Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Joy to the World!

December25

merry christmasJoy that will be for all people: Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Thank you for visiting Edutech for Teachers and most importantly, for being part of my edtech professional learning community. You rock! Here’s to a Merry Christmas! May we always remember the true meaning of this very special holiday season.

jesus_fish1

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Celebrate Holiday Traditions with ThingLink

December22

christmas_lightsIf you enjoyed the 12 Digital Days of Christmas posts I published over the last few weeks, then you can’t miss the Celebrate Holiday Traditions interactive image embedded below. Compiled by ThingLink Education Community Manager Susan Oxnevad, this must-see contains a collection of resources to tech your halls before the holiday break.

From Christmas traditions and songs around the world to an inquiry project based on where Christmas trees grow as well as a super cool mash-up of activities based on Shel Silverstein’s Snowball poem, there’s something fun and festive for everyone!

Thanks to tech gurus Aunty TechCathy MaherMeghan Zigmund and Amy Kincaid for sharing your awesomeness!

Joy to the World! Psalm 98

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Diigo Weekly Update

December21

What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some of the latest and greatest tools that can be utilized in your classroom in the new year!

» Edshelf

A discovery engine of websites, mobile apps, desktop programs and electronic products for teaching and learning. Search tons of featured collections and/or curate, organize and share your own!

» SignUpGenius

A free online tool for creating and managing group sign up lists and forms. Say goodbye to paper sign-ups and reply all emails!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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Some Digital SWAG for Aubs & Me

December20

aubs & meI’m not the type that puts too much emphasis on awards. Blogging is a passion, a labor of love; therefore, awards do not define me or my work.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that being recognized by others for a job well done is unappreciated, but what I know to be true intrinsically is way more meaningful to me than any external praise I can receive. Setting goals and then doing whatever is necessary to accomplish them is of the utmost importance—regardless of how others weigh in on the matter. That is why winning the Edublogs Teacher Blog of 2014 is significant to me. Not because I personally picked up some digital bling, but because in the process of doing so, one of my students made a dream a reality: To win the Student Blog of the Year. Knowing I played a key role in her success and better yet, we were recognized together—like a team—is beyond coolness. As an educator, it’s one of those unforgettable, irreplaceable, cherished moments that speak to me like “Yep, this would definitely explain why I chose this career path.”

So, here’s to you, Aubs, for never losing sight of your vision, for staying the course despite last year’s disappointment and for finally picking up that swanky badge for your space. You rock, GG!

Be sure to check out Simply Aubree, an official award-winning blog, to read all about the ramblings of a country girl! ♥

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Edu-fun Friday: Christmas Lists Gone Digital

December19

christmas humor1As Quincy Jones once remarked, “I’ve always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, “Ain’t that the truth.”

That said, Edu-fun Friday is a series devoted to adding some humor to the lives of teachers who visit this blog. After all, there’s nothing better than ending the week on a positive note! Plus, do we have the best topics to provide us with some comic relief or what?

When I was taking some pictures of fourth graders participating in the Hour of Code last week, one of them immediately asked me if I was putting it on Facebook. So, when I saw this cartoon, I totally laughed—again. Not only do I think it’s pretty funny, but it definitely speaks to the social media awareness that our digital natives possess.

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The 12 Digital Days of Christmas: Tech Treasure #12

December17

thinglink santa hat2 trans

Today marks the final day of The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas series—and of course, I’ve saved the best resource for last—one I’ve actually previously shared. Even though there are more than enough fun and festive holiday activities available on the web, this gem is definitely worth the encore—especially if you’ve somehow missed it along the way.

So, here it is: The award-winning NorthPole.com holiday site has it all for educators, students and parents—dozens of games, activities, stories, crafts and more—all related to Santa’s visit on December 25.

This “cool tool” promotes a traditional look at Santa’s Secret Village at the North Pole, but with high-tech, creative features to keep students entertained—all for free. For example, check out the Elf Clubhouse for online games and activities including checkers with Santa, Trim the Tree, crossword puzzles, word searches, concentration, and mazes.

But free games are only the beginning of the fun your students can have at the NorthPole.com. Play Winter flash games, watch cool Christmas movies and cartoons at the North Pole Arcade—or chat with some of Santa’s helpers and read stories about your favorite elf.

All of this and more awaits you and your students at the NorthPole.com! So push the desks aside for a few minutes and allow your children to be children during one of the most exciting and magical times of the year by checking out this site as well as other festive Christmas activities by hovering over The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas Thinglink interactive image shown below!

The full screen version of this interactive image can be accessed here.

As an added bonus—I’ve also included previous versions of The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas giving you one click access to a total of 35 different holiday activities that can be utilized with students. Enjoy!

The full screen version of this interactive image can be accessed here.

The full screen version of this interactive image can be accessed here.

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Computer Code Learning Sweeping Schools

December16

photoJust sharing an article that appeared in the Altoona Mirror on December 12 regarding my school district’s participation in the Hour of Code, a world-wide event held last week in an effort to introduce computer programming to students around the globe.

A shout out to Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly for not only writing this timely (and awesome) article but for allowing me to share it on my space!

It goes something like this…

At first glimpse, fourth-grader Ava Miller and her classmates at Bellwood-Antis School District’s Myers Elementary School appear to be playing a computer game, but it’s much more than that.

They are participating in a global learning event, The Hour of Code, a one-hour online tutorial in computer science.

Miller related a statistic that she was taught in preparation for the computer science tutorial: In about five years, there will be 1 million computer programming job vacancies.

“(The tutorial) will help us with that because we know how to use the codes,” she said.

Asked whether she wants to be a computer programmer when she grows up, she said: “Yeah, I want to.”

When did she decide that? “Today,” she said with a wide smile.

The online tutorials are designed by the nonprofit code.org to make programming opportunities more available in schools and increase participation by women and underrepresented minority students.

Bellwood-Antis, Altoona Area and Hollidaysburg Area are among the districts in Pennsylvania that are giving children an hour this week to see if their ravenous consumption of computer apps and games might translate into potential programming career paths.

President Barack Obama kicked off the Hour of Code this week by doing the tutorial with some students. More than 100 partners including Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and College Board support the movement.

A photo of Obama is taped to an Altoona Area Junior High School Door with a quote: “Don’t just play on your phone, program it.”

Computer programming jobs are growing at a rate of two times the national average, with the expectation that there will be 1 million more jobs than students by 2020. However, nine out of 10 schools do not teach computer science classes.

Hour of Code tutorials allow students to write code to animate actions of cartoon characters on their computer screen.

“(The tutorial) is a chance for students to see what’s going on behind the scenes of what they are using every day,” said Lori Brown, algebra facilitator for the Altoona Area freshmen academy.

Her students followed the tutorials on iPads.

“It’s making coding concrete to them. If we inspire students, who knows what these kids can create,” she said. “A line of code can change the world.”

Bellwood-Antis instructional technology coach Jamie Forshey said she is surprised the Pennsylvania Department of Education hasn’t identified computer programming as an area for schools to emphasize in curriculum.

“There’s no better way to incorporate literacy, math and science into problem solving than computer programming,” she said.

Computer programmer and Saint Francis University computer science professor Mike Shanafelt said Hollidaysburg Area’s Frankstown Elementary students enjoyed the introduction to programming this week.

Shanafelt is also organizer of the district’s Lego League, a competitive club that uses programming for Lego robotics.

“One of the challenges facing the country is to drive interest in science, technology, engineering and math programs,” he said. “I think programs like (code.org) drive that curriculum change.”

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The 12 Digital Days of Christmas: Tech Treasure #11

December16

thinglink santa hat2 transInquiring minds want to know: How quickly can you stack the Christmas presents on Santa’s sleigh without leaving any spaces? Well, now you can find out by checking out Tech Treasure #11—Present Stacker.

Here’s how it works: Select different shaped gifts—squares, rectangles, triangles and trapezoids—from the conveyor belt and drop them neatly into place on the sleigh without leaving any gaps. Choose from one of seven skills levels to beat the clock—and your high score!

Play this fun—yet tricky—shape and space game by accessing The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas interactive Thinglink image located here.

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The 12 Digital Days of Christmas: Tech Treasure #10

December15

thinglink santa hat2 transTime for Tech Treasure #10…

No, it’s not ten lords a leaping, but this fun activity just might cause you to do some jumping around anyway—on the Christmas Tree Coordinate game, that is!

Get your holiday math on by using the correct coordinates to draw a Christmas tree on the grid. Choose from three different levels of difficulty that will surely challenge your knowledge of ordered pairs.

Just hover over the Geeky Girl’s 12 Digital Days of Christmas interactive image shown below to get busy!

The full screen version of this interactive image can be accessed here.

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Diigo Weekly Update

December14

diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some of the latest and greatest tools that can be utilized in your classroom throughout the school year.

» CertificateStreet.com

An excellent place to find all kinds of awards for your students. Select the template, fill it out and print!

» Celly

A group text messaging program for schools with no user limit. It’s easy to start a group chat and/or create a class poll using text messages.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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