Monday, November 18, 2013

Rubrics and Google

As part of our NEASC Accredication we have been working on School Wide Rubrics.

I have been reading about Doctopus and Goobric to automate assessment and grading.  This video shows the process of setting up in google.  I am planning to use the Digital Learning Rubric and a School Wide .
Rubric SWR over the next few weeks with students for assessment.

Learning to find resources in Pinterest and adding the button to a post blog.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Using the iPad in the Classroom - The SAMR Model

I am reviewing the iPad Apps and the SAMR Model
The SAMR Model (SubstitutiionAugmentationMofidicationRedefinition), developed by educational consultant Dr. Ruben Puentedura, offers an exploration of the stages of technology adoption in education. It is particularly relevant to the adoption and integration of iPads and can be applied to the use of various educational apps and the associated uses of said apps.

I was looking for a little inspiration for new lesson ideas and plans and visited Richard Bynyrne site at this afternoon.  So many great apps to use with students.

Looking forward to working with Nancy and showcasing her blog /

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Much of the conversation at the  MassCUE & M.A.S.S. Conference yesterday was around Creativity and Inspiration and I see it every day in my high school.  So this morning I decided to check with with teachers in my department, take a few pictures of student work and engagement and post on twitter and update my blog.
Wood Production class making yard carts with engraved Red Sox/Patriot's logo with Mr. LeBlanc! 

Students in Mrs. Offt's Multimedia Class create E-Portfolio while Mr. A's Marketing Students use chromebooks for research. 


Graphic II students in Mr. Berube's class work on new Nashoba Mission Statement Posters. 
There are lots of grade this going on at Nashoba and and I hope to get more teachers blogging and tweeting about student work.

Tomorrow morning Journalism students will be hosting Morning Video Annoucements followed by a Career Day for students.

MassCUE & M.A.S.S. Technology Conference 2013

Yesterday I attended the  MassCUE & M.A.S.S. Technology Conference 2013 and had the opportunity to attend Tony Wagner's Keynote. I recently downloaded his new book Creating Innovators and plan read and checkout his videos.  Whenever I attend a conference my favorite part of the day is checking out what students are doing, so I headed to the student poster section where I got to see students from Mashpee High School present artifacts created with a 3D printer from their 3D Animation and CAD classes. I was so impressed with the students and teacher, Salvatore Nocella. My Department has been visiting the website for inspiration.  I then headed over to a session by Dean Shareski, I have been following him on twitter for years and I knew I had to see his presentation "Encouraging Creativity 5 Minutes at a Time"  I found his session inspiring and plan to put many of his suggestions into practice.

After lunch and a few pictures of the field at Gillette Stadium with a collegaue, Linda Offt I wanted to attend Jean Tower's session that she facilitated IGNITE Your Passion in Just Five Minutes.  A great group of educators and administrators spoke about topics in their school or district that inspired passion in their lives. It was very obvious when watching Greg Schwanbeck from Westwood present on implementing Chromebooks for every high school student. The Natick Superintendent, Dr. Sanchioni gave an amazing session on getting everyone on board and prepared to use technology.  Suzy Brooks, a teacher from Cape Code who is so inspiring shared her passion and goals along with other educators. I loved the session and their passion! I was starting to drag by the last session but had to make my way to Building a Student Journalism Program: Empowering PBL/Digital Literacies with Fred Haas and Sterling Worrell for Hopkinton.  I have been communicating with them over the last month to connect one of my amazing teachers, Jacquie Carter who is now teaching Journalism in order to collaborate

One of my favorite parts of the day was seeing several of my former graduate students from Littleton, Quabbin, Mashpee and Groton attending the conference and lighting up as they talk about how embracing technology has changed their teaching and connected them to other educators. I also reconnected with other educators and colleagues for a day of inspiration.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Technology Planning - Project 24

We are getting ready to update our district technology plan this month and we were sent a link to Project 24, which is an urgent call to action for the need for systemic planning around the effective use of technology and digital learning to achieve the goal of "career and college ready.  Below is a video of Gail Pletnick, Superintendent of Dysart Unified School District in Arizona, she talks about the value of the Project 24 self assessment.  See the video below.

As an initial step to participating in Project 24, this self assessment includes a series of questions helping each district frame their vision for student learning, begin to recognize various aspects of the system to be addressed, and specify how technology can help align these efforts to achieve higher college- and career-ready standards. See what surprising things happened in Dysart at 1:1 ! To learn more about Project 24, visit

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Twitter and Social Media for Collaboration and Community Connection

I have been using a variety of social media, particulaly twitter  for several years as professional development tool to connect with other educators.  I started using Twitter to follow a few key educators from conferences and graduate classes and find twitter the most important tool that I use for Professional Development.

I have noticed many schools are blogging and using micro-blogging (aka Twitter) to connect with students and family.

Here are a few local schools and educator that I follow:
  1. Burlington (former Principal, now Assistant Superintendent,
    Patrick Larkin
  2. Burlington Principal
  3. Our former principal, Mr. Roche 
  4. Tom Whitby and Tuesday night #edchat
  1. Bedford NH Bulldogs
  2. Wayland Student Press
    Twitter and twitter 
  3. How Journalist are using Social Media Google+ /Hangouts and more 
When working with students around the topic of Digital Citizenship I always encourage students to make sure their digital footrprint is appropriate and will assist them with applying to college or for a job.  Here is an interesting inforgraphic "College Student Guide to a Professional Profile".

I am sometime I am reminded that teachers may use social media professionally and it's to make sure we connect with how student may be using social networking tools and use it as a learning opportunity to educate students.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Morning Video Annoucements and publishing

Off to a great start this month with Journalism and Video Students working together on Morning Video Annoucements (MVA) posted on our NRHS Video blog using YouTube Channel and on Vimeo

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Journalism Class and Social Media

I wanted to take the opportunity to showcase how twitter can be used a part of a Journalism class along with a class blog.  Although Nashoba News has been using the twitter handler @chieftain_chat I thought it was import to review how journalism students can use twitter.

National Scholastic Press Association and upcoming conference. 
JEA/NSPA  High School Journalism Convention November 14-17, 2013. Boston & Hynes Convention Center Boston, MA.
  1. My Tweets today (see twitter feed on my blog)
    - 12 Things Students Should Never Do on Social Media  - Twitter tips for high school journalists 
    - Ten Ways journalists can use Twitter, before during and after reporting a story - Twitter tips for high school journalists 
  2. A Twitter Tutorial by 
  3. Top 7 Twitter Tutorials
  4. Presentation on Social Media for high school journalists from Robin J Phillips
  1. The Basics
  2. Going Mobile with Twitter and Blogging (using the APP)
  3. Bedford Bull Dogs
  4. Wayland Student Press

The new school year and Multimedia

This year I will be working with a member of my department on a Multimedia Course.  We plan to create Student Portfolio's in order for students to share their work with the family and relatives.

At the current time our district does not allow teacher or students to share document or presentations off the school network.  However, we can share a google site.

We plan to give students the option to share the link with their parents and will showcase their work at parent conferences and open house.

We plan to proceed cautiously about sharing student information off the domain, however students can share directly with parents.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blog app

Get picstitch


Showcasing blogger app

Testing blogger app

Integrating Mobile Technology for English and Language Arts Curriculum

Gearing up for another week of teaching!

Integrating Mobile Technology  for English and Language Arts Curriculum
  • Dates: August 5th- 12th 2013
  • Location: The Massachusetts Elementary School Principals Association offices, Lord Rd, Marlboro
  • Sponsored by: The Central MA Readiness Center and the Center for Professional Studies at Fitchburg State University
  • Instructors: Mary Marotta  and Dr. Deborah Brady
Please take the survey -  Getting to know you survey

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sharing your blog

Presentation Day (Survey's take 2)
LINK to Presentation page and names

Here is a link to our class blog sites so you can review and give each other feedback.
Friday collaboration document link  - What did you learn this week?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

What are you learning this summer?

After teaching a Mobile Learning Class this summer we decided to make a video to capture students experience in the class by making a short video.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Summer Mobile Learning

Gearing up to teach a few mobile classes this month.

Integrating Mobile and Social Media for Learning 
(BYOD /Bring Your Own Device) 7/15-7/20 2013  
Location - Central Office 45 Main Street, Pepperell, MA 01463
Prof. Dev Conference Room (Course PDMT 6698 / CRN 50245)

This course will focus on Mobile learning research, trends, instructional design strategies for curriculum integration and social media for mobile learning. This course will explore Learning Models for Mobile Learning (mlearning) and help educators develop effective pedagogy and instructional strategies that capitalize on access to mobile technology. Participants will explore a variety of Apps to support curriculum in their content areas and learn how to create apps to support the curriculum. Course Site

Video 1

Video 2

What a difference a year makes!
Blog Showcase  and

End of Day One

END of DAY 1/Start of Day 2
  1. SURVEY Getting to know you. 
  2. Note: Show Google Shortner Link
  3. QR Code
  4. App QR Reader to scan

Monday, June 24, 2013

Moving to Google and Gmail (a few tips)

We are in the process of moving from Outlook to Google/Gmail this month.
Many of us have multiple accounts with the same email address.  A quick tip is to share your google sites and blogs with you other account and make youself the owner of the blog!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Poetry Projects and WeVideo

Each year I get to work with Sophomore students and teachers on Poetry Projects.  I am always so impressed with the finish result, however the logistics of using a variety of labs with XP/Windows 7 and various versions of MovieMaker has stopped teachers from working on this project.

Last year, I took a look at WeVideo but our school filter had it blocked, this year it's open.  Our school is using GAFE and WeVideo is now connected with Google Drive (See the video WeVideo and Google Drive).

We introduced the project using WeVideo and the results have been very positive.  Student are using mostly images for their projects. One of the students, Sarah A. is using WeVideo in class  to create a multimedia slideshow on poet Christina Rossetti. Sarah   stated she like the fact she could access the project from home and work on from any location.  I plan to post some of the projects on the blog once they are completed.

Blogging with mobile devices in class

Students have been blogging in Ms. Carter's english class using the school's chromebooks.  This week they are discussing Gatsby. Many of the students have registered mobile devices on the school network and are not using the blogger app to update their blogs using their phones.

Blogging from iPhone

Using BYOD to blog

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Students show school spirit for principal

Students at Nashoba surprised our principal Dr. Parry Graham with a birthday present today.
 Students gathered in the court yard with a message for the dr. Graham on their tee shirts.
Note: Google's Picasa Web Albums makes sharing your photos a snap. Visit

Additional Pictures
Dr. Graham seemed to be having a good time with students as they all wished him a Happy Birthday today!

Nashoba News Picasa Album  - Spring 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Using iPad to record Students learning with mobile devices

This month I have been working with a teacher to have students register their device on our network in order to use ohine, ipads, etc in the claasrrom.

Today we used Socrative for a quiz. I was was able to record the session on my ipad, edit in iMovie, post to Youtube and add to my blog using blogsy.




Saturday, March 23, 2013

Learning at iCon2013

Attending  #icon2013 / conference in Burlington today.  I am constantly amazed and impressed by the staff at Burlington School District.  They continue to open their doors to connect, share and collaborate with educators!  I brought along a few teachers from my high school and a group of teachers learning to use the ipad in their classrooms.

I learned to use the Blogsy App to blog directly from my ipad, thanks to  for showing me!
We also experimented with Nearpod  a great way to share your screen with students and the ready made lessons looked great.  I plan on exploring more this week!

There were so many great sessions today.  I feel inspired by being surrounded by so many passionate educators.  This district has such a great vision for teaching, learning and sharing.

Need help with some of the ideas discussed at today's session? Checkout twitter #icon2013

While attending this conference I was following @gregkulowiec on twitter and checking out some of his recent blogs post.  He is an outstanding presenter and I learn so much following him on twitter. I found his last two post very helpful! He makes it all look so easy!
I learned so many great things on Saturday, but the best part of the day was connecting with people I follow online and connecting a new group of teachers to this new type of Professional Development!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Learning on Google Hangouts!

I used Google Hangouts  (learn more here)  this afternoon to connect with a group of teachers to review class material covered over the last two weeks.  We checked out blogs and APPS they explored.
I thought Google Hangouts was a great way to connect up along with Google+ during the week. As always, the first few times you use any new tool there are glitches with microphones and showing people how to access the chat window, but overall, I think it went very well.

Here are some links that I curate on Mobile Devices for learning using

I am looking forward to attending icon2103 checkout the schedule!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting Teachers and Students blogging!

As a Instructional Technology Teacher, I am always looking for ways to coach teachers and students to use technology more efficiently by applying 21st Century skills into their teaching practices and the classroom.  Here are a few examples of things I have been working on this month with a few classes.
  • English Class -I worked with one of my English teachers to get her class up and running with blogs.  I am so pleased to see how far the teacher and students have progressed with blogging.  Checkout her class blog.  She is now working on a teacher e-portfolio reflecting on the various ways she has integrated technology into her classroom.
  • Journalism Class - students are publishing their work for Nashoba News online this year.
  • Business/Technology teacher is now having students create e-portfolios to showcase their work and publish morning video announcements to her blog.
Today, another teacher emailed me items to post on the school website.  When I showed him how to create a Nashoba DECA blog and use twitter with students to model how this can be used in business, he created a blog and plans on using to showcase student work.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Snow Day .....deja vu

Snow Day  .....deja vu! 
The downside, I am not sure the school year will ever end.  The upside, I get the chance to test out some of the new apps we have been reviewing for class along with some that I have been reading about online.

I started the day taking a picture of my backyard and using Pic Stitch ( free download that allows you to put photos into a frame/collage on your phone or ipad) along with a summer photo I had on my phone and made a post comparing summer/winter!

Some of the things I will be working on today, include blogging, twitter and Google+ for connecting along with revisiting a few apps/features that we covered in class.  

Features / Apps on many of the ipads in the classroom
Other recording ... Educreation and Explain Everything  
Along with some videos, articles and learning on twitter.
As a reminder, when using twitter search on 
  and  for ipad/apps updates.
Here is a link to a great blog by Richard Byrne with lots of App Reviews

Also, the Burlington High School is on the Apple site checkout their video prior to our visit!

Watch an App Smackdown here !  Let's create our own!
Learn more from Digital First - Ohio State view in iTunes

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Teaching, Mobile Learning and Play

I have been revisiting Google as a means to connect a group of teachers for online professional development this week.  It's been a while that since I used my personal google account, as my school has been using GAFE (we have not turned on hangouts) so I wanted to revisit the features again.

I am working with a group of teachers from various districts, and many have not used Google Apps.  So, we  decided to jump in and by using Google+, Google Circles, Google Hangouts along with Google Drive for the iPad.  It's interesting to see how nicely the Google features allow us to connect.

When starting out with a new group of teachers and introducing them to building a Personal Learning Network (PLN using Twitter) along with new ways to integrate technology into the classroom it can feel a little overwhelming.  However, I was reminded of the possibilities this week when a former student Nancy Marrese @nmarese returned to assist me with a class.  I met Nancy last summer, an energetic first grade teacher that wanted to learn how to integrate her iPad into the classroom.  Nancy encouraged all of the teachers in the class to allow themselves to learn and explore the numerous ways the ipad and technology can help them teach in a new way. Nancy showed the teachers how using technology with her students completely changed her teaching this year.  During class, she helped by tweeting useful links and encouraging teachers to join the conversation.  She then shared her class blog   so the class could see first-hand the impact technology has played in her classroom.  I was energized by her enthusiasm and how much she has accomplished this year!

Another guest presenter that joined the session was Ann DeCristofaro, a math teacher from my high school.  Ann has always been an avid user of technology and a talented photographer.  Ann started using an iPad in her math class this year.  There were a few math teachers in the class that really appreciated Ann's expertise and her demonstration of the graphing calculators apps and Math ibooks.  Ann showed teachers how she was using the iPad (along with Reflector App on her PC) to take pictures of student work and project it in her class.  Ann then took a few minutes to show many of the beautiful pictures she took during the weeks snow storm from her iPad. 

I feel so fortunate to have individuals like Nancy and Ann in my Personal Learning Network, who are willing to share their teaching experiences and inspire a group of teachers about to start implementing some of these new technologies in their classrooms.

I wrapped up the session by connecting everyone in a Google hangout so we could stay connected during the week.  I encouraged everyone to use Twitter and join Tuesday's #edchat conversation this week.

We all plan on attending
icon2013, nearby conference in Burlington on Saturday, March 23rd.  I am hoping this experience will give participants and opportunity to see how educators across the state are transforming their classrooms by introducing mobile computing with students in a variety of ways.

I am looking forward to connecting with everyone online over the next few weeks and, learning with everyone at the 
 icon2013 conference this month.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Snow Day

I can't believe we are having yet another Snow Day!  I am getting ready to teach a class this weekend and trying to figure out the best way to shift some of the material online.  It can be a little tricky without having actually starting the class and getting to know each persons comfort level.

Some of the things I have done to move us along.

- Emailed a survey getting to know them
- Request they they create a google and twitter account and supply the username in the survey.  In order to create google circles/hangouts.
- Provided a link to the course site with
Getting Started Videos and articles.
Provided a list of apps we may be using in the class and suggested some basic apps to download to get started.

It's amazing how productive we can be by having materials available online. I am left wondering why schools can't come up with alternative assignments for students instead of extending the school year!

Testing posting blogs posts to Google Circles for class, Google Events and Hangouts!
I have made a MEC Circle!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mobile Devices, Apps and Twitter

I am continually amazed at how much  I learn on twitter and I am so grateful to educators that continue to share!  I have reached out to a few schools over the last few months to arrange site visits to observe students using 1:1 devices, (mostly iPads) along with BYOD models.  The approach to each model is very different.  We have also been using Chrome Carts with my high school students for the last few months.

We formed a BYOD committee and we have visited school and had several meetings about our approach.  I think the most important question we should be asking is "What do I want my students to do" and "How will that support learning".   We have spent time on looking a devices ipad, chromebook, BYOD.  It reminds me of days when we picked between Beta and VHS machines!  I know it's not about the device, but it does impact the delivery in the classroom.  I came across an interesting link on twitter on the topic.
Choosing the Right Mobile Learning Device "Mobile learning will prove itself to the non-believers, I feel very confident about that. But until then, you should know that beyond exam results, teaching is about preparing students for what comes next; like it or not, technology is a big part of the future and we should be helping make sure that those who will use it, design it and disrupt it, know what they are doing and why they’re doing it.
The time to introduce mobile learning is now. Which device you choose should be dictated by the answer to one question:‘Does this device allow my students (no matter what their ability or learning style) to be exposed to the best, most inspiring content that I can think of?’"

A common thread with some of my visits.  Many of the schools have visited Burlington or have consulted with EdTechTeachers for professional Development. I like the fact they approach the iPad with Learning Objectives. Here is the link to help answer the questions  I want my students to record, or to make a digital notebook, etc. Their approach is to put the emphasis on creation, not consumption of apps. Many of the apps they recommend may be perceived more as "containers" rather than specific apps for the classroom.

Here are a few, (iBooks for pdf's, epubs and ibooks using mac iauthor) along with purchased books and in some cases textbooks.
Apps on many of the ipads in the classroom,
- Explain Everything  
- Google Drive 
- Evernote 
- DocScanHD 
- HaikuDeck  
- SoundCloud  
- Vimeo (free)
- Book Creator 
 - iMovie (4.99)
- Reflector (alternative to Apple TV) for the classroom and screencats!
- SMART NoteBook App ... just to name a few!

I plan on attending a conference next month and continue to learn from other schools in order to assist with our own BYOD implementation this spring.  

I may be teaching another mobile class next month, so I will continue to learn along with my students and colleagues.

A few good tips tutorials for using the ipad to explore with my classes next month!
Apple Guided Tours
  1. Part 1 - 
  2. iPad Tips and Tricks (Ten Tips and Tricks!) 
I used Google Plus and Hangouts a few summers ago with a class on the Cape.  I plan to revisit this
month so I can incorporate into my class for the online portion of teaching!

Google for Educators to support this class!
I am hoping my class will find this post along with the class site of videos and presentations helpful!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Using Twitter for school collaboration - Random Acts of Kindness

I have been using twitter for several years to connect with other educators and expand my own learning.   Twitter has been an invaluable resource for me, it has allowed me to connect with other educations and grow my PLN.

I have been waiting for an opportunity to use with teachers and students to show the professional power of connecting.  Our district has a new communication policy that allows staff to access twitter.  

I was asked by a teacher last week to help out the Student Council and Sunshine Society to get staff and students to participate in 26 Days of Sunshine. Inspired by the national campaign entitled "26 Random Acts of Kindness" honoring the memory of the 26 students and teachers who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary school.  We set a goal of 2600 random acts of kindness to be carried out during the 26 days from 1/18-2/13. Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) performed by students and staff will be written on paper suns and hung in the cafeteria.  Today I was asked how get more community members involved and a better way to collect information.  I created a form using googl,  link here to view and posted on our school website to follow on twitter (#nashoba_rak). I am curious to see if this will take off!  

What better way to use technology for collaboration for a great cause!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Learning and Planning for the New Year

Over the past few months I have been working with staff and students on a few new initiatives and have neglected to update my blog.

Here are some of the items we have been working on.

  • Chromebooks - We have implemented a Samsung Chromebook Cart and we are planning on two additional carts this month. Part of our decision for the expansion was due to the price, for only $249 you can access your Google Drive and the web through your Chrome browser. Given that we are a Google Apps for Education school and big users of Google Docs, Presentations, Forms and Spreadsheets, this unit fits our needs. Students can log on in a matter of minutes and the battery life is great. 
  • iPad for Special Education Pilot is going very well and we plan on expanding into our Life Skills classes. 
  •  BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Pilot. I have been working with administration and a group of teachers over the last few months to visit schools that have implemented BYOD along with 1:1 initiatives. We plan on allowing certain classes to pilot using their own device later this month. Several teachers have registered their own device, mostly iPads on our network and have been using a variety of Apps with students. A few teachers are using the iPads with Reflections along with their SMARTBoard.

    Apps and Websites 
  • Apps -  Several teachers are trying out Socrative, which allows the teacher to create interactive quizzes which students answer can answer using their iPhone or any device with access to the web. Students can see immediately if they are right or wrong. You can also show a graph of the answers after students have responded and use that to spur discussion about the topic. 
  •  I attended a presentation last month by Luis Rodriguez from DESE, (Office of Digital Learning). He presented using Joinme which allowed us to connect to his presentation and follow on our devices. I plan on testing out Joinme and Nearpod this month. Nearpod allows the teacher to control what students see on their device. Teachers can upload any PDF file and Nearpod separates each page into a slide. Students sign into a "room" and the teacher takes control of the slides that each student sees. Nearpod also allows you to intersperse different types of interactive questions throughout the presentation to check for understanding. 
  • New Website - our district has updated all our website templates and I am working to refresh the content. - Our district updated our "Communications Policy" and we now have access to more social websites in school. I am thrilled to be able to access twitter to use professionally with teachers and students.