Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday - Nearpod What?

  • An online interactive student response system
  • An online tool that will allow your audience to have access to your presentation on their device.
  • Any device can access it.
  • Can be used as an exit ticket, quiz or poll.
  • Teacher controls the pace of the presentation.
  • Students do not need an account, they just need to join it with the access code from the teacher.
  • Teacher can see who is logged into the session.
  • Teacher can produce reports on student’s responses
  • Presentations are only active for 7 days.
  • Under the free account, you are allowed to have up to 40 students.

*FIRST and LAST slide MUST be Nearpod informational slides - Nearpod recently adjusted this setting and does not require the informational slides to be first and last. They can be in any order.

Types of Slides to Add:
  • Content - Slides, Custom Slides, Video, Audio, Slideshow, PDF Viewer, Twitter Feed
  • Add Web Content - upgrade feature
  • Add Activity - Open Ended Questions, Quiz, Poll, Draw it

Can upload many file types:
  • PDF
  • PPT
  • Videos:  MP4, MOV, FLV, OGV, AVI, MPG
  • Pictures:  JPEG, PNG

Presentation must be published to be able to share it.
Be sure you preview the presentation first before you publish it.
Presentations are only active for 7 days.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Traveling Sousa Project and Voicethread

Students in Mrs. Berchtold's music class at the William Davies Middle School in Mays Landing, NJ are working on a Traveling Sousa Project.  It is similar to Flat Stanley, where students have to take Sousa with them where they go and take a picture with the puppet or of the puppet and document it accordingly.

The students are using their school license Voicethread account to create their online presentations.  First, they need to take pictures of Sousa with their own devices such as an iPod, iPad, cell phone, digital camera, or their netbook.  Next, they will download their pictures from their device to their network drive on the school's network.  Once this is completed, the students will upload the pictures into Voicethread.  

Note:  If the students are using Google Apps for Education, they can upload their pictures to their Google Drive instead and then they can link the URL address of the picture to the Voicethread presentation. 

Once the pictures are in Voicethread, the students will narrate their journey with Sousa accordingly.  They can create a video comment, audio comment, or a typed comment.  They can also doodle on the picture.  In addition to narration, they need to create a cover page, insert a presentation title, and insert titles on each slide.  When the project is completed, they will share the link with their teacher via Edmodo.

Here is a sample presentation I created for this project.

To find more information about this project you can search Traveling Sousa on Facebook. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday - QR Codes in the Classroom

What is it?
  • A Quick Response, 2 dimensional bar code.

  • Direct students to a website without using a link.
  • Encourages students to use their mobile devices or a device with a webcam.
  • Gets students excited about learning the content and using different technology.

QR Codes can link to:
  • websites
  • videos
  • pictures
  • an email address
  • a SMS text message
  • phone number
  • contact

How do you make one?  Visit one of these sites:

Insert the URL address, shorten it and be sure you hit details to get the option to create the qr code.


How do I capture a QR Code?
  • Use Windows Snipping Tool
  • Install Jing and save the image to your computer

How do I read a QR Code?
  • an application to scan the QR code will need to be installed on their device.
  • QuickMark Code Reader is one application that can be used. It is available at the Apple Market.
  • UBscanner is available at the Google Play Market.

Can I create an audio QR Code?

Thursday, February 6, 2014


I recently integrated a Microsoft Excel lesson into Mr. Gildiner's 6th grade math class at the William Davies Middle School.  

The students had to build a snowman with the specified material list, but it had to cost less than $25.00 and weighed less than 50 lbs.  This is the specified material list.  Students recorded their information in their notebooks and created a PowerPoint presentation on how they constructed their snowmen.  

Once completed, I introduced Microsoft Excel to the students.  I introduced vocabulary terms to them such as:  cell, intersection, data table, spreadsheet, row, column, label, formula, function, function bar, horizontal and vertical.

Students had to transform their hand written chart onto a spreadsheet.  First, we created a data table, formatted the headings using bold and center justify attributes, and adjusted the column width. Next, students entered their data into the appropriate cells, converted ounces to pounds using Google unit of measure conversion tool, and calculated the cost of their snowmen by using the SUM function. Finally, students created a double line graph and a bar graph on the cost and weight of the snowmen.  Below are samples of the spreadsheet and charts.

In the data table, students had to format the headings in the columns using bold and center justified attributes, format the cost column to currency, which includes the $ sign, and format the weight in oz and weight in lbs columns with two decimal places.  In addition, they included a SUM function in the total row to calculate the total weight in oz, total weight in lbs, and total cost.   

For both charts, students had to include a chart title, axis labels, an appropriate label for the legend, and headings for the data series.

Considering this was their first time using a spreadsheet, the students were able to follow directions, and complete the assignment successfully.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Today is Digital Learning Day

Digital Learning Day
is on Wednesday, February 5th

Digital Learning Day is about giving every child the opportunity to learn in a robust digital environment everyday, with the goal of success in college and a career

During this event, I thought it would be a cool idea to use a new and/or different tool in your classroom.

Some of the ideas I was thinking are

  1. Backchanneling using Today’s Meet
  • Instead of writing, have students participate in a digital classroom discussion.
  • Give your room a name
  • Select the duration of the room
  • Hit ‘Create Room’ button
  • Enter your name and press ‘Join’
  • Enter your message and press ‘Say’
  • Copy the URL address and paste it into Edmodo so the students can access it.
  • Students do not need an account.
  • The teacher would have to moderate it to make sure students stay on task.

Here is my discussion link I created for this event.  https://todaysmeet.com/DigitalLDay

2.  Presentation tool using Voicethread
  • easy to collaborate and share
  • all students have accounts

  • Have your students build a building, town, or city with this application.  
  • Recommend students to use the Chrome browser.
  • Students do not need an account.

4.  Flip your classing using Nearpod
  • You can create a student response presentation and assign it to your students.
  • Students do not need to create an account.
  • Just share the presentation code with students and they will join it.
  • Students can access your presentation on ANY device.

5. Collaborate with Kollaborate
  • Build a discussion board with your students or small groups.
  • Students can upload pictures and links with either of these tools.
  • Great method for an exit ticket.

  • will bring characters to life by documenting their journey.
  • allows students to virtually follow along with a book.

7. Start Writing with Inklewriter
  • Help students write and publish interactive stories.

8. Study with Quizlet
  • Create flashcards, practice quizzes and games to help students study.

9.  Create concept maps with Popplet

10. Classroom Connection with Skype or Google Hangout
  • Teacher will need to create an account.  

11. Create QR Codes with Goo.gl or Kaywa
  • allow students to quickly go to a website by scanning a QR Code
  • create book reviews or videos

12. Allow students to create a website using Google Sites to portray their work.

  • allows students to create interactive pictures.
  • Can be used for landmarks, periodic table of elements, book/character reviews
  • Many possibilities

Please participate in the TodaysMeet Discussion I started so that you can understand how backchanneling works.  https://todaysmeet.com/DigitalLDay