The Haiku Deck Difference

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

In the educational world, teacher training is often structured around the same basic format: a presenter stands before the group reading from a Power Point while the audience sits and stares at a personal printout of the exact same information, wondering why this all couldn’t be accomplished through email. These same adult educators, will then leave this boring event and to return their classrooms only to subject their poor students to the exact, same process. In middle school, this is often called “taking notes”.

The justification of these teachers is that some information just has to be delivered this way, so let’s just go ahead and deem this to be truth and move on the more important concern. Are students really listening and learning this way? Could we not make our point or provoke thought with fewer words or without copying from the screen?

For those that might be looking to move beyond the pale of Power Point,  Haiku Deck might be a great place to start. This simple, easy to use presentation app allows the creator to design a slideshow by selecting a photo and then adding only two lines of text or a few bullet points.  I believe this word limitation not only causes the presenter to focus on the “meat” of the content, but, with the right images, can evoke a deeper and more meaningful or  independent thought process on the part of the viewer. Haiku Deck offers simplicity that is unique and artistic.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

To use Haiku Deck, go online and create an account. This will allow you to have access to your decks on all devices. Then, download the newest version of Haiku Deck from the iTunes store and start designing. You can use the search in Haiku Deck to find suitable images or use your own. If you don’t like the photos in Haiku Deck, use another program to create a picture or group of pictures (In fact, this is a great use for that Power Point program! Just create a slide and save as .jpeg)

For those presenters needing more details and notes added to slides, those can be easily added from the Haiku Deck website.  For more information, check out the Haiku Deck FAQ page.

Area Track Meet – Girls Area Champs – Boys 3rd

In the first area track meet for 2A schools, the Bulldogs placed first on the girls side and 3rd on the boys side! Both the boys and girls team did a great job in all their events. The top 4 district finishers from two districts compete at the area meet. Besides the competitors from our district, the area meet included Blooming Grove, Buffalo, Corsicana Mildred, Marlin, Riesel, and Teague. The top four finishers at the area meet advance to the regional track meet in Stephenville. Congratulations to all the athletes and coachesĀ on the great performances turned in by the Bulldogs! The results for the Bulldogs are given below:

3200m Run
Girls – Samantha Crocker – 1st; Harley Kile – 6th

Boys – Evan Aramula – 1st; Mark Zimmerer – 3rd; Preston Schwartz – 6th

Girls – Grace Holcombe – 1st; Chelsea Oldham – 2nd

Boys – Kyle Purselley – 2nd; Tyler Folsum – 3rd

Pole Vault
Girls – Alexis Cravey – 1st; Megan Gunter – 2nd; Whitney Boerner – 3rd

Boys – Austin Givans – 1st; Gavin Kirkhart – 2nd

Shot Put
Girls – Caitlyn Culp – 4th; Casey Bramblitt – 6th

High Jump
Boys – Tyler Stokes – 5th

Triple Jump
Girls – Jaci Aiken – 3rd

800m Run
Girls – Noa Taylor – 3rd

Boys – Gavin Kirkhart – 5th

100m Hurdles – Jaci Aiken – 1st

800m Relay
Girls – 5th

300m Hurdles
Girls – Madi Allen – 1st

John Bradburn – 6th

1600m Run
Girls – Samantha Crocker – 1st

Boys – Evan Arambula – 1st; Mark Zimmerer – 3rd; Preston Schwartz – 5th

1600m Relay
Girls – 3rd

Boys – 3rd

The regional track meet will be held April 26 & 27 in Stephenville.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!



Fotobabble: Talking Pictures

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

Yesterday, students used the Educreations app to take photos of a math problem and add annotations and voice-recordings to create a multiple-slide presentation. The downside to Educreations is that you can’t correct mistakes. You absolutely have to start over, and this can be frustrating and problematic in a classroom setting where not all students finish on time and are sharing devices!

Today’s app, Fotobabble, allows the user to create, save and return to edit and voice-record on a photo to share through email, Facebook or Twitter. This app works on both  iPad or  iPhone. The great thing about Fotobabble is that is also has a website that provides an embed code, and, more importantly, students can re-record or edit on Fotobabble! The only downside is that only one photo can be recorded on at this time. Fotobabble’s support says that this will soon change. This app does require an account or access through Facebook or Twitter.

Sorry that this Fotobabble sample is not a student product. I wanted to let some 2nd graders know that their Flat Stanley family was returning home soon, and this seemed like a fun way to share the news!

Board Meeting Tuesday Night

On Tuesday, the EISD Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting. Action taken during that meeting included:

  • Approved Minutes from Previous Meetings.
  • Approved Financial Reports.
  • Certified Superintendent as Representative to Regional Advisory Committee for ESC 7.
  • Approved changes to the District’s 403(b) Retirement Plan
  • Approved renovations to the bleachers at the softball/baseball fields.
  • Approved an Agreement to Assist Government Entity
  • Employed Andrew McDonald as Teacher/Coach at Middle School
  • Approved Update to the Substitute List as presented.
  • Approved the Recommendations for Auxiliary Directors, Professional Employees, and Paraprofessional Employees as amended.
  • Approved student transfers as presented.
  • Adjourned.

Educreations for All!

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

Our 6th graders have been using the app Educreations to “show what they know” in Science class, and we have found it to be a  great tool for all stages of learning and assessment. Since it has been so easy and fun, we wanted to explore its use in other subject areas as well.

In this Educreation sample, students work through a math problem to explain why answers are correct or incorrect. Talking through the process of problem solving clearly bumps this common worksheet question to a higher level of thinking. No one here can simply circle an answer and move along. It demonstrates the thought process behind the answer, whether it’s right or wrong. In fact, in this sample, one student determines the answer is incorrect, but not for the right reason, a step that never could be detected without “hearing” the thoughts behind the process. Though this may seem time consuming, what if every student did one exemplar math problem each week? Over the course of a year, that is a great deal of “thinking out loud”!

Just one thing about this Educreation: the students forgot to record on the first slide which did actually show the entire math problem. The downside of Educreations is that if you mess up, there is NO way to edit (yet!).
Still, a great tool for quick use in the classroom!


via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

Several weeks ago, our content mastery teacher was trying to help her students as they learned the parts and functions of the inner ear. They were needing to label parts and find definitions, and I really wanted to find another way for them to gather and express this information. It needed some technology magic!

ThingLink will allow you to easily take any picture and make it interactive by adding text or links. Once your interactive ThingLink is complete, it can be shared through Edmodo, Pinterest, Google+, emailed or embedded. ThingLink does require an account to be set up, and if you really want to make it easy, there is even a ThingLink plugin that can be easily added to your Chrome browser.

ThingLink has plenty of how-to videos out there in its very own You Tube channel, so quick visual help is readily available. The only downside I have found so far is that you can’t make the image full screen.

Though I discovered ThingLink a little late to help with the study on the inner ear, I did go ahead and sling together a quick ThingLink to show the text and one link to a video. This tool definitely has potential!!

Board Meeting Tonight

The EISD Board of Trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting tonight. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM and be held in the High School Library. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

The Board will hear the following reports:

  • PaySchools Report
  • Notice of Sale from Henderson County
  • Van Zandt County Appraisal District Audit
  • Refinancing of Bonds
  • Notification of Affordable Rental Housing Application
  • Enrollment Report

The Board will consider action on the following agenda items:

  • Receive and approve minutes of previous meetings.
  • Financial Reports
  • Certify Superintendent as Representative to Regional Advisory Committee for ESC 7
  • Consider Advocacy Resolution
  • Consider changes to the District’s 403(b) Retirement Plan
  • Consider possible renovations to the bleachers at the baseball/softball fields
  • Consider agreement to assist government entity

The Board will enter closed session to consider personnel, staffing, and student transfers. The Board will also review recommendations for Auxiliary Directors, Professional Employees, and Paraprofessional Employees.

The Board will reconvene in open session to consider any action on closed session items.

A reminder that our baseball teams will travel to Kemp tonight and our softball team will host Dallas Life Oak.