Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Technology Spotlight, Karen Brown, L W Conder Elementary School

Karen Brown has made teaching child development students her career for very good reasons - she understands 4-year olds and how to provide engaging and meaningful experiences for them! Karen has taught in the Clemson Road Child Development program for 10 years both on the Clemson Road campus and currently at L W Conder Elementary. Her love of nature led her to the Congaree National Forest where she was a teacher ranger for two summers and she continues to bring her students to the outdoors through grant funded projects and many recycled materials.



The name of Karen's classroom is the Terrific Turtles and her class has already learned a lot about sea turtles in particular, one of her favorite animals. In order to provide her students with the opportunity to meet a turtle expert and to learn more about their class mascot, Karen arranged a Skype session with a west coast authority on turtles. He presented lots of pictures and stories and the Terrific Turtles answered questions and shared their turtle school family song with him. The two-way exchange made possible by Skype was very helpful in keeping student engagement high!

Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime and other video chat applications are a great way to bring experts to your classroom. How have you used applications like this in your classroom? 

Thank you to Debbie Brady for nominating Karen Brown. If you have a teacher or project on technology you want to showcase at your school in Richland School District Two, fill out the Spotlight Form .

Monday, October 6, 2014

October is Connected Educator Month!

Connected Educator month is October! Are you excited or what? "Or what?" You say. You don't even know what Connected Educator month is? So here is the skinny Connected Educator Month is brought to you by the U.S. Department of Education and it's partners to offer highly diverse and engaging professional development activities for all levels of educators. It is in it's third year. 


The goals of CEM include:
  • Getting more educators proficient with social media to improve their practice
  • Deepening and sustaining learning among those already enjoying connection’s benefits
  • Helping schools credential/integrate connected learning into their formal professional development efforts
  • Stimulating and supporting innovation in the field
     (http://connectededucators.org/about-connected-educators-mission-goals/)
Check out the web page to see all that is available for your to participate in ... Connected Educator Month. Don't forget to share what you learn. Be sure to hashtag it on Twitter with #CE14 and #RchlandTwo!

If you are new to Professional Learning Networks, Richland Two is offering a T for 2 online class - R2 Connected Educator - The goal of this course is to build a professional learning network, where you will build relationships and collaborate with other educators around the world, through various social networks. We will focus on 4 different social media types, Google+, Twitter, Blogging, and YouTube. This course is designed for you to work at your own pace, but collaboration is ongoing. Renewal Credit: 10

This class starts October 8 - Sign up in PDExpress today!

http://connectededucators.org/


Monday, September 22, 2014

Technology Spotlight, Keighley Wingard, Bridge Creek Elementary

Keighley Wingard is in her 9th year with Richland School District Two and currently serving as the Technology and Learning Coach at Bridge Creek Elementary. This year, Keighley working with her school has started a video newsletter to share Bridge Creek news with parents, the community, and the world! 

After being inspired by George Couros to "take the digital leap," Bridge Creek Elementary school is now communicating with parents through a video newsletter called The Cougar Roar. Students are given leadership opportunities each week by having speaking roles on camera. All of the newsletter footage is captured on a flip cam, and then imported into WeVideo. From here, chroma key effects are added and the video is published. The published link is posted to Twitter @BCETeam121 and it is also embedded on the school's homepage. The September 5th edition, has now been viewed over 2,000 times!  

What a great way to involve everyone with what is going on in your school! Share the positive #RichlandTwo



If you have a teacher or project on technology you want to showcase at your school in Richland School District Two, fill out the Spotlight Form .

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NEW class in PDExpress! Reading in the Middle

Do you enjoy reading Young Adult Literature? Do you teach middle school? Do you want to learn more about technology tools you can use in your classroom? If you answered yes to at least two of the questions listed, YOU HAVE TO TAKE THIS YEAR LONG CLASS! 


SIGN UP IN PD EXPRESS today! The class starts October 1, 2014 online!
Instructors: Media Specialists Michal Hope Brandon, Christina Willson and Lorena Swetnam
Course Description: Ever wonder what your middle schooler is reading?  Get to know what’s trending in middle grades literature while learning some hot tech tools to help you implement these popular titles in your classroom.
Method of instruction:  Each month teachers will select a book to read from a different genre and will learn how to use a different technology tool.  Teachers will visit the Reading in the Middle blog each month to review the book lists and technology tool for the appointed month.  Each month teachers will write two posts and submit them to the Google + Community: 1) a reflection on the title he/she read and a connection to his/her students 2) a reflection on using the technology tool for professional learning and/or in the classroom.  If applicable, teachers will share a product created using the featured technology tool.  Teachers are encouraged to comment on the posts to build a conversation about the learning experience.  
Course Objectives:
  1. Encourage teachers to read popular middle grade novels that their students are currently reading.
  2. Facilitate online discussion between teachers to share ideas and resources for incorporating different titles in the classroom.
  3. Teach teachers about technology tools tied to literacy and reading.

Credit:  The course will be held from October through April for a total of 7 months. Teachers will earn 3 credit hours for each class in which he/she participates through their posts on the Google + Community.  Teachers may earn up to a total of 21 credit hours.  This is a monthly course that teachers will sign up for each month they wish to participate.

Friday, August 22, 2014

DENapalooza in COLUMBIA! September 20, 2014

Please share with all your colleagues! 



If you haven't heard, DENapalooza is coming to Columbia, SC on Saturday, September 20 from 9-3:30! 

So what exactly is DENapalooza?DENapalooza is a full day professional development event organized by the Discovery Educator Network team with assistance from local DEN community members. The goal of the day is to provide educators with new skills to improve their use of technology in the classroom and increase the use of Discovery Education in the classroom. The day consists of formal presentations in the morning, lunch, and an unconference in the afternoon. The morning sessions will be set by the presenters. Some presenters are from the DEN Team and others are educators like you. The great thing about the unconference in the afternoon is that attendees drive the conversation and discussions. Those in attendance choose the topics they want to explore. The day is low key and provides a great networking, sharing, and learning environment.
What is the format/agenda?The day will begin with a light breakfast following by a few opening remarks from the host. There will be morning presentations following the opening and then an opportunity to plan the unconference prior to lunch. Discovery will provide lunch on site and attendees can use this time to reflect on the morning, network, and enjoy the company of fellow DEN members. After lunch, the unconference will take place. There will be several options for attendees to choose from based on the schedule set up prior to lunch. The day will end with an appy hour, cool tool smackdown, or some other opportunity for attendees to share something fun.

How much does it cost?
IT'S FREE!!!!!!

Where do I register? 
Visit the DENapalooza site!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Be a part of the DEN Ambassador Program



Richland School District Two Teachers,

We would like to invite you to participate in a pilot of an innovative Discovery Education program.  Are you looking for ways to learn more strategies for integrating digital media and technology?  Do you want to share and hear success stories from across your district?  Ever wondered how other districts across the nation are using Discovery Education?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we have the program for you!

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. To learn more about the program visit the DEN Ambassador Program.

This program is being supported by Richland School District Two and is being led by DEN STAR MaryAnn Sansonetti-Wood. This is a blended class with online assignments and in person meetings. The 3 in-person dates will be held on Thursdays - October 2, November 6, and December 4 from 4:30-6:30 pm. We are only accepting 40 participants from across the district for this program so RSVP ASAP... we only have a few spots left :)

The online portion of the class runs September 22 through December 15.

If you are interested in being a part of this innovative program please fill out this form. Sign up by September 15.

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?

makerfaire

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

MaryAnn_Sansonetti-Wood___Discovery_Education.png

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, check out how to register.

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 http://google.discoveryeducation.com . 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 google.discoveryeducation.com 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!