Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter Break Assignment Ideas

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Personalized Learning: Intuition or Common Sense

"Personalized Learning"
It appears this is yet the latest edu-speak buzz word out here in the landscape of Education. As many of us sense: hasn't this idea - and others - been around before? I took it upon myself to learn, write and submit a Math computer program (wrote about this experience here) to the regional Science fair in San Diego when I was in 5th grade.
Was I taking a computer science class in elementary school? No. Was there a teacher to call upon when I ran into difficulty? No. Better yet, did I 'google' any issues along the path of finishing the project? Ha! In the early 80s our concept of the internet was best explained by the film War Games.
This project was truly a personalized, individual learning experience that held my attention for the better half of a summer before entering 6th grade.
Enough about me... I came across this article about middle school students using their technology outside of school to direct their own learning experiences, which you can read here.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Make a Music video over any Subject

Given the resources that are available here at St. John the Baptist School, making a video like this is relatively easy to do. The students in grade 6-8 all have Soundtrap and WeVideo accounts that run from their Chromebooks and save projects & media in their Drive. Students in grades K-5 have Garageband and iMovie on the iPads.
Here is an example:

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Kid Invention: Portable Lead Detection Device

A younger version of myself, I remember walking into our local Radio Shack and browsing the aisle of transistors, cables, connectors and imagining what I could build with these seemingly low cost materials. Today, I can easily spend a lot of money in Fry's if the opportunity presents itself. And then there is the Raspberry Pi, and the thousand of applications to make with a computer that fit's in the palm of my hand for $30...

This story just warms my heart...

Here is a student who identified a need, thought about what she could do about the situation and made something to remedy the need with the materials available. Outside of realm Curriculum and Instruction lies the world of Imagination and Creativity. I think that kids are able to access this much easier than adults.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Power of Audio in the Classroom

The podcast is making a comeback as a way to feature and present student work these days. On Saturday, October 7, Roland Aichele gave a presentation titled The Power of Audio in the Classroom at the East Bay Fall CUE conference. Below are the slides to his presentation » fascinating stuff here!

On Slide 10 is a list of software applications used to make Podcast. Here at St. John the Baptist School, we currently have a site license for Soundtrap. Let me know if you'd like your students to have an account and we can very easily set it up!

Monday, September 18, 2017

6 Targets To Teach The Way The Brain Learns

Came across this great article and was immediately drawn into the statement "brain-targeted teaching can engage and excite students because it taps into factors that stimulate the brain, grab the attention, and set the stage for learning."

Enjoy this quick read as a primer for your next set of lessons with your students!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Benefits of a Digital Classroom

This is a fabulous, brief video featuring teachers sharing how they use the Google Suite for Education in their classrooms.
Here at St. John the Baptist School, our G Suite for Education services and apps are handled through the students network Every student has a email address, which provides them with all of the applications and unlimited storage (!) G Suite for Education has to offer!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Disengagement from the Learning Task

As of today 6, 7, and about 1/3 of our 8th graders now have Chromebooks in their backpacks here at school and in our classes.

Are we feeling...
....  overwhelmed?

In timely fashion, I came across this article Digital Distraction vs. Engagement in Action. This quick read features teachers talking about their first experiences with Chromebooks in the classroom.

"... our recommendation for encouraging responsible use of technology is to be sure that our learning tasks are engaging, the consequences of not finishing work are clear, and the spirit of productivity guides our lesson planning."

Sunday, August 20, 2017

30 Creative Ways to Use Padlet in the Classroom

No fewer than a couple of days after our introduction to Padlet, I find this gem on Twitter 30 Creative Ways to Use Padlet in the Classroom for Teachers and Students.

This might be the best, single resource to find new and exciting ways to use Padlet with your students in your classroom » enjoy!

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Remember our "What I did over the Summer" wall at our first staff meeting of the 17-18 school year? If not, here it is

The app I used to make this is Padlet. Padlet is an interactive, web based environment to post, share and comment on any topic you want to help generate discussion. Need an example on how to use in the classroom? Lisa Rosa took Padlet for a test drive last spring in 5th grade

As always, am more than willing to help setup and get you started on your first Padlet!

There's No Place Like Chrome

Imagine an app store for Chrome...

I went to a local edtech conference hosted by the Krauss Center for Innovation at the beginning of the 17-18 school year and wandered  into this amazing session on useful, practical and fun Chrome extensions presented by Brian Briggs.

Brian's presentation slides are here with super helpful - and free - Chrome extensions that are just.... awesome! Please do let me know if you'd like help installing these extensions into your Chrome browser.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tools to Show Your Students the Reach of Their Blogs is a great website to show students on a real time map where their website is being viewed in the world.    A great way to show students the reach of their website/blog, and the reach of the internet.

Use of clustermaps would be a beneficial addition to a lesson on digital citizenship.  Students can analyze the data from their clustermap to get a snap shot of how and where what they put online is being seen.  Sharing the data from their websites in small group discussion can lead to further conversation about out digital footprint.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Learning Spaces

... "furniture helps lead to decentralized learning, where it’s no longer the teacher at the front lecturing. Instead, the teacher becomes a facilitator, moving around a classroom to help individuals and groups."

Bengfort, Jacquelyn. "Updates to Learning Spaces Make Schools Future-Ready." EdTech. N.p., 12 May 2017. Web. 21 June 2017.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Classrooms with Chromebooks

Beginning of the 2017-18 school year students in grades 6, 7, and 8* will arrive at school in the morning, and return home in the afternoon, with a school issued Chromebook. For your reference, here is an outline of our 1:1 Chromebook Program.

While this is a valuable resource for our middle school students, this new tool may present unforeseen challenges in the traditional classroom. Here is website that serves as a springboard for several other resources around the idea of the Chromebook Classroom.

Scroll down to the section Additional Classroom Ideas with Google Apps for both general and specific information about this 21st century learning device. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

K-12 Edtech Conferences

Here is a list of Professional Development conferences offered in the US that is neatly organized by Seasons & conference, Themes/Focus.

Don't let the title "Edtech" convince you these conferences are only about iPads & Chromebooks. At most of these gatherings technology is considered one tool (of many!) to create and sustain authentic learning experiences for our students.

Click here to view and download the PDF PD calendar.

for thought

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

8 Terrific Learning Podcasts for Students

From an awesome resource Common Sense Education (this post is like a 2 for 1!)

What is very cool here is that these podcasts are made with the Kindergartner through the Eighth grader in mind. This is high quality, free content that is suitable for every grade level and subject area.
Check them out here

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Science Literacy in the Misinformation Age

Came across this podcast featuring Neil DeGrasse Tyson and astronomer David Helfand whom make some thought provoking statements about Education:
  • The internet generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of information per day
  • a model of education as information transfer makes no sense
Interested? Curious? Here is the podcast:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2017

Lesson Planning app, team messaging, peer grading » here are some awesome apps to think about using in your classroom next year!