Welcome to WordPress!

Getting started…

Seesaw

via Digitally Creative Teacher by Jerri Davis

Seesaw has been simply described as a digital portfolio for students, but really is it so much more!  Seesaw is a tool that teachers are using to help organize student work, increase parent communications and facilitate those 21st Century skills that has become imperative for our students to learn.  A goal of using Seesaw is to see students become independent and taking ownership of their own learning.  Seesaw provides an audience for students’ work that exists outside the walls of the classroom.

The mission of Seesaw is “to create an environment where students can be their best.”  How awesome is that? Seesaw gives students the opportunity to reflect on their work and on their progress all while sharing their best work with an authentic audience.

Another essential component of  Seesaw is to provide students with a safe space to share their work. Teachers control what information is shared and how much information is shared.

Many of the K-2nd graders in my district have embraced Seesaw.  They are enjoying how easy this tool is to use not only for the students but for the teachers as well.  Mrs. Temple is a second grade teacher and she has embraced Seesaw full on.  She had it set up and ready to go before school began this year and used it during Meet the Teacher night.

This is the dashboard.  As you can see, it is very intuitive.  The options are easy to understand and easy to follow through.
Seesaw has a kind of Facebook feel, except it’s for the classroom. Students enjoy seeing their work posted and shared with others in their class.

Seesaw puts the teacher in control of what is posted and who is able to view the content.  Each students’ content is kept private and is only viewable by his or her parents. The teacher chooses what content is public as well.  In the Seesaw classroom, developers have created a “walled garden” so that students’ privacy is protected.
This is Mrs. Temple and Oliver.  They are taking the opportunity to share Seesaw with other teachers on campus.  Mrs. Temple wanted to be able to showcase how simple this product is to use for teachers and for students.
Oliver did a fantastic job of showcasing Seesaw to the teachers.  He simply snapped a picture, completed a task, accessed Seesaw, and posted to the class.
Mrs. Temple then showed how easy it was to find the assignment and choose the correct settings and give permission for the assignment to be posted.

Seesaw is a fabulous tool.  Definitely worth checking out, whether your are tech confident or a tech newbie this tool is designed with you and your class in mind.


Newsworthy…

via Digitally Creative Teacher by Jerri Davis


Newspaper Clipping Generator  is a website that creates a newspaper clipping with your own name for a newspaper, headline, and story.  The Newspaper Clipping Generator  allows you to download your creation quite easily.  The site provides a download link and an embed code, located at the bottom of the newly generated clipping.  You are then able to use the image to suit your needs, however you should know that images are deleted from the server after a short time so get your image while you can. 

Fodey.com, the maker of the Newspaper Clipping Generator  also has fun options to create different things.  Other than a newpaper clipping, you can also create a clapper board, talking squirrels, text ninja and various other options. 

Newspaper Clipping Generator  would be a fun tool for your Reading/Language Arts classroom.  Students can create their own stories, create summaries or practicing other reading skills, book reviews, and list could be quite endless.  Newspaper Clipping Generator  is definitely a tool worth checking out.


Creative Fun…

via Digitally Creative Teacher by Jerri Davis

So have you tried Canva?  Canva is a site full of fun.  It allows you to create documents, presentations, social media graphics and just about any other idea that comes to mind! Professional graphics, presentations, and social media graphics can be achieved using the many themes offered by Canva or you can use your own media using Canva‘s layouts.  Canva has what seems like a gazillion images, photo filters, icons, shapes, and lots of fonts to make your Canva creations truly unique.

Just a disclaimer…though Canva has many, many free components to the site, it also has many that are not free.  However, Canva has so many free options that I feel you are not missing anything by not purchasing the full membership.  Canva is definitely worth checking out.  Enjoy your new digital masterpieces. 

Creative Fun…

via Digitally Creative Teacher by Jerri Davis

So have you tried Canva?  Canva is a site full of fun.  It allows you to create documents, presentations, social media graphics and just about any other idea that comes to mind! Professional graphics, presentations, and social media graphics can be achieved using the many themes offered by Canva or you can use your own media using Canva‘s layouts.  Canva has what seems like a gazillion images, photo filters, icons, shapes, and lots of fonts to make your Canva creations truly unique.

Just a disclaimer…though Canva has many, many free components to the site, it also has many that are not free.  However, Canva has so many free options that I feel you are not missing anything by not purchasing the full membership.  Canva is definitely worth checking out.  Enjoy your new digital masterpieces. 

Creative Fun…

via Digitally Creative Teacher by Jerri Davis

So have you tried Canva?  Canva is a site full of fun.  It allows you to create documents, presentations, social media graphics and just about any other idea that comes to mind! Professional graphics, presentations, and social media graphics can be achieved using the many themes offered by Canva or you can use your own media using Canva‘s layouts.  Canva has what seems like a gazillion images, photo filters, icons, shapes, and lots of fonts to make your Canva creations truly unique.

Just a disclaimer…though Canva has many, many free components to the site, it also has many that are not free.  However, Canva has so many free options that I feel you are not missing anything by not purchasing the full membership.  Canva is definitely worth checking out.  Enjoy your new digital masterpieces. 

Creative Fun…

via Digitally Creative Teacher by Jerri Davis

So have you tried Canva?  Canva is a site full of fun.  It allows you to create documents, presentations, social media graphics and just about any other idea that comes to mind! Professional graphics, presentations, and social media graphics can be achieved using the many themes offered by Canva or you can use your own media using Canva‘s layouts.  Canva has what seems like a gazillion images, photo filters, icons, shapes, and lots of fonts to make your Canva creations truly unique.

Just a disclaimer…though Canva has many, many free components to the site, it also has many that are not free.  However, Canva has so many free options that I feel you are not missing anything by not purchasing the full membership.  Canva is definitely worth checking out.  Enjoy your new digital masterpieces. 

Creative Fun…

via Digitally Creative Teacher by Jerri Davis

So have you tried Canva?  Canva is a site full of fun.  It allows you to create documents, presentations, social media graphics and just about any other idea that comes to mind! Professional graphics, presentations, and social media graphics can be achieved using the many themes offered by Canva or you can use your own media using Canva‘s layouts.  Canva has what seems like a gazillion images, photo filters, icons, shapes, and lots of fonts to make your Canva creations truly unique.

Just a disclaimer…though Canva has many, many free components to the site, it also has many that are not free.  However, Canva has so many free options that I feel you are not missing anything by not purchasing the full membership.  Canva is definitely worth checking out.  Enjoy your new digital masterpieces. 

Collaboration in Slides with Q&A

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

I have never been a fan of PowerPoint, Slides or any other teacher-dominated presentations in the classroom. These are great tools for certain audiences, and I do use them when presenting at conferences and when speaking as an advocate for Asperger’s Syndrome. However, I have never used the “lecture and present” format as a classroom teacher. In my opinion, this overused, instructional tool destroys classroom dialogue, and the “pre-packaging” of information prevents higher level thinking and reading skills that students need to develop.

That being said, teacher-driven presentations are still the preferred instructional method for many teachers, so I am always on the hunt for ways to make them better for the victims….errrr….students.  So, it is with great delight that I share the good news: Google has added some collaborative elements to Slides!

On “May the 4th be with you day”, Google announced changes to Slides that are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Now the presenter can share a short link that allows the audience to ask questions as the presentation is ongoing. These questions can also be voted on by others, enabling the presenter to hone in on and answer those questions of greatest interest or concern.

WOW! This is a game changer! The back-channeling of questions is now part of the record in Google Slides, the audience is interacting with the ongoing presentation in live-time and the audience members are even interacting with one another by voting on posted questions.

Thank you Google!

Now, teachers, let’s get those classroom presentation in the cloud, convert them to Google Slides, and get busy involving students in the questioning and learning process!

P.S.–if you start using Slides, they have a cool, new laser pointer to use as you present!!

"..a Kiddle eat ivy too, wouldn't you?"

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

Last week the new kid-friendly search engine, Kiddle, launched,  and the news was quickly tweeted, blogged, and  “Facebooked” to the computers of parents and educators, hungry for a safe internet experience for the little people they love.

Unfortunately, in the excitement, many of these first reports led to some misinformation. There was also some controversy involving keywords being blocked by Kiddle. In light of the questions I have received, I did a little reading to try and clarify these concerns for our parents and teachers.

First and foremost, Kiddle is NOT owned by Google.
It is powered by Google safe search.

Kiddle does offer a bold statement of safety:

They also offer a link for parents to request keyword blocking as well as site blocking.

When I tried Kiddle for myself, I was please with the filtering. The search engine even seemed to interpret some pretty severe “kid spellings”, yielding appropriate search results.  For example, I typed “liyns”, a common Kinder spelling for “lions”, and I got……lions!!  I am thrilled by this! It is the perfect tool our teachers need to facilitate independent research in the lower grade levels!

One opinion piece had suggested that searches can allow access to inappropriate materials if words are misspelled or extra spaces added. I did try to replicate this but was blocked with an,”Oops, try again!”, message.

So, what else does Kiddle proclaim?

  • Editors are involved in the selection of resources for searches
  • Kiddle collects no personal information and clears logs every 24 hours.
  • The Kiddle searches are “ranked”:

As for the Kiddle controversy, there seem to be concerns surrounding the blocking of some key words. The BBC reports that “sex education”, “LGBT”, “lesbian”, “gay” and “transgender” are blocked by Kiddle, disappointing some groups who deem this information valuable.

I myself am not concerned that the keywords included in this list will limit access to critical information desperately needed by children. There is always Google search out there, so Kiddle is just one more great tool in the technology toolbox for parents and educators.

Personally, I enjoyed my Kiddle experience! I loved the thumbnail images that accompany search results, the larger print (since I do wear bifocals) and the extra safety-net it might provide for the little people in my world!  However, I would remind everyone that, despite its heady promises, nothing can replace the watchful eyes of parents and teachers. So, be sure to keep up the good work of monitoring while enjoying Kiddle in your home or classroom!

And for those too young to know…….“..a Kiddle eat ivy too, wouldn’t you?”