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If you haven’t heard of Nearpod by now, you really  need to check it out!  This versatile tool takes your presentations and instruction to the next level.  Nearpod allows you to embed quizzes,polls, Fill in the Blank activities, drawing activities and more!  Have I made you curious?  Check out, “Nearpod: Bring the Wow!” to learn more about this truly powerful, transformative classroom tool.

The vast majority of teachers who use Nearpod are rocking their instruction, yet may only be using it as a suped-up PowerPoint, or as a quick way to grade a quiz.  As great as those two are, Nearpod can be way more.  I’m excited that Nearpod has asked me to facilitate their weekly #PionearChat on Twitter next week, and we’ll be discussing ways to bring the “wow!” to your classroom and take Nearpod to the next level.  Join us on Tuesday July 28th at 7:00 pm EST.  We’ll address the following points about “thinking outside the pod” with Nearpod:

  • What is the most creative way you’ve presented content to your students?
  • What is the most creative way you’ve used Nearpod in your classroom?
  • What is the most creative way your students have used Nearpod?
  • What features could be added to Nearpod to allow more room for creative use?

The best way to learn how to use a new tool is to dig in and play.  Having a conversation with other dedicated users will help you transform the way you use Nearpod to engage and motivate your students to be active learners.  So join us for a conversation next Tuesday on Twitter, and don’t forget to use #PionearChat!

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This is a short (5 minute) video sharing two eBook readers for the iPad.  Both have in-app book purchase options and an option to subscribe and get unlimited downloads.  TED Books is an app associated with the TED Conferences and TED.com.  The books within this app have been written by people who have given TED Talks, and are written to be read within about an hour.  Each book is $2.99, or you can subscribe for a year of unlimited downloads for $14.99.  Farfaria is an eBook reader app for primary-age kids.  Users are allowed 5 free downloads a week, or you can subscribe for $3.99 per month for unlimited downloads.  If you refer a friend, you get unlimited downloads for a week.  Check out the video for a very short demonstration of these apps.

Part of getting the job as an Instructional Technology Specialist is going back to school to get the 077 add-on license for Computers in Education.  I am currently taking the third out of seven courses, and part of my current assignment is to create a screencast showing how to use the Help menu within Microsoft Word and to show how to create audio notes.  Since this fits right in with the purpose of this website, I thought I’d share my screencast!  So, here ya go:

I have to admit that I was unaware of this feature within Word.  I’m currently using Word 2011 for Mac, and I don’t know which version the audio note feature was added to.  I do know that this has great potential for the classroom.  I can see teachers using Notebook view to create digital textbooks and the audio feature to add interactivity to the book.  Students could comment on text or images within documents, give audio feedback in a peer editing activity, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

Ed Tech Word Cloud created with Wordle

Wordle found at Rockland Public Schools Instructional Technology Website.

So I’m making my way into the blogosphere and out of my comfort zone.  Since becoming an elementary school teacher in 2006, I have discovered two passions: instructional technology and working with teachers.  Before moving into my dream job of Instructional Technology Specialist, I taught 3rd grade for four years and AIG in elementary and middle school for two.  I discovered my passion for instructional technology when I received a SMART Board in my classroom.  I quickly became obsessed with creating lessons, finding cool websites to use, and sharing what I was learning with my colleagues.  All of this led me to create my website, SMARTBoard Terminal, which I still maintain today.

After I moved to teaching AIG, I became very fascinated with the 1:1 classroom.  I started researching devices and strategies, as well as campaigning to my district director for the chance to try 1:1 with my middle school AIG students.  Imagine my surprise and complete joy, when I found out that our county was going to initiate a 1:1 pilot program with iPads.  I quickly applied for, interviewed, and was offered the job as the newest Instructional Technology Specialist with Pitt County Schools. This blog will chronicle my journey as an ITS.  I hope to share with you new technology resources, lesson plans, project ideas, and words of wisdom from my day to day experiences.  Please provide feedback, as this is my first attempt at blogging, and my goal is to help you implement technology into your classroom.  Also, check out the website I have created for my teachers:  Going 1:1!

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