Saturday, February 21, 2015

Nurph: A Twitter Chat Moderator's Dream Come True!







Nurph is the #1 BEST product I have found to assist with moderating and archiving Twitter Chat sessions.  It beats other archiving websites hands down!


Here are just a few things Nurph allows: (a lifesaver for moderators)



  • set up the chat with questions in advance for participants to view


  • add more than one moderator to the chat


  • promote the chat with a link provided by Nurph


  • view how many participants RSVP'd via Nurph


  • participate in the chat live via Nurph


  • chat questions highlighted at top of Twitter stream inside Nurph


  • view number of participants who joined the chat using Nurph


  • view detailed statistics from your chat


  • allows access to a "replay" of your chat



Not convinced?  

Take a look at this #TLChat archived provided by Nurph: http://nurph.com/TLChat/chats/861 OR
take a look at this #MOEdChat archive provided by Nurph: http://nurph.com/MOedchat/chats/1474


Need help setting up a Nurph for your Twitter Chat? Vox me at nrober7689
































Sunday, February 15, 2015

Learning Strategies From The Fourth Dimension



A small, rural, mostly Title I district located near the Alabama-Tennessee line, Limestone County Schools, under the guidance of Superintendent Dr. Sisk, Technology Director Karen Tucker and Curriculum Director Allison Usery, have been shaking up learning with dynamic results.

Several things attracted me to this rare gem of a school district. First, Limestone County Schools not only talk the talk about school reform and improvement but walk the walk. Allison Usery has not only effectively organized professional development trainings centered around the Learning Focused strategies model but has also embedded Instructional Coaches in each school to assist teachers with applying Learning Focused strategies in their classrooms.  I have seen these strategies put into place and used continuously as each new strategy is learned.  I have seen students embrace the learning strategies and actively use them to improve understanding of learning objectives.   

Second, Limestone County Schools is serious about integrating technology into it's curriculum.  Karen Tucker is leading the way on this front.  Rather than rolling out a 1:1 initiative with little training and no one "in house" for teachers to turn to for guidance, Ms. Tucker insisted that an Instructional Technology Facilitator be embedded in each school to work side by side with teachers to guide them in connecting the device to it's appropriate use in supporting the curricular goals of the school. This, I feel, is a critical and often overlooked component to a well designed 1:1 or BYOD rollout.

Third, Limestone County Schools embodies the word, collaboration.  Digital Passport Initiative teachers, Instructional Coaches and Instructional Technology Facilitators work collaboratively to ensure that all components of Learning Focused four dimensions of exemplary practice are effectively implemented in the classroom.    

Recently, this powerful team of collaborative educators was tasked with creating a video that demonstrated a component of Learning Focused combined with technology in the classroom.  These videos will be used to not only assist new teachers but teachers who will be a part of the four year Digital Passport Initiative rollout.  

The video created by the Elkmont High School Team demonstrates the use of the technology, Kaizena, as a technology tool teachers can use to meet the Learning Focused strategy: Formative Assessment, Feedback and Remediation.   




A plethora of technology tools paired with Learning Focused strategies can be found on the Limestone County School's SchoolTube Channel.

We'd love your feedback, suggestions of more technology-curriculum ties we could implement, and are always looking for opportunities to collaborate with dynamic educators from across the nation.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Using Padlet to Summarize Learning




Elkmont High School's 3rd grade DPI teachers have started using Padlet as a part of our Learning Focused strategies for summarizing, exit tickets, and more!

3rd graders learned how to use Padlet last week to show what they know about the story, The Talented Clementine. We had so much fun using Padlet we tweeting about what we were doing. The illustrator of The Talented Clementine, Marla Frazee, liked our tweet and offered to Skype with our 3rd graders soon! How cool is that?!

This week students used Padlet to summarize their reading prompt of the week, Life in the Cold.


For more ways to use Padlet in your classroom check out these sites:



Also, be sure to check out what Elkmont's 3rd graders have done using Padlet on our 3rd grade Virtual Hallway.


Find out what all Elkmont DPI students have been doing with their MacBooks on the DPI Virtual Hallway as well!


Books That Grow




I discovered Books That Grow this week from the article, 8 K-12 tech tools to watch in 2015, shared with me by my wonderful co-worker, Amanda Gibbs.   

Books That Grow is a digital reading platform that becomes more challenging as students progress and improve.  Among the types of books offered through Books That Grow are literary classics, fairy tales, and folklore, as well as non-fiction science and social studies.

I also love that teachers can set up a classroom, invite students, and be able to see student progress in real time.  

Books That Grow is perfect for 1:1 or BYOD classrooms, providing teachers an easy way to apply differentiation and assist students to increase their reading comprehension.



Kaizena: Save Yourself & Your Students From THE RED PEN!





All schools in Limestone County were asked to create a video detailing a technology that has been integrated into the classroom and that supports our Learning Focused goals.

Working as a team, Elkmont High School Digital Passport Initiative (DPI) teachers, Instructional Technology Facilitator and the Instructional/Reading Coach choose to demonstrate Kaizena. Kaizena allows teachers to grade student work and provide audio feedback, comments, or even a URL link right on their shared Google Doc. Kaizena originated as a Japanese business philosophy which works towards continuous improvement and personal efficiency and goes hand in hand with the Learning Focused strategies. The extension provides a useful tool that allows teachers to provide specific and deliberate feedback which the students can view on their own shared document.



Ms. Katie Walker, 3rd grade DPI teacher, commented that the process of reviewing and providing feedback to student's writing prompt responses would normally take anywhere from an hour and half or more was cut nearly in half using Kaizena.

Students responded that they liked using Kaizena because their teacher was talking just to them!  This is one of my favorite things about Kaizena, students get the one on one attention they all need and want.



All Instructional Technology Facilitators and Instructional/Reading Coaches learned how to use Kaizena this past Friday, February 13, 2015 so that they could take this amazing tech tool back to each of their schools.




Saturday, February 7, 2015

This Week @Elkmont & Beyond! February 1st - 7th



MS. WALKER'S STUDENTS HAVE A HOOT W/KAHOOT!

Ms. Walker's 3rd grade students used Kahoot to review their vocabulary words this week. It was so much fun and a great type of formative assessment.

Kahoot is very easy to use in a 1:1 or BYOD classroom. As a teacher you can use quizzes that have already been made or you can quickly create your own.

Wendy Davis, Instructional Technology Facilitator at Owens Elementary School, has created Kahoot quizzes that support 3rd, 4th and 5th grade reading vocabulary for everyone in the district to use. Access her quizzes HERE

Watch a portion of the fun Ms. Walker's students had HERE.


Kaizena: Making the Writing Process EASY!

3rd and 4th grade students started using the Google add on Kaizena to assist students in mastering the writing process. 

If you have been a teacher for any amount of time and have tried to go through the writing process with students you know how tedious and time consuming this task can be for teachers and students. Kaizena is the answer.

The best way for teachers to use Kaizena is to image the student whose paper you are reviewing is sitting next to you. Use the recording feature to "talk" to the student about their writing prompt response, essay, research paper, etc., as if the student is sitting right next to you. Students can then listen to their teacher's comments and make the suggested corrections easily within Google Docs.

Kaizena is perfect for formative assessment and is an ultimate relationship builder.




Using Padlet To Summarize Learning

3rd graders learned how to use Padlet this week to show what they know about the story, The Talented Clementine. We had so much fun using Padlet we tweeting about what we were doing. The illustrator of The Talented ClementineMarla Frazee, liked our tweet and offered to Skype with our 3rd graders soon! How cool is that?!

For more ways to use Padlet in your classroom check out these sites:

Check out what Elkmont's 3rd graders have done using Padlet on our Virtual Hallway.

Find out what all Elkmont DPI students have been doing with their MacBooks on the Virtual Hallway as well!





World Read Aloud Day 2015

The World Read Aloud Day "Speak Your Story" Blogging Challenge begins February 9 and runs through March 8. If you choose to take the challenge, each week you will be asked to write a post in response to a prompt or question, for a total of 4 posts counting down to World Read Aloud Day.

World Read Aloud Day is the perfect time to get your students writing, reading and connecting globally. Learn more here: http://www.busylibrarian.com/2015/01/world-read-aloud-day-2015-blogging.html



3 Things Great Teachers Do With Technology

Limestone County Schools is quickly moving forward with technology integration via the Digital Passport Initiative (DPI). In just a few short years all 3rd through 12th grade students be provided a MacBook Air laptop for use in class and at home. 

This article can help teachers moving into the 1:1 or BYOD arena know key component of implementing technology successfully.





In The Library

Monday nights are THE night for school librarians.  This Monday was no exception.  Tiffany Whitehead wore all hats during the TL Virtual Cafe webinar serving as both moderator and presenter. She did a stellar job with both.

If you missed the TL Virtual Cafe webinar this past Monday night you can watch the recorded session and get all the links shared during the webinar HERE.

The topic was Ditching Dewey: Genrifying Your Library.  This is a highly debated issue in school library circles, but Tiffany presented sound facts for why ditching dewey was a good idea for her school library.  Tiffany also provided detailed directions about not only how to get started but how to deal with issues such as shelving, automated systems, etc once you ditch dewey.  Two facts stuck out that simply can't be over looked whether you are on Team Dewey or Team Genre:

  • Circulation of both fiction and non fiction books increase significantly when you ditch dewey
  • More students reading, especially non fiction text, increase test scores.


Even if you are firmly in Team Dewey it couldn't hurt to listen to this inspiring webinar. 




Friday, February 6, 2015

In The Library: February 2015




In The Library

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday nights are THE night for school librarians.  This Monday was no exception.  Tiffany Whitehead wore all hats during the TL Virtual Cafe webinar serving as both moderator and presenter. She did a stellar job with both.

If you missed the TL Virtual Cafe webinar this past Monday night you can watch the recorded session and get all the links shared during the webinar HERE.

The topic was Ditching Dewey: Genrifying Your Library.  This is a highly debated issue in school library circles, but Tiffany presented sound facts for why ditching dewey was a good idea for her school library.  Tiffany also provided detailed directions about not only how to get started but how to deal with issues such as shelving, automated systems, etc once you ditch dewey.  Two facts stuck out that simply can't be over looked whether you are on Team Dewey or Team Genre:

  • Circulation of both fiction and non fiction books increase significantly when you ditch dewey
  • More students reading, especially non fiction text, increase test scores.


Even if you are firmly in Team Dewey it couldn't hurt to listen to this inspiring webinar. 




Monday, February 9, 2015

The #TLChat LIVE! Twitter chat takes place the 2nd Monday of each month at 8 pm ET.  The Twtpoll for voting ton the topic of conversation is introduced during the TL Virtual Cafe webinar and is open for voting all week.  

If you missed the link to vote on the topic for Monday, February 9th it's not to late to put in your two cents.  Click HERE to vote.




The World Read Aloud Day "Speak Your Story" Blogging Challenge begins February 9 and runs through March 8. If you choose to take the challenge, each week you will be asked to write a post in response to a prompt or question, for a total of 4 posts counting down to World Read Aloud Day.

World Read Aloud Day is the perfect time to get your students writing, reading and connecting globally. Learn more here: http://www.busylibrarian.com/2015/01/world-read-aloud-day-2015-blogging.html




Monday, February 16, 2015

TL News Night welcomes special guests from the Iowa Association of School Libraries this month.  

TL News Night also welcomes to the team a new anchor, Jane Lofton, who replaces Michelle Cooper.  

Jane Lofton is a Teacher Librarian at Mira Costa High School since August 2010. Before that, I was the TL at Lindero Canyon Middle School for 7 ½ years, then in the classroom at Lindero for a year. Prior careers included being a public library reference librarian and technical writer in the computer software industry.

TL News Night needs substitutes for our regular anchors from time to time due to illness, family/school obligations, etc.  If you are interested in being on the substitute list please contact me (Nikki D Robertson).  Don't worry about not knowing how to use Google Hangouts or being a computer "expert".  We will train you and get you up to speed in no time!

TL News Night is also always looking for upcoming library news to broadcast during the show.  Does your state library association have a big conference coming up that you would like for us to mention on air?  Is there a cool activity that you recently did in your library that you would like to share? Let us know HERE.  If we (librarians) don't spread the word about how AWESOME we are no one will know and our jobs will continue to be cut.





COMING SOON

Digital Learning Day is coming up on Friday, March 13, 2015.  Go ahead and get registered in February and get your plans together for the fun on Digital Learning Day!