August Institute

August Institute

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

3-2-1 Activity

3 things that I learned from my experience as a presenter:
     1.  That this conference was a great place to network.
     2.  That teachers really want to know how to integrate technology into their classrooms.
     3. That I want to present again next year at this conference. 

2 things that I would do differently as a future presenter
     1.  Wear comfortable shoes.
     2.  Maybe have a hard copy handout for students.

1 recommendation that I would make to the conference plannning committee to improve sessions, website or other elements of the conference.
     1.  Make the 3 hour session - hands on workshops and change it so the sessions are more like an hour each.
    ( 2.  Try to create next year's  conference like you did this year; include national speakers.  It was awesome to have this in Missoula!)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Overcoming the Barriers

Participants taking this course for graduate credit are required to author a blog post that demonstrates how strategies learned at this conference will be implemented and what are the barriers that they must overcome in order to be successful. This post must include links to current scientific research related to the concepts of the post. An example might be: digital tools that help to over-come the barrier of time in making data driven decisions in the RTI process. Participants are required to author their blog post, monitor responses and comment on a minimum of 2 other posts.

Playing with Media 
I would like to include Wes Fryer's ebook, Playing with Media, as a link and reference in our new class Moodle called Digital Media.  This is a new blended class that we will be offering this fall.  We were going to introduce several of the strategies and tools he mentions in his book and more.  This would serve as a great resource for students.  This class is an introduction to using different digital media such as text, image, audio, video and plan to cover digital footprints, internet safety and copyright.  Mr. Fryer has a lot of great ideas on how to do this.

I like the way he starts his Digital Text chapter with getting students whether they have ever received a hurtful text message or read one that a friend received.  He goes on to state that words do not have to be published in books or magazines to be both powerful and impactful.  I think this is a great way to start out the chapter.  He then describes a Blog or Wiki? activity that would be great for the Digital Media class. Students have sixty seconds to explain to someone near them to explain the difference between "blog" and "wiki."   We would then have a classroom discussion about the differences and take it a step further to discuss how these might be used in the classroom.  The goal would be to end up with the students coming up with the idea that they could use these to interactively share their work.  Mr. Fryer gives two examples of outstanding wikis that could be share with students as examples.  He has hyperlinks to these examples which students could explore.  Blogs are a great way to give students an audience beyond the classroom.

I don't really like the blog feature in Moodle.  I do like the idea of creating a moderated class blog using Posterous.  Some blogs are used as broadcast sharing such as an assignment blog.  Other blogs are used a professional reflection blog and some are used as a collaborative class blog.  Mr. Fryer includes a link to the many education blogs that he reads.

I have only begun to explore the many resources available in his book.  I plan on reading the entire book and then go back through a pick a couple of things to integrate into my classroom right away.  

One of the barriers that I am sure I will run into include our district filter system.  While there are a lot of great resources in Mr. Fryer's book, I know there are going to many websites that will be blocked, such as Flickr. Another barrier I am sure that I will run into is the shifting of how students view "online writing."  I have found in the past that students want to keep their online written word to  text sentences instead of full sentences.  While I believe this is a barrier that we can overcome, it will take reinforcement with students and an explanation of the difference between  "personal writing" (using Facebook) and "professional writing" such as a forum in Moodle.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Extending the Learning

Podcast Reflection

Participants will subscribe and attend at least 1 session that they could not attend during the conference, using the podcasts provided on the conference website.  Upon completion of their virtual attendance of a workshop, they will complete the lesson plan form sharing the ways in which they will implement, what they have learned from the August Institute 2011.

I chose to listen to Project Based Learning by Tony Vincent.  He starts off by talking about Palm hand held devices.  He started using them in 2001.  Today the hand held devices are much more interactive using multimedia.  Project based learning is great using mobile devices.  More opportunities need to be in the classroom.  Mobile devices allow this to happen.  Today's Meet can be used on iPod Touch or iPad.  Students had the opportunity to test this out by chatting with each other.  Tony says there are three steps to to bringing project based learning into the classroom.  These steps are: (1) Questions  (2) Investigate (3) Share.  iPods and iPad really lend themselves well to these steps.

Projects take an extended period of time to complete.Activities can be completed in a a matter of a few class periods.
Angela Maiers’ mantra: “You are a genius and the world needs your contribution.”
Do you want to cover material for students or do you want them to uncover it for themselves? 
“The greatest obstacle to learning is coverage.” -Howard Garner
Create a grading rubric with student input. Rubistar is a great place to design rubrics.
Students can keep a PDF of the rubric in iBooks. Better yet, in GoodReader where they can make annotations on the document.

Example Driving Questions:
  1. How can we best stop the flu at our school?
  2. Is it worth the expense to move to an organic diet?
  3. Which element of the periodic table is most important?
  4. Should the U.S. use the metric system?
  5. Which simple machine is most important to you?
  6. Should government bail out businesses?
  7. Is it better to buy or lease a car?
  8. What if Rosa Parks never gave up her seat?
  9. Design a better lunch menu for your school.
  10. What if students use their own mobile devices in school?
Add parameters to the driving question to ensure that standards are met.
What makes a good vice president?
  1. Include the branch of government the position is part of.
  2. Include the roles and powers of the position.
  3. Explain how someone is elected or appointed to the position.
  4. Include information about at least two people who have held the position.
  5. Explain the role of the position in Gerald Ford's succession to presidency.
  6. Include how the office holder is positioned in the line of succession to the presidency.
  7. Include at least one map, chart, or graph.
  8. Give the project your personal touch.
Example rubric for What Makes a Good Vice President?
Driving Question Tips
  1. Where are the standards/content used in the real world?
  2. Cannot be answered with copy and paste
  3. Will the result create something new?
  4. Student voice and choice
  5. Personal and/or local
  6. What? What if? Which?
 Refine the Question
  1. Shorten as much as possible.
  2. Question should appeal to students.
  3. Make it personal or local.
  4. As much room for student voice and choice as possible.
Driving questions from the institute shared on PollEverwhere are here and here.
An anchor activity gets students excited, interested, and curious about the topic of the driving question. Apps, podcasts, iTunes U content, and websites can be used in the anchor activity.
Idea Sketch is an app for concept mapping with diagram and outline views.
Notes, Evernote, or Google Docs for writing questions and taking notes.
Atomic Web Browser is a universal web browser app with tabs.
Side by Side for iPad allows for up to 4 web pages, notes, or drawings to be displayed at once.
Duet Browser for iPad shows two web browser windows at once. Both windows can have tabs. You can make one window be a Google Doc for taking notes.
Numbers can be used for data collection and graphing.
Edutopia has great videos about project-based learning.
Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

Giving students a choice in how they present their project increases authentic engagement.
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath has some principles that can help students make more effective projects, no matter how they choose to share them.
  1. Simple
  2. Unexpected
  3. Concrete
  4. Credible
  5. Emotional
  6. Stories
Record audio using iPod touch’s built-in Voice Memos app or download an app like Audio Memos SE for iPad. Audio recordings can be used for interviews, skits, and reports. Even better is GarageBand. Listed to Radio WillowWeb for examples.
Speaking Tips
  1. Enunciate clearly
  2. Speak at a normal volume
  3. Talk as if you are speaking to a friend
  4. Prepare & practice
  5. Record in short portions
  6. Reduce background noise
  7. Smile!
The Photos app is where images are saved to and imported from.
Comic Touch Lite is a free iPod touch app for adding speech bubbles and call outs to an image.
Strip Designer is a $2.99 universal app for making comic books.
Adobe Photoshop Express is a free universal app for rotating, cropping, and enhancing images.
SonicPics is a $1.99 iPod touch app for narrating a series of images. It has no time limit. The Lite version has a three-slide limit.
StoryKit is a free iPod touch app for creating a web page with boxes. Each box can contain text, images, and an audio recording. See Tony Vincent’s What Makes a Good Vice President example.
FlipBook Lite is a free app for drawing animations. There is no text tool. One animation can be share to the website. The full version of Flipbook is $4.99.
iMovie, Splice Free, and Videolicious for movie-making.
Puppet Pals for iPad or Puppet Pals for iPhone for making narrated puppet shows. is the “dead simple place to post anything by email.” Accounts are free and it’s a great way for students to turn in work and share projects.  Check out as an example and read more about using Posterous for blogs and podcasts.
App Resources
  1. for educational app reviews by educators
  2. Tony Vincent’s list of lists of educational apps
  3. Tony Vincent on Twitter often tweets educational apps that are on sale.
  4. Twitter users are tagging tweets that mention an educational apps with #edapp. Search Twitter for #edapp to see them.
Check out Mobile Learning Experience 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona 11-13.  I think this would be a great conference to attend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Extending the Conference Experience

 into the Virtual World
(Required for those taking University Credit)


1.  Applying what you have learned
     a.  Identifying individual "take aways",  how they will apply what they have learned (50 points)
     b.  Forum participation in the Moodle discussing (100 points)
          "best practices", empowering instructional strategies & potential barriers to success
2.  Extending the learning - Podcast Reflection (50 points)
3.  For Graduate Students:  Identification of barriers to successful technology integration and 21st century learning in their content areas.  Project posted as a blog post to the conference blog:  Titled: OVERCOMING THE BARRIERS TO TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION (50 points)

TOTAL POINTS:  250 points (grad) 200 (undergrad)

Simple, Easy E-Portfolio

Simple, Easy E-Portfolio Using Voice Thread or LiveBinder

We createed a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents and videos that allows people to leave comments in m any different ways from anywhere . We shared your VoiceThread with other students and/or colleagues for them to leave comments. We created a 3-ring binder for the Web using LiveBinders. We were be able to collect sources, organize them neatly and easily present them with pride using LiveBinder. We explored how to use VoiceThread and LiveBinders in your curriculum and motivate our students. No need to download any software . This course was for the proficient to advanced learner who have a working knowledge of computer basics.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chance McKinney Concert

Tech in the Wild

More than 100 teachers participated in the Tech in the Wild workshop.  This consisted of teachers breaking into teams of three.  Each team was given a GPS (demonstration) and an iPod Touch.  With the tools, they were to find five QR codes that were scattered around the University of Montana campus.  Teachers used the ScanLife app and the iCipher app (demonstration) to scan and decipher the codes.  Once deciphered, we were to make a movie on the iPod Touch called Splice and upload it to YouTube.

Try it out yourself!

Here is an example of what one team created:

Project Based Learning in Hand

Tony Vincent 

IDEA 2004 requires school districts to  nsure that textbooks and related core instructional materials are provided to students with print disabilities. This presentation discussed why this requirement is so important to student success, who will be impacted and how to address the requirements as outlined in the law. Assistive technology tools and mainstream technology options (including apps for ipod touch/iPads) were  demonstrated. I left with with practical ideas for how to implement these requirements and  resource materials were provided.

One of the "take away's" I received from this workshop was Tony's app list for the iPad.  As a relatively new user to the iPad I am anxious to learn ways I might be able to integrate its use in the classroom.  I also listened to several of Tony's Podcasts and found them to be very interesting.  I am particularly interested in "Our City Podcast" where students from across the globe submit an episode so others can learn about the places they call home.

Talk with Media

Talk with Media: Simple Ideas for Powerful Sharing

Wes Fryer

Sharing is a moral imperative for educators. Dean Shareski made this point clearly in his 2010 pre-confe rence keynote for the K-12 Online Conference. In this session, we explored ways educators a re using digital platforms to share ideas, network, collaborate, and communicate more with students, parents, and peers.We learned that if you can send an email attachment, you can share rich media as well as text and hyperlinks with Posterous. Wes stressed that if we don't already have an online classroom learning hub, it's time to create one. We looked at  examples of sites classroom teachers are using now to provide rich windows into the learning of their students. Wes feels that we need more "digitally powered" show and tell.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Digital Jam

This was an awesome experience to see technology integrated with music and math.  So many opportunities to integrate technology in music and math.  The best part was that it was fun and didn't feel like "learning" even though we were!

KPAX reported:

Montana teachers are in town brushing up on technology and amping up their music skills before school starts. Dozens of K-12 educators are at the University of Montana for the Annual Teacher Conference to Inspire 21st Century Innovation and Technology.

Country Music Television star and local musician Chance McKinney provided some inspiration Monday night. He used iPads to give the educators a lesson on class participation.

He said learning real instruments can be difficult for anyone, but iPads provide instant gratification so students aren't discouraged. "You could literally pick up an iPad, somebody could tell you the pattern to play and you could play along with any song," he said. "You can't pick up a guitar and do that without hours and hours of repetition and work."

McKinney, a former high school math teacher, said iPads are a great tool to get students of all ages involved.
"It includes ‘em," he said. "Anybody can do this right off the bat and that's half the battle. Getting kids to participate in class: half the battle. The other half is teaching them once they're included."

McKinney and his band, Crosswire, will perform a benefit concert in Missoula at the Wilma on Tuesday, Aug. 9. Tickets cost $15 and are available at Rockin' Rudy's or the door. The proceeds go toward education.

Learning Walks

Social Bookmarking

This learning walk consisted of three presentations that I gave on Social Bookmarking.  Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to organize, store, manage and search for bookmarking of resources online. We covered what it is and how you can use it both personally and professionally.  We looked at various bookmarking tools (no need to download any software).  We explored Diigo and how you can build a personal learning network. We reviewed how to highlight websites and place sticky notes on pages to share with students, staff or parents. We also explored how you can sign up your entire class to collaborate and share great websites without using e-mail addresses.

Introduction to Moodle

I was the presenter for this two hour workshop.  Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It has become very popular among educators around the world as a tool for creating online dynamic web sites for their students. This was a basic introduction to Moodle. We covered the resources, activities and blocks that make up the Moodle environment.  Students had the opportunity to access the class Moodle and explore. 

Podcast of Introduction to Moodle - Cindy Schultz

Opening Keynote

 Trends, Tactics & Tools for 21st Century Learning

 Kevin Honeycutt

Kevin Honeycutt grew up in poverty and his family moved a lot, always staying a step ahead of the ramifications of his father's behavior. He had the opportunity to witness education around the country He collected powerful experiences that still influence his conversations and his work with educators. He spent 13 years teaching art K-12 in public school and spent summers leading creative, adventure camps for kids for 17 years. For the past three years he has hosted a creative learning site called ArtSnacks  ( where he shares 150+ ten minute drawing videos that support standards curriculum. He currently serves as a Technology Integration Specialist at ESSDACK, an educational service center based in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Kevin Honeycutt talked about trends, tactics and tools for 21st century learning.  One of the biggest messages I got from his presentation is that with all of the new tools that we are constantly bombarded with, relationships are still the most important aspect of teaching and learning.  He stressed that empowerment comes from being trusted to attack learning according to your strengths.  Students want (and need) choices.  He also suggested to teacher that they should first make it personal, then make it professional.

Mr. Honeycutt is passionate about meeting the needs of at-risk learners and he work with kids in juvenile detention, teaching them art while developing approaches to re-engage the ""lost"" learner. " He was a dynamic speaker and he brought his personal life experience and a sense of humor to the mission of helping prepare 21st century learners!

Podcast of Opening Keynote - Kevin Honeycutt