Thursday, February 26, 2015

EdTech for SD Teachers Podcast - Episode 18: Teachers Present their Favorite Classroom Management Apps and Websites

This week, South Dakota Teachers share their favorite websites and apps that relate to classroom management. They also share some examples of how they use these websites and tools for classroom management and other activities. Here are the websites and apps discussed in this podcast:

  • GoNoodle
  • Class Dojo
  • Doodle Buddy
  • Youtube
  • Youtube Schools
  • LiveSchool
  • Too Noisy

  • Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    Some Websites Suggested by South Dakota Teachers

    Recently, I asked a group of South Dakota teachers (who are Master's degree students in my class) to share their favorite website or app. The responses were great and I found that almost every teacher has a unique website/app that they like to use for teaching and learning. Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing these websites and apps. To start out, here are a few that were suggested:

    Have you ever wanted to show your iPad on your Smart or Promethean board without having to hook it up with wires? Reflector is a computer program that runs on a Mac, PC or any android device and allows you to show your iPad on this device. As an alternative to reflector, other teachers have used AirServer to do the same thing.

    Do you need to save links to websites for later? Do you want to save links on one computer but access these links on another? Draggo will help you do this. You can create a page of links to different websites and also organize them into groups and categories. You can also share a page of links with others online.

    With GoAnimate, you can create some very nice educational animations with cartoon-like characters. Perhaps the greatest possibility with these types of animations is having students create their own!

    ESGI is simple assessment software for early childhood education. You can create, share and use other tests that were created on this site. You can also schedule conferences with this tool.

    That's all for today. We'll continue on with more favorite websites and tools from South Dakota teachers in the future!

    Thursday, February 19, 2015

    EdTech for SD Teachers Podcast - Episode 17: What Technologies are Coming to Education?

    This week, I discuss the New Media Consortium's Horizon Report. This report outlines 6 new technologies that will be adopted in K-12 education over the next several years. Here are the technologies discussed:

  • Bring your own device
  • Cloud computing
  • Games and Gamification
  • Learning Analytics
  • The Internet of Things
  • Wearable Technologies

  • Here's a link to the New Media Consortium's Horizon Report for K-12 Education

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    Digital Media Camp: Teaching Media Literacy and Digital Media Skills

    Information, media and technology skills are vital for success in the 21st century (Dani, Wan, & Henning, 2010; Partnership for 21st century skills, n.d.). Information literacy, media literacy and computer literacy comprise these important skills. Media literacy and digital media skills have been connected with civic engagement and knowledge of community issues (Hobbs, 2013; Hobbs, Donnelly, Friesem, & Moen, 2013). Yet, media literacy educational opportunities are not as abundant as they should be in an educational system that places great value on basic skills as measured on standardized tests (Rogow, 2011).

    In a suburban area of South Dakota, I have developed and implemented a yearly Digital media camp to support media literacy and to help enhance digital media skills among students. See for more information and sample projects. This camp is the first of its kind in this area of the state, and it has been designed to supplement a school district in which students do not gain sufficient knowledge and skills in these areas as part of their regular schooling. The goals of the camp – now in its third year – include helping students to increase their digital media skills, create digital media projects, and increase their media literacy.

    Camp participants are ages 9-13, and the camp is held in the end of May each year after school is out. During this camp, participants design and develop a variety of digital media projects. Participants also learn the purposes of media and the process of media creation for each format. At the end of Digital Media Camp, participants hold a showcase in which they show all of the projects they created during the camp. These projects include a dramatic audio recording featuring sound effects, a documentary video recording produced and directed by participants, a dramatic video recording featuring plot structure, and additional audio and video projects.

    On the last day of camp, students create a final project as part of this camp experience that represents the culmination of their learning about digital media. The equipment that students use at Digital Media Camp is purposefully kept simple so that students can transfer their learning and continue to create video and audio projects after the camp is over. 

    We'll be setting the dates for the 2015 digital media camp soon. Let me know if you are interested in being a part of it!

    ReferencesDani, D., Wan, G., & Henning, J. E. (2010). A Case for Media Literacy in the Context of Socioscientific Issues. New Horizons in Education, 58(3), 85–98.Hobbs, R. (2013). Improvization and Strategic Risk-Taking in Informal Learning with Digital Media Literacy. Learning, Media and Technology, 38(2), 182–197.Hobbs, R., Donnelly, K., Friesem, J., & Moen, M. (2013). Learning to Engage: How Positive Attitudes about the News, Media Literacy, and Video Production Contribute to Adolescent Civic Engagement. Educational Media International, 50(4), 231–246.Partnership for 21st century skills. (n.d.). Framework for 21st Century Learning. Retrieved December 4, 2013, from, F. (2011). Ask, Don’t Tell: Pedagogy for Media Literacy Education in the Next Decade. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 3(1), 16–22.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    EdTech for SD Teachers Podcast - Episode 16: Technology for Keeping Track of Students in ICU

    This week, Josh Jensen and I discuss some technology solutions for intensive care units (ICU) in schools. Also, we share some unique projects that Josh implemented in a social study classroom.

    Here are a few links to some of the things we talked about:

  • Audacity - 
  • GIMP -

  • Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    The Future of Teaching: Steps Teachers Might Follow as They Design Learning Experiences

    As the slideshow in one of my previous posts indicates, the future of teaching and learning means that teachers are designers of learning experiences. This post is an excerpt from my book, Educational Technology for Teachers. As teachers design learning experiences using available learning resources, they might follow a process like the one presented here.

    1. The teacher starts out by determining the student’s individual learning needs using her own observations and any available pre-assessment data.
    2. The teacher seeks out learning resources that are appropriate to the student’s learning needs. To find these resources, the teacher could search in a variety of places including personal collections, libraries, databases, app stores and Internet search engines. A variety of media formats can be used including text, audio, video, animation and multimedia.
    3. When the teacher has found appropriate learning resources, she gives her student access to these resources along with detailed instructions telling the student what to do with the resources.
    4. The student has the responsibility to follow instructions and learn from the learning resources. While the student is learning, the teacher moves on to help other students, but she is available to answer any questions.
    5. When the student is finished learning, the teacher assesses how well she learned. If the student has adequately learned the subject, she will move on to other learning experiences and resources as directed by the teacher.

    This model allows for differentiation of instruction because each student can work on learning resources appropriate to his or her needs. Central to the idea of designing learning experiences is the existence of quality learning resources for students and teachers to use in the learning process. Prior to the Information Age, learning resources were scarcely available, but now there are abundant learning resources for use in education. Teachers should know how to find, evaluate and suggest relevant learning resources for students.

    Not only should teachers be able to seek out and use information and learning resources, but students should also learn information literacy skills including finding, evaluating and using relevant information to complete papers, projects and presentations. Information literacy is an important part of the 21st century skills and ISTE national educational technology standards. Do you follow any of these steps as you design learning experiences for your own students?

    Thursday, February 5, 2015

    EdTech for SD Teachers Podcast - Episode 15: Adopting iPads: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

    This week, I discuss some things you really should consider before adopting iPads for your classes on a 1:1 basis. They certainly don't do everything and they aren't perfect educational devices. Here's what you need to know organized under three categories, the good, the bad and the ugly.