March 27, 2015

Transforming and Personalize PD in Your Own District

With traditional one-size-fits-all professional development, many teachers get overlooked and fall through the cracks, just like our students, resulting in poor implementation in the classroom. Why have we spent so much time revamping educational programs for students, but we deliver the same old PD for teachers? What about our Digital Age educators? Differentiation and personalized learning opportunities are just as important for teachers--creating empowering learning communities is key.

Instead of ”professional development,” we need authentic, personalized “professional learning opportunities” that improve workflow and foster creativity. They should allow for teachers to make connections with content, and most importantly each other. Teachers need the same level of engagement as students, and they are more engaged when they participate in professional learning opportunities that give them ownership, and a personalized experience.Teachers need choice just like our students, and experiences that enhance and develop the 4C’s: critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration.

February 20, 2015

A Guide for Bringing the SAMR Model to iPads

When used effectively, iPads can develop thinkers and problem solvers. They can be used to transform learning inside and outside of the classroom, and offer limitless opportunities. Many educators are effectively integrating technology in the classroom using iPads to achieve the 4C’s, or “super skills,” that digital learners need to compete in our global society.
But in order to do that, the focus has to shift from apps to content: that’s when true redefinition takes place. When my district rolled out our iPad initiative in 2012, teachers thought they needed specific apps for every content area. Eventually, we ended up with literally thousands of apps in our portal. This was extremely overwhelming, difficult to manage, and eventually, a turn-off for teachers.

Are you ready to adjust your teaching for this new learning revolution? Let me take you inside the idea of SAMR with a helpful metaphor: Starbucks. The simplest way I know to describe the levels in the SAMR model is using a visual created by Tim Holt, who uses Starbucks as a unique way of looking at the model.

January 26, 2015

Edtech Tools Get Creative With Formative Assessments

How can you prepare students for workplace experiences that don’t exist yet? As an educator in this digital age, that’s one of my biggest challenges.

Our students now in elementary school have never had a time in their lives where mobile technology wasn't present. Look at the most innovative technology we have today: iPhone, ChromeBook, Galaxy Note, iMac, or whatever your favorite tool might be. You are literally looking at the worst piece of technology our students will see in their lifetime. Technology will only get better, because we are constantly working to improve it and make it better. As educators, we need to embrace this reality, and allow our classroom learning experiences to mimic what our students encounter everyday.

As the second half of the school year begins, educators around the world share a common focus on preparing our students for standardized testing. The data and results that come from testing can show powerful trends about student achievement, but especially in an age when technology is constantly changing, have you ever wondered if there were other ways your students can creatively show their learning, in a timely, and efficient manner?

January 21, 2015

Mystery Skype!

Kuddos to Ms. Bergin & Mr. Kelley Mystery Skype Experts!

Ms. Bergin & 4B for participating in their 2nd Mystery Skype of the Year. They used their master detective skills to locate the mystery class first. They also got a special treat--Dr. Jahnke ( our district superintendent) got to help them, and she TWEETED about it!!

Mr. Kelley and 3K also completed their first Mystery Skype before winter break!

Check out these photos and special tweets!

what to learn more about Mystery Skype? click here

January 7, 2015

Dropbox Pro More Productive and Efficient

With over 300 million users, sharing over a billion files a day, Dropbox focuses on simplifying people’s lives by providing a reliable resource for storing data online. With the functionality to work seamlessly on any platform, on any device, and the ability to connect to over 300 apps, many educators find that dropbox basic is an appealing and practical option for sharing data with students and parents. Dropbox is free and  easy to use by even the least tech savvy person.  

Dropbox Pro is the newest product and it has very useful and versatile features. Just $9.99 a month, or $99 per year. The price is justified by having more powerful features, a terabyte of space, and no more worries about storing large files on the go.  
Other great Dropbox Pro Features:

December 15, 2014

21st Century Book Reports with iMovie Trailers

Apple did an awesome thing when they added the trailer feature into iMovie. You can easily create a professional looking video in literally minutes. Whether you are using the Mac version (desktop/laptop) or the iPad App, there are so many ways students can use iMovie Trailers to show their learning.
Here is a short list:
Book Trailers
Digital Storytelling
Project Based Learning
Science Projects
Famous People
The list goes on.....

The iMovie app is so simple to use, and if you are also using Google Apps for Education, the Open-in Feature within Google Drive allows you to share photos and video footage between ipads or computers to promote collaboration. You start by uploading the data to Google Drive, then on the iPad select the footage, then the open-in feature by selecting iMovie, or another compatible app.

Watch this short video that explains the Book Trailer process from a student's perspective.

I worked with 1st & 4th graders to create a Book Trailer on their favorite books. Check out some of their projects below.

View more projects  on Ms. Bergin's classroom blog here
For a full lesson plan on how to incorporate book trailers into your classroom, check out my APP Flow on Graphite Common Sense Media website.

What ways are using iMovie Trailers in your classroom?

December 4, 2014

Tech Conscious Parents & Teachers love The Osmo iPad Game

 Osmo is a unique gaming accessory for the iPad that comes with games that will change the way your child plays. Created by two ex-Googlers and a former Disney executive, Osmo combines real physical objects with the virtual world of an iPad. It uses a simple plastic stand, a mirror, and a handful of common objects to create a unique gaming experience. Tangible Play’s Osmo lets kids play games on their iPads using pens, paper, and puzzle pieces. “Instead of a virtual reality game, we wanted to build an ‘actual reality’ game,” says co-founder Pramod Sharma, “We wanted something that didn’t require electronics, WiFi, or a battery, and couldn’t be easily broken. And it needed to be deep. We don’t want you to play it for just a day; we want you to be able to play for months.”

November 10, 2014


I've got some great news! One of my lucky readers will win a Moby Max Tablet!!!! Entering to win is so simple, just Like my facebook page, subscribe to the newsletter, or follow me on twitter! Hurry the contest ends at midnight CST November 12th 2014
Check out more about the tablet here

Enter below!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 5, 2014

Google Apps, Extensions, and Apps, O My- Part 2

 Check these out
TechSmith Snagit
EasyBib Tools
Movenote for Education
Flubaroo - Google Sheets add-on

Birds of a Feather Learn Together: 3 Steps to Becoming an Organized Tweeter

I’ll be the first to admit it: when I first started using Twitter 3 years ago, I used it purely as a social outlet. I “connected” with my favorite celebrities, chatted with a few of my friends and poked fun at the funny trending hashtags. But after spending quite a bit of time using Twitter personally, I soon discovered the value in using it to build a professional learning network. I have participated in numerous hours of in-person formal professional development, graduate coursework and workshops, but I can honestly say that I have learned and connected more from a few hours on Twitter right from the comfort of my own home.