Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ed Tech Newsletter April 19, 2016 : Neotie Magazine, Free Edcamp Cleveland, Storybird


I always like to highlight unique common core aligned tools. If you haven't heard of Storybird. It is a unique and free website where you can access a wide variety of books for students K-12. Teacher and student accounts are free. Students and teachers can also create books through this site. As with anything that I send out, I am always happy to sit down with you if you want to try out the tool and are having trouble.


The new issue of Neotie Magazine is out. There are a wide variety of articles that meet a diverse group of education professionals. On the teaching side, there are some great articles revolving around 15 Awesome Websites, the SAMR Model, APP/Resource Evaluation rubrics, Design Thinking and more.There are also lists of who to follow on Twitter for additional educational resources. If you are interested in contributing a future article, please let me know. 


Last weekend, Jileen Urbanek and I attended Mentor's first Edcamp. It was a terrific event. If you haven't been to an Edcamp, it is different from a traditional conference in that the attendees suggest the topics for each session on the day of the event. This leads to facilitated breakout sessions. Having a say in the direction of the conference really makes it a valuable event with discussion and resources shared revolve directly around need. 

Strongsville is hosting one of these free events Saturday, May 21, 2016. It is a great way to get professional development units or you can choose to pay for graduate credit. Further information is below.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Newsletter 4/14/2016 Free EdCamp Neo Reminder, Edpuzzle, Google Classroom Polling, Open Ed Resources

Ed Camp NEO Reminder


Reminder: On April 16 from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm, Mentor will be hosting a free Ed Camp. If you haven't had a chance to attend one of these, it's a great opportunity to learn how to use instructional tools for your classroom. There are many teaching ideas to be found and the chance to collaborate with others who have similar classroom goals. I am planning to attend. I hope to see you there.

Note: Click on the "What is Edcamp?" link to get an overview on how this is different from a traditional conference.


It's always great to find an amazing video that delivers content to your students. It is so much better when a teacher can check for understanding. Ed Puzzle is a great tool because it allows you to take a video from the internet, such as YouTube, and make it fully interactive. You can add in your own questions, comments or discussion points throughout. You can also get feedback on student progress and understanding. It takes a passive experience and makes it interactive and it is FREE!

Google Classroom Adds Polling Feature

Google's free Classroom tool is continuing to improve. They just released a brand new polling feature. You can use this to create exit tickets, gather feedback, to help students self monitor and more. The article above goes into more specifics but the tool expands upon the great features already available.

Free Interactive Open Ed Resources

Finding resource that matches the needs of the Common Core is often a stressful concern. Stephanie DeMichele joined us during PD Day for the App Smashing session. She's written an informative and easy to use ebook on how to organize and use Open Ed Resources to benefit classroom instruction when traditional textbooks are not enough or are missing large amounts of required content.

It is filled with links to free resources that you can click on right from inside the book. It is worth checking out!

Trouble Reporting and Appointment Scheduling

As is the case with any of the tools and resources that I share, this is a starting point. Please reach out if I can help in any way, when you try to implement any of these resources. If you are trying a lesson, I would be happy to stop by and check it out or help in some way. 

One of our goals in 2016 is to continue to improve the error reporting process so we get to your needs faster. This requires a little help from you. Please make sure you report issues early. If something is a reoccurring issue, please let us know so we can help. Don't let it get to the point of frustration. 

For High School: Please email HSTrouble.Reports@westg.org

For Elementary and Middle School: Please contact your AV/Tech Supplemental Holder. They will put is a Trouble Ticket that will make us aware of the issue. This is important because it allows us to organize and keep track of progress.

Information that we need from you:

Room Number:
What is the problem you are having:
Were there any error messages? 
What were they?
Does this happen all the time or in specific situations?

The more you tell us, the faster we will pin down the actual problem and be able to resolve you issue. 


The easiest way to contact me is through email at sean.whelan@westg.org. 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. Also, if there is something I share that you would like to implement in your classroom or with your team, please let me know. I would be thrilled to help.