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Apps for Summer

Happy Last Day!

I hope you enjoy this last day with students and look forward to some time to relax and rejuvenate.

Whether you’re headed out on vacation or heading out to the back yard, here are a few ideas to play with:


Mobile Learning I: Stories to Share

The inaugural Mobile Learning I group just finished the class before Spring Break.  We wanted to share some of the project ideas they tried.  They’re committed to playing, setting learning goals, and trying new things with students!  Mobile Learning I will again be offered in June and in the fall.  Mobile Learning II is also on its way this fall.

Chris Smith (HS Art) is determined to dig deeper with Twitter.  He also created QR codes for The Glenn that point to YouTube videos of his students talking about their process for creating the murals inspired by Glenn Olson’s garden.

Caryn Odgers (HS Science) and Kari Diederich (HS F/CE) collaborated using a mind-mapping app called Mindjet.  They are using their mind map to help students learn more about medical occupations.

Briana Gustafson (HS Special Ed) used Audioboo, CamScanner, and Barcode Scanner along with QR codes to cue her students in daily living skills so that they become more independent.  One of her students is most excited about is seeing his own picture next to each code.

Jen Vogel (Early Childhood) used Audioboo with a student who read an alphabet book.  He was so excited to hear himself speak, as were his parents and grandparents!

Margi Wachowiak (HS Library Media Specialist) is using QR codes on her Summer Reading posters that point to book trailers for each book.  And she’ll be trying the codes out for Freshman Orientation next year!

Jodi Acker (MS Math) is using Audioboo to enhance student’s portfolios.

Tammy Breitlow (MS Social Studies) is using iPod Touches with students to create and edit propaganda ads as they learn about WWII.

Anne Tredinnick (MS Science, MS Computer Literacy next year) will be trying todaysmeet.com for her 5th and 6th graders to “backchannel” while watching a video about internet safety and digital citizenship.  She’s also going to have her science students use Audioboo to describe the robots they build as part of their energy unit.

Cyndy Johnson (MS Special Ed) is going to have her 8th grade students record podcasts of their own poems as part of their scrapbook project for English.

Rebecca McDermid (HS Science) used Socrative Teacher and Socrative Student to capture quick formative assessment check-ins.

Natalie Slaby (3rd Grade, WES) will be creating a QR code scavenger hunt to kick off her Fractured Fairy Tales unit with 3rd graders.

Dana Ringhand (2nd Grade, WES) used a QR code to share a podcast created by her 2nd graders reading a story they wrote about an alien they created using Abby Monster.  When you scan the code, you’ll see the “alien” and hear the story!  Listen for the elements of a story…

Many of these apps are also web-based.  Android4schools is a nice site for Android device users.

Today’s Technology Tip: a Teaching Tool and a Tablet Tip

A teaching tool:

60in60.  A nice wiki with a ton of ideas.  There’s a cheat sheet at the bottom of the home page if you’d like “60 in less than 60.”

A tablet tip:
Mobile devices are audio recording devices, among other things, and have the capability of translating speech to text (and vice versa).  Why might this be useful?

  • For capturing a note or composing an email quickly.
  • To search the web without using the touch keyboard.
  • For students with difficulties writing or keyboarding—if they can speak their ideas, their hands don’t get in the way of their thinking.


    • The keyboard includes voice.  Anything you can type, you can speak:  Google searches, Twitter, Note Everything (a nice note-taking app), Evernote…
    • Google Translate will translate text to speech, even English to English.

iPad apps:

    • Google Search
    • Dragon Dictation: speech to text
    • iSpeech TTS: text to speech

Difficulties with accuracy?  Speak clearly and slowly with good volume, and no gum.
Difficulties connecting to wireless?  Here’s the scoop.
Need more ideas for how and when to use your device?  Ask a colleague; most of the best learning comes from sharing!

**Last week’s TED winner is Kate Boyce, who plans to use TED talks with her seniors on C days!

Have an idea for a tip?  Please let me know!!

What I like about GoogleApps

The final Norski Ninja tip really isn’t a tip at all… it’s a chance for you to share and learn from each other.  To do that, we’re using a Google Form so you can see how it works.

Over the course of the past two months, we’ve done a lot:

  • we’ve moved from Groupwise to Gmail
  • we’ve integrated Google Calendar to sign up for labs and other common areas
  • we’ve shared Docs to collaborate on projects
  • we’ve used Google Forms to collect data
  • and more!

An example of a Google Form is here… a place for you to submit What I like about GoogleApps.  This is the front-end survey your respondents will see.  Feel free to fill it out as many times as you’d like!

We’ve shared the form with all of you, so if you open your Google Docs home page, you’ll see the back-end data collection in a spreadsheet.  This is where you’ll see everyone’s responses.  Next week, we’ll randomly choose some prize winners!

Click the Go Google! tab at the top of this page to see all the Norski Ninja tips, links, and How-To’s for going Google!

Connecting to Wireless

We’ve been getting plenty of questions about connecting to wireless. Here are a couple of handouts and tips for making it easier to connect:

Connecting to DeForest-Guest: This network is for student devices and devices used by students. Find the DeForest-Guest network and connect >> Open a Browser >> If you don’t see I Accept Terms, click/press Refresh >> Accept. You should see the DeForest web page and then you are connected. Wireless Guest Access

Connecting Your Xoom to DASD-1

Connecting Your iPad/iPod to DASD-1



Repurposing with Chromium OS

Repurposing with Chromium OS

Friday, January 13th was a lucky day for students using our new/old lab of Dell Minis . . . they’ve been recycled and now run Chromium OS. This project is a great example of teaching staff identifying a need and LISD finding a tool that fit it. In the process, we found a way to make these original minis last a bit longer. Good techs and good teachers.

Norski Ninja: Week 4

It’s week four of your Norski Ninja challenge!  Here are a few ways to advance to blue, red, and purple belts in GoogleApps.

  • Mail tip:  You may have noticed a section in Gmail called “Chat.”  This is a great feature for communicating with someone in real time.  To give it a try, choose a colleague available for chat (with green dot) and start typing!  If you’d rather not be disturbed, or would like to let others know what you’re doing, you can set your status.  Under your name, click “Set status here” then add your custom message or choose from a list using the drop down arrow.
  • Docs tip:  You’d like to share a document with others while keeping the original intact… Think about creating a handout that others can keep for themselves, edit, or share back with you… You can create a GoogleDocs template.  Your users can grab the template which creates its own copy in their Docs home page.

Please add a comment below to share how you’re using these tips and be entered into the drawing for fabulous Google prizes!