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Educational Technology

Welcome Back!

Our Instructional Technology Department has been working all summer and we have some great ideas for helping meet your needs. Here are some new features you can take advantage of this year…

    • Monthly Digital Newsletter- Technology Tips, Resources, and ideas
    • Monthly Focus Resources-    Look for monthly technology resources and lessons that connect to a monthly focus. Our September focus is Constitution Day and Freedom Week
    • Digital Citizenship Certification- You can become a digitally certified educator through Common Sense Media. We have compiled resources and lessons for each grade level.

As always, we will offer model and collaborative lessons, technology trainings, and regular blog posts!

Looking forward to a great year!


Assessment Made Fun with Kahoot!

Looking for a technology tool to help assess students in the classroom? Kahoot may be the right tool for you. Similar to Socrative and Infuse Learning, Kahoot differs in that it offers a game-based quiz format. Janet Robles, a World Language teacher at Creekside High School recently published a blog post for Kahoot. In this post, she shares a great idea for utilizing Kahoot in the classroom, as well as rubrics and other resources for teachers to use. Check it out here.

Summer Technology Trainings @ Fullerwood!

Our Instructional Technology Department is excited to offer some great technology trainings for SJCSD teachers this summer. You can register in SunGard for the following sessions:

Creating a Paperless Classroom, July 8th from 8:30am-11:30am (Fullerwood Kitchen)

Edmodo, July 8th from 12:30pm-2:30pm (Fullerwood Computer Lab)

Teachers are Flipping out in St. Johns County, July 10th from 8:30am-11:30am (Fullerwood Auditorium)

EEE, Technology Feedback Tools and More, July 22nd from 8:30am-11:30am (Fullerwood Auditorium)

Tools for Collaboration in the Classroom, July 24th from 8:30am-11:30am (Fullerwood Kitchen)

iPad Apps for the Classroom, August 5th from 8:30am-11:30am (Fullerwood Computer Lab)

iPad Apps for the Classroom, August 7th from 8:30am-11:30am (Fullerwood Kitchen)


Better Late Than Never :)

I have been meaning to post this summer project for the last few weeks. This is a fun summer project for any students in grades 2-6. Students can utilize technology and writing skills, while learning about St. Augustine in the process. Email me if you would like the Edmodo Group Code to participate in this project.

Summer in St. Augustine Project

Crowdfunding Your Classroom!

Join this Crowdfunding Your Classroom Google Hangout to learn how to earn funds for your classroom. Remind 101 and are teaming up to provide Crowdfunding tips for teachers. This is a great way to earn technology and other resources for your classroom. St. Johns County teachers have used Donors Choose to fund iPads/iPod Touches, interactive whiteboard Games, writing resources, classroom furniture, LEGO Robotics kits, 3D Printers, and more!

When: Wednesday, May 21st

Time: 5:00-6:00 pm

Brain Breaks Go Digital with Go Noodle!

Research shows that brain breaks help stimulate the brain, and can also help students concentrate and relieve stress. Brain breaks work best when implemented after every 25-30 minutes of instruction, and should range from about 1-3 minutes in length. The website Go Noodle helps teachers engage elementary students in brain breaks that are fun, calming, even educational! The site contains cartoon aerobics instructors, race simulations, breathing activities, Zumba and more fun brain break ideas. Teachers register their class and then choose an avatar, who helps the class set goals and track their progress. View the short tutorial video to learn more.

Technology Tools for EEE Learning Goals and Scales

There are many great technology tools available to help implement Learning Goals and Scales in the classroom. Below are some ideas straight from Marzano’s Technology Research website.

Beginning Tip:
Consider reinforcing students’ understanding of your learning goals and proficiency scales by including them at the beginning, middle, and end of lesson presentations using IWB software, presentation software, or free online presentation tools like Prezi or other presentation tools.

Emerging Tip:
Ask students to restate the learning goals in their own words and share them by using polling technology with text input or free online polling tools such as Poll Everywhere, Socrative, or TodaysMeet. Track and analyze students’ response data to determine if there are any recurring patterns worth noting.

Innovating Tip:
Use random name generators in IWB software or the random student selector in ClassDojo to randomly select students during your lesson activities to explain how they think the learning activity will help them achieve the stated learning goals.


Additionally there is a new web feedback tool  called Geddit. Geddit allows teachers to quickly poll students about their current level on the scale, and also provides a commenting section where students can explain why they feel they are at that level.

Using technology to display Learning Goals and Scales can help teachers engage students, quickly gather feedback from students, and randomly select students to discuss their current level of performance!

Calling All “Techie” Teachers!

We are seeking high-quality teacher leaders willing to be facilitators during our Digital Learning Pilot Schools Summer Professional Development. We are interested in hiring teachers that are currently utilizing different educational technology strategies successfully in their own classrooms. Teachers from all SJCSD schools are eligible to apply.

Professional Development Dates: July 30 and 31
Time: 8:00-3:30 (including lunch break for each full day)
Stipend: $250 per full day  / $125 per half day
Interested teachers must complete the following survey application by Thursday, April 17th:

Please contact Melanie Tahan if you have any questions or would like more information about this opportunity.


5 Tech Tools to Help You Stay Organized

This is the time of year where paper piles are piling up, sticky notes are overflowing, and student desks…let’s not even talk about those. Here are 5 great tech tools to help you stay organized throughout the school year.

1. Computer Desktop Organizers– Thanks Lauren Tate (OPE Tech Coach) for showing me this AMAZING idea from Pinterest. Templates and tutorials are available here, and you can even design your own template too. I created mine (left) using PowerPoint and then saving the slide as a .jpg file.

2. Symbaloo can be used to easily organize and store websites (bookmarks) on your internet browser. Teachers can create multiple Symbaloo pages to help organize school subjects/lessons for students, and to organize their own bookmarks as well.

3. Evernote– This is a great notetaking app because it syncs to all devices, allows for voice recording, imports pictures and full websites, and allows collaboration.

4. Feedly or Flipboard– Before Feedly, I used to follow tons of blogs that I never had time to look at. Feedly allows teachers and other blog lovers to follow all their favorite bloggers and then it combines all the posts in one feed each day for viewing on your computer or mobile devices. Feedly also allows users to save posts for later. Flipboard is another similar site, that organizes articles/posts into a magazine-like format.

5. Educlipper– Educlipper is similar to Pinterest, but for educators only. Teachers can create boards and follow other “clippers”.

Flipping Out @ FETC

This year FETC focused on so many technology tools/ideas: iPads, Augmented Reality, Common Core, STEM, and 1:1 Learning. Some of my favorite sessions focused on Flipped Learning and even Flipped Professional Development (PD).
If you are interested in trying to “Flip” your classroom, here are some great tips I learned at sessions presented by John Bergmann and  Troy Cockrum.

1. Students respond better when the teacher creates their own videos rather than using Khan Academy or similar sites. If you plan to use other types of videos, then include a quick overview that shows your face, either at the beginning or end of the video.

2. Keep videos between 1 and 1 1/2 minutes per grade level. So if you teach 4th grade, your Flipped videos should be 4-6 minutes long, and high school videos should never be over 15 minutes.

3. It’s okay to make mistakes in your videos. Just like in a class lecture, your videos can be natural with minimal editing.

4. The important part is what happens in the classroom. Flipped learning frees up time in the classroom for collaborative projects, Project Based Learning, Socratic Seminars, etc. When looking at Bloom’s Taxonomy, the lower level tasks should be completed at home, while the application and higher level tasks completed in class where students have assistance from their teacher. The picture above gives some examples of flipped learning models.

5. Spend time at the beginning of the year teaching students “how’ to watch videos. Just like we teach students how to read non-fiction books, they also need to be taught how to watch, pause, and take notes during videos.

For more information about Flipped Learning, visit John Bergmann’s Blog.

The Flipped PD sessions were also great, and focused on Teacher-Driven and collaborative workshops and trainings. Some great ideas were Ed Camps, Speed Geeking, and Fed-Ex Days.

Take this Poll and let us know if you think Flipped PD would work in your school or if you would prefer traditional Professional Development trainings.