Thursday, October 20, 2016

2016 MassCUE/M.A.S.S. Fall Technology Conference - Reflection

Yesterday I attended the #MassCUE16
2016 MassCUE/M.A.S.S. Fall Technology 

Getting ready for the conference I used Adobe Spark Post to tweet out about the conference and then picked my sessions for the day!  When I attend each year I always come back inspired to try a new project, test out a new tool of simply follow a new person on twitter.  As I processed the day on my drive home, I thought this year was different from other years.  Yes, I saw an inspiring keynote, attended sessions and checked out the exhibit floor, but what you don't capture at a conference is all the people to get to reconnect with and share your excitement for teaching.

When I arrived home I saw a tweet for a former colleague that I taught with a few years ago.  I was able to spend time with her in her Journalism class, and the a PD grad class.  Even though I only got to see her at the keynote she took the time to send me a message on twitter.  On my drive into school today this got me thinking about all the people in my PLN that I saw at the conference and I am so grateful to learn from them.

This got me thinking about how grateful I am as an Instructional Technology Specialist/Digital Learning Coach to work with so many wonderful teachers and in some way contribute to their passion for teaching. I decide to use Adobe Spark to share with colleagues and students this week.

What have you learned this year?  Make sure you take the time to reflect!

Monday, October 17, 2016

What Is Gamification and why should I consider using it in my classroom? - Badges for independent learning?

I used twitter to get instructional ideas for my professional development to test out with teachers and students in my school and to teachers that take Grad/PD classes with me.  Last spring I came across some inspiration from rpetitto, #games4ed/blog with many great ideas. One was using GAFE for Staff 30 Day Chrome Challenge. I put it on my radar but never actually made one. I shared the link with my colleague Craig and he jumped in and made some lessons/challenges "gamification lessons" for his students!  So, when co-teaching a grad class with Craig this fall we decided to implement a version of the challenge with our teachers in our blended class this month. The feedback this week was very positive.  So, I am not revisiting how to used with students in my high school.

This year 9th grade students arrived with Chromebooks. They started using in the 8th grade and seem to be relatively savvy compared to many of the other grade levels in our high school. I wanted to review techniques with Google and Chromebooks so I plan to test out a challenge (Game/make a copy) with a few teachers this semester and get some feedback from students. Depending on the feedback students could also learn to make engaging games using this technique!

So, what is Gamification? 
Gamification applies the use of gaming principles in education in order to get students involved, engaged, and excited about learning. Gamification introduces concepts like badges, levels, achievements, and game points to the classroom. Students are rewarded with these concepts when they succeed, but are not penalized when they don’t. By introducing a system of rewards without harsh penalties, students are not afraid to step outside of their comfort zone and fail. By removing their fear of failure we subconsciously encourage them to learn.

Ebook  and tips
Game Based Learning

Badges for independent learning. Though some claim they go against interest-driven learning, digital badges became more prevalent. Supported by the MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla’s Open Badges presents a free standard for creating, issuing, and verifying badges as indicators of accomplishment or attaining a skill. In 2013, badges documented evidence of professional learning as well. The National Science Teachers Association, theSmithsonian Institution, and the Khan Academy offer digital badges for educators and students. In October, Connected Educators Month organizers provided a variety of badges to encourage and reward participation.

I plan on exploring Gamification with a few teachers over the next month and will update the post with feedback from teachers and students!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Internet Safety Panel for Freshman Class 2020 (9/23 - 10:00 am)

Each year I visit classrooms, when invited, to discuss Internet Safety and student Digital Footprints. The last few years the entire grade level has participated as a class. I have formed a panel that include teachers, guidance, school resource officer and a member of the Worcester District Attorney's Office, Ellen Miller. The focus of the presentation on Friday, Sepember 23rd will be to share with students the good, the bad and the ugly of using the internet and social media. I will be presenting this month for the class of 2020.  The incoming freshman class not only have access to technology but now bring chromebooks, as we migrate to a 1:1 school. There are so many great ways students are using technology, but as we all know, students need to be guided and made aware of their choices and consequences when using technology.

Instead of lecturing students I have been using current events to discuss and start a dialog about what is being posted online is permanent.   Once of the articles I have used with classes was featured in the Boston Globe (Six Ways Social Media Can Ruin your Life) a few years ago and I found this to be an excellent teachable moment for students.

Presentation Link - in Prezi

September 2016
- Local HS - Snapchat
- Social Media and Addiction
- Google Online Safety Roadshow (videos) and Google Safety Center

Closing thoughts, this session should not be a one time discussion.  It should be ongoing with your family, teachers and school.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

PBL - at Nashoba (PLT and EDcamp)

I will be part of a Personal Learning Team (PLT) this school year focused on Project-Based-Learning with several of my colleagues. After delivering a class on Project-Based-Learning last summer,  I decided I would have the option of delivering a workshop in a presentation format or in hyperdoc format on PBL in a hyperdoc that will provide background information on Project Project Based Learning.  We may decide to use this as the agenda as we explore PBL.

In addition at the end of September, I will work colleagues to present PBL and GAFE at an EdCamp session in my school.

I am looking foward to attending a Google Hangout/Live YouTube on Hyperdocs later this month.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Planning EDcamp session this month

Starting to plan a back to school EdCamp this month.

Here are a few of the things I will review.
  • Tweet out to staff the planning is starting
  • Survey Staff with a list and session optionsand who wants to help
  • Review last springs offerings and develop a matrix
What worked well last year and what will improve the sessions
  • Two Sessions
  • 9th Grade Student Panel for Chromebooks
  • Students join sessions
  • NEW Google Classroom Features
  • New Tools (Quizlet Live)
  • New Themes PBL

Each teacher will tweet out their own slide using #nashobalearns and tag the next presenter.
Let's make this collaborative and fun!

Other ways to market will invole using a few new tools to showcase.
  • Test out Adobe SPARK - link
  • New TV Signage
  • Create Signage / Bulletin Board and Poster

Friday, August 26, 2016

Back to school and Meme's

When I return to school next week a teacher has already contacted me about using Meme's in her classroom.

I thought I would practice making one by creating an account and saving.

I tweeted this Meme using

What do you mean summers over? via

Or you can just make one on the site without signing up.

How can it already be time to go back to school!
I am looking forward to seeing all my colleagues!

Back to school and new GAFE updates to share

I have always been an advocate for Tablet/PC's and the ability to provide annotated feedback from teacher/student along with student submitting annotated work.  We are a GAFE school and I have been waiting for a similar feature to become available in docs.

Google has just announced "Write notes on your work" in classroom.  Here is a link for more information or on twitter by following: @GoogleForEdu

Draw, write, highlight & show work directly on PDFs & Docs in

There are several new updates available on the Google for Education blog this month.  Check out all the new features here

Google Quiz Feature

Quiz (change from Flubaroo to Google Quiz and test) and link and