Welcome to Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog:

Redefining the (digital) Classroom

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

For Good and Not Evil: Social Media in the Classroom

This Thursday 9/27/12, my colleague Autumn Laidler and I will be presenting an event as part of global Social Media Week. We, along with 10 of our students, will be demonstrating how to leverage social media in the classroom to amplify student voices and learning. We'll discuss how to use this powerful tool "for good and not evil" and teach kids that social networking and collaboration can open a window to global learning.

If you're in the Chicago area that day, we hope you can make it! It is free and open to all.
Click here for event details!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"...But I don't have a 1:1"

Often I speak to teachers who are so ready to redefine their classrooms but simply don't have the resources to go 1:1 at this time. While I point them to this page to start thinking about grants, there aren't always open funds ready to dole out $15,000+ to teachers. If you are in this situation, and have a projector, laptop, and perhaps one teacher iPad, here is a "recipe" for how you can leverage these devices on a daily basis... and still work some magic. If you are working in this situation and have ideas you don't see below, please share them in the comments section!

School Resource Recipes...
A guide for how to leverage technology in your classroom when you don’t have 1:1 devices.

1 Projector
1 iPad or Laptop
2-5 Classroom Computers

A Few Possible “Recipes” for success:

  • Leverage YouTube videos to share authentic videos with students to:
    • Extend learning
    • Ignite curiousity as an activator
    • Enrich content
    • Provide scaffolding
    • Provide extra practice
  • Create your own video lessons and “clone the teacher”:
    • Projecting the mini lesson on your screen while meeting with a small group to challenge or scaffold learning.
    • If you have a few classroom computer, you can also download or stream the videos onto these devices so that multiple students can either watch the same video or differentiated versions of the video simultaneously. (Headphones would help in this case).
    • Visit this page for more information on how to create your videos:
  • If you have an iPad, mirror your computer to your iPad using the program Doceri Desktop ($30):
    • This will allow you to control your computer from your iPad, turning it into an interactive whiteboard for only $30!
    • It will also allow you to record your lessons in real-time, as you teach them, and annotate over the desktop of your computer - or any open program or web browser - using the free companion app's annotation tools. Here is a video that demonstrates more of the program and app's features.
    • If you can afford an extra $99, purchase an AppleTV to mirror your iPad back to the projector. This will open a whole new world of interactive opportunities as you can stream audio and video from all your apps on your iPad. If you have a MacBook running the newest operating system - Mountain Lion - you'll also be able to wirelessly mirror video and sound from that device as well (if not you can download the program AirParrot which will allow you to do the same thing on a Mac or PC). For more information, here is a post about AppleTV.
  • Create PowerPoint or Keynote slideshows for each lesson:
    • Use the slideshows to guide your lesson.
    • Start off each slideshow with your objectives / I can statements, then your agenda and the steps for your lesson.
    • Have a hard time keeping pace in your lesson? Use the slides to help time yourself - i.e., as you plan, determine how many minutes to spend on each slide.
    • If you are using presentation mode, write in notes and reminders to yourself in the slide’s comments/notes section to help you remember certain teacher moves (i.e., “Collect twist ties and straws before moving on.” or “Check on S.F and D.G. for understanding per their IEP.”)
    • The best part? The slideshows are saved and ready for you to use next year!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Student Voices Amidst the Noise

Update 9/18/12: This same student wrote a follow up post to the one mentioned below about the strike being prolonged and the mayor's injunction. Click here to read it.

For those of you who don't know, the network of schools in which I work are part of Chicago Public Schools... which means we are part of the current CTU strike. A student asked me at our last Student Innovation Team meeting before the strike, "Ms. Magiera, can we still blog during the strike?" I said, "Of course. You have a voice too."

I forgot all about this exchange until today when I got an alert that there was a pending post on Kidblog...
This student is 11 years old and a new 6th grader.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Screencast Smackdown: Videos in the classroom... which Screencasting app is best for you?

Want to know how to select the best screencasting app for your needs and situation? Can't figure out whether to go with ShowMe, Educreations, Doceri, KnowmiaTeach or Explain Everything? Or, do you already have one or more of these apps but don't know how to find a use for them?

I recently wrote an article for Appolicious, hoping to answer a few of these questions. In this article, I list the pros and cons of each app and provide some sample use cases. Please check it out!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

App Reviews by the Kids!

Thanks SO MUCH to all who have been commenting on my students' blogs! Today at our weekly meeting, they were beyond thrilled to read your messages. It was exciting as we got out maps and learned that we had readers from Australia, California and Europe!

Today they began to write their app reviews. If you have a moment, please take a look, comment and check back often as the rest will be published soon! Thanks again!

First Time Syncing with the Bretford PowerSync Cart

Syncing one iPad may seem like a piece of cake, but setting up folders, restrictions, web links, and iTunes settings on 30 iPads? Not so cake-like.

After stumbling through this process myself two years ago, and helping dozens of teachers do it this fall, I realized I needed to create some sort of a resource so that teachers can learn this on their own. Teach a man to fish, if you will.

So without further ado, here is a PDF guide for how to set up, sync and deploy your iPads using the Bretford PowerSync cart. There are easier ways to do this using specialized software, but this is the best "novice" workflow I've found - something that is accesible to anyone with any level of iOS / iPad / syncing experience.

I plan to make this into an iBook as well, so stay tuned for that :). Hope this helps!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Googlized: Words Their Way Word Sorts

In working with some teachers who are going 1:1 with Chromebooks, I've begun to consider how Google tools can make certain curriculum routines more effective/efficient. One routine all of our literacy teachers do is word sorts from the Words Their Way series. Cutting out all of those word cards can become cumbersome and so the question arose: how can technology support this?

Here is a video I created for one of my colleagues on how to use Google Docs - specifically the drawing feature - to do these word sorts. No scissors required.

NOTE: I forgot to add into the video... when your kids open the doc, they need to go to "File" then "Make a Copy" before editing it. That way they won't overwrite each others' work. They need to then share it back with you!