Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Techie Holidays

I was inspired after seeing the adorable creations from this teacher on Flickr:

We used parts of our district's motto to create a personalized image. Then we used that Keynote image in Thinglink, added a few fun holiday themed links and sent this out as our holiday card from the instructional technologists. 

We became the prize patrol to deliver the prizes for Tech the Halls. 
I was so impressed with the boards our students and teachers made. The district winner had Aurasma ornaments for every child that shared their favorite parts of the holidays, stocking for every teacher that linked to Chatterpix or Jibjab dance videos, music notes that played carols, and snowflakes with AR codes to content questions. Wow!
Here is a video that shows all of the boards.
Enjoy and happy holidays!

Discover PD Series

We chose three words to be in our logo for our ipad initiative: discover, transform and excel. We took these three words and used them as inspiration for our PD plans. 
In the Spring we will be offering monthly professional development to our schools so that they can "discover" new tools for their classroom. 
Our district just purchased Notability for all of our students so we will begin with learning this app. After the holiday break we will be sharing tips for managing a 1:1 classroom, using Twitter, digital assessment tools, Google Apps for Education and a session designed specifically for the needs of our individual schools. I will be sure to share materials for our sessions here.
I am looking forward to getting in to see each of my five schools and continuing to build relationships with the teachers. I have found that time like this with the teachers has really increased their trust in me and their willingness to invite me into the classroom. 

Our annual June district PD days will be a conference style event. We are calling the event Transform 2015. There will be traditional sessions, but also an unconference style portion, App Gallery, Creation Stations and many more fun, interactive learning opportunities. We are very excited about the event and created this Save the Date card.

The Excel portion of our plan is still in the works, but we hope to celebrate the achievement of our students when we return next Fall. 

Does your district organize PD based on themes or annual goals? I would love to hear about it.

K-2 Tech Fun Day

One of my elementary schools asked if I would organize an event for their K-2 students that would be similar to the fun had by our 3-5 students on iPad roll out day.
Thankfully the related arts teachers were willing so we planned 8 different stations for the day.
1. Kahoot games with me. The students had a blast answering questions about animals and cartoon characters using public Kahoot games I found online. They loved the competitive portion and screamed after every question. Yes, every question. Several teachers had not seen Kahoot before and asked if I would show them how to use it in their class. Score!

2. HMH Readers app with the reading coach. The student enjoyed reading and being read to using this app. Other popular reading apps in my district are Raz Kids and Epic.

3. My Heart Rate, Virtual Heart and NFL Play 60 with the PE teacher. 

4. Tune Train and singing with the music teacher.

5. Colar with the art teacher. Often mentioned as one of their favorites that day (after Kahoot of course).

6. Lightbot coding in the computer lab.

7. Chatterpix for sharing their favorite book in the library.

8. Common Sense lesson about online safety with their classroom teacher.

All of the kids had a blast and several teachers learned about tools and apps they had never seen so I was very happy!
What are your favorite apps for our youngest grades?