Monday, August 18, 2014

Mini Maker Faire Road Trip

Cross blogged at Life is a Maker Faire

One of the latest crazes to hit is the Maker Faire. What is a Maker Faire you ask?
Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned. (Maker Faire)

On a whim when we were planning for our back to school meetings, we decided to have a mini maker faire. I took the idea and ran with it. Now it seems to become a road show. The maker faire road trip is a bit more about learning new ideas than a traditional maker faire with makers showcasing their work.  It has made its appearance at two trainings in the last week.  What is included in my mini maker faire? I have between 5-6 stations depending on the space. Presently, I have the following stations:
1. Coding: Creating a flappy bird game14775472990_f7ddae7cc6_o
2. Creating a Hovercraft
3. Building a 60 cup structure
4. Games (board games, dice games, logic)
5. Green screening with WeVideo
6. Circuits with Snap circuits and Roominate

From my vantage point, the maker faire was an engaging time for the participants to Collaborate, Communicate, Create, and Think Critically. The 4Cs were embedded throughout the faire.  Here is a flappy bird game created by Nikki, one of our Technology and Learning Coaches (TLC). Emily, another TLC said, "I loved the circuit building activity!  I was avoiding it at first because it seemed a little scary the idea of building a "circuit," but the activity showed that I could learn something new and construct my own knowledge through collaboration with other team members and access to a direction book. My colleagues were my co-learners in creating something new"

What has this Maker Faire shown me? It's demonstrated to me that the hands on activities are a way to get everyone involved in the learning. The learning is more than the standards and we need to teach critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity in our classrooms at EVERY level, not just elementary because they have learning stations/labs. It also brings a lot of questions to mind. How can we turn our classrooms in to maker faires? How do we model this learning for teachers to begin to have this mindset?


Discovery Education Streaming PLUS available to ALL Richland Two teachers and students.


The Good News
A big thank you to Richland School District Two for purchasing Discovery Education Streaming for all teachers and students in the district. We were all in shock when we heard over the Summer that Discovery Education Streaming would no longer be available to teachers when school started. Richland School District Two worked with Discovery to make sure we would continue to integration  of Discovery Education Streaming with our 1TWO1 initiative. The best part of this news is our service will be even better than last year! What do I mean? We were able to secure Discovery Streamline PLUS. We have access to an additional 50,000 resources including Common Core lesson activities.  

The AWESOME news
With in the first couple weeks of school, the schedules and classes will be added to teachers and students accounts. What does this mean? You as a teacher will not have to manually create classes with in Discovery Education. Classes will automatically be created and change if students move in and out of your classes. 

An AMAZING Opportunity
Coming soon we will be looking for DEN Ambassadors! 
The DEN Ambassador Program is designed to fully support teachers as they integrate digital media and technology into their teaching practice. During this program, participants will come together for three face-to-face meetings. A variety of learning experiences will be provided throughout the program, as well as the opportunity to connect and learn via a private Edmodo group. If you know you are all ready interested, email MaryAnn Sansonetti-Wood to be added to the initial email for interest.

How do you access? 
From this point on you will access Discovery Education Streaming by being logged in to your Google Apps account (be logged in to your email) and go to . The first time you access this site, it will ask your permission to link your Google Apps account to discovery. Accept this option. 
After your account is connected you will not need to log in to Discovery Education ever again. You will simply navigate to to access the content available to you.

What if I am new to Richland School District Two this year? 
If you are a new teacher to Richland School District Two your information will be added to Discovery Streaming within the first couple weeks of school. We are working with Discovery Education to make sure ALL accounts are up and running. Please be patient.

Do all students have access?
Yes, all students k-12 will have access to Discovery Education Streaming by accessing it the same way as teachers. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Share the Positive - #RichlandTwo

When sharing on Twitter use #RichlandTwo

Starting the new year with a shot of excitement? Is your professional learning getting you ready for the student's arrival next Wednesday? Is your school, creating an atmosphere of collaboration and communication? Are you just super excited to work for an amazing district? Have you learned new ways to engage your students and you want to share it with the world? Are you looking for new ways to utilize technology in your classroom and grow as a 1TWO1 teacher? If you said yes to any of these questions, you need to tweet about it and use the hashtag; #RichlandTwo

Why would you want to use Twitter? 
Twitter is the number one sharing and professional learning tool for teachers worldwide. Share what is going on with your class and learn at the same time. If you are new to Twitter, find out how to get started here.
Let's build an atmosphere of collaboration and learning through social media. Check out what is happening in the district below or go to twitter and follow the hashtag #RichlandTwo. If you want to follow other Richland Two employees add your name to this spreadsheet and it will populate at the bottom of this post.

Need help with Twitter, contact your school level Technology and Learning Coach. 

Let's get the word out about how amazing Richland School District Two and your home school really are! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

VoiceThread: The New Look

Why not start the 2014-2015 school year with VoiceThread's new look. Along with the new look, VoiceThread has some new features you are going to love! 

Media is larger and more detailed
High-quality media display
Higher-resolution annotations
New zoom controls
One conversation channel
Drag-n-Drop comment reordering
Upload video files as comments
Text comments scroll
Bulk actions for sharing, deleting and making copies 
Sharing controls simplified
Display preferences- light or dark interface
and more...

For more details read about the new features here or you can watch how the new features work!

How will you use VoiceThread this school year? Take a moment and leave your comment! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

The 1TWO1 Digital Starter Kit gets a face lift

We have updated the 1TWO1 Digital Starter Kit! The updates include new websites for use in your classrooms as well as a new "quick view" sheet you can print off and keep handy. The list you are accustomed to starts on page 4 of the 1TWO1 Digital Starter Kit.

Remember this is just a place to start with digital projects! 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Update Your Email Subscription to this blog

We've done a little updating. Please resubscribe to our blog via the email option on if you previously received it via email. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

George Couros Speaks with Richland Two Leaders

Day 2 of the Administrative Inservice was kicked off with a keynote by George Couros, the Division Principal for Parkland School Division and an Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership consultant.  He challenged our administrators to communicate, share, and transform what is going on at their schools. 

Here are a few tweets of the morning. Head on over to Twitter and check out the #RichlandTwo Discussion.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Show us - What are you doing this summer?

As you begin taking your much needed summer vacations, when you return why don't you make a video to show what you did this summer? You like the idea but don't know where to start... 

Did you know in Richland School District Two every teacher, student, and staff member has access to WeVideo? It is an amazing cloud video editor. All you have to do is go to the WeVideo website and click login at the top right of the page. Then simply log in using your Google login (same thing you use for email). The best part is if you are logged in to your district google account all you have to do is click login and it connects your account with 2 clicks. :) Easy peasy!

Now you are saying, "But I have no idea on how to use WeVideo!" They have that covered too. Just simply learn on demand with the WeVideo Academy. This is a wonderful YouTube channel filled with tutorials and examples of all of the things you can do with WeVideo.

So here is a challenge for you .... I will share my summer if you share yours... Join me on this blog again in August with your video links ready to share. Have a great summer!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Richland Two's SC Midlands Summit - AWESOME!

This year's SC Midlands Summit was AWESOME. We had roughly 600 participants representing not only Richland School District Two but 31 other school districts and 9 states. What a great opportunity to expand your network! 

We would like to thank everyone who attended, presented, and volunteered for the SC Midlands Summit. Also a special thank you to the staff at Blythewood High School the facility and staff were amazing.  Mrs. Melody Cooke-McDuffie kept the facility moving and met all of our needs with enthusiasm and joy. She made it easy for us!

Over two days there were over 130 sessions and 3 amazing keynote speakers. Attendees had an opportunity to earn up to 14 hrs of renewal credit.  What were people saying about the SC Midlands Summit?
"I loved the plethora of choices for all of the sessions. There was also a wonderful variety between the sessions. It was hard to pick just one to go to, as there were so many sessions that interested me!"
"There were ample areas to choose from!!! For me, a special needs teacher, there were LOADS of sessions that I felt could benefit my classroom and students. This doesn't usually happen unless I'm at a conference specifically designed to help Special Educators. I loved that there was also lots of vendors there to talk with and begin networking with as well."  
"I like the vast amount of sessions that were offered. It was really hard to choose. There was no way you attend just one! :)"
 Please be sure to join us next year! Follow us on Twitter and Google+

Be sure to check out the Flickr Album!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Congratulations to Marriah Schwallier, DEN Star

Congratulations to Marriah Schwallier for becoming a DEN Star with the Discovery Education Network! 

What is a DEN Star?
A global community of education professionals that are passionate about transforming the learning experience with digital media, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) connects members across town and around the world through social media, virtual conferences and in-person events — fostering valuable networking, idea-sharing and inspiration.

If you are passionate about transforming learning experiences with digital media, sharing resources, collaborating, and networking we invite you to take the next step in the DEN. Become a STAR Discovery Educator. It's easy. Just remember STAR:

– Share something you've learned  about using Discovery Education resources with your colleagues

– Teach your colleagues about this idea or strategy

A – Assist your colleagues as they implement this idea or strategy

– Report what you've done

Would you like to be interested in becoming a DEN Star? Log in to your Discovery Education Account and click on Discovery Education Network on the left navigation.