Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Joining others hosting their first Summer of eLearning conference is South Vermillion Community Schools.

Transform organizers are encouraging attendees to be active on Twitter and even designed a trophy for Top Tweeter during the two day event.  As day one wraps up, educators are making sure to take an #eduselfie and post it to Twitter using #svtransform14 to be eligible for prizes.

The South Vermillion High School iCATS Students invited educators to Find Out What Students Really Want and Need in the Classroom. Following Leslie Fisher's keynote was no small task, but this group was up to it. In fact, they invited Fisher to co-present with them. The iCATS are students in a vocational credit course at SVHS that run a help desk in the main office and develop resources such as iMovies for faculty and students. They shared an Instead of (Textbook, Term Paper, Daily Journals, etc): Series for teachers to consider and then opened up the session for questions and answers. 

“Sometimes I feel like I’m standing on the tip of an iceberg; there’s so much underneath me and I’m trying to scoop it up,” proclaimed Jacqueline Roberts, 7th grade language arts teacher at the opening of her session 8 Ways to Incorporate Blooms Taxonomy and SAMR in Student Assignments. Roberts teaches in South Vermillion, which has a 1:1 iPad inititative. She shared how her students created mindmaps to trace character development as they read a class novel. Students were able to add notes and show their learning using apps such as Simple Minds and MindMup.

Roberts encouraged attendees to take risks with technology, “The great thing about technology is that in seconds you can do a search for ways to go deeper in the content and you can encourage your students to do the same.”

Jennifer Butler led the afternoon session Professionally Pinterest. Butler, a French teacher at Riverton Parke, found that teaching world language in a rural high school can be isolating. Collaborating through social media allows her to connect with other French educators from around the world. An example of this is the collaborative board French Learning that she contributes to. With nearly 3100 pinners, this board was created by Lanugage Comics and provides her with a constant stream of new ideas and resources. Attendees enjoyed the bulk of the time discussing ways to use Pinterest or taking advantage of one to one assistance setting up their account.

To see other ways educators around the state are using Pinterest check out Pinnovation.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Digipalooza 2014

For the 2nd year, Scott County 2 hosted their Summer of eLearning conference, Digipalooza. SCSD2 once again used the rock concert theme to add energy to their conference. It was great to see students throughout the day -- the young man that held the door for me, students checking in participants, the recent graduate that introduced the keynote and presented a couple of apps in a breakout session, and the students in all of the breakout rooms available to assist the presenters.

The day started with a keynote around the idea of making education personal. After a 2 year wait, I finally got to hear John Spencer ( present. John is the author of Pencil Me In: A Journey in the Fight for Graphite, which was our summer 2012 eLearning Book Club selection. John, a middle school teacher from Phoenix, first felt that he belonged after a middle school history day presentation and learned that personal connection is huge. This has fueled his desire to personalize his classroom. He talked about the projects that his students create, how the students have worked through their projects and his role in that, and how he has assessed them. John's keynote left the audience uplifted and ready to work on bringing humor and personalization to their classrooms.

After the keynote, I attended 2 breakout sessions. The first was hosted by Jaclyn Goode, guidance counselor at Johnson and Lexington Elementaries in Scott County 2 who shared how she is teaching kids about digital citizenship. She uses a lot of NetSafe Utah videos when working with students, but also shared some other great resources such as Common Sense Media iBooks. The participants had some time at the end of the session to talk about their real world/school problems involving bullying and digital responsibility issues. I then learned more about INSPIRE with Bill Anderson, Southeastern Indiana Regional Coordinator with the Indiana State Library. INSPIRE is made up of 50 databases. Some of the specific databases that Bill showed us were: Middle Search Plus, Student Research Center, Testing and Education Reference Center (great for college and career information), LitFinder, and Science in Content. Watch for a new user-friendly interface coming soon.

My last stop before lunch was The Voice, continuing with the music theme. This was a smackdown-type presentation, where each presenter had 5 minutes to share a digital tool. The 8 tools that were shared were ActivelyLearn, Animoto, Bitstrips, Youblisher, Tackk, Padlet, Popplet, and Voki.