Monday, October 20, 2014


Over the summer, Sara and I were contacted by Scholastic Magazine to write a few app reviews. We happily said "Yes!" and patiently (well maybe not so patiently) awaited the article to see if any of the app reviews we wrote would make it!

Here is what we submitted:

Stick Pick

From preschool to high school, Stick Pick is a teacher tool that can transform whole group differentiation and excel students’ comprehension and academic achievement. In Stick Pick teachers upload their class roster and assign each student a place on the Bloom’s Taxonomy scale, ESL level, or stick only (great for picking the line leader). During instruction the teacher then opens up the app and it will randomly select a student and provide question prompts based on each student’s individual levels. Teachers can then record a basic assessment of the response and can review a collection of each student’s response data at any time, perfect for grading comprehension skills. We love Stick Pick for its ease of use, ability to be used within all content areas and for multiple classes, and how it improves our classroom discussions, formative assessments and differentiation of instruction


Futaba Classroom Games is a multiplayer quiz based app that lets you pick the content of each quiz. The developers have multiple quizzes already created that you can choose from, or you can easily create your own quiz based on whatever it is you are teaching. In social studies you will find quizzes already created for geography, civics, economics and history for most grade levels with everything from vocabulary to flag identification! The best part about Futaba Classroom Games is how much students love it-it is the number one requested app in my classroom. Focused customized learning plus student engagement equals higher academic achievement and makes Futaba Classroom Games a must have teacher app for social studies instruction! An added bonus is the cloud abilities to put teacher created games in multiple devices.

YAKiT Kids

YAKiT Kids is a creation app that allows the user to make any photo or illustration talk and is a great teacher tool for science instruction. YAKiT Kids helps students to take their science reports to the next level when students upload their picture (let’s say of a cheetah), add a mouth and record their report. YAKiT Kids makes it into a short video clip where it looks like the cheetah is speaking and sharing all the information from the report! We love it because students get to be creative and work on their speaking and presenting skills simultaneously while maximizing the impact of the science focus!

Chirp is an app that allows iOS device users to easily send photos, links or notes through the air to anyone with the app open that is near you using sound. A must have teacher app for directing your science students to science articles on the internet or quickly sharing links to websites for them to investigate! Chirp also allows for student led learning, as students can easily share with each other what they are looking at during discussions. We love that Chirp puts learning easily into our students’ hands!

ColAR Mix

 ColAR Mix is a 3D Coloring Book App that uses augmented reality (AR). This means that it combines layers of digital content combined with the world around you using the camera feature on your iOS device, creating a virtual reality on your screen. You can use colAR Mix as a tool in your science instruction by utilizing the printable color sheets from the developer’s website as writing prompts. For instance, my students created their own dinosaurs and completed a creature report about their dinosaur’s habitat, diet, and family. They then shared their reports while projecting their dinosaur as an AR image onto the SmartBoard. The level of student engagement was enormous, as well as their learning!

 I was excited to see a tweet from my teacher friend Sam @Courtsam

Here is a link to the full article 

Do you use any of these apps? If so, please share your favorite lessons!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I got to spend the day with a bunch of other great teachers working through's great materials. Going to workshops like this make me miss my classroom. There are many great tools for teachers to use to help get their kids interested in coding at a young age. In this workshop, Teri @TeriSueH was the teacher and we were the students. We got time to play through the different levels offers online. We also had some time to expierence and teach "unplugged" coding lessons. My group taught a lesson on graphing and we were students on a lesson about music. Check out the awesome rap we made using #AutoRap My take away from the day.... has many great activities to help your students start thinking coding without using technology and some great online tools for all students, even our young ones who can not read yet! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

iOS 8

With the recent update to iOS8 I thought I would share my iPad Basics workshop materials with you. I have added just a few things to it due to the new iOS8 update.  Feel free to ask questions!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

23 Mobile Things #15 Infographics

This is a tool I never thought to look for on my iPad. In the past I have used thinglink and canva on my computer to create visuals. I had fun playing around with both


Infographics Hub

I got side tracked as I was exploring the apps and started reading an infographic about the "Mobile Lives of College Students." I found it interesting that 40% of students in this study were using iOS Devices. Another infographic caught my eye on traveling. They stated that travelers between 18-25 years of age design themselves a Travellers, backpackers or tourists and the average cost of a trip is 1,400 euros. This study was done in the UK.

I could see these apps being used to get students started when thinking about research projects and then teaching them to check on the facts presented.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Winding Down

As we wind down the school year some teachers are looking for feedback from their students. I spent some time with a jr high teacher working on a Google Form for student feedback. The form has two important parts
  • student self reflection

  • feedback on teacher instruction

All of the questions are required except for their name. We left the name question up to the student to decide if they want to add their name or not.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tracking Growth

Katie, a wonderful special education teacher, has been working on creating Google Forms to track student growth in a variety of areas (she has done all of the work and I am just there for support). She has inserted student IEP goals to Google Form for ease of tracking. A team effort is made when tracking the goals. Mainstream teachers, individual students and Katie all have access to the form to fill it out. But only Katie has access to the results. With the handy feature of "Summary of Responses"

Katie has quick access to up-to-date charts she can show to both the student and their family, as well as attach to IEP progress reports.

In some cases, each student has their own form and for other items she has one form which they all can use. The example below is a form that they use with many students. The name field is left as a text box for privacy. As she receives the data, she uses a "pivot table" to see specific  sets of data for each student. She is then able to easily create a visual, most often a bar graph, to share progress.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

23 Mobile Things #13 Presentations

Haiku Deck
I have previously used Haiku Deck and like that it works on iPads and Chromebooks.

Educreations is one of my favorite free apps. I like that teachers can easily create a lesson to help their students and after entering some information about the video it is automatically uploaded and students can start accessing it right away. I am also a fan of their student to teacher capabilities. When a teacher sets up a class they are able to have student join and their videos will be sent to the teacher. Educreations also lets you record on a Chromebook and the videos can be viewed on many platforms.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Building Activities for Self Correcting Stations

Teachers who have a SMARTboard can use it as a great interactive tool. One of my favorite features in SMARTNotebook is the "Activity Builder." This tool allows me as a teacher to create interactive, self-correcting lessons that my students can use independently. 

In the example above, the number "one" will accept pictures that show one of something and reject pictures that show two objects. The "two" will accept the pictures that have two of something and reject the pictures that only have one. The activity builder allows teachers to have many objects on one page accept/reject items.

When used as a station, students are able to interact with the lesson and get immediate feedback. Think of all the possibilities you have for creating lessons with this one tool. You can have one single item accept/reject or multiple on the same page. You are able to use text or images as your object that accept/reject. While many pictures are available for teachers in their "Gallery Essentials,"it is not limited to just there. SMART will allow pictures copied from a Google Image search or uploaded from a camera.

Watch this video to get started creating lessons with the Activity Builder. (Override YouTube if you are at school)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Showcasing a Fun Day

Last month I was invited to co- teach a class with Jermey for middle school students on Activity Day.

Earlier in the month each student was able to sign up for different activities throughout the day. Some students took field trips outside of the building to places like Mall of America and the YMCA. While others stayed at school and participated in different activities such as creating an iMovie Trailer or baking. We had a mix of sixth, seventh and eight graders for a three hour chunk of time.

Wow, they grow up fast! I saw many former students from my earlier days as an elementary English Language (EL) teacher and many were bigger than me. However, I was able to find a student who is not as "tall" as I am.

We started class with an overview of their next three hours and class expectations. Then moved on to a quick demo of what an iMovie Trailer looks like.

We handed out a packed with iMovie tips/tricks to getting started.

In the morning almost everyone had their own iPad and in the afternoon we had partners create movies together using the ten iPad Minis we had checked out. The students opened iMovie and spent about five minutes going through the themes to pick a trailer. Once their theme was picked, they had to plan out what they were going to take pictures and videos of. I found this great resource,, with already created and printable story boards to help them plan.

Each student got a story board to match their theme and planned their movie. Once they had a solid plan they were excused from the classroom to get footage. Each class had around 30 minutes to collect their footage. As students came back to the classroom, they got started creating their movies and we had a few minutes of direct instruction to share a few more tips.

At the very end of our time each student used AirDrop to share their movie with me and we watched them as a class via the projector.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Interactive Lessons at Middle

Many of our buildings are using SMART boards with SMARTNotebook for instructional purposes. One of my favorite interactive and simple to use features in SMARTNotebooks is the interactive dice.

To find the interactive dice go to the "Gallery Essentials" tab on the side (looks like a picture frame). Search for "Dice." Navigate to "Interactive and Multimedia" and you will find many different kinds. Here are a few I often used...

 Multiple Dice

Using this feature allows you to tap the board once and have multiple dice roll. You can roll up to eight dice at a time. If you touch the yellow arrow it will show all of the numbers rolled and add it up.

  Dice- keyword
Using this feature you are able to add any text you would like. This is helpful for learning new vocabulary words as well as choosing student groups. Just like the multiple dice, if you touch the yellow arrow it will put text of the word rolled onto your document.


Using this feature you are able to replace what would be numbers or text with images. I often would put pictures of students on the dice as a way to get to know each other.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

23 Mobile Things # 11 Library and Reference

In our school district we have been focusing on using ebooks with MackinVia. In the first year of implementation we looked at having all books with multi user license and with the capability to download for offline use.  It is nice having one app with all of the books inside of it. Each student has a unique username and password. They get to add books to their "backpack" for ease of access and the books remember what page they were on when they left the app.

Personally, I use the OverDrive app with Great River Regional Library. I am big fan of all of the ebooks they have available to their patrons. I also like that they take suggestions for books I want to read that they do not have yet. The one downside to many of the books I want to read is the wait list. Just like in the physical library there have bought limited numbers of books. When they are all checked out you are put on a wait list and receive an email when it is ready for you.

Friday, April 11, 2014

23 Mobile Things # 10 Sharing Photos

I am a huge fan of learning from one another via Personal Learning Networks (PLN) and Instargram is a less popular site for this. If you get a change go to Instagram and search the following hashtags (#)

  • #teachersofinstagram
  • #teachersfollowteachers
  • #teachertalktuesday
  • #teacherblogger
  • #wordwall
Not only for specified teaching conversations but pictures of places in real time. For example, say you are teaching a lesson on the Berlin wall. You could go to Instagram ahead of time and pull some pictures to use in class. 

23 Mobile Things #9 Taking and Editing Photos

Great tip on the CamMe app. I love it. I can see this working great for students who want to showcase their work and have them in the picture. I can also see this being helpful at family gatherings. I can't wait to use it and share it with others. Another app I like to use for photos, but is a paid app, is CP Pro. It helps make iPhone pictures look like they were taken with an expensive camera.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sharing Poetery

Yesterday, I had the privilege of joining Shelia's second grade class. We made our first attempt at logging into Google Drive and creating Google Presentations to share poems they wrote in class.

Prior to this afternoon, Shelia worked with her students in their classroom on creating their poems and with her media specialists and I on setting up the documents.

Each student worked on creating a poem in their classroom and had a final copy on paper ready to use in the lab. In whole group time at the SMARTboard in their classroom, Shelia lead a quick demonstration as to what they would be doing in the computer lab. How to:

  • Type the link to get to the class list
  • Where to type in their user name and password
  • What a Google Presentation looks like
  • How to edit the text and add images

As the second graders entered the computer lab, they each had their poem in hand. All students sat at their assigned computer spot and put one hand on their head and the other on their tummy to show us they were ready to go. Having previously taught kindergarten, I a  big fan of giving students a task right away and making expectations clear from the start.

Once everyone was seated, we demonstrated on the projector the next steps. Having already seen these steps, yet not memorizing them, we used Anita Archer's strategy of "I do, We do, You do." Sheila had done it first in the classroom, then we did it together and next time some may have the freedom to do it on their own.

We did run into some issues:

  • Students trying to log in to their Google account on a computer and the previous student had not signed out. If this happens to you there are a few different things you can do...

    • Open another tab and type then click on the student user name in the upper right corner and sign out.
    • "Add Account" if this student is in their assigned spot and will use the computer again in the future you can add their account and they will not have to type their user name again in the future, Google will remember it.
  • This was the first time for all of the students signing into their account and they had to agree to the terms of use and enter a bunch of numbers.

Although the first few minutes were a little hectic, we found out from this experience that second grade students are able to log into their Google accounts. With Jennifer, Shelia and I walking around the computer lab we were able to successfully get everyone into their account and working on their presentation within 20 minutes.

The back end
Shelia (2nd grade teacher), Jennifer (media specialist) and I met twice. Our first meeting involved talking with Sheila to find out what her end goal was. We decided that a Google presentation would be the best fit for her goal of having her students create a digital presentation of poems they had been working on in class. Shelia logged into her account and created a template of what her expectations would be for the students in a Google Presentation. Our next meeting was to create the documents. We used the add-on "Doctopus." Doctopus created a Google Presentation for each student, shared it with the student and teacher and co-teachers and created a spreadsheet with all of the student presentations. This was very helpful for both the teacher and the student. By doing it this way it took the "Share" steps away from the student end. It also helped organize all of the documents making it easy for the teacher to quickly access them. One more bonus feature is the ability to transfer ownership of the documents at the end of the school year from the teacher to the student.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

23 Mobile Things #8 Social Media

I wrote a post about organizing my social media a few weeks back. I like to use HootSuite to organize everything. Take a look back at my blog post "Organized Chaos."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

23 Mobile Things # 7 Content Saving and Sharing

Connecting online is one of my favorite things to do. While I use use Pinterest everyday,  I don't use it for professional sharing and connecting. Pinterest is a place where I go to look at "Popular" things and "Home decor." Having just purchased a  older home we are looking to completely remodel it. My most active boards are for bathroom, bedroom and kitchen ideas. A few years back, when I first joined Pinterest, I would pin ideas to my "Classroom" and "Blog" boards. Last time I checked, I have I have pinned around 4,300 things.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

23 Mobile Things #6 Creating and Editing Documents

The App Store is full of apps to create and edit documents. As with many things, I have found it works best to pick with one thing and use it across multiple devices. My go to app for creating and editing documents is Google Drive. It helps that my iPad has AT&T service with it which allows me to always have access to the Internet.

Google Drive-
If you know me, you know my love for all things Google. My dream is to work at Google out in Mountain View with the Education Team (or some other location in the world.... Europe maybe?) Do you know anyone who works there? Put in a good word for me ;)
I love to use Drive when I take notes at conferences or for class. My top two favorite features are collaboration and cloud capabilities. If I am taking notes at a conference, I can share my document with other people at the conference and we can take notes together. I don't catch everything, so it is nice to have the option of collaborative note taking. I also am grateful for the cloud capabilities. I have many devices and use them in a fluid motion. By Drive saving my notes to the cloud, I can put down my iPad and pick up on my computer with out having to think about saving my notes and transferring them to another device. I have been at a conference before when my iPad has run out of battery and I have not run out of notes to take. Thankfully the cloud service allows me to pick up on my phone or laptop.
A few other apps to mention...

There have been times that I have needed to download a PDF, sign it, and return it. PDF expert allows me to do that on my iPad. When purchasing my house last fall there were many times our realtor would send us a document, need us to sign something and send it back to him. By doing it all on my iPad I was able to save time and paper.

Notability is the note app I use when I need to down load an article, read it, and mark it up. I am able to hight light text and write on the documents. Although writing with my finger or stylus on an iPad doesn't come easy to me, I am sure it does for others. I typically have to write something really big, and then shrink it down to fit on the document. Another great feature of Notability is that it will sync to your Google Drive to backup your documents if you would like it too!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

23 Mobile Things 5. Notetaking

When I facilitate iPad for Beginners classes I typically point out the basic note taking app. I share this because it works without wifi. While I typically don't take most of my notes in the Notes app, it has saved me a few conferences when wifi has gone down. There are a few things that the iPad has in it’s iOS that make the Notes more functional.
  • Speech to Text. Depending on the iPad you have, you may have access to the small microphone that would appear next to your spacebar on your onscreen keyboard. By touching this microphone you will be able to speak what you would like and your iPad will turn it into text on your device. The majority of the time it is pretty accurate. Learn from my mistake. If you are going to demonstrate this think carefully about what you will say. I was showing a group of teachers this feature at a back to school meeting. My iPad was being projected as I modeled this great tool and it turned one of my words into a swearword. I did not know this had happened until a very kind teacher pulled me aside during work time and pointed it out!! Yikes!
  • When typing a sentence if you tap the spacebar twice it will put in a period, give you one space and make the next letter you type uppercase. This is just a nice time saver.
I use different note taking apps for different reasons. In this post I will focus on how I use Evernote.
I use Evernote for my groceries. My husband has Evernote on his phone. When he realizes we are out of milk, he can add it to the list. He does not need to call me and ask me to pick it up. I also like Evernote because it has small checkboxes for my list. In the past I would bring my hand written note to the store and scribble off items as I put them in my cart. Evernote allows me to check off items as I pick them up. There are many more great aspects to Evernote and paid features. However at the very basic level, these are the two things I use the most!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

23 Mobile things 4. Keeping Up

Keeping up, what a great title. It can be very hard to keep up with everything. I think that using a service like Feedly is a great way to keep up without getting overwhelmed.

The Internet is full of so much information. It can be overwhelming to navigate. I like to learn from people I know and have a connect with them allowing me to ask questions and get a deeper understanding. One way I do this is through following blogs by real teachers. I use the service called "Feedly" to manage all of the blogs I follow. Feedly allows me to organize blogs, do a quick read and easily share out.

Inside of my Feedly I house around 35 blogs. I have five categories that each of those 35 blogs fit into.

This is where I put blogs that deal with education and technology. A few that I have here include Edudemic, Free Technology for Teachers and our blog The Techie Teachers.

This is where I put blogs that deal with leadership. I got the chance to meet George Couros at the TIES 2013 conference. His blog feels very personal and gives you a lot to reflect on. He is also very active on Twitter. If you want to know more have something to say you should Tweet at him, I bet he will get back to you.

Tis the season. I work with a teacher who has a daughter at the Olympics. Before she left to cheer her on we set up a blog so that she can share her experience!

People I know
Here I put people who I have meet at conferences. I met the top dog teacher via twitter at the ties conference and had the opportunity to meet her in person at the iSummit. 

This is just technology in general. It has nothing to do with education or teaching, but everything to do with technology. I like to follow TechCrunch and Lifehacker.

My nightly routine is to brush my teeth, crawl into bed, grab my cell phone and scroll through my feedly stream. If it find something that I want to read later I add it to my "Pocket." Pocket is a service that allows me to read online articles offline. This is handy if you are going on a flight or staying somewhere with out wifi.  I can also share these posts through Twitter via feedly. I have picked Twitter as my favorite sharing tool but there is a list of seven other options if Twitter isn't your thing.

What is your blog? Share it with me so that I can learn with you!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

23 Mobile Things 3. Utilities

There are many great tools available to people with SMARTphones and tablets. Some of them suck up our time like Candy Crush, while others help us make the most of our time like Google Search. One of the things I like most about Google Search is Google Goggles. By using the camera it scans an object and brings you online for more information. I first tried it using an American Flag, then tried it with a poster advertising "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." Thinking about how it could be used in education... What if you took devices with you on a field trip. Kids could get more info about things they are seeing by simply using the camera on their device. As they walk around the Science Museum, they can get a deeper understanding of what they are seeing. I think it would be neat to take it a step further by bookmarking things they found of interesting. This could continue their learning on their bus trip home (if you have a wifi enabled bus) or once they get back. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Organized Chaos!

If you have read some of our previous posts you understand how we value our Personal Learning Network (PLN). There are so many different platforms available to connect with others online from all over the world. It is even better when we are able to meet people from our PLN in person. I just got back from the iSummitMN a little of a week ago and I am looking forward to the ITEM conference up in Duluth on March 15. My friend Andrea and I will be running the unconference in the afternoon.

Back to managing your tools for your PLN. I use HootSuite to watch hashtags (#) , follow certain groups of people and post to multiple accounts.

Have you heard of Twitter Chats? Here is a list of Twitter chats by day of the week and time 
If you are solely using the Twitter application, these chats will be hard to follow. HootSuite allows you to make a stream following a hashtag of your choice. Sunday night at 7pm Minnesota educators are using the hashtag #MNlead to discuss leadership in education. If you want to follow along in the conversation, I would recommend using a service such as HootSuite. 

Typically when you participate in a Twitter chat there is a moderator or two who lead the conversation. They will post a question and  people will respond to the question. To stay organized and make it easier to follow the moderator will use some thing along the lines of Q1) or Q1-  which means "Question 1" and when others respond they will use A) or A1- which means "Answer to question1". If someone posts something of interest, that you would like to comment on, you can reply to the tweet. It is important for you to remember to include the hashtag so that others in the chat will see your comment.

Here is an example of how hashtags, questions and posts at people are used

In my HootSuite account I have multiple pages and each page has a different purpose.

  • One page has the top people I follow and interact with. This allows me to easily navigate their Twitter posts and interact with them.
  •  Another page is just for information about me. I see when someone Direct Message (DM) me, posts at me (@), and a stream of new followers. 
  • My third page is a page of conference hashtags (#). I love to connect with others via Twitter while conferences are going on. If I am in a great session I will Tweet out what I am learning, when I attend EdCamps I typically tweet my notes for the day, and if I am leading Professional Development (PD) I will share my resources. 
  • My last page brings us back to the Twitter chats. I went through the list of daily chats and chose one chat per day. If I ever have some down time, I will got to this page and read through previous chats or contribute to a live chat. (Picture above)

My Personal Learning Network has influenced me immensely as a teacher and learner. I have connected with so many wonderful people over the past few years, whom I would have never had the chance to connect with.

Call to action! Have you participated in a Twitter Chat? If not, try one out. I bet you will learn a thing or two! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Reflecting on #iSummitMN

One week ago I had the privilege of attending and presenting at the iSummit in Minnesota presented by Flipped Education. I am always excited when a new learning opportunity comes my way, and even more excited when it is with this wonderful group of people.

Last year I attended and presented at the Minnesota Google Summit and hope to have that opportunity again this year, mark your calendars it is Mothers day weekend! I love that I can spend an entire day around people who have a common goal and are excited about teaching and learning.

Conversations typically carry on as I leave a session and continue throughout the rest of the day in person and pick up on Twitter when the day is over.

My top two take aways from the iSummit

1. Jennie Magiera's Keynote
Jennie used the three little pigs to help her connect using technology in education to transform the way to you teach. The picture above illustrates how if you use bricks ,just because everyone else is using bricks, and use them the same way you were using straw it won't work out like it was intended to. If you search for her in YouTube ,you can watch her present this keynote at a different conference. Totally worth your time if you have 20ish minutes. 

2. Meeting up with my peps in my PLN

Kayla and I met on Twitter via the #TIES13 hashtag a few months ago. We have connected a few times via Twitter and I was excited to see that she was attending the iSummit. We made it a point to meet up with each other in person and then to get a picture. During AppyHour, at the end of the day, we were exploring how she could use Chirp in her classroom.

I look forward to my next conference! If you want to read more about my the sessions I lead you can visit my other blog that I co-author The Techie Teachers.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

23 Mobile Things 2. Mobile Devices

From the second  blog post on Mobile Devices I have reflected on a few tips and how they save me time.

Many of the tips found on the site are included in the iPad Basics class I teach for:

  • My school district 
  • Conferences
  • Community Education

Here are a few that want to share and a few that are new to me!!

  • If you put your phone on airplane mode, it will charge twice as fast -
  • In Safari, hold down the period key to quickly add a domain in the search bar
  • 4/5 finger 
    • Swipe to go between open apps
    • Push up from the bottom of the screen to see open apps
    • Bring fingers together to get out of app
  • When iPad is locked, put your finger on the camera in the lower right corner and slide it all the way up to quickly access your camera
  • Turn on Speak Selection in
    • Settings
      • General
        • Accessibility
          • Speak Selection
            • Turn "On"
  • Add a website to your home screen in Safari
What are your favorite tips to share? Please let me know!

Friday, January 31, 2014

23 Mobile Things 1. Blogging

I hope to gain knowledge of how others are using mobile devices and make connections with other educators. I have found that learning thorough my Personal Learning Network (PLN) has been a wonderful journey. I enjoy being able to post questions and topics and interact with others who have something to add. I enjoy the give-and-take that is available with blogs and hope to contribute to others, as well as have others contribute to mine.
I find my personal style meshes best with Twitter and blogging is a challenge for me. You can connect with me on Twitter at @MrsKalthoff .

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I love connecting with other educators! One of the ways I like to learn is through webinars. I have had great opportunities to lead a few webinars on edtech with Sophia. Tonight I lead a webinar on Google Forms in Education. People from all over the world joined in on the conversation as we looked at different uses for forms, scripts and the creation process. You can visit my information from tonight at .

Here are a few links for past webinars with Sophia Learning.


I will post my webinar from tonight as soon as it is available. What are your favorite ways to learn and connect with others?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The next five years....

After a lot of research, reaching out to others and thinking about my future, I have decided to apply to the following two programs:

  • Interdisciplinary PhD in Education Sciences with a Focus in School Technology Leadership at the University of Kentucky 
  • Doctor of Education(Ed.D.) Educational Technology with the College of Education at Boise State University
I hope to being school this fall. Now, I am struggling to write my personal statement. Here is what I know :
  • I like to help people 
  • I like to teach
  • I like to learn from others 
  • I like to connect with other educators
  • I am interested in how both kids and adults learn
  • I am intrigued how educational settings are changing with the introduction of mobile devices
  • I am interested in finding out how student engagement is evolving
However, what I do not know is what "specifically" I want to spend the next four to five years researching and studying. 

I am looking for advice. Have you been in this situation before? What have you done to find focus? Have you graduated from either of the programs or are you in one now?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Techie Teachers

In the summer of 2012, I had the pleasure of co-teaching a mixed classroom. Our class consisted of kindergarteners and 1st graders for summer school with a wonderful teacher, Sara Norman. During this time, we had daily access to five iPods. Both Sara and I are supporters of small group instruction and each day we ran literacy and math stations. One of our stations, for both math and literacy, involved using the five iPods. We had a variety of activities planned for this time.

Some of their work was content specific. We matched apps to standards and with the use of pictos, we created, we were able to connect each student with the skill work needed. The first time an app was introduced, it was done so with either Sara or I. We felt it was important to teach students the most affective way to use the devices and get the most of the apps we had assigned.

We also felt the devices gave them the chance to create and share in ways not possible before. Using certain apps we guided students to record themselves reading. They were able to play their reading back and listen to their fluency. They were also able to use these recordings during "Read to Self" time.

One of their favorite content specific apps was Fetch! Lunch Rush.
With the use of Fetch! Lunch Rush, an Augmented Reality app,  students were up out of their seats on a scavenger hunt. Yes, we allowed kindergarteners to walk around with an iPod. We were nervous about it at first, but with one partner responsible for the iPod and the other responsible for recording, two hands were always on the device.  If you are interested in learning more about lessons please visit our blog posts App Review Retch! Lunch Rush  and for the materials visit Fetch! Lunch Rush

As colleagues heard of what we were doing, they encouraged us to share with others. We started our Blog
and began leading workshops and presenting at schools. We decided to share the materials we made on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Sara, is currently teaching kindergarten and I am the technology integrationist for our district. While I am not longer in the classroom, I am in close contact with classroom teachers and co-plan lessons as much as possible. Both of us enjoy collaborating and working with other teachers. Our goal is to make technology that is available to teachers and students impactful and not just a busy time activity.