This Week in Innovation @477 - Creation

In the world of EdTech we often hear we want to move students from consumption to production. The idea being the device should not just be a replacement of paper, it should be a tool that allows our students to produce and create their own learning.
 But a shift you’ll see down the road is that tech will be used less for presenting content and more as a tool to design and create and explore and connect to other learners, to experts around the world. It will be much more of a tool to enable new types of learning than it will be a tool for distributing content. -Ricchard Calcutta in EdWeek
This is the direction many of our classrooms are heading. Growing access to 1:1 technology in our buildings is supporting this change. Tools like Seesaw, Flipgrid, Google Slides, and more give students an avenue for creating and producing their own, individual products to demonstrate their learning.

Staff Highlight:
Melissa Kisch, 4th grade teacher, took the common back to school practice of sharing classroom rules and expectations with her class and allowed her students to teach one another. Students responded to the Flipgrid question: What Does Tiger Pride look like in each of these areas?

Kisch Flipgrid - Showing Tiger Pride

Tool Highlight:
Flipgrid is a tool that allows students to record up to a 1min 30 second response to any question. Many of our teachers who attend Digital Bootcamp, and were introduced to Flipgrid, are now using it in their classrooms.
Here's a great list of ways to use Flipgrid in your classroom.

Share your creation projects below or send them to Jodi! 
You never know when a shared idea will be inspiration for another teacher. 

Innovation @477 Get To Know You with Technology

Welcome back to another great year in Princeton Public Schools. This year our 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th graders will all have 1:1 devices with increased access for all other grades. With more technology at hand, it's time to see how those tried and true back to school activities can be done using technology!

Erin Franson, 5th grade teacher at our Intermediate School created this great activity that could be used in just about any classroom! It's the tech turn on Two Truths and a Lie where you each student tells two truths and one like about themselves, the class has to guess the lie. Erin has put this activity into a Google Slides format. She will share the slides with her class, giving each students the ability to edit the document. This could also be shared using Google Classroom quite easily!

Once the students open the document, they will find the slide with their name and work on entering their two truths and a lie. Putting student names in the document ahead of time makes it easier for students to find their workspace without accidental writing on or deleting information on on a classmate's slide.
A couple of options for how to use the completed document:
  • Project it on the smart board and go through each slide as a class, taking guesses together. 
  • Share it on Seesaw (it will share as a pdf) and have students share their guesses using comments. 
  • Have students access the document and go to each slide, using the comments feature in Google Slides they can give their guesses. 

Other ideas? Share below in the comments!

Here's the link to the Two Truths and a Lie document for you to use!
Make a Copy, Rename it and put in your own student's names and you are ready to go!

Thank you to Erin Franson (@eefranson on Twitter) for sharing her great idea!

21st Century Skills in the Workplace

In the last few years, teaching 21st Century Skills has become a primary focus in education. Also known as the four Cs, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity are becoming more and more integrated into our daily teaching routines. Activities like BreakoutEDU, Hour of Code, Mystery Skype and MakerSpace have grown in popularity as our profession searches for innovative ways to incorporate the 21st Century Skills into the classroom.

In attending the Best Prep Technology Integration Workshop this week I was able to hear and see first hand how valuable these skills are to business leaders. Our day started with a panel discussion with business leaders from four large cooperations. Through this discussion we learned what employers are looking for, what young people bring to the workforce, and what skills we should focus on to best prepare our learners for success in the real world.

Employers are looking for employees who can participate in face to face communications, able to handle personal conflicts effectively and respectfully, accept and grow from all feedback, able to share the how of what they learned and accomplished not just the what, and the ability to collaborate with teams. The panel shared they find students today come to them with a willingness to be challenged, ability to flexible and agile when it's time to move on or make a change, able to quickly adapt to new platforms for communication, and a willingness to change paradigms.

Aside from today's panel discussion, all participants in the Technology Integration Workshop participated in a job shadow experience. I was able to spend the afternoon shadowing the Director of Technology at Anchor Bank. Through team meetings and a tour of the office areas, I was able to see collaboration among team members that involved critical thinking and purposeful and respectful communication. The variety in their workspaces showed how collaboration and creativity is valued when working on projects. The department I was in had a SCRUM room that is used for project planning and management. This room had whiteboard paint on the walls which were covered in writing, diagrams and post-its. The writing and post-its also covered the large windows of the room.

The panel and job shadow experience was an incredibly validating experience. I was able to see how these skills are truly valued and necessary for success in today's workforce. In addition to attending keynotes, discussion panels and participating the job shadow opportunity, we  are given time to create a lesson with support from technology integration specialist. The 21st Century Skills Project is my focus during this time. My goal for this year is to help provide all teachers with innovative ways they can truly integrate (not add) 21st Century Skills into their current teaching plan. During this week I am working on enhancing and refining the project in order to provide a comprehensive and valuable resource for our district.

For  more information about BestPrep and Technology Integration Worskhop (open to all educators) please see links below:
Technology Integration Workshop

-Jodi Burling

Innovation @477 This Year in Tech Integration

My first year as your technology integration specialist has been an incredible ride. I truly never imagined I would have left the classroom, but I am beyond grateful to those who suggested and supported me taking on this new role. My stepson explained it best when he explained my new job to family "she gets to do all the cool technology things she loves and help other teacher even more because she doesn't have to teach a class at the same time." I love getting to work with all of you and am really looking forward to another year of technology integration awesomeness in our district. This last post of the school year features many of the projects we have worked on together this year. Thank you for inviting me into your classrooms, PLCs and planning time.
Jodi Burling

1:1 Access

Our four year implementation of 1:1 device access for all students in grade 3 -12 started this year. The first year of implementation started with iPads for all 3rd graders and chromebooks for all students in 6th, 7th and 9th grades. For 2017-18 our 3rd graders will continue with iPads and we will add chromebooks for all students in 8th and 10th grades. Additionally, we are increasing technology access in our Early Childhood and Primary buildings with classroom carts of iPads for each grade level. Having 1:1 access has allowed our students to take  more ownership of their learning while growing their 21st Century Skills set.


Several teachers jumped on the Breakout bandwagon, finding ways to review and introduce material while helping students to refine their 4 Cs (Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication & Creativity). We were able to grow our materials from 2 boxes to 7, allowing for teachers to have smaller groups of students working together and racing against other teams to solve break in to their boxes. This summer I will continue to update our 21st Century Skills website with a list of games that are prepped and ready to play in your classrooms.



Through grants from the EdCamp Foundation and Century Link MN the Intermediate School was provided with a mobile maker space cart. This cart includes various items for students to explore, create and learn through play. With the Century Link grant, there are now class sets of Bloxels, littleBits and Lego WeDo 2.0. Class sets will allow teachers to teach their entire class how to use these sets for truly creative, innovative learning. Most importantly students will discover their learning style and new passions and interests while finding innovative ways to demonstrate learning.

The primary school has their own mobile creator space and Lego Lab. This cart includes Lego Learn to Learn, Lego Story Starter, Kinex and other creative products that promote learning and refining the 4Cs through play!

Makerspaces have proved to be a vital asset in districts across the county and across grade levels, which is why we will be looking at expanding makerspaces into our middle and high school media centers in the next few school years, while continuing to grow our spaces at PS and IS.

Co-Teaching Technology

One of the biggest parts of my job this year as been co-teaching technology with classroom teachers. Co-teaching allows for teachers to learn new apps, websites or innovative teaching ideas with their students. Several teachers had me in their classrooms this year to co-teach this school year and I look forward to continuing this practice in our next school year! A small sampling of lessons I co-taught with teachers this year include: Seesaw Introduction and Seesaw lessons, iPad apps and challenges, BreakoutEDU, Lego Learn to Learn, Lego Story Starter, Google Classroom, Assistive Technology options on Chromebooks and iPads, Standards Tracker, Virtual Fieldtrips, Google Hangouts with other classrooms in and out of our district and more! Samantha Heitke and I also teamed up to teach Genius Hour with many Kindergarten teachers and research skills with 2nd grade! I'm looking forward to helping teachers integrate more technology in their classrooms next year through co-teaching experiences!

Have an amazing summer!