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Edublog awards: a thank you note

Posted by admin | Posted in General | Posted on 03-12-2012

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Wow!  Somehow the #Edublog awards snuck right up on me without me noticing. The problem with this: I completely missed the part where you get to nominate your edu heroes.  That is a bummer!  I seem to be about a week behind in my life in general this year.

I am so honored to be included in this year’s nominations.  Thank you to those of you who considered me worthy of mention.  I so appreciate all of my readers and those of you who give me consistent encouragement- you keep me going (even a week behind)!

This year I was nominated for  Best Ed Tech Blog (I assume that means iLearn Technology).  This blog is truly a labor of love.  I haven’t been as good at updating daily as I have in the past, but I do manage a few times a week.  For now that is a MAJOR accomplishment.  Thank you to all of my readers.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you and how it keeps me going to know that others benefit from iLearn Technology.  You are wonderful.

The next award, I’m not quite sure what to do with this one.  It is a lifetime achievement award.  Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely floored and flattered.  However; I am 30 years old.  I hope this doesn’t mark my lifetime achievement :)  I still have the Learning Genome to launch.  THAT will be an achievement!  On the other hand, if I have peaked at 30- I am blessed.  I’ve started a school (Anastasis Academy) that I believe honors children every day.  That is an achievement!

 

Thank you to all of you who have nominated me, who believe in me, who cheer me on and keep me going.  I honestly couldn’t do what I do without you.  Thank you!

If you are interested in finding some truly incredible blogs/projects/people to follow, you should take a look through the Edublogs nominees.  SO many people to inspire you!  Voting is taking place until December 9th here.  Of course I am flattered by votes.  If you recognize or find new eduheroes, it really is an encouragement to be recognized for what you do.  Vote for your favorites.

Evernote as an ePortfolio in a 1-to-1 iPad setting

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Blogs, Classroom Management, Create, Evaluate, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 11-08-2012

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Above is the information sheet I created for using Evernote as an ePortfolio.

At Anastasis, we use a combination of Evernote, Edu 2.0, and Edublogs to keep and share our work.  Evernote has been a fantastic app for our students.  Students can record text, images, and audio directly in Evernote.  Each note can be emailed to teachers and parents.  Evernote notes can also be posted on blogs through the email-to-blog feature.  Better yet? There are SO many apps that have the ability to share with Evernote.  Very handy.  Students do quite a bit of writing directly in Evernote.  This is a good place for all of student writing (even those pieces they don’t want to, or aren’t ready to, share).  Evernote makes it easy to organize all of their notes into notebooks (the learning curve here is teaching students to use some organization).  This year we are keeping learning logs (we call them Tracks) as a table of contents for what is in Evernote. Everything is tracked by a number as part of the Evernote title so it is easy to find and search.

The ability to record audio and take pictures of their work in Evernote is great.  This means that students can capture learning that isn’t natively digital-digitally.  All of those awesome inquiry projects that they construct and build can be captured and reflected on in Evernote.  Another HUGE benefit to the Evernote/iPad combo: it goes with them everywhere.  Recording learning on a field trip? Check. Recording learning at home? Check. Recording learning on the fly? Check. Teachers often send students a PDF instructions for an assignment or a picture to the student’s Evernote account. Parents can login to their child’s Evernote account from any computer or iDevice to see what they are working on.

Edu 2.0 is our education portal.  In Edu 2.0 we can share things as a school community.  Edu 2.0 has a built in e-portfolio (we don’t often use this), a blog, a post feed, calendar, and message system.  Edu 2.0 makes it easy for us to stay connected as a school community.  Because we teach young students, this “walled” community is a safe place for students to share any, and all, of their work and thoughts with others.  Students often write blog posts in Edu 2.0 about their learning.  Other students, parents and teachers can comment on the Edu 2.0 blog posts.  Teachers use Edu 2.0 to send students assignments, make class announcements and communicate quickly with parents in their classroom.  Students can link any content from their Evernote account to their blog in Edu 2.0 to share it with other students, parents or teachers.  The school calendar is updated with all birthdays, learning excursions and school events so that students, parents and teachers are always up-to-date.  The live post feed makes it easy for teachers and administration to make school-wide announcements.  This feed shows up on the home page of every student, parent and teacher.

Each of our teachers has a class Edublog.  This is where the teachers write blog posts about the happenings in their classrooms.  Students can also contribute to the class blogs to get input and comments from a global audience.  Some of our students also have Edublog accounts where they can share their work from Evernote more publicly.  The Edublog is the place for interaction and collaboration with the world.

We have a school YouTube account where students can upload videos and stop motion animations.  The school account has become a nice central place for students to share their work with the world.  I act as administrator on the YouTube channel so that I can moderate comments and videos.  Students can easily link to, or embed, videos they have created in Evernote, on their Edu 2.0 blog or on Edublogs.

This combination of tools has worked well as an ePortfolio for student work. I love that at the end of the school year students have ALL of their work with them.  Because they own their iPads, the Evernote content goes with them.  Even without the iPad, students can access their Evernote account from anywhere and continue using it.  Parents can also easily access and view student ePortfolios using Evernote.

1-to-1 iPad ePortfolio solution

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Anastasis Academy, Blogs, Classroom Management, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, iPod, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video | Posted on 11-10-2011

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Today @j_allen asked how we handled eportfolio’s at Anastasis Academy.  The 140 characters of Twitter felt a little too limiting to explain the hows and whys of what we do…bring on the blog post!

Anastasis has a one-to-one iPad program.  Our students own their iPads in a modified BYOD (bring your own device) setup.  I say modified because we requested what device they brought.  The iPad was the ONLY supply on our supply list. Anastasis supplies all other materials (pencils, papers, crayons, markers, paint, glue, etc.).  This has been a fantastic setup for us.  Families are in charge of keeping the iPads in working order, synced with the student iTunes account and charged for class.  We made the decision not to own the iPads as a school to keep costs low for technical support, replacement of broken or out-dated devices and so that our students could take ownership over their own devices.  Students can add any apps to the iPad at home using their own iTunes account.  As a school, we purchase curricular and productivity apps for students.  Students download these apps using redeem codes so that they can stay signed into their own iTunes account.

Anastasis has 60 students in 1st through 8th grade.  At the beginning of the school year, we sent home a list of recommended restrictions for parents to set up on student iPads.  We taught families how to enable parent restrictions on the Internet, movie/app/song ratings, and how to block in app purchases.  We asked all parents to restrict student access to Safari.  At school, we downloaded the MobiCip app to every iPad so that we could filter the Internet.  MobiCip allows us to set up broad category filters based on age. A premium MobiCip account lets us filter exactly what we want to and allow those sites we want to.  (For those who are wondering our students do have access to YouTube.) :)

I digress…the question was about ePortfolios.

We use a combination of Evernote, Edu 2.0 and Edublogs to keep and share our work.  Evernote has been a fantastic app for our students.  Students can record text, images, and audio directly in Evernote.  Each note can be emailed to teachers and parents.  A link can also be generated for each note making them easy to share on blogs.  Better yet? There are SO many apps that have the ability to share with Evernote.  Very handy.  Students do quite a bit of writing directly in Evernote.  This is a good place for all of student writing (even those pieces they don’t want to, or aren’t ready to, share).  Evernote makes it easy to organize all of their notes into notebooks (the learning curve here is teaching students to use some organization).  The ability to record audio and take pictures of their work in Evernote is great.  This means that students can capture learning that isn’t natively digital-digitally.  All of those awesome inquiry projects that they construct and build can be captured and reflected on in Evernote.  Another HUGE benefit to the Evernote/iPad combo: it goes with them everywhere.  Recording learning on a field trip? Check. Recording learning at home? Check. Recording learning on the fly? Check. Teachers often send students a PDF instructions for an assignment or a picture to the student’s Evernote account. Parents can login to their child’s Evernote account from any computer or iDevice to see what they are working on.

Edu 2.0 is our education portal.  In Edu 2.0 we can share things as a school community.  Edu 2.0 has a built in e-portfolio (we don’t often use this), a blog, a post feed, calendar, and message system.  Edu 2.0 makes it easy for us to stay connected as a school community.  Because we teach young students, this “walled” community is a safe place for students to share any, and all, of their work and thoughts.  Students often write blog posts in Edu 2.0 about their learning.  Other students, parents and teachers can comment on the Edu 2.0 blog posts.  Teachers use Edu 2.0 to send students assignments, make class announcements and communicate quickly with parents in their classroom.  Students can link any content from their Evernote account to their blog in Edu 2.0 to share it with other students, parents or teachers.  The school calendar is updated with all birthdays, learning excursions and school events so that students, parents and teachers are always up-to-date.  The live post feed makes it easy for teachers and administration to make school-wide announcements.  This feed shows up on the home page of every student, parent and teacher.

Each of our teachers has a class Edublog.  This is where the teachers write blog posts about the happenings in their classrooms.  Students can also contribute to the class blogs to get input and comments from a global audience.  The Edublog is the place for interaction and collaboration with the world.

We have a school YouTube account where students can upload videos and stop motion animations.  The school account has become a nice central place for students to share their work with the world.  I act as administrator on the YouTube channel so that I can moderate comments and videos.  Students can easily link to, or embed, videos they have created in Evernote, on their Edu 2.0 blog or on Edublogs.

This combination of tools has worked well as an ePortfolio for student work. I love that at the end of the school year students have ALL of their work with them.  Because they own their iPads, the Evernote content goes with them.  Even without the iPad, students can access their Evernote account from anywhere and continue using it.

Do you have a one to one program?  I would love to hear your solutions for an ePortfolio!

Edublog Award Nominations 2010

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, inspiration, Teacher Resources | Posted on 17-11-2010

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It is that time again, Edublog Award nomination.  This is a time of year I look forward to…and dread.  It is a great time to learn about new blogs/educators/resources as the nominations go out, but it is also becoming increasingly difficult for me to nominate.  My Google Reader is packed full of favorites.  I need many more categories than those that edublogs supplies!  After much deliberation, here are my nominations:

Best individual blog- @TheNerdyTeacher http://www.thenerdyteacher.com/ for his epic posts on all things education and pop culture. Saved by the Bell is a favorite.
Best individual tweeter – @ShellTerrell I have no idea how Shelly does it, but she is incredible!
Best group blog – http://coopcatalyst.wordpress.com/ This is an incredible group of educators, I love their individual blogs but when they come together it is magic.
Best new blog – http://gret.wordpress.com I love reading each of Greta’s posts, I am so glad she decided to start a blog!
Best class blog – http://alfordnews.wordpress.com/ Kelly does such a great job with her class blog, I love the way she creates Smilebox creations of what her kiddos are doing to share with parents.
Best resource sharing blog – http://freetech4teachers.com Richard is a resource sharing rock star.
Most influential blog post – http://www.johntspencer.com/2010/02/i-hope-he-stays-lunatic-for-life.html To be fair most of John’s posts are inspirational to me. I think this one sticks out because it reminds me of conversations with my dad about the moon and growing up.
Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet based discussion – #cpchat  I have loved seeing this group of administrators come together.
Best teacher blog -@whatedsaid http://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/ Edna always leaves me thinking and working to make myself better. Plus the visual learner in me loves her Toon Doo cartoons for each post!
Best librarian / library blog – My favorite librarian @shannonmmiller http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/
Best school administrator blog – @gcouros http://georgecouros.ca/blog/ George provides honest reflection and inspiration around every bend.
Best educational tech support blog- http://jasontbedell.com/ Jason did an outstanding series/ebook about tech integration.
Best elearning / corporate education blog – http://thegatewayto21stcenturyskills.blogspot.com/
Best educational webinar series - Reform Symposium (not sure if I am allowed to nominate this one since I was involved, but want to nominate the rest of the awesome team, it was incredible!)
Lifetime achievement – @cybraryman1 Jerry has an incredible collection of knowledge and resources that he has added to for years. It doesn’t matter what you need or are looking for, Jerry always has it at the ready (including personalized birthday webpages).

That is beyond hard for me!  If you want to see who I would nominate if I could include all of my favorites, check out these Google Bundles edublogger alliance 1 and edublogger alliance 2.

Want to nominate your favorites?

In order to nominate blogs for the 2010 Edublog Awards you have to link to them first!

  • Nominations: Close Friday 3 December!
  • Voting: Ends Tuesday 14 December!
  • Award Ceremony: Wednesday 15 December!

1. Write a post on your blog linking to:

You can nominate:

  1. For as many categories as you like,
  2. But only one nomination per category,
  3. A blog (or site) for more than one category
  4. Any blog or site you like but not your own blogs (sites) :)

2. Email edublogs the link to your nomination post

Happy nominating!

On Blogging

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, collaboration, Create, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources | Posted on 25-08-2010

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This is a cross-post of a blog I wrote on the Edubloggers Alliance social network site.  If you are a blogging educator we would love to have you join and contribute to the community.  Cross post from your blog, write original content, ask blogging questions, and meet other educators who are blogging for themselves or with students. Hope to see you all there!  If you aren’t blogging yet but have been thinking about it, join us and get the support of other edubloggers.

Blog posting is hard. No, not the actual act of posting, but the revealing of yourself to the world. It isn’t like writing for a magazine or writing a novel (those have their own challenges), because that kind of writing goes pas multiple eyes, editors, and a process to perfect it. Blogging is different. My eyes are the only ones that have read it until I hit “publish”. The perfectionist in me reads, and re-reads, and runs it through a grammar and spell check and then reads it again. There is always a moment of hesitation before you commit to clicking the publish button because in the back of your mind, you know you probably missed something.
You try to convince yourself that it is no big deal…that people don’t really read your posts anyway. At best, they probably just skim. And so, you take the leap and hit publish, knowing that you can always come back and edit any problems. Of course, that is only after thousands of eyes have scrutinized it and judged you. You are, after all, a teacher. You aren’t supposed to make mistakes.
The process is repeated day after day and pretty soon you aren’t worried about that post because there is another. The posts get pushed farther and farther down the page until pretty soon they are a distant, archived memory. That is, until someone brings an error to your attention. Maybe it is a typo, maybe a homograph used in the wrong context, maybe the error is grammatical. It doesn’t really matter, the reaction is the same…utter embarrassment. What kind of teacher are you anyway? Shouldn’t you have caught that? People are going to question your teaching capabilities, they are going to think you are an idiot for making such an obvious mistake (at least that is how my inner dialogue goes). Now, if you are like me, your immediate reaction goes something like this:
Oh sure, they can find my one, itty bitty, minuscule mistake in this post. Who are they? Did they write 3 blog posts today? Did they read AND comment on 57 blog posts of fellow educators? Did they categorize thousands of websites so that they could intelligently write supplement guides for four weeks of reading curriculum? Did they answer 63 emails today? Did they make phone calls all day looking for funding for a new iPad program (that oh-by-the-way, I wrote!)? Did they finish reading one book and start another? Did they do 3 loads of laundry and pick up shoes that their spouse has left sprinkled all over the house? Did they interact all day on Twitter, Facebook, and instant message? Did they walk the dog? Did they cook dinner and clean up afterward? Then who are they to point out my one LITTLE mistake?! All things considered they should be impressed it was only one mistake. Harrumph!
That, of course, is my initial reaction. I hate being reminded that I am not perfect. I hate being reminded that I make mistakes, that I am human. My second reaction (after a few deep get-a-grip breaths) is one of thankfulness. Thank goodness someone told me about my obvious mistake so that I can fix it and don’t continue to embarrass myself in front of colleagues!

Blog posting is good for teachers. It keeps us humble, reminds us of how scary it can be to “speak” in front of the class. It reminds us of what it feels like not to have all the right answers. How it feels to get your work back with red marks all over it, exposing your faults.

Blog. Blog because it is reflective. Blog because we need you to share what you know with us. Blog because it is good to remember how it feels to be judged by others. Blog because you have an unique view on the world and by sharing it, we all have another piece of this puzzle that is life.

Just do me one favor, when you notice a mistake on my blog don’t tell me. Ignorance is bliss and I am perfectly happy to go on believing that I am perfect. Okay, so that isn’t true. Tell me so that I can fix it, learn from it, and still claim to be practically perfect in every way (like Mary Poppins).

Beginning/Ending Sounds
Beginning/Ending Sounds
Scarecrow Joe beginning sounds flipchart/game and ending sounds flipchart/game. Students drag words and their pictures to the matching beginning or ending. Pictures return to original location if incorrect. Students receive immediate feedback. Grade Level: kindergarten/first
Price: $.99