Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Six Essential Tech Tools for 21st Century Classroom Workflow

What is the workflow for a 21st century classroom?  What does it look like?  Where to start?

These six ideas will help create a classroom that is engaging and inspiring long after the last bell rings.   Publishing, sharing, collaborating, and global is the name of the game.  Our connected learners need lessons that challenge them to think critically, share knowledge, be inquisitive, and collaborate globally. The workflow from classrooms of the past, must be left in the past.  The concept of a Flipped Classroom must be explored.  These tools are just a few to utilize to start flipping your classroom. 

A flipped classroom is an environment where students learn the lecture content online outside of the classroom via a movie.   Students are able to pause, rewind, and view a concept over and over.  Additionally, students take ownership of learning the material.   There are many benefits to this concept for the teacher. One benefit is that this frees up class time for discussion, projects, speeches, labs, and other engaging projects and allows teachers more one on one time with students. This is the reverse of how a traditional classroom works where the lecture is delivered to a whole group by the teacher with a minimal about of time for homework.
(Flipped Classroom Resources: A flipped highschool: Clintondale, Flipped classroom Prezi, Khan Academy, The Future of Education?).

The time is now to engage our passionate, mobile students in a classroom that uses learning modalities of their generation.  Dare to take the bold step in transforming your teaching style to meet the needs of the digital generation.
Prezi -

Create engaging web based presentations for students to view at their own pace with PREZI.  Prezi is a non linear way to make a presentation.  You can easily embed PDF files, images, and YouTube videos.  This is a fantastic alternative to PPT's and provides students a way to view and review material that has been presented in class.

After a Prezi is created, click exit.  There you will find lots of options for sharing the Prezi.  The presentations are web based so it can easily be shared via a link or tweeted out. Simply click the Twitter icon from the Prezi site.    If you have a classroom hashtag on Twitter, students can find it your classroom stream.

Prezis default as Public.  If you want to create private Prezis, there is a fee.  You do have the option to allow your Prezi to be copied or not.
There is also a tab called explore.  Click this tab see other Prezis that have been created.
Prezi Resources:
Cybraryman's Prezi Page
Courtney Smeby - Nebraska History Review
Amanda McKibbon - Crayfish
Screen R -
Create screencasts for your students to view anywhere in the world. This site is easy to navigate. Within minutes, you can create a screencast on any topic. This is the perfect way to create tutorials for students.  Students can view it again and again to learn, re-learn, and move to complete understanding of a concept. Screenr is perfect for explaining a new concept or a creating how to tutorial on a topic. This is the perfect tool to use as an anticipatory set or a chapter / unit summary.  Video are easy to link or embed on blogs or websites.
Here are several examples for you to check out.

Flipping Your Classroom

Sharae Geldes - Explaining Geometric Concepts
Courtney Jameson - Double Spacing a paper
Luke Olson - Using
YouTube is a game changer for the classroom.   From either the student or teacher perspective, YouTube can be a powerful educational tool.
  • Create and publish projects that demonstrate mastery of an objective.
  • View videos to learn a concept at their own pace.
  • View videos to review for exams.
  • View how to videos to learn a skill.
  • Utilize a YouTube channel to create a digital portfolio of learning.
  • Create a classroom YouTube Channel and post teacher created educational videos that correlate with the curriculum.
  • Utilize lists to curate a collection of videos to use in the classroom.
  • Use the video editor in YouTube to edit video.
  • Reflect on lessons and share with principal.
Videos can be linked, embedded, or the subscribed to.
Tech Tools For Teaching YouTube Channel
Michael Gentry - Friction
Similes and Metaphors in Pop Music
Carrie Borner - Idioms
Alex Williams - Gas Laws
Katie DeBuhr - Animal Types
Andy Fjelland - Density
According to, “A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam).”
Creating and sharing a VoiceThread is a powerful way for students to reflect on a topic.  During this process of metacognition, students can monitor their own progress in learning where students, teachers, and parents can provide feedback.  
In addition, VoiceThreads are fantastic ways for students to create presentations that can easily be embedded, tweeted, or shared on a website.  This published work is shared far beyond the four walls of the school and potentially can have comments from people around the globe.  The web based nature of VoiceThread makes it a must have in every teacher's lesson plans.
The skills to collaborate, communicate, and share are skills that students need for the world they live in.

Stacy Turner - teacher and grad student
Becky Meier - teacher and grad student
Digital Study Aids
Digital study aids such as the three listed below, make mobile students connected to learning wherever they may be. Each of these tools are easy to use, web based, and mobile!  No excuse not to learn!
Word Dynamo -
Study Stack -

Mr. Myers  - American History
Digital Presence
A digital presence is a must for 21st century teachers.  If teachers aren’t blogging  and/or having a classroom web presence, they should be.  All classroom materials should be accessible for students so that continue learning happen regardless of location.  Purposeful, engaging, learning must be available online anywhere so students can learn on the go.   Having classroom materials easily accessible is a must for these mobile learners and their parents.   

Dr. Kingsley's Third Grade
Mr. Sims Fourth Grade

-Ann Feldmann

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Socrative App

Today I dug into and the Socrative App, pronounced so-cra-tive with an emphasis on the "so".   It's been batted around on Twitter and other digital sites as a cool tool so what choice did I have?  I had to know!  What I discovered is that it is a super easy way to replace interactive clickers.  Once you create an account, you login at and students have the app on whatever device they have whether it is a smartphone, iPod touch, or iPad.  If no device is available they can login using a computer at

With an assigned room number shared with the students quizzes are taken and immediate feedback is given to students and teachers.  Teachers can set the quiz to go at the student pace- my preferred method- or they can control the pace of the questions.

Teachers also have the opportunity to stop reinforcers like "Good job! You got the answer right", or just leave them on which is the default setting.  Socrative will give live results in the form of a graph that the teachers sees on his or her end.  Results are either emailed, downloaded into a spreadsheet, or stored in the teacher's online account.  I am struggling to find a downside to Socrative, especially when a bag of clickers costs a bundle!

Want to know more, view the presentation below!  Have experience with Socrative and want to share?  Leave us a post or tweet us!  @jennykbps @catlett1 @techiefeldie

Written by Jenny Krzystowczyk

Capzles for presentations - WEB 2.0 tool

During #edcampomaha I learned about Capzles.  It is a fabulous web 2.0 tool for the classroom.  It can be a great alternative to traditional presentations. You can upload all sorts of content including documents, text, video, and even your PowerPoint presentation as well! You can also write blog posts directly into the presentation.  
Once you have all your content loaded, you will have a linear gallery similar to a slideshow or timeline.
In Capzles, every piece of content is called a “moment”.  Let’s say you have several images that are closely related. You can “stack” them into one “moment”.  When you are presenting, each moment will appear as a thumbnail image.  Click it to enlarge.
Here is a very basic example of a Capzle I created very quickly.
Give Capzles a try!  Build some lessons and presentations and your students will love it!

Frog Dissection 21st Century Way

Frog Dissection - 
So real you can almost smell the Formaldehyde! 

Frog Dissection is a very realistic app that goes through all the steps of dissecting a frog.  Students start by pinning the frog specimen to the virtual dissection tray.  Using the scissors, scalpel, and forceps, students methodically dissect the Frog.  Students lift the liver lobes with the forceps, which shows all the internal organs.  Tap on the organs to learn more information on the organ. The organ is in 3D and can be rotated.  

Additionally, there are eight other sections to explore including Frog Lifecycle, All About Frogs, Human vs. Frog, Wet Lab Process, Quiz, Internal Organs, Video, Types of Frogs, and Interactive Activities.  Each of these sections contains interesting facts, images, and videos to learn more about frogs.  

We used this app with 7th grade science students.  It was definitely a hit!  Students used the iPads in groups of  3-5 and dissected the frog, learned about frogs, and also took the quiz.  This app took them places their book never could!  They were engaged, curious, and learning the whole class period.  The app, Frog Dissection, is $4.99 and is not and app within and app!  Here is the link to the app.

One of the unexpected outcomes was the amount of learning that took place in the virtual dissection which made the real dissction the next day go so much smoother.

"Students knew what the organs looked like before they began dissecting the frogs, " Kristie Kuhn, middle school science teacher said.  "The real dissection day went very smoothly."

Check out this YouTube Video to see them in action!  
Written by Ann Feldmann @annfeldmann1