Thursday, January 30, 2014

Newsletter January 30, 2014

Welcome Back!!!
It has been a crazy week for weather. If I had appointments scheduled with you for last Friday, I will be contacting you to reschedule those. If you do not hear from me by the end of this week, please don't hesitate to shoot me a reminder. I definitely want to touch base with you.

Digital Learning Day February 5, 2014
I know this is short notice but I was sent an article during OETC about Digital Learning Day. It is February 5, 2014. I shared some ideas with each of the building techs about something we could do. Hopefully, we'll have some details forthcoming. I'd love to find a way to showcase the amazing things you are already doing in your classroom with technology. Ideas are welcome. 

Tech Meetings
Nancy and I have been to informal tech meetings at both elementary buildings and the middle school. We will be meeting at the high school soon as well. Thank you so much to everyone who attended and to the tech staff at each building for putting them together. It was a great opportunity to get some thoughts on technology in our district. Those ideas will be very useful.

Twitter Video
I'll be posting a very simple intro to Twitter for teachers later today. It's meant for any staff members who are interested in how to join Twitter and follow particular people. Note: You do not need to post anything yourself to get a value from Twitter. Educators and resource providers that you follow will often post tips and links that are well worth checking out.

OETC and Resources
I just returned from this year's OETC conference in Columbus. It was terrific. I am going to gradually sort through all the info over the next week and send it out to you. I did want to share a couple of resources here. I plan to always have what I hope will be some useful resources in these newsletters.

On the elementary side, Westerville City Schools had a fantastic presentation showcasing some great resources. These include electronic books and read alouds of famous books by celebrities. There's content across subject areas K-5 and many items work on the iPad or Smartboard.

Be sure to go to the Westerville Library Kids section, under "books and stuff" to click on "Tumblebooks". You'll see the options to "go to the website" for SmartBoard use and "read the iPad-friendly books" for the iPads. It says that you need a library card number to access the books but they worked just fine for me without it. It's really great content.

On the secondary side, I attended a number of sessions. There was a great session on the importance of technology in Middle School Social Studies. The one thing that really grabbed me at the session was when they shared student product. While the content is 8th Grade, I could see the lesson ideas being adapted to different content.
Handout with links to student work

There was also a 9-12 presentation on project based learning that was really well done. I liked this one because it had some great ideas on how to plan for projects. This included determining what technology your students have access to already.

I am still sorting through the many presentations that I attended. I wanted to start by sending out something general to start. I will post more on my web site over the next week or so.

5th Grade iPad Pilot

For the second semester, the district is piloting an iPad program where parents can choose to purchase an insurance package that would allow the devices to go home. This is a voluntary program. Meetings will be held at Lindsey and Westwood over the next week.


I sent this out via email. EducatorsApp has a free app option that is ad supported. They will create an app that connects with the content on your classroom for free. It looks like they are doing a major upgrade and plan to be live on February 3rd. You can sign up now for email updates if you are interested.


I wanted to throw this one on the end. With my position, I end up having a lot of things open on my laptop. I use a second screen at home to keep things like email, a document or web site open so I don't have to keep flipping between windows. I just found this cool app called iDisplay. It's $4.99 for the iPad app but the PC or Mac download is free. It basically uses your device as a second screen from your laptop or computer. It works really great so far. I put the web site below. Feel free to shoot me an email if it is of interest.

Note: Download the program to the computer first. It will test your machine to see if it is compatible. It's a good way to test it for free before buying the app on your device. If you want to see a demo of it, let me know and I can show it to you when I am at your building.

If there is anything in this newsletter or on my web site that you need help with using, please let me know. I'd love to help.

How to schedule a time to meet?

The easiest way to contact me is through email at Please let me know what you'd like to meet about, your room number, free periods, and any other info that might be helpful to me in order to prepare for our meeting. I'd love to meet with you to see if I can help facilitate any issue you might be having.