Thursday, March 24, 2016

Web Whiteboard App

Our seventh through twelfth grade students have touch screen Chromebooks and recently I came across this website that allows you to draw online and then download the drawing as a jpeg. 

A Web Whiteboard is a touch-friendly online whiteboard app that lets you use your computer, tablet or smartphone to easily draw sketches, collaborate with others and share them with the world.

You can free draw, type as well as insert a picture and then draw on top of the picture. You can invite others to your board via a link or email and can download your image. Whether you are labeling a picture, drawing out a math problem or typing an answer to a question, this app is a very useful tool in the classroom. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Kids Coding Newsletter- Upcoming Events

See upcoming Coding Club opportunities from TechBirmingham

Kids Coding Club Newsletter3/21/2016
Online Coding Resources
Code Combat
Hackety Hack
Code Academy
Code School
Summer Coding Options 

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Kids Coding Club Newsletter

Dear Judy,

Welcome to our first Kids Coding Club Newsletter!  We will be sharing upcoming Super Code Sunday and 100 Girls of Code workshops as well as resources for the kids to explore.


Monthly Code Club Dates (Super Code Sunday)

 April 3rd  (Exploring Minecraft)
 June 5th
 July 10th
 August 7th
 September 11th 
 October 2nd
 November 6th

*Club meets from 1:00 - 3:00 pm at the     McWane Science Center on these dates.

Other Upcoming Events

iD Tech 3D Model Contest for K–12 Students

Design a Minecraft-Inspired 3D Model

Use your favorite 3D modeling software or download free tools like Autodesk Tinkercad or Autodesk 123D Design. Our preferred file format is STL.

Submit Your Design on Shapeways
Create an account on Shapeways (you will need a parent or guardian's permission). Upload your file. Select "Display to the public" under the Selling tab. (Only one submission per person.) Click “Save Changes”.

Under the Details tab in the product description field, describe your 3D model and why others would want to print it. We're looking for creativity. Your submission must be tagged with the following to be considered for the contest: #iDTech3DContest AND your appropriate group level: #3DElementary, #3DMiddle, or #3DHighSchool. You can read the complete submission guidelines here.

Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm PST on Friday, April 15, 2016. Winners will be be announced through social media and contacted via email by the end of April, 2016. Good luck!

Monday, March 21, 2016

STEAM night at SMES

SMES PARENTS: This week is the FINAL week for students to sign up for STEAM Afternoon! All money and forms can be turned into Miss Cramer or the office. If students need another form, they can get them from the office or Miss Cramer. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Have you ever wanted to set an expiration date for a GAFE doc, slide, etc?

Now you can! Check out the newest features rolling out soon to GAFE domains. 

This feature will not work for those users you give edit rights, but will for comment or view rights. We might not see this update in our domain for a few months, but get ready! 


Thursday, March 17, 2016

What did RRES 5th Grade Girls ask First Lady Michelle Obama?

First Lady Michelle Obama will be traveling to Cuba to focus on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people.  As part of this visit The First Lady will be hosting a discussion with high school girls about education in Cuba. Four girls from RRES 5th grade submitted a question to Mrs. Obama.  Will she choose to answer their question?

Transformation of a Teacher

Recently, while having an impromptu conversations, I found myself listening as a teacher described her growth and transformation through the use of technology. I asked her to write a blog describing her journey. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

By: LaRue Frederick, 3rd grade teacher, Riverchase Elementary

 It was about this time ten years ago, when an email arrived in my Inbox that would become the starting point of an adventure guided by my students with endless possibilities.  I couldn't wait to receive my first round of technology.  It felt like Christmas when the five laptops, projector, digital camera, and video camera were delivered.  I was so excited and could not wait to use all of it. Then came the fear of what do I do with all of this.  I attended countless professional development opportunities where I listened to all of my amazing coworkers share how they were implementing technology into the classroom.  Every time I would leave with amazing ideas but felt overwhelmed attempting to follow through with my plans to implement technology.  Don't get me wrong I was doing the basics and my students were researching and producing various projects using Microsoft Office applications.
     Then one day all of that changed.  It was the day we had all anxiously awaited for.  The one to one initiative was just getting started and the Nooks were being delivered.  If felt like Christmas again as we all took our Nooks out of the box.  I had planned what I would do and say and then I stood there and nerves took over and I could not remember how to turn the Nook on.  One of my students said "Ms. Frederick just press the button with the line and circle."  I looked and still didn't know what they were talking about.  Then the student said "you know it is the one with the picture that all power buttons have on it like on a remote."  In that moment, my perspective about my job as a teacher changed drastically.  I realized that I was no longer the holder of all the knowledge which was a huge relief but was a facilitator in my classroom.   As time went on I still left pd opportunities and my brain felt like it was going to explode.  
   As frustrated as I would get at times managing a classroom of 19 kids each with a device and the wifi not working correctly, I knew I had to continue to work through the frustration to prepare my students for the world they were born into and to start helping them to obtain the skills they would need one day when they had a job.  Little by little and bit by bit things began to get easier and I began to think outside of the box.  All of this led me to where I am today and today I am in that place where I have climbed the mountain and I am starting to cross over the peak to the other side.  In January, I left the National Board Conference ecstatic because for the first time I left a technology pd session and I was able to keep up with the presenter and my head did NOT feel like it was going to explode.  
     Currently in my classroom, we use Google Classroom daily.  My students fluently use Google Drawing, Google Slides, and Google Docs.  We started using Google Sheets this week.  We are at the point, only three days later, where my students can effectively use Google Sheets in the form of their reading journals successfully with only a few questions.  The difference in five years ago and now is that instead of being the only teacher in the room there are 19-20 teachers in the room collaborating to help each other meet our needs.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Who needs words when you have numbers?

Mrs. Kavanagh's Kindergarten class @ Gwin read The Numberly book using an Augmented Reality App. Students were able to see the book come to life! Student's then created their own Aurasma drawing with their favorite number and explained why they choose that number.  GREAT JOB Kindergarten.

Civil Rights Movement using Google Slides

Mrs. Hutchison's 4th Graders at SSCES made Trading Cards using Google Slides...Important Women in the Civil Rights Movement 
Sample 1Sample 2

STEAM Afternoon @ SMES

The 2nd STEAM AFTERNOON @ SMES is coming up on Thursday, April 7 from 3-5:45 PM (Pizza dinner 5:30-5:45 PM). The purpose of this event is to engage children in an afternoon of EXCITING explorations in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM). This event is put on by SMES teachers and UAB pre-service teachers that have volunteered their Thursday night. All funds raised will go towards materials for our Science Lab and MAKERSPACE. The cost is $25 per child and $15 for each additional SMES child you have. The cost for children that attend SMES Extended Day is $15. This event is for SMES students only in grades K-5. Sign up forms and money are due by Friday, March 25! Please see STEAM Afternoon info sheet attached. Send your child for an afternoon of fun!!

Hoover High is doing a second round of short technology workshops. The "Tech Snacks" are held all day and teachers can come during their planning periods. The workshops are taught by HHS teachers and admins and cover a wide range of topics.  This is a great opportunity and is ,by design, convenient for teachers.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

3,2,1, Action!

Bio Buddies
Contributed by Nancy Sherman

In February, Mrs. Sherman’s 2nd grade class at Deer Valley researched famous Americans. The children used AVL (Alabama Virtual Library), QR codes they scanned which took them to a variety of websites and short video clips as they gathered facts about their famous American. They published their facts in a written report with a timeline and then created a Bio Buddy/Person Book to display their reports. Mrs. Sherman added a fun and exciting presentation piece by having each child stand in front of a green screen as they read their reports. She used the iPad app Green Screen by Do Ink. Each video was uploaded to Google Drive, then a QR code was created for each presentation with a link to the video presentation. The projects are displayed in the hall by the classroom. The students have scanned and watched each other’s presentation using the QR Reader app Inigma. Other classes, teachers and guests can drop by with an iPad or other smart device and view these wonderful presentations. The presentations are also on Mrs. Sherman’s class web page.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Author Skype at BGIS

Author Shelley Pearsall Skypes with Mrs. Dolan's 5th gr. Class

It was an exciting morning as students in Mrs. Dolan's 5th grade reading class prepared for the live Skype with author Shelley Pearsall. Students had completed reading the book "All of the Above" and had prepared several questions for Mrs. Pearsall. From her home in Ohio, Mrs. Pearsall answered many questions and showed the students the process she used to write the book. She showed pictures and different book jackets and talked about how she starts with an idea and how that idea grows into chapters and chapters into books. The students had so much fun getting to know her and were happy to ask her questions about why the story went in a certain direction. Thursday the students plan on making some of the recipes which were in the book and Mrs. Pearsall let them know which was her favorite.

You can check out more of her books on her website.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tech Integration Coach Spotlight

Each week the elementary tech integration coaches share information with teachers via a blog, Smore newsletter, and Google Doc to share tips/tricks and emerging technologies.

Each are spotlighted below...

Sara Carpenter, TIC: GVES, RES, TCES


Karen Darroch, TIC: BPES, DVES, GSES

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

100 Girls of Code

Free Computer Programming Workshops for Girls Ages 8-17!
We are excited to announce our next workshop in 2016! 

May 7th

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

held at the Brock School of Business at Samford University. 
Girls ages 8 -12 will learn about computer science, get exposure to programming/coding and learn some basic programming skills. 

Girls ages 12 -17 will learn about computer science, get exposure to programming/coding and learn more advanced programming skills. 

* More information for each workshop is available on the registration links below. Space is limited to 50 girls per workshop.

Register for May 7th 100 Girls of Code workshop
We have launched a monthly club for kids (boys and girls) who like to code in partnership with Tech Alabama (our statewide focused nonprofit) and The McWane Science Center. 
Register for the March 6th Meeting HERE!

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