Innovation @477 - Top TIES Takeaways!

Last week several of your tech coaches, Jodi and Eric attend the annual TIES convention in Minneapolis. This convention brings educators together from across to the state to learn about the newest innovations in educational technology. Our Primary tech coaches (Sam Statz, Nicole Cook and Anne Porttiin) had two poster sessions where they presented on how to organize iPads apps and the best apps and tools for collecting student data in Primary school! Jodi presented on the 21st Century Skills Project. Everyone walked away inspired and energized and have several great ideas to share with you. Below are a few of the top takeaways from each attendee! 

Kari Vogel (MS)
Formative - goformative.comI liked that you can do an assessment that involves actually graphing an equation or manipulating something.
Google classroom:Make a doc with hyperlinks in it to post for students (VIEW ONLY), and then whenever you switch the links, it will automatically change on classroom so you don't have to repost it. (You cannot have each student "get a copy" if you do this).

Michelle Majerus (MS)
Online professional development courses are being offered in Elk River and would be great to add to our district!

Tonia Anderson (PS)  This website allows teachers to easily create crossword puzzles, word searches, random name generators, memory game word match, and more.  This website allows you to start drawing a picture and it gives picture clues of what the picture is supposed to be so you can then click on the exact picture (image).  Similar to Pictionary (the computer is guessing). I would use this as a brain break

Nicole Cook (PS)

Class Hook - this will give teachers a video clip that can be used to hook the kids on content they are teaching!
Words With Friends EDU- free app, kids can challenge other kids in their class!

Google Made with Code- projects kids can create using coding

Annie Porttiin (PS)
iPad cameras have a QR reader built in! The camera function automatically reads a QR code (ios 11)

Use Siri as a timer, music, etc; can make into a QR code so students can easily scan and get started.

Sam Statz (PS)
Install "AdBlock" for YouTube on your Google Chrome to keep little adds from popping up while playing videos for students. 

Use "Flip Grid" (app) for students to show what they know.

Literacy tools

Eric Simmons (Tech Director)
I was excited about the examples teachers were sharing where either the teacher or students was leveraging technology and resources to help give students a voice, or ownership, within the learning. Some of those examples were out of Princeton! Such as having students curate and share photos work for the class through Seesaw. 

Other examples of that big idea are to always help students use the Internet for good. By that, I mean meaningful online collaboration, publishing ideas and projects with the world (online) to gather feedback. Also, connecting with students and others outside of the classroom, whether it is on our end as the educator doing the work to make connections, or turning that over to students. 

Jodi Burling (Tech Integration)
Extensions! So many great extensions to help all students use their chromebooks successfully! 
ExtensityDisables extensions temporarily - use to diagnose if extensions are causing the problem! Url Shortener - always gives a QR code
Clean Print - remove ads and pictures when printing from the web
Awesome ScreenshotScreencast, record screen as video. Screen capture for full page, annotate, blur sensitive info, and share with one-click uploads.
Tab resize - show multiple windows, great for smartboard - summary of webpage
Reading Visor - grays out everything except what you are reading 

Amazing Resources:
Maximize Chromebooks in the Classroom from Eastern Carver Country digital learning coaches
Shake Up Learning - Simply Google Awesomeness

Innovation @477 - Hour of Code & Computer Science Education Week 2017

Hour of Code 2017

December 4-10 is Computer Science Education week, also known as the Hour of Code. The focus of this week is to promote computer science opportunities for all students. I've compiled a list of resources and ideas in this week's blog for you to introduce coding into your classroom. Additionally, I have blocked out my schedule to be available to help with coding activities in classrooms. If you would like to work together on teacher your students coding, email the days and times that work best for your class. I will do what I can to accommodate all requests.  😀

The goal of Hour of Code is for EVERY student to get at least one hour of coding completed during the week. ALL students, preschool-high school, can learn some form of coding. See below for just a few of the reasons why introducing all students to coding is important and strides made in our own state to put more value into computer science education. 

Why should all students learn about coding?

Computer Science Education in Minnesota

MN currently has 11,888 open computing jobs 

The average salary for a computing occupation in MN is $90,134. The existing open jobs alone represent
$1, 071, 512, 992 in terms of annual salaries.

Minnesota only had 895 computer science graduates in 2015, only 15% were female.

Only 694 high school student sin MN took the AP Computer science exam in 2016.

Only 39 schools in MN (12% of MN schools with AP programs) offered the AP Computer Science course in 2015-16. There are fewer AP exams taken in computer science than in any other STEM subject area.

Universities in Minnesota did not graduate a single teacher 
prepared to teach computer science in 2016. 

What is already planned in 477 for Hour of Code week?

Primary School - during technology class with Mrs. Anderson
Students will be focusing on plugged and unplugged activities

Intermediate School during tech specialist with Mrs. Baird
Students will complete the Moana, Minecraft or Google Doodle challenge activities on

Middle School during Computer Apps with Mrs. Arens
6th Grade students will use Scratch to practice coding

High School during lunch/advisory
Our Nerd Herd students will be available to teach any interested staff and students how to start
coding right away! This opportunity will be available all month. 


Hour of Code Classroom Activities - offline, online, pre-readers through high school seniors. There is something for everyone here! 

Hour of Code with Kodable
This app is already available on all iPads at PS, and it can be accessed through chrome on iPads or chromebooks at the IS. Everything you need to help your students complete their Hour of Code. This resource includes plugged and unplugged (no devices needed) activities. 

Hour of Code with Disney
Activites and videos to get your students coding right away. Featuring Moana, Anna & Elsa, Big Hero 5 and Star Wars!

Seesaw is offering several live webinars (K-12) during Computer Science Week that you can watch with your students. They include How Do You Build an App, Product Design,  Jobs in Coding and more! Click the #Seesaw Coders link below to see which webinar is perfect for your class. These are much like virtual field trips where your class will watch live and possibly have the chance to interact with the content. 

Innovation @477 - Flash and Notebook Software

As Flash Functionality is no longer supported in cyber world, you may see some interactive pieces (widgets) in your Notebook Files stop working. Instead of the interactive dice, name generator, spinner, etc. 
You will get an error message like this: 

Inline image 2 

All is not lost friends! You will not lose any other part of Notebook files, so if you never use the interactive pieces (widgets) - nothing is changing for you!

And if you DO use widgets, everything is still OK! You just need to replace the widget with one that works. And the good news is that all widgets in Notebook version 16 or higher have been made with HTML5 (I don't really know what that means, but I know it's better than Flash!) and will work for you!

To find your replacement widgets you can search here: 
You can use the search bar, gallery essentials, or toolkit to find widgets. 
If you can't find what you are looking for, click on the SMART Exchange, this will bring you to the SMART Exchange website filled with widgets that are easy to download and will work!

While researching what works and what doesn't, I explored some in the SMART lab and Trimble 3D Warehouse. There is some pretty neat stuff in there you might want to check out!

As always, ask myself, a tech coach or a tech team member if you have any questions. 

Innovation @477 - littleBits

Last year, thank you to a grant from Century Link, I was able to purchase a class set of littleBits along with some other amazing tools that allow teachers to integrate 21st Century Skills into the curriculum through hands-on, minds-on tools!
What is littleBits? 
littleBits makes a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small. Electronic building blocks are color-coded, magnetic, and reusable.

To help teachers integrate this kit in their classrooms, I spent time during the month of November training 2-3 kids in each class how to use the littleBits. During these lunch bunch sessions they worked as innovators to discover how the bits work, connect and create. Wit these innovators "certified" I've begun going into classes to do full class lessons. Our certified innovators are able to help classmates and their teacher use the bits. 

This last week Brenna Nyboer, 4th grade, decided to shake things up in science class. We began the week with a full class lesson going over the all the bits, how they connect and what they do. The rest of the week she worked with the class, using the curriculum provided, to guide them to dig deeper and find ways to build real working objects. Today I swung in and was beyond impressed by what the kids have created! Check it out in the images and video below.