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Kids Picture Dictionary App

What it is: Kids Picture Dictionary is just what you would imagine it to be: a dictionary, for kids, with pictures.  This picture dictionary has something extra special built in, it includes a self record feature so that kids (teachers or parents) can record their own voice to record sentence examples. ...

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Adobe Spark: Easily create and share videos, images, and newsletters

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Create, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Maker Space, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, video, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 02-01-2017

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Adobe Spark: Create videos, images, and newsletters in a snap!

 

Adobe Spark: Easily create videos, images, and newsletters in a snap!

What it is: Adobe Spark is a collection of fantastic (free!) creative tools available online or as an app download.

  • Create social graphics that are stunning and easy to share (you know the kind: flyers, memes, posters, ads). The example above took under 2min to create and share! 🙂
  • Make beautiful web stories for event recaps, newsletters, photo journals, portfolios, etc.
  • Produce and share impressive videos for storytelling, projects, or to share to social media.

If you (or your students) are feeling a lack of creativity, there is even a bank of inspiration that will get you started! This is particularly helpful for your students who struggle with a place to start but are brilliant with a little nudge. Whether you begin with inspiration or not, you’ll be feeling an extra burst of creativity in no time.

How to integrate Adobe Spark in the classroom: The collection of tools in Adobe Spark are perfect for students and teachers alike. Students can use these tools to create book reviews, to document science experiments, for storytelling, to explain their inquiry process, as an eportfolio, to illustrate math concepts, and so much more! These tools will help your students take their learning and present it in a way that is both visually powerful, and easy to share.

Teachers, you can use Adobe Spark to create a weekly newsletter (SO easy to share home with parents!), create photo journals of class events or field trips, to create writing and thinking prompts to share with students, quotes, presentations, and announcements. The photo journal would be a great way to give families a glimpse into your classroom, if you’re like me, your phone is FULL of pictures at the end of each week! If you have a class social media channel on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube- Adobe Spark is about to take it to the next level of awesomeness!

I love the way that Adobe Spark has made digital storytelling that much easier to create and share. This is a site that you’ll want to bookmark for easy access, and put on all of your students devices if you have a one-to-one environment.

Tips: If you have laptops, the web version of Adobe Spark is best, otherwise download the app!

Popcorn Maker: Mashup video with images, articles, text, maps, etc.

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Evaluate, Geography, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 23-01-2013

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What it is: Popcorn Maker is a super cool site that I learned about from Michael Zimmer’s blog, The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness.  Popcorn Maker is an online video mashup tool that makes it easy to integrate several different forms of online media into a video.  A clip from YouTube can be enhanced with article clips, images, text, audio, maps, other live feeds and social media content. Add some “bling” to any video clip…interactive is better! Videos can be mashed without logging in.  Creating a user profile let’s you save and share the finished project.

How to integrate Popcorn Maker into the classroom: Popcorn Maker is a great way to enhance videos.  Teachers can use Popcorn Maker to mashup media for students to engage with.  This could be adding a map to an historical video so that students can better visualize where an event is taking place, adding a wikipedia article to expand on an idea that a video touches on, adding a live social media feed with student comments as a “backchannel” video, etc.  This type of use is great for expanding on Kahn academy type instructional videos (which can be a bit boring/dry), educational videos, etc.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a real-life example pop up during a Kahn academy instructional video?  Students can connect number sense and computation.  (What a novel concept!)  For young students, create a video with embedded directions (audio or text) and next steps for learning.  This would make for a great learning center for completing a science experiment, multi-step directions, or next steps of learning.

Students can use Popcorn Maker to enhance videos that they have created, to further expand on an idea, to help explain a researched topic to the rest of the class, or to share reflections on a video with others.  Because students can add text, it is easy for them to add their “blogged” reflections directly in a video to be shared with others.  So often our students start their research with a video search.  Ask them to create a mashup of all of their research using Popcorn Maker.  This will help them to dig beyond the video for other relevant content that adds to their understanding.

In the “flipped” classroom, Popcorn Maker takes the videos to the next level.  Popcorn Maker could be a great way to help apprentice students in the art of learning.  Students can see the way that connections are made among different media types and are led through how to think and expand on an interesting topic.  After students have viewed a few mashups, ask them to create their own.  This could be really helpful in discovering misunderstandings in learning, gaps in the way research is being completed, or difficulties in making connections.

Tips: The tutorial on the first page is really useful. I recommend it before beginning a project!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Popcorn Maker in your classroom.

Widbook: Online Collaborative ebook Creation

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Foreign Language, Government, History, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0 | Posted on 15-06-2012

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Widbook – Write, read and share! from Widbook on Vimeo.

What it is:  Widbook is a new publishing platform for ebooks.  What makes this publishing platform so neat is the social aspect, it allows authors to collaborate and make suggestions.  Each user also gets their own bookshelf where they can subscribe to other author’s work.

When students start a new ebook, they can choose who can see the book when it is published, choose whether they will accept collaboration for the book, and choose if they want to accept comments for the book.  Actually writing the book is fabulously simple.  All of the onscreen tools are easy to use and intuitive as to their function.  The book can have a table of contents, multiple chapters, and pictures and video embedded right into the book.  When students are finished, they simply save the book and publish it.  The finished book gets a unique url that can be shared.

How to integrate Widbook into the classroom:  Widbook is a fantastic, simple tool for secondary students to use to create ebooks. Students can create individual published works that can be commented on by other students and the teacher.  Students can receive relevant-real time feedback not only from their teacher, but also from other students.  Students not only get practice writing their own works, they also get practice evaluating writing of their peers.

Students can use Widbook to write final drafts of any piece of writing be it an essay or creative writing assignment.  The ability to add video and images easily is wonderful.

Widbook would also be a great place for students to collaboratively create books about their learning.  Each student can add a chapter, or groups of students can create chapters together.  Instead of assigning students a textbook to read for the semester, include them in the creation of a collaborative textbook.  Provide students with a table of contents and put them to work creating a chapter for each topic/unit throughout the year.  At the end of the year, each student will have a book of their learning that they helped to create.  Much more useful than a textbook that one of the Big Six wrote that gets opened only before tests!

Are you having trouble finding a book that matches your classroom learning needs?  Create an ebook that perfectly meets your students right where they are.  Include videos and images relevant to learning.

 

***For younger students be sure to check out BoomWriter!

Tips: Older students who have Facebook accounts can choose to link their Facebook account for easy login (make sure you know your school’s policy on social networking sites being accessed at school, even if it is just to login with).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Widbook in  your classroom!

Quixey: Your go-to app search for ALL platforms!

Posted by admin | Posted in iPod, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, web tools, Websites | Posted on 07-11-2011

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What it is:   Have you ever attempted an app search?  It is a miserable experience, unless you already know what you are looking for, you are out of luck!  Quixey changes all of that by powering app searches across multiple platforms (Android, Bada, BlackBerry, Chrome extensions, Chrome web apps, Facebook, Firefox add-ons, IE add-ons, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Symbian, Web, WebOS, Windows, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone).  Quixey works with manufacturers, carriers, search engines and platforms to create a custom app search solution.  Quixey uses what they call “functional search” just for apps.  When you use Quixey, you don’t have to know the app’s exact name or “official” description to find the app.  Quixey scans blogs, review sites, forums and social media to learn what each app can do and how people are using it.  The Functional app search isn’t dependent on keywords.  When you search an app, you can type in the kind of app you are looking for.  Easily narrow your search by device.  Next to the device, you can see how many apps are related to your search making it simple to see how much digging you will need to do.  Next to each app that comes up in your search, there are snippets: short pieces of information that help you decide if the app will do what you need it to.  Need to narrow it down even more? No problem, Quixey let’s you organize by paid or free apps, or filter by a custom advanced view.  Very handy!

How to integrate Quixey into the classroom: If you or your students use ANY of the above platforms, Quixey is a must!  Hunt down the exact app you need quickly and easily.  Have a mixed platform classroom? Quixey makes it simple to see where app crossover is possible for the classroom.  This is one handy search engine!

Be sure to bookmark Quixey on classroom computers for easy access to an anytime search. When you find an app you are interested in, click for more information, screen shots of the app and a link to the app store.  You can even tweet the app out or share it on Facebook!

Tips: When you click on an app, Quixey will even redirect you to the appropriate app store for download!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Quixey in  your classroom!

Friday Recap: Geeking over new apps, celebrating week 5

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Friday Recap | Posted on 23-09-2011

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Whew, it has been a while since I have done a Friday recap.  Mostly because these days I’m just so happy to have made it through another week that I am celebrating other ways…like by taking a nap.

Anastasis Academy has just completed week number five.  Can I say how incredibly cool it is to see something that you pour yourself into come to fruition?  We have students! We end every week with a field trip learning excursion.  Awesome.

If you are interested in following our journey, you can follow our blogs (yes plural, we each have at least one, some overachievers have two…or more).  I’ve created a bundle that you can subscribe to in Google Reader.  Subscribing to a bundle means that you will never miss a beat…it will almost be as good as being here with us.  This is just the collection of teacher blogs.  Each of our students blogs as well, we can’t share those publicly because we use full student names.  Occasionally I may let you have a peek at some of our student writing by republishing the post anonymously.  For now you will have to take my word for it, these kids are amazing.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and YouTube.  You can be a super fan and like us on Facebook.  If you are ever in town, stop by and let us show you around!

This week I found some super cool apps.  I’m talking classroom changing here.  I couldn’t wait to blog my favorite find which is Demibooks Composer.  A BIG thank you to @ianchia for making me aware of its existence.  I can’t wait to see what our students come up with!  Demibooks Composer puts the power of interactive e-book publishing into the hands of every student.  I am geeking out here.  It is seriously cool.  Hurry up and download it while it is FREE.  I would have paid big money for this app.  Big.

 

Virtual book club: Readicide

Posted by admin | Posted in inspiration, professional development, Teacher Resources | Posted on 22-04-2011

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What: The Michigan Reading Association is hosting an interactive virtual book club for anyone to join via Facebook.   This is an opportunity to network with educators around the world and take charge of your own professional development.  The first book is Readicide by Kelly Gallagher (who will be hosting the book club with the Michigan Reading Association).  If you aren’t familiar with this book, you can read a post I wrote when the book was first released here.  The idea behind the virtual book club is to give educators a place to connect with others, share ideas, reflect and improve your classroom.

Where: It is easy to join just click to view the Facebook invitation and select “I’m Attending.

When: The book club will meet during the month of May.  Login whenever you are available to browse posts and conversations and add your own thoughts.  Each week there will be a post that outlines a general road map that chunks chapters so we are reading and reflecting at a similar pace.

How: Purchase Readicide, view Kelly’s website and follow him on Twitter, “attend” the facebook invitation, let the fun begin!

I really enjoyed reading Readicide and look forward to reading it again-this time with friends to reflect with!  Who else will be joining us?

Thank you to Erin for inviting me!

Paper Tweeting: Social Media in the Classroom

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, collaboration, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Web2.0 | Posted on 28-03-2011

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I’m currently working with an elementary and middle school to roll out a school wide social media campaign.  I have had a lot of questions about this so I thought I would make a video sharing how that decision was made and how we are approaching it.  Yes, I did film this video today…although the calendar says spring, Colorado woke up to SNOW this morning-hence the furry hooded sweater. 🙂

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here are the highlights:

  • This private school decided to roll out a social media campaign to let the local community learn more about the school in hopes of increasing enrollment numbers.  I let the superintendent know that Twitter was not a marketing tool, people won’t follow accounts that are constantly broadcasting information.  That being said, stories are compelling and people will follow accounts that tell a compelling story, and that invite conversation.
  • The most compelling story in a school comes from the students. Letting  students be the voice of the school does a few things: 1. It gives students a place to reflect on their learning. 2. It gives the community and parents an authentic look at what is happening in the classroom.  3. It allows us to model proper use of social media as we use Twitter WITH students. 4. It gives students a sense of pride in their school and a sense of ownership over what they do there.
  • Because this campaign is being rolled out with elementary students, there are some special considerations.  Twitter clearly states in its terms of use that users must be 13 years old or older.  Students don’t have an individual Twitter account; instead, each classroom has an account.  Classes will Tweet using the interactive whiteboard as a class.
  • The administration wanted to make this process as simple as possible for teachers. They asked me to create a Twitter account for every classroom, specialist, and administrator in the building.
  • The administration made this campaign optional for teachers.  This was HUGE, instead of it feeling like one more thing added to the teacher’s already full plates, they got to make the decision to opt in.  Out of 30 elementary teachers 20 are attending our Tweetup tomorrow!
  • The communications manager of the school is running the main School account.  She will be following a list of all of the classrooms tweeting and re-tweet the best of the best.  The main school account will be the “face” of the school on the Internet.
  • The administration is Tweeting as well, they have a unique and different view of the school than the classroom teachers and students do.
  • I created several lists for teachers to follow, there is a list for every discipline and age group as well as a list of other classes and student authors that tweet.
  • I linked every Twitter account with a Facebook Fan page for the classroom.  I turned off all commenting features so that (for now) teachers don’t have to keep track of both platforms.  The Facebook Fan Page will most likely be accessed by parents who do not use Twitter so that they can still receive class updates.

 

Tomorrow I am holding a Tweetup. I BEGGED that this not look like typical tech training.  You know the kind…tired teachers crammed in the computer lab at the end of the day to learn a new tool.  Been there, done that. Unless you are a mega tech geek like me, you just really don’t appreciate those kind of trainings!  I was afraid if we approached this training the way we approach all other trainings, teachers would instantly have to get past that barrier.  Instead, we are meeting at a local coffee shop after school.  I sent out fun invitations and made sure teachers knew that this was a SOCIAL event.  After all, we are talking social media!

Because I know this staff well (I worked with them for 7 years, these are my friends!), I also have the benefit of knowing how comfortable they are with technology.  I suspect that they are pretty typical of school staffs everywhere.  There are some who are very comfortable with new technologies, and some who have trouble filling out a login form on their own.  I didn’t want technology to be a barrier for those who aren’t comfortable with it, so I decided to steal an idea from my friend @mcteach.  She does a paper blogging project with her students where they learn to blog and comment using paper before technology even enters the picture.  I LOVED the idea and thought it could be adapted for my Twitter Tweetup.  I made a video describing my paper tweeting method below.

 

 

Again, if you don’t have time for the video, here are the highlights:

  • I created a paper Twitter wall on chart paper that looks pretty similar to the actual Twitter wall (if I do say so myself).  This will be up on the wall at the coffee shop during our tweetup.  The Twitter wall is blank, ready for teacher tweets to fill it up.
  • I made a name tag for each teacher with their @username.  You know those “hello my name is”?  Yeah, it is that with their twitter handle.  Rule of the day, if you are mentioning someone by name, there must be an @ preceding it 🙂
  • I have a stack of 10 sticky notes for each teacher with their twitter handle and “picture” at the top of the note and “140” at the bottom.  This is where teachers will compose their tweets.  The sticky note messages get stuck to the Twitter wall chart I created.  My hope is that teachers will begin to understand the public nature of Twitter in a concrete way.
  • I have regular envelopes that I have written DM on.  Teachers can use these to deliver DM’s to a friend.  Again, I wanted a concrete way of understanding the difference between a DM (Direct Message) and an @ reply.
  • Since tomorrow is #edchat, I’ll be prompting discussion for our paper tweetup with the #edchat topic tomorrow.  This will give me the opportunity to talk about RT (retweets) and hashtags.
  • In addition to #edchat discussion, I’ll ask teachers to share something that happened in their classrooms today as a tweet, helping them begin thinking about how to use Twitter in their classrooms.
  • I’ll encourage teachers to try a paper tweetup with their students so that they understand Twitter before using the technology.
  • After our paper tweeting session, I’ll let teachers hop on to Twitter and try it out while I am there to answer questions and help with any technical difficulties.  I really don’t want to focus on the tool, but on the connections and conversations that Twitter enables.  Twitter makes it easy to do this because the platform is so simple to use.

 

I think tomorrow will be fun, I’ll be sure to take some pictures and share them! If you missed them the first time around, here is a link to the Twitter posters that I created for the classrooms.

Diipo and Edmodo: A Social Network for Classrooms

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Blogs, Classroom Management, collaboration, Create, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0 | Posted on 24-03-2011

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What it is: If you’re like me, you can think of hundreds of ways that social networks could be used positively in the classroom. The problem: most of us can’t access said networks in our classrooms-blocked by over zealous filtering! Not to worry, there are some great classroom alternatives including Diipo and Edmodo.

Diipo is a social network created specially for education.  I learned about this particular tool from @nottil, a high school student in Virginia (thanks @nottil!).  Diipo makes it easy to communicate with your students, connect with other educators, and other classes.  The interface is similar in feel to a Facebook or Twitter making it easy for students and teachers to pick up and start using right away.  We are talking LOW learning curve here. Diipo has dashboards and apps that keep students up-to-date, help them get questions answered, and let them collaborate on blogs and group projects.  Workpages keep students organized from project to project.  Direct messaging features let students start a private conversation with classmates and teachers.  Online project notebooks let students work together and share the information they collect in one, centralized location.  An educator community lets teachers share best practices, educational content, brainstorm for collaborative projects, and pen pal programs between classes.  A class roster makes it easy for teachers and students to communicate with each other. A built in microblogging platform lets students start a conversation, ask questions, and actively participate in class discussions.  Students can build blogs directly in Diipo to share thoughts, reflect on learning, and write collaboratively.  Teachers and students can upload and share documents, links, and resources with classmates or the entire class.  Every conversation and post is archived and searchable making it easy to catch up or find something later.  Students can also tag messages, content, and workpages to make it easier to organize and find content.  The Diipo platform is wonderfully all-inclusive!  Diipo is intended for students 13 years and older.

Edmodo is a social networking platform for classrooms that has been around longer.  Edmodo is a free, secure social network for teachers, students, and schools.  It provides classrooms with a safe way to connect and collaborate by offering them place to exchange ideas, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices.  Edmodo is accessible in any browser and from any mobile device.  Like Diipo, Edmodo allows teachers to post messages, discuss classroom topics, assign and grade classwork, share resources and materials, and network and exchange ideas with peers. Edmodo does not have an age limit, students under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian read the terms of service prior to use. To learn more about how Edmodo came to be, take a min to watch the video below:

 

While Diipo is in beta, Edmodo has stood the test of time and is used in classrooms around the world.

How to integrate Diipo and Edmodo into the classroom: Social networking is a wonderful way to support your students in their learning.  It is also a way for students to take charge and support their own learning by collaborating with classmates.  Use Diipo or Edmodo to organize your class, support students, connect students in a collaborative study group, and to share materials with your students.  This is a great one-stop-shop for classroom communication and resources.  Upload lessons and handouts, websites and links used in class, videos, and any other materials students may find useful to Diipo or Edmodo.   Use the Diipo blogging platform to encourage your students to write for an audience, reflect on learning, continue class discussion, and write collaboratively.

Both Diipo and Edmodo promote anytime, anyplace learning-reinforcing once again that learning happens outside of the four walls of the classroom.

Using social networks in the classroom provides you with the opportunity to model proper use of social networking, digital citizenship, and teach Internet safety in an authentic environment.

Tips: Edmodo has excellent support and training, be sure to sign up for their free webinars!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Diipo and Edmodo in your classroom!

Fakebook and Twister- Create custom social media pages for learning

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Character Education, Create, Evaluate, Foreign Language, Government, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 14-03-2011

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What it is: I don’t know if you all noticed, but I have been on a serious social media kick lately. 🙂  There is just SO much for students to learn from the social media sphere.  Last week (or was it the week before?) I shared that I had created a Facebook Template that could be used with students for creating a fake Facebook profile.  Since then I have come across Fakebook created by teacher, @russeltarr.  I have one word: Brilliant.  Seriously this is the BEST Fakebook tool I have seen.  It is simple to use.  Just click and type.  The profile pictures get pulled automatically based on the name that students type in.  Especially good for literary and historical characters!  The focus here really is on the learning that it enables, there are NO advertisements (unlike Myfakewall which I have deemed unusable because of all of the ads).

The other fake social networking tool I want to feature is called Twister.  This is a fake Twitter wall that students can create just by filling in a few key bits of information like a username, the real name (this is what the photo pulls from), a status update, and a date.  When students click submit, they have their very own fictional status update.  Very cool!

These tools are fantastic for the classroom because they don’t rely on actual social network sites (which are often blocked by filters), they are not limited by age to use them, and they provide a fun way for students to reflect on learning.  So neat!

How to integrate Fakebook and Twister into the classroom: These two teacher created tools are fantastic.  They produce results that look like the real deal and were obviously created by teachers who understand that the focus should be learning and not the tool (or advertisements surrounding the tool).  These fake profile/status creators are a wonderful way for students to learn about historical and literary figures in a manner that they can personally connect to. Students can create profiles or updates from the perspective of historical figures, literary characters, government, artists, composers, etc.  Students can also use these tools to help them develop characters for their own writing.

Take a page out of the Grammaropolis book and have students personify things they are learning about like parts of speech.  Students can create a profile for each part of speech.  How about creating a profile page for math functions like Number Gossip does? Students could even practice dialogue in a foreign language using either tool.

Teaching your students netiquette? Let students create two versions of a Fakebook page, one with appropriate online interaction and another that “breaks the rules” to compare/contrast.

The Twister site only lets you create one status update at a time.  This makes it really nice for memorializing famous or favorite quotes. These would be fun to print out and display on a bulletin board.

Tips: Students can save or print out their Fakebook page. To save, they will create a password and need to write down the unique URL for their page to access it at a later date.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Fakebook and Twister in your classroom!

Twitter in the Classroom and Twitter Posters

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Classroom Management, collaboration, Download, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources | Posted on 09-03-2011

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I think it is fabulous when schools decide to intentionally use social media as part of the learning day.  I am working with a school right now that has hired me to help them do just that.

A little background before I tell you how we are doing it: This is a kindergarten through eighth grade private school. There are three classes at every grade level up to fifth grade.  Sixth through eighth grade looks like your typical middle school with a variety of subjects and teachers.  Every classroom has a Promethean interactive whiteboard connected to a Mac Mini as well as two additional Mac Mini’s for students to use and a teacher MacBook.   Full disclosure, this is the school that I taught technology at for 7 years so they know what they are getting when they pull me in on a project like this!  When I was at the school, I used Twitter myself and created a school Twitter account and a school Facebook fan page.  I used think.com with my students to teach and model proper use of social media tools.  In September, the superintendent and communications manager for the school called me in to find out how social media could be used to tell others about the school. They wanted to build up the school community and tell the wider community about what makes the school special using social media tools.  I worked to help them understand that social media does not make a good broadcasting platform. What makes Twitter and Facebook work are the connections it enables and the stories it allows to unfold.  My recommendation to them was to bring the students in on telling that story, they have the most authentic voice, and a unique perspective within the school.  Because we are working with kindergarten through eighth grade students, creating student accounts was not an option, the majority of students at CHC are under 13 years of age.  My work around: create classroom accounts.

I created a classroom account for every staff member in the school, all 58 of them! Next I connected each classroom Twitter account with a classroom fan page on Facebook.  I set up the Facebook fan pages so that commenting, photo, and video are turned off (this will be the case until teachers are comfortable enough and want to interact in both spaces).  The idea here is that parents who use Twitter and the wider education and local community will follow the classroom and school Twitter accounts. Parents who are not on Twitter but have Facebook accounts won’t miss out on any updates because the Twitter account is feeding into the page.

Teachers will be using the classroom Twitter accounts with students to post updates throughout the day.  Posting will be done as a class using the Mac Mini connected to the Promethean board.  Classes will be using Twitter to reflect on learning, as a class they will share, reflect, engage, inquire, and report.  This doubles nicely as a form of informal formative assessment.  Classes will also use the  Twitter accounts to connect with other classrooms and experts.  Students will not be permitted to post to the accounts without teacher permission because of the Twitter age limit.  I wanted students to be involved in the tweeting not only for the learning opportunities, but also for the opportunity for teachers to model proper use of social media.

The main school Twitter account will be used to retweet (RT) posts from the individual classrooms to the larger community, pass along school-wide messages and information, and as a point-point-of-contact for customer service.  Administration and school leaders will be tweeting their unique perspectives about what is happening in the school.  Together, CHC will be writing it’s stories of learning 140 characters at a time.

Participation by teachers is optional. I presented the idea to the teaching staff at their last staff meeting using this Prezi.  I invited interested teachers to a Tweetup in a few weeks where we will meet up and learn about using Twitter.  I really pushed to make this optional for teachers, I didn’t want it to feel like one more thing for them to fit into their schedule.  85% of the staff signed up for the tweetup!  I am training teachers off site at a local coffee shop where it won’t feel so much like a typical tech training (hence the tweetup) :).  I’ll fill you in on all the details of that tweetup training in a few weeks.

In the mean time, I have been creating posters for the classroom.  The school asked me to create rules for teachers to follow and rules for students to follow when using social media.  I also created posters with ideas for using Twitter in the classroom, authors using Twitter, a web of ed chats and hashtags on Twitter, and Twitter Lingo (Twingo).  I’m sharing these posters below, you can check out the original version that I made for CHC (branding and school hashtags included) and a version for any of you who are interested.  Feel free to download and print the 11×17 posters for your classroom.