Monday, June 1, 2015

Professional Development Calendar - Online & In Person Events

Below are two views of the same calendar that I have created that contains many professional development opportunities around the globe.  Although I have tried to gather a variety of individual disciplines, most of the events have a focus on technology integration.

There are not only live sessions, but also webinars.  I tried to include links and website addresses.

Please let me know if there is an event or session that you think I should  add to the calendar.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday #2

As part of my new position this year as Educational Technology Coordinator, I have decided to jump on the "Tech Tip Tuesday" bandwagon.  Although some of my colleagues think that I am brilliant for coming up with this idea, I am not the first one to think of this alliteration.  Just google "tech tip Tuesday" and you will find hundreds of examples on the internet. 

Here is my 2nd Tech Tip Tuesday that I sent out today.  It is just under two minutes and explains how to save a google doc to an iPad so that it can be accessed later.  (Note:  It is a read only file and can't be edited.)

If you are curious to know how I made my screencast on my iPad, here is a short summary:
  • I used the Reflector app on my computer to mirror my iPad to my computer screen.
  • I screencast (record my screen) using the Google Chrome extension Snagit.  
  • I upload my screencast to Youtube, which is an option when you have created a video using Snagit.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

For Next Year!

This application is fun to use and looks like it has a lot of potential for both teacher and student use.  Right now teachers are invited to participate in the Thinglink Teacher Challenge this summer.  I have decided that one of my professional development goals would be to use at least two new applications to integrate into the teaching next year, and this will be one of them.  Here are the two Thinglinks that I made so far for the Thinglink Teacher Challenge:

American Mahjong

Blue Ribbons for Meg

I am looking forward to the next group of challenges so that I can maximize Thinglink's potential.

Monday, April 7, 2014

AppleTV, Reflector App & Minecraft

The other day my daughters were both playing Minecraft.  They are obsessed!  (Did I mention that my girls are 9 and 5 years old?!)  Anyway, they like to play on their iPods or my iPad and then project their worlds on our family television using the AppleTV, but you can only project one device onto the AppleTV.  Then the wheels in my brain started turning!  I can have them both mirror their devices at the same time.  Even better, I can have them be in the same world, project both to the AppleTV to see each other's perspective.  Here is what I did:

  1. I mirrored my Macbook Pro onto the AppleTV.
  2. I used the Reflector app so that my girls could then mirror to my computer.
  3. Both screens then pop up on my computer screen which is mirrored through the AppleTV onto our TV.
Here's a picture of what it looked like:  (Sorry that it isn't a great picture.)

So cool!  Except, it was a bit glitchy and it crashed.  We will try again soon.

I should also mention that I have used this same set up in my class of 16 students with iPads.  I was looking for a way to get all of my student's screens onto my computer screen.  Reflector seemed like the perfect app.  It worked for a few minutes but once again, it crashed.  Maybe too many iPads logged on at once?

Well no matter what, this is an interesting concept to explore.    

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today is Pi Day!

Today was great day at school!  My school is usually on spring break when π Day happens.  (That would be March 14th, or 3/14.)  So I jumped at the chance to share the day with my students.  First we (my Algebra 1 students) watched the following movie about how to calculate π:

My students loved the movie!  Most of them already knew how to calculate π, but there were a few that never knew where exactly π came from.  After the movie, I quickly reviewed the concept.

To keep he momentum going, we did π day singing.  I found some great songs, using holiday songs, all with words about π at  The students love that we were singing in math class!

Next on the agenda was to find the digits of their birthday in π.  I used the website:  Almost all the students could find all eight digits of their birthday somewhere in the first 200 million digits of pi.  I did have a few students who were not able to find their digits.  (π actually goes out to about 5 trillion digits.)  If we had a website with more of the digits, my guess is that all of the students would have been able to find their birthday digits.

Finally, I read the students a book called, Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi.  

Although it is a bit babyish for teenagers, they were so engaged!  Many of them had heard the story in an earlier grade.  While I read the story, my students colored in π pictures.  Here are some of them:

The students had a great time, and I did too!

Friday, May 4, 2012

QR Code Problem Solved

Every Wednesday I use the iPad cart with my Algebra 1 students.  The cart limits the types of activities that I can do with my students because the iPad is designed to be used by one individual.

One application I keep using with the iPads is QR Codes.  In my previous post on QR codes, I was frustrated that I was unable to have math type font in any of my QR codes.  I was able to link simple text or links to websites that hosted worksheets or math problems, but I was hoping that students would just scan a code, then a math problem would appear on the screen of the iPad.  After weeks of searching for a solution, I found it!

With the help of the my new Macbook Pro and Grab utility, I was able to capture math problems that I either created in my own documents or that are already published on the web or worksheets.  I found a website called to host my images for free.  Then used the QR code creator Kaywa to link to the image sites.   

To capture an image on a Mac, save it and then upload it:
  1. Bring up a picture or document on the front of the computer screen.
  2. Go into Finder (Mac) and chose Grab under the Utilities menu.
  3. While the Grab is open, go the Capture menu and chose Selection.
  4. Use the selection tool to take a snapshot of your desired object on the screen.
  5. A box will pop up with the image that was captured.
  6. Go to the File menu while the image is still open, and choose Save.
  7. Save the file to wherever you usually save. 
  8. Open up (see image up to right)
  9. Click on Choose File and click Upload.
Your file is now hosted on the website!

To turn your images that are hosted on into a QR code:
  1. Go back to the webpage that is hosting your image and copy the URL.
  2. Open up any QR creator website.  I use Kaywa. (see right)
  3. Paste the URL into the space provided.
  4. Chose the size you want the QR code to be and click Generate.
  5. Click on the QR Code and it will open up in a new window.
  6. Print the page.

I used the above process to create nine different QR codes containing nine different math problems for this past Wednesday's class.  I taped the QR codes around the room to get the kids up and moving.  Each of my students used a QR code reader app on the iPad to scan each code.  Some students used another app to solve the problems, while other students used paper.  

At the end of the class I did a quick formative assessment, using the Exit Ticket from the Socrative App, to see if the students understood the material practiced.  

I thought the class was a success, and I was able to figure out my QR code dilemma!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

This Can't Be a Good Sign

I attended the NCTM national conference in Philly this past week.  Overall it was a great experience, but I have to say that I was a bit unimpressed by the use of technology by my comrades.

The picture above is the perfect example of what I am talking about.  Do teachers still use overhead projectors?  Maybe I am spoiled at my school with the wonderful resources that I am provided with.  Is there a logical reason to prefer this "device?"  Many presenters used Powerpoint with slides containing words and some pictures.  Why not use a more dynamic piece of software or application to present material such as:
Why not engage the audience using their own devices with things like:
There are so many unbelievable things happening with the world of technology and education right now.  So much information is available for free - both on the internet or through Edcamp conferences that are happening all around the country.  Other places such as Twitter and Facebook are hotspots for educators who are building their PLN (Personal Learning Network).

In Philly there were some fabulous sessions on collaboration, problem solving, student centered learning, and formative assessment.  Although the use of technology during the sessions was minimal, there was one session that blew my mind where a Kinect and math created software were used teach many math topics.  Although I am a BIG Apple fan, here is one reason that Microsoft may have won my attention back a little bit.  Check out for more information.  The short clip here does not do this amazing software justice.

I am left wondering if I should present a proposal, for next year's NCTM conference, on how to integrate technology into the classroom.  Nothing math specific, but based on pedagogy, teaching and learning...and no overhead projector.