Wiss21 Summer Institute 2015

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wiss21-white-bkgrdLast week, during the very last days of summer vacation, while most teachers are trying desperately to soak up the last rays of sunshine, riding that last adrenaline-pumping roller coaster, or savoring the cuisine of backyard BBQs, a group of teachers from the Wissahickon School District were devoting their time to personal and professional growth at the Wiss21 Summer Technology Institute.  The Institute ran Monday-Thursday, from 8:30-11:30 am, offering 2 sessions each day on technology integration and 21st century learning.

As technology integration and 21st century learning are large and broad topics, we put together and sent an interest survey in the spring to gauge interest for the Institute and its offerings.  From the list we provided and other “write-ins”, we determined the sessions and schedule for the week.  As we are embarking on Office 365 this year, it was important to include those as topics as well as other Microsoft tools and resources.

Therefore the sessions included:

  • Flipped Learning
  • Office Mix & Sway
  • Formative Assessment Tools
  • OneNote for Beginners
  • OneNote for Intermediate/Advanced
  • 21st Century Learning Design
  • Office 365 Introduction
  • Office 365 for Collaboration

As usual for Professional Development these days at Wissahickon, a OneNote Notebook was created to provide session agendas & slides, resources, areas for participant notes,  and areas for experimentation and exploration.  In addition, the OneNote Notebook is available to any Wissahickon faculty member (or anyone else, including you!) to access, even if they were not in attendance at the Institute.

Front page of the Wiss21 Institute OneNote Notebook

Front page of the Wiss21 Institute OneNote Notebook

For the session presentations, a mixture of PowerPoint, OneNote, Sway and Padlet were used throughout the Institute.  When it comes to tools, it is always best to use the tool to teach the tool, so we did so when it was appropriate.  Check out some of our session resources and presentations below:

Overall, the sessions were well attended, especially the ones towards the end of the week on the newer tools and resources to WSD.  Teachers were engaged during each workshop and are looking forward to utilizing what they’ve learned as they design their learning activities and lessons this year with their students.

Kudos to the teachers who gave up those precious last mornings of summer to come and learn about some of the great tools, resources and best practices for technology integration and 21st century teaching and learning at Wissahickon School District.

welcome sign

Photo Credit


Top 5 Back-to-School Tools for Creation, Collaboration and Communication

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Along with the preparation of bulletin boards, seating charts, classroom procedures and syllabi, it is also important for teachers to consider the go-to digital tools and resources they will rely upon as they head into the school year.  The five tools and resources outlined below can be utilized by teachers and students in many different classroom settings, grade levels and subject areas for creation, communication, collaboration, and so much more.

Tool #1 – OneNote & OneNote Class Notebook

To maximize efficiency and rise to the top of the class in organization, consider using OneNote (free to download for any devices) and the OneNote Class Notebook as the backbone of your digital life. Teachers can deliver engaging and interactive content easily and efficiently to their students and students can complete work by typing, annotating text, inserting images, linking notes, drawing with digital ink, etc.  With Class Notebook through Office 365, teachers have immediate access to all student work and can provide on-going, detailed and specific feedback to each student privately, through text, ink, audio or video recording.  Class Notebooks also have a Collaboration Space through which all students and teachers with access to that notebook can collaborate, communicate and create together.  OneNote really IS the ultimate classroom tool!

class notebook

Example of a Class Notebook

collaboration space

Collaboration Space

Be sure to check out http://onenoteforteachers.com to learn about OneNote and its use in school, and don’t forget – OneNote is free on all devices!  http://OneNote.com

Tool #2 – Office Mix

It is easy to flip, blend, individualize and differentiate instruction with Office Mix. Although Office Mix is an excellent tool for any classroom, many educators believe it is THE ANSWER for the flipped or blended learning environment.  This free add-in to PowerPoint allows teachers and students to enhance and amplify their presentations by adding interactivity and engagement through voice and screen recording, digital ink annotation, embedding videos and polling. Content creation and delivery is not only easy and efficient, but highly motivating to the end users – the students!  Also remember, it’s not just for teachers!  Students too can get “in the mix” to demonstrate their learning or teach a new concept to their classmates – and ask questions of them to see if they were listening!  To get Office Mix visit http://mix.office.com and to learn more about using it in your classroom visit http://mixforteachers.com.

Office Mix Toolbar

Office Mix Toolbar

Check out this great video for an introduction and step-by-step guide on how to create your first Office Mix.

Tool #3 – Sway

Are you ready to Sway?  In just minutes, teachers and students can create stunning visual presentations with a unique web URL that can be easily shared for viewing or collaboration.  By adding interactive content such as photos, videos, audio files, Twitter feeds, charts, documents and maps, students can easily demonstrate their learning and present their thoughts and ideas without having to spend a lot of time on design.  As each Sway has its own unique web address, it can be used for a variety of items in the teaching and learning environment including delivery of content, demonstration of learning, but also for communication such as blogging, parent newsletters, student publications, faculty updates, etc.

sway

A Sway in Edit Mode

Learn about the “Sway Way” below:

Don’t miss the new Sway tutorial videos and start Swaying today!

Tool #4 – Skype

How have you connected your classroom with the world?  With Skype and Skype in the Classroom, it is easier than ever to connect your students with other teachers, classrooms, experts and projects to help break down the walls of your classroom to bring the world in.  Not sure where to start? Play Mystery Skype with another classroom from somewhere around the world.  It is a fun and easy way to get started with Skype and providing global opportunities for your students.

Tool #5 – Microsoft Educator Network

Learning and using tools and resources from tutorials and websites is an awesome way to be a lifelong learner, but learning from and with others is the true hallmark of a 21st century educator.  The Microsoft Educator network provides today’s educators access a plethora of resources including hot topics blogs, discussion communities, professional development courses, quick tip videos, tutorials, learning activities and opportunities for educators.  In addition to all that, the Educator Network also provides access to a host of FREE Microsoft tools & resources and the Bing in the Classroom daily lesson plans based on the Bing image of the day.  Join the Educator Network today!

Microsoft Educator Network

Microsoft Educator Network

  


5 Tips to Get Off to a Great Start & Avoid Back-to-School Burnout

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Back-to-school is an exhilarating time full of hope and excitement for a new school year for teachers and students alike.  But, those first few weeks are also exhausting!  Check out the tips below to be sure to start the year off right to keep yourself sane and avoid burnout.


Tip #1 – Start Off Organized

Nothing is worse than not being able to find what you need.  Knowing where things are stored so they can be easily found is essential.  By using OneNote, teachers can easily have lesson plans, class documents and presentations, emails, parent contact information and more at their fingertips.  Inserting text, images, files, audio & video is easy with just a few clicks and the OneNote Clipper allows you to seamlessly clip items directly from your Internet browser into OneNote.  And with OneNote’s amazing search functions, information can be found quickly and easily.


Tip #2 – Get Rest & Hydrate

The beginning of the school year is always a hectic time for everyone and sometimes the best-laid plans get scrapped almost as soon as things get started.  Being well-rested can help you better handle all the twists and turns that the start of the year bring.  In addition to rest, it is important to always drink a lot of water to keep your body hydrated.  Dehydration leads to even more exhaustion, so be sure to load up on the H2O and get plenty of shut-eye to keep your brain sharp and fresh.


Tip #3 – Communicate Early & Often

To avoid stress and confusion down the road, start the year off with open lines of communication. As a teacher, communication comes in many forms – with colleagues, administrators, students, parents – and it is important to communicate effectively with all of them.

  • Colleagues – Communicate and collaborate with colleagues by sharing ideas for lesson plans, tips and tricks, tools and resources, etc. Why should teachers who teach the same curricula and grade level plan in isolation?  Use tools like OneNote and Skype to easily collaborate and communicate with colleagues.
  • Parents & Students – Opening the lines of communication with parents early-on is essential to not only provide them with pertinent information for your classroom, but also to introduce yourself and show them you are a real person! Consider creating a class newsletter using Sway to not only introduce yourself, but keep parents and students updated with your class throughout the year.
  • Administrators – In addition to email and face-to-face meetings, you can easily collaborate with colleagues and keep in touch with your administrators by using a OneNote Staff Notebook.


Tip #4 – Take Time for Family, Friends & Laughter

As they say, all work and no play is a bad combination.  Although the first few weeks of school tend to be work-focused, make sure to set aside time each day to spend with the people who mean the most to you.  And not only that, take time to laugh.  Laugh with your loved ones and enjoy the time with them.  And most importantly, allow yourself to laugh at the craziness that is back-to-school and enjoy what you do.  Laugher really is the best medicine.


Tip #5 – Persevere

Remember that without the terrible days, we would not be able to recognize the great ones.  No one is perfect.  If something didn’t work today, reflect on why, learn from it, and try something different next time.  Tomorrow is new day, a better day. Use resources such as the Microsoft Educator Network to expand your professional learning community beyond your school and district and to access a plethora of tools, tips, tutorials, discussions and more.  Keep at it and continue to take risks in your classroom so that you can be your very best for those who matter the most – the students!

Special thanks to my friend and colleague Sue Ramondo for her ideas and insight.


Dianne’s Daily Discoveries 08/05/2015

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  • “Getting teachers comfortable with technology is a process, and few understand that process better than Dianne Krause. Krause has been helping educators in her district integrate technology and 21st century learning for eight years now, and has a unique perspective on the journey teachers must take.”

    tags: dailyedventure MIEE Mieexpert15 Miechat

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


Dianne’s Daily Discoveries 08/03/2015

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  • KTI 2015 TeachMeet Projects and activities

    tags: KTI2015 KTI TeachMeet projects sharing

  • “Rubik’s cube is more than a puzzle- it’s a question waiting to be answered. And when the right person finds the right question, it can set them on a journey to change the world. We salute Ernő Rubik and everyone helping young minds find the questions that challenge, excite, and let them see the world in a new way.

    tags: questions inquiry questioning inspiration rubik’scube education technology

  • “Learn more about this film and download the free companion poster here: http://fablevisionlearning.com/blog/2…

    Peter H. Reynolds, creativity advocate and best-selling author and illustrator, and co-founder of FableVision Learning, has created a new animated short called The Testing Camera — a whimsical poke at high-stakes, standardized testing and a reminder that real assessment is as easy, and — at the same time — as challenging as getting to really know the gifts and talents of every child.

    “We’ve gone through a very test-centric decade which, in my opinion, has consumed a lot of time, energy, and resources,” Reynolds shares. “Many teachers have had to adhere to new mandates and measures that require a ‘teach to the test’ approach. Public schools redirected funding for art, music, theater, libraries, field trips, and more. It’s a discouraging picture for those trying to reach all children in creative, engaging ways.”

    Reynolds, who is known for his books encouraging creativity, The Dot, Ish, Sky Color and The North Star among many others, penned this whimsical and poignant story about a young girl named Daisy who, dismayed at her art class being canceled, nervously faces her turn with the “Testing Camera.” This huge apparatus snaps at her with a few blinding flashes of light. Weeks later, her father’s reaction to the test results surprises Daisy in a most wonderful way.

    “This is my gift to educators to remind them to follow their instincts and remember why they got into teaching in the first place: to see the potential in every child, to nurture those emerging gifts and talents, and to change lives,” Reynolds shared.

    The film was produced by FableVision, the transmedia studio in Boston founded by Peter and his twin brother, Paul Reynolds, author of Going Places and the Sydney & Simon series. The Testing Camera was directed by John Lechner with music by Tony Lechner, and animated by a team of young animators interning at FableVision for the summer. Broadway actor Chester Gregory lends his voice to the project.”

    tags: reynolds fablevision testing assessment The Testing Camera video inspirational

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


Dianne’s Daily Discoveries 07/28/2015

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  • “Mystery Skype is a fun, teacher-invented learning game that builds students’ cultural awareness, critical thinking, and geography skills. And now this free OneNote notebook—packed with tips and how-tos—gives your classroom a single place to prep, track, and learn together. Get it today!”

    tags: skype mysteryskype onenote

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


Dianne’s Daily Discoveries 07/26/2015

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Dianne’s Daily Discoveries 07/25/2015

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  • Mystery Skype is an educational game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions.

    It’s suitable for all age groups and can be used to teach subjects like geography, history, languages, mathematics and science.

    Check our Mystery Skype OneNote to see all the wonderful things you and your class can do together to play Mystery Skype and organize your session.

    tags: skype MysterySkype geography

  • Sway Tutorial Videos

    tags: Sway Microsoft tutorial

  • I’ve gotten several emails after my last post and they all ended with the same line, “Where do I start?” It can be overwhelming to start by Googling “makerspace.” What do you most often see? That stark modern space with expensive 3d printers. But that? It’s not the reality of what making in the classroom can be. I know the constraints faced by many of us in education, and I’ve lived them before. You make do with what you have, get creative, and repurpose existing materials to MAKE making happen in your classroom. You gotta start somewhere, right?

    tags: makerspace STEM making

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



Dianne’s Daily Discoveries 06/11/2015

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.