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?


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, 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 . 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!