Friday, December 12, 2014

CAFE' iPad Applications to use in Early Childhood along with iPad Settings to assist you in your instruction!

I am attaching a document with a list of iPad applications aligned to CAFE' strategies, Daily 5 integration, and Iowa Standards. I think you will find these very useful in your early childhood instruction. I also included some helpful resources on managing you iPad with students and how to effectively search for new iPad applications to enhance your curriculum. Make sure you check out the section on Guided Access which will allow you to set the iPad to only run one application. I provide the instruction to set this up. You will no longer have to worry about the students not using the iPad in a non-productive way. On the last note, Brian Brock recently shared an application with me called AirServer which will allow you to mirror any IOS device to your computer screen just like Apple TV. I have been using it when presenting to flip from computer screen to my iPhone or iPad easily without having to switch dongles or wires. AirServer is available at this link for $12. Check it out! To end may I say, I am so lucky to get to share my learning with all of you! We have the best staff in MCSD!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Google Classroom

I believe I have blogged about Google Classroom once before, but I think I need to make staff aware of it's features once again. Google classroom is very easy to use and is integrated with Google Applications. Setting up Google Classroom is very easy and getting students enrolled is easy as well. Like Edmodo you may send out a code and students may subscribe to the class, or with Google Classroom student names are already populated from Google Applications so you can directly add them to your classes. Here is a quick video on how to get started with Google Classroom.
As you see, set up and management with Google Classroom is seamless and very user friendly. Since I started as the technology integrationist the number one complaint I receive about using Google Drive is it hard to stay organized and keep track of what has been graded and reviewed. Google Classroom does the organization for you and allows the teacher and students to have one central location for their classes to have access to projects, worksheets, videos, and much more. Please check out Google Classroom and how it can assist you!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Edmodo Snapshot

Edmodo now offers a new application built within the Edmodo interface called Snapshot. This application allows the classroom teacher to assess students on the common core standards in ELA and math grades 3-12. Once the students have been assessed on the common core standards (4 questions per standard) the application will evaluate their individual proficiencies. If the students score below proficiency the application will provide lessons and/or games to the students to help bring students to proficiency on the individual common core standards. The teacher may select which standards they would like to be assessed by easily selecting the standards in the "create a Snapshop" application. The set up is pretty easy to use, if you have previously used Edmodo, you will be familiar with creating a group within the application and then selecting the group you would like to be assess. When creating groups teachers tend to create groups that match their individual classes. Once you have selected the group, the teacher may create a Snapshot (assessment of standards the teacher has selected) that will assign the students a Snapshot on their home screens with in Edmodo interface. Students will see that they have been asked to complete a Snapshot. Students will complete the Snapshot and then teachers will get real time feedback on how the students performed on the Snapshot. After students complete the Snapshot, Edmodo will display in the reports tab the students who were proficient, below proficiency, and way below proficiency. The program will suggest lessons and/or games to help the student build the concepts of the standards that are being addressed. The teacher then may choose to assign these lessons and/or games to the individual students. This is a really great tool to use when teaching to the standards. I hope you will check it out. If you would like more information, Please feel free to explore more about this Edmodo Application at the following website. . If you would like more information on the application from me, your friendly Instructional Coach of Technology, please feel free to contact me. You may contact me via coach request or by email

Friday, September 5, 2014

New Position

My new position is underway, and I am very excited to be working at West and Central Middle Schools this year as the instructional coach of technology k-12. Over the summer and the beginning of the school year, I received many trainings on instructional coaching. With this new training I am hoping to collaborate with many staff members in the Muscatine Community School District on Jim Knights big 4 components of instruction along with ways to integrate technology into curriculum. With that said, I will be keeping up on new advancements in technology. So, please feel free to contact me with your needs to integrate technology into your curriculum along with any of your other needs with content planning, classroom management, assessment, or effective instructional techniques. 

Some advancements that have taken place in the last couple of months are Google Classroom is now available for teachers and students. Classroom is a new tool in Google Apps for Education that helps teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and easily communicate with their classes. Classroom helps students organize their work in Google Drive, complete and turn it in, and communicate directly with their teachers and peers. Please feel free to install the Application from Google Chrome Store. While this has been a great addition to Google applications, there have been other advances I'd like to share. Some other applications you may want to download for classroom instruction are Storyboard, Canva, Pic Collage, Thinglink, Croakit, or Tellagami. If you are wanting to create charts, interactive storyboards, posters, newsletters, or other types of communication al of these applications give you creative ways to express communication or learning.  These applications can be found in your IOS application store or through their websites. Please feel free to check them out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

As the year ends, Please keep in mind!

I want to invite you to check out my Technology Integrationist website. I have consistently over the years added content on technology professional development provided by me to the Muscatine Community School District. I have provided instruction on all of these topics:

1:1 Handbook/Bootcamp
Digital Citizenship
Google Groups
Google Mail
Google Drive/Documents
Organization of you Google Drive
Google Chrome Applications
Google+/ Google+ Hangouts
Google Sites
Google Calendar
Automatic Grading in Google Forms
iLife Training
iPad Applications

On my site you will find tutorials provided in video format as well as written steps on how to use these different applications. If you are looking to learn more about technology uses that could assist you in your teaching. Please feel free to review the videos/tutorials provided on my website. 


Monday, May 5, 2014

Chalkup by Google Education

     Chalkup, has developed a new platform for the blended learning experience.  In Chalkup, all discussions, assignments, materials, and grades are in one place. The interface is clean and very easy to use. The teacher and student have all tabs/links available to the end user in easy to use format. Teachers can create and share assignments, store and view class materials, and even set grades all in one centralized location. Students can create their own To-Do’s and will always know what to do next, what the class is discussing, and how to get help on your schoolwork. Chalkup is available within your Google education suite, so teachers and students may use their Google accounts to administer Chalkup.  As a teacher you may use Chalkup as a tool for class discussions, assignments, course materials, grading, messages, and flashcards. In Chalkup, all discussions, assignments, materials, and grades are in one place. Grading tools are built into the application so teachers may easily grade right within Chalkup and move to graded area built into the application. Teachers for years have complained to me about how to stay organized in their Google Drive accounts. I have given many professional developments about how to accomplish this task, but with Chalkup the organization is done for teachers and students. Chalkup is very similar in features to Edmodo. In my opinion, the benefits of using Chalkup over Edmodo are the grading tools, the integration with your Google education accounts, the easy to read and clean interface, and the more accurate connection between Google drive and Chalkup. Please feel free to check out Chalkup:

Link to Chrome Application:
Link to Chalkup Website:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Twitter # to Consider Following

If you are not using Twitter for professional development, you may want to re-consider.  I recently posted the 100 great organizations/people to consider following on Twitter. I will share the link to this Post, these are a great resource but I want you to also consider following hashtags. Hashtags allow the end user to see all posts related to a topic of research. Hashtags on Twitter provides endless resources to help with professional development, research, and current trends in education. I will highlight some hashtags that are used on a regular basis in education. These are some excellent resources I have discovered based on my current interests in education. you may find them helpful as well.

#IAedchat- This hashtag is used when tweeting about education in Iowa, teachers and administrators use this hashtag when looking for feedback or collaboration.

#edchat- This hashtag is used when tweeting about education, teachers and administrators use this hashtag when looking for feedback or collaboration.

#edtech- This hashtag is used when tweeting about technology in education.

#edtechchat- This hashtag is used when tweeting about technology in education, teachers and administrators use this hashtag when looking for feedback or collaboration. You may follow this hashtag on Mondays for a live feed.

#educoach- This hashtag is used to provide resources to teachers/ coaches in education on best practices within education.

#googleedu- This hashtag is used when tweeting about Google education. New/updated resources are shared with the end user along with teachers share ways they use Google products/software in their classrooms.

#commoncore- discusses best practices, collaboration, and special needs when working with common core standards and benchmarks.

I am sure there are many more hashtags that you are using in your professional development. Please feel free to comment to my post and share the hashtags you are using.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Things to keep in mind when looking for Apps for Instruction

Whether you are looking for iOS, Android, or Chrome applications to use in your classrooms you will want to know if they are user friendly, assist you with your instruction, and cover the content and delivery you are looking for. Here are few things to keep in mind when searching for an application to use with your instruction:

Searching- The application stores (Chrome Web store, iOS App store, Google Play Store, or Amazon App store) organize their stores by popular categories. You may find it useful to search under certain categories, like education, for the the type of content you'd like to be covered by the application. You may also just enter in the search bar of the store the content you'd like covered, and the store will give you matches to that content.

Star Rating-The application stores each use a star rating and you will want to look at this first before going into further investigation. I would try to stay with applications that have at least a 3 star rating or higher. When an application is rated below a three, it means it has not been received well by the end user for one reason or another. It may be because the application doesn't run well or the content delivered is not delivered well or accurately.

Description- The second thing you should do when looking for an application to use in your classroom is read the description. The description gives you an overview of the application and lets you know the content that is covered by the application. Many times the the description will have screenshots of the application at work so you can preview the way the content is delivered.

Customer Reviews- You may want to read the customer reviews, many times this will let you know how the application assisted the end user and what were some of the frustrations with the applications. It may give you better insight if the application is what you're looking for and worth the purchase.

Purchasing- Sometimes the applications are available for free so go ahead and download it. If you don't care for the application remove it from your device. Other times it may be available for free in a sample version, if you then like the application you may purchase the full application for amount of money. This is very helpful, because it allows the end user to sample the product before actually having to part with money. We all know in education, money is hard to come by. If the application doesn't have the sample application for free you will want to make sure you have read the full description, looked at the star rating, and read the reviews.

There are so many applications out there for educators to use, please feel free to visit one of the application stores and explore the endless opportunities that could assist you with your instruction.

Here are some links to the different application stores that could assist you.

iOS App Store- This application store is installed on your Macbook, Ipad, Iphone, and Ipod.

Chrome Web Store

Google Play Store

Amazon App Store-

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Technology tools that will assist students and teachers with writing a research paper

Attention: Teachers and Students

I want to highlight some great tools to use when writing a research paper. As teachers and students we are constantly asked to write research papers. Teachers it may be for research on best teaching practices or excellent resources to use.  Students have to write papers for almost all subject areas. When faced with these tasks here are some great resources to use. For starters the research tool within Google Documents is very helpful. Please watch the attached video on the use of the research tool.

This research tool is very helpful when using internet/websites for your research but does not help you with journal articles or books as resources. Well luckily Google just enable a feature to have add-ons with Google Drive. You will notice a new tab on the toolbar that is labeled add-ons. Within add-ons you may add specific add-ons to your liking. I suggest you add the easybib add-on. It allows the end user to put in any type of resource(book, website, or journal article) and it will give the option to site the resource as a reference in APA, MLA, or Chicago formatting.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Reflection on Digital Learning Day

February 5, 2014 was Digital Learning Day. We experienced a snow day on this day so we were unable to celebrate this day and pledge to be positive Digital Learners. With that in mind, let's be honest Digital Learning should and is taking place each day in our classrooms. Along with teaching students about appropriate use of digital tools, we need to remind students of the Digital Learning Day pledge. Please feel free to share with your students the pledge and have a discussion about the key components of a digital citizen.

It is always a good reminder to discuss appropriate use of digital tools, but let's remember digital learning day is about learning with digital tools or programs. I have highlighted many times some of the cool digital tools being used in our classrooms here at Muscatine Community Schools. Here are some digital tools that assist with learning that I have given tutorials on.
They've included:
1. Prezi
2. Edmodo
3. Twitter
4. iPad Applications for the Elementary Teacher
5. Google Forms
6. Book Share
7. Google + features
8. Blogs/ Wiki's
9. Google Drive Organization/ Features
10. Lucid Chart/ Chrome Applications
11. Image Editing
12. iMovie
If you have used one of these tools or are using another digital tool in your classroom, please feel free to comment to this post. I would love to hear what you are using and how. I am always trying to learn about new tools and how they assist in your classrooms with instruction or learning.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Digital Learning Day

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility- FDR

In honor of Digital Learning Day on February 5, 2014 we will be promoting appropriate use of technology among all users.

In this digital age, we are faced with great power or opportunity to access information in seconds. We can google anything, ask Siri, or explore content from all over the world. We have access at our finger tips to get information immediately from simple questions like what was Gilligan's full name to taking an online Harvard law class. With this access however does come great responsibility, people are faced with the opportunity to participate in unlawful or inappropriate activity using technology. We, as educators, feel we need to teach students how to appropriately use the technology. The world is fast paced and ever changing but appropriate use is pretty simple if you follow some simple appropriate use guidelines. They include:

Communicate Responsibly and Kindly with One Another

Protect Our Own and Others’ Private Information Online

Stand Up to Cyberbullying

Respect Each Other’s Ideas and Opinions

Give Proper Credit When We Use Others’ Work

We as educators ask that all technology users follow these guidelines and pledge to do so, this Wednesday, February 5, 2014. What does Digital Learning Day mean to you, it means you will pledge to use technology appropriately every time you use it and on this day you recognize and promote appropriate use among all users.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Second Semester Reminder

As you start to plan your curriculum for your students, please remember I am available to assist with any technology projects. Here is a list of applications, software, and/or websites I could assist you with:

Google Drive- Docs, Presentation, Drawing, Spreadsheets
Google Calendar
Digital Portfolios- using Google Sites
Web 2.0
Google Hangouts
iMovie- movie creation and movie editing
iPhoto- slideshows, albums, photo editing
GarageBand- doing podcast
Screen recordings
Mac Applications
Google +
iPad Applications

If you have an idea with a different type of technology not covered in my list, I am always willing to investigate and figure out how to use the technology. I look forward to working with al of you.