Stop Motion Cells

Mr. Summitt’s students have been learning about mitosis and they have put together really nice animations using their iPads. I have edited four of my favorite animations turned in through Schoology into a single movie.

Watch these cells divide and learn.


PBL and Cross-Curricular Connections

A few weeks ago I interviewed Ms. Kass and Ms. Krickovic to highlight what was going on in their classrooms. Both teachers told me about projects that let students publish their work based on research using Schoology as a platform for discussion and collaboration among students.

There are many overlapping aspects to these two projects, and now that the teachers have had the opportunity to reflect upon the results, they are making plans to make this a cross-curricular project next year.


Schoology – Student Completion Requirements

True or false: When I give my students work, they all finish at the same time.

Yes, keeping kids on task is one of the most difficult issues faced by teachers. Schoology has a tool that can help.

When you have multiple activities planned for a class period, you can create a folder with all your resources and require that students work in order, achieving a minimum score per item. Watch this tutorial to find out how to set up a classwork folder with Student Completion requirements.

Schoology and Google Drive Integration

Here is another tutorial for teachers and students using Schoology and Google Drive. When teachers create an assignment, students can turn in Google Drive documents very easily. Watch the video that includes all steps.

But, why use Schoology if we already have Teacher Dashboard?

I believe they serve very different purposes. Teacher Dashboard allows teachers to view student work while it is in progress. Students need scaffolding as they work on lengthy assignments, and Teacher Dashboard and Google Drive provide the perfect combination for this. Using the commenting function and the revision history function, teachers can track student progress and give constructive feedback. Once the due date arrives, Schoology allows teachers to collect an assignment that will not be edited further.

Blog Post Versus Update

I have had a few teachers ask me this morning why parents cannot see the blog posts they have written over the weekend. I think I have found the solution.

There is a big difference between writing a status update and the creation of a blog post. Take a look at the video. If you have any other questions about blog posts and status updates, please email or stop by my office. I’d be happy to help.


Visiting the Computing Club

I recently wrote about the establishment this year of a computing club at Goochland Elementary by our elementary ITRT, Zoe Parrish.

I came back to visit the club more recently this week and had the pleasure of talking to several of the students about projects they were deeply engaged with when I arrived.

I’ve published this podcast below. The programs referenced in the podcast are:

Each of the services/programs are free. Learning to program helps develop inventive thinking skills, logical thinking, and taps into a student’s creativity in becoming challenged to problem solve.

Thank you to each of the students for their time this past week and to Ms. Parrish for inspiring fun and appropriately challenging learning for our students!

Teacher Dashboard and Google Passwords

Earlier this month I blogged about passwords, the importance of having strong ones and keeping them safe. It is important for students to learn to manage passwords. The first step is learning to remember passwords.

School is a place to learn with a safety net, and right now we have a safety net that is pretty easy to use. Any teacher can access Teacher Dashboard and reset a student password. The question now becomes how often we want to do this. It is up to you, the classroom teacher, to decide how often you do this for students. If you don’t ever expect them to develop a skill and provide opportunities and incentives, do they learn?

This is a tutorial to help teachers reset passwords for students who forget their Google password.


MediaMaster Server Tutorial

The Math Department at GHS will be working on G21 projects over the next couple of months. Students will be working on iPads to create tutorials for their peers. Rather than using cords to move files from iPads to computers for editing and sharing, we are going to use MediaMaster Server on teacher laptops.

MediaMaster Server is an app that uses WebDAV for transferring documents between devices with very little setup. Here is the tutorial I made for the Math Department.

We’ve come a long way. The last time I blogged about WebDAV in December of 2011, the tutorial I linked to looked a bit scary. Now anyone can do it. So go for it.

Managing Your WordPress Media Library

Have you ever uploaded a picture to your blog, then decided it was not the one you wanted to share with the world? It happens. I do it all the time.

Most people simply delete the picture from the blog post and leave it at that. Unfortunately, this leaves the file still sitting on the server, taking up space. It would be fine if we had infinite server space, but we don’t and sometimes teachers run out of space for pictures and videos on their blogs.

Here is a video showing you how to remove unwanted files from your blog’s media library.

iChat Icons

Keeping names and faces straight when we have met lots of new people in a short period of time is hard. Luckily, we can let iChat help us with that.

Here is a very brief tutorial showing all our new teachers how to add their picture to iChat to help everyone know who they are. I also think veteran Goochland teachers should change their icon to show their face, at least for a few weeks, to help the new teachers out.


Navigating Our Blogs

If you teach more than one prep, you likely have items on your blog that apply to only a portion of your students. While it is the nature of a blog to just list your posts in reverse chronological order, you can help anyone who visits get to the most relevant information very easily. There are a couple of ways in which you can do this. My preferred way is to use categories.

Here is a brief tutorial of how to use categories on your blog.



Photo Booth Green Screen

Ms. Johnson’s students will be creating videos to share their findings about artists and art. This is a tutorial I made a long time ago for elementary teachers, but I think it will work great for what this group of students is planning to do.

Ms. Johnson has had her students work on some amazing projects this year, and she shares really cool stuff on her blog. Videos are a new adventure for her, and I’m happy to be planning this with her.

 The finished products will be published to Ms. Johnson’s YouTube channel. Look for an update soon.


Technology, Old and New

I walked past the Ceramics Studio this afternoon and caught Mrs. Long making a sample for her students. The process took several minutes. I’ve sped up the video in iMovie.

Watching Mrs. Long reminded me that teachers have used technology for centuries. I wonder how much tech support the ceramics guild needed to provide adequate classes to its apprentices. ;-)