Cubbie the Chromebook Bear and Powtoon.

I had a little too much fun putting together this video for my K students.  They are now ready to explore the wonderful world of 1 to 1 Chromebooks in their classrooms.

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant at first with the idea, but last week I worked with my first class and they really impressed me with what they were able to handle!   It’s also priceless to watch their expressions and listen to their ooooo’s and aaahhhh’s as they open their device for the first time and it turns on by itself.  I was in their room for an hour and they all stay focused.  Of course, I never could’ve done this by myself – having a teacher and teaching assistant in the room makes me things manageable.

Cubbie will be coming to each classroom as he demonstrates how the devices need to be handled.  He even likes to sit with the students who are using their listening ears and paying attention to directions.

I have made several Powtoons in the past but had not noticed before that you could add your voice to the slides.  I thought this gave it a more personal touch and would do a better job of keeping the little folks’ attention.

Next, we will be working on our “I can” Chromebook statements…..stay tuned.

You Really Need to Check Out Chatterpix

Who doesn’t love a resource that is FREE, you don’t need to create an account to use and is incredibly easy to use??
That sums up Chatterpix perfectly!
You can teach your students how to use this app in literally 30 seconds!  They love it and how quickly they can create a finished product to share with their teacher and peers.
The only limiting factor I see is that this only works on IPads and cell phones.  There is not a version for Chromebooks.
Chatterpix is a great way to for students to summarize information, recall what they have learned and keep to the facts because they only have 30 seconds to record.
The fun part is you get to draw the line for the mouth and you can add fun extras to your image.

Here’s a link to a handout I made:

Here’s a link to a Pinterest board that I created with lots of great ideas of how you can use this app.


Making an avatar of yourself

An issue that we sometimes run into with students is their Google Account picture.  Many of them choose pictures of football players. basketball players, singers, and actors.  I have seen a little of everything and a couple of things I hope to never see again!!

Many of them didn’t know that they could make and use an avatar of themselves instead.  I thought that this would be a good compromise, while letting them learn about and use a new Chrome extension.  Also, it’s fun to play around with all the different options to try and make something that resembles you.

I made the tutorial video below to walk my students through the necessary steps.  Please feel free to use this with your classes.  


Google Calendar and College Football

I love Google calendar!  I think it is on my list of all time best tech tools that have ever been created!   I also love how I can access it from my phone and IPad.  Nothing makes my little tech geek heart happier than sitting down with a stack of paper calendars and entering everything into my digital calendar.

I thought I was fairly calendar savvy until I went to our district’s tech conference at the beginning of this summer and attended a great session about all the great things you can do with Google Calendar and Google Draw (that will be another post!)

As you may already know, I am a dedicated Clemson Tigers fan!  Ever since my son’s freshman year, I have really gotten into watching the football games…..ok really, I was hoping to see the band the first year and then started to watch the actual game.

Let’s face it – they never show the band!!9545_1080348621995360_1221223510995936695_n

So, I found out about this interesting feature called “interesting calendars”.  Open up Google Calendar and go to your calendars that are listed on the left side of the screen.

calendar-1Now go to the drop down menu next to other calendars and select “BROWSE INTERESTING CALENDARS”.

calendar-2You will see this🙂  It’s really interesting to see the holidays in all the different countries and this would definitely be interesting in Social Studies or Geography.  For what I was interested in,I moved over to the sports tab.

Here you will find all of these sports calendars:

calendar-3 For football you will find both NFL and NCAA.  Just find your team(s) and press select.  PRESTO CHANGO….their whole schedule is now on your Google Calendar!!

calendar-4How cool is this!!   If you click on more details it will even tell you what network the game is being shown on.

The only thing I have left to say is GO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday Fun with Bitmoji!

I went back to work today so I thought I should also get back to blogging….. I had all these grand ideas of blogging everyday this summer.

What was I thinking?? Instead, I traveled, had fun, made memories, hung our with my hubby and daughter and made seven quilts!! I decided that this was more important🙂 My daughter leaves to go to college in North Carolina in two weeks!!

Anyway I thought I would start with something fun. I have to give credit for this great find to my friend, Nikki who is a fellow technology and learning coach in my district. I started out putting this app on my phone; then I discovered there’s a Chromebook app for it too! My emails are never going to be the same!!


How Facebook and WeVideo saved my bacon..

photo calmI’m still reflecting on the many fun parts of my job and then the parts that people just “assume” are part of your job.  You know, like whipping up videos at the drop of a hat.  Anyone who has ever really made a video knows that they take a LOT longer than you realize.  Even when you are really organized and keep your photos in labeled and dated folders in your Google Drive account….yes, I am card carrying OCD!!

So the last week of school as I am up to my eyeballs in inventory and sick with a sinus infection(yes, I was having a pity party!!) I remember that I need to make an end of year video for our last day of school luncheon.

Luckily, the inspiration hit me on my drive home from work….I do some of my best thinking on the interstate as I blast my 80’s on 8!  I am in charge of all the social media for my school and have found that our school Facebook page gets triple the traffic that our official school website receives.  So, once I got  home I pulled up the photos section of the Facebook page, selected the best photos that were already in chronological order and downloaded them all into one folder.

Then I uploaded that entire folder into WeVideo. I used the wonderful multi select tool to put all the photos into the video.  Added some music, some text slides and VOILA!  we have an end of year video.  So glad to see that all my posting during the school year paid off🙂








End Of Year for a Technology Coach…

Well of course, it can be summed up in one word – CRAZY!!  Of course, anyone who works in a school knows what this time of year is like.  When I was a classroom teacher it was paperwork, permanent records and getting my classroom packed up.  Now that I’m a technology coach it means inventory, work orders, work orders and more work orders.  I even started to dream about computers!!

A high point at the end of this school year was getting to take my awesome morning show crew on a field trip to a local television station.  WLTX did a wonderful job of showing my students all of the background parts of a news organization.  We were also able to watch the noon news in the studio as it was being broadcasted.  They asked some great questions and I think they really impressed our hosts with their news show knowledge.

A personal high point was my daughter graduating from high school.  Come August my husband and I will officially be empty nesters.  Not quite sure how I feel about that but I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Also, I am getting Chromebooks for all of my kindergarten, first grade and second grade students next school year.  That’s 414 more devices to keep up with.  I like to look at it as job security🙂  I am really excited to introduce this technology to the younger students at my school.

I am looking forward to presenting at a couple of conferences this summer.  Later this week, my district hosts a regional conference and I will be presenting two sessions at that.  I am really excited to meet Kasey Bell aka Shake Up Learning who is going to be one of our keynote speakers.  Then next month it’s off to Denver for ISTE again.  I had such a blast last year in Philadelphia, I know that this is going to be another great learning experience.  Nikki, another TLC in my district and I have been selected to present at a Tech Coaches Playground to share how we use Google Classroom and other tools to personalize PD for our teachers.

Year Two of being a TLC is almost in the books and I am looking forward to a crazy busy but also hopefully crazy fun summer!!