Aug 302013

OnTrack Section #:66142 , Course #:59223

Thanks for having me at VHS today to work with you on your Chromebooks and implementing and paperless workflow with you and your students. Take a look at the links below for the needed resources for this training:

Aug 182013

Follow the links below for more information about each of the sessions I have presented today at the Garfield Opening Institute:

  • OnTrack – All of your Professional Development, classroom evaluations and professional growth planning all in one place.
  • Google Sites – Create and manage your teacher web site right from your Google account
  • UTIPS Core – Formative assessment made easy, and what is going on with Assessment in Utah


Aug 142013
Permalink: or view the Google Presentation

Edmodo is a free social learning network for teachers, students, schools and districts. It is a safe and easy way to connect, exchange ideas, share content as well as access homework, grades and school notices. Edmodo offers the ability to create a blended learning environment, where students can interact with each other, and ask questions of you – from school or at home. Learning can and will happen anywhere, anytime. An added benefit is that teachers can join other like-minded teacher groups on Edmodo to start or build up your Personal Learning Network (PLN) and experience anytime professional development.

The Edmodo platform ensures student safety and privacy because it is a closed environment and no private information or email address is required for students to join. Students join only by an invitation from their teacher. There is no private chat between students – all communications are archived, and teachers have full management and control over what is posted.

Parents can also be special group members – once a student has joined a class group, a Parent Code can be generated that will allow a parent access to the student’s account, as well as be able to see all of the communications between the teacher and student, upcoming assignments, and grades for their student.

Task: Create an account on Click the blue ‘I’m a Teacher’ button, and follow the steps. You may have to create your school if it’s not listed in the options.

The first thing you’ll need to do as a teacher is to create your first group or class for your students to be able to join in. When you create your a group in Edmodo, a 6-digit code and a unique  “Join URL” is automatically generated for you to share with your students. The code and link will automatically lock after 14 days, but you can unlock it to add new students anytime.

I’d first like you to experience Edmodo from a student’s perspective to get a feel for what you can do with this tool. Once you are logged in, I’d like you to join my SEDC Edmodo Support group.

Task:  Join my group using the following Group Code: sgzyq8 by clicking the ‘+’ next to Groups on the left and clicking ‘Join.’ Or, you can just follow this link and request to join.

Now that you are students or members of my group, let’s show you how you can manage your students from the ‘Members’ group link. You can view all of the group members and quickly see their username and monitor their progress with posted grades or earned badges. Under the ‘More’ drop-down, you can change a student’s access, view their Parent Code, change their password or quickly remove them from the group.

The main way you’ll interact with your Group is with the different available Post types. Click the ‘Home’ icon and then the name of the group you’d like to communicate to on the left. New posts are written above the latest post. You can post:

  • Notes – Post comments, questions and general information here. You can attach a file, a link or a Library item to each note. You can also schedule a note to be posted at a future date.
  • Alerts – These are important updates for your group. They’ll be shown in bold in the Posts area.
  • Assignments – Upload assignment documents, link to Google Documents, or simply describe the task at hand for your kids. Students can submit their assignments by clicking the ‘Turn In’ button in the Assignment post. You can grade their work right in Edmodo!
  • Quizzes – Build quizzes here, using multiple choice, T/F, short answer, fill-in-the-blank and matching type questions.
  • Polls – get immediate feedback and results with Polls. Use a poll question as an exit ticket, or send a Poll to your parents for their input.

Task: Investigate the different sample posts in the SEDC Edmodo Support Group. Reply to my Note, read the Alert, do the quick Assignment, Take a quick Utah Facts Quiz, and answer the Poll question.

Back under the ‘Home’ tab,  you’ll see ‘Communities’ beneath your Groups on the left. Communities are where you can connect with other teachers on Edmodo who do the same things you do and teach the same things you teach. Have a question about how to improve your instruction of a certain topic? Follow that subject and request posting rights to ask questions of this vast community of like-minded teachers. You probably picked a few communities to join when you created your account, but you can select ‘Show All’, then ‘Discover New Communities’. This is a tremendous way to build your PLN, get help and participate in your own hyper-focused professional development!

Also, the ‘Support’ community is always there to help out if you get stuck or have problems, 24 hours a day. You can also visit the Edmodo Help Center anytime to access an online Users Manual, webinars, FAQ’s and more.

If you find an educator who is saying interesting things or posting great resources, you can click on their name in a Community post to learn more about them. By clicking the green ‘Add Connection’ button, you can request to follow and collaborate with that person. Alternatively, you can save a post and comment thread for later reference. Hover over the main post and you’ll see a gear icon to the right. Click it to share the post, copy the link to the post, or add it to your Library for reference.

Your Library is accessed from the open book link/tab in the blue bar at the top of the page.

Task: Join a Community or two, and request Posting Rights

Now, let’s take some time to create your groups in Edmodo. Create a new group for each class period or subject you teach, or you can just make one group to get going. Be sure to check out the options in the Advanced tab to pre-set student permissions and post moderation options, as well as a description of the group (use this space for a permanent reminder or class slogan!)

Task:  Create your Group(s) by clicking the ‘+’ next to Groups on the left and clicking ‘Create’

Each new group has links to quickly view posts, folders and members.

Where do go from here? We have just scratched the surface of what Edmodo has to offer. With the time remaining, make sure to investigate:

  • Store (shopping cart icon) – add apps and services, both free and paid, that will enhance your Edmodo experience.
  • Manage (gear icon) – Manage your apps, purchase store credit, find suggested apps, view your account history, get help and more.
  • App Launcher (9-square icon) – quickly launch your installed apps.
  • Progress Viewer (EKG icon) – view grades on assignments and the badges your students have earned.
  • Award Badges – students can be motivated by the smallest things. Check out how to create and award badges for your students.
  • Discover (compass icon) – view suggested apps, suggested links and search for content.
  • Library (open book icon) – view all of your saved content and posts.
  • Notifications (bell icon) – see what’s happened since your last visit to Edmodo
Aug 142013


Today we will take a look at some new technology that is coming to your schools in a big way – Chrome browser and Chromebooks from Google. We will see how the Chromebook works, look at some great tools from Google and Google Docs, and show you how you can use Docs/Drive for group collaboration work.

How does Google Docs work???

This article will get you started with Google Docs & this article will show you how to set up a true paperless workflow. Need a handout for how to use Google Docs? You can find some great Google Docs help here. We will be getting our hands ‘dirty’ with some collaborative work today. Please don’t access this document before I ask you to!

After today, you can take a look at the Top 10 Educational Uses for Google Docs, or 50 little known ways you can use Google Docs in education.

Aug 132013

It’s that time of year again… Time to get back to school! Why not start the year off with a new resolve and commitment to better communicate with and engage your students and their parents, letting them know about all of the great things happening in your classroom or school in a way that they are already familiar with?

Take a look at my Prezi: Facebook Fan Pages & Twitter: A Primer for Schools & Teachers. We start with the basics of what a ‘tweet’ is and what Twitter can do for you and finish up with the benefits of a Facebook Fan Page. I also include information on how to get started with each, including some suggested and safe initial settings for posting and interaction. You can also view the presentation below!

Aug 132013

A haunting and sometimes tough to watch documentary of the terrible things that can happen when texting and driving. Everyone, not just high-school aged kids, should watch this and heed the warnings and dangers of taking your eyes off of the road for just one second. A tough lesson to learn, but one that you certainly do NOT want to learn first hand.

Aug 082013

OnTrack Section #: 65480, Course #: 58985

Today we’ll get you up to speed on your iPads and show you some amazing things you’ll be able to do in your 1:1 iPad classrooms. I’ll include links to everything we discuss today below, as well as a PDF and PowerPoint version of my presentation. The plan for today includes:

  • Cover the basics to get everyone on the same page
  • Presenting from your iPad: How to control and project your classroom computer, and how to project your iPad screen using Apple TV
  • Screencasting – creating learning objects with some cool interactive white board type apps
  • Creating rich media projects like narrated slide shows, picture- and full blown eBooks, and full movies.
  • Classroom quizzing and formative assessment with free web-based tools
  • Finding good places for educational apps & media

1-1 iPad Classroom Solutions PDF

1-1 iPad Classroom Solutions PowerPoint

Here’s the presentation from a similar session at the Rural Schools Conference in July, using Google+ Hangout On-Air (YouTube Video).

Apps, links and resources for each area above:

Aug 012013

Internet Safety Cheat Sheet

What a great resource for busy teachers! I get asked many of these questions all of the time, and since I don’t have children and don’t need to worry about it, I really don’t know the answers. Now I know where to send those folks looking for a way to safeguard their kids from questionable material out there online.