Saturday, June 29, 2013

Twitter for Professional Learning #ISTE13

Photo Courtesy of @mistergoode via Twitter
On Tuesday, June 25th, I presented a poster session on Twitter for Professional Learning at the ISTE 2013 conference in San Antonio, Texas. My co-worker and usual partner-in-presentations Kim Garcia was scheduled to present with me, but was unable to due to illness. :-(

I really enjoyed the format of this "come-and-go" session, where I was able to have conversations with educators who were interested in Twitter for extending their own learning as well as the learning of their colleagues. I actually have another blog post in mind on the topic of poster sessions. Stay tuned for more info!

Meanwhile, if you are interested in resources on Twitter for professional learning, scroll down to check out the LiveBinder I put together for ISTE. Whether you are a beginner or experienced user of Twitter for growing yourself professionally, you are likely to find some helpful resources here. If you are conducting PD on Twitter for others, this collection is also a good place to start gathering resources.

I hope these resources are helpful to you! Happy Tweeting!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Grow Your Twitter Network With a Spiffed Up Profile

Are you an educator just getting started on Twitter? Or have you been on Twitter for a while and would like to increase your ability to connect to others? From my experience on Twitter, here are a few simple tips about your profile that might help you connect to more people. The more people who notice you, the more folks you have to learn from! (Not to mention that more folks will benefit from your knowledge, too!)

1. Choose a username/handle that tells who you are and describes what you are about - For example, I picked the username EdTechSandyK because my main reason for being on Twitter was to connect with others who are interested in educational technology.

2. Make sure your username is easy to spell - I purposefully did NOT use my last name in my handle, because it gets misspelled by everyone. Try not to get too creative with your spellings. Imagine the number of times you might have to spell it out for others who have to say, "How do you spell that?", and that should help you keep it simple. :-)

3. Keep your username to 10 characters or less if possible - I've read this in multiple articles over the past four years that I've been on Twitter. It helps when people re-tweet you. Of course, I didn't know this when I first signed up, so my username breaks this rule.

4. Keep it professional - If you really want to connect for mostly professional purposes, make sure you keep your username (and profile) professional too. "Sexyprof" might be, well, attention getting, but it will also keep you from being taken seriously.

5. Hatch the egg! - If you keep the egg as your profile picture for too long, you run the risk of being mistaken for a spammer. Put a headshot of yourself on your profile or at least an avatar or something that represents you. Your Twitter profile picture will wind up all over the Internet in the many services that Twitter users use to copy, curate, and repost Tweets. So be comfortable with the pic you choose, but hatch the egg!

6. If you choose to do a header picture, make sure your bio and other info is still readable. - The header picture is the larger pic that displays behind your profile picture and bio information. If you pick something that is too busy or the wrong color, it can make your profile difficult for others to read.

7. Fill out your bio! - I have a Twitter pet peeve - EMPTY BIOS! When someone new follows me, I want to know who they are and where they are from and what they do. It helps me determine why they might be interested in what I have to say.  I also want to know those things about people I'm considering following. Sure, I can go to someone's timeline and figure some of that out if they've Tweeted much. But I shouldn't have to be such a detective. When people connect, they want to know a little about each other. At least say what you teach or what position you hold. You don't have to include your school or district if you don't want to. Also, add your location (at least your country; provinces/states/etc. are also nice to know) and a link to a website that represents you if you have one.

Have I given you some ideas for updating/tweaking your profile a bit? If so, then you'll be happy to know that Twitter has recently made it super easy to edit your profile. Just go to your Twitter profile on a computer, log in to Twitter, and click Edit Profile right there under your profile header. You can change anything except your username/handle right from your profile page. (See screen shot to the right.)

OK, fellow and future Tweeps, I'll see you, and your new and improved Twitter profile, on the 'Net! :-)

P.S. - If you found this post interesting, you might also like my LiveBinder full of resources to get you started using Twitter for Professional Learning.

10 Killer iPad Projects Students Will Love #ISTE13

Notes from ISTE13 Concurrent Session

Holly Dornak and Jessica Dyer, ITS's, Lamar CISD

All presentation resources posted here:

***Goal is to use the iPad or whatever device it might be to do higher level skills/ higher
levels of Blooms.

iPad Essential Skills - allow students to teach you if necessary!

  • Spotlight Search - Kinder on up can do this with training!
  • Adding Images to Camera Roll - Using camera, screen shot, Internet images (integrate finding
    copyright-friendly issues here; for example, Google advanced search)
  • Taking Video - horizontal, please!
  • Action Button - box w/ arrow coming out to send stuff off of iPad
  • Turning in Assignments:
    • Dongle - connect to iTunes; it acts as a USB drive
    • Email - generic account or student email accounts
    • Cloud Storage - SkyDrive, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, etc.
    • Edmodo
    • Showbie- an app where teacher makes accounts and students can turn in
      work from iPad. Go to for more info.

Tip: Get the App Apps Gone Free - Gives you a few apps every day. Can use about 1/3 for
education. Many of the apps recommended in the projects to follow may cost money now, but
the presenters first became aware of them through Apps Gone Free.

10 Projects:

1. Build Vocabulary - Skitch     Ex: take pictures of real world objects and label fractions, get a pic off Internet of something you've been studying (Ex: peninsula); trace and annotate.

2. Send Postcards from the Edge - Turbo Collage Lite and Postino     Build front of postcard with Turbo Collage  then make back of postcard with Postino. Can email the postcard to some one. Also send by snail mail for a fee.

3. Go Hollywood - storyboard with Stickyboard (movable sticky notes) or Grafio Lite (limited to 4 graphic organizers) or Poplet Lite. Sock Puppet, Puppet Pals, or ToonTastic to make cartoonish videos; Cute CUT (free; almost as good as iMovie) or iMovie for live video; OSnap! or iMotionHD for stop motion

4. Use Student Instructors - Educreations and Doodle Cast - teacher can record lessons for students to review or have students record presentations or their thinking when completing an assignment

5. Become Thread Heads - Voice Thread - Have students comment on content you or they post or create. Great because it can be easily shared online.

6. Write and Illustrate - Outline, Drawing Pad, Strip Designer, Scribble Press, Little Story Maker, Book Creator

7. Witness and Report - Pocket BMX & Evernote - Have student play game while other students act as reporters. When you first do this, have a game that moves slow or allows for instant replay.

8. Building a Talking Museum - Croak.It! and Scan - Students drew and wrote about a field trip. Posted on bulletin board and put a QR code next to it linked to them reading their report. Also use DropVox to record.

9. Connect to your Community - Make it real-world - FaceTime, Skype (Ex: Talk with a fireman and he/she can give you a tour the fire station. ) Also check out Skype for educators. DigitalWish and SignUp Genius will help manage project connections.

10. Get Social - Edmodo, Twitter, Blogger - Example: @Emilydrocha posts what's going on in her class via Twitter. Check your school's social media policies before jumping into this.

Creating Digital Notebooks with OneNote #ISTE13

Notes from ISTE 2013 Concurrent Session

Helen Gooch
Instructional Technology Coordinator
Microsoft Innovative Educator
All resources will be uploaded to ISTE website by the end of the week.

Why OneNote?
  • OneNote is like a bookshelf full of notebooks.
  • Each notebook can have tabs.
  • You can sort all of the notebooks and tabs.
  • Notebooks can be shared.
  • Changes can be tracked.
Allows for seamless work. Start on one device, store in SkyDrive (or SkyDrive Pro in Office 365 for business or education), and access from other devices.

When you first create a notebook, you can decide to store locally or in SkyDrive.

Can also decide right away if you want to share the notebook or not. (This can also be setup later.)

Multiple ways to put content in a notebook:

  • Just click anywhere on the page and type.
    • Helen uses OneNote to create quick start guides or tutorials because text and pictures are easy to manipulate. OneNote page can then be saved as a Word Doc.
  • Can insert a webpage by browsing to it, and doing a screen clipping in OneNote. Crop page. OneNote automatically inserts the source of the clip.
    • TweenTribune website, with high interest reading materials for young people, used as a demonstration site.
  • Can insert an audio clip
  • Can also insert a ToDo list.
  • Can integrate with Outlook to email a OneNote page. Great trick for creating and emailing meeting agendas!
  • Can attach files to a notebook page or insert a printout of an attachment - printout of attachment is nice because you can ink on it. Nice if you have general notes on PowerPoint slides - students can take notes to add details.
  • Can make links to external websites or other notebooks (or sections or pages of other notebooks)
  • Can insert video recording.
  • Can download templates from

BONUS INFO: - Microsoft Partners in Learning network. Download free tools. Access tutorials.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Not 1:1? There's Still Hope for Implementing iPads! #iPlza13 #not121

At 10:15 am on June 19th, @DigitalLearners and I are scheduled to present Not 1:1? There's Still Hope for Implementing iPads! at the 2013 iPadPalooza Learning Festival in Austin, Texas. Below is our presentation as well as a folder of resource documents that schools implementing iPads in any way, shape, or form might benefit from.

If you can't join us in person, follow the hashtag #iPlza13 for Tweets from the Festival, and #not121 for Tweets from our session.

Also, if you have experience with or tips for deploying iPads in less than 1:1 environments, please share in the comments below so we can all learn together!

Presentation Slides
If you click or tap the Open in New Window icon at the right end of the orange bar, a new tab will open in your web browser. You will see a larger version of the presentation and be able to access any notes made on the slides. The details are in the notes!

Resource Documents
Click or tap the blue box below to access supporting documents. A new tab will open in your web browser.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

iPLC: Planting the Seed Through Staff Development #iPlza13

Notes from iPadPalooza 2013 Presentation

Errin Jennings
Instructional Technology Specialist
Dripping Springs ISD

Prezi for presentation:

We are using to share ideas for whom to follow on different networks to grow our PLN.

When you introduce something to faculty (or students), communicate clearly. For example, if using a back channel, let participants know focus of comments should be on topic at hand. Just saying "Be professional" might not be enough.

Broadcasting the seed emails - send out little tidbits, and see who bites.

Face to face conversations are still important. If you are a tech specialist, converse with a teacher and ask them to figure out the tool. Then they become your trainer of trainers.

In department meetings, faculty meetings, etc, pick one tool. You or a teacher model it. Watch for it to be used in other classrooms. Celebrate when it is used; help troubleshoot if there are barriers to using it.

Consider flipping meetings. Give info in advance so people can process, then have more discussion at the in person meeting.

  • Practice First. Never ever use technology without trying it out in the location where you will be using it.
  • One thing at a time. Pace yourself so you don't overwhelm people.
  • Be Authentic. Don't force the use of new technology just because it's cool. Should be appropriate to age and learning.
  • Let others drive. Let other teachers become familiar with tools and share them.
  • Stay current yourself
  • Record & reward good teachers.
  • It's ok to say "I don't know".

NOTE: This is my first ever post using Blogsy, so if there are any link mistakes or massive formatting issues, I will correct later. :-)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Time-Saving Tech Tips

You can eat, breathe, and sleep technology, and still not come close to knowing all of the short-cuts which could save you copious amounts of time at work or in your personal life. I was reminded of this when a David Pogue TED talk came across my radar earlier this week. I personally learned six new things from his less than six minute talk! The first tip he shares is my favorite.

Take a few minutes to watch Pogue's presentation. It's entertaining as well as informative. Then, take some time to leave a comment. What's something you learned from this video that you didn't already know? What's your favorite tech time-saver that you think more people should know about? Please share, so we can all learn together!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tips for Planning for Technology Integration in the Classroom

As much as I work in educational technology, as much as I read, as many tools as I try, I still find it difficult to communicate what meaningful technology integration looks like. I think the most difficult thing to get across when I'm discussing this topic is "Don't start with the technology. Start with your learning objectives - what do you want your students to know and be able to do - and then let's talk about how technology can support your goals."

The video below came across my radar this week. It is a wonderful, concrete example of how to think about the incorporation of technology into teaching and learning. Although labeled as part of The Teaching Channel's New Teacher Survival Guide, I think all educators can pick up some tips for integrating technology into their classrooms. 

Some things I love about this video:
  • It shows what is a real-world situation for the majority of schools and teachers - there aren't enough devices in the classroom for everyone to use one, and the teacher gets access to a computer lab on campus on a limited basis. 
  • It emphasizes the importance of collaboration with technology staff
  • It highlights the benefits of having a mentor to help plan technology integration. And it shows that if you have access to the Internet, your mentor can come from anywhere!
OK, I'm about to commit the faux pas of revealing the contents of the story before you get to watch it! So, I hope you'll set aside 15 minutes to watch this teacher progress through the planning of an engaging experience for her students. After you watch, I hope you'll share your take-aways and thoughts in the comments so we can all learn together!