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Showing posts from 2016

Nearpod for the New Year!

As you think about planning for the New Year and how to get learners reengaged with your content, don't overlook Nearpod as a way to switch up your learning experience and gain a little motivation! Also, remember that Google Slides, PPTs, Pictures and PDF import directly into Nearpod, enabling you to use your existing presentation(s) while inserting interactive slides to gauge knowledge transfer! 
Here’s how to import Google Slides. Below is a screenshot that highlights how you can bring in the other file types: 

You can also pull these lessons directly in to Schoology using either the Link and sharing the Code for learners to join, or alternately using the embed code to have learners to interact with Nearpod directly in Schoology!

For more on any of these tips and more check out our PV Nearpod Group on Schoology!

Direct Messages on Twitter

There are times where you want information to be private on Twitter or you need more than 140 characters; insert the Direct Message. Direct Messages are a way on Twitter for you to communicate with an individual or group of people in a private message that is not limited by characters. It gives you the opportunity to reach out to your PLN or an expert and explain a more complex topic or question that you have. See how below:

Twitter Lists: Curate the Awesome in One Categorized Place!

Twitter lists are a way for you to bring hashtags and twitter users that you follow together in one place. For example, you could create a list for all of the people that you follow that tweet about the topic of Educational Technology is one list, give it a name and revisit it each and every day, instead of searching out individual users day in and day out! Sounds amazing, right? Here's how:

Reply to a Tweet: Start a Dialogue

A great way to connect with experts on Twitter is to directly reply to one of their Tweets. Find a person of interest, find a tweet of interest and clip the single arrow jumping out to the left! This little magical button gives you 140 characters to start a conversation with the expert that you identify with! It's as easy a few keystrokes to a lifetime of learning. Find out how below:

Retweeting with a Quote: Add Your 2 Cents

Retweeting talked about in the last post, just scroll down a bit, is a great way to share resources that have been created by others! If you want to add your 2 cents to the conversation or ask a question surrounding the topic to your PLN, retweeting with a quote is the way to go. Quote retweets allow you 140 characters on top of the already tweeted information to say something yourself on the matter. See how below:


Retweeting is the Twitter equivalent of that other tool's, *cough* Facebook *cough*, Share button. You are sending someone else's Tweet to your PLN and followers. This is a great way to share multiple perspectives, great content, and not have to reinvent the wheel! It amazingly all happens with the click of a button. See how below:

Liking Other Tweets; Curate a Library and Grow your PLN Simultaneously!

Liking others tweets is a great way to grow your PLN, since you are expressing a mutual interest in the content that has been tweeted. Simultaneously you are curating a collection of tweets and resources that you can revisit in the "Likes" section of your profile. I like to think of my "likes" as a place that I can visit to find strategies and resources that I've, for lack of a different term, liked and want to use in the future. See how below:

Build a PLN

Great leadership models what it desires from its followers. We are the leaders for our learners and so we must maintain a hunger for knowledge. Twitter is a great way to continuously seek out information in one of the easiest and most efficient ways possible. Building a Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter that you can rely on, which you exchange information with, is a great way to use the tool, gain different perspectives, and allow yourself to grow as a professional! See the video below on how:

Twitter Chats

A great way to take advantage of Twitter and hashtags is through Twitter Chats. Twitter chats are a 1 hour long session where people of an interest, for example Educational Technology #edtech, come together to discuss a few questions surrounding that topic. A host typically poses 5 questions to the group, you will answer those questions as well as hear answers from others in the field to gain multiple perspectives. The chats are revisitable through the hashtag that the chat takes place through.

Here is a fairly comprehensive calendar of Twitter chats. 

TweetDeck for Organized Twitter Goodness

Twitter is a fantastic way to have information come to you instead of you going to it, as well as build you Personal Learning Network! One common complaint is that the Twitter stream on isn't very friendly to use and finding tweets is difficult. A great tool to help you organize your tweets is TweetDeck! Check the video below to see how you can use it to organize your twitter life!

Share Resources on Twitter!

They say it is better to give than to receive. On Twitter you can do both with resources! Most everything lives on the internet now, whether that's things you create or upload to Google Drive, Youtube, or any other service. All of these things generate links, that can be shared and shared alike. Watch the video below on how to leverage sharing and receiving resources through Twitter!

Tweet to Change Your Mindset; Positive News, and Twitter as a Gratitude Journal

Twitter is a great way to follow others that can be a positive influence on your mindset and outlook on things! Remember on Twitter you choose who to follow and their tweets, information, and shared viewpoint come to you through Twitter or TweetDeck! In the video below, I'll explain how you can use Twitter to help you shape your viewpoint.

One other food for thought is that Twitter can be a great way for you to look for positive things that happening to share with others. A tweet a day to show gratitude for something happening in your classroom, school, or district can go a long way. 

Grab yourself a tweet buddy and hold each other accountable for tweeting something great each day!

Share Your Story on Twitter

One of the best ways to use Twitter is to share the story of your classroom, school, and district on Twitter! One to World is about connecting what is happening in your classroom with those in the world and Twitter is a great way to share your story! Watch the video below to see how!

Everything You Need to Get Started With Twitter

In this post, I will give you everything you need to get up and running with Twitter, as well as my top reasons for using Twitter in 9 minutes of video or less. Work your way from top to bottom of this post, empower yourself to take advantage of Twitter's amazing resources!
Why would I Sign Up for Twitter in Education?  Many reasons, but here are my big three:  PLNs: Professional Learning Networks; Twitter is the biggest place educators seem to gather to trade tips and secrets for the classroom. Curating Resources for my Classroom: Resources from my library in one place, as well as those shared from others. Telling the Story of My Classroom, School, and District
Signing Up for Twitter Head to and sign up for an account with a few easy steps! Check out the 1 minute video to see how!
Writing Your First Tweet Your first tweet will introduce you to the Twitter World and make you viewable to the rest of the Twitter world! Watch the video and start sharing today!

Using Hashta…

Apple Classroom!

Apple Classroom is something that Teachers have been waiting for and it's finally here with the arrival of iOS 9.3: A way to view your learner's iPads from your iPad!
*Disclaimer: Apple Classroom is a great addition to, not a substitute for, fantastic classroom management!

Using the Classroom app on your iPad, you can: Open an appLock an app open on an iPad

Open a webpage, ePub chapter, or iTunes U course

View an iPad screenLock an iPad, shutting down the screen and ability to open the iPad

Allow an iPad to use AirPlay to view its screen on Apple TV (one iPad at a time)

New Forms: Turn Forms into Quizzes just got easy! I'm talking really easy.

Just added to the New Google Forms: Quizzes. You can now turn your Google Form wizardry!
into an auto-graded assessment without the need for additional add-ons or other scripted 
Set up is easy, just click the Gear in the top right of the New Forms Screen, then go to the Quizzes tab and toggle on the option to "Make this Form a Quiz".

Once you done this, you can choose from the other options you see listed above based on your preferences. Now that your Form is a Quiz, you can begin making self-correcting questions with the "Answer Key" mode found at the bottom of self-correcting questions.

This is a great option for new and existing Forms, especially if you have just one Quiz to give and don't need an entire course on the LMS (ours is Schoology) for the occasion! I'm looking forward to using this feature and I hope you check it out too!
~As always, I hope you find this helpful and let me know how I can help you #edtech on! ~Ryan

Moving Toward Techess: It's a Pay Me Now, Pay Me Later Situation.

Many teachers that I know are among the most organized people on the planet of earth. They somehow manage to organize 7 subject/periods worth of materials neatly and orderly, think through routines for their classroom procedures, have a time/place for everything, and can see days, weeks, months in advance all the while dealing with 25 plus individual little people called students and the unique challenges that each one bring to the classroom. It is really nothing short of miraculous that these individuals aren't filling boards full of rantings, plans, and other thoughts, that we won't mention here, which cross their brain ala A Beautiful Mind.

Technology can certainly help in a plethora of ways. One of the ways is that there are less physical materials to get lost in the shuffle from point A --> B. One thing I firmly believe is that technology can help you manage your stuff if you develop systems. Something I told my students when I was in the classroom and tell my teacher…

SAMR, a sometimes misunderstood lens.

I hear this or a similar sentence often from teachers, "I want to have you help me plan a SAMR lesson soon." or "I really want to create another SAMR lesson some time." While the intention behind this thought is good, it's not fully informed. Let me explain.

A lesson is based around a curricular subject that is being taught, not SAMR. SAMR is a scale to judge the level of technology integration within the lesson. So with this new understanding: Every lesson can be measured against the SAMR categories.

Remember that the aim of technology integration is that the technology is a vehicle to deliver, curate, and create content within the classroom. It should be a part of the experience and culture of your classroom, a routine, not an experience. I believe this misunderstanding of SAMR, SAMR is something you do, is a potentially harmful side effect of not seeing the whole picture with SAMR and in a larger sense, possibly Tech. Integration. An immersive technological …

The Worth of SAMR, pt 2

Back in October I wrote about a teacher that I teamed with to create a blog where she hoped to connect her classroom to the world at large through SAMR. This was and continues to be a very powerful experience for herself and her students.

SAMR strikes again in Pequea Valley, this time to a 5th grade classroom! Mrs. Girvin has been working on many viable technologies to increase the SAMRi goodness within her classroom this year. I hope to do what she's created justice her in this post.
Through Skype Mrs. Girvin's class has connected to multiple sources outside of their classroom. Using Skype for Education they connected with author Chris Tozier, who taught them methods to use in their narrative writing on the creation of characters with flaws, story arc, and conflict/resolution. This powerful experience has shown in the students' writing and their passion for it. This Redefinition and opportunity certainly would not have been viable without the use of Educational Technology.…