March 30, 2014

Lego WeDo Exploration

Third graders are exploring the Lego Education materials called "Lego WeDo"during a set of class periods. The Computer Lab provides an open setting for students to work in pairs to select one of twelve projects. Working together they follow the directions to put together the blocks to make the project. Then they connect it to a computer so that the motor or sensor can follow a program students made using the Lego WeDo software.

This video shows the students working on their projects.


March 20, 2014

K-2 Flat Connections - Building Bridges

Once again we have a classroom participating in a global project communicating and collaborating with students across the U.S. and in some international settings. This year Laura Wetmore is participating with her class and they are posting to the project wiki. All classrooms are posting a multimedia greeting (called a "handshake") and a View from Our Window project. The project schools are divided into three working groups to collaborate on a topic, this year the topics will be Sharing Stories and Celebrations. Teachers are communicating via. email as well as a project "ning" and students are using Google Earth to "travel" to the various locations. This is an example of a project that meets the new Global Awareness theme of the updated Social Studies Framework.

This is a map of the schools in the project.

March 13, 2014

Yarmouth Elementary iPad Roundtable

Today was the first of what we hope will be a series of iPad Roundtable conversations. About thirty educators from area schools gathered at Rowe School from 3:30-5:00. Tara Maker, the regional Apple Sales rep., and Jim Moulton, K-12 Education Development Executive at Apple, provided snacks and managed the registration. We had determined three topics for possible discussion:
 • Using the Book Creator app for students and teachers to make books that are read via iBooks - getting started!
• Using 1:1 iPads - what apps work well, what ideas can we share?
• Using iPads at stations in grades K-5

Groups formed around the three topics with some people moving between groups. There were a mix of technology integrators and classroom teachers from grades K-5. I learned some new tips about using any iPad as well as some good app recommendations.

March 8, 2014

EdCamp Maine 2014

There was a terrific energy for the third Southern Maine EdCamp, held at Waynflete school. It was very valuable to connect with innovative educators from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This event and the fall ACTEM MaineEd conference are the best times for me to connect with others and share ideas. The "unconference" model of EdCamp has become more familiar and there were more interesting sessions offered than I could fit into my day. Meal times and the coffee table were also sources of sharing and conversations that gave me many new ideas for working with students and teachers.

My notes from the day are on a shared Google Doc. One very dynamic person was the K12 integrator from the Wilmington, MA schools. Her session on CCSS Nonfiction Resources seemed valuable enough that I shared it with our K12 Lead Literacy teachers and I have referred to it for ideas for teams at YES.

February 18, 2014

ACTEM Mini-Conference

This year for ACTEM offered a mini-conference for a day during February vacation at the newly renovated South Portland High School. I collaborate with Alice Barr on a session on Enhancing Your Classroom using Google Drive and Kern Kelley on Empowering Students with Presentations, and Blogger for the classroom with tips on using Picasa and YouTube to portray learning in the classroom.

This is the updated presentation I included on Blogger in the classroom:

December 13, 2013

Coding in the Primary Grades

All students in grades 1-12 had an opportunity to participate in an "hour of code" activity that was appropriate to their grade level. First graders used the iPad app Kodable to explore the concepts of planning a sequence, using if/then options and learning to repeat commands. Following the Hour of Code week students have been asking to access the app as one of their options in the classrooms.

Second and Third grades used the coding activities posted at the Computer Science week learn to code page of tutorials. Several students were able to complete the activity, whether they finished or not they all had success with the logical thinking procedures that are the underpinnings of programmming.

This is a slide show of some students at Rowe using iPads and YES learning top program on their laptops with assistants from HMS:

November 4, 2013

MICDL Consultancy in Honduras, October 2013

This is the presentation that I prepared for faculty meetings to share the experience of spending a week with a consultancy team working with the Honduran Department of Education project on technology for learning and innovation.

October 12, 2013

ACTEM MaineED Conference October 11, 2013

I worked with Amy Finnen on a session about classroom blogging. Most classrooms are using this tool and the three Kindergarten teachers who took the Yarmouth summer course worked together to fine tune their approach to sharing learning with families in their blogs.

This is the presentation we used for the session:

August 9, 2013

Maine Google Apps Summit

For the second year I attended and presented at the Maine Google in Education Summit, this year it was held at Hampden Academy on August 8 & 9. This gives me an opportunity to share with others and meet educators who are also using Google Apps in their districts. 

This year my sessions were:

June 25, 2013

Sebago Education Alliance (SEA) Tech Camp

My teaching and learning are continuing as I present and attend sessions at the SEA Tech Camp for teachers. On Monday I taught two half day sessions: Adding Media to Blogs, Wikis and Sites and What I Learned in School Today - Elementary Blogs. The links are to the plans for the sessions that include online links to help sheets and other resources. As always I learned while teaching and it was great to collaborate with other educators.

Today I am attending Alice's session on Google Certified Trainer session on using Google Apps. One of my goals this summer is to become a certified trainer taking the online series of trainings. There are a lot of people here who are not using using Google Apps for Education and I am struck by how much our district has come to rely on the interoperability and collaboration options of our domain.

June 20, 2013

Summer-Fall Yarmouth Technology Course 2013

In the week after students finished classes in Yarmouth 32 teachers and 9 student assistants spent three days focusing on using technology to support personalized learning. The course site is posted at Proposed projects include ways to involve students in curation using various tools and sharing work through blogs and specialized Google sites. The summer component of the course requires that teachers spend time online viewing suggested materials and reflecting in blog posts. There will be a work day in September and a final Saturday in October to share projects with everyone enrolled in the class for credit.

June 18, 2013

EdCafe Take Away

This post was created during the Yarmouth Summer-Fall Technology course during our demonstration lesson of Katrina Kenney's EdCafe model. We introduced the EdCafe model and then presented the choices for three sessions of PBS TED Talks Education videos. My group chose to watch the segment by Geoffrey Canada, of Harlem Children's Zone.
We discussed the video for about a half an hour. One interesting component was that we had two high school students in our group and they added their perspective about their preferences for assignments and personalizing their learning.

The takeaway for our group is as follows:

How are we as teachers failing our students?
  • Not all students are engaged at all times
  • Compartmentalized learning by subject, not integrated
  • Kids fall through the cracks - how do we get students to access support? Keep on trying!!

How do we keep on innovating?
  • Students respond to choice in learning materials and project options
  • Keep talking about what "personalized learning" means
  • Pursue YEF grants for resources

April 11, 2013

Building Bridges to Tomorrow - FlatClassroom K-2 Project

This spring I have been working with Marypat Bowen's class and the Building Bridges to Tomorrow K-2 FlatClassroom global collaboration with 22 schools. As part of the project each school created video content about weather and seasons in their part of the world that will be compiled using WeVideo. This is the video created by the Yarmouth class to share with the others. 

March 29, 2013

4th Graders Present to Yarmouth School Committee - Nexus 7 Pilot

The Yarmouth School Committee opens the monthly meeting with a presentation about a learning setting or offering in our schools. On March 28th we shared a ten minute explanation of the Nexus 7 1:1 Pilot Project that has been part of Kate Parkin's 4th grade classroom. Since we started the project in early December, Kate and I have been exploring ways to use the Nexus 7s in her classroom for learning. In talking with the students, the biggest uses of the tablets are for researching questions and creating written work that is then saved to Google Drive for further editing on laptops. Certainly there are Math apps and some utilities that the students are finding engaging and useful. In addition to the apps we put on initially we have added VidTrim for editing videos, Comic Strip It for creating comics and a Poetry app in honor of April being Poetry Month. While we weren't able to record the student voices that added a powerful element to the slides, this is the presentation we created for the meeting:

March 10, 2013

Explain Everything, KidBlog & YouTube Channels

In working with the first grade classrooms on students recording their stories on iPads I am focusing on Explain Everything these days. There is a significant update in the app that will load if you run updates. There is a video explaining the update at: One option is for students to draw a number sentence and then record their strategy. Another is to record photos during an activity and then have students upload the photo followed by adding voiceover. After the recording you export them to your email, then the videos can be downloaded and posted on the student blogs or classroom blog.

Kidblog: I can export student names from PowerSchool to readily set up each clasroom. Then the individual student blogs can be added to the classroom blog as a link gadget.

Also, one alternative to posting video to Posterous is to post from the iPad to a teacher YouTube channel that is part of Yarmouth Google apps. Once the video is posted, you view it on your computer, click Share, then Embed, turn off suggested videos, copy the embed code to the clipboard, go to your Blogger blog>New Post>html for the post>paste in the embed code.