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!

Join me on edCommunities!

What is edCommunities? It is a professional practice community free and open to ALL who care about improving education and student success! Which means YOU! edCommunities is an online platform from the NEA that allows teachers to connect, collaborate and engage in meaningful discussions and groups.

Similar to other social media platforms, however edCommunities allows in depth topic conversations, file sharing and connections with dedicated and talented educators you don't always find consistently on social media.  As edCommunities grows you will also have the opportunity to take online courses for re-licensure requirements. Many groups are available to you on just about any content or professional topic you can imagine. And if you can't find the group you want, you can create it!

Once you sign up for edCommuites (see the flyer below) I encourage you to join my group, Technology Integration K-12. This summer my group is sponsoring a fun and interactive edtech contest for the summer with a chance to win gift cards and other prizes! The challenge is filled with many of the fun things you are already doing on social media and elsewhere to get ready for the next year, so check it out!

If you already joined edCommunities last fall, consider checking it out again. The summer is the perfect time to connect, collaborate and engage with fellow teachers!

If you have any questions about edCommunities, let me know!
Jodi Burling

Innovation @477 Tidy Up Technology

In my classroom, I always had a theme week for the last week of school. Things like Lego My Monday, Wrap it Up Wednesday and Tidy Up Thursday. Fun activities that kept myself and the class focused on all the end of the year things that needed to get done, while also celebrating the community we have built over the year. 

As you start your own end of the year routines, please don't forget about your technology! Here are a few helpful ways to Tidy Up your Technology for the end of the school year. 

iPads - for 1:1 and ALL Classrooms
Have students help, or take over this project entirely!
  • Clear all pictures and videos off your iPads. 
  • Clean iPad screens with an electronics wipe or wrung out Clorox wipe. 
  • In Chrome and Safari, close out all tabs. 
  • For apps requiring a login - go into each app and logout IN THE APP. 
  • Swipe apps off the screen once all apps have been logged out. 
Follow  these iPad collection directions for packing up iPads. 

Staff Desktop or Laptop
These are not required, just helpful suggestions to help keep your work organized, keep you sane and your device running efficiently. 

From the great and powerful Luke: Write down your computer login information for the fall. Recovering passwords is not a pretty picture!

Delete your downloads, they are taking up too much space. 
Rumor has it a certain tech integrationist had a ridiculous amount of downloads slowing down her computer 😳  so you're not alone!
Go to your finder and select downloads

Use shift and click to select multiple downloads

Go to the settings icon and select move to trash
Empty your trash

Move files into Google Drive
Your computer should be doing this already if you went through the Google Drive migration. Having your files in Google Drive makes the accessible from anywhere and safe from getting deleted or lost! Click here for Directions on Google Drive Migration or contact a building tech coach. 

Delete files, pictures and videos you no longer need.

Important information for deleting shared files in Google Drive. 

Empty your trash.

Innovation @477 Summer Tech PD

Summer is here and for many teachers that means looking for opportunities to grow and refine teaching practice. Here's a list of summer technology PD offered in MN! Opportunities are separated by month and dates, and at the top of the list links are provided to the informational fliers and websites.

Take note that EdCamp MidMN is coming up fast in early June! Princeton's attendance at this fantastic EdCamp has grown every year as educators appreciate learning from true experts, their fellow, local educators.
Princeton is also hosting it's first Code.org workshop with tech integrationist extraordinaire Angie Kaltoff. This is a class for EVERYONE, teachers and parents, techy and non techy. The skills and knowledge you take away will greatly impact any students in your life.

Summer Tech PD 2017
Free photo Person Apple Hand Lake Touchscreen Iphone Dock - Max Pixel
Click on each opportunity for more information and to register (if applicable)
Many opportunities listed are free or at a low cost.

Informational Fliers/Websites

📱 June 🌼

Tuesday, June 13
Braham HS

Marshall, MN

Wednesday, June 14
Dr. SG Knight Elementary in Randall, MN

Tuesday, June 20
Braham HS

Tuesday, June 27th
Braham HS

💻  July 🌸

Tuesday, July 11
Braham HS

Tuesday, July 18
Braham HS

July 19 - 21 - 4th, 8th and 10th grade teachers
Princeton MS

Tuesday, July 25th
Mountain Iron, MN

Wednesday, July 26th
Bemidji, MN

Friday, July 28th
College of St. Benedict

💾 August 🌻

Tuesday, August 1st
Austin HS

Tuesday, August 8th
Code.org CS Fundamentals in Burnsville, MN

Wednesday, August 9th
Lake ECMECC - Expedition Unknown -  Cambridge-Isanti HS

August 15-17 for 4th, 8th and 10th grade teachers

Tuesday, August 15th
Code.org CS Fundamentals in Shakopee, MN

Friday, August 18thCode.org Workshop @ Princeton Middle School with Angie Kalthoff

Princeton MS

Now We Go - PHS Podcast Release

PHS principal Barb Muckenhirn has taken on her passion project of creating a podcast with students. It's been a privilege to work on this project with her. This podcast could not have happened without the amazing work of two of our high school students, Damon who was Barb's first sidekick and Josh who took care of all the editing. 

We now have the first three episodes uploaded onto the Now We Go YouTube channel. Plans are in the works, to get these and future episodes loaded into iTunes. Please subscribe to the channel to get the latest updates. And most importantly, take time to check out the first three episodes. This is a podcast unlike others.  As Barb best describes it this is a podcast with a purpose of making lives go better, not just as students or staff, but as human beings!

Click and enjoy!


Innovation @477 - Creative Compliments

If you have done any training with Responsive Classroom, you have likely done a compliment plate or similar activity to end your school year. The idea behind this is a student puts their name on a plate, it is then passed around the classroom and every student puts a compliment or just a kind word that describes that person on the plate. Students then get to talk away a plate full of compliments as a great momento from the school year.

Today is Cindy Schmatz's 4th grade class we took that idea digital and in today's blog I will share the lesson and adaptations so this could be done in any grade. We used Seesaw but this could also quickly and easy be done using Google Slides.

First students took pictures of each other - no selfies, because we wanted lots of space in the picture left for leaving kind words. Next students all put their iPad on their desk, and we rotated students around as a group. Each time they rotated, they used the Add Label feature in Seesaw to add a kind adjective about that classmate. Once the rotations were complete the student had a completed picture to post to Seesaw. The students really seemed to enjoy the project, and had fun coming up with different adjectives. One student even took out his Character Traits sheet to bring with him to each iPad to help him with great adjectives!


This idea could be easily adapted to Google Slides. Students could take a picture, upload into a shared slide show. Each student would have their own slide. Students would then go on to each slide an add a positive word about that person. Using the add text feature students would be able to change words to different colors and fonts. When everyone is finished adding words for each classmate, students could copy and paste their slide into a different google slideshow so they could keep it forever!

Let me know if you have any questions on this project idea or if you try this in your classroom! 

MakerSpace Monday

Today in Mrs. Anderson's 3rd grade class, I set about introducing the Maker Space cart in a different way. Instead of simply allow students to explore the different materials (although I do still see value in that) I gave the class a challenge! The challenge was to create something, using the Maker Space tool of your choosing, that will help you in school.  Check out some of the creations that came from today's challenge!

Encouragement Folder
She is going to use this to help her stay motivated and focused at school. Notes and other encouraging items will be put inside and she'll take them out on days she needs a pick me up!

Fidget Spinners 
These kids decided to make their own and they were quite successful.

Desk Cleaner
Many kids identified messy desks as a problem they needed to solve. Here are a few of the innovative desk cleaners that were created!

Alarm Clock
Using LittleBits to create an alarm, to wake you up in case you fall asleep in class 😆

What have your students created from the MakerSpace cart? Please share your pics and ideas!

Innovation@477 This Week 5/12: Appy Hour

Appy Hour is an idea many of the tech coaches have read about in our study of Carl Hooker's book: Mobile Learning Mindset: A Coach's Guide to Implementation. In Appy Hour, you get together and quickly share apps, extensions and websites that are making a difference in your classroom. Our first Appy Hour will be digital, we hope to take these "live" in your buildings this fall!
If you have any awesome app, extension or website to share please send it to your friendly tech integration specialist! 

QR codes are excellent way to get students to a website quickly. Using a QR code scanner on their iPad or Chromebook, students scan the code and are immediately directed to the website. This is a quite a time saver as students of all ages can fumble with entering log web site addresses. This website and extension are slick for creating and downloading codes. 
Once you install the extension, it will show up on the side of your Chrome web address bar. Anytime you are on a website that you would like to create a QR code for, simply click the extension icon and a code is automatically created that you can download.

Chatterpix or Chatterkid
Many teachers are doing end of the year research or genius hour projects. Chatterpix provides a quick, fun and creative way for students to share their learning. In this app students take a picture of an object (or upload a pic they saved) and add a "mouth" to the picture. Then they record their voice sharing facts about that object or person. This project can be finished in short amount of time and students can share the finished project easily in Seesaw or on Google Classroom. Chaterpix or Chatterkid is installed on Primary and Intermediate school iPads.

Example project from 2nd grader sharing what she learned about tornadoes!

If you've ever told your students to just "google it" you have likely noticed that many students (across all grades) have no idea how to research with Google. Samantha Heitke and I found that to be true in talking about experiences with students. We did some research and discovered Brittanica school is an excellent resource for all students. When you first login you can choose elementary, middle or high school. From there students choose a topic of interest. 
Each topic is written at that specific level, however at the top of each article students can choose level 1, 2 or 3. The levels correspond to Elementary, Middle and High, yet when a student is on the high school page, and selects level 1, the screen doesn't change to the elementary looking page. It simply changes the content to a lower reading level. This will allow all your students to work on the same resource but get the information at their reading level!

Example of Galileo from each level:

Samantha and I have created a lesson that uses all of these sites/apps to create a quick mini-genius hour project for the end of the year. Let either of us know if you'd like it sent to you!

Innovation @ 477 - Seesaw Snapshot

Many teachers in our Primary and Intermediate schools are currently using Seesaw to have students showcase their WOW works, practice early digital citizenship skills, turn in homework digitally and share their learning with others! In this post we will check out some of the projects happening in our K-5 classrooms.

Kindergarten students sharing what they learned about animals!

Celebrating AR Success in 3rd grade!

Using Seesaw to share news with families!

Demonstrating learning in Kindergarten!

Sharing Google Slides Presentations

This is just a very small sample of the ways Seesaw is being used in classrooms! See below for a list of resources for more ideas. Thank you to all the teachers in 477 using Seesaw for truly innovative and exciting opportunities for our students.