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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Favorite Elementary Websites for the Chromebook

A new school year is around the corner, marking my second year as an Instructional Technology Coach and my 9th year as a teacher. Every year I have the chance to apply and explore new websites along with finding additional ways to engage students with the tried and true applications I've been implementing for years. I picked a few of my favorites websites with a lot of classroom potential. If you haven't integrated these in your classroom, they are definitely worth trying during this school year!

The summer the Book Creator team launched a web-based version of this popular app. Now that Book Creator is on the web, your students can create their very own multimedia eBooks on their Chromebooks. Create up to 40 books for free or purchase a Book Creator license for a minimal cost. 

BrainPOP has been one of my favorite websites to use in the classroom. BrainPOP has an array videos, quizzes, and activities to integrate within your content. This past school year, BrainPOP released a Make-a-Movie feature allowing your students to create their very own BrainPOP films. Don't worry if your school doesn't have a subscription. There are many free movies for your students to enjoy!

EdPuzzle is a game changer when it comes to sharing YouTube content with your students. Share videos, edit the length, create "pause points" for reflection, or embed quizzes into an assigned film. Setting up a class roster allows you to view student analytics, including quiz scores and the number of times students have viewed the assigned videos. 

Expand your classroom library with eBooks... for free! Epic! is free for teachers. Create an Epic! account, allowing your students access to dozens of eBooks, audio books, and videos. Once you create your class rooster, you are able to easily assign content and control what your students are able to view. Although Epic! is free for teachers, parents need to pay a monthly fee in order for students to access Epic! at home.

Want to engage your students in video discussion? Flipgrid is what you've been waiting for! Create a discussion board and empower your students to respond with their own short video clips. Flipgrid includes both paid and free features to explore. 

Need to revitalize your writer's workshop? Kidblog may be just what you need! I started using Kidblog in the classroom a few years ago, and instantly fell in love with how it transformed student writing. Kidblog is a student blogging platform that is moderated by you, the teacher. Students are able to attach video and pictures to their posts, along with a comment feature. Try a 30 day free trial!

Seesaw is a student-driven digital portfolio, moderated by the teacher. Similar to Facebook, students can post and share media like picture, videos, voice recordings, and digital drawings to classmates or parents (optional). Seesaw has their own built-in creation tools, however, students are able to post content from many other websites, making Seesaw a must have in the classroom! Seesaw includes both free and paid features.

Before using these websites with your students, remember to review the terms and conditions, and your state and local student privacy laws. 

Which websites have you tried with Chromebooks in your classroom? Did I miss any of your favorites? 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I Vlogged My Way Through #ISTE17

ISTE may not have realized they gave me an early birthday present this year.

Let me set the scene:

On May 15th, three days before my 30th birthday, I was teaching a lesson in a 3rd grade classroom. Don't ask me what that lesson was, because all I can remember is seeing a boldly worded email from my coworker stating: YOU WON A TRIP TO ISTE! In disbelief, I checked my Twitter to see this:


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I'm Going to ISTE: A Type-A Guide on Preparing for the BIG Event!

ISTE 2017 is just around the corner! This blog post came to me on a last minute whim after realizing how overly prepared I like to be for conferences, and ISTE is no exception! Now, I'll admit that I have a very type-A personality. I like to have every detail planned out before I long distance travel or my anxiety goes through the roof! I am hopeful that the combination of previous ISTE experiences and the obsessive need to be overly prepared will help those of you who made need a tip or two to get ready for the ISTE conference & events!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Warhol Inspired Digital Art Using Google Drawing

I have the amazing opportunity to be a part of many classrooms as a tech coach. The fifth-grade teachers have been leading a famous artist unit, and as an art enthusiast, I couldn't help but join in! If you follow my Instagram, you got a sneak peak at some of the beautiful pieces of art the fifth graders have been creating. I love to paint and draw, however, I also wanted the opportunity to share some beginner graphic design lessons with students. Right away I knew the perfect artist for digital art inspiration would be Andy Warhol! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

End of the School Year Ideas for Your Classroom

I loved the last few days of school because it was the time we could come together to celebrate one another. No matter how challenging my class has been throughout the school year, I always cry on the last day! And I don't mean a few tears here and there... I mean I start bawling my eyes out! In nine short months, my students become family. As a Tech Coach, I don't have a classroom of my own this year, but it's fun taking a trip down memory lane to reflect on some of my favorite end of the year traditions!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Flipped Classrooms: Are They a Flop?

As a technology coach, I am actively searching for the next best thing in digital education. While flipped classrooms aren’t exactly a new trend, the term has continued to grow in popularity over the last few years. I wanted to know, are flipped classrooms something to flip over, or just a flop?


Friday, May 20, 2016

AMPLIFY Your Students' Digital Learning!

It is easy to feel like you're on an island when you are the only technology instructor in your school. Your teaching team becomes internet tutorials, blogs, forums, and books. Fortunately, Amplify, by Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke has turned into my favorite teaching partner, transforming my instruction and becoming my go-to technology instruction manual.  
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