bone

Powers of Minus Ten is an educational app that lets you zoom in over 1,000,000x to see all the way down to the individual molecules of our DNA. The app allows you to to see up to the tiniest detail in the Osteoblasts, red blood cells, Mitochondrion, and all of the floating objects in the Cytoplasm. The new bone version also shows the four stages bones go through to heal breaks. There’s great educational information to discover by simply tapping on the various objects at each zoom level. Click Here to Access App – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/powers-of-minus-ten-bone/id591722396?mt=8

Platform: iOS




Phoster allows you to create your own digital poster or invitation cards using an iPad. Although this app was optimized for the iPhone it also works brilliantly with the iPad. Phoster has some great templates that you can use and edit to meet your needs. From bringing in your own images from your photo stream or taking them with your device, Phoster is one of the quickest ways to create a flashy professional looking poster. It is not hard to see the educational value of student creation with Phoster as your median. You can click here to learn more about Phoster: http://phoster.bucketlabs.net/

Platform: iOS




Skitch is my favorite cross platform app. Skitch by Evernote allows you to take screen shots or screen captures of any website. The image that you capture can be annotated on for students to explain highlight, or draw over. As if that was not enough, each image that you annotate on or capture is then saved to the users Evernote account, or can be shared out through an Evernote URL that gets automatically created for you. You can click here to learn more about Skitch by Evernote: http://evernote.com/skitch/

Platform: Windows 8, iOS, Android, and WebBased.



Doceri Screen Share

Doceri is not only a great interactive whiteboard style app, but also a perfect flipped classroom tool. Doceri allows you to push your image from your device to your computer/projector. You can use IWB software that, do screen captures, use there software for annotation or my favorite, record a lesson and then share the audio and visual lesson with your students. Click Here to Access App – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/doceri-interactive-whiteboard/id412443803?mt=8

Platform: iOS and (Coming Soon Windows 8)


Shake a Phrase:

Shake a Phrase

Shake your iPhone/iPad, Android or Windows 8 device to create a new silly sentence every time. Tap on the words to see the definitions. Perfect for learning in the classroom or on the go, this lightweight educational app features over 2000 words and definitions in 5 colorful and engaging themes – Animals, Fairytale, Monsters, Sports and Starter! For secondary use it could be used as a great way to come up with a quick writing prompt for students. Shake things up! Click Here to Access App – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shake-phrase-fun-words-sentences/id436414534?mt=8

 Platform: Windows 8, iOS, and Android




Jibbigo – is similar to Google Translate but possibly quicker and better. The app allows you to type or speak a phrase out and then you can choose which language you want it translated to. The app will then repeat your phrase in the new language as well as display the text. This is a homerun for teachers trying to communicate with students or parents that are non English speakers. Click here to learn more: http://jibbigo.com/

Platform: iOS and Android



Remind 101

Remind101 allows you to have one-way communication with your students. Your students or parents sign up with your class code, and then any time that you want to shoot out a message to the students they get a text notification. This is great for reminders on school/class events or upcoming exams/assessments. Here is the web version for remind101 – https://www.remind101.com/

Platform: iOS, Android, and Web-Based




iPadio is the quickest and easiest way to create a podcast. You can login through ipadio.com or access your podcasts through the iOS App. You can create a quick podcast using your iPad, and then add up to 4 images as well as an iPad description to it.  If you do not have an iPad no worries. When you create an iPadio account through the website you also get a 1800 number that allows your students to call in through a phone and record their own podcast. When it comes to educational value – think of quick auditory assessments, a student question hotline, and more. Click here to learn more about iPadio – http://www.ipadio.com/



Socrative Student Clicker

Socrative has become the standard for quick web-based and app-based assessment. Socrative allows you the teacher to create quick, true or false, multiple choice type questions. Many people know about Socrative already but what they do not know is that Socrative just came out with a beta version. You can access it through beta.socrative.com. Socrative has completed revamped the way the app/web-based version looks but kept the same amazing functionality and in some cases improved it. Check out Socrative Here – http://beta.socrative.com/



30/30 is a timer application for IOS.  The app is extremely visual and phenomenal for giving students or teacher’s cues on what project or activity to move next too. The icons are impressive, and you can customize your list with new content as often as you like as well as add or remove activities. You can also manipulate the timer on the fly just incase you need to make an adjustment and give the students more or less time on those activities. The app is truly visually stunning for a timer, and has educational use written all over it.  Here is the link to the 30/30 app – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/30-30/id505863977?mt=8





WordPress Presentation at #FETC2014

We had the pleasure of presenting at Florida Education Technology Conference on WordPress from beginning to advance. This was a heck of a task being that we only had 2 hours, but we definitely made it through and got some great questions and issues cleared up.

Above is the presentation and I thought that for this blog post it would be a great idea to talk about some of the key questions that many educators had?

wp vs wpQuestion 1: What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com and which one is better for educators?

WordPress.Org allows you a lot more flexibility to install custom themes and add plugins that could help your site reach that next level, while WordPress.com restricts you to stay within their themes and environment. My suggestion is that for absolute beginners or even techy teachers wanting to get started with WordPress, I always recommend WordPress.com. The dashboards between both products are almost identical I always tell them. Visit this support page for a great explanation on the differences between both services  – http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

Question 2: Paid Themes – vs. Free Themes which one should I go with?

Similar to my first answer, you start off with free ones and then you work your way up to the paid ones. The paid ones are usually  nicer, but also a bit more complex, so they come with new cool features that you will need to learn if you want to use them. Visit this support page for hundreds of WordPress themes – http://wordpress.org/themes/

Question 3: If I create in WordPress.com can I bring it over to WordPress.com?

Yes, there is a way that you can transfer all of your posts and database over. This process is not extremely hard, but it’s not a piece of cake either. Here is a great site that I often refer people to on how to do this transfer – http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-properly-move-your-blog-from-wordpress-com-to-wordpress-org/

wordpress-logo-680x400Final Thoughts: WordPress is the largest CMS (Content Management System) in the world. Your Blog or Site can be as powerful as you wish to make it. Where people make the most mistakes is wanting create a website rather, then making some kind of strategically plan on what you wish the website to do? Who is your audience, and what features do you want? Have a plan put in place so you can make the most of your experience and WordPress site.

desmos imageDesmos allow you to explore graph functions, create function tables, explore transformations, plot points, animate your graphs, and more.

The Desmos calculator performs all of the functions that you would typically expect to see in a regular graphing calculator and then some. A key feature that I love is the ability that Desmos, graphs­ your equation line by line and then allows you to share your equations and graphs thoroughly.

As we move more and more toward digital curriculum what better math tool than a FREE Digital Graphing Calculator. If you are a math teacher – this is definitely a nice tool for the classroom.


Desmo image 2


Code MonsterCode Monster gets kids excited about programming. It is a combination of a game and tutorial where kids experiment with learning to code. It was desined for kids (ages 9-14).

Code Monster is a web application that does a great job at blending elements of a game and tutorial to teach basic Javascript skills. The site uses live code in the browser, letting users program in one pane and see the results in another, as the Code Monster leads them from lesson to lesson. The site parses the code and explains errors, with features including offline usage and the ability to remember where the user leaves off.

Lessons start simple and then get increasingly complex, so kids of various ages can learn at their own level. Kids can exit Code Monster and start again where they left off when they’re ready to come back, if they use the same computer (though Code Monster doesn’t use cookies to store information about previous visits). It’s not all about coding, though! As they figure out how to write code to make things happen, kids play around with concepts in math (like geometry and fractals) and physics (velocity and acceleration).

imagesChemist is your portable chemistry lab. It’s the only virtual chemistry lab for tablets to conduct chemistry experiments, explore chemistry reactions with different lab tools. Try mixing chemicals by pouring them into beakers or test tubes. You can also heat the chemicals with a bunsen burner, or put a piece of cesium into water. Great for Pre-Labs.



Exoplanet App

The Exoplanet app is a highly visual and interactive catalogue of all known exoplanets. Exoplanets are planets orbiting stars beyond our own Solar System. It is frequently updated whenever new discoveries are confirmed. An amazing model of the Milky Way lets you explore our universe all the way from the Solar System to the cosmic microwave background.



Gene Screen AppGene Screen is a fun way to learn how recessive genetic traits and diseases are inherited and how certain diseases are more prevalent in different populations. Gene Screen also provides information on some recessive genetic diseases and genetic screening programs.




Max & Ruby Science Educational Games will get your child ready for school with these fun science learning games for kids in Preschool and Kindergarten! This app will teach your child all about physical science while providing them with a fun-filled experience! Through guided narration, music and, of course, silly bunny fun, Max and Ruby will teach your child two components of their core curriculum – the properties of liquids and the motion of objects. This app also includes a bonus game that allows your child to step into Max & Ruby’s world by dragging and dropping objects and characters into scenes from the popular television series, tap them to see a surprise animation! Based on the hit TV series, this Max & Ruby app will keep children entertained and learning for hours.


xbox 360Microsoft is launching an Xbox for Education programing. Their goal is to make programing more exciting and captivating for students of all ages. With Xbox for Education and Microsoft DreamSpark we’re getting students coding in C# and XNA and we hope to aspire tomorrow’s games developer and help students learn a lot about how games work and even create totally new ones of their own.

As part of its effort to further increase computational thinking and games development in young people, Microsoft is also introducing a discounted Xbox 360 program to schools, which includes a 3-Year DreamSpark subscription.

dreamsparkDreamSpark http://www.dreamspark.com provides the tools to help student’s designs and create applications and games for Microsoft Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8. DreamSpark equips students with professional developer software and resources to explore the world of computing and to develop their passions and skills – at home as well as at school. It also equips and supports teachers through the provision of software and lessons plans.

The Xbox for Education offer includes a 3-Year DreamSpark Standard subscription for the institution. To take advantage of this offer from Monday 27th January, schools and colleges should visit: www.Xboxforeducation.co.uk

Xbox for Education and the associated resources available at DreamSpark http://www.dreamspark.com and Microsoft Faculty Connection Resources http://www.microsoft.com/faculty provides teachers with resources from first principles to advanced techniques.

These resources will shows you how to use the C# language to solve problems and how C# is used within the Microsoft XNA Framework to create games. The games that you write using the resources available can run on a Microsoft Windows, an Xbox 360, or a Windows Phone.

C# is a popular programming language used by many software developers all over the world. The C# skills that you pick up from the Xbox in Education can also be used as the basis of a career in programming should you find that you really enjoy writing programs. Additionally the design of the C# language is very similar to C, C++, and Java you will find that your skills can be used with them too.

XNA is a framework, which allows games to be written in C#. It provides all the “heavy lifting” concerned with creating a game framework. It drives the display, manages content, and provides an easy to use way of interacting with gamepads and other controllers. It also provides a common platform so that XNA games can run on a variety of different devices; games can also be distributed to Xbox users around the world using the Xbox Live service.

IncrediboxIncredibox is one of my top 5 favorite educational presentation tools. Incredibox is a web application that allows the user to conduct a group of human beatbox. I have yet to show this an educator that does not love it.

Incredibox allows you to mix and match beats to create a sound track. Students LOVE THIS! It’s like learning DJ101 with beats rather then music.

So what is incredibox’s educational value? That comes down to your creativity as well as your student’s creativity. Incredibox, is perfect for getting those students that may be tired and come to your class half asleep, excited and engaged in your lesson.

Here are some sample scenario ideas on how you may use this web application.

Scenario 1: Play some Incredibox beats that you created as they walk in to your class. Set the mood for doing something fun and engaging.

Scenario 2: Have students create presentations with audio created in Incredibox.

Scenario 3: Have your students create sample song lines that deal with content based off the beats in Incredibox.

As you can see, the use of Incredibox really comes down to you, your students, and your level of creativity. I truly hope you enjoy this tool and give it about 2 minutes to play with. I guarantee that you will get hooked.

Important Specs:

Incredibox requires FLASH, so sorry iPad lovers. You are going to have to sit this one out. Incredibox works great on all browsers, and perfect for Windows 8 devices.

imgres-1Jibbigo is a speech-to-speech translation app for iOS and Android devices. There are a couple of these out there in the apps store but this one really seems to be the most reliable one thus far.

Jibbigo is has some great features such as the ability to download an offline translator and use the app anywhere you go. This no longer ties you to a Wi-Fi network when you need a quick translation. The Jibbigo app allows you to speak your message, or text it. You can also record messages.

Google Translator has been the norm for quick translation, but I now have ran into several educators that are saying Jibbigo is more reliable.

Check it out here – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jibbigo-translator/id528691646?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Educational Use:

Not only is this a great foreign language resource for students, but the ability to download the offline translator allows students to work from anywhere. Wether is for personal use, teacher use, or student use, its nice to have an iphone/iPad/Android app that allows you translate something real quick when necessary. Avoid those awkward parent conferernces with the non English speaking parents, and allow Jibbigo to be the tool that helps you communicate your message.

Historical Maps – Learn not just about the world, but about the world the maps were created during. It is incredible how little we knew about the world before maps?

There is a common misconception in the educational world that maps are only used in Social Studies. Maps are a phenomenal way to teach new ideas and concepts. They can be used to display data and information differently than through traditional teaching methods.

Check out this short 3 minute videos called 42 Amazing Maps.


“Kids are goal orientated” and videos games offer students just that, they offer them a way to meet a challenge/goal. So how can we connect games to schools to get more from students such as engagement? Santeri Koivisto does a phenomenal job at talking about the concept of gaming and how to infuse them into education.



photo 1 QuizUp has over 350 topics and 100,000 questions to choose from. It’s a great trivia app that allows you to go head to head with another person to see who can get the right trivia answer the quickest. It is definitely a social game that encourages you the player to connect to Facebook and Twitter to share your results.

So why am I pushing a game for education?

Educational Value:

One of the things that I hear a lot about our students is that they are not well rounded. Whether it’s the Arts, Humanities, Core Subject Areas, or just plain old trivia, this app allows our student to have fun learning in a friendly competition.

If they are going to share anything on Twitter and Facebook I rather it be a trivia result on Biology rather than their dating status.

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 4.41.13 PM



Hopscotch HD (available for iPad)

Kodable is a free educational iPad game offering a kid-friendly introduction to programming concepts and problem solving. For kids ages 5 and up. Beautifully designed with little ones in mind, Kodable comes free with 45 levels of programmable fun! You can unlock additional worlds with in-app purchases, or get them all by downloading Kodable Pro.

App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kodable/id577673067?mt=8

 Hakitzu App

Hakitzu Elite & Robot Hackers (available for iPad)

Hakitzu Elite & Robot Hackers is a multiplayer game that focuses on the basics of JavaScript. The scenario revolves around robot combat and the gives you the ability to play in a single user scenario or multiplayer mode in a battlefield. The purpose of the game is to code as much java script as you can. The more students code by hand, the more points they receive to unlock ultimate weapons for a “battle royale” in the gaming arena. New in-game leaderboards rank users against their friends, taking rivalry to a new level.

App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hakitzu-elite-robot-hackers/id599976903?mt=8

 Daisy The Dinosaur

Daisy the Dinosaur (available for iPad)

Daisy the Dinosour is perfect for the younger children wanting to learn how to code. With its drag-and-drop interface kids will love animating Daisy so she can dance across the screen. Concepts like understanding basic objects, sequencing, loops and more by overcoming the challenges the app provides. After playing Daisy, kids can choose to download a kit to program their own computer game.

App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/daisy-the-dinosaur/id490514278?mt=8

 Cato's Hike App

Cato’s Hike: A Programming and Logic Odyssey (available for iPhone and iPad)

Cato’s Hike app revolves around a children’s story with the main character Cato, a little boy who goes through a portal to another world. The world is unlike anything he has ever seen, and has different rules. It is up to Cato to write a new program code that will allow him to overcome the challenges and obstacles he faces. As you can see the scenario was meant for a child to play but there are many possible classroom uses for this app when it comes to giving students the ability to learning how to code. The programing interface uses cards with pictures, a help guide for parents who wish to learn more, and over 60 levels of challenges and obstacles for Cato. 

App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/catos-hike-programming-logic/id574335479?mt=8

 Code Academy

Code Academy (available for iPhone and iPad)

Code Academy is one of the first places people visit when wanting to learn more about coding. The coding apps help introduce the users to the basic concepts behind the apps on their phone and the websites that they visit. 

App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/codecademy-hour-of-code/id762950096?mt=8


Link to Educational Apps for Coding part 1 – https://fishingforedtech.com/coding-apps/

Think about all of the devices that you currently have and use? Do you have a routine set in place every night for what needs to be charged? What happens when you forget to charge one or several of those devices? What happens when you run out of battery and need to access your laptop, cellphone, or tablet?

Here comes The Device Charging Business Case – (not the most catchy product name – I may add, but the functionality is there)

Business Case Image

The Device Charging Business case is a typical looking business or brief case that allows you to charge up your iPhone, iPad, Surface, or any USB – powered device when you are on the go. The Device Charging Business Case has a 6,000 mAh battery within which can recharge an iPhone up to four times before requiring a charge itself. Loaded with plenty of pockets for your gadgets, this case will not disappoint.  The case has its own internal battery back that requires 3.5 hours to juice up its internal battery via a power outlet. It basically requires 3.5 hours to juice up by connecting it to a power outlet.


Size: It can hold a 15″ inch laptop and keep all devices and well protected.

Cost:  $149.95

Where Can I purchase it? http://www.hammacher.com/82517?PID=1781363&cm_ven=CJ&cm_ite=Hammacher+Schlemmer&cm_pla=1781363&cm_cat=1511450&source=cj&utm_source=Affiliate&utm_medium=CPA&utm_campaign=CJ

EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week the #EduWin Weekly crew visits with Jessica Titze, a reading coach and gifted teacher in Tallahasse, Florida.  Jessica took a leap of faith recently and spearheaded an “Hour of Code” challenge with colleagues and students from her school.  By starting small, she inspired other faculty to try something new and provide students with unique opportunities!  We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did!

This weeks show also features an #eduwin from @ColleenKR and @INeLearnJames’ favorite #eduwin via

@jonathanwylie“The ReadWriteGold Chrome extension will still do Text to Speech and Translation free after the 30-day trial period! #edtech #appsct #eduwin”

James’ favorite #eduwin via

@ColleenKR“So glad to be a part of the “Yollis’ 365 Project”. Amazing dedication by @lindayollis! #eduwin http://yollis365project.blogspot.ca/”

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

@titzej“Used #HourOfCode with students and teachers. Who knew baby steps would become leaps and bounds? Motivated to learn more! #eduwin”

Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via

@INeLearn: “8 EduWins of 2013 | Edutopia ow.ly/s8Yav | Share your 2013 #eduwin with #INeLearn”

Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos Fernandez, Michelle Russell

View our Show Notes

ITunes Store EduWin

We were more than happy to be invited again to the AP Summit 2014. This round I brought some of my best trainers to talk to teachers about new and old tools. We came in ready to inspire and help teachers look at some tech tools in a different light.

We focused in on questions like:

  • How do we use these new tools in an Advanced Placement course?
  • How do I re-purpose a tool to be used differently than possibly intended?

Here are some quick images from the event along with our presentation materials.


AP Summit 2014 image 1

Great Turn Out of AP Teachers for presentation




AP Summit 2014 image 2



Jessica Titze @titzej

Carlos Fernandez @Fernandezc4

David Schubert @Schubertd








Kaizen means “improvement” or “change for the best” in Japanese, and that is just what Kaizena has done for education! Kaizena is a new Web 2.0 tool that allows teachers and students to collaborate and give feedback on essays and writings through Google Docs, as they edit and make changes, “for the best!”


Kaizena is a tool in which teachers can highlight, annotate, give voice feedback, as well as link words or phrases to websites, resources, and videos, which may be beneficial in helping the students find the information needed for the task at hand. This tool allows the teacher to give feedback on assignments to students in many ways, rather than using the trusty red pen. Students also have the opportunity to use the same tools as they collaborate with their teacher while making the necessary changes, to produce their best work. Kaizena allows you to give effective feedback and the opportunity to collaborate with the student, almost like you were sitting down with them. Kaizena also allows the students to use the same tools to respond to feedback and ask questions using the same simple, yet powerful tools.

With Kaizena and its’ powerful feedback tools, you will be able to help students improve their work, and help change it for the best! For more information, please visit Kaizena Tutorial



Guest Blogger: Jessica Titze

 Jessica is a reading coach, gifted teacher, and instructional technology trainer.jessica


Box.com, a file hosting and sharing service is offering 50GB of Storage for updating or downloading their latest release of the BOX iOS app. The update features include a new preview grid look to your files before you download or open them, support for over 100 different file types and much more. Take advantage now being that this offer is only valid for 30 days.

Why use BOX with Students and Teachers?

1) The answer is simple. BOX has a new sidebar features with comments that may be added to files, so now you have sharing of files and feedback in the way of comments for students and teachers.

2) Where else do you get free 50GB of Storage? It is definitely worth a look.

Click on this link: https://itunes.apple.com/app/box-for-iphone-and-ipad/id290853822 – to update or get your iOS BOX APP

Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) is the Southeast’s premier educational technology conference. Every year they put on a great conference where educators can get together to learn, collaborate, network, be inspired, and FETC2014 promises to do just that. The last three years I have been creating an FETC Survival Guide but this year I decided to take a different opinionated approach. After carefully looking at the program sessions I decided to highlight sessions that are guaranteed to be huge success.


Here are 8 Sessions/Events that you may not want to miss this year at FETC.

Presenter: WeatherSTEM:  A Ucompass Initiative.

  • Location: STEM Learning Lab Presentation
  • Time and Date: Wednesday 6:10pm, Jan.29
  • Program Description: Do you Love Weather?  Learn to integrate STEM curriculum in your classroom by using weather data from your schools’ weather station.  Be a part of an innovative opportunity to blend real time weather data with your STEM educational goals. Learn how weather/garden sensors and data and social media come together to create great experiences for students, teachers, schools, and the entire community.

My Thoughts: Finally, a true STEM session with real world content and data that can be used in the classroom for what seems to be a memorable learning experience.

Presenter: The Learning Games Network & BrainPOP

  • Location: Room S310BC of the Orange County Convention Center
  • Time and Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 from 9 am – 4 pm
  • Program Description: FETC 2014 is proud to partner with Learning Games Network and BrainPOP to offer a free day of professional development to educators from across the country to innovate through the use of games in education.  In this hands-on BYOD workshop for those new to game based learning, educators will learn the basics of the tools, opportunities and strategies to effectively integrate games into quality teaching.

My Thoughts – for the last two years, gamification has been a hot topic. The only issue is that its darn expensive to create a successful, detailed, and complex educational game. This is way beyond the educators budget. I am curious to see the solution or alternative of how we Learn, Create, and Replicate gamification ideas and concepts in the classroom. Impress me BrainPOP, you have done it before, and I am looking forward to being impressed again.

Presenter: TechShare LIVE! with Adam Bellow, Hall Davidson, Leslie Fisher, Kathy Schrock

  • Location: Room SA1 of the Orange County Convention Center
  • Time and Date: Wednesday January 29 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM
  • Program Description: What’s New, What’s Great and Where to Get It!  Back by popular demand! Join us for this fun and fast-paced session prior to the Opening Keynote!  Get a first look at the latest, most exciting gagdets, apps, harware and software in educational technology.

My Thoughts – This one needs no comments or introductions, but here I go. Can’t ask for a better group to get together and share tools. Kathy’s a wealth of educational knowledge. Leslie brings energy, spunk, and just makes you want to be her best friend up on stage (waiting for the Golf invite someday Leslie).Hall Davidson – the guy we all want to be like when we grow up, mostly because we are not sure Hall has ever grown up (man is he crazy cool and fun) and Finally Adam, the former educator/entrepreneur who stood up in front of thousands at ISTE and did the impossible, motivated a ton of educators that did not need any more motivating (Adam, you are “the educators champion – keep the fight alive)”.

Tweet UP: Hosted by  Jerry Swiatek and Carlos Fernandez

My Thoughts: This tweet up has become the who’s who of tweetups at FETC. Not sure if this is worth your time? Well just check out the names of the people who have signed up so far. This tweet up may be the most informational event you attend at FETC, just because of the assembly of true EdTech Leaders coming together to talk, influence, and have a great time.

Presenter: Tony Franklin –  Microsoft and Nokia-Educating without Boundaries

  • Location: Room S310BC of the Orange County Convention Center
  • Time and Date: Friday January 31 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM in Room S310BC
  • Program Description: Discover how Microsoft and Nokia are teaming up to enhance teaching and learning by going beyond the boundaries of the class room through the latest innovations and solutions.  Learn how you can cultivate an environment of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity (the 4C’s). Immerse students in experiences that allow them to consume, create, AND collaborate with the latest technologies to achieve higher level competencies that meet tomorrows learning objectives.  Whether you educate in a classroom of the future or a flipped classroom, learn how Microsoft and Nokia can help you and your students achieve true 21st century learning.  Sponsored by Microsoft/Nokia

My Thoughts: One of Microsoft’s best educational speakers Tony Franklin never disappoints. With Microsoft making a huge splash at ISTE 2013, you just know that they are serious about education and supporting teachers in being successful with Microsoft products and initiatives. Tony Franklin has been known to bring that energy to trainings and now Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia, I am very curious to see what comes from this session. I just had to add this to my must attend list.

Presenter: Chad Lehman – Anywhere, Anytime Learning – Professional Development Your Way

  • Location: Room S310BC of the Orange County Convention Center
  • Time and Date: Thursday January 30 4:20 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Program Description: Professional Development is changing and you have more power than ever to control your learning. We’ll explore a variety of online resources available to personalize your learning. From virtual conferences to online webinars to video presentations and podcasts, take advantage of these free learning opportunities anywhere and anytime.

My Thoughts – Chad Lehman has done tons of professional development workshops with educators from all over the country. His influence has impacted thousands of teachers, and I am looking forward to seeing him talk about professional development and what it will look like in the years to come.

Presenter: Jenna Linskens and Carlos Fernandez – Secondary APPShare

  • Location: Room S310GH of the Orange County Convention Center
  • Time and Date: Friday January 31 12:00 PM – 12:40 PM
  • Program Description: Join this fast-paced panel for an informational session demonstrating the latest and greatest mobile apps being used in education on the secondary level. See APPs your middle and high school students will engage with easily and improve learning today!

My Thoughts: Cant go wrong with app share. This session is going to be loaded with educational apps from all three platforms (IOS, ANDROID and WINDOWS).

Presenter: Meg Ormiston –  Creating Digital Rich Classrooms: Teaching & Learning with Web 2.0

  • Location:Room S310EF of the Orange County Convention Center
  • Time and Date:Thursday January 30 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Program Description: Design and deliver lessons in which technology plays an integral role. Engage students in solving real-world problems while staying true to standards-aligned curricula. This session provides a research base and practical strategies for using web 2.0 tools to create engaging lessons that transform and enrich content.

My Thoughts: Research, Web 2.0, Real-World Problems, and one amazing presenter. Looking forward to this one.

As you can see FETC 2014 has a lot of potential here for true networking and professional development. Assemble your team, divide and conquer but most importantly build those relationships with others and network so you avenue for solutions and ideas last year long rather than one week. I know I will be there, will you?




I am currently working on a project with a school district trying to make powerful, educated, and realistic decisions on the future of education and decide which platform makes sense for there investment.


Education Program: Windows 8 in the Classroom


Here is a quick summary of what I am working on:

  • We are test piloting Windows 8 in the classroom with 4 schools, roughly1300-1500 windows 8 devices.
  • Schools will receive carts with roughly 25 devices in each one.
  • Student devices – ASUS T-100 (running Windows 8)
  • Teacher devices – Surface Pro 2 (running Windows 8)
  • MDM (Mobile Device Management) – SCCM and Mobile Iron
  • All devices come with keyboards.
  • Teacher Devices – Come with Docking Stations and Stylus.
  • LMS – Educator and Edmodo
  • Professional Development – Academy Lion PD Platform


So a question I get asked a lot. Why not iPads?

1) Price Point – those are not educational prices. When a sales person tries to convince me to purchase iPad 2’s for our students, well that just tells me that he is an idiot trying to push those older devices and truly does not care for my school district or more importantly our students. Cost factor is huge for any school district. The question that school districts go though is not whether or not I can afford the initial device, the true question is can I sustain these devices and purchase new ones when needed. The worst thing you could do is introduce students and teachers to new technology have them buy in, learn with it, love it, and then take it away because you can’t afford to purchase new ones after the old ones no longer work. The iPads are great for personal use. Not for an enterprise solution like a school or school district.

2) Management – Management of iPads are a nightmare. Anyone who has truly done a 1:1 will tell you this. Security is also a huge issue. Windows 8 is a breeze to manage with SCCM and an MDM like Mobile Iron or Air Watch. Just look at the mess that happened with L.A. Unified Schools, and I also find it very interesting that Miami Dade County Public Schools (Largest School District In Florida) is testing out a tablet and laptop initiative and has left Apple IOS devices out of the solution list.

3) Longevity – I do not have an answer for how long these devices will last physically, but I do feel that Windows 8 is not going to be like IOS that is useless in 2 or 3 years because the device can’t keep up with the new apps and programs. My iPad 2 is deathly slow – this is why my 4 year old uses it more than I do. I need to put my trust and investment in a company that is going to allow me to make a realistic decision on when to refresh our devices rather than force me to do so because of operating system and app upgrades.

4) I don’t want work around’s – I want my students to use a computer like device. I want them to learn using the power of the web and the free resources that are out there, not focus in on apps that are nothing more than news and info aggregators from free web resources. Yes I want my students to learn to create – but an app is not the only way to create. What is truly important is the process that the students go through in order to get to a creation and we feel that this can be done through web 2.0 tools.

The days of taking papers home to grade are over. You can now be more efficient by grading assignments digitally. This post will cover three resources that can be used as a digital drop box. Digital drop boxes allow you the teacher to access student work at your leisure, through your favorite device. Grading and viewing student work is a lot easier using your tablet, or laptop. Why carry home 200+ papers or notebooks that are ripped, ineligible, and can easily get lost.


Submit your assignments through:


google docs turn it in template imageGoogle Docs:

There is a lot of flexibility that goes with Google Docs in the classroom. You can have multiple students working and collaborating simultaneously on a document.

For this post below you will see a link that will demonstrate how you can create a google doc and convert it to a digital drop box to help you stay organized.

Here is a great sample template that can be used as a guide – Click Here For Template




Dropittome imageDropitto.me

Dropitto.me makes Dropbox for education even more popular. In order for you to use it properly you must have a Dropbox account. Dropitto.me will create a folder inside your Dropbox.

Your students will go to a specific site that is integrated with your Dropbox account – http://dropitto.me/yourusername and the site will prompt them for a password. You, the teacher, sets the password for security reasons. Make sure your students know the password too. Then, after typing in the password your students will be able to upload documents just like a regular email attachment. The maximum file upload size is 75MB but that should be just fine for PowerPoint, Excel, or Word documents.

One of the most common questions that we get asked is: “Will the student be able to see what I have in my Dropbox account?” the answer is no. The students never access your Dropbox account. They only access the dropitto.me site and they are never able to see your Dropbox account or other student submissions. This method (Dropitto.me) is used most commonly for schools that don’t have school email accounts.

 office_365Office 365 and SkyDrive

Office 365 – This is my favorite educational tool. Office 365 is a paid subscription (about $10 a month) but schools or school districts usually pay this for teachers and students. In case you do not have office 365 and want the same functionality, all you have to do is create an outlook account (It is Free). This is in my opinion, one of the best unintentional  kept secrets by Microsoft. When you create an outlook account on outlook.com you also get access to SkyDrive through the same account. When you go to SkyDrive.com you get cloud storage (7gb free) and more importantly you get the ability to use Microsoft office web apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and One Note. So what are web apps? Well these are web versions of the Microsoft Products that you and I know. So now any student can have full access to Microsoft Office Web Products by just creating an outlook account.


So how do I use this for assignment submissions?

Well, the beauty of this is that there are multiple ways to share a document. You can have multiple people working on a document, and see who wrote what and who edited what? This is powerful because now embed within the web app you have the ability to provide feedback.

skydrive 2My favorite sharing feature is how SkyDrive gives you the ability to share your document by converting it to a url link. You can set the document up as a read only or as a public format where anyone can edit. This is huge! You now can use free Microsoft Office Web Apps and integrate them with your learning management system or use something like Edmodo. Converting assignments to URL just makes everything so much cleaner and easier to keep track of.

Link to Create Outlook Account – Outlook.com

Link to Create Skydrive Account – Skydrive.com

Link to purchase Office 365 – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/buy/


An essential tool for education is getting quick and easy feedback from the students and polls allow us to do just that. Here are some easy quick IOS Poll apps.

Polar: Polar is a super-fast and fun way to collect and share opinions on just about anything — no matter where you are. Quickly create great looking polls and let anyone vote or share them privately in chat. Use your own photos or search the Web for the perfect image. You can instantly see new votes and comments on your polls.



TAPit Free: An ideal tool for your flipped or blended classroom. The interactives provide six different ways to take a snapshot of student understanding in the classroom.  Draw feature allows students to draw their answer or annotate on a customizable template such as an axis or graph paper or your own custom graphics.



Polltogo: Create a quick poll or quiz on the go. Each polltogo poll has a unique short URL and QR code that you can share with your students, audience, readers, etc., for instant feedback on any topic or question. Voting/Participation in polls you create can done using ANY mobile device, tablet or desktop browser.



Vote Kiosk: Vote Kiosk improves every stage of the voting process in a classroom. This mobile app streamlines the voting process by improving voting organization, encouraging student participation, and enhancing data management. Vote Kiosk ensures reliable, fast, and convenient voting/survey activities.



Show of Hands:  Show of Hands is an easy-to-use real-time polling tool. Use the powerful SOH engine to ask your own questions. With it, you can get anonymous answers and have instant discussions with your own work teams, friends, fellow hobbyists or fans, classmates, family members, customers based on the results. This is a neat app to play with to see some data, but not something that I would use to get quick and instant feedback from students.


Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 10_16_27 amPoll Runner: Poll Runner lets you instantly create, serve and manage polls from your iPad.  This is an app for running pop-quizzes in classrooms or asking for feedback at different touch-points. Simply create your poll and invite participants. Respondents submit their votes online through any modern web browser.

EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week the #EduWin Weekly crew explores how giving students a voice can make school more engaging and enjoyable.  Aviva Dunsiger an exceptional educator at Ancaster Meadow School in Ancaster, Ontario joins us to talk about one of her most recent class projects in which students created board games to help them understand the math concepts of Mean, Median, and Mode.  But the fun doesn’t stop there! Be sure to follow@avivaloca on Twitter to learn about this and other amazing ways Aviva encourages creative and engaging learning in the classroom!


This weeks show also features an #eduwin from @GoogleDriveKids


James’ favorite #eduwin via:

@avivaloca“Creative mean, median, and mode board game title.”

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via:

@googledrivekids“Did #HourofCode with 2nd and 3rd grades today. They didn’t want to stop! #botlogic botlogic.us #eduwin”

Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors:  Carlos Fernandez

View our Show Notes



ITunes Store EduWin



EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week the #EduWin Weekly crew spends some time discussing some interesting projects and recognizes the October Eduwin.org honorees.  Be sure to keep sharing amazing things happening in education by using #eduwin in your posts on the social networks and by nominating individuals at Eduwin.org.

This week’s show also features a #eduwins from @tmag11 and @guster4lovers


James’ favorite #eduwin via:

@tmag11“Chromebooks, Spanish and Health. I am proud of our staff! http://wp.me/p3hMgP-1d  #chromebooks #gafe #eduwin

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via:

@guster4lovers: “Excited to have high school Ss coding tomorrow for the first time. MORE excited that almost half are girls! #EduWin #HourOfCode”

Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via:

“That moment when a student finally “gets it” makes me smile & reminds me I love my job. #eduwin #powerofvideo

Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Michelle Russell and Carlos Fernandez

View our Show Notes


ITunes Store EduWin



EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week the #EduWin Weekly crew spends some time discussing some interesting projects and recognizes the October Eduwin.org honorees.  Be sure to keep sharing amazing things happening in education by using #eduwin in your posts on the social networks and by nominating individuals at Eduwin.org.

This weeks show also features a #eduwins from @cchausis@jswiatek and @mjgraham0


James’ favorite #eduwin via:

@cchausis“Educators, how will your students remember you? What is your legacy? @AptakisicTripp students from MMS share: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YpXM1XJcIA … #eduwin”

and via @jswiatek“Young boy trying to write to and receive a letter from every country in the world – http://bitly.com/15A3oFV  #eduwin #edchat”


Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via:

Carlos was traveling and presenting and could not make the show.


Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via:

Michelle’s favorite #eduwins via @mjgraham0“World wonders project http://www.google.com/intl/en/culturalinstitute/worldwonders/ … street view on steroids #eduwin” and an interesting review of the menurkey as this month, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will overlap for a joint celebration that is an extremely rare occurrence.


Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Michelle Russell

View our Show Notes


ITunes Store EduWin




What a Windows 8 machine is not:

  • It’s not IOS7 or an iPad, or an oversize phone operating system.
  • As of Dec 2013 it does not have a ton of games and apps like the iTunes store or Android store does.
  • It is not a fancy phone operating system like android trying to be forced into a tablet.


What a Windows 8 machine is:

  • It’s new and catching up. So of course its not going to have everything that other operating systems have, but its giving you access to the best of both worlds. An App like environment or a desktop environment.
  • It is reliable and does not crash on me like my iPad did ohh so many times.
  • It is an operating system that can offer you a clean delineation between work and play (metro and desktop UI).


How the device was meant to be used:

I spoke with a couple of Microsoft Employees at a trade show, and they confirmed my theory of how a windows 8 tablet was meant to be used.

Screenshot (6)The Windows 8 Style UI (metro look) – was meant to be more of a personal at home feel. Think of this as a media look to access non-work related apps and programs.




Screenshot (12)The Windows 8 Desktop Look – was meant to work off of. When I first got my surface I realized that about 95% of the time that I was using the device I was using it from the desktop look. It was just easier to work off then the metro side, when trying to get some real work done.

What I found was that I loved using my iPad, but I was forcing it to be a work machine. Now, don’t get me wrong. I used it for personal entertainment as well, but although there were a ton of cool work apps that all have one or two simple purposes I realized that everything with an iPad was a work around. Buying into the IOS frame of mind was a work around for systems that have already been put in place using Microsoft products. I did come through some great new apps in IOS that were extremely forward thinking but then I also realized that these same companies were web-based as well. Everything could be used via Web2.0 on the web.

I gave the Surface Pro (my windows 8 tablet) a true chance. I dove right in, and replaced my iPad and MacBook. Certain factors I fell in love with. The weight and size of the device was amazing. The fact that it had a magnetic keyboard was perfect. It gave me the flexibility to type any time I needed to as well not lug around a huge plastic Bluetooth keyboard like other devices. The magnetic keyboard was a full size keyboard, not the tiny onces that you see come with certain cases.


Although I love the ability to touch the screen and control the screen with my finger it was really nice to be able to add a mouse and stylus.

microsoft_arctouch_mouse_1I purchased an ARC Mouse by Microsoft and although it was a bit pricy (and yes this might sound ridiculous) but its the best mouse I have ever used. I am on the go from meeting to meeting, and the ability to turn the mouse off or on (by snapping it into an arc) as well as having it be so slim in my pocket was huge.


penA stylus is one of those features that is great to have when you really need it, but I found myself not really needing it much. It blows away any iPad stylus that I have ever tried. It feels like a pen/pencil. Tip is thin and perfect. The stylus is extremely responsive and works beautiful on Microsoft one note or as a mouse.

After 2 weeks I realized that I had a ton of “Ridiculous Apps” that I used maybe once or twice in my iPad that I had no use for.

If you are thinking about purchasing between an iPad, Android, or Windows 8 device you have to ask your self one main question. What do you plan on doing with this device?

For me personally the Microsoft Surface Pro just makes sense.



@MarciaDressel:“Fun 24/7 realization. My waitress told me she was on my webpg @ 3am 4 resources for grad school #eduwin @Mccartgm @curriculumgirl”

EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week the #EduWin Weekly crew is joined by Marcia Dressel (@MarciaDressel) an amazing teacher-librarian from Wisconsin with over twenty years of experience as an educator. As a media specialist who embraces opportunities to use the best of technology to keep educational experiences relevant to students, she shares resources through her website and recently made an unexpected connection.  This episode features an enlightening conversation on literacy in the 21st century.  We hope you enjoy the show!

This week’s show also features an #eduwin from @MrRicReyes

James’ favorite #eduwin via:

@MrRicReyes: “My new post: Holden Caulfield for the #eduWin! http://buff.ly/1grieoG 


Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via:

@michellek107“My kids were so excited about their math activity today, they didn’t want to leave the room… to go outside and play games! #eduwin”


Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via:

@joykirr“I have a student who started the 100 word challenge!!! #eduwin http://brainstorm641.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-100-word-challenge.html … Please comment! #comments4kids #ELAchat”


Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos Fernandez

View our Show Notes

ITunes Store EduWin



Discovery Education Does Professional Development Right.

Yes, they have great products and services, but it’s just not about Discovery Education. So what separates them from everyone else?

Discovery Education events are about the educators and bringing them together, it’s about sharing, and it’s about learning. Discovery Education brings educators from all over together to collaborate with one end goal in mind, meeting the educational needs of the children.

In a time where there is so much negative publicity on education, Discovery Education does not just help educators, they empower them.


Google Tour Builder

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 6.09.50 AMGoogle just came out with a great new experimental tool call Tour Builder. The concept behind Tour Builder is for you to create and share stories through the usage of Google Earth. This tool was originally inspired and used by veteran, but it quickly morphed to so much more. Tour Builder now gives the user the potention to explain geographical concepts of a previous war or event, follow your favorite friends story who may be traveling from city to city, or sit down with a family member and have them create a tour of there life and all of the places that they have been. 


  • Google Earth Plug-in
  • Google Account

What does it do?

You can now create visual tours by using Tour Builder. Use photos, write a description or even pin a location on a map. This tool is truly all about having people share inspiring stories from all over the world.

It is rare to find an educator with out a watch or someway of tracking the time of an event. Educators live by the clock. They are some of the best time managers you could ever find. There are tons of phenomenal IOS timers in the app store that educators can try out, however, Timeless App seems to be hitting the sweet spot.


mzl.xhpmmskp.175x175-75Timeless: Multiple Timers and Stop Watches with a Design to Match iOS 7

Platform: IOS7 – iPhone

Download Here – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id624507345?mt=8




With Timeless, you can create multiple timers and stop watch sessions on your iPhone. Setting up multiple timers is extremely easy and will help you keep track of those important task and deadlines.

Key features include the ability to label your timers and multiple color themes.

This app was currently designed to be an iPhone App but like many other apps it works just as good on your iPad.  What really stands out about this app is the simplicity of it. Simple is always better, and Timeless made it simple and visually attractive.

photo 2

About HopTo:

HopTo is the latest app to offer a MS Office experience on the iPad. The app is a cloud based app that allows you to edit Word and Excel documents and even read Power Points on your iPad. You can share your photos, read PDFs, or access your documents by connecting with third party applications such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or even Box.


photo 5Things You Need To Know:

  • There is a bit of lag time when pulling up the document so its not the fastest app ever, however, its really not that big of a deal. 
  • If you are currently using Microsoft Office 365 – I would not recommend this app. I think that using office 365 is a better experience than using HopTo, however if you HopTo does surpass many of the other similar apps that uses third party applications to access and edit files. 
  • The most impressive thing has to be its user interface. It is a clean looking app with a clean skin. The app fits the IOS7 mold perfectly. 
  • Its Free – so why not try it and give it a shot to see if it works for you. 


How to start with HopTo:

Step 1: You will need to create a free HopTo account
Step 2: Login
Step 3: Download the App on your iPad if you have not already done so.
Step 4: Connect any cloud based storage that you currently use (Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Etc…)
Step 5: Find your documents and start viewing/editing them.

Cost: Free

Download Link : https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id598491867


This video can be shown to parents and students to help them understand the importance of the common core state standards.

One of the hardest concepts for parents and students to grasp is the idea upon which standards build upon each other. Through out the video you will see the importance of building blocks and the progressions needed for content mastery.





Flip Web Content Into Video Lessons

Take Ted.Ed videos or YouTube Videos to the next level.  Find a video that meets your students learning goals, and deliver it privately to your students. This amazing site will allow you to create a quiz, add supporting links, and more. After your students answer the quiz questions you have created you can review their responses online.

Source: http://ed.ted.com/





Metta.io is a digital storytelling tool that lets you to create lessons using images, audio and video from your computer or from the web. This web 2.0 resources can easily be used as a staple for flipping your classroom instruction or having it used in a blended learning environment. Use Metta for learning stories, documentaries, summaries and compilations. You can even use it for your research & curation work. Features include the ability to create polls and comments, embed content into other webpages, and more. This is truly a web 2.0 app that allows you to use it as you see fit in your educational environment.

Source: http://www.metta.io


Click here to to access the presentation templates and resources.

Huge Thanks to Angela McDurmon for taking these great images below.

gaetc images



Videos from presentation:


CUE and EdReach Announce Creation of The #EduWin Awards to Recognize Awesome Moments in Education


Chicago, IL | Walnut Creek, CA –  EdReach.us and CUE announce the formation of The #EduWin Awards. The #EduWin Awards piggy-back off the grass-roots movement where teachers hand out Edu- “Wins” online through Twitter and other social media. What is an #EduWin? An #EduWin is a recognition of something fantastic happening in education. Teachers and administrators often share great moments on Twitter using the #EduWin hashtag or at www.whatisyoureduwin.com. Starting in October, by going to www.eduwin.org, anyone can nominate an educator, a parent, a student, a citizen, or a proprietor. The #EduWin Awards board will decide five (5) monthly winners. Those winners will have the chance to be recognized at the Annual CUE Conference, March 20-22, 2014 in Palm Springs, Calif.

“CUE has always been a fan of celebrating educational achievements both big and small,” Mike Lawrence, Executive Director of CUE shared, “We’re proud to be involved in celebrating these through The #EduWin Awards and look forward to the outstanding stories that will follow.”


James Gubbins, of the podcast #Eduwin Weekly, said, “We are so thrilled to continue to help move the #EduWin movement forward! The #EduWin Awards will enable an even larger and wider forum to celebrate educational victories and to learn more about the stories behind them.”


The motivation for #EduWin came from educators and administrators reacting to all the negativity in the media about education. There are amazing things happening in teaching every day, but not enough people hear those stories. #EduWin was created to bring the focus back to the students and to the positive impact teachers can have on students’ lives. With The #EduWin Awards, this is, perhaps, a chance to recognize education in the most authentic way possible: through the eyes of educators.


About EdReach
EdReach Global LLC (www.EdReach.us) is based out of Chicago, IL and was founded in 2012. The EdReach Broadcasting Network has hundreds of education contributors in the US, Australia, Singapore, Shanghai, the UK, and abroad. Thousands of educators every month turn to EdReach for the latest in innovative teaching practices, learning models, tools, ed news, and resources.

About CUE:


Ed Tech Professional Development is at the core of CUE’s work. We are passionate believers in advancing student achievement through technology. By providing Ed Tech professional development to schools, districts, and local educators on the infusion of emerging technologies, we can help better prepare students for college and careers ahead. | www.cue.org

Quotes and customizable images are very powerful in the classroom. Educators are often looking for that image or group of images and quotes that help students make personal connections with the content they are teaching. Here are some easy to use resources that can help spice up an assignment or lesson by allowing you to customize the message your trying to portray.


recite image1Turn a quote into a masterpiece. Recite This is one of those simple to the point web applications. You type in a quote and then choose of of there many templates in which you can view the quote on. The background images are excellent, and students will love them. Just incase you do not want to create your own quote you can click on the “Find a Quote” section to browse through some of the most famous quotes in history.





Timeline_Cover_doNotRename54With Quote Cover, you can turn text sayings into pretty images to be shared across your social sites. There are lots of nice features with quotescover that really allow you to personalize your quote.








PinwordsDashboradPin Words: Allows you to “instantly add beautiful text to your images.” If you want an easy-to-use educational tool to add titles or words to your photos then look no further – Pinwords is your tool.





eecardWe have seen these e-cards all over facebook and other social media sites. Why not convert them to say educational messages that your students can relate with. *Warning – some of the quotes or ecards that have already been created are inappropriate for an educational setting. Educational Tip: Use this site as a teaching tool. The educator could copy and paste a template and then have students work off the template rather than sending them to this site.


The iPad truly revolutionized not only Education but the personal computer market. One thing that we learned pretty quick 3 years ago was that although the iPad was awesome it was no computer replacement. It was meant to be a different type of machine. Well, Educators do what we do best and we find ways to make things work for us – and the iPad is no exception.

xl_clam case pro - web

There are so many iPad keyboards and even more iPad cases. Well I found one that I absolutely love, and fits perfect for educators and students.

The Clam Case Pro is a Bluetooth case/all-in-one keyboard. The Bluetooth connectivity is amazing, the case battery feels as though it lasts forever. The case is protective and allows flexibility of changing the positioning of the case.


The case rotates 360° thanks to a hinge with infinite viewing angles. The keyboard is spacious and has a nice feel to it. The case offers an Auto Wake and Sleep for your iPad, but my favorite feature is the Quick attach and release of the iPad.

If you are a “typist” like I am, you know that you live and die by that keyboard rather than the onscreen keyboard. I truly get so much more work done because of this case. I love the fact that I close it like a laptop and toss it into my backpack and not even worry about it.

When I get home and I wish to use my iPad for media purposes, I just simply remove the iPad from the case and take it with me. The case is just simple, clean, and easy to use.

I have yet to go to a conference or presentation where someone has not stopped me to take a better look at my Clam Case Pro because they love the way it looks.

You can find the Clam Case at http://clamcase.com/.

LumifyLumify is an iPhone app that creates awesome 20 second videos that be quickly and easily uploaded to Facebook.

Students and Educators are using this app due to how easy it is to edit videos. Use Lumify to accent a lesson or maybe even assign it as a quick homework assignment.


lumify-video-instagram-social-media-quest-e1355505128943-224x198The Process:

  • Users pick a few pieces of videos from their camera rolls
  • Select “Lumify” those videos
  • Pick a soundtrack to run in the background.

The Results:

The app will then create a montage of that video goodness that can last up to 20 seconds and easily be shared through social media.



Studio-Design-AppStudio Design is one of my favorite free mobile photo-editing apps. It has over 500 shapes, crops and fonts, plus tons of awesome photo filters. With this app, you can make beautiful images and share them while you’re on the go!

This app simply makes it easy for anyone to create their own design. It’s no longer about taking images but what you create with those images. Studio Design allows users to get creative and really let the students imagination fly. This means taking a photograph, and adding some meaning behind it, making it a source of inspiration for others. 

How to Start:

  • Create an Account – You will need an email address or Facebook account to connect.
  • Studio Design has 5 different sections:  Feed, Reactions, New Design, Search, and Profile.
  • To create a new design, just tap on the large green button in the center of the menu bar.
  • The app will then ask you to choose a source for your base photo, which can be a new capture, imported from your Photo Library, or none at all.
  • If you choose the “None” option, you get a blank canvas that you can fill to your heart’s content with the app’s overlays.


This app will allow your students to put their creative juices to work. 

Any one that knows me well knows that not only am I a gadget junkie, but I am also a case and backpack junkie. What can I say, these kinds of things just grab my eye! I am always looking for something different, flashy, yet convenient. I came across this case by surfing on the internet for random topics, and the Book Book case grabbed my eye.

 BookBook book book

Book Book offers three different kinds of cases. One for the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. For this post I will focus in on the iPhone case. To this date I have never left my phone and wallet at home when going out to work. However, I often find myself leaving one or the other. Enter the Book Book iPhone case.  This cases is ½ wallet and ½ iPhone case. It’s not too bulky and it’s pretty easy to access both credit cards, id, and phone.

This product truly does feel great in your hands, and is extremely protective. I am one of those people that loves his phone “naked”. The iphone is beautiful, and although I am a case junkie, I always end up going back to taking the case off. The book book case makes it extremely easy to remove the phone from its case as well as slide it back in to protect it. When it comes to protection the book book case offers plenty of protection for that phone. 

I hope to have my hands on a book book case for my Macbook or iPad in the very near future.  You can find the book book for iPhone at the Twelve South Website.


Graphite is a free service from Common Sense Media.
Find the best apps, games, websites, and digital curricula rated for learning.

Teachers are always looking for great resources that they can instantly use with their students. The only issue is that a teacher’s time is very valuable and sometimes they get overwhelmed and may not have time to search or if they do search then they do not have time to vet some of the content to make sure that its age and content appropriate for their students.

So here comes the solution: Graphite from Common Sense Media.

Graphite is a free service that is easy and quick for teachers to register for. Graphite allows them to enter teacher/classroom information that will help organize the digital resources that are best related to that teacher’s subject and grade level.

Graphite menu

After the information is entered then a list of resources pop up. What is truly valuable from this list of resources is not just that its age and subject level appropriate but it’s also vetted to be safe for children and each resource has a short description giving that teacher a quick but powerful explanation of the digital resource, what it is, and how it could be used in the classroom. There is also a great ranking system where educators can rank how good the digital resource is.

Graphite applications image


So what kinds of resources can we really find here?

Apps, Consoles and PC Games, and Websites.


Why use Graphite?

Because you know that the resources you see and read about our safe. Any educator that is trying to push teach citizenship should definitely take a look at Graphite. This is not just a great teacher tool, but a student tool and a parent tool. It helps us stay informed of what our students are accessing and helps us point them in the right direction.


Other Great Graphite Resources:

Top Picks:

Look through the resources that the Graphite Team as well as educators have labeled as their top picks for education. No need to search when some of the best resources have already been identified for you.


Meet teachers Graphite

Meet Our Teachers:

Allow Graphite to be more than just a digital repository, make it personal. Check out the Meet Our Teachers section and get to know other great educators from around the world. See what subjects they are teaching and what grade levels. You may find a great teacher to connect with and plan or share ideas with.



Get Inspired Graphite

Get Inspired:

The Get Inspired page provides a professional development hub for teachers and administrators using Graphite. Resources for integrating technology into the curriculum effectively live here, as well as advice for how to best use Graphite to find high-quality EdTech for the classroom.






Create your own boards on Graphite. Find your go to resources, save them, then share out with others.




The World Wonders Projects brings life to wonders of the modern and ancient worlds.  It truly takes virtual field trips to the next level. The purpose of the project was to provide teachers and students a valuable resource that offers news ways to teach and learn history and geography in school. The site offers primary and secondary school teachers the option to download free teacher guides and lesson plans for classroom use.

So what exactly does the World Wonders Projects do?

The site allows you to navigate virtually around some of the most important, historical, and beautiful world heritage sites through panoramic street-level images. Take a trip to Italy to see the archaeological areas of Pompeii, or visit Australia to explore hundreds of miles of beautiful scenery at Shark Bay. The possibilities are endless when using this tool to take virtual fieldtrips around the world.


World wonders project

Key Features:

  • Read about each Historic Site.
  • Watch You Tube Videos related to the historic site.
  • Browse the Photo Gallery
  • Explore the 3D models





Todays Meet Tips and Tricks that were shared by presenters and partcipants


EdCamp Citrus 2013

EdCamp Citrus 2013

EdCamp Citrus 2013

EdCamp Citrus 2013

EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week the #EduWin Weekly crew takes some time to reflect on the first 10 episodes since revitalizing the program.  It’s often a good idea at this time of year to look back on where you’ve been and look forward to where you are going.  We hope you have enjoyed the amazing guests who have shared their passion with us and that you will continue to tune into #EduWin Weekly in the future.  We’ve only just begun!

This weeks show also features #eduwins from @engtechwriter, ‏@michellek107 and @joykirr

James’ favorite #eduwin via:

@engtechwriter“Back to school night: #owned. #eduwin”


Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via:

@michellek107“My kids were so excited about their math activity today, they didn’t want to leave the room… to go outside and play games! #eduwin”


Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via:

@joykirr“I have a student who started the 100 word challenge!!! #eduwin http://brainstorm641.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-100-word-challenge.html … Please comment! #comments4kids #ELAchat”


Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos FernandezMichelleRussell

View our Show Notes

ITunes Store EduWin




Link To Presentation


 Timeline Civil War

Timeline Civil War (available for iPad)

Timeline Civil War is a day by day history of the entire American Civil War.

The app features fascinating commentaries from leading Civil War experts, first hand accounts of key battles, life on the home front, and stunning photographs and images.

Tip: Take advantage of the amazing 400 interactive key battles maps. They include over 500 images, and 1200 written entries that can be used as primary source documents in your classroom.


 American Presidents

American Presidents (available for iPad)

American Presidents is a beautifully designed, well-written overview of the history of the United States seen through passages on every American President’s life. The application is purposely designed for the iPad.

Each biography is crafted to be both clear, concise yet still detailed.

Tip: American Presiddents has a ton of essays on Civil War, World Wars 1 and 2, Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars. They also have maps, section of seminal Supreme Court Cases and more content for both casual readers and for educators and students.


 Timeline U.S. History

Timeline – U.S. History (available for iPad)

Browse through interactive timelines of key events from every year of the United States’ history.
• Jump to a specific year and view nearby events in the window, which accurately portrays the flow of time.
• Click the titles of events that catch your eye to bring up a summary of the event and an explanation of its importance in a greater historical context.
• High quality images representing the events bring each summary to life.
• Click on blue text to bring up a description of a featured term within an event summary.
Whether you are a history student, teacher, or trivia buff, this app has the tools to make exploring U.S. History more effortless and exciting than ever before.

Tip: Has great American Revolution Content as well as Civil War, However do understand that the bulk of the content in this app was taken from Wikipedia as its main resource.


 US Constitution and Federalist Papers

Constitution and Federalist Papers(available for iPad)

AD FREE- CONSTITUTION and THE FEDERALIST PAPERS app is the best way to learn about the Constitution of the United States. Not only does the app include the full text of the Constitution, the product also features an explanation of each and every clause, as well as commentary on each of the amendments.

The complete text of all 85 of the Federalist papers in also included.

The App includes the complete text of James Madison’s Journal of the Constitutional Convention.

Tip: Must have App for Primary Sources in Classroom.


 U.S. High School Helper

U.S. High School Helper (available for iPad)

The App consists of three sections:
– US History notes
– US Geography notes
– US Presidents.

U.S. High School Helper is an ebook app with information on US History, US Geography and the US Presidents. The information contained is good and worth the few bucks the app costs. The iPad interface is pretty good and better than many of the others in this AppGuide. You may be able to find much of this content online for free. If you want a nice central place for this info you should pick this one up.

Tip:The app can be used by students prior to exams and tests, to memorize the key facts from the chapter they have read.


 Presidents By the Numbers

Presidents By the Numbers (available for iPad)

A “modern textbook” for your I-PAD and I-PHONE!

This App takes a first-of-its-kind approach to American history that:
Informs students of all ages about the men who have served as President of the United States;
Provides teachers at all levels with new tools to teach history in class.

Each President’s legacy is presented through an original, copyrighted poem that describes at least one important aspect of his life or Presidency. Like a nursery rhyme, lullaby, or rap song, children (and adults) will learn and remember this part of our history.

Tip: The App also has great facts and content on the Vice President as well.


 American Revolution Interactive

American Revolution Interactive Timeline (available for iPad)

This app offers beautiful imagery, video, and information through an interactive, zoomable timeline showcasing artwork, weapons, clothing, objects, and manuscripts from the Center’s collection. Image captions and video podcasts provide an overview of key milestones of the American Revolution.

Tip: This app is truly about imagery. It will help students better understand the visual concepts from this time frame.  

 U.S. Geography by Discovery Education iPad Edition

U.S. Geography by Discovery Education iPad Edition (available for iPad)

Play the games, watch the videos, take the challenges, compete against your friends and with others worldwide, become an expert in U.S. Geography and HAVE FUN! U.S. Geography by Discovery Education includes videos, photos, and tons of written information about US geography. Broken down by region, this app also offers game-style challenges to test your learning, and global competition so you can compete with friends.

Tip: Mix in those geography skills with U.S. History content as much as possible in your teachings.


EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week #EduWin Weekly gets ready for a new school year with the incomparable Adam Bellow.  Adam spends some time talking with us about his experience as the closing keynote at ISTE 2013, his work with eduTecher andeduclipper and his most recent endeavor as a co-author with Steve Dembo on the must read“Untangling the Web” which is sure to get the creative ideas flowing for a successful school year!

This weeks show also features #eduwins from @jonathanwylie@am_estrella and @mrmatera

James’ favorite #eduwin via

@jonathanwylie“The ReadWriteGold Chrome extension will still do Text to Speech and Translation free after the 30-day trial period! #edtech #appsct #eduwin”


Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

@am_estrella : “Just learned my daughter’s 2nd grade teacher will be using @Remind101 to keep parents in the loop this school year. #eduwin


Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via

@mrmatera“Set the mood of you classroom make a soundtrack. Great post here http://www.mrmatera.com/2013/02/what-is-your-soundtrack/ … #edchat @sschat #wischat #eduwin #1st5days #tlap”


Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos FernandezMichelleRussell

View our Show Notes

ITunes Store EduWin



TypeformTypeform brings together design, rich media & new technologies to improve the user experience of online forms. Typeform will also adapt to the usability of any device?

The reality is that the creator of the survey/content truly cares most about the data of the person taking the survey, however, the process in which this happens is just as important. Like anything else, you want to engage your viewers in an positive experience because that survey is attached to your company image, your product, or your message. If the survey is boring, its real easy to make that assumption about your product/service.

So how do we infuse EDUCATION with this concept?

Well, I hate to say this, but educators are sales people. Educators are not only sales people, but they have the toughest sales to make. Educators always deliver and make that sale, because they are the most passionate, patient, and understanding people when it comes to children. They sell education to students that at times do not know anything about a topic or might not be interested in that topic.


So lets take education into this concept of Typeform. The educator wants the data that they are presenting, however, they know the importance of keeping the students engaged so that the students will respond with accurate and positive data.

Insert Type Form. Engage your students with an online survey experience that they will enjoy and relate with.

How to create a form:

Note: Typeform is currently in beta. You will only have up to 5000 responses across all of your Typeforms.


Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

(Source: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_how_to_escape_education_s_death_valley.html)



Knowmia (available for iPad)

The Knowmia is a great app to create your own whiteboard vides. Some of the highlights of Knowmia Teach app include the option to use your iPad’s camera to record yourself while drawing on the whiteboard. When recording yourselft your personal video will appear in the corner of the screen allowing your students to see you while teach your lesson. The app includes the option to import images and graphics from your iPad to your lessons. You can draw free-hand on the whiteboard screen, type on the whiteboard screen, and insert pre-made shapes and figures. A greate feature of Knowmia is that it hosts the videos that you create allowing you or your students to access your videos through there website. This will save you lots of server space and not slow down your site. This is a must see app if you are flipping the classroom.

Tip: A great feature of Knowmia is that it hosts the videos that you create allowing you or your students to access your videos through there website. This will save you lots of server space and not slow down your site. This is a must see app if you are flipping the classroom.



 Screen Chomp

Screen Chomp (available for iPad)

Just – Record It. Sketch It. Share It. – to create a sharable, replay-able video that tells your story clearly. Students and Elementary educators tend to gravitate toward Screen Chomp because of its easy User Interface but also because of the Screen Chomp monster. Students love him.

Tip: 1. Touch RECORD to capture your touch interactions and audio instructions on a plain background, or an image from your iPad camera roll.

2. SKETCH out your ideas and talk the viewer through the “how” and “why” of it all.

3. Stop and SHARE your video snack to ScreenChomp.com to generate a simple web link you can paste anywhere.


 Explain Everything

Explain Everything (available for iPad)

Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere.

Create slides, draw in any color, add shapes, add text, and use a laser pointer. Rotate, move, scale, copy, paste, clone, and lock any object added to the stage. Explain Everything imght just be the most powerful free screencasting app for the iPad.

Tip: SImport PDF, PPT, DOC, XLS, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and RTF files from Evernote, Dropbox, Box, GDrive, WebDAV, Email, iTunes, and any app that allows you to open these files types using “Open In…”. Export MP4 movies, PDF documents, PNG images, or XPL project files directly from your iPad. No Account is necessary.



Show Me (available for iPad)

Who needs and interactive whiteboard when you have apps like ShowMe. ShowMe turns your iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard for FREE!

ShowMe allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online. It’s an amazingly simple app that anyone can use, no matter how young or old!

Tip: Allow students to show you rather than you the teacher show them. That is what the app was created as. A way for the students to show you what they know. Flip that role and allow students to show you that they have mastered those concepts that you are teaching. 


 Doodlecast Pro

Doodlecast Pro (available for iPad)

Doodlecast Pro is the easiest way to create presentations on your iPad. The app records your voice as you draw to create quick presentations. Doodlecast Pro saves videos to the camera roll making it easy to import them into popular video editors or presentation tools such as iMovie, Keynote, or iBooks Author. Perfect for teachers, students, business people and anyone needing an elegant way to share ideas.

Tip: Unlike other screencasting apps, Doodlecast Pro allows you to set a backbround and create multiple pages. Definitly something to take advantage of.


Educreations (available for iPad)

“Teach what you know. Learn what you don’t.” is the motto of Educreations. Turn your iPad into a recordable white board to teach concepts from all areas of the curriculum. Lessons can be saved and shared via multiple platforms after they have been created using the iPad app or your browser. Lessons that other educators and students have created are available as well.

Tip: Engage students in your content by having them explain concepts using the Educreations whiteboard. They can teach one another, review concepts, and create book talks using this interactive app.


 Class Dojo

Class Dojo (available for iPad)

ClassDojo helps teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. It captures and generates data on behavior that teachers can share with parents and administrators.

Teachers can use this app to give their students positive behavior feedback and manage their classes, while parents can check on their child’s progress at school. Beautiful reports and easy classroom management are all built in – and everything syncs across all of your devices!

Tip: Take short DOJO BREAKS throughout the day. This will allow students to check their progress and modify their behavior.


 Remind 101

Remind 101 (available for iPad)

Remind101 provides a safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents. Teachers can create notify students or parents of upcoming exams, quizzes, homework assignments, or school events via text notification.

Tip: Remind101 just came out with a new widget feature where you can embed your remind101 notifications onto your class website – just incase your parents or students accidently missed or erased your text.


 Too Noisy

Too Noisy(available for iPad)

Anyone who has attempted to keep the noise levels under control of a group of youngsters will appreciate this simple, fun and engaging app.

This is a fun app that children enjoy and respond to. It’s a real boon to any adult who needs to control the levels of noise of a group of children.

“Too Noisy” displays graphically the background noise level in a room in a fun and engaging way.

Tip: Make sure that you control the sensitivity of the app, if not its going to always be to loud and the students will not buy into the process.


Win a Spin HD (available for iPad)

Keep your kids motivated through out the day with Win a Spin HD. Personalize your wheel by entering up to six unique prizes. (special snack, extra computer time, sticker, cool pencil, free recess, lunch with the teacher, etc.) Type in anything you’d like! These are the prizes that will show up on your spinner. Setting up your wheel is a snap. And feel free to change out your prizes anytime you’d like. You control what is revealed. Use the wheel as a reward game for students.

Tip: Explain how the game works to your class. Help them understand that they can “Win-a-Spin” by showing strong and positive behavior or completing a tricky task.


 Teacher Kit

Teacher Kit (available for iPad)

TeacherKit is a personal organizer for the teacher. It enables the teacher to organize classes, and students. Its simple and intuitive interface enables teachers to track the attendance, grades and behavior of students.

Tip: Great for online courses – or keeping track of professional development assignments and activities.

 Class Room Organizer

Classroom Organizer (available for iPhone)

The Classroom Organizer iPhone app works in conjunction with Booksource’s Classroom Organizer web application to allow educators to organize and track books in their classroom library. The app features barcode scanning functionality to eliminate the need to manually enter ISBN numbers for books. Our extensive database searches the scanned books to find the title of each book, again, eliminating the need to manually type this information.

Tip: For those teachers who have incredible library’s  and love sharing and lending books to students – here is your solution to never loosing track of a book again.

 Three Ring App

Three Ring (available for iPad)

The easiest way to capture qualitative evidence of student learning. Three Ring allows teachers and students to document anything, organize it in seconds, and have it seamlessly available at school and at home.

Three Ring is your ultimate instructional resource and the easiest way to make portfolios, save artifacts for IEPs, demonstrate student learning in non-tested subjects and the Common Core and much more.

Tip: I love this this app for keeping up with differentiated instruction type library’s  and artifacts.

 Class Act

Class Act (available for iPad)

This intuitive app is designed to support teachers ‘on the go’ as they assess their students’ progress throughout the lesson.

Simple and quick to use, just tap students on the screen as they progress. The different progress colors give you a visual of how well different students are learning, helping you to direct your questioning and support to individuals or groups.

Tip: The colors can be used in a traffic light system or with colors and levels to match Bloom’s Taxonomy or Webb Depth of Knowledge.

 List Selector

List Selector (available for iPad)

List Selector is a useful, versatile way to work with lists! Perfect for the classroom, this app allows you to assign people to project ideas, pair countries for a model U.N. debate, or just make sure everyone from one class is in a group with someone from another.

Choose one list or multiple, then generate groups of any size. As you choose how many groups you want made, the app dynamically calculates how many people will be in each group.

Randomly choose a person, generate a group of three countries to study for the year, or generate the entirety of one or several lists and then hit “Randomize” on the results screen to randomly order your list(s).

View and edit your lists from within the app. Add and remove items from any list; create, rename, and delete lists; and quickly browse list names and sizes, all from one convenient area.

Tip: You can make a .txt file, either with Notepad or TextEdit, or with Word using the “Save As…” option. Then, drag and drop into List Selector’s files area in iTunes when your device is connected.


 Timer + Touch

Timer + Touch (available for iPad)

One of kind touch timer app. Set Timer with Just 2 touches.

Simple and quick and a great visual for classroom activities.

Tip: Could also be used to help students understand the concept of time, time remaining, time that has passed, the time they have ‘lost and/or earned’, etc.

 Stick Pick

Stick Pick (available for iPad)

Ice Cream Sticks have been used now for well over 20 years in elementary classrooms. They are mostly known for being used as a way to pick a random student for participation. Well the days of touching nasty old ice-cream  sticks are over.

Pick a student at random just by giving your device a shake or tapping the screen — but that’s just the beginning. Stick Pick suggests question starters for learners at different levels and also records how well students respond during classroom discussions. If a student is consistently scoring near the top or bottom, simply change the level so students aren’t bored or frustrated. Depending on students’ levels of English proficiency, they might be asked simple yes-or-no questions or to elaborate in longer sentences.

Simple and quick to use, just tap students on the screen as they progress. The different progress colors  give you a visual of how well different students are learning, helping you to direct your questioning and support to individuals or groups.

Tip: Make it an activity in the beginning of the year for the students to type in their names in stick pick. Have the students feel ownership.


 Sand Timer

Sand Timer(available for iPad)

Digital sand timer with artistic design. Time flows and does it stylishly.

This digitized hourglass can be used to time anything for up to 60 minutes. It’s like having a nice looking visual indicator of how much time is left on your task.

Tip: Never set a timer for a student. Allow them to set it themselves. This way they are more conscious  about the allowed time for the activity and not as disappointed  if they do not finish in time.



Timer + (available for iPad)

Set multiple timers at once! Time by the second, minute or hour. Runs in the background so you’re free to use other apps. Comes with 7 alarms. Create, label and reuse timers for anything – yoga stretches, timed quizzes, cooking rice, napping, therapeutic treatments or remembering to take your pills.

Tip: Use this app with your smart board. Kids love the graphic and get a good sense of time. Great visual learning



30/30 (available for iPad)

30/30 is probably the best task manager app in the app store.

Simple. Attractive. Useful.

30/30 helps you get stuff done!

You set up a list of tasks, and a length of time for each of them. When you start the timer, it will tell you when to move on to the next task.

The task list is controlled entirely with gestures; a simple and natural way to use the app.

Tip: The app is best used when you have to keep a tight schedule and you have back to back to back events that you are trying to keep a visual and audio track of.




30 Hands (available for iPad)

30 Hands allows you to create narrated slide shows. All you need to do is import images from your iPad’s camera roll then press the record button below each image to record your narration. If you don’t have any pictures on your iPad you can take pictures using the 30hands app. 30hands also allows you to draw images instead of importing pictures.

Tip: You can combine imported pictures with drawn images in your presentations. And you can draw on top of imported images. When your project is complete you can save it on your iPad or share it with the 30hands community.



Pixntell (available for iPad)

Pixntell is an iPad app for quickly creating simple narrated photostories. To create a story using Pixntell all that you need to do is start a new project, select some images, place them in order, and then start talking about each of your pictures. You control the timing for each image. If you want to talk about your first picture for twenty seconds, your second picture for just three seconds, and your third picture for fifteen seconds, you can do that. Pixntell allows you to crop your pictures, add text them, add filters to them, place fun stickers on your pictures, and draw on your images highlight a portion of them. When your project is complete you can upload it directly to YouTube, save it in your Dropbox account, share it on Facebook, or send to friends via email.

Tip: Share your project by uploading it to facebook, Youtube and E-mail. You can also share and save your creation using dropbox.


 Video Star

Video Star (available for iPad)

Video Star is a fun and free music video creation app. To create a music video on Video Star just select a song that you have stored on your iPad then start shooting live video. The music will play for as long as you record or until the end of the song. You can also import images from your iPad to create your video. Video Star also lets you apply special effects to your video. Some of the effects that you can apply include text boxes, title boxes, frames around images, transitions, and split screens.

Tip: Make sure that you take advantage of the hundreds of built-in effects.



Loopster (available for iPad)

Loopster is a free IOS video creation app.  App functionality includes the ability to add comment/speech bubbles, sound effects, slow motion, crop/edit video, splice, and more. You can import images and videos from your iPad’s camera roll or shoot a new video with the app and edit it.

Tip: When your Loopster project is completed you can share it to YouTube, Facebook, or email it. Your completed Loopster projects can also be saved to the camera roll on your iPad. Make sure that you share the hard work that you students have been putting into creating these videos.


Videolicious (available for iPad)

This easy-to-use video editing app allows users to easily create a polished video in three steps, Choose content [photos or video clips from your camera roll], record your own narrative to elaborate on the images/video, select music from the Videolicious copyright-free library and the software will automatically trim, layer, and mix your shots into a professional-looking video.

Tip: High-resolution, horizontal photos work best.


What Will You Learn NextI sat and stared at the sheet. The sheet wanted to know what my goal was going to be this year? What did I want to improve, gain knowledge about, try new? After 15 years of teaching I didn’t have one. Why do I need to have one? Why did I have to improve each year? Can’t what I am as a teacher be enough?  Can’t what I already am be acknowledged as good enough?

The school year went on. I taught. I implemented lessons.  I worked hard to meet the needs of my students.  I met with my team. I problem solved.  When changes needed to be made or goals adjusted, we worked harder to meet the needs of our students. I met with parents. I taught some more. Flyers for workshops came into my inbox and were deleted as fast.  Who has time for professional development when the day in the class is all consuming and the thought of leaving your class for the day is daunting. There is learning and teaching to be done and some years no one can do it like me. Days, weeks, months, half a school year went by.  My beliefs that I was enough, that I was too busy and that I didn’t have time or need more left me feeling empty.  It left me missing that deep surge of energy, of amazingness that teaching brings.
Then I did it. I stopped. I replied yes to one of the professional development flyers and I left my classroom for a day.  I started the conference with the keynote. Suddenly other teacher’s stories became inspiration for me. I flipped through the conference booklet looking for what I would learn about next.  Each class taught me something new. Each class excited me with a new idea, a new strategy, a new tool to try.  The next day I went back to my classroom.  I looked around.
I told myself, “I could either keep doing what I was doing or start trying new ideas,  make some changes.”


I chose to change. 

I decided I wanted to be a risk taker. Not the jump out of an airplane or swim with sharks risk taker.  The pull a new ingredient out of the pantry and spice up a favorite dish risk taker.  Boring you say?!  That single decisions, that change of an ingredient…that making it on the grill instead of the in the oven kind of risk changed me forever. What I learned was that just the act of trying something new was rewarding. Just the act of doing something different was energizing.  I learned that all these years.  The years of stocking my pantry of goods, spices, ingredient, ideas, strategies, resources, didn’t make me a boring teacher they made me a teacher who can reach any finish line, achieve any goal I put my mind to, spice up any dish, even create new dishes or add new innovation to routine lessons. I have resources.  I have the strategies to try anything new I want.  I have the tools to reach any goal I set.  See what I missed when I sat and stared at that paper month and months ago was sometimes having a goal isn’t having a goal.  Sometimes learning is the goal.


Guest Blogger: Carrie Baughcum


Hold on Tight To Your Chairs Kids…There’s Learning Happening Here!
Resources for the Way You Learn

EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week #EduWin Weekly shifts gears from writing to vocalizing thoughts and ideas in a meaningful way through podcasting.  Carlos Fernandez and James Gubbins are joined byDavid Fisher to talk about how podcasting is a thriving medium that can be used to express your thoughts and ideas or give your students a powerful voice.  David shares his unique perspective as a fellow podcaster and we discuss some of the process that goes into producing a successful show and some tips to get you started with your own!


This weeks show also features #eduwins from @thedjhersch and @BrianWiesbrook

James’ favorite #eduwin via

@thedjhersch“Got screen cast to work after HOURS OF TRYING! #eduwin Thanks @danmcdowell and @reubenhoffman”


Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

Brian Wiesbrook “Used a #Google form and some old excel code to create an automated student notes app for my ipad! #eduwin”

Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos Fernandez

View our Show Notes

ITunes Store EduWin

Classroom Management 101: Class Room Management is not about catching negative behaviors but re-enforcing the positive ones. The harsh reality is that teachers do not have time to compile and analyze data on classroom management. They have enough to do with looking at academic data, which carries a lot more weight that classroom management. Having said that – there is a lot of positive data that can come from studying student behavior and discipline given the right tools. You can start seeing patterns and trends on days and times where students do well and where students do bad. It’s these kinds of decisions that can lead to better academic planning. Class Dojo can do just that. Class Dojo allows you to keep track of behavioral data while continuing to focus on student achievement.

Poster Class Dojo Logo 2Things that I love  about Class Dojo


 Poster Random avatars 5Flexibility:

Class Dojo can be used to track negative and positive behavior. But its just not behavior that Class Dojo can track. It allows you to track personalized behaviors that you the teacher can edit at any point.



Poster random avatars 4Compatability:

Class Dojo has nice easy transitions between devices. So if all that you have is a SMART Phone than that is all that you need to use Class Dojo successfully. Class Dojo is web-based application but has some great apps that can easily be downloaded into your device.



Poster VIPBest Practices:

Its easy to use Class Dojo in the classroom during instructional times, but when Class Dojo can really come in handy is during transitions. It helps students stay on task and do what they are supposed to do. POSITIVE RENFORCEMENT. Do not threaten kids with Class Dojo. It should be a positive experience to get points and focus on that rather than then the taking away of the points.



Poster Student presentationDojo Breaks:

Class Dojo was meant to be fun. Hence the cool monster looking characters. A great technique is to take a “Dojo Break” and show students were they stand with points. Take Dojo Breaks often so students have something to look forward. In no time they will be asking/begging for them.



Poster the teacher is inIt’s not just for teachers:

Have students buy into this concept. Allow them in the beginning of the school year to pick there Class Dojo Monster or create their own avatar. This is a great way to get instant participation and buy in to the whole process.




Here are some great CLASS DOJO POSTERS for your classroom.


Bathroom pass Certificate Hall pass Mojo – Painting and in love Poster – ClassDojo logo 2 Poster – ClassDojo logo Poster – Classroom decoration contest Poster – Creativity Poster – Helping others Poster – Mojo and friends Poster – Mojo Poster – Monstermania Poster – On task Poster – Participation Poster – Persistence Poster – Random avatars 2 Poster – Random avatars 3 Poster – Random avatars 4 Poster – Random avatars 5 Poster – Random avatars 6 Poster – Random avatars Poster – Room for message Poster – Student creativity Poster – Student presentation Poster – Students creating an avatar Poster – Teacher appreciation Poster – Teamwork Poster – The teacher is in Poster – VIP Poster – Welcome back 1 Poster – Welcome back 2 Stationary


(Source – http://www.classdojo.com/)

Submit Box

Submit Box allows teachers to set up classes. Each student who registers is able to see assignments like an LMS. When the teacher edits a file, students can see it due to the fact that DropBox is directly ties to their account. For those educators whom are looking to go paperless and simulate LMS type features with their students and educational experiences but there schools or school districts may not just be ready to dive into the LMS world – well this might be a great Web 2.0 Tool for you.

 How it Can Help You:

  • No more constant uploading and downloading of email attachments and sorting through student emails. Students’ documents are put directly on your local machine via Dropbox.
  • No more searching through long lists of files to find a specific student’s work. Student documents are organized in an easy to navigate folder structure.
  • Get notified when students turn in documents and ask questions. Send notifications to students about new projects, due dates, grading, and more
  • Much simpler and more intuitive than a full-blown Learning Management System. Every teacher gets their own site where students can submit their files.


Things that you need to know:

  • A Dropbox account is required to use SubmitBox. You can open a dropbox account here.
  • Any notes or corrections can quickly be seen by the students.

 Here is a great video introduction to SubmitBox:

(Source: https://getsubmitbox.com/)


Digital Citizenship Presentation DENSI

Note: All resources below were shared by participants at DENSI 2013.




Great Online Site with tons of resources:


Plagiarism Tools:

Edmodo Group:

Edmodo Group – 1pbsqy – Digital Citizenship

(Note – may take a day or two to be accepted into every group.)

Other Names for Digital Citizenship: 

  • Digital Tattoo
  • Moral Resume

Here is an old presentation on Digital Citizenship that Carlos Fernandez (@Fernandezc4) did at Edmodocon2012



First and foremost please forgive my lack of flow for this blog entry – but I am going to try and pack 5days of knowledge into it. It has now been a couple of weeks since DENSI2013 ended, and I have been putting this blog post off as if it was a girlfriend I am afraid to break up with. I still cant believe  that the event is over.

So as soon as I got back – these were some of the main questions that I got asked by some friends and family:

Where did you go:

shelburne_farms homepageShelburne Farms:

This was one of the neatest experiences of the week. Being a city guy or somewhat of a city guy, this excursion intrigued me. Why you ask, well, basically cause it is something that I would have not done on my own. The staff was amazing, the food we ate was second to none, and the fresh lake air from Lake Champlain was relaxing to say the least.  We learned about the leadership events that they host at the location and there staff was excellent.

plutoShelburne Museum:

When we arrived at Shelburn Museum we got a quick history lesson on the property and its connections to the Vanderbilt Family. What I enjoyed the most about the museum was the ability to just walk around in this huge property and see all of the buildings and artifacts inside of them. I really enjoyed looking at some of the old Locomotives and railroad stations that they had.


Historic Centennial Field

353_Centennial_Field_Grand_StandWe were fortunate enough to attend a Vermont Lake Monsters minor league baseball game. Although the Lake Monsters lost the game we had an absolute blast. Got to see some good baseball with friends and then we all stuck around like 5 years olds to run the bases. That’s right – we ran the bases. Running those bases were symbolic in a sense. We were allowed to re-enact our youth which was such a great time, but then also gave us perspective. We remembered what its like to be a kid, and to be in that mind set. That’s what we were learning that whole week. Tools and Resources on how to effectively  reach that kid and motivate them to do their best in their educational endeavors.

New Ideas and Products:

DENSI 2013 was a share fest. It was one week of people sharing ideas and tools. It wasn’t  so much about the new tools but it was about the opportunities that we got to sit down and just share ideas and test things out on our iPads and Laptops. That was the cool part. We learn about so many great things all the time in conferences and social media, but we rarely get the opportunity to sit down with someone and actually try to explore the product. Fortunately  we had numerous opportunities to do this.  Here is one product that stood out:

board_builderDiscovery Education Board Builder:

Discovery Education Board Builder shows lots of promise in helping students with common core and allowing them to create using board builder in order to show and demonstrate knowledge.

Who did you meet:

Lea Anne Daughrity and Dave Tchozewski

I do a lot of web design and one of the first things that I wanted to do is meet the people who created the DENSi2013 web site and speak to them. Not because I liked or hated there website, but just beacause any time that you speak with another web designer there are things that you can learn. After a great conversation with Leanne I learned that she created the site using weebly. I was blown away by this. Not that there is anything wrong with Weebly, its just that I was amazed by how much they updated there web site creation features, and how simple it was for the common educator to build a website. It was such a great learning experience for me. It reminded me to continue to stick with certain web 2.0 tools and see what some of the latest updates are because great web 2.0 startups continue to improve and make there product more user friendly.

Rita Mortenson

I had my guard up when I first met Rita, don’t ask why. She was an energetic person and I was just trying to feel out what type of person she was and learn more about her character. Well, let me say that my guard went down very fast. She was one of the people that truly made me feel comfortable at DENSI 2013. She was kind, energetic, and just a blast to be around. Everyone always told me that DENSI was truly about the relationships that you form and people that you meet, and I can see why with Rita. She was just awesome in everyway.

My Roomates:

Just like college, your kinda always worried about who your roommates are going to be. Well in the words of Forrest Gump – we were like Pea’s and Carrots.

We had some great conversations every night and picked them right up every morning as we walked to breakfast. Just classy knowledgeable guys whom have a great sense of humor I might add.

Food at DENSI:

Food was awesome. The whole experience was awesome. It felt like we were back in college but way more comfortable and we never had call parents for money. Wee had fun like teenagers and learned like adults. We ate BBQ, and had a great experience eating food provided by the University of Vermont.

What DENSI Got Right:

Team Meetings

We had team meeting every nigh. One even included a fire truck, which was hilarious. (No one got hurt – just for the record). As stated earlier, some lucky educators are fortunate to go to events like this one. We might spend 2,3, or 5 days at a conference, or event, and never really get the opportunity to reflect, and debrief on some of the things that were learned that day. Its one of the things that I think is missing the most in education today. Reflection. At DENSI 2013 we made sure we had plenty of time for this. With out this piece, we would have felt overwhelmed like we always do anytime you go to an EdTech Conference.

What else did I get to Experience at DENSI:

Denmazing Race, Gangnam Style, Richard Byrne and Dean Shareski keynotes, Duck Calls, Learning About Purple Feet Foundation , Mashups, Wrong-Direction, and so much more. Guess you just had to be there.

Den Summer InstituteFinal Thoughts:

The DEN is not about Discovery Education. The DEN is about the community that Discovery is able to help create. Its about a community of educators coming together to learn from each other at events, or through online meetings and social media. The DEN is about making a postiive difference in education with the student being in the forefront. We are Educators.We are the DEN.


magbak mountedBeing the Gadget Geek that I am I heard about the MagBak through Kick Starter and instantly felt like it could be a home run for Educators. Their are lots of educators out there that have iPads and use them in their daily teachings.

What truly grabbed my attention was the power of the magnet to stick to magnetic dry-erase boards. Dry-erase boards can be found in almost any classroom. There are times when putting your iPad on top of your desk is fine, but the ability to place it  on the dry erase board for students to view, or go up too could be incredible.

My wife is a 1st Grade teacher and is fortunate to have about 5 iPads for her students to share. She tells me that one of the things that she worries the most about is the students accidentally dropping the iPads. Yes they have a case, but you just never know. We talked about 3 to 5 students up against the dry erase board drawing out ideas while others actually work them out on the iPad. Talk about team building at an early age.

If you are one of those people that hate bulky iPad cases and use the SMART case from Apple than this is MagBak is a must have.



Hopscotch HD (available for iPad)

The free Hopscotch HD app will help kids explore a simple programming language and create their own games. The App was meant for kids however it can be quite a learning experience for adults as well. It’s a great use of the iPad in the classroom and is friendly for both boys and girls to play with.

Tip: Engage students with a 20 minute genius time period where individuals or groups of students can team up and code using HopScotch. Remember that it’s important to celebrate sucesses and failures.


 L2Code App

L2Code CSS  (available for iPad)

L2Code CSS is a fantastic crash course in CSS, which is the underlying code that determines how websites look (while HTML is for the actual content). Each lesson is clearly explained, with examples and step-by-step instructions that’ll have you making websites from scratch in no time.

Tip: Talk to students how there websites are not just done by one person. Many times teams are assembled to create them. CSS is acode that works with the front end of sites ( the user experience). Explain the difference between the front end of a site and the back end. 

 Codea App

Codea (available for iPad)

If you feel like diving straight into the deep end, Codea ($9.99, iPad) has excellent documentation to keep you afloat but little guidance in teaching you how to swim. Master its labyrinth of functions, classes, tools, and syntax, however, and you’ll not only know your way around the app but also the Lua programming language. Plus you can export projects to Xcode and then sell them on the App Store. Great You Tube Video on Codea. 

Tip: Parents need to know that Codea is not a game, rather it is a software development tool that includes resources to teach kids to program in the Lua programming language. The free gameCargo-Bot was developed using Codea. Tweens and teens familiar with programming can pick it up and pretty quickly start writing their own programs, like games or other graphics, for the iPad. – via Common Sense Media


Cargo-Bot (available for iPad)

Kids write programs to control a robotic arm, having the robot move crates into the configuration shown on the top of the screen. Kids can work through a six-level tutorial first to get familiar with the controls and features (even the tutorial is challenging!). They can then move on to the five levels of play — easy, medium, hard, crazy, and impossible — with six puzzles each. The goal is not only to get the crates moved, but also to move them in as few programming steps as possible. A misstep crashes the crane into a wall, destroying it, but kids get unlimited changes to solve each puzzle and can replay them for a higher score – via Common Sense Media.

Tip: Compare the actions that you are trying to accomplish by playing Cargo-Bot to real world scenarios.



Light-Bot (available for iPad)

Players use simple visual commands instead of words and syntax to control a robot that has to light up all the tiles in a factory. Whether you have no experience or years of experience programming, you will love the puzzles that light-bot has to offer. Light-bot has levels that cover basic instructions, procedures, overloading, recursive loops and conditionals!

Tip: Light-bot is also a great puzzle game for teaching programming! The original light-bot is the game that’s used by hundreds of teachers worldwide to introduce computer science concepts to their students. Give students options. There are lots of similar apps that teach them how to code through puzzles.


Educreations (available for iPad)

“Teach what you know. Learn what you don’t.” is the motto of Educreations. Turn your iPad into a recordable white board to teach concepts from all areas of the curriculum. Lessons can be saved and shared via multiple platforms after they have been created using the iPad app or your browser. Lessons that other educators and students have created are available as well.

Tip: Engage students in your content by having them explain concepts using the Educreations whiteboard. They can teach one another, review concepts, and create book talks using this interactive app.



Toontastic (available for iPad)

Characters and backgrounds come to life while students record their stories with Toontastic. Original drawings and art can also be animated and turned into cartoons and then shared with classmates, friends, and family members.

Tip: Students can create their own animated cartoons to write stories, animate concepts, and share their ideas.



Kidblog (available for iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch)

Kidblog is designed for K-12 teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog. Students publish posts and participate in academic discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Students can write for an authentic audience in a safe environment. The interface is easy to use and student-friendly with choice of themes. Posts can be kept private within the “class” or made public. This blogging platform allows teachers to monitor all publishing activity within the classroom blogging community.

Tip: Students become authors with Kidblog. They can share content, communicate with one another, and work cooperatively to publish their ideas.



GarageBand (available for iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch)

Using GarageBand, your iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch turn into a recording studio with a variety of touch instruments including pianos, organs, drums, guitars, and basses. This app also allows the user to record a performance and then mix the tracks to create and share songs.

Tip: Have students create a musical podcast with GarageBand using these simple instructions.



Videolicious (available for iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch)

This easy-to-use video editing app allows users to easily create a polished video in three steps, Choose content [photos or video clips from your camera roll], record your own narrative to elaborate on the images/video, select music from the Videolicious copyright-free library and the software will automatically trim, layer, and mix your shots into a professional-looking video.

Tip: High-resolution, horizontal photos work best.


Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa (available for iPad)

This game-based app takes players on an African adventure. Led by inter-galactic explorers Ansel and Clair, participants explore the Sahara, Serengeti, and Nile Valley regions. While on a mission to take pictures and locate pieces of their broken spaceship, Marley, the team learns about the geography, ecosystems, history, science, and animals of Africa.

Tip: Explore the ecosystems in the daytime and nighttime to experience different animal encounters.



Barefoot World Atlas (available for iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch)

This app, is based on the book of the same name, allows users to explore the globe and learn interesting facts about various countries. In a colorful cartoon-like globe with attractive animated icons, children can use pinch and swipe motions to zero in on select parts of the world. As they zero in on specific countries, regional music begins to play. Users can access country statistics and other information, such as the current time and weather, currency conversion, and distance from one’s location. Languages: English, Catalan, French, Japanese, Spanish Rated: 4+

Tip: This app can be used with different grade levels, depending on the depth of wanted information.



Britannica Kids: Ancient Egypt (available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, & Android devices)

This app combines reference information about ancient Egypt with engaging learning activities. Topics include information about the everyday life of ancient Egyptians, their beliefs in religion and the afterlife, the importance of the Nile River to their culture, hieroglyphic writing, and the Dynasties of Egypt. Gamification elements include interactive jigsaw puzzles, maps, memory games, brush-off guessing games, and Magic Square mixed-up images.

Tip: Check out the entire set of science and social science apps in the Britannica Kids suite of apps.




MyCongress (available for iPad)

This app provides in depth information about Congress. It allows students to research the latest issues in Congress or follow Congress members through Twitter feeds, news articles and You Tube videos. It links to each member’s website, contact information, and Open Congress, a resource for following the voting patterns of Congressmen.

Tip: Use the auto-locate feature to easily find your own congressional representative.



News-O-Matic: Daily for Kids (available for iPad)

This news app provides images, videos and maps to accompany five daily news stories. An interactive map with quirky facts, puzzles, games, and the NewsRoom are all features that engage students in current events. Articles are reviewed by child psychologists before publication to ensure content is age-appropriate.

Tip: Expose students to current events; help them develop critical thinking skills, understand point of view, and provide opportunities to read variety of informational text…all features of the Common Core State Standards.



Science 360 (available for iPad)

Science 360 is a science and engineering news app designed to engage the user in visual explorations through photos, videos, and text. New content is added weekly by scientists, engineers, and the National Science Foundation. Teachers can email image and videos to save for classroom room. A built in news feed keeps students and teachers up to date with the latest scientific discoveries. It provides the latest science videos from scientists, colleges and universities, science and engineering centers, the National Science Foundation, and more. The pictures, graphics, and videos are of a very high quality. All information is very well organized, easy to find, and easy to use.

Tip: Click the icon with 3 dots to see related videos. Use a two-finger touch to start a keyword search.



NASA (available for iPhone, iPad, & Android devices)

Kids dream of exploring space and the NASA app helps make that a reality! Users can travel through the universe and gain an in-depth understanding of the NASA role in space exploration. Users can browse through current news and feature stories, view over 157,000 images, watch on-demand NASA video, read-up on current NASA mission information, explore NASA TV, listen to Third Rock Radio, and follow NASA’s Twitter feed.

Tip: Be sure to check out NASA TV and videos as well as Tweets from astronauts.



Operation Math (available for iPad & Android devices)

Stop Dr. Odd from his quest to eliminate the world’s even numbers by finding his secret bases and destroying his computer mainframes. To complete a mission and unlock rewards the player must answer a certain number of math questions in 60 seconds. Training rooms’ help students prepare for their timed mission.

Tip: Utilize the training area to help build skill and confidence before going on a mission.



SimplePhysics (available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices)

SimplePhysics lets you design complex structures for everything from tree houses to Ferris wheels. Verify the structural integrity of your design with a stress test. Great engineering is not enough, however – keep your project under budget to win the game!

Tip: Familiarize yourself with the app by using the online walkthrough, cheats, and strategy guide.



Tinkerbox (available for iPad,  iPhone & iPod Touch)

If you can imagine it, you can build it with TinkerBox. TinkerBox is a free, fun, educational engineering and physics puzzle game. It is full of interesting science facts and teaches basic engineering concepts. In Puzzle mode, players are given a task to complete. In Invent mode, students use trial and error arrange and re-arrange elements until they design a successful solution. Students are encouraged to explore their creativity and imagination to build outrageous machines (think Rube Goldberg), and share them with friends. Students can also email their inventions to the developer to possibly be included on the game’s website.This is a very engaging app that stimulates creative problem solving.

Tip: To get familiar with how it works, master the puzzles mode.



EasyBib (available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, & Android devices)

Citations can be the bane of existence for some. The EasyBib app provides students and teachers with a tool allowing them to create properly formatted MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations. Users can build, organize and manage their works cited by simply scanning the barcode on a book or typing in the title. The agony of remembering where that comma or period goes is finally over. Hooray!

Tip: Build a list of books you have read or want to read by scanning the barcode.



Dropbox (available for iPhone, iPad, & Android devices)

How many times have you had issues sending files via email? PowerPoints that crash your mailbox; photos your mother sent to you…now that she has finally learned how to add an attachment; PDF’s of the manuscript of the next War and Peace. Dropbox is the answer to your prayers to the email box gods. This app allows you to save, access, and share photos, documents, and videos digitally on a variety of mobile devices.

Tip: Dropbox is great tool for students to use during collaborative projects; it is private and can sync with accounts on both mobile devices and online.



Evernote (available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, & Android devices)

If organization is not you or your student’s strongest characteristic, the Evernote app is the solution. The app helps students stay organized by quickly adding notes, creating to-do lists, and reminders. The app also has the ability to capture photographs and voice recordings. Evernote is fully integrated with the most popular social media tools including Facebook, Dropbox, Pinterest, Skype and even Linkedin making sharing resources simple.

&nbspTip: Tag your notes for easy search and discover ability.



Schoology (available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, & Android devices)

The Schoology app allows teachers and students to stay connected 24/7 to their learning management system. Assignments can be assigned, submitted, graded, and returned on the go. Also teachers can create messages, task lists, and keep everyone informed.

Tip: Students can view assignments, collaborate with their peers, and get assistance on a variety of mobile devices.



Socrative (available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, & Android devices)

The Socrative app turns devices into student response clickers providing an engaging way for students to participate and interact in the learning experience. Socrative provides teachers real-time feedback and allows assessment to be an integral and immediate part of the instructional experience.

Tip: Teachers can use the Socrative app to collect assessment data that can be sent to them as a Google spreadsheet or an Excel file.


(Source: http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards-guidelines/best-apps/2013#stem)



Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night (available for iPad)

Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night layers clear text with interesting diagrams, beautiful photographs, and interactive features that enhance young readers’ understanding of the subject. The design elements are top-notch, providing just the right amount of zing to keep kids engaged without distracting them from the essence of the material. A well-executed informative nonfiction app that anyone implementing the AASL learning standards and Common Core State Standards will find beneficial. This is what a book app should be, it takes you beyond the book with innovative technology related to the topic.

Tip: Springboard an inquiry unit using Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night as a motivation and tie in with a trip to the zoo.


Al Gore – Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis (available for iPhone & iPad)

Al Gore’s Our Choice is a rich, multimedia app that examines the climate crisis. It will engage both teens and adults alike. Gore published “Our Choice: How We Can Solve the Climate Crisis” in 2009 as a young readers’ edition of “An Inconvenient Truth” (2007). This app, released in September 2011, updates the books content, incorporating a variety of compelling information. School librarians will want to use this app as they explore Common Core State Standards persuasive nonfiction.

Tip: In-depth material on climate crisis provides great point of view exercises in Common Core State Standards aligned instruction. Pair this app with a fictional piece on climate crisis such as “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton, as well as other nonfiction on the subject matter.



Cinderella (available for iPhone & iPad)

Nosy Crow’s Cinderella app engages young readers, encouraging them to explore and play with this original adaptation of the classic fairy tale. Beautiful illustrations draw readers right into the story, but the design keeps readers engaged as they explore the tap-activated dialog, scenes that extend beyond the screen, and narration that captures the playful tone of the story.

Tip: The app utilizes tactual experiences to immerse the reader, which includes: tapping, swiping, dragging and dropping. It is perfect for close reading as the reader will find something new almost every time they read it over and over again.



Shakespeare In Bits – Hamlet (available for iPad)

The Shakespeare in Bits: Hamlet app will appeal to students who want a visual sense of the story as they listen and read the play. This app combines an excellent full cast narration of the play with a rudimentary animated version enacted on half the iPad screen, while the full text of the play is on the other half. While it sounds cluttered, the design works very smoothly. Each scene is broken into manageable chunks, helping students absorb the original language.

Tip: MindConnex has the plays either available to purchase within the general Shakespeare in Bits app as in-app purchases, or individually. This individual option allows schools to purchase one play in bulk using volume discounts and avoiding marketing/social media links.



Fam Bam: Got to Have Music (available for iPhone & iPad)

Featuring music and narration by rhythm-and-blues singer Brandy Norwood and her family, this app engages children with its playful tone, love of music and cartoon animation. This family all loves music, but everybody has their own favorites and doesn’t want to listen to the others’ music. What’s a tight-knit fam bam to do? The conflict resolves with a fun twist as everyone learns to compromise.

Tip: A great multicultural app about respecting others’ choices and having fun together.


EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week #EduWin Weekly discusses the power of the written word through blogging.  Sharon Davison joins the EduWin Crew to talk about her experiences blogging with Kindergartners.  As the curator of five different blogs and three wikis, Sharon explains the positive impact blogging can have on such a young audience and also talks about how to involve parents in the conversation.  If you have any interest in blogging with students, this is an episode not to be missed!


This weeks show also features #eduwins from @dubioseducator@hobson_k  and @adambellow

James’ favorite #eduwin via

@dubioseducator“#educoach My big #eduwin for me is I started to blog! Well one post so far for #kinderblog13 Not fancy not refined but I DID IT”

Cheryl’s favorite #eduwin via

whatisyoureduwin.com: “This is what we call a keynote #EduWin! Thanks @adambellow for always inspiring us to continue creating.

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

@hobson_k “Kelly HS Science teacher, Sydney Australia. Most recent #eduwin – having parents retell stories Ss have told them after my classes! #scitlap”

Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via

@kkidsinvt on whatisyoureduwin.com:

As a Kindergarten teacher I value the energy and excitement that young children bring to the classroom.  My students have become amazing bloggers.  Blogging has given all of my students a way to connect, share and collaborate with others.  We blog about what is important to us in regards to our learning.

In the video you will get an opportunity to hear how a couple of my students feel about blogging.


Read more here about how I use blogging in Kindergarten.

Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos FernandezMichelle Russell and Cheryl Lykowski

View our Show Notes

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EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week #EduWin Weekly makes a trip to the Discovery Education Network Summer Institute (DENSI) in Vermont.  Carlos Fernandez  and Cheryl Lykowski share their incredible learning experiences and bring some new friends to the conversation.  Brandon Wislocki (OCTechnet) who talks about Richard Byrne’s inspiring keynote, Shelly Tulloch (@6tulloch) who talks about connecting with other educators and preparing students to be leaders and her hopes for a 1:1 pilot and Laura Murphy (@laurabug) shares how walking into the right room at the right time can change you as an educator.


This weeks show also features #eduwins from @JasonSeliskar@flourishingkids and @MelissaEmler


James’ favorite #eduwin via

@MelissaEmler“A S from my 10 yr ago asked me to review his personal statement for a medical residency…he found me on linkedin. #eduwin. Hope I can help! ”

Cheryl’s favorite #eduwin via

@flourishingkids“This week I’ve gotten email from 3 students from last year’s class just saying hi. Makes me smile :-) #eduwin”

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

@JasonSeliskar“My wife is uploading images from her iPad to @googledrive & her response, “I love Google Drive!, you just go whooop & there it is!” #eduwin”

Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos Fernandez and Cheryl Lykowski

View our Show Notes

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Part 1: Pre-DENSi2013

I have been a DEN Star now for a little over a year and having so many of my great friends involved with Discovery seemed like a no brainer for me to apply to be a participant at DENSI2013.


I am a huge Discovery Education fan and strongly believe that the people that are associated with Discovery Education have there hearts in the right place and truly care about students and helping them reach there educational goals through digital media. I also love the community of sharing that they have built and network of friends that are like an EdTech family.

Discovery EducationApplication Process:

The application process for DENSI2013 was challenging. They asked for a video application that had no special effects or video editing. This was like asking a bunch of teenagers to with out their cell phones for a month. Being the perfectionist or semi-perfectionist that I am, well lets just say i made about over 100 different video application takes until I decided to submit one. The final submission was not fancy, it was just a simple message explaining who I am and how I made 100 different video applications and decided to go with the simplest one of all. To my surprise on my birthday weekend I received an email stating that my application had been accepted to attend DENSI2013.


So here I am now a couple of months later sitting in the Airport about to load on my first of three flights that will lead me to Burlington Vermont for the big event.

Den Summer InstituteSo what do I hope to learn at DENSI2013?

To be honest I am more excited about the attendees and new friends that I will be making more than anything. I am certain that I am going to come back with so many great ideas that I could instantly implement with my teachers.

I am hoping to hangout with my friends that I only get to see and speak to at a tech conference setting. I am also looking forward to hanging out with 2 out of the three ladies whom convinced me to be a DEN STAR. (Conni Mulligan and Cheryl Woolwine)

As you can see I am keeping an open mind about DENSI, as a first time attendee. Having said that I do have high expectations for the event and for myself. I am looking forward to a full week of disconnecting. Not disconnecting from the internet but disconnecting from as many work related things as possible, so I can focus in on the event, earning new things, and make life long friends to add to my ever growing personal learning network.

My thoughts on ISTE2013 (5 things I took away from ISTE 2013)


I purposely did not write this blog instantly after ISTE 2013. My brain was in overload mode because of all of the amazing things that I learned and to be honest, I just wanted some of this information to just soak in. So after a couple of weeks now I finally have time to go back through my notes and mention some of the great things that I learned and enjoyed from ISTE2013.




IgniteIGNITE Panel Sessions:

Ignite sessions were a series of about 10 speakers that each had under 5 minutes to share, and inspire what they were passionate about.  The content was great and at times inspirational but what I took away from the IGNITE Sessions was not the speakers message, but the concept of the session itself. I could not think of a better way to start a faculty meeting than to have our own mini IGNITE Session. Ask 3-5 teachers to prepare a 3-5 minute sharing session of something that they are passionate about, or something that they have learned recently. Challenge them to be inspirational. This concept was a home run for me, and hoping it will be a home run in faculty meetings, and educational meetings to come.



Graphite is a brand new product from Common Sense Media. Graphite is a free service that helps teachers, find, understand, and share the best digital learning products available. This is just one of those tools that you have to see and experience your self. This was probably the best new product that I came across and learned about at the ISTE exhibition floor. If your a teacher looking for a variety of digital media or content look no further. Let Graphite do the searching for you.



ISTE was not about presentations. It was not about a sales pitch from a vendor or about the exhibit floor. It was not about the parties, or amazing giveaways by large companies such as Microsoft. ISTE was all about making connections. It was a conference where I was fortunate to be with 16,000 of my closest friends. I was surrounded by ideas, sharing, motivation, and inspiration all put into one large building. I must have heard this phrase at least 100 times if not more “that is such a great idea/tool, also try this, this, and this”. ISTE should be called “ShareFest” cause that is what it felt like (and thats a great thing).


Creative Workgroup in a MeetingBuilding Relationships:

Building relationships is key when you go to an event as large and powerful as ISTE. It is without say that meeting new people is important but building strong relations with vendors/companies is just as important. Now lets be clear about this – I am not referring to the GOOGLE’S or MICROSOFT’S of the world. I am referring to new startups.  I had the fortune of hanging out with the team from REMIND101 and meeting the teams that created CLASS DOJO and EDUCREATIONS.  Talk about startup companies that are truly classy. Never a sales pitch, but just a humble group of people wanting to improve there product. They were hanging on to every single word of advice that educators gave them and writing them down so they can find ways to implement this feedback.  There are companies that I truly don’t care for and then there are startups and young companies that just truly get it. It’s about the relationships and attention to details that truly matter and I am happy to say that REMIND101 gets it.


KEYNOTE Adam Bellows:

I believe that after listening to Adam Bellows give the closing keynote ISTE all I could say was WOW! I know Adam personally and was so excited for him when I heard he was going to be a keynote for ISTE. Adam had the crowd on its feet for what seemed to be a never ending well deserved standing ovation.

So here are some highlights through my eyes.

1) It was apparent that the Keynote was not done in one day, one week, or even one month. He joked about having over 200 slides, and he did, but he pulled off what not to many people can. He presented a ton of slides with fluidity, purpose, and passion.

2) Humility – What do great leaders do? They ask and depend on others to help each one another reach there goals. Numerous times Adam tweeted and Face-booked questions for his PLN and asked for suggestions for ISTE presentations.  I sent him a message on Facebook reminding him to cover the importance of reflection and he included it in his keynote. His keynote was not just about him, it was about his PLN and the relationships that he had made. When the spotlight shined brightest on him, he was able to step back and acknowledge some of the people whom he cared so much for and had helped him get to this point in time. His keynote message was focused on changing the world. He had a monumental task of inspiring educators that are already inspired. This was a tough crowd to present to and of course Adam delivered beautifully. He had audience members laughing and tearing up in the same presentation. I took one look around and you could see everyone holding on to every single word he spoke, not because he was interesting but because he was relevant.

3) Inspirational: I have sat through way to many keynotes to truly get excited about a message. So what do I look forward to in a keynote? I look for new ideas, for inspiration, for someone to not only justify some of my current philosophies but also influence and inspire me to take new a path and think differently.  A keynote should not only inspire you but challenge you and Adam Bellows did just that.  Well done Adam!

If you haven’t seen his Adam Bellows ISTE2013 Keynote – you can find it here. http://youtu.be/DrgieoTvDE8



This week on #EduWin Weekly:

This week #EduWin Weekly the EduWin crew shares their ISTE experience.  We are joined by Jenna Linskens (@2teach_edtech) who shares the unique perspective of being an ISTE presenter.  Carlos tells us about being a first time attendee, while the rest of the crew discusses what it was like to follow the premier education and technology event via the #ISTE13 and #notatiste hashtags.  One thing is certain – Adam Bellow’s (@adambellow) closing keynote made a major impact on all of us and anyone who experienced it live or virtually!


This weeks show also features #eduwins from @khokanson@iPodsibilities and @tomwhitby

James’ favorite #eduwin via

@khokanson@njtechteacher Monster Project #eduwin #iste13http://monsterproject.wikispaces.com/Welcome 

Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via

@tomwhitby“ISTE’s Top Ten Conversations http://zite.to/120ttr1  #Edchat”

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

@iPodsibilities@adambellow sharing an important message: “Explore. Share. Contribute. Dream. We must do things that matter.” #eduwin #iste13

Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos Fernandez and Michelle Russell

View our Show Notes

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This week on #EduWin Weekly:

We are  live on location from EdCamp Leon. We visit with three guest who take time out from their busy day of learning to share their excitement about the EdCamp Movement. Jerry Swiatek (@jswiatek) a partcipant at one of the first EdCamps tells us about the origin of this grassroots movement, Sergio Yanes (@commapolice) talks about what goes into preparing an EdCamp event, and Jackie Takaki (@mstakaki) shares her experience as a first time EdCamp attendee.


This weeks show also features #eduwins from @LaoshiSeth, @stumpteacher, @kdb4fsu and @aimeegbartis

James’ favorite #eduwin via

@LaoshiSeth“BIORAMA! – The Biome Project. New blog post! http://banyangloballearning.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/biorama-the-biome-project/ … #eduwin #edchat #artseducation #science”

Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via

@stumpteacher“Today was a great day w the ELA teachers. We used Jing to video grade papers. “I’m never grading on paper again. This is way easier” #eduwin”

Cheryl’s favorite #eduwin via

@stumpteacher“Kids are writing notes of encouragement/thanks to their peers today. Powerful stuff that reminds me that kids are awesome. #eduwin”

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

@kdb4fsu“#eduwin a shoutout in the yearbook from an unexpected student that APUSH was engaging! #gratefultweet”

Show Host: James Gubbins

Carlos FernandezEduWin Weekly #22 Live from EdCamp LeonMichelle Russell and Cheryl Lykowski

View our Show Notes


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EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

On this episode the EduWin Crew is joined by David Harms a social studies instructor at Penta Career Center in Perrysburg, Ohio.  David is a dynamic educator who shares with us his knowledge regarding flipped and paperless classrooms and some great advice on usingEdmodo in an educational setting.  He shares how technology influences his students, helps them to become engaged in the learning process and prepares them for a bright future.


This weeks show features #eduwins from @LongEDU@raefearing and @drezac

This week’s theme seemed to develop regarding student engagement and this weeks spotlight EduWins highlighted that theme.

James’ favorite #eduwin via

@LongEDU: “Words like “Please” & “Thank You” can bring great joy. Tweeted The Outsiders author how much we loved her book, she replied! #EduWin

Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via

@raefearing: “3rd graders 1st encounter with whole brain teaching. A-MA-ZING! http://youtu.be/UF8zHAK0vJM  via @youtube #WBT #learning

Cheryl’s favorite #eduwin via

@drezac@CainesArcade @MsMagiera AwesomeWell– he’sinspired so many people. Hope he has an awesome summer! He’s a total #EduWin

Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Michelle Russell and Cheryl Lykowski

View our Show Notes

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EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

On this episode the EduWin Crew is joined by Carrie Baughcum a special education middle school teacher who this year took on a 1:1 IPAD paperless classroom. Her journey is exciting and inspirational.  She shares how taking risks transformed her as an educator and made her classroom an even more amazing learning environment.  You can read all about her journey at: http://www.holdontoyourchair.com/

This weeks show features #eduwins from@mrsbeaudrie@HoldOn2urChair@brookhouser and @JaimeVanderG


This week’s program was all about the value of taking risks and this weeks spotlight EduWins highlighted that theme.

James’ favorite #eduwin via

@HoldOn2urChair: “It is WEEK 3 as an iPad 1:1 classroom and everything is juusssst right! http://ow.ly/jPVF9  #OurAwesomeness #edtech #sped #eduwin

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

@JaimeVanderG: “This is what makes me smile! My kids from last year in @edmodo asking for Storybird usernames! #eduwin pic.twitter.com/qXMkCBy7fo

Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via

@brookhouser: “New Feature: How to insert images in Google Forms. Featuring Sasso. #eduwin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un6LFlA5TSc …

Cheryl’s favorite #eduwin via

@mrsbeaudrieMy 7th science students breaking down the walls of classroom and working to provide clean drinking water for others @TheWaterProject#eduwin

Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos FernandezMichelle Russell and Cheryl Lykowski

View our Show Notes

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EDUWIN-button-300This week on #EduWin Weekly:

On this week’s episode the EduWin team is excited to be joined by Branden Chi, a 3rd grader in Mrs. McCluskey’s class at Wescott Elementary School .  Branden is an extremely creative and inspirational young man who choose to create the claymation book report for Charlotte’s Webwhich has received a great deal well deserved attention from educators around the world.  We hope you enjoy the interview during which Brandon explains the project!

This weeks show also features #eduwins from @PrincipalJ@HoldOn2urChairCarol Reese and @drezac

It’s always interesting to see a common thread among the EduWin Team’s selections for the show.  This week it seemed we focused on how students can creatively make connections and have a true, positive and meaningful impact on the world through technology.

James’ favorite #eduwin via

@drezac: “This Claymation Charlotte‘s Web video is a HUGE#EduWin. This was made by one of our 3rd graders! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtmPHuzd8w8 …

I’m happy to report Branden continues to post exciting video’s on his YouTube Channel. Be sure to check out his latest claymation creation: The Chocolate Enemies Trailer and his first hand drawn animation: Morph

If your interested in stop motion animation, Branden recommends starting with iMotion HD.  Some of his other works were created using VidRhythm Both apps have free versions on the iOS platform.

We look forward to many more creative works from Branden and would like to thank his father for allowing him to join us and for fostering and supporting his talent!

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

@PrincipalJ: “A middle school student created his own business to raise awareness about bullying. WOW! #eduwin http://www.meinfinity.com/ 

Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via

Carol Reese on whatisyoureduwin.com: “Students in Austin, Texas used Skype to discuss water conservation with students and a naturalist in Kenya. Their story was picked up by Skype and is now used to promo Skype in the Classroom. Talk about an #EduWin!

Unfortunately, Cheryl could not join us for this episode as she was participating in #edcamp Detroit.  We look forward to catching up with Cheryl on Episode #20.  Carlos’ personal eduwin was the idea of edcamps.  If your interested in this exciting unconference format you can find an upcoming event in your area at http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/

Michelle shared the #techcoach chat that happens on Thursdays and the corresponding site at http://techcoachchat.wikispaces.com which is full of great resources as well an archive of previous chats!

James shared a QR Code Easter Egg hunt created by @lisaberkery and influenced by one of James’ sessions at a recent conference.  You can find her summary of the project at: http://www.berkerybytes.blogspot.com/


Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos Fernandez and Michelle Russell

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This week on #EduWin Weekly:

On this weeks episode the EduWin team is joined by Amy Lamberti, a 21st Century Integration Specialist from Lake Forest School District 67.  Amy explains how her district has transformed a vacated space into “The Cube” an area for collaboration, communication and creativity.


This weeks show also features #eduwins from @gdavis582@HoldOn2urChair@jamestsanders, and@amylamberti

A theme seemed to evolve during this episode that spoke to the idea that a single spark can ignite a flame of learning.

James’ favorite #eduwin via

@amylamberti: “This is my #EduWin: when a teacher shares her success about transforming her teaching in a staff meeting this am. http://www.whatisyoureduwin.com

You can also find out more about ”The Cube” by visiting http://dpmc3.weebly.com/

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

@gdavis582: “BYOD to the rescue again this week! My 5th graders have been able to complete research for their A-Z Invention project with ease! #eduwin

Cheryl’s favorite #eduwin via

@HoldOn2urChair: “Having a student teacher isn’t just about you teaching them. They have so much to offer us too!!! #eduwin #sped

Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via

@jamestsanders: “Engaging students in your class with great YouTube EDU videos like this is alway an #EduWin! http://youtu.be/1_JqwvvEpRM

  • James Sanders is an Innovation Manager for the Bay Area Schools
    • The video is a TedEd video – http://ed.ted.com/
    • With Ted-Ed has YouTube video lessons.  Include video, Think (questions), Dig Deeper (more information about the topic), Discuss (guided discussions)
  • Michelle’s personal #eduwin: Getting the opportunity to attend a workshop with Jim Knight,@jimknight99.  Some links to information from Jim Knight:


Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos FernandezCheryl Lykowski , and Michelle Russell

View our Show Notes

ITunes Store EduWinYou can find the EduWin PodCast at in the iTunes Store


This week on #EduWin Weekly:

Eduwin returns with a fresh set of voices and a renewed passion for the movement! On this week’s episode, you will meet the new team, hear some of their favorite #eduwins from recent weeks and their vision of what #eduwin means to them!

This weeks featured #eduwins include tweets from@ShawnMcCusker,@NL_NrD@techsavvyed,@fuglefun



James’ favorite #eduwin via

@ShawnMcCuskerSome of my happiestmoments are when students do great things & inspire me. #eduwinpic.twitter.com/tnG6zS4muc

Carlos’ favorite #eduwin via

@NL_MrD: “Love when student’s tell you that they learn so much from your class. Love my job. #eduwin

Cheryl’s favorite #eduwin via

@teachsavvyed:@runfardvs @deliabush @delta_dc I also have a Video Story Problem 101 page with some graphic organizers and ideas http://www.techsavvyed.net/archives/2352 

Michelle’s favorite #eduwin via

@fuglefunField Trip to the Art Institute of Chicago http://drydenart.weebly.com/1/post/2013/04/field-trip-to-the-art-institute-of-chicago.html … Back from our live tweeting field trip (thx @wfryer for the idea)

Show Host: James Gubbins

Show Contributors: Carlos FernandezCheryl Lykowski , and Michelle Russell

ITunes Store EduWinYou can find the EduWin PodCast at in the iTunes Store

File Transfer Made Easy

There are so many ways to transfer files. The most common being Email, USB, or cloud based solutions. Here are some great options for educators or the common person.

File Transfer Sites:

What do they do?

The following resources are web sites that allow you to upload a document or folder and convert the document or folder into a link. You can email that link or post it on a website/blog for others to easily have access.

How does this apply to educators?

This is the quickest and easiest way to transfer file – to be more specific “Large Files” that you may just be to large to transfer over via email.

 Paste Link

No Sign-up is required. Just drag and drop your document and copy the link. There’s no limit to how many files you can share. Each file is automatically stored for 7 days. Send movies to friends, TPS reports to coworkers or study guides for students.


Share images, documents, media, files, and links over the internet.

 Drop Canvas

Share Folders, images, documents, media, files and more. Allows up to 5gb per canvas which should be more than enough for basic file transfer.

Final Thoughts:

All three of these resources are a must have tool for an educators toolbox. Is this something that you are going to use everyday? Probably not. However, is this a tool that will come in handy when you need it the most? Most definitely? Transfer important files the “Easy Way”.

Flipped Classroom Presentation


Edcamp Orlando Presentation Materials:http://www.haikudeck.com/p/AwQeUSbceC/flipped-classroom-101-edcamp-orlando

Here is my flow chart presentation Popplet: http://popplet.com/app/#/843467

A little over a month ago I purchased the Zagg Pro Plus Keyboard from Zagg.com.

Before I get into the product review, I must say that I am an iPad Case junkie. I have gone through so many different covers and cases looking for the right one. After all is said and done your case should meet your needs based on how you use your iPad. When people purchase Tablet Cases, or phone cases they instantly think protection. To be more specific they think protection from dropping the device on the floor and having it break. This of course is important however what I was looking for is functionality. I use my iPad at technology conferences and business meetings non-stop. Mostly I take notes or need access to important emails and files to review or edit during meetings.

My iPad was good enough to meet these needs. I usually toggle between my Mac Book Air and my iPad to meet these needs it just depends one, which one has more battery life left at that point in the date.I felt so efficient with my Mac Book Air and was trying to get some of the same efficiency out of my iPad for my way of work.  This is where the Zagg Pro Plus Keyboard came into play. I looked at some other great keyboard options for iPads out there but I thought it was ridiculous to pay 200 plus dollars on a keyboard case.

Before I get into the details of why I like this product so much, I wanted to go over why I was so hesitant to purchase this product. They keyboard on the Zagg Pro Plus is not a full size keyboard. This bugged the heck out of me because I am a typer. I can fly when it comes to typing. This is a key part of my daily job. I thought to myself that there would be no way that I can get used to or like the smaller keyboard that the Zagg Pro Plus comes with. I WAS WRONG. I can use is just as good as a regular keyboard. The Zagg Pro Plus does a great job at keeping up with my typing speed and keys do not get stuck. It took about 5 minutes of typing for me to get used too.

Home Setup

So what did this case do for me?

1)   It became my keyboard case – It was easy to carry around and looked like my Mac Book Pro Air, just lighter.

2)   It gave me the flexibility of easily not using the keyboard and just holding the iPad the way it was meant to be used – which is in your hand. If I needed to put it back with the keyboard then it took me less than 1 second to put it back with the keyboard. No Sleeve or fancy connectors to toggle between using that iPad in different ways.

3)   It had a back-lite keys option that could be turned on or off. Similar to my MacBook Air. This was a flashy looking feature that really makes the product/ keyboard stand out. I did want to add that in retrospect the Zagg Pro that does not come with the back-lite keys would have been ok and just a bit cheaper. The back-lite keyboard is nothing more than just a personal preference.

4)   Battery Life is incredible.  I can go 2 weeks without charging my keyboard, and when I do charge it, it can recharge fully in just minutes.

The Zagg Pro Plus for me personally was a no brainer.

Educational Value: As we continue to move toward high stakes testing on tablets, educators are not only going to have to find a great functional tablet that meets all of the students, teachers, and testing needs, but find one that has a keyboard attached to them for testing. Call me crazy but I do not see a student answering a short response or essay using a tablet that does not have a physical keyboard, especially on a timed test.  Based on size, functionality and battery life, something like the Zagg Pro or Pro Plus does make a lot of sense for students in the educational setting. The ease of using it with a keyboard or without a keyboard is just too easy to pass up.  This keyboard gives you the best of both worlds.


Flipping the lesson or the classroom is no easy task. There are lots of steps that must be done before you flip a lesson or the classroom.

Flipped Classroom

Here are some recommendations:

1)   Do you have a way to record your lessons with your computer or iPad?


Flipped AppsUsing an iPad is a great tool for flipping. There are so many great apps out there that allow you to screen cast with ease.  For Elementary – Screen Chomp by Tech Smith is the app that I really love, it’s simple quick and easy for teachers and students to use. For secondary – I also recommend Screen Chomp for the same reasons but you can also look into apps such as Educreations, Show Me, Coach’s Eye, and Explain Everything. If you are trying to do a screen cast with your computer I recommend Jing by Tech Smith. This is a great tool for both PC and MAC platforms. Just like the iPad apps mentioned previously, Jing for PC or MAC allows you to create a video or screen shot of any window you create in your screen and allows you to have a voice over so you can explain your lesson or ideas while recording.


Flipped Apps 2

2)   Where are you going to host the videos?

The majority of these screen casting services coverts your videos into a link. Some even allow you to have the embedded code so you can embed the video to your site.  This is where your personal teacher website comes in to play. It is not visually appealing to a parent or even administrators to have a site with 50 links that are tied to lessons that you flipped. As a parent I am not willing to click through all fifty links, so labeling them correctly and having a visual picture for each lesson is definitely going to be more visually attracting. Think about how YouTube has their site set up, they don’t just have links but sample pictures of the videos.  So going back to your website – can it handle the embedding of videos or pictures that can be linked to those video URL’s. Lots of times teachers (specially elementary teachers) purchase a licenses to use these cute simple websites that really don’t do much except allow you to put text in them. The websites are not very interactive or even visually appealing. I would recommend that educators look into blogging type sites for their websites that can still be visually appealing and look like a regular teacher website even though it’s a blog site. WordPress, Blogger, and EduBlogs are all great suggestions.

Here is a sample of a Blog converted into a teacher site:

Stephanie's Old Blog

Some teachers use learning platforms such as Edmodo to flip lessons and the classroom. Edmodo is a great place to post assignments, thoughts, ideas, videos and more. It also fits the flipped lesson/classroom concept perfectly because it also allows students to ask questions using that platform that the teacher or other students can answer.



3)   Communication

– You should never flip a lesson or a class with out some clear concise communication between you the teacher, administrator, and students parents. They all need to be on board for this. I saw an example of a very good teacher trying to flip a lesson- she explained her frustration to me that only 5 out of 18 kids actually watched the lesson at home like they were supposed to. My first question was did you send any documentation to the parents explaining the concept of flipping or even meet with the parents face to face to explain this concept with them and of course she said – no. Flipping the classroom or flipping the lesson is not a homework assignment. It’s a philosophy, a classroom teaching strategy, it must be explained to all stakeholders and there must be buy in before you jump into this.  The concept of flipping the classroom or flipping a lesson is based on communication. You communicate the concepts of what you are trying to accomplish with all parties. You then communicate with your students and parents through digital resources such as a short 2-minute lesson video. Parents communicate with their child by helping them understand the concepts the teacher has explained in the videos. Students communicate with their teacher’s questions that they have through an online platform (like Edmodo) or in class the next day.



4)   Connectivity:

Not all students have access to the internet at home. Chances are that the videos that you are creating and posting to  your website for flipping the lessons are all web-based videos that students and parents need internet access to see. So what is your plan for these students? First thing is to identify them. If possible, try to have an iPad, or computer available for them in a class after school and before school. Give those students a chance to access the same information that everyone else might have seen at home. The lower the number of these students obviously the easier this is going to be. This is why these 2-minute videos are so important because they don’t take that long to watch. Having said this, if 90% of your students do not have Internet access at home then maybe flipping the classroom or lesson is not the best teaching strategy to try and implement.


Differntiated Instruction

5)   Differentiated Instruction

: From an administrators point of view the main reason I am a big fan of flipping the classroom or flipping a lesson is because it gives teachers who already have little to no extra time an avenue for a new method to successfully differentiate instruction.  By flipping a lesson the teacher can have students from all levels working on different assignments and watching different video lessons be engaged in the content and classroom instruction.

Key teacher questions about Flipping the Classroom or Flipping a Lesson:


  • Question: How do I turn my 45-minute math lesson or reading block into a video?

    Answer: You don’t! You should focus on the learning goal, main idea or concept of the course. You ask yourself what is the main thing that my students must leave today knowing and that is what you create a 1-3 minute video explaining. Another option is to create a quick video on the part of the lesson that you know your students struggled with the most.
  • Question: Is this more work for a teacher?

    Answer: Yes it is more work if you consider creating a 3 minute video more work. You are now going to have to take an extra 3 minute of your busy schedule to create a video and post it to your website or Edmodo group for your students and their parents to have access to them.  However, it’s going to save you time from having to re-teach concepts to you’re struggling students, and help your advanced students stay engaged in lessons.  So you see how this can also help save you time.

Final thoughts:

Where school administrators and teachers get it all wrong is by trying to do too much to fast. The concept of flipping the classroom is great but it does not happen over night. It’s also something that you must stick to in order to eventually see the success of the concept.  My suggestion for a school, teacher or administrator that is interested in flipping the classroom is to flip a lesson first.  Maybe pick a lesson once a week and flip a lesson that way. As you start to see the increase in student interest of that flipped lesson then start adding to flipped lessons a week. Please note that you need buy in from all stakeholders so the lessons that you start off with must be extremely interesting and engaging. Lets get those students and parents hooked on this concept first by engaging them.  Flip the lesson first, don’t try to do too much.  By flipping the lesson once a week and adding lessons as you see fit, your class will eventually morph into a flipped classroom. Do not rush it.

As stated earlier you can not have success in flipping the classroom or lesson without, the proper hardware and software, proper website or learning platform. You must communication to all stakeholders, have a plan for how to handle the students that have connectivity issues at home, and a plan to meet the needs of your students by differentiating your instruction.


Flip Books

I am always looking for great classroom tools to help our teachers and students with digital story telling. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves with little to no time for students to spend on learning programs such as iBook Author, which also happens to be one of the best book creators ever designed. Then there are other schools that do not have the 1:1 resources like iPads and can’t use apps like Book Creator.

After I presented at FETC, (Florida Educational Technology Conference) Mrs. Krystal Princehorn from Lake Mary High suggested a great resource for student collaboration/creation for those of you who have one or more computers in your classroom. She suggested FlipSnack. After a quick look at FlipSnack I thought it would make a great addition to any teachers digital tool belt.

Flip SnackFlipSnack easily converts PDF’s to Flipbooks. The flipbooks are mobile friendly and can be created in just minutes. FlipSnack allows you to share your flipbook with others by converting it to an easily accessible link or share your flipbook through social media for all to see. Publishing student work and sharing their creations globally not only gives our students a voice but also allows them to understand that what they learn, and what they create does not stay in the classroom but can be shared globally. Students must always be reminded that they can and do have a positive impact on others based on their creations and their ability to share it.

flipbook imageI often read blogs and attend great presentations that share great tools but fail to discuss ideas on how these tools can be used in the classroom. So here you go:

Teaching strategies: Team up with another class, school in your city, state, or country and share your flipbooks with them. Use the flipbook as a way to demonstrate the knowledge that you have gained in one lesson or a series of lessons. Share the flipbook with other students and see their feedback.  It can also be used as a classroom publication for students, parents, or create one for your school.

Teaching strategies with Special Education students:  Have students create books for special education students and flip it around as well where the special education students are sharing content with the other students. After this has been done – take it to the next level where they collaborate together to create flipbooks together.

Final thoughts: Technology should not separate us but bring us together. What we create is important but what truly is important is what we do with our creations and whom did we create them with. Share your works with the world by using resources like flipbook that can be seen by anyone no matter the device.

Socrative Move over Socrative you have several serious web 2.0 tools that are attempting to dethrone you.  There is no shortage of student response systems ranging from physical devices to web 2.0 tools that can be used with any mobile device. If you are not familiar at all with Socrative, I strongly suggest that you visit Socrative.com as quickly as you can. I have yet to run into an educator that speaks negatively about such a phenomenal tool. Socrative is a FREE web based student response system that also works on android and IOS as an app.

For any school that is implementing a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiative or wants to get more out of their teaching in a computer lab atmosphere, then Socrative for you. For the last 2 possibly 3 years, teachers have been raving about Socrative and its ability to do multiple forms of questions such as polls, surveys, multiple choice, short response and even questioning games like Space Race.

So should Socrative worry? I am not sure but here are two other great resourcesthat are worth a look. Competition can only make products better so my ears and eyes are open for new educational resources.

Infuse LearningInfuse Learning is a web based student response system that can be used on any platform. Educators can assign a question and push them out to students. Infuse Learning allows the teacher to push out true or false, short answer, multiple choice, and more. What really does take infuse learning above and beyond is how it allows students to reply by creating drawings/pictures on their device (no matter the device).  For those visual or artistic students this could be a huge game changer. It allows students another way to express themselves and show growth and understanding, when speaking about curriculum.


Go Class

GoClass is like the other tools mentioned above, and  is a solid student response system for the digital teacher. The concepts of SHOW-EXPLAIN-ASK are the tested teaching methodology that GoClass believes in.  The application allows you to create, deliver, evaluate, and update content  from the same application and store the information that you create on the Cloud.

Final Thoughts:

Educators get excited about these tech tools all the time specially after they go to incredible technology conferences such as FETC, ISTE, ICE, TCEA, and others. Socrative, Infuse Learning, and Go Class are just three incredible classroom tools, but what makes these resources incredible are the well though out activities and questions that the teachers create. Technology is not going to make you a better teacher. If used correctly it will help you with student engagement and give you another tool to help take your teaching to the next level.


Came across this amazing web2.0 tool that is not only a great collaboration resources but also a tool that helps me out by converting a Microsoft Word Document or PDF into HTML5. That is correct, you read it right: converts Microsoft Word Documents and PDF’s to HTML5. I am a huge iPad user and I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it gets when I come across websites (usually dated ones) that are still using flash. Seriously, coming from a business and educational background I just do not understand why anyone would want to limit their website exposure by using a product that is Flash heavy and can not be read by all devices?

So how do I use CrocoDoc? You will need to upload your document (word or pdf) to crocodoc. After you have uploaded the document you can begin annotating over the document. CrocoDoc allows you to strick through text, highlight, free hand annotation, make comments and more.


Crocodoc will also converts your document to a link that you can share with any other collaborators. You can download your original or annotated document version. Other features include an email functionality so you can send your document to other collaborators via email or best of all CrocoDoc will give you the HTML5 code so you can embed that pdf into your website of choice.

For educators like myself, we just don’t have time to learn HTML5. We have all played with it at some point and either loved it or found it incredibly frustrating. This HTML5 feature really takes your document and website to the next level by making sure that all readers (students and parents) can easily view your information.


FETC 2013

Last year I wrote an FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference) Survival Guide blog post for new and returning attendees and received a great response back from readers. I wanted to change it up a bit this year and list what I thought were some of the greatest apps that will help you the educator be effective in doing everything that you truly want to accomplish at FETC.

The best advice that I can give you for FETC is to:

1)       Trust FETC: They know what they are doing. Check out the featured presentations, keynote speakers, and use their app. This is not their first rodeo and you will definitely get a lot out of this conference by listening to them (yes this also does include their amazing first timer’s session).

2)      Document Everything: Take great pictures and great notes. Sometimes you get so caught up in the wow factor of FETC and you go back home empty handed with no resources. Don’t let this happen to you.

3)      Socialize – Make new friends. Don’t just stick to the people that you know and see every day. Go and talk to people and make some new connections. Grow that PLN! (Personal Learning Network).

4)      Have Fun! – Go to the Tweet and Greet at TGI Fridays on Tuesday night (6pm – 8pm) or go to Howl at the Moon on Wednesday night. We go to FETC to learn but sometimes it’s those relationships that we create at conferences that can be more valuable than any resource or Edtech tool that you may learn about at a workshop.

Must Have Apps for FETC:


FETC AppFETC 2013: This is the first obvious choice for apps that will allow you to stay organized. The app has so many great features that include

  • Your Conference Schedule
  • Conference Highlights
  • Sessions
  • Sessions Evaluation
  • Exhibitor and Sponsor Information
  • Maps
  • Conference updates
  • Twitter and so much more


Around Me AppAround Me:  If you are looking for a quick gas station, bank, bar, coffee shop or place to eat then the Around Me App is for you. The app shows you the closest venues that you desire and how physically far you are from them.




Genius ScanGenius Scan: This app will allow you to take a picture of a paper document and it will keep the picture as a jpeg or convert it to PDFs. You can then email yourself these PDFs and keep it with your organized FETC digital notes (e.g., Evernote). This will come in just incase any presenters give out paper copies of their resources.



Evernote Phone AppEVERNOTE: Everyone has their own style of taking down notes. Some people just can’t let go of the traditional yellow note pad – and that is ok. Use what works for you. However if you are ready to venture off into a new world of note taking that will transform you to be more organized and change your note taking ideology forever, than EVERNOTE is the app for you.  Organize all of your FETC documents using EVERNOTE. Your travel itineraries, receipts conference agenda, workshop notes and more. You can organize your notes via tags, or create your own notebooks.  Lastly, you can share your notes or notebooks with friends, co-workers, or amazing attendees that you met at the conference.



Evernote HelloEvernote Hello: Remember the connections that you make at FETC by using Evernote Hello. It’s quick, simple, and free. Create your profile on your iPhone, Android Phone, or iPad, and pass it on to another FETC attendee that you just met and shared a great conversation with. By passing your device to them using Evernote Hello – it will ask them to put down their basic contact information and take a picture of them as well. I have yet to meet someone who did not love Evernote Hello.



Four Square AppFoursquare: Yes you could be the major of FETC in Four Square. Well good luck with that one. The reason I mentioned Foursquare is because so many of the restaurants and bars near the Orlando Convention Center have great deals for just checking in using Foursquare.



Edmodo AppEDMODO: If you have never been to FETC or you haven attended in several years you will soon learn what EDMODO is. Edmodo is not only one of the best if not the best classroom tool/resource for any educator but a way to keep your personal professional development organized and in one place. Every session at FETC will have an Edmodo group code attached to it. Go to http://www.edmodo.com/ and register as a teacher or login. Click on “Join Group” and insert the group number for the sessions that you attend and the ones that you wanted to attend but just could not fit into your sessions. All presenters will be posting their presentation/ workshop materials and resources on Edmodo.


iHome Sleep AppiHome + Sleep: Yes there is a great chance that you are going to a bar or stay out late with some friends at FETC. Not only is FETC a great conference where educators from all levels can come to learn but you will also quickly realize that it’s also an extremely social conference. iHome app is going to be your best friend that wakes you up after a great night with friends and remind you that  you have an 8am workshop or concurrent session that you really want to attend.



iTip AppiTip:   Great calculator tipping app for those moments that you just don’t want to do the math on 15%, 18% or 20% for tips.



MoleskineMoleskine Journal: Just learned about this app a couple of days ago and love it. I am also a big fan of annotation apps like Bamboo Paper or Penultimate. Moleskine Journal does a nice job at allowing me to take type notes and annotated notes together on the same page. 




Penultimate AppOther Options: Bamboo Paper, Penultimate


Stay Connected:


Google +Google+: Yes shockingly not everyone has an iPhone or iPad, hard to believe I know. This is a home-run app for me for two simple reasons.

1) Anyone with a SMART PHONE can get this app.

2) You can use Google Hangouts via 3g or 4g and not be a slave to that wifi connection that you may not have when you need it the most.

I strongly suggest that you continue to use your Google account however you deem necessary but for face to face quick communication at FETC you will find out that Google+ Hangouts will be GOLD.



Twitter AppYour trip is more than just learning. Take pictures with old friends and new friends. Take pictures of sessions that you attend. Add your pictures to your session notes. Keep more than just written documentation of this trip. Use your favorite camera on  your device of choice and shoot pictures left and right. If you are going to actively be using social media apps at FETC share those pictures with your followers.  I know many educators that were not able to attend FETC for one reason or another and would greatly appreciate pictures as well as updated post and tweets of the sessions that you attend.


Twitter, Twitteriffic, Hoot Suite, or Tweetdeck: – It does not matter which twitter aggregator you use as long as you use it to stay connected. It’s hard to go to every conference session that you really wanted to go so there is no better way to follow the current conversation than to use #FETC. Keeping up with #FETC might just be one of the best decisions that you make before, during, and after the conference.


Text Me The Answer

No one ever said that implementing a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment was easy and if they did then chances are they did not complete the implementation correct. Lots of things need to take place before a successful BYOD implementation occurs. The goal of this post is to encourage you the educator to pursue the implementation of a BYOD environment. Allow students to bring their devices to school and use them in classroom with educational intentions. We will go through a simple 4 step process that will hopefully guide you in making the proper decision for your classroom on whether to allow students to use mobile devices or not in your learning environment.

School District Policy or School Policy:

Before you make an announcement to all of your students saying “Bring Your Cell Phone/Mobile Devices to class tomorrow” and watch a complete uproar of cheering and celebration their are a few steps that need to take place by the instructional leader so we don’t disappoint the students or discourage the educator from pursuing these types of  initiatives. The first step is to have a well written policy put in place. When running a BYOD environment you should not just expect every student to have 3g or 4g internet connection. This is not how to effectively reach your goal. Students need access to your school network. A best practice scenario would be to create a guest network that is configured differently (meaning a bit more security) that students will be able to access once they are on school grounds. By creating this guest network, teachers should be able to access their regular school network and if one network goes down you have a backup on where to connect too.

It is always best practice for that student to go through the same process that teachers do in the beginning of the school year signing an AUP (Acceptance Use Policy). The AUP should clearly define the rules and limitations of what the students are to access the network for.  School districts need to clearly define what a mobile device is; or what is the name of the device that will be accessing the school network. I would suggest using the term “Personal Communication Devices” and within your school district policy clearly define what devices fall under this term. This is where you also get as broad as to say the functionality of the device, which will help the policy last in our ever so changing technological world.

The School policy must also clearly define what is the intended use of the personal communication devices? What are the students allowed to use the device for, when are they allowed to use it, and most importantly what are the consequences for misuse of the device. A well written policy puts all of the responsibility and liability within the student and not the teacher, administration or school. This basically means that if a student visits an inappropriate web site or takes inappropriate pictures on their device while on campus or more specifically in class then they are 100% liable and not the school or teacher. As you proceed through this process you are going to want to make sure that you have parent involvement and permission in these kinds of initiatives. Parents need to fully understand the goals of the learning environment that you are trying to create.

Allowing the use of personal communication devices in your school environment is not always a huge hit with all teachers. Some teachers are just not ready to take this kind of leap and that is perfectly acceptable. As instructional leaders we need to expose these teachers, and show them the benefits and risks of these kinds of environments. It is important to have layers of authority within the written school policy when it comes to BYOD. The layers of authority would clearly give the ok for students to use the devices “IF” the school administration allows it and “IF” the teacher allows it in their class. Those are some big “IF’s” but what I like about this is that it allows the educator to make these kinds of decisions if and when they are ready.

Digital CItizenshipDigital Citizenship:

Teachers need to be educated just as much as the students when it comes to proper use and management of the devices. There are plenty of opportunities when infusing personal communication devices in the classroom to teach digital citizenship. Topics such as: cyber-bullying, copyright and plagiarism, netiquette, digital footprint, connectivity, social media, text talk vs. formal text and so much more. (See my Digital Citizenship Post for more info). It’s important that students learn these simple rules and dangers of communication and connectivity however I also believe that educators need to understand the students, their habits so they can better be prepared to teach and guide them to proper usage. An example that I have always used and it just happened again about 1 week ago in the college football national championship where athletes tweeted inappropriate comments thinking that it was a private message when it was not. This lack of digital citizenship rules and understanding can cost someone their job or a company millions of dollars. Any time that we use our personal communication devices is a great time to talk about digital citizenship and infuse those concepts into any educational lesson.

Device Device Management 101:

The biggest fear that an educator has when implementing mobile devices is not that the students are going to visit inappropriate websites. It’s that they might not be able to control the class and the devices causing their classroom management skills to be tested and possibly loose valuable instructional time.  When implementing a BYOD environment as carefully stated previously there needs to be set rules. This also applies to the classroom. Two words that will help you control the devices are “Screens Down”. You the teacher should be able to control when the students use the device, and when it is not the proper time just teach the students to put the screens down and the devices flat on their desk. Here are some great device management strategies.

1) Know where the devices are at all times. I do not recommend that you do the whole put the device in your pocket or book bag and then take it out and then put it away. All this is going to do is cause a classroom disruption. You need to have the students treat the device as a learning tool/regular classroom tool.  In the beginning of class have them take out the device and put it flat on their desk “Screens Down”.

2) Use the device and use it often in your instruction. Students want to use their device. Don’t just use it once in a 45 minute lesson. That is not maximizing the use of those devices in an educational environment. Get the kids excited and take brain breaks with the devices. Ask a quick feedback question or exit survey and allow them to use the device. Maybe even team them up in groups and have them agree on a response to text in or poll before they all do it individually. Make the device an important staple of your lesson for feedback.

3) Device must be used often and in quick and short time periods. What you don’t want is to have the students use the device for 30 minutes or even 5 minutes. This is when and where you will lose them to the device. Focus on speed and quick responses with your students. By allowing them to hold that phone for 5+ minutes is enticing them text a friend or visit another website. When using Personal Communication Devices many educators think that the most effective way to use them is a student response system focusing more on the quick feedback aspect of the device rather than the research aspect of the device where you can Google something or look something up. You know your class and subject area better than anyone else so that educator will need make the informed decision on best usage of devices in the classroom.

4) Know your student population – are you sharing student devices? Do you have a plan for those students who do not have any devices? These are important questions to take into account. Many of the major Interactive White Board and Clicker companies like Promethean and SMART Technologies now create apps and web programs that integrate with the interactive boards. This allows the student who does not have a mobile device to still use the classroom clicker (Student Response System) to participate. If your school does not have these resources does this mean that you decide to not use devices in the classroom? That sounds ridiculous. That is like me saying that I will not teach tomorrow because a student might not have paper or a pen. We need to expose our students to these kinds of technologies. We are showing them more than just proper device usage, but we are teaching them how to work in groups, collaborate together, make team decisions, agree with each other, support our disagreements come to conclusions, and more. What we are doing is engaging the students and giving them a voice and allowing them to formulate opinions on the content that they are learning, and getting that student that would have never said a word in class now participate in class. These are the 21st century skills that so many of them will need to be successful in the future.

Device ManagementMobile Device Teaching Strategies:

When allowing the students to use mobile devices it really comes down to the questions that you the teacher ask. A teaching strategy is to use the “Scales of Agreement” strategy. This strategy allows you the educator to open up a classroom debate or to close a lesson. Instead of having students respond to a question that has a correct answer.

Here is a sample Question: How would you describe your perspective on this concept/topic/issue?

A: Completely Agree
B: Somewhat Agree
C: Somewhat Disagree
D: Completely Disagree

Another teaching strategy is by using a Likert Scale question to check for student understanding.

Here is a sample Question: How well do you understand the concept/topic/issue?
A: Completely Understand
B: Somewhat Understand
C: Do Not Clearly Understand
D: Completely Do Not Understand

Classroom Tools for BYOD:

These are a list of phenomenal tools that you and your students can use in the classroom with a BYOD environment or Computer Lab setting.



Socrative brings smart clickers, student response and ease of use to a whole new level. Be engaged for the entire class with educational exercises and games. See all your classmates’ ideas in real time and interact with the responses. Provide your instructor feedback on the lessons and how well you understand the material. Ask your own poll questions for the entire class or build a pre-made activity for your whole class. Socrative is a web tool that is a perfect fit in almost any classroom. If you are looking for an application that will grade for you, create surveys, allow you to create polls, and give you student feedback that will help you plan and create your lessons more effectively than Socrative is for you.(Source – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/student-clicker-socrative/id477618130?mt=8)





Edmodo is a one stop shop for learning.  It is one of the easiest way to digitize your classroom for FREE.  Edmodo is web-based and also has an App that can be downloaded from the Apple ITunes Store or Android Store. Some of Edmodo’s best features include classroom collaboration, polls, quizzes, and a personal digital library. I have yet to meet a teacher that says they don’t love Edmodo. Edmodo is a secure, social learning platform for teachers, students, schools and districts. Edmodo provides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content and access homework, grades and school notices. Their goal is to help educators harness the power of social media to customize the classroom for each and every learner. (Source http://help.edmodo.com/faq/what-is-edmodo/)



Polls.io is my favorite poll creator. It’s quick, simple and to the point. It allows you to make a quick poll, gives you the URL and then just post the URL somewhere in your classroom so that the students can get to it. You can create multiple polls in one lesson and get some great feedback from the students.



Remind 101Remind 101

Remind 101 allows you to  send group texts to your class. This is a great tool for reminding them of upcoming exams, quizzes  or projects. It is very simple to set up and students or parents can sign up for your class. Of course standard rates for text messaging do apply. There have been many cases where schools have used this to update parents on sporting events or major school functions as well.


You can find presentation materials here: Text Me The Answer PDF

Gadsden COunty Zapd

“Bomb Digitty”

“Raise The Roof”

“Sing like T-Pain”

” Which Super Hero are You”

” Your Vegas Name – Vegas Baby”

“What does your monster look like”

Yes you read those correctly. Those were some of the phrases being thrown around in the Gadsden County Public Schools iPad Training on January 4th, 2013.  Two large groups of Gadsden County’s finest teachers met on their first day back from break to attend the iPad 4u, 4me, & 4learning training.

Teachers instantly went through a huge transformation of being tired from the holiday break to non-stop sharing of ideas with one another on how some of these apps being presented to them could be used in their classrooms. They were getting up, moving in groups, sharing ideas, giving each other high fives and fist bumps.

Topics like: Present differently – not just the same way every single day, and discussions on how content should drive the instruction not the technology took place. It was hard to not get pumped up for this presentation because as my team and I were presenting you could just see the audience getting more and more excited about the teaching strategies and apps that we were discussing. We had a group of teachers tell us that it was the best training they had ever gone to in their school district. We then explained to them that it was the best training because they were captivated, motivated, and engaged. We challenged them to try and do those three things with their students and they accepted the challenge. Many of them already used iPads in the classroom but not in the same format that we presented it. We focused heavily on the engagement aspect of the iPad for the students. We wanted to make it clear to them that the iPad should not replace the teaching or any of the great educational teaching strategies that were already taking place already in the classroom. This was nothing more than a great new tool for both teacher and students that will help all parties involved reach their full potential.

Class DojoIn retrospect, my favorite part of the whole presentation had to be the use of one of my favorite iPad applications – Class Dojo. We introduced Class Dojo to these amazing teachers as the easiest way to document, track, and control classroom behavior. We showed them that although you can document negative behavior or infractions it’s just as easy and even more powerful to document the positive behaviors that you the teacher observe. After two great 3 hour iPad training’s, based on the number of positive points in Class Dojo two teachers, one from each training group left with a very useful iTunes card reward. Gadsden County Teachers fell in love with Class Dojo and I can’t wait to get back there for some more training and here some of their iPad success stories.


Zapd presentation materials discussed: http://carlos-fernandez.zapd.com/ipad4u-4me-and-4learning-gadsden


Building meaningful relationships in the classroom by making your content relevant.

 Math Cartoon

A major part of teaching deals with the connections that teachers and students make on a daily basis in the classroom. These connections can be referred to as relationships. Relationships can form based on many different classroom experiences and they usually end up with trust for the teacher/content or dislike for the teacher/content. A student can find a teacher funny, inspiring, motivating, encouraging, appealing, amusing or just good old interesting.

For this post I thought I would focus on the curriculum portion of relationships. There are many teachers out there that do an absolute outstanding job at formulating these meaningful relations with students that cause the learning environment to be a welcoming and effective one. This environment does not formulate just happen because the teacher is friendly, it happens because the teacher is relevant.

I have walked into so many classrooms and seen students working on math problems that have absolutely no relevance in real life. You can see the frustration and lack of interest in their faces. I remember a teacher saying that practice makes perfect. I felt that if I kept on practicing something I did not like I was sure to not learn and hate math forever. Like many others I was one to struggle with math. Being that I was a visual learner a worksheet with numbers did not do much for me. It looked like a recipe for disaster written in some foreign language. As educators we must continue to find relevance in our teaching field. Not all students will become engineers, chemist, computer software programmers and that is ok. What’s truly important is to gain and keep the interest of students throughout their educational endeavors by showing them how these equations and curriculum content can be used in real life experiences.

Here are some examples:

Drafting or Drawing Course – can be taught in a manner that students can understand that they are preparing to construct a home like an engineer or prepare art work for an art gallery show where there art work will be sold for hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Biology – By analyzing a specimen with slide and microscope they can now better understand the specimen, how it died, or what it ate. This can later lead to an interest of explaining why animals habitats and what made them thrive in their specific environment.

Social Studies – The creation of our country and creation of laws are not exactly the most exciting topics for a student. However showing them how they can affect the process of creating a law by practicing their civic duty and show them how powerful a community members voice can truly be may be a great way to demonstrate any civics lesson.

Math – this leads me to my last example. When creating math problems one must be visual. Use real life experiences. I may never need to fill up a cylinder or beaker, but I may need to learn how to fill up my pool. When trying to figure out the area of a square, I rather try and find the area of the new playground that I am trying to build to see if I have enough room to complete my vision. These are the simple things that textbook companies just don’t get.  They show one example with one picture and the rest are nothing more than math problems. Another example of what is wrong with math text books is that the explanation is written in one page and the math problems for practice are written in another page.  I understand the whole concept of saving space because paper and printing cost money but I believe the reason we buy textbooks is so we can use them as a teaching resource for our students to LEARN. We need to make these equations and math situations more appealing and relevant so that we can formulate those relationships that we discussed earlier in the post.

Math Worksheet

You may say that I am challenging traditional methods of learning and that is fine. My goal is to not teach from a text book curriculum but to have students learn the curriculum content using which ever method necessary for student comprehension. I now challenge you the educator to change things up in your learning environments. Take the extra 2, 3, 5 minutes to explain the relevance of not just your field but how each lesson can be used in a real life situation and watch how student interest, engagement, and knowledge increase in your learning environment.

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MIcrosoft RT

The other day I was fortunate enough to test out the Microsoft Windows 8 tablet RT. Anyone who knows me well knows that I love using both PC and Mac. I work from both but I do have more Mac products than PC products. The last couple of posts I have been writing about how to effectively complete standardized testing on tablets and the gaps between what E-books should be and what they currently are in the educational environment.

After using the Microsoft Windows 8 tablet is apparent that the Windows 8 Tablet is better suited for a student-testing environment than any other tablet.  The keyboard is excellent and the fact that it has a mouse track pad on the keyboard is the game changer for me personally. Not only did I see this as a great student-testing device, but as a great student and teacher working device. This tablet truly has the capability of replacing my laptop.  After using the Windows 8 tablet it hit me that I can work much easier from that tablet than the iPad. Its not only the operating system that intrigues me, it is the keyboard, the stronger magnetic lock to the tablet, it’s the mouse track pad, it’s the way that its going to be able to be docked to a monitor or Desktop.

Windows 8 Surface

I am just happy to see some sort of competition to the iPads. Competition is only going to drive us to make harder and better decisions for our students no matter which platform we choose to use.


Problems with E-Books in Education:

1) Lack of Standardization. We need the States Department of Educations to set a standard on what an E-book must have in terms of functionality before it can be adopted as a state book. We are currently doing the same thing with regular text books. We can no longer afford to separate E-Books and text Books when making purchasing decisions. Either both books make the cut with the required specs or neither the textbook or E-book should be adopted as a State Approved book.

Many people ask what is your definition of what an E-book should look like? What functionality should it have?

– E-Books should be able to be used and carry the same functionality across all platforms/devices. It does not matter if one student has an iPad and the other a Samsung Note. They should all be able to access their E-book with the same functionality. The best example that I can currently think of is the Kindle E-Books. I can load my kindle e-book into my iPad, iPhone, iPod, Mac Book, or PC and have it all sync together.

What functionality should ebooks have?

  • They should be able to sync across multiple devices.
  • Allow me to take my personal notes within the e-book and give me the functionality to export them to Microsoft Word, Pages, Evernote, or a similar program/word processor.
  • Highlight, Underline, Italicize, and make words or sections in the book Bold.
  • All content within the book must be searchable.
  • The ability to annotate (with text, or free hand writing/drawing in the ebook) (Something that I have yet to see anywhere).
  • As stated earlier, it should not matter what device I use. All books in all devices must have the same have the same functionality across the different platforms.
  • E-Books must have two options. They must have the functionality to be loaded on to the device which takes away its dependency of being web-based. Ebooks must also be web-based which takes away the idea of only being allowed in a single device. ( So for example, if the student goes on vacation and forgets his tablet/e-reeder but dad or mom have theres they should be able to get online and download it or access their textbook via web-based.
  • Ebooks cant just be a flat PDF. It cant be text with black and white pictures.

Ebooks need to be interactive. They obviously need to have text, pictures, and videos but they more than just that. The e-books must allow interaction and manipulation of the text, pictures and videos. So if a student is learning about a plant cell they should be able to enlarge that picture with their fingers, rotate it to see a full 360 degree view, take a picture of a certain section and add that picture to their personal notes in the e-book. Students should be able to define and look up any words that they don’t know within the e-book. Content in this ebook needs to be interactive. Studetnts can get the basic information in the e-book or choose to click on a video and other links to futrer investigate the content.

Now by no means am I suggesting that creating this is easy. However the reason that I say it needs all of this is because now we are not just trying to imitate a text book. We are taking this concept of an e-book and making it better. Critiques always state why should I purchase an e-book instead of text-book? Well with these features the answer is because it can do so much more and allow learning and understanding of content to take place much quicker.

One of the biggest issues that school districts have and cant solve is the issue of connectivity at home. This is why my push to make sure that the e-book is loaded into the device is a reality. There are bridges that need to be crossed such as how are you going to put videos and links to outside content in your e-book when the e-book is not connected to any form of wifi. Well my soloution to you on that is that its not the schools districts issue to solve. It’s the department of education and book publishers to solve.

If they want DOE to approve a book for state adoption than it must meet these needs. We can’t afford to continue to drag our feet on these types of issues. We have students carrying 30 – 40 pound book bags. And those happen to be the motivated students, what about the other students that just rather not take the books home because of an inconvenience.

Final Thoughts:

Schoold Districts must team up with their State Department of Education. We need leadership from them and that leadership needs to dicatate to the book vendors what are minimum requirements of E-books to be adopted. If we truly want to go Digital than we need to tell the content providers what our needs are rather than them tell us what they are capable of doing. Our demands on students continue to exceed yearly. More testing and higher expectations. Should the students and teachers not have higher demands of DOE and Book Publishers. We need to do what ever it takes to meet the needs of our children and this includes Standardization on e-books so they can do everything that a textbook can do and more.

This might sound silly but we need for anything that a student can do with a purchased textbook to be able to be done on that e-book. We can’t put any limitations on an ebook, because by doing so we are putting limitations on student learning.


I am trying to understand why school districts or schools would jump on the iPad mini so quick?

I understand that the price range is slightly better than the previous iPad, however when I think about tablets and devices in schools I need a device that can do everything including the ability to take standardized tests.

We know that the device needs to be able to store my students textbooks, allow them to access our learning management system with ease, allow 24/7 student learning on the device, and lastly it needs to be able to be used as a testing device. I am not referring to a regular classroom test,I am referring to a state mandated assessment.


Two of the biggest issues that schools are currently struggling with are the lack of infrastructure to handle more laptops or tablets, and lack of devices for testing and instruction. As we move closer and closer to the PARCC assessment, I am just currently not seeing how these students will test with these kinds of devices. We just do not have enough computers, unless you stagger the test and open your testing window from January to May which is ridiculous. The minimum specs for the PARCC assessment require a 9-10 inch screen size. If this is not changed soon, I just dont see the huge fit for the iPad mini in education.

Just to be clear – I am definitly excited about the iPad mini and would love to see every single student with one. But even more importantly I want to put a device in each students hands that can is multi-functional and can meet all of the students educational needs not just some of them. By no means am I a fan or supporter of standardized testing. As an educator I would like to think  that my bachelors and masters degree would demonstrate enough trust on my teachings to prepare our students for future endeavors rather than having a test check and see if I did my job. Having said all of that – I just dont see how its fiscally responsible to purchase these 7 and 8 inch devices until the current and future standardized test states that their exams will be able to be taken on a 7 or 8 inch screen. Something that we have yet to hear.

EdCamp Citrus Logo

This is my first edcamp ever, so I must say that this is extremely exciting. I have been to many and I do mean many Edtech conferences and presented in lots of them but a very convincin person told me to check this out. A good friend Jerry Swiatek (@jswiatek) who does a phenomenal job at putting this event together and of course he talked me into presenting along with a friend Kelly Little (@artykel).


iPad-Palooza PresentationHere is my presentation information. Please forgive my attempt to draw but during the presentation it was very important that I got my message of presenting differently with an iPad. Participants (and Students) enjoy presentations more when you the presenter created the images rather than copying them from Google.

Click Here for Presentation – Edcamp Citrus 2012 (2)

EdmodoCon participants – Thank you to all for your amazingly kind comments. I am glad you enjoyed the Digital Citizenship presentation. As stated in the presentation, creating a digital citizenship course in EDMODO started as an idea at Starbucks and morphed into something so powerful and so important for our teachers and students. Below you will see a copy of the presentation slides. As soon as EDMODOCON posts the recording I will make sure I post it here as well. PDF Presentation Slides EdmodoCon 2012 CF 2 You can view the presentation via Slide Share here. Click Here

Web 2.0 Tools are the quickest and easiest way to get teachers excited about using new forms of technology in their classrooms. Lots of times teachers think oh.. technology.. That means I have to use my computer, or my interactive white board. Its not!  The purpose of using technology in the classroom is for you the teacher to have one or more extra tools in your tool belt to help reach your message across to students. Some students just do not react to a lecture or the same style of teaching day in and day out. It is our responsibility as educators to find ways to make these connections so that our students are successful. We often ask our students, have you given me everything that you have in this report or test, or even assignment. It’s time that we ask ourselves have we given everything we got to make our students successful? Have we searched out there for the best possible tools and new concepts on how to teach our subject area?

Web 2.0 may be the answer it may not be. All I can say is that from personal experience it has been nothing short of a home run in each and every classroom that I have taught or observed. Look over some of these great Web 2.0 tools and add more ideas and tools to your tool belt.

I met Eric Sheninger not to long ago in a COSN conference and instantly realized he had exceptional ideas. Talk about a leader that gets it, one that any teacher would want to work for. One of his favorite sayings that I use so much in my presentations, is that we educators, administrators and leaders need to model this technological use behavior. If we ask our students to use technology we must model the use ourselves.

I came across one of his pins from Pinterest and thought I would share it with you. You can find the actual link to the pin at http://ow.ly/d4LjV.

If you haven’t already heard of Eric, I strongly recommend you to follow him on twitter: @NMHS_Principal

Pinterest Web2.0


Changing things up in the classroom and out:

When creating a presentation the hardest thing that I usually encounter is not the research or outlining the best possible discussion points, what I truly struggle with is finding the right images for my presentations.

I started to reflect for a second on what I did in my classroom that was so effective and it suddenly hit me, I was preparing my EdTech presentations all-wrong. When I was teaching in the classroom I would create cartoon characters to show or prove a message.

Instead of searching Google images for an image  of a question mark that I can insert in my presentation, I realized why not draw it myself. As a teacher cartoons have always inspired my teachings.

My inspiration goes back to Larry Gonicks books, which I strongly recommend if you are a social studies teacher – Cartoon History of the United States or any other works by Larry Gonick. My students loved learning history through cartoons. Students used to tell me that they understood concepts much quicker this way, specially the harder more complex events in history.

Paper by FiftyThreeThe idea of inserting your drawings in your presentations sound much easier than they really are. The first thing that you need to overcome it the harsh realization of whether or not you have any artistic ability. Now lets get something clear – by no means am I an artist. I love getting my iPad out using the Paper app by Fiftythree and just giving it a shot. The students always loved the fact that I was not an artist but I would always give it my best.

Paper By Fifty Three

(Paper by FiftyThree) – iPad App

I definitely challenge you to give it a shot. Take a out a pen, pencil, sketchbook, iPad, tablet, computer, and insert your art work into your presentations.

My Drawings

When a presenter has hand drawn illustrations up on the screen as they present, I have found the audience to be more captivated than someone who ran sacked Google images. Don’ t get me wrong, I love Google images, but not for presentations. I am always finding myself to have to go back and see if there is a copyright associated with the Google image, and request for permission of usage and so on. More trouble than it is really worth.

So I leave you with this final message – Don’t copy it – Draw it! Only you the presenter knows the image that would best portray the message you are trying to get across to your audience.

Campus Technology 2012

I just recently attended Campus Technology 2012 a Higher Education Technology Conference that blew my mind away. Learning about some of the latest and greatest technology initiatives taking place in higher education was exciting to say the least. However, it was interesting also learning that many Higher Education Schools struggle with some of the same issues that a K-12 school goes through.

Campus Technology 2012 put on a technology conference that included world-renowned keynote speakers, large concurrent sessions, poster sessions, and more. The atmosphere was like no other higher education conference I have ever attended. Yes, there were many vendors and an incredible exhibit hall, but what stole the show was the networking that took place. College Professors, CIO’s, Web Designers, Vendors, and more were in attendance and it appeared as if we were all back in Kindergarten participating in show and tell. You could just feel the electricity in the air of the Seaport World Trade Center. It was “Sharingpalooza”

I had the privilege of being an attendee and presenter on Evernote. I have done many presentations in the past on Evernote in Education and how powerful of a tool it is in Education (K-12 focus) but never one for Higher Education. I created a poster that instantly caught a swarm of professors eye, and so it began. It felt as thought every conference attendee had approached me to talk to me about Evernote and how they use it. Any one that knows me personally understands that I am a huge Evernote Fan/User.  There was no doubt that Evernote had made a splash in the Conference Exhibit Hall as the masses had lined up to speak with me about Evernote. The one thing that made it magical was not that I was occasionally sharing ideas on how they could infuse Evernote more in there academic findings and student use of course, but what really captured me was the sharing that was going on between professors on how they used Evernote. If I didn’t know any better it had turned into an Evernote Networking Session.

After this amazing experience at Campus Technology 2012 it was clear to me that I need to book my travel plans now for Campus Technology 2013.

Click Here to see the PDF version of the Evernote Poster 2.3

Campus Technology Poster


Lessons lively in Cobb class

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Samsung Galaxy Tab

While adults worry about how to finance digital devices for all Leon County students to use in the classroom, a group of Cobb Middle School 7th graders is blazing the digital trail in a test program that provides each one of them a Samsung Galaxy Tablet to use in the classroom and to take home at night.

Not only are these 7th graders the first group of Leon County students allowed to take school-system equipment home, they are also the first ones to test out a completely digital class by doing their work on a device like the tablet.

The kids officially use the tablet for only one class, a civics class taught by Joseph Bowen, but the devices crop up in other classrooms sometimes. Once the other teachers see how the tablets are used, they become technology converts and begin to see how they might use them, too, Bowen said.

Bowen uses a free learning-management system called Edmoto that allows him to communicate with the students, the students with him, and the students with each other. He makes assignments, grades work, and asks and answers questions on the program. The curriculum is the same as it was before the arrival of the tablets, Bowen said. Now, he just teaches it a little differently. He even answers questions until 9 p.m.

The use of a digital device allows for a more “inquiry-based” classroom situation, Bowen said, adding that the move to Common Core Standards is also about inquiry-based education and the two elements align nicely. Before the tablets, he would ask a question and students would give their opinions. Now, they scurry to find legitimate sources of information and cite the material they have found to justify their comments.

They’re learning to do the research, how to determine if the information is legitimate and also how important it is to conduct the research, Bowen said.

“The tablet is a tool” to be used in the aid of education, said Carlos Fernandez, instructional technology coordinator for Leon County Schools.

Bowen was chosen for the program after Verizon Wireless came to the school system and offered free equipment and internet access for a trial run, Fernandez said. Apple’s iPads are being used in some schools for various activities and Verizon wanted to show how the Android-based devices were able to stack up, he added.

Bowen is tech savvy and has been instrumental in advancing other technology projects so he was a logical choice, Fernandez said. “We wanted a teacher that would run with it.”

Bowen made a list of applications he thought would be needed to support the curriculum. The teacher is responsible for the lesson “and we did not want to step on that,” Fernandez said.

For this trial year, Verizon also offered free 3G service to the tablets so they can be used at the students’ homes. In school, the tablets use the school’s wireless network.

Verizon’s 3G service runs through a safety portal created by the school system to insure students cannot access inappropriate websites, Fernandez said. Outside wi-fi connections are blocked to these particular tablets to further insure the safety of students. “It’s very locked down. If you can’t access it here, you can’t access it at home.”

Making sure every student has access to the Internet at home is one of the biggest challenges facing school officials all over Florida as they make plans to digitize education. But this project allows Leon County to test the 3G option for those who do not have Internet access. While it has been successful, it could become expensive without the donation from Verizon, Fernandez said.

The students have proved themselves to be very responsible in the six months they have had the tablets. They have not been damaged and are returned to school every morning with a full charge, Fernandez said.

Using your iPad for Education:

There are lots of great iPad apps site your can find in the web or through the sharing of sites on Twitter. Sites that will suggest phenomenal educational apps and even give you a small description of what the app is capable of doing. Here are some of my favorite sites that you can visit if this happens to be what you are looking for.

Although the sites above are can’t miss sites for loads of iPad information I decided for this blog to focus on tools that can make one iPad, used properly, a powerful tool in the classroom when the funds are not quite there yet to go 1:1 with iPads.

As I talk with more and more teachers that have an iPad, they come up to me and tell me the following story: I have a personal iPad or the school has given me an iPad to use in my classroom, but it’s only one iPad and not a class set. Teachers are struggling with their iPads on how to integrate them into curriculum instruction. The most heard teacher comment is – if only I could project the contents in my iPad to my white wall or interactive White Board.

Below I will discuss three options that will give you that ability to project the contents within your iPad in a classroom setting with a projector.

Apple TV

Apple TV

As soon as I heard of IOS 5 coming out I instantly knew air play which is a feature of the Apple TV would be a huge hit within the classroom. I even went as far as saying that this will eventually replace an interactive white board. The only issue with Apple TV is that it requires you to connect the Apple TV to a projector or TV that has an HDMI connection. Almost no schools have projectors with an HDMI connection, and very few classrooms have flat screen TV’s with an HDMI connection. Apple TV also requires you to be connected to a wifi connection. You will want to make sure that the iPad you are using and the Apple TV are on the same wifi network. As you can see, a tool like this is powerful but lots of hurdles to overcome (mainly the HDMI connection).

Another Solution: Reflection


Reflection uses AirPlay technology to mirror your iPad 2 or iPad 3 or iPhone 4s. As you control your iPad and navigate from app to app the same image being displayed on the iPad can be mirrored on your Mac. In a classroom setting you would have your Mac connected to a projector through a VGA cable, and the iPad display would work through the Air Play functionality. Reflection allows you to AirPlay mirror your iPhone 4S or iPad 2 to any Mac running OS X 10.6+, wirelessly.

Air Server:

 Air Server

Air Server is my go to application for mirroring my iPad 2 or iPad 3 display. Air Server does the same thing that Reflection does.  It mirrors your image to your Mac and if you have your Mac connected to a projector via VGA cable it can be shown in a presentation format for students. What stands out about Air Server even more than the Reflection application is that Reflection does not have is the ability to go to a full screen and Air Server does. The Reflection application gives your a template frame of an iPad or an iPhone which looks great for presentations, but if you are using this for educational purposes in a large classroom I am more interested in having the largest display possible and Air Server gives me this functionality.

Final Thoughts – Teachers want the ability to be flexible, and mobile. Teachers plan lessons out but more often than others, teachable moments arise where you need a device that gives you the flexibility to quickly search and display new content that will help your students make better connections with the curriculum. As I present in educational technology conferences I am always looking for new ways to infuse my love for the iPad into my presentations. Having said that in the past I have found myself jumping over hurdles to present from my iPad until now. I used to use programs such as Splashtop Streamer to remote into my computer and present from my computer but using my iPad as a controller. This got the job done, but now I had two devices stuck doing the same thing. Applications like Reflections and Air Server give you that ability to flip back and forth between the applications in your Mac being projected, and the contents within your iPad being projected.  These Applications allow you the teacher or presenter to be flexible with your instructions/presentation be mobile and demo any of the contents within your iPad 2 or iPad 3 instantly.

The Catch: There is always a catch. Reflection and Air Server are Mac applications and currently cannot be used with PC’s.

Image Source:



I ran into SymbalooEDU a while ago. My first impressions of this site was that it looked cool and it was a great tool but like always, at that point in time I was not ready to really take off with it and use it to its full potential. A couple of months ago I re-visited this tool and got hooked on it. I spoke about it in several conferences (#FETC and #ICE12) during my presentations and the feedback from teachers has been amazing. They are seeing how SymbalooEDU has so much potential not only as a classroom tool for students to use but also as a PLE (Personal Learning Environment).

Here are 4 great ways that you can use SymbalooEDU in your learning/teaching environment.

#1 Use SymbalooEDU as a PLE. This is a place where you can not only create your own SymbalooEDU walls but also use it as a learning environment where you can do some research on other specific tools and learn what other SymbalooEDU users are creating. Doing searches for #edtech or web2.0 tools will allow you to see what other great educators are using within their classrooms. SymbalooEDU is not just for educational technology. You can create a SymbalooEdu on just about any topic.

#2 Use SymbalooEDU as a student tool – Allow your students to create their own SymbalooEDU. Use this time to teach Digital Citizenship and how to be responsible with what you post in the Internet but also the importance of choosing the right resources to help make you the student successful. I have seen students create their own current events SymbalooEDU, or their own research SymbalooEDU that has multiple news resources and search engines that they can refer to when they need to find specific information on a topic. I am seeing the students use SymbalooEDU as their student’s landing/home page rather than just one search engine.

#3 Use SymbalooEDU as a classroom computer lab tool – Create a SymbalooEDU with the resources that you want your students to use and go through in class and load all of the computers start page with your SymbalooEDU URL. What does this do? Well, first of all it saves so much time. When you speak to teachers and learn about their experiences in sharing a computer lab you quickly learn that it takes more time to get the students set up and on the correct site then having the students read the information and learn what they were trying to learn in the first place. SymbalooEDU has all of the URL’s preloaded with in the icons that you created allowing the students to come to the computer lab sit down, and instantly start clicking on the icons that the teacher instructs them to click on. I also love the fact that it opens up that new website in a new window. This always gives the students a reference point to go back to when they are ready to change resources rather then type a long never ending URL. SymbalooEDU can be perfect for web quest assignments!


#4 Use SymbalooEDU as an organizational teacher tool – I like to use SymbalooEDU as my Tech Tool Kit. When working on a project or speaking to a teacher which happens to be looking for a good tool that will support and help emphasize his/her lesson, I refer back to my SymbalooEDU site to see what are some of my favorite tools that I have labeled and saved. There are so many great tools out there in the web. I definitely can’t keep up with every single one, but I can start labeling and saving which ones I know would be effective with my learning and teachings styles so I save them in SymbalooEDU.

Here is a picture and link to my personal SymbalooEDU tools:

Symbaloo 2


Source: http://www.ntcamp.org/2011/sponsor-spotlight-symbaloo/

Source: http://hcpsitrts.blogspot.com/



Do you remember when having comic books in school was a bad thing?

I remember the days where teachers would freak out if they ever caught us with comic books. They would make a big spectacle of how we broke the rules, call our parents, give us detention, and worse of all, take my comic books and not give them back to me. These were the times in my life that I refer to as the Dark Ages. I never in a million years thought that I would end up being a teacher/educator.

Can comic book presentations be relevant?

I have written several posts before on the importance of making presentation meaningful and interesting. Not just creating a PowerPoint because it’s the easiest tool for you to create a visual representation of your content. Comic books are what I consider to be attention grabbers. After bringing out several samples, you now have the student’s attention. It’s what you do with that attention that really matters. For this post I thought I would share some great web 2.0 tools that allow you and your students to make comic books. I urge you to make these assignments interesting, and relevant. Make sure that they are strongly tied to important curriculum standards and benchmarks. Just because the form of presentation and activity creation is “fun” does not mean that the substance in the curriculum is not important.

How can my students show or demonstrate knowledge gained?

Post your students work up on the projector, or interactive white board. Maybe print them out and make them into posters and hang them up in the room. When the students are done, ask them to share with the class. There is no doubt in my mind that a student explaining the process of photosynthesis through a comic book that they created shows just as much gained knowledge if not more than a student who just read about the process through a textbook or PowerPoint presentation.

BitStripsBitstrips (above) is a quick and easy way to start creating comics. They have their own Bitstrips for Schools section that was meant to be used specifically for education. With Bitstrips you can have private virtual classrooms, a news dashboard showing you the latest student activitiy and student permission settings that ensure you the teacher are in control.

Make Belief ComicsMake Beliefs Comix:  MakeBeliefsComix.com (above) is an educational comic strip creator from author Bill Zimmerman. Create, print, email and post to Facebook your original comic strips.



PIXTON: (above) Create your own cartoons with fully poseable characters & animals! Upload pictures, create freestyle panel layouts, add sound & voice-over, and much more!

Pixton also has a pixton for schools section that teachers can take full advantage of.

Another option that you may have is to not necessarily create comics but find some. Glasbergen.com  (above) has great cartoons that you may find useful to use in your teachings for your classroom. Cartoons help students understand new ideas and concepts much quicker than a traditional teaching environment. Remember to always reference the author and site of where you found the cartoon.

Other Sites you may find useful for Comics:








Get Organized with Evernote

Evernote is a great tool for teachers to capture notes, organize lesson plans, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards, and more. Everything you add to your account is automatically synced and made available on all the computers, phones and tablets you use, at home or at school.

You can learn more about Evernote For Schools through their site: http://evernote.com/schools/

Evernote Presentation FETC

InfographicI am always looking for a new way to present important information to teachers and students. I tend to look for graphic pictures. Pictures that will help explain and give meaning to the message that I am trying to get through. Lots of times we follow these pictures with content of some sort or data to explain it. Why not mix them up. Demonstrate your data through powerful info grams or info graphs.

Its one thing to make a visual power point but its another to use a presentation tool that actually has meaning, and has a  different look than what teachers and students are used to seeing.


Change things up with an info gram using http://www.infogr.am/ not only for visual presentations but for student creation projects. When a student learns data about a certain population or event and then charts it out, creates an info gram,  looks at it and analyzes their is no doubt that the student has learned that information.