Techconnects

Celebrating Connections – Ed Tech In Schools

September 26, 2013
by ncara
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40 Apps for the 4C’s of 21st Century Learning

Communication

  1. Facetime
  2. Skype https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skype-for-iphone/id304878510?mt=8
  3. Google+ https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google+/id447119634?mt=8
  4. Podcasts
  5. Audioboo https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audioboo/id305204540?mt=8
  6. Twitter https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/twitter/id333903271?mt=8
  7. Lino https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lino-sticky-photo-sharing/id416718906?mt=8
  8. Linkedin https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/linkedin/id288429040?mt=8
  9. EasyBib https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easybib/id436768184?mt=8
  10. Resume Builder https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/resume-mobile-professional/id517974972?mt=8

Creativity

  1. Flickr
  2. Haiku Deck https://itunes.apple.com/app/id536328724
  3. SonicPics https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/animoto-video-maker/id459248037?mt=8
  4. Showme
  5. Educreations https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/educreations-interactive-whiteboard/id478617061?ls=1&mt=8
  6. FontArt
  7. Fotobabble https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fotobabble/id353078443?mt=8
  8. Animoto https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/animoto-video-maker/id459248037?mt=8
  9. 3 Minute Retreat https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/3-minute-retreat-enhanced/id364683715?mt=8
  10. Doceri https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/doceri-remote/id412443803?mt=8&ls=1

Collaboration

  1. Dropbox
  2. Edmodo
  3. Ted Talks https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/animoto-video-maker/id459248037?mt=8
  4. Groupboard
  5. Screenchomp
  6. Lecture Tools
  7. Socrative
  8. QuickOffice
  9. My Big Campus https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-big-campus/id464196976?mt=8
  10. Cloud On

Critical Thinking

  1. Khan Academy
  2. Mind Meister
  3. Scoopit
  4. Flipboard
  5. Digg
  6. Audiobooks Free
  7. Common Core Standards https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/common-core-standards/id439424555?mt=8
  8. Kindle Reader
  9. ItunesU
  10. Ibooks

 

March 16, 2013
by ncara
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5 Classrooms Hearing News on the New Pope

Washington Post via Michael Sohn/AP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As news unfolded recently about the newly elected pope, people around the world were in close touch with the news. Whether via tweets, television, live stream, text or other means, the word traveled fast! This Washington Post article discusses some means of media access and how it has changed over time.

In talking with my son, he recalled being in his 8th grade classroom when Pope Benedict was elected. This memory stayed with him as I am sure thememory of this week’s new papal election will stay with many for years to come.

On the east coast, schools had let out by the time the identity of Pope Francis was announced. They did however, watch prior coverage such as news of the white smoke.  Below are some responses shared on twitter on how classrooms learned this news.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Rogers school in St. Paul, MN had a chance to learn about the conclave in advance.They were on break when the pope was announced but the surely felt connected to the process because of all of the work they had done in advance.

 

March 7, 2013
by ncara
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5 Educational Sites for Learning about the Papal Election

As the Papal Conclave gets underway, the web is rich with sites and resources for teaching about the process.  Sorting through the sites for the most accurate and education ones can be quite a challenge. A number of good sites were shared recently in the weekly twitter chat #CatholicEDchat. In this post, I explore some sites and offer a few suggestions for those looking to use them in the classroom.

I recently worked with teachers from a local Catholic school on a professional development day. We explored the of the links below.

How Do They Choose the Pope

This video from Busted Halo explains both the tradition and the process involved in the papal conclave. It tells process succinctly and in an engagingly, interesting way.

 

Adopt a Cardinal

www.adoptacardinal.org - This site allows visitors to randomly generate the name of or ‘adopt’ a Cardinal. It gives facts about the selected Cardinal such as age, location and more. Thanks to @barbinnebraska for this one!

Visual Papal Conclave

http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/come-si-elegge-il-papa/ -This interactive by the Vatican Insider provides a visual tour of the Vatican along with the conclave process included. It is beautifully done, concise and informational.

 Electing a Pope

http://electingthepope.net/ - This is an educational site created by a group of bloggers, writers and educators. This site is both comprehensive and informative and is a valuable resource for those exploring the topic.

Cardinals Active on Twitter

This list of Cardinals on Twitter is set up by Fr. Roderick. It is an easy to ‘follow’ list which is broken down by country.

Sadlier Prayer Cards -

Classes can download these prayer cards and use them in prayers supporting the Cardinals in the conclave.

As we explored the sites, teachers creatively shared many ideas on how they could use these sites. Also, thanks to Dave M for telling us about the video above!

Ways to Use Papal Conclave Resources in the Classroom

1. Younger Students – Share the Visual Papal Conclave on a large screen or smartboard. Students can listen and learn visually. They can generate questions and explore answers as a class.

2. Teachers can work with a classroom students or groups of students ‘adopt’ a cardinal. They can then do further research on that cardinal and the area he is from. Students can pray for their selected cardinal.

3. Teachers can use the How To Choose video or the comprehensive www.electingthepope.net to use as a springboard for further research. Students can fill out a KWHL chart to check their knowledge and explore questions they may have.

4. Students can role play or re-enact the process to form a deeper understanding and connection. Any of the above resources can inform their work.

5. Students and teachers can follow twitter accounts of cardinals. Although media updates may be at a minimum during the conclave itself, these tweets can prove a valuable resource going forward as the new pope is elected and takes his place in Rome.

I hope these sites are helpful. Please share any sites or lessons that you have found for this purpose.

 

February 13, 2013
by ncara
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Skype – No School is an Island

The power of today’s technology is not only in technological capability alone. The difference of technology is in the people connections and empowerment through that technology.

In this post, I will detail some educator and student perspectives on connecting with classrooms via skype. Interestingly, one of the classes profiled here is located in an area called ‘the island city’ in Alameda, California. Teacher Lisa DeLapo said that the Skype classroom connections felt especially meaningful to them given their location. Given that they are in an island type location, students can sometimes feel separate from other schools and students their age. Their skype classroom connections changed that!

We do not exist for ourselves alone – Thomas Merton

I remember the first time my students connected outside of our classroom. It was in the late 90′s and we emailed an author. After a few weeks, the author emailed us back and told students about her writing process. What an amazing feeling it was to reach for the students to reach outside of our classroom and hear directly from an expert – especially one whose books they were reading!

Today the process is easier, faster and quite powerful. The technology of today enables us to use video, voice and images help to enrich the connection. This makes it even more powerful than simple text based exchanges of years gone by.

Skype for Catholic School’s Week – Case Study

I recently had the chance to speak to some teachers and an administrator about a skype connection they established. The Skype calls took place during Catholic Schools Week and included  teachers, students and administrators from various catholic schools across the country. Connection for some of these educators were planned via the twitter chat and hashtag #catholicedchat

No man is an Island – John Donne, Meditation XVII

Teacher and Student Perspectives

Teachers who participated: Barb Gilman, Grade 3, Omaha, Nebraska, Lisa DeLapo, St. Joseph Elementary School , Alameda California Nick Senger, Spokane, Washington and Patti Harju, a 2th grade, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Barb Gilman, 3rd Grade, Omaha, Nebraska

In Skyping with each other, they did an activity called ‘Mystery Skype’. For Mystery Skype, they ask each other a series of five questions with yes or no answers only. This allows student to guess where the other class is calling from. Students must listen closely and think critically to guess the location of the other class. It is fun too!

Comments from Barb’s 3rd grade class:

  • We loved it!
  • We had fun guessing!
  • They were nice.
  • It was exciting.
  • It was awesome.

Barb’s class skyped with Patti Harju’s 2nd graders from St. Stephen’s school in Grand Rapids, MI and Lisa DeLapo’s 3rd graders from St. Joseph’s school in Alameda, California. Barb said,

‘This was our first experience doing a Mystery Skype and I’m hooked! They loved following along in their atlas and coming up with questions.’

Lisa DeLapo, Technology Teacher K-8, Alameda, California

Comments from Lisa’s technology classes:

Third Graders:

  • It was fun asking questions and seeing how different their weather is.  They get to take a day off when it snows!
  • We learned that there are different ways to sing the Alleluia at Mass.
  • We saw the same teacher from last year, but it was a different class.  That was so cool!

Second Graders:

  • It was like magic.  Their classroom was on the screen, and they’re in a different state! – Victor
  • We got to see another Catholic school and the differences between us.  - Santiago

Patti Harju, 2nd Grade teacher, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Comments from Patty’s class:

Patty said, ‘My second graders enjoyed their first two Mystery Skypes with two other Catholic Schools this week. We prepared by looking at our US maps and noticing the locations of the states in relation to the oceans, other countries and directions.

We had a practice round before our chat. I chose a state and the children asked me yes or no questions about the state. They asked about bordering states, whether it gets snow or not, if it is bigger than another state, and if it shares a border with Canada or Mexico. We then wrote some of the questions we liked the best on the board.

During our chat with Barb in Nebraska, we were given clues to the identity of their state and using these clues and the answers to our questions, we were able to identify it. We were also successful with our second chat Lisa’s class in Alameda, Ca. Both schools were also able to identify that we were located in Michigan.

We hope to engage in additional Mystery Skypes this year. The children pay more attention to the map and to the location of the states when they are forming their questions. One of our favorite games to play to learn about the US states is ‘Stack the States’ which we play on our iPads. I love to watch the children consult the US map as they play the game. They are having fun and learning some needed US geography.’

Kathy Mears, NCEA, Executive Director for Elementary Education

Kathy Mears skyped in to talk with faculty at St. Joseph’s in Alameda, California during their faculty meeting.
Technology teacher, Lisa DeLapo said that the teachers really appreciated hearing from Kathy. Lisa noted that teachers felt special that Kathy reached out to them. Kathy happened to call in from a conference rather than from the NCEA office in Arlington, Va. This showed that these connections can happen anywhere and anytime and connect educators in meaningful ways too! Said Kathy:

“It was wonderful! Skype is a tool that we could and should more fully utilize for educational purposes.” NCEA Executive Director for Elementary Education

Getting Started With Skype

  1. Find another classroom to connect with and contact the teacher
  2. Invite the teacher as a contact on Skype
  3. Arrange topics and formulate questions – Students can generate questions also
  4. Plan the time and duration. Note any time differences and plan accordingly.
  5. Determine any related assessment – How will you assess the activity? How will you evaluate effectiveness?
  6. Check connections, peripherals and software – Make sure you have the needed internet access and software. Connect your computer to a speaker or large screen and projector as needed. Do a practice skype call to test the connection in your classroom.
  7. Assign roles to students  so that information is recorded. These may include taking notes, checking connections and more. You can also record the conversation
  8. Get feedback from students
  9. Plan your next classroom connection via Skype
Whether you are on an island or not, take time to reach out to other classrooms. Connect, collaborate and learn together. As Thomas Merton says, ‘we don’t exist for ourselves alone’ and these connections can be meaningful for learning and for building special connections for students and teachers.
Barb’s Wiki – Skype Resources
Wiki for Connecting with other Catholic Schools via Skype – CatholicSchoolConnect
This post is cross posted at NCEA (National Catholic Educational Association) website

 

October 11, 2012
by ncara
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Connected Educators A to Z – T is for Twitter

Twitter is a powerful tool for connecting with others. It is one social media tool that continues to intrigue us and connect us in new ways all the time.
First just a whisper, twitter arrived on the scene in 2007. Twitter was mocked by some but embraced by others. I started using it in September 2008 to connect with other technology and education professionals. It has been an amazing tool for connecting, learning and collaborating.

I had the opportunity to work with a group of teachers learning about using Twitter for the classroom. Below is the presentation given to Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor.

Related Resources

If you are new to twitter and are looking for others to follow, check out this list of people to follow in education by Edudemic.

 

August 18, 2012
by ncara
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Connected Educators A to Z: G is for Grants and Funding

Many of today’s resources available to connected educators are free. They are a gift that educators use to learn, grow and connect. Twitter, Facebook, Blogger and Skype to name just a few – are free! Connected learning support can incur expenses though. Money for things such as hardware, connectivity, software, assessment systems and professional development are needed.

12 Tips for School Technology Funding

  1. Heed The Research – Stay on top of the ever changing learning environment  http://ncara.edublogs.org/2012/02/09/emerging -technologies-to-watch-2012/
  2. Tune in to Digital Learning Needs – Find out about the latest strategies and tools for learning. How are they being used successfully?
  3. Build a Team - Tap teachers, parents, students and members of the school and local community
  4. Make a Plan -Technology plans and Curriculum plans should work hand in hand
  5. Create Smart Goals – Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time trackable
  6. Dig In to Grant Resources  - Explore funding options online. From shopping rewards to larger grants, there are many untapped resources available to schools
  7. Aim For Quality, Free Access to grant databases 
  8. Jog the Web Funding Sources – The web is replete with resources to boost funding. Find ones that meet your needs and pursue the support you need
  9. Tell Your Compelling Story – Let your school community know about the school goals and the learning that is happening. They will love to be a part of the success story.
  10. Get Social – Use social media to connect with the larger school and local community. They are on Facebook, Twitter. Your school should be too!
  11. Meet Supporters Where They Are – Blend face to face and online communications to reach out. Realize that people have varying connections preferences.
  12. Evaluate and Begin Anew – Set regular times to assess and gauge progress. Adopt an ongoing schedule for seeking new funding and support for your programs

12 Links for School Grants and Funding

  1. The Foundation Center – Site and Newsletter
  2. Grant Space via Foundation Center (Search areas for free Foundation Center access) – Find Us
  3. Guidestar – Funder Resources
  4. Technology Grants- News and Resources
  5. K-12 Grants – K12Grants.org
  6. E-School News – Funding Page
  7. Specific Tech Companies have offerings – Acer
  8. Tech and Learning Grants Directory – 2012-2013
  9. Non Profit Technology Network
  10. US Government – Funding Pages
  11. Full Collection of Resources – Sheryl Abshire
  12. All #TechFunding Links in presentation – Diigo

Recently I had the honor of presenting to a the Educational Technology Committee at the Diocese of Harrisburg. Below are the resources shared that day.