Category Archives: Professional Development

May 2016 Updates

Thanks, Mr. Leister! 

As the end of the school year approaches, please take a few minutes to complete the survey and explore some new technology resources:
 
  • Digital Learning Tools at ELANCO Elementary – At the end of each school year, teacher input concerning the paid educational programs at ELANCO is very important.  Please take a few minutes to complete the Elem Digital Learning Tools Survey to share your opinions on current programs, as well as to offer suggestions for future programs and professional development needsOne of our August in-service days will have sessions based on your suggestions. 
  • New Q&A Feature in Google Slides – A newly released feature in Google Apps for Education provides the option for presenters to allow their audience to submit questions and vote on them during Google Slide presentations.
  • Quizizz now integrates with Google Classroom – so that you can use the Google Classroom Share button to easily send out Quizizz games to your students.
  • Subscribe to your School’s Calendar in MS Outlook – Follow these directions to add the your school building’s calendar to your Outlook Calendar. 
  • End of the School Year Backups – It’s approaching the end of the school year and teachers will soon be packing up their classrooms for the summer break. However, teachers should also consider packing up (or backing up) their digital classroom as well.  Consider some steps that you could take to cleanup and secure your computer files, browser settings, and Email.  Yes, email….Take the ‘Inbox Zero’ Challenge and get to zero emails in your Inbox before leaving for the summer and claim your ELANCO Credly Badge here.  Remember that you can claim other Elanco Digital Badges for your many tech skills. 
  • May Edition of Storify at #ElancoSD – A collection of educational resources and social media posts from Elanco teachers and organizations. Check out posts and pictures of the Blue Ball Big Read, our HS spring sport athletes, GSHS Prom 2016, GS chorus concerts, and more. Include the hashtag #ElancoSD in your tweets to see your posts in future editions. 
  • The Elanco Leading Edge Flipboard Magazine – Read what’s new in the world of Teaching and Educational Technology. View on the web, or subscribe via the Flipboard iOS or Android App to read on your mobile device.

April 2016 Elem Tech Updates

April 2016 Updates from Mr. Leister

While the students are testing this week and next, perhaps you’ll have some time to explore some new technology resources:
 
  • Quizlet Live is a new feature from Quizlet that allows teachers to play an in-class game using existing online flashcard study sets. The game requires students to collaborate in small groups to find the term that matches the definition.
  • Google Classroom has added a new polling feature!  A recent blog post from Google for Educationshows some creative ways teachers are using polling in their classrooms.
  • Kahoot has added a new ‘Team Mode to their online game system to better “nurture collaboration, teamwork, leadership skills and good communication.”
  • ThingLink is an online tool for teachers to create interactive images by adding ‘hot spot’ buttons to overlay text, images, videos and more.  Here’s one example for learning about the U.S. Presidents
  • Nearpod is a great classroom presentation tool with the formative assessment tools are built right into the presentation allowing students to respond on their computers with open-ended answers, multiple choice questions, or the use of drawing tools.  I have 2 Nearpod Teacher accounts that were paid for by the district for any Elementary Teacher who is interested in having the full version of the program through February 2017. First come, first serve!
  • April Edition of Storify at #ElancoSD – A collection of educational resources and social media posts from Elanco teachers and organizations. Check out pictures from our guidance department of the Class of 2016 accepting their college admission offers. Include the hashtag #ElancoSD in your tweets to see your posts in future editions. 
  • The Elanco Leading Edge Flipboard Magazine – Read what’s new in the world of Teaching and Educational Technology. View on the web, or subscribe via the Flipboard iOS or Android App to read on your mobile device.
  • Remember that you can claim your own Elanco Digital Badges for your many tech skills. 
 

March 2016 Elem Tech Updates

Thanks, Mr. Leister!
With Lyn out on maternity leave, I thought that I’d send out an update with some new resources that are available to Elanco Elementary Teachers and Students.  Some to the links below will direct you to Lyn’s Elem Tech Blog, while other will go to my Garden Spot Tech Blog that I use with the secondary teachers. 
 
  • Recent Updates to Google Drive – Voice typing in Google Docs makes typing easier, especially for those students who struggle. New templates in Docs, Sheets and Slides allow for quick access to pre-formatted, professional looking documents. Google Keep for all those reminder sticky notes that have in the past only existed on your desktop.
  • Kiddle is a new safer and more secure version of the Google search engine. A great way to better eliminate those unwanted Internet search results for young students. 
  • The Student Blogging Challenge, which happens twice a year, is starting up again in March and includes a series of 10 weekly tasks created by Edublogs which you can customize for your class. For more information about Elanco’s Edublogs, visit the Edublogs & Blogging page. 
  • Quizalize your Formative Assessment by using the online tool called Quizalize to randomly assigning students to teams while answering questions that accumulate points for their team in real time.
  • TED-Ed explains the answers to some of life’s most basic questions, such as “Why are there so many insects?”, or “What does outer space do to your body?”, or “Why are manhole covers round?” with short video lessons using animation and simple terminology for students.
  • March Edition of Storify at #ElancoSD – A collection of educational resources and social media posts from Elanco teachers and organizations. Include the hashtag #ElancoSD in your tweets to see your posts in future editions. 
  • The Elanco Leading Edge Flipboard Magazine – Read what’s new in the world of Teaching and Educational Technology. View on the web, or subscribe via the Flipboard iOS or Android App to read on your mobile device.
 
Please contact me if you have any questions about any of these updates or want to discuss methods to integrate technologies into your classroom.
 
Thanks.

Upcoming Wired Wednesdays Info

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Creative Commons License Sonya Green via Compfight

Wednesday, December 9 and Wednesday, December 16 are the final two Wired Wednesdays of the semester. I’ll be holding informal drop-in sessions where you can bring your device(s) and discuss any instructional tech info you need to feel supported in your implementation efforts. Want help organizing your Google Drive? Let’s work on it together! Want to learn more about Google Classroom or Edublogs? Let’s chat about it! Need an idea for how to integrate technology into a classroom project or activity? We can explore options together!

No need to register in My Learning Plan, just drop on by for as much time as you need, and hopefully have your questions answered and/or explore anything new that interests you. If you’d like me to prepare resources for you in advance or have a specific system ready for you to engage with, please email me a few days in advance of the date if possible.

Wed., December 9 – Blue Ball Elementary – 4-5 PM in the library

Wed., December 16 – Brecknock Elementary – 4-5 PM in Room 101

Hope to see you then!

BrainPOP updates, Nearpod interest?, and Formative assessment tools

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BrainPOP is getting a makeover… if you and your students log into BrainPOP and things look “different,” that is why! Here’s a screencast from BrainPOP highlighting some of the changes, and more details about the updates are on the BrainPOP blog.

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We are still looking for elementary teachers interested in piloting the use of Nearpod during the second semester! An email about this opportunity was sent to elementary staff last week. Please email Lyn if you’re interested!

Image via Graphite

Image via Graphite

At last week’s Wired Wednesday we explored formative assessment made fun (with convenient  access to student data!) and this resource was shared. Feel free to access it to get some ideas for use in your classroom. It outlines tools, links, key elements of the tool, and includes videos to see it “in action!” Let me know if you need any support or would like assistance trying out any of these tools in your class!

WiredWednesdaysLogo.001Looking for ideas for Wired Wednesday workshop topics on December 9 and December 16. What are you interested in learning more about? Email Lyn with ideas and your input!

 

It’s Digital Citizenship Week! And some updates!

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October 18-24 is Digital Citizenship Week! As educators we need to model strong citizenship, both online and off, and provide our students with the support and knowledge needed to be skillful and safe contributors in digital learning spaces. Check out these resources to support your ongoing digital citizenship and safety talks with students. Great talking points and graphics to share at an upcoming class meeting!

Resources for educators from Common Sense Media, videos, and classroom posters

6 Digital Citizenship Resources from Edutopia

Citizenship in the Digital Age infographic from ISTE

The 7s of Meaningful Learning Start with Citizenship by Shelly Terrell


Our next Wired Wednesday will be held on October 21 at Brecknock Elementary, from 4-5 PM. The topic is Elementary Research! We’ll review key copyright topics, explore the built-in research tools in the Google Apps suite, and check out other elementary-friendly research sites. Please register in My Learning Plan!


Have your students begun blogging and now you’re in need of some ideas to help them take their blogging to the next level? Check out this recent post from Edublogs, 50 Ideas for Student Blogging and Writing Online!  


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BrainPOP is offering a free webinar on how to get started with My BrainPOP on Wednesday, October 21 at 4 PM. These sessions are archived if you can’t watch live. Click here to learn more!


In case you missed it, Elanco STEM featured in Lancaster Online this week!  

It’s Connected Educator Month!

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It’s October! You know what that means, it’s Connected Educator Month! You may have heard me talk about the power of connected learning and teaching and leading in the past… my stance on it hasn’t changed. Having a strong personal learning network (PLN) is vital to the success of any educator. Local networks and teacher communities are very important, but there is great benefit to connecting beyond the walls of our schools and district boundaries to collaborate and network with teachers and administrators from all over the world. Over the past five years, the number of educators using social media tools to connect with one another to share resources, provide support, and energize one another has increased exponentially.

It is well worth an investment of your time to find a network with which to engage to better your practice. Whether it is via Twitter, by joining a book club hosted by CEM or facilitating a global collaboration project such as Global Read Aloud in your classroom; through discussions in a Google+ community or posting to Pinterest boards, finding an Instagram hashtag to follow, or another connected learning endeavor, the possibilities are endless to get and stay connected with fellow educators!

Here’s the Connected Educator Month calendar. Check it out and see if there’s something in which you’d be interested in participating! These events are not solely focused on technology use in the classroom. Topics span everything from literacy to interventions to real-world problem solving to social-emotional learning! There’s something for everyone.

The focus of our November 18 Wired Wednesday workshop will be using Twitter and other social media tools to develop a personal learning network. Sign up in My Learning Plan to join us!

Follow the #ce15 hashtag on Twitter to read the latest and greatest contributions from educators around the world who are sharing their learning during Connected Educator Month…. and beyond!

If you participate in Connected Educator Month, please be sure to grab the CEM Credly badge! Along with all of the other badges you’ve earned this year thus far!

Some September Stuff

Aaaaaaaaaaaand we’re off. It’s been a fun few weeks thus far! Here are some updates for you from elementary tech! 

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Our next Wired Wednesday is tomorrow, September 16, at Blue Ball Elementary, from 4-5 PM. Topic: Google Classroom! Come one, come all! Please register on My Learning Plan.    P.S. A whole slew of new Google Classroom features were updated in late August. Click here to learn more!

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The Global Read Aloud is coming! This is an exciting, worldwide, collaborative event designed to bring together readers of all ages. Many Elanco classrooms participated last year. Books have been chosen. You can sign up here (see form on right-hand side), and you can make arrangements to connect with another class via shared blogs, Edmodo, Google Hangouts/Skype, or any other format that would allow you and another class to discuss the book you’re reading. See the book choices here and read more info about the event.  Here is the form to complete if you’d like to connect your class with another! Here is the link to important FAQ/info for participants. Let me know if you need assistance with this, I am happy to help! #gra15

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Edublogs student passwords have now been updated. Please consider the following information when deciding how you’d like to organize student blogging this year:

Students are currently assigned to the blog class they used in 2014-15 until this year’s teacher alerts me that they will begin blogging in a 15-16 class.

How we set up and manage your students’ blogs will depend on a few things:

  • Do you want your students assigned to your “My Class” by homeroom and only you, as the homeroom teacher, will manage their posts?
  • OR by language arts roster, and only you, as the language arts teacher, will manage their posts?
  • OR does your team want to have all students involved with blogging across content areas and therefore all team members need access to every students’ blog in the grade level for moderating purposes?
  • OR do you want students to be added to a teacher/team blog so they can post and add comments, but not have their own individual sites?
  • OR a unique scenario, such as assign certain rosters of students to certain teachers for blog moderation? We can also set up group blogs for projects like literature circles and the Global Read Aloud!

Please discuss student blogging plans with your teammates and the options above. If not all members of the team are interested in having their students blog, you can certainly move ahead with plans for your homeroom or your language arts class.

When you are ready to begin blogging with your students, please complete this Google form so I can begin the process of building your student blog sites.

 

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IU13’s Elementary Technology Conference is coming this December! Please consider requesting to attend this conference! Talk with your principal and register in My Learning Plan! It’s always a great event, with a lot of teacher-led sessions, specifically focused on elementary! The keynote speaker this year is an inspiring teacher from Illinois, Josh Stumpenhorst!  More info here.  WE NEED PRESENTERS FOR THIS CONFERENCE! Please consider submitting a proposal! The reason this conference is so special is because sessions are led by teachers, for teachers. Please share your expertise with colleagues by submitting a proposal! 

Enjoy the milder weather and hope to see you soon at an upcoming Wired Wednesday workshop!

We’re baaa-aaack!

1499271428_f55f12ec5bWell, almost!

Welcome to the 2015-16 school year! I’ve enjoyed working with many of you over the past few weeks. I appreciate your energy and enthusiasm learning to integrate technology into your teaching and classroom activities!

Get “Remind”ed!

This year I’m going to use a service called Remind to send out snippets of useful information, tips & tricks, and more via text or email. It’s an opt-in service, so you can choose to receive the updates and how you prefer to receive them. Many of our schools are using Remind to update staff on emergency school closings. It works the same way, and this past year I subscribed to Kyle Pace’s PD classroom via Remind and thought it was such an easy way to use the platform to support professional learning!

To join the Mrs. Hilt’s Tech Tidbits Remind class, follow these instructions:

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Here are the instructions in PDF format, including how to subscribe via email: HiltRemindinstructions

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Google Classroom Updates!

Today Google announced some updates to Google Classroom, including the ability to post questions, post assignments with no due date, and, most excitedly, CALENDAR INTEGRATION is on the way! These productivity updates (and more!) will help make Google Classroom a fantastic tool to use to organize teaching and learning activities in your classroom.  The Google for Education blog has all of the details here! 

I look forward to working with you this year! Don’t forget to check out the Wired Wednesdays schedule, which kicks off September 9!

Photo Credit: courambel via Compfight cc