Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sites that Sizzle

Empower, engage, and inspire students by adding a few of these websites to your teaching toolbox!  Set aside 30 minutes each week to explore new ways to harness the power of the web! Try these techie tools and create and environment where students publish rather than hand in, collaborate regularly with other students and teachers all over the world, wonder, and explore!

Collaborate and Share
1.  Google Docs -
a.  Docs -  37 Interesting Ways to Use Google Docs in the Classroom
b.  Forms - 80 Interesting Ways to Use Google Forms in the Classroom
c.  Spreadsheets -  Example of a Spreadsheet with Conditional Formatting
d.  Presentations - How to Create a Google DOC
2.  Blogger -
Blogger is part of the Google Suite. Access blogger with gmail account.
a. Example: Mr. Myer’s History Blog - Mission Middle School
b. Example: Richard Byrne’s Free Tech for Teachers
3. -
4.  Weebly -
a.  Bellevue Teacher Weebly Pages - created by Garrett Sims
Any grade, any subject
1.  Wolfram Alpha - 
2.  Tagxedo -
3.  Animoto -
4.  Quizlet -
a.  Sample - Reconstruction Review by Mr. Myers  
5.  Rubistar -
6.  Shepperd Software -
Curate Content
1. Symbaloo -  
a. Kindergarten Symbaloo Mix by BPS Tech Trainers
b. 1st Grade Symbaloo Mix by BPS Tech Trainers
c.  2nd Grade Symbaloo Mix by BPS Tech Trainers
e.  4th Grade Symbaloo Mix by Garrett Sims
f.  US History Webmix
2. Pinterest -

b.  Primary Junction -
3.  Scoop.IT -
a.  Ann’s Amazing Scoop.It Page
4.  Twitter -
a.  Follow us at @techiefeldie @catlett1 @jennykbps
b.  Twitter for Teachers
c.  Twitter Hashtags
d.  Visible Tweets  
Bonus Sites:
  1. ALA Best Websites for Teaching and Learning
  2. 62 Sites for Kindergarten
  3. BPS K-6 Web Activities Page
Student Subscription Sites:
  1. Kerpoof
  2. Brainpop
  3. Storybird
  4. Carrot Sticks

-Ann Feldmann

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Moving to the Mac for BPS

It’s a new day in Bellevue Public Schools!  We are moving our certified staff members to the Mac world!  For years, our district has been using PC’s and now we are requiring our teachers to learn how to function in the Mac environment.  It has been a week long of training sessions every morning and afternoon!  Teachers are excited as they embark on this new journey!  Training people how to use the Mac can feel like an endless mountain to climb and some folks are easily overwhelmed with this new way of doing things.

However, I can’t help but notice the screens that are opening up all over the room- iTunes, mail, iMovie, Quicktime, and iPhoto!  They want to know what to do with these applications!  That is a good sign as we move into a new school year.  Their curiosity is what will drive them to learn how to use these applications.  It may even deliver them to our doorstep for a Techie Tuesday for additional training!  

In working with teachers over the course of the week I am encouraged by their positive spirit and willingness to learn something new!  I can see their excitement about syncing up their iPhones or iPads to their new Macbook Pro!  They can’t wait to make their first iMovie featuruing their adorable students!  They are thrilled to have a place to create tutorial videos using Quicktime in order to flip their instruction a little bit.  And how about the new possibility of subscribing to podcasts through iTunes to enrich their curriculum content.  

Here are a list of the top ten items we are covering in our mac training as well as a link to our agenda for the day.

1.  Shutting down, putting to sleep, and restarting your macbook
2.  How to open and shut down an application
3.  How to use Spotlight
4.  How to customize your dock
5.  How to connect to your wireless network
6.  How to locate a printer
7.  How to go back and forth between two open applications
8.  How to use Finder to find documents, downloads, and applications
9.  How to use and customize the track pad gestures
10. How to access your common and home drives

A few questions keep coming up.  One is “Should I use my personal Apple ID?”  The answer is YES!  Unless you want to repurchase all of your apps and music you will need to use your own apple ID to download anymore music and your previous purchases.  Another question that has come up is do we have Publisher?  The answer is NO.  Use the templates provided in your Microsoft word application.  Or better yet, use the templates in Google and create an online publication.  

With time, I know our previous PC users will get used to their new way of doing things with their Macbooks.  We hope that the level of creativity and productivity will increase as well.  Remember folks, if in doubt think in simple terms and drag and drop!

Writing by Jenny Krzystowczyk