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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Techie Tuesday: iPad App Speed Dating!


Today's Techie Tuesday featured 4 fun and educational iPad apps for learning - at school or at home! 



iPad App Speed Dating, which I first learned about from Jennie Magiera, is a fun way to share about several iPad apps in a short period of time.

In this round of iPad App Speed Dating, we spotlighted the following four iPad apps (led by teachers and students):

Click on the images to learn more about how to use each of the apps.
Ubersense
Skitch

Charades! for Kids

another alternative is...
School Charades Free


Our iPad App Speed Dating featured stations for each of these apps.  Staff members spent five minutes at each app station, and rotated through to learn about each app.  Then, they had 10 minutes at the end to try out an app or ask follow-up questions (we played charades!).

Are you interested in trying out one (or more) of these apps in your classroom?  Let me know!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Techie Tuesday: Get 'Schooled' in Schoology

Welcome to Techie Tuesday!


Techie Tuesdays are designated days dedicated to sharing technology tips that you can use right away!  The information is available in person on Techie Tuesdays, as well as online and available anytime!


Today's Techie Tuesday topic is:

-Get 'Schooled' in Schoology-

Goal of today's Techie Tuesday: explore Schoology with the guidance of some WVR teachers who use it regularly with their students. 

*Join our new Weaver Lake staff Schoology group, try out a test course as a student, and practice creating courses / resources in Schoology. 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hour of Code!


We are getting really excited at Weaver Lake about the upcoming Hour of Code as a part of Computer Science Education Week during December 8-14th!  Every student at Weaver Lake in all grade levels will have an opportunity to code.


When we participated last year, the Hour of Code provided a great way to expose lots of students to coding in a focused and engaging way.  It generated a lot of excitement around coding, both from students and teachers, and it led to the implementation of regular coding opportunities for students during the school day. 

Want to find out more?  I've put together some basic information about the Hour of Code, the reasoning behind it, and some ways you can get involved!

What is the Hour of Code?

Here's some information straight from the Hour of Code website:
"The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Check out the tutorials. "
"The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 30 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104." 




The tutorials and activities are also available before and after Computer Science Education Week, so you can check them out early or go back to them at any time.  

As I was writing this post, I just got an email that this year's tutorials are now available in beta, and will feature Disney's Frozen characters Anna and Elsa - very exciting!  Rest assured, there are also tutorials and activities that appeal to older students :)

Why participate?

The Hour of Code is a great entry point into coding.  It provides self-directed, focused, and engaging coding activities (for free!) that are accessible for all learners, from pre-literate to literate, coding beginner to coding expert, young to old, techie to non-techie.  Since the Hour of Code is self-directed, this also means that the teacher does not need to be a coding expert...in fact, it's totally OK if you've never done any coding before!  You can try it out with your students, and authentically model critical thinking, problem solving, and perseverance as you go!

Computer science and coding are important because they build and develop cross-curricular skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, perseverance, and collaboration. 

These skills will help prepare our students for their future careers, no matter what career they pursue.

Check out this awesome infographic created by Kodable that shares 5 reasons to teach your students to code:





How do I participate?

The best way to get started is to just get started!  Here's the link to the tutorials and activities - you can jump in and start coding right away!  No experience necessary!   You can use a tablet or computer, or go totally analog and try out some of the fun and interactive unplugged activities. 

As an option, individuals can sign up for a Code.org account so that you can save your progress and make progress toward coding goals (there's an option for single sign-on with Google accounts, which is a nice option for schools with Google Apps for Education).  Teachers can also create classes to and can track students' progress from a teacher dashboard.  

Teachers, here is a link with step-by-step details on how to host an hour of code in your classroom.

Interested in getting your whole school signed up to participate, or want to support the Hour of Code in other ways?  Check out the info on the Hour of Code website.

Here are some additional resources for educators provided by Code.org.


Interested in connecting during Computer Science Education Week?  Or, to share ideas before the Hour of Code?

Let me know!   Twitter: @wilsandrea

I'm also interested in connecting some classes via Google Hangout to give kids a chance to share about fun coding discoveries or to crowd source questions.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Techie Tuesday: Teacher Website Workspace

Welcome to this year's first Techie Tuesday!


Techie Tuesdays are designated days dedicated to sharing technology tips that you can use right away!  The information is available in person on Techie Tuesdays, as well as online and available anytime!


Today's Techie Tuesday topic is:
-Website Workspace-
*Now is a good time of year to update websites with recent photos, announcements, or links.  


Google Sites are an awesome way to create your online teaching presence.  And, they're easy to use!

Here are some reasons to use Google Sites in your classroom:
  • Free
  • Associated with Google Apps (one login)
  • Webpage, blog, wiki, portfolio (all in one!)
  • Home-school communication tool that is accessible anytime, anywhere
  • A way to share learning beyond the walls of your classroom




Our staff webpage checklist at Weaver Lake:






Share your thoughts...
What other things do you think are important to include on your Google Site?  
What other tips and tricks would you like to know or share?  


What other topics would you like to see spotlighted for a Techie Tuesday? 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

6th Grade iPad Update

A photo posted by Ms. Wilson Vazquez (@mswilsonvazquez) on


We are excited to deploy them to students this Friday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mind-mapping with MindMeister!

Students at several grade levels use mind-mapping as a tool for organizing their thoughts, research notes, or observations.  We have been using paid software programs to do mind-mapping, but have also been looking for an easy-to-use, free, web-based program that syncs with Google Drive. Enter MindMeister.

MindMeister is a Chrome App that is easy-to-use and syncs with Google Drive. It has many features, including color-coding, use of Creative Commons images, and collaborative mind-mapping.  It's been fun to explore this tool with students so far.

Here's a tip sheet we've compiled to help you get started with MindMeister:


Monday, May 12, 2014

Techie Tuesday: iPad App Speed Dating, Round 3


Welcome to our final Techie Tuesday for this school year
 and to Round 3 of iPad App Speed Dating!



iPad App Speed Dating, which I first learned about from Jennie Magiera, is a fun way to share about several iPad apps in a short period of time.

For this final round of iPad App Speed Dating for this school year , we will spotlight the following five iPad apps (led by teachers and a student):

Click on the images to learn more about how to use each of the apps.

Subtext in the Classroom

iWordQ

Kahoot in the Classroom

Tellagami
Plan4U.EDU Demo


Staff members will have five minutes at each app station, and will rotate through to learn about each app.  Then, they will have 10 minutes at the end to try out an app or ask follow-up questions.

After our WVR App Speed Dating on Tuesday, I will also upload a tutorials on each app from our staff members.

Are you interested in trying out one (or more) of these apps in your classroom?  Let me know!


Share in the comments below:

 How have you used these apps in your classroom?  

Which apps are your favorites for teaching and learning?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Techie Tuesday: Screencasting with Students

Hello and welcome to Techie Tuesday!



Today's topic is one that I am passionate about - it was even the topic of my recently-finished master's thesis!

Screencasting with Students 


Today, we will focus on ways to integrate student-created screencasts into instruction, and will explore the ShowMe app and some possible applications, by itself, and through app-smashing.

Check out this step-by-step guide to screencasting with students:



Here's a video tutorial to see screencasting in action:



Already experienced with screencasting?
Try app-smashing to have students show their learning in one app, and then bring the finished product into ShowMe to explain their thinking.





Share your ideas here------
Screencasting Idea Session:



Monday, April 14, 2014

Techie Tuesday: Google Drive and iPads



For Techie Tuesday today, we're exploring some tips and tricks for using Google Drive with iPads.

Check out the slides below for more information and helpful resources:





Congratulations!

You've earned the App Driver badge for your participation in Techie Tuesday today, 
and for trying out some Google Drive App tips and tricks!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Techie Tuesday: iPad App Speed Dating, Round 2


Welcome to Techie Tuesday and to Round 2 of iPad App Speed Dating!



iPad App Speed Dating, which I first learned about from Jennie Magiera, is a fun way to share about several iPad apps in a short period of time.

For this round of iPad App Speed Dating, we will spotlight the following four iPad apps (led by teachers):

Evernote

iMovie Trailers

Storehouse

StoryKit


Click on the images to learn more about how to use each of the apps.

Staff members will have five minutes at each app station, and will rotate through to learn about each app.  Then, they will have 10 minutes at the end to try out an app or ask follow-up questions.

After our WVR App Speed Dating on Tuesday, I will also upload a tutorials on each app from our staff members.

Are you interested in trying out one (or more) of these apps in your classroom?  Let me know!


Share in the comments below:

 How have you used these apps in your classroom?  

Which apps are your favorites for teaching and learning?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New: Google Doc Add-Ons!

Hi everyone!

Google introduced a new feature in their Docs yesterday: add-ons!  Now you can easily insert maps, charts, bibliographies, tables of contents, mind maps, highlighting, and much more.... just by clicking on the Add-ons menu at the top of Google Docs.  These would be great tools to use with students, too!

Here's how to access these new tools:

In a Google Doc, click on the Add-ons menu:


Scroll through the Add-ons available:



Hover over the Add-on you would like to use, then click "Free":


Allow the Add-on to interact with your Osseo Apps account:


You can find the new Add-on in your Add-on menu and click on it to begin using it!  It will appear in the right sidebar and will include information on how to use it:






Let me know if you have any questions, or would like some support in testing these out with your students!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Techie Tuesday: Google Connected Classrooms


The topic for Techie Tuesday on 3/11/14 is Google Connected Classrooms - virtual field trips and global connections!









Congratulations!

You’ve earned a badge for participating in Techie Tuesday this morning and for connecting through Google Connected Classrooms!


How to use Pic Collage

Here's a quick how-to guide for using the PicCollage app on the iPads (which I made using PicCollage!):


Our kindergarteners recently used PicCollage to create digital number projects with some help from some awesome 6th grade buddies!  I'll be sure to post a link to the slideshows as soon as they're published!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Techie Tuesday: Staff [Half-] Hour of Code!






Congratulations!
You’ve earned a badge for participating in Techie Tuesday this morning
and for trying out coding and programming!



Sunday, February 23, 2014

WVR Code Project

In an effort to bring regular, hands-on opportunities for coding and programming to the students at Weaver Lake, I started a recess coding and programming group that I'm calling the WVR Code Project.  We meet once every two weeks (I wish it were more, but it's a start!), and 12 students each from grades 1-6 are able to participate.  The students usually rotate at each grade level to allow a variety of kids the opportunity to try out coding and programming.

I built a website to act as a "home base" for our WVR Code Project.  Check it out at wvrcode.weebly.com (Keep in mind that it's still a work in progress!).




Monday, February 10, 2014

Techie Tuesday: iPad App Speed Dating


For this Techie Tuesday, we're trying something new...



iPad App Speed Dating, which I first learned about from Jennie Magiera, is a fun way to share about several iPad apps in a short period of time.

For this first round of iPad App Speed Dating, we will spotlight the following four iPad apps (led by four teachers and one student):

AudioBoo

PicCollage

Haiku Deck

Nearpod
Click on the images to learn more about how to use each of the apps.

Staff members will have five minutes at each app station, and will rotate through to learn about each app.  Then, they will have 10 minutes at the end to try out an app or ask follow-up questions.

After our WVR App Speed Dating on Tuesday, I will also upload a tutorials on each app from our staff members.

Are you interested in trying out one (or more) of these apps in your classroom?  Let me know!


Share in the comments below:

 How have you used these apps in your classroom?  

Which apps are your favorites for teaching and learning?