Thursday, August 2, 2012


I started a post about organizing a church/school carnival event, but it was too large and overwhelming. So it sits and I wasn't willing to face it. I'll post it eventually.

Do you love summer PD? I attended a Common Core Math session at the beginning of the summer which inspired me to get a few math items organized and knocked out of the way. This week I attended the SMART Users conference and it has been a while since I've had major tech training. Huge takeaway ideas were edmodo and and SMART Notebook Express. Pixie will be good when we can have it in school (gotta wait a year).

If someone ever told me about edmodo in the past and I didn't pay attention, I am upset with myself right now. Fortunately within four hours of the session, I had my account set up, had joined communities, made folders and assignments, snagged 210 badges to award to my students, and contacted other professionals to join me in trying it out with our classes.
You have permission to leave this post now and checkout edmodo. I'll wait. It's okay, I'll get some laundry done.

It's basically like a free, teacher prompted version of facebook for students. How grown up will my kids think they are studying like a big kid, posting assignments, and replying to each others' comments? Collaboration and evaluation through the roof!

SMART Notebook Express lets ANYONE access and create SMART Notebook files without downloading anything. It' missing very few special features so almost anything that you embed in the file is totally usable. Minor issues in creating with it at home for students but overall should be satisfying to students and teachers alike.

They didn't ask for endorsements. They're just that good. I am looking forward to getting my students revved up.

Pixie feels like a combination of Powerpoint and Kidpix.  I like the student collaboration for students to show what they know and share it with others. I like the idea of having students this year research and present content through podcast to my students for next year. The projects would be great for student portfolios.
BUT... we won't have it until we get updated computers. So I'll wait to get excited until next year.

I would love to hear how you've used these or if you would like to try them together, let me know.
The hour long lunches during summer PD is nice, but it's great to want to go back in the classroom and make changes.