Friday, December 28, 2012

This is the time of year that...

This is the time of year that there are a million and one posts about best apps.  I have read a bunch about the top 10 apps that do this and the top 5 that do that.

Here are two examples:
Top 10 Cell Phone Apps
Top 50 iPad Apps

These got me thinking.  What are the top apps you use?  Leave some comments about which apps you use.

Here are mine:
Pandora - great to let it just play
Spotify - setting up some on demand songs.

(I used to use Instagram until they changed their terms of service.)
Snapseed - very interesting app by Nik Software (a google brand)
Flickr - A very old site but the new app is pretty nice.  Might be the best way to share pictures from the classroom.  Easy for iPads, parents and students to share images to one common location.

Cloud Storage
Dropbox - all images I take are automatically saved online.  Very easy to find these images on my laptop.
Goolge+ - This will automatically backup all images I take to the cloud.  It makes it a snap to share these with my family.

facebook - mostly keeping up with the family
twitter - so many professioanl resources here
foursquare - checking in to places I visit.  There are some restaurants that will give deals when I check in while I am eating there.
yelp - similar to foursquare.

evernote - a place I save everything I need to remember.  I everything from shot records, library cards and ELITE notes.
Calendar - not sure what I would do without a online calendar.

What are some apps you have used today?

Can you ever share too much?

My mother loves to see my kids read.  There is one small issue.  She lives in New Orleans.  I could use one of the many streaming apps but that requires Grandma to be online when the kids are reading.  Not exactly easy to pull off.

There is this new iOS app that we tried out.  I hit record and once Aidan finished reading the clip was uploaded to youtube.  My mom could then click on the video anytime she wanted.

I can see a million ways to use this app in the classroom.

(Uploading video may take some time.  Be patient!)

How the app works:
*You will need a gmail/youtube account.

Open the Capture app.  (You will need to download the app from the app store. Search for Youtube Capture under the iPhone section.)

Frame your shot.  Make sure you can see everything you want to record before you click the red button.  Avoid moving the iPad while recording

Click on the timer on the right side of the screen to stop the recording.  It may take considerable time to upload videos longer than five minutes.

Add a title and a description to the video you just recorded.  The click the Upload button.

Wait until the video is completely uploaded to youtube before you share it.

Click on the video you want to share.  There are a few optional locations to share the video to.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What is better than Google? Google+ (Anything with a plus must be better!)


What is google+? (Google Plus)
(Visit youtube for more videos about Goolge+)

Why should I invest any time in Google+?
Do you have an android phone?
Yes - All your images will automatically backed up in the cloud.  Once you click it gets saved!  It makes sharing the images much easier.
No - keep reading

There is a new section within Google+ that allows for people to come together to talk about certain topics.  I found a few great communities of teachers talking about topics many of use are interested in.

I searched and quickly found these six.

Here are a two posts that I found to be helpful.

It is a cross post from Pinterest.  I don't think I would have ever found this without Goolge+.
Edmodo!  This is a HUGE update.  This one single site/app would be amazing to use in the classroom.

Getting Started with Google+

Why is this important?
There are so many ideas and sites out there to help you in the classroom.  Pinterest is an amazing place to quickly find ideas.  Twitter is similar but there are no visuals.  Google+ is similar to the lunch table.  You gather together to talk about certain topics that are important to you.

The communities in Goolge+ are new.  Try it out and I don't think you will be disappointed.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Google - To The Rescue!

I was working with Sammi, my 8 year old, on a piece of writing she was doing for homework.  There were three words she was struggling to spell.  My first instinct was to grab the dictionary but I couldn't find one.  We were going to use Siri on the iPad but we decided to try something else.  I wanted to find a solution she could use on the iPad and on a laptop.


Note:  use the chrome browser!

We launched chrome on the laptop and clicked the small microphone on  Make sure your laptop microphone is turned on.

Sammi then spoke the word she was struggling with into the computer.  Google took care of the rest.


You need to download the google search app for this to work.

Open the google search app.

Click on the small microphone.

Say the word you are wanting to spell.

The results will pop up as a regular google search results page.

The Big Picture
There are many tools that are available on laptops and iPads that can assist you in the classroom.  The google search tool isn't necessarily designed to help with spelling but it is very effective at this task.

The other amazing idea is this is all done by speaking into a device.   We did not need to touch the keyboard at all.  This allows more students to access this information than ever before.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Authors Chair and Sharing with the Microphone

From 1st Graders in Tammy Russell's room at Concord:

First graders LOVE to share their writing!  Most of the time, they choose to project their writing onto the whiteboard for all to see and read it to the class wearing the microphone.  First graders LOVE using the microphone!  We thought it would be fun to record our authors, simply reading their stories to the class.  This is HW sharing her funny Thanksgiving turkey story.

I sent a link to each parent almost immediately after each story was read.  Parents LOVED watching their little ones share their stories.  The feedback was very positive!

Monday, December 3, 2012

BYOD-Holiday Projects

From the classroom of Christina Phillips Concord-
I have been incorporating BYOD in my math centers. In honor of the holidays, I had students shopping online to complete a budget project. This project was engaging and fun. Students wanted to work on it more and more so they were encouraged to bring their devices to school. I now have 8-10 regular device users daily! Also 3 parents have e-mailed me to tell me that they are purchasing devices for their students for Christmas because their child is excited to bring them to school!

How are you using devices in your classroom?  Any creative ideas to encourage students to use their devices in your classroom?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Are you "STUCK?"

So my best friend Colin sent me this video the other day. He said he wanted to hire this man to work for us on the LiNC team. I waited a few days and finally took the time to watch this video. I took a few notes, watched it again, and have been watching/listening to it every day now. What I absolutely love about this video is the raw honesty Eric Thomas presents. You can apply this speech to any area of your life you are struggling with. It's like a personal challenge. I bring this to our LiNC blog because I know a lot of you out there are struggling with technology in some way or another. Hopefully this video will inspire you to never give up and keep working to find success.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Looking for a new tool to try?

If you are looking for some new ideas for students to use to create, check out some of these fun tools.  Be sure to share how it goes in the comments section of our blog. These ideas are browser based (explorer, firefox, chrome) and/or app based.

What Can I do?
Educreations-iPad app or browser versionCreate and share your amazing video lessons with your iPad or browser
Camera-deviceUse the camera on your device to take pictures around a central theme.
Video-deviceCreate a video and upload it to YouTube.
Toontastic-iPad appA Creative Learning app for the iPad that empowers kids to draw, animate, and narrate their own cartoons and share them with friends & family around the world.
Puppet Pals-iPhone, iPod, iPad appCreate your own unique shows with animation and audio in real time!
Storybird-browser versionStorybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print.
Animoto-app or browser versionTurn photos, video clips and music into stunning video slideshows which can bring your lessons to life.
Skitch-app or browser versionAnnotate, edit, and share your screenshots and images
Audioboo-app or browser versionRecord and share audio for your friends, family or the rest of the world to hear.
Edmodo-app or browser versionProvides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices.
Socrative-app or browser versionSocrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
ScreenChomp-app for iPadA simple doodling board, markers, and one-click sharing tools make spreading your ideas and know-how easy and fun!  Just - Record It. Sketch It. Share It. - to create a sharable, replay-able video that tells your story clearly.
Show Me-app for iPadAn easy way to create and share lessons on the iPad.
Audio Recorder-deviceUse the audio recorder on your device to create an audio clip.  Upload the audio clip to your YouTube account.
Wall Wisher-browser versionCreate a wall to add information to access anywhere.
Poll Everywhere-browser version Web based polls to quiz groups of students and gather feedback
KidblogAllow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs. No student email addresses required.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Internet of Things

Where is all this technology going?  Will it reach beyond just consuming media and larger screens?

I have talked about how the idea of common everyday things connected to the internet are coming in every possible shape.  Take a look at these three common items that have been altered to allow them to connect to the web.  (I still believe that the next really big thing will be cereal boxes connected to the web.  I know how it sounds.  Just keep reading.)

It is described as the next generation thermostat.  The most amazing part is it learns your behavior and will adjust the temperature as it learns what you like.

There is also considerable energy savings when using this unique product.

The nest is controllable from an app.  No more coming home early to a cold/hot house.


What about all those things that can be connected to the internet?  Your lamp by the front door or that pesky toaster?  Ever turn around and drive home just to check if you have unplugged the curling iron?  Ever get there and it turns out you already unplugged it?  Frustrating!

This tiny device can solve those issues and then some.

Phillips Hue

hue - Master Video from Philips Color Kinetics on Vimeo.

This is one of the most interesting things I have seen in a long time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekly Top 10

How are you using your Promethean software?  Do you ever get stuck wondering what else you can do with your students?

The Promethean Planet site offers a number of great tips and ideas.  I had no idea they also had a running list of what is most popular this week.  

Take a look and see what might be useful.  Share your thoughts on the blog or facebook.

The 4th most downloaded filpchart is about main idea and supporting details.  The pages of the flip do seem a bit busy but you can always edit out what won't work.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Change Takes Time
"Our struggles are the short-term lessons we learn to achieve long-term success."

People in our training sessions often say that I am a patient person. For those of you who know me well, you know that I am not really all that patient. I want things to happen immediately. As in yesterday. But that's the thing about change. It takes time for people to really embrace change.

Just think about this example. Colin loves his shoes. So much so that he needs new ones and is not willing to buy just any old shoes because his beloved shoe company has gone out of business. He is waiting until his brown shoes literally fall apart before he buys new ones. And eventually, he will be forced to buy new ones because the old ones simply will not work anymore.

O.K. so maybe that isn't the best example...but you get the idea. We all hold onto old things and ways because they are comfortable. It is easy. It is comforting to know that I have done something in a certain way and it has been successful. But it is when we feel uncomfortable and awkward and frustrated that we can finally grow.

And as your coach, it is sometimes frustrating to be on the sidelines helping you through this journey. Because it isn't fun to watch you struggle or experience hardships.

Just know that at the end of the day...or week...or month...or year...that we will eventually be able to celebrate our success. And that at the end of the hill we are climbing...there will ALWAYS be another and another to climb.


Monday, October 15, 2012

A MUST SEE-Google Cultural Institute

Be sure to check out this virtual exhibit that tells the stories of our diverse cultural heritage.  There are TONS of different ways to utilize this in the classroom.

Teach art?  Check out these collections from various art galleries from around the world.

Amazing World Wonders  Click here for a virtual journey of historic sites, palaces, castles, parks, gardens, archaeological sites, and monuments from around the world.

Making It Easier With Chrome

How often do you use the same three or four sites?  This video demonstrates how to make your web experience 27% more efficient using this tip.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Video Talks- Text to Self Connections

Check out these text to self connections as students created a video of themselves discussing key elements of the book to then show to the rest of the class.

Using student devices allows students to record, edit, and publish from a single device.  Create a youtube account and get started today!

Check out this blog post for more ideas on what students can actually DO with devices.

Virtual Lesson Plans for Students When You Have a Substitute

Wouldn't it be amazing if you could leave lessons plans for your students with you giving directions AND showing the notes?  If you are looking for an easy way to create a video for your class and substitute, look no further. allows you an easy way to record and share your webcam and files.  Check out how this teacher used the site to create a presentation for a substitute teacher while she was away from class at a workshop.
She even shared the notes for her sub plans:

Class and Lesson Set-Up:

Please use the student laptop on the cart to run the Power Point presentation.  This will include all of the elements of the lesson. 

The laptop should be ready when you enter the room.  You’ll need to turn on the power for the projector using the remote control.

If the laptop isn’t ready, please follow these steps:
1.     Log on to the computer
a.    Username: ________
b.    Password: ________
c.    You must have “_____” selected
2.    Open the Power Point called “_________.”
a.    Click the “Start” menu
b.    Click “Documents”
c.    Select “_________”
3.    If the Power Point cannot be located, don’t worry about it, but go to Internet Explorer and follow these steps:

Thanks for sharing, Kate!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Let's Make a Difference-The Power of Social Media

"We can be impressed by someone who does something big for themselves, but we can only be inspired by someone who does something big for another." Came across this quote today and it reminded me of this amazing project.   A former Truman elementary teacher, colleague, and friend- Robbie Miller Engel's daughter (Olivia Engel-a former Truman Elementary student) is going to be traveling to India to write a book that shares the voices and photography of silenced women - their protests for liberty, daring escapes, and - finally - freedom.  You can support this project (after watching this impressive video) by clicking here on her kickstarter project.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Testimonial from Laura Swearingen

From Laura-Thank you for teaching me about Google Reader!  I happened to see an interview in a blog that I was able to use in a lesson plan this afternoon while also incorporating youtube videos.  The kids were completely inspired to become better musicians from this.  I was also inspired to find a few more music blogs and actually stumbled upon some great blogs that are about incorporating technology into music ed.  Hooray!

If you are interested in learning more about Google Reader, check out these video resources and the Google Reader Tutorial here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Looking for Halloween Apps?

Look no futher...
Here is a fun list of apps that can be used in the educational setting, especially the speech therapy setting.

The Two Davids

There was a video that many of you watched that had two guys talking about technology and education.  They both happened to be named David.  The Davids have been in education for many years and have post after post of wisdom to share.

This video sparked a number of people wanting to learn more about them.

David Jakes
He has a few sites that he writes on from time to time.
David Jakes - This one site will link to all of his work.
Words Matter - love this one.  These posts help generate thoughts and ideas that I might not get to on my own.

David Warlick
Read his thoughts on this blog.

Guest Blogger-Rebecca Keller-Reporting on Class Dojo

During Lindbergh's Unconference, I was excited to see how many resources I could take back to my room and USE! As a kindergarten team, we discussed many resources that we would like to investigate further, but Class Dojo stood out as a "must have". It is a behavior management website that helps to improve behavior, share data, and save time. It is simple to use and I plan to start later this week. Teachers can set up positive and negative behaviors that they might see through out the day. Points can be awarded or subtracted according to classroom behavior. It would be easy to tie this into our Stoplight and Bucket-filling behavior managements that are already in place. At some point, I would love to have little buckets instead of avatars. :) 

Parents can also have access to their child's record. They can check it through out the day to see if there is a certain time of day that their child begins misbehaving, or prepares them for conversations that they can have when they return home in the evenings. 

I am thrilled to see how easy it is to use and I hope you find it helpful for your classroom!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Answer Garden - P. Chapman

 I wanted to share Answer Garden. Answer Garden is a great online tool for brainstorming. It can also be embedded to a website or blog to be used as a poll or guestbook. Once you've accessed the site, you simply click "Create an Answer Garden." Then, you enter a topic or question. By adding your email address, you can access the garden later to view or make changes. When you continue, a simple box pops up where you can start submitting answers. The answers then appear in the blank space creating a sort of word cloud. 

I have used Answer Garden in my third grade classroom. At the beginning of the year, I used it as a brainstorm tool where students generated ideas about how they'd like our classroom to be. With my Epson Projector, students could watch as I entered each response as opposed to writing their ideas on the board or on chart paper. They were very engaged. I also used Answer Garden at the beginning of a science unit on plants where I submitted student responses regarding their background knowledge about plants. I wanted to see what my student already knew, so we created an Answer Garden. I have not yet embedded this tool to a website or blog, but I think it would be a great way to communicate with parents and/or get others ideas. In older grades, getting on the Answer Garden and submitting a thought about a reading or a quick response could even be a homework assignment. I think the possibilities are endless. 

Guest Blogger-Kate Pfeffer

Today is the Lindbergh UnConference.  With a glorious Starbucks pumpkin spice latte (a true sign of Fall, warmth, and comfort on a drizzly day away from students) in my hand, I had the pleasure of attending the librarians' session: Cool Tech Tools & Tips.

Wow, those ladies had a wealth of information to share.  It was great that they put all of their resources on one wiki; I could easily bookmark it and return to it later.  No keeping track of handouts in file folders--huzzah!

My Truman pal, Vicky Stanford, presented on  I am totally interested in this new resource!  The basic idea: upload slides and video to a website, record yourself, and have these two things play simultaneously.  So groovy.  One thing Vicky discussed as a possible use (which I actually thought about while she was talking!) was to use this for days when you are away from the classroom.  Perfect for ELITE 3 days.

The free subscription allows you to use/create three 15 minute presentations a month.  I always panic about being away from my classes; I never feel like I can convey my ideas and lesson plans appropriately to a substitute teacher.  Enter  I could easily (or at least I think easily) upload a Powerpoint that goes with my lesson, and then I could record video of myself actually teaching the lesson.  All a sub would have to do is press Play.  They could even go back, replay, and then go on.  The negative: a 15 minute time limit.  I'd have to limit myself to a mini-lesson.  But I could do it!  It's as close as I could get to actually being there with my students.  AND then I could post the link to on my website or on our team Facebook page.  Pretty. Awesome.

My hope: test this out before our next ELITE 3 day.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What did you learn at the Unconference?

Posted by Guest Blogger-Samantha Whorton
After our Unconference 2.0 on Friday I found myself eager to try out some new things. Some of the things I learned include, blogger,,,, among many more. is a great tool to use for presentations. Instead of just the regular PowerPoint, you can include videos as well. With PowerPoint, you can input videos, but then you can not see the slideshow. With you can have a PowerPoint slide on half the screen and a video on the other half to explain the slide. This is beneficial for many reasons such as oral presentations, homework problems, explaining a process, showing examples to the students, etc. 

Blogger is a great tool to use for classrooms and also for communication between the students, parents, and teachers. I have had a blog for my classroom for two years, but during the Unconference, I learned a great deal about adding pages, inputting my google calendar, and also making it more interactive. I am excited to show my students my new and improved blog on Monday. is another resource to use within the classroom. This is a website that is designed for education. It has many real pictures of animals from around the world. It also has videos, PowerPoints, teaching worksheets and answers, and tips. The majority of the resources include information about endangered animals, but there is also resources for other topics. For example, my students just finished learning about plants and their parts. On, I researched plant parts and found a useful video, PowerPoint, and interactive game to use. is a resource to use for social studies, history, etc. There are millions of real pictures from millions of places. In social studies, you can type in a place such as the Arch and get many different pictures from different time periods. This would be useful to show the students the differences in time periods, as well as compare different places. is a resource that I haven’t decided how exactly to use it in the classroom. It is a website where you can type in conversations to create into a fake text. After you type it out, you can select the provider and also where you want to send it. My ideas for this resource so far are for conversations, creating stories, talk about point of view, etc. I think the students would have fun with it. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Multiple Tabs + Chrome = Efficiency

Here is a great demo created by a teacher on how he uses the Chrome browser.  I am a huge fan of using multiple tabs.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Short notice but do you have plans tonight?

WHAT: Jonathan Kozol, author and educator
WHEN &WHERE: Monday September 24,2012
5:30 PM Keynote Address
6:30 PM Meet the Author and Book Signing

Free and Open to the Public
Loretto Hilton Theatre
130 Edgar Road St.Louis, Missouri 63119

I have read a number of his books and think this will be a unique opportunity to hear what he has to say in person.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What is a transliterate student?

Watch this short ignite talk for the answer.

What do you think?  Do we have a totally new form of literacy?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Classrooms....Then and Now

In our ELITE 3 classes, we have been discussing how our classrooms have changed over time.  Here are the activity directions:
For this activity, we would like you to brainstorm what it would be like to explain the modern classroom to your grandparents.  If you were taking them on a tour, what would they see and hear?  What would students be doing? The teacher?  Create a 5 minute presentation of your choice to share this information.

Here are some of the sample projects people have created.
Using Glogster....

Using Prezi.....

Saturday, September 8, 2012

7 Hours = Professional Life Changed Forever

The free tickets to this event are slowly disappearing.  Sign up now before it is too late!

Why should you sign up for this event?  The number one reason is this is unlike any event you have ever attended.  The sessions are not planned in advance and there is no keynote speaker.  This is more of a conversation around specific topics.

I had the best time last year.  Will you join me?

(The LiNC team also created a discussion and it was a pretty powerful experience.)

Friday, September 7, 2012


Know that what you do on a daily basis makes a difference. We are changing the child at a time. Thanks for making someone feel special today.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ELITE 2-Being a Reflective Teacher

How to Make Better Teachers Article

Getting Started with Blogger

DIRECTIONS...Log in to blogger with your google account.
Don't have a google account?  Click the Sign Up button and follow the prompts.
Getting Started
Advanced Blogging

Diigo Refresher

Using Diigo to Organize Web Resources

What is social bookmarking?  Check out this video to learn more.
Create an accout with
Step 2: (Optional) Install the Diigo toolbar
Additional Tutorials:
How to bookmark a site using the Diigo Toolbar
Find and Join groups in Diigo
Edit a bookmark
Find and follow people on diigo
How to Create a List in Diigo
How to Find Lists in Diigo 
What now?

TV Equipment Refresher

The back of this document will show you how the TV box will work.   This is PDF that illustrates the basic remote functions.
By the end of this center you will:
  • understand how the TV box works
After viewing the above guide:
  • know how to chnage the TV volume
  • understand how to change the channel
  • know how to change modes (TV, computer, DVD)

Audio Equipment Refresher

FrontRow Audio (blue box)

Here you will learn how to operate the audio system in your classroom.
By the end of this center you will:
  • understand how to adjust the settings on the FrontRow box
  • know how the neck lanyard microphone works
Note: It is very important to keep the overall volume low when using the microphone.
Tip: Make sure your TV is ALWAYS turned up to 100%.  Use the blue audio box to adjust the volume level.  If you do not turn the TV up to 100% your blue box tends to shut off after 10 minutes of use.

Seesaw - Summer 2018

This post was created to help guide our Seesaw session. Seesaw is a student-driven online portfolio which can also be used for parent c...