Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

50 Fabulous EdTech Blogs to Follow

February20

Edutech for Teachers is once again humbled to learn that we have been added to another list of recommended blogs to check out. This time we’ve been included on Eric Curts’ list of 50 Fabulous EdTech Blogs to Follow!

According to Curts, author of the popular Control Alt Achieve blog, “One of my main sources for new educational technology ideas, tools, and resources is reading blogs. Every day is an adventure to see what new technology integration ideas I can learn, explore, and share with others.”

That said—if you’re interested in building your PLN, then be sure to take a look at these sites. There’s always something new and innovative to learn from these edtech peeps!

Thank you, Eric, for including my space on your collection of learning resources!

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Snow, it’s me: Teacher’s Adele Parody Goes Viral

February9

snow dayOne week ago the most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania saw his shadow. According to legend, that means we will be experiencing six more week of winter in our part of the world. Well, unfortunately (for me anyway), it looks like furry Phil’s prediction just might be accurate as those of us living Central PA got blasted with our biggest snowfall of the season late last night.

As you can imagine, kids throughout our entire region are rejoicing after receiving the news of two hour delays and cancellations. But they’re not the only individuals doing a happy dance.

Meet Mary Morris, a third-grade teacher at Rush Strong School in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee… I think she’s the only educator who wishes for snow days more than me! In fact, she really, really, really wants not one, but two or maybe 23 snow days so she made a major plea for some of the white stuff by producing a high quality video parody set to Adele’s smash hit Hello—one that has become an Internet sensation since being released last year.

With lines like “If it’s got to be so cold, the least that it could do is snow” or “If I have to keep my students inside one more time, for recess, I’m gonna lose my mind”, it’s no wonder this masterpiece has already been viewed over 4 million times (and counting).

Whether you’re a teacher or not, maybe this video captures how all of us feel on any given work day! Check it out below… It’s definitely worth the next six minutes of your life! And if you’ve never wished for a snow day before, I guarantee that you will now!

Two thumbs up for Mary Morris, a very talented and creative teacher. Thanks for the laughs! I truly hope your wish (and mine) comes true! ♥

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Love Me Some Valentine’s Day Magnetic Poetry

February2

chalkboard heartAll you need is love… And a copy of my Valentine’s Day Magnetic Poetry activity!

So, here it is: Another Google Slides activity containing 60+ words and phrases that can be manipulated into a fun-filled holiday poem, story, etc.

As with my other creations, the word boxes are actually images and cannot be edited; however, they can be deleted. Plus, additional words can be generated by creating a new text box and filling it with a white background.

Before you get started on your February adventure, here are a few additional items worth mentioning:

» The background on the Google Slide is locked so students can avoid accidentally moving it, but it can still be changed if you wish to allow them to do so. Just right-click on the slide and select the “Change background…” option.

» Some teachers have requested that I provide a word list for each activity so I have created additional slides that include this info.

Check out a sneak preview below!

ValentinesDayMagneticPoetry

Click here to access the template. You will be prompted to download your very own copy of the original and save it to your Google Drive. It can then be shared with your students.

Here’s an example of what students can create using the template:

Valentine's Day Magnetic Poetry - Maliah Hassler

Here’s a mashup of fifth grade students working on the activity:

Valentine's Day Magnetic Poetry Collage

Classroom Connection:

The Valentine’s Day Magnetic Poetry template can be used in a variety of ways as either an independent or collaborative writing activity. Utilize the “magnets” included and/or add your own text boxes to extend the activity—although I think part of the fun/challenge is to just use the words provided.

A high five to Alex, one of my Tech Club kids, for helping to create the word boxes for the slide! ♥

Stay tuned for another Magnetic Poetry template coming to your Google Drive in the very near future…

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Tech It Up Tuesday: The Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Verbs Infographic

January31

It’s Tuesday again and that means it’s time to roll out another tech-isode in my “Tech It Up Tuesday” series in which I share an edtech tool, app, site or other resource that can be utilized in the educational setting.

This week’s gem is an infographic—one that will assist teachers with combining technology with digital tools to facilitate learning. And it goes something like this:

Of course, teachers know all about Bloom’s Taxonomy, but if you’re a technology integrator this one’s especially for you! What makes this visual a grand slam is that it provides educators with power verbs to assist us with incorporating digital resources (web tools, apps, etc.) into each stage of the taxonomy.

Check it out right here, right now…

blooms-taxonomy-verbs-rev

Need a poster of this useful infographic? Well, the Global Digital Citizen Foundation has you covered. They offer two different versions of the visual for downloading and printing. One is a quick print 11″X17″ PDF file for colorful handouts. The other is a 18″X30″ poster-size file for professional printing. Choose the one that’s best for you, or snag both as they are freebies! Either way, the hard copy would be a great addition to an office or classroom wall.

Classroom Connection:

Whether you’re developing lessons, creating rubrics and/or completing any other task requiring planning and assessment strategies, the infographic can be used to guide technology use in the classroom.

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The Top 50 Teacher Websites for Seriously Dedicated Educators

January30

Honored… One word that sums up how I felt earlier this week when I learned that Edutech for Teachers was named as one of the best teacher websites of 2017 by Teachers of Tomorrow.

Here’s an exerpt from the Teachers of Tomorrow blog post regarding their selection of the best teacher websites of 2017:

Teachers of Tomorrow is giving recognition to the most respectable and consistently updated blogs of this generation. These teacher websites contain views and reflections on education’s current events, technology, creative strategies, valuable resources, and personal experiences.

We’ve reviewed hundreds of educational blogs, but these 50 better captured our amusement for having indispensable content, out-of-the-box classroom ideas, thought-provoking insights, and entertaining media as a whole. If you want to grab awesome concepts for use in the classroom or even at home, we strongly suggest that you check out our exclusive rundown.

Here’s what Teachers of Tomorrow had to say about Edutech for Teachers:

A blog created and maintained by an instructional technology specialist based in Central Philadelphia. The site is dedicated for sharing innovative teaching strategies using digital media and the latest technology devices to further engage students and provide millennial educational experience.

If you’re reading this post, then you already know about my space… But don’t just stop here! Check out the Teachers of Tomorrow article in its entirety to get up close and personal with 49 additional resources that teachers everywhere can use to locate some amazing ideas!

Namaste! ♥

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Project Reimagine: B-A’s Media Center Featured on Local News

January27

If you’ve been following my blog throughout this school year, you’ve probably seen some of the info and pics I’ve been sharing about Project Reimagine, the transformation of our traditional MS/HS school library into a modern-day media center.

Besides permitting students to use their mobile devices, the highlight of this space is the café, which became fully functional on December 9. Staffed by an instructional aide and the combination of regular and special education students, middle and high school students can now visit the media center during study halls to complete assignments, work on projects and………enjoy hot drinks and breakfast items in the morning as well as a variety of snacks, pastries and drinks in the afternoon.

While some students talk, hang out and sip their cup of Joe, many of them do something one might not expect in this hip environment—learn! How to interact and communicate with their peers; How to operate kitchen equipment; How to enter info into a POS system; How to provide friendly customer service… And so many real-life skills that no book, device or app (in isolation) could ever provide!

In fact, B-A’s unique hub of learning that provides all of our student with various opportunities was recently featured on a local news broadcast.

The transcript of the news broadcast can be read below, but check out the super cool video segment here!

A huge shout out to WTAJ News multimedia journalist Jackie Padilla for producing such a fabulous story about our media center and our students. Your piece is a perfect depiction of why we developed such a concept in our district! ♥

Bellwood, Blair County, Pa.

At Bellwood Antis High School, traditional study hall is a thing of the past.

Now students are encouraged to sign up for an elective where they are in charge.

At the beginning of the school year the high school opened a new media center.

A cafe is next door to a tech help desk–both are run by students.

Jamie Forshey, the Director of Instructional Technology and Media, kick-started the idea.

“I just wanted to sort of create an atmosphere where students could feel comfortable and learn,” Forshey said.

Both workshops officially got up and running in December.

Kermit Foor, a junior, said it creates a comfortable environment for students to work together.

Foor is just one of 11 students students and faculty can go to for any technical difficulties.

He said it’s a good feeling knowing staff believe students are up to the task.

“I think this school is very unique because I think this is one of the things in the district that no one else has done yet,” Foor said.

Typically there’s a student working either station at all times, along with a teacher.

It’s also a learning hub for Special Education students.

Brandon Bickle is a senior in the Special Education Department and said these programs help better prepare students for the future.

Among other tasks, students can take orders and credit their peers accounts; much like they would at a retail job.

“When you’re working in the cafe you don’t learn from a book,” Bickle said.

Carol Beard, the Special Education Director, said “This is an opportunity for him to get skills that when he goes out and is looking for a job, he already has some experience to bring to the table.”

“It may not look like a whole lot of learning is taking place here but actually, there is a lot of learning,” Forshey said.

According to the district, the project cost about $11,000.

Forshey said all the funding came from the Bellwood School District Foundation and local donations.

Stay tuned for additional updates regarding the progress of our café…

In the meantime, learn more about Project Reimagine by checking out the following posts:

» Project Reimagine: A New Learning Hub for B-A Students

» Project Reimagine Gains Popularity at BAHS

» Project Reimagine: Another Phase Complete

#BAproud ♥

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Teaching & Learning Resources to Remember the Life of MLK

January14

martin luther king jr collage“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

This quote epitomizes why I have always admired Martin Luther King, Jr. As a pastor, activist, humanitarian and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, he not only advocated for the equal treatment of our fellow man, but he also supported the fair and humane treatment of animals—a personal passion of mine as a rescuer, adopter, foster and sponsor of shelter and puppy mill dogs.

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor this great man. The holiday is observed on the third Monday of January each year, near King’s birthday (January 15). Depending on your school calendar, you may have or had the day off.

But when students return next week, don’t miss the opportunity to share some MLK information with them so they can learn about the life and legacy of this true American hero. There are tons of teaching and learning resources available online, but out of all of them, I highly recommend the video “My Friend Martin”, especially if you teach middle school students. It’s a cool mix of animation and actual black and white video footage that is extremely effective and captivating—one that can be used as a springboard to discuss Dr. King and his accomplishments. The use of kid “lingo” and voice overs from famous actors such as Whoopie Goldberg and LaVar Burton as well encouraging messages about  how one person can make a difference and standing up for what is right even when it’s difficult makes this video a perfect choice for the classroom!

Even though I’ve seen the video dozens of times, it’s still my all-time favorite MLK educational resource. Check it out below!

For additional educational resources Martin Luther King, Jr., be sure to access Larry Ferlazzo’s Best Websites For Learning About Martin Luther King, Jr. page.

Classroom Connection:

Use the Our Friend, Martin video and other resources mentioned to teach students about the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Since I mentioned my involvement in rescuing dogs, I couldn’t resist including a picture of my puppy mill survivor and hero, Sawyer. ♥

IMG_1205

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17 Edtech Tryouts for 2017

January8

We. Are. Teachers… So, by nature we’re the type to set the goal of being the absolute best we can be for our students. Part of the equation in striving to provide the best education possible involves acquiring and/or honing the digital skills necessary to transform teaching and learning in our classrooms.

That said, hopefully you have set goals for 2017 focusing on technology integration. If not, here are a few suggestions that can surely help you power up your knowledge—which, of course, will result in a variety of authentic, engaging and real-world learning experiences for your students. How could you go wrong!

Check out the interactive infographic show below—one that highlights 17 ways you can incorporate technology into your classroom. Hover over the visual to reveal hotspots linking you to some useful resources to kick start your journey into the digital world!

Check out a full screen version of this image here!

So, there you have it… Some recommendations for transforming yourself into an edtech rock star for the remainder of the school year! No excuses—just tech the plunge! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. And so will your students!

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Get Your 2017 On!

January1

Live once again from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware—my sand art capital of the world…

Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy, sparkly, shiny, brand spankin’ new year from Edutech for Teachers!

And here’s my annual reminder encouraging you to take advantage of the opportunity you have to enjoy 12 months of happiness, 52 weeks of laughter, 365 days of love, 8,760 hours of success and 51,536,000 seconds of learning that can be used to inspire others in your sphere of influence!

Regardless of where your personal and professional journey takes you, I hope it’s one of the best ever!

Live, love and laughter… Namaste! ♥

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Tech-ing It Up at the BAHS Activities Fair… Again!

December29

For the the third consecutive year, the Aevidum Club in our high school sponsored an Activities Fair the day before our holiday break began. By donating $1, a roll of paper towels or a bottle of hand sanitizer, students gained admission to the gym which was filled with activities provided by various clubs and organizations—a foul shot competition, corn hole, face painting and more!

Of course, my favorite booths were those that were set up and hosted by my Tech Club kids: The Do Ink green screen photo booth, an X-box station where students could hang out and play various games, and for the first time ever— A live stream of our event that was broadcast on YouTube via our Tricaster. Visit the archive here to check out our students in action.

Here’s an example of one of the super cool Christmas backgrounds students could select at the photo booth.

As always, here’s a shout out to Kermit for organizing the Tech Club booths. Your detailed planning and set up created some really neat stations for your peers! And kudos to you for the perseverance you demonstrated in making the live video feed happen—one that will definitely be the precursor for streaming additional events in the future!

Another thank you goes out to Bailey, Blake, Alex, Tina, Ali D. and Shayla for helping with our booths.

Check out some additional scenes from the second annual Activities Fair below…

And the best part about the day’s event? All donations collected will be given to local charities—the St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen and the Central PA Humane Society.

Kudos to the admin, teachers and students for making a difference in our community!

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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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