Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Guest blogger - Tina Avery

This past Monday I was in charge of sharing the Best Practice in our Department meeting.  I decided to introduce my fellow department members to a product called Popplet - sort of a combo of collaborative mind map and sticky notes.  I learned about popplet from a blog I follow called Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne. (Richard is a Google certified teacher; his blog has won numerous awards and is read daily by over 30,000 people).  Actually, truth be told, I follow Richard on Twitter @rmbyrne as he frequently tweets about very useful and educational material, such as – you guessed it - popplet.  What?  You aren’t using twitter for educational purposes?  For a personal learning network?  I can see I have another TechShop to create for you.  No one wants to read tweets about what movie anyone is seeing or about a vacation.  Twitter has far better uses.  But I digress.  Popplet is our topic.
 So I read Richard’s tweet about reviewing popplet and I was very intrigued.  I decided to give it a try.  And now I am hooked!!  I am having a lot of fun with this tool and can see a variety of applications in a school setting.  Here is one I have started on.

and the link:

My popplet (be very careful when typing this that you don't add an extra o) depicts our next High School trip abroad to Austria, Germany and Switzerland.  Under each country are the cities and some of the sites we will visit.  I plan to add the students going on the trip as collaborators to the site.  Before each trip the students pick one or two cities and places on which to do a brief presentation to the rest of us (plus their parents).  I am thinking that I will ask them to include all of that information here in the popplet along with illustrations.  When we return from the trip, they can add in some actual photos from the places we visited.  Then the whole affair can be added to the school's website.
I shared popplet a couple of weeks ago with the librarian at Wachusett RHS.  She used it to make her library newsletter.  She even embedded a video about popplet and it turned out great.  I also like the idea of using popplet to create a gallery rather than actually connecting anything in particular.  It’s very versatile!

I found Popplet fairly straightforward to use and I am looking forward to exploring it more!  Give it a try!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Edwards Edline Training

Introduction to Edline Classroom PagesSarah Kyriazis, Instructional Technologist,

Technology PD Day follow up

The HS teachers had a great 1/2 day of professional development on Monday focused on technology. Edwards and the MS were not able to have such a day so I have include links to all of the resources that were taught.

Web 2.0 with Tina Avery
Digital Media with Lynne Pelto
CPS/Clickers/Interwrite/MOBI with Sarah Kyriazis
We got some great feedback, glad everyone enjoyed their tech day. If you need follow up help email me!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

High School Technology PD

Monday, March 14 we have an early release and the high school teachers will have a technology day! So excited. Here are the three choices.

1. Digital Media, 402 with Lynne PeltoLearn how to integrate digital media into your curriculum to engage students. We will be covering digital photography, (if you have your own camera, bring it and the download cord, school cameras will also be available), flip video camera, editing digital photos with, scanners and google earth.

2. Web 2.0 Tools, 401 (VHS Lab) with Tina Avery
Learn how to create a blog for a classroom or a topic. Explore wordle, tagxedo (word clouds), glogster (online poster), youtube/teachertube and more! Discover how web 2.0 tools can be used as teaching tools or for student projects. You will leave the class having created your own blog and/or glog.
3. Clickers/Interwrite/MOBI (Lab 1, Library) and Edline with Sarah Kyriazis
Bring your class list and a list of 10 questions (quiz or assignment) and start creating your first clicker lesson. Learn how to use and get comfortable with the MOBI tablet. Discover what you can do with the Interwrite Software that is on everybody's desktop. If time allows, we will also learn about some advanced Edline features.

I will be posting the handouts on the blog for all of the district teachers to have. I hope to have more of these types of technology days in the future!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Assigning a Video Project

Since I have been sharing so many videos made by teachers, I thought I would show you some student examples. Creating video projects for school is not a new concept. My high school English teacher allowed us to submit a video project in 1993 (18 years ago-yikes). A group of us dressed up and acted out a few scenes from Great Expectations and submitted it on a VHS tape I remember how much fun we had and I will never forget that book. Technology has come a long way and most students who own a cell phone have a video camera on it. They are comfortable using video.

Allowing your students to submit a video project might open up a new level of interest in the subject for them. They become active participants in their own learning. To create a video a great amount of research, planning and scripting needs to be done. Students do the research, write the script and then act it out or sing it. I guarantee if they make a video for a particular subject, they will NEVER forget it.

Consider allowing your students to submit a video instead of a paper. Have them submit their bibliography and script so you can see the work that they put into it.

Create expectations and a rubric here are some samples

Colleges and Universities are encouraging professors to have their students create multimedia presentations and videos for projects.

WPI has a webpage for different types of video projects.

Dartmouth has a great website that can be used as a resource for assigning guidelines

Here are a few sample student videos…

Science Project, High School students

This is called a lip dub. A lot of high schools and colleges are doing this to promote unity or market the school. Here is one from Sharon, MA

This video is long, but it is a good representation of what students can do for a math video. There must have been so much planning and writing in this before they created it.