Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

 Happy New Year!

I know you've been playing around with those apps!

Please share any apps, links, ideas your have on this form:

Look at what others have added here: Tech Discoveries Shared

If you missed the email on how to organize a personalized home page with iGoogle, here's the link:  Personalize Your Google

If you would like to create Flashcards for student practice (and remember that flashcards can also include higher level skills), here are three blog posts:

Discover your own magazine with Zite: it connects to Evernote and Twitter. Learn how to use Zite and Twitter: Mighty Zite 4 U - Tweet it!

Finally, a site just that reviews apps for education:

Happy New Year!  And please share any apps, links, ideas your have on this form:

Thank you!

Photo Credit:
By Nevit Dilmen (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

Mighty Zite 4 U -- Tweet it!

Personalize your iPad with your own magazine with Zite, a free app that learns from what you read to the app presentation fit what is interesting to you. Then use Twitter to tweet what you have found so others can learn too.

Zite in the app store or link from Zite, and Twitter is ready to install on your iPad under Settings (see below).

For Visual Learners: Watch these videos on computer or iPad. You can pause, learn, play. Click the link, then let it stream before pressing play.

Zite: What and How
Twitter: What and How
and if you haven't watched the Evernote vid: Evernote

Zite is your magazine (click image for larger view):

Just click "Save Profile" and create your profile. You can have more than one profile; just remember to be kind and professional in all your interactions and work.

Click the customize button at the bottom of the screen:

Choose "Google Reader" and login to your nsdeagles account. Grant access.

Click the options button at the top right of any screen and tell the app what you like by selecting "like" and any topics.

 This will add more stories like this to your magazine.

You can save favorite links right to an Evernote notebook.  If you watch the video, you'll also learn how to save and work with your own nsdeagles YouTube channel (name it nsdyourlastname; mine is nsdedwards).

You can also 'tweet' information you think others would be interested in with your Twitter account (please also create it as nsdyourlastname; mine is nsdedwards .

Zite is a social magazine for learning, sharing, and tracking the news important to you and your interests.


Twitter is a microblogging platform in which users share resources, discuss ideas, and collaborate all in 140 characters.

Video -- play, pause, learn, play -- Twitter: What and How

Click the image for larger view of a partial image from Kathleen Morris's post about Twitter.

In the image below you will see 15 excellent educational resources highlighted, discovered in just a few minutes: I logged in, I searched for "#elemchat" and read and chose resources from the tweets. Everyone in this section is relevant to my teaching today -- from math/standards lessons to rubrics to assessment to science tools.

Twitter does not consume your time; it saves time by providing answers to your questions, current research and resources, and links to webinars and further information.

How do you get started? Open your settings, go to Twitter, install the app, and create an account. Please create an account nsdyourlastname; mine is  nsdedwards.

Open the Twitter app, and go to your profile -- see below -- and click 'edit profile.'  If you don't have bio info, others will not follow you. A picture is also helpful.
See the little note icon at bottom left? Click it to add a note-- 140 characters including spaces:

Be sure to click 'send.'

Your message will appear on your profile.

Here I have sent a note to a friend, Mrs. Denise Krebs. Her username is mrsdkrebs, so I address the note as @mrsdkrebs

I asked her for her ideas about Twitter. Her response:

What do the icons mean on top of each message?

Still, why Twitter?  

The sixth, seventh, and eighth grades students at our school and two Iowa schools learned the Parts of Speech together in a collaborative project using Google docs. The whole project began in Twitter:

A sample of our messages:

The best way to learn Twitter is to just lurk a while. Go to 
Cybraryman's Twitter Chat page and select a chat about your interests.  Type the name ( including the #  such as #3rdchat or #spedchat ) into the search bar at the top of your Twitter page. You will be taken to the most recent conversation in that chat, like  the #elemchat previously discussed. 
Read a few, click on a person's name that has tweeted something you like, and click 'Follow' by their name. 

Soon your timeline will be filled with tweets by those people. And soon they will become your friends in your professional learning network (PLN), just as @mrsdkrebs, @tracywatanabe, and @plnaugle and so many others are to me. 

More Twitter Info:

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

Flashcards 2: Evernote and Peek

Remember our flashcard ideas?

On the blog post, Pooka, Citizenship, and Flashcards, we learned how to create flashcards in Google Spreadsheet and how to add them to the iPad app gFlash.  Example Flashcards: Figurative Language.

Also on your iPad are the applications Evernote and Evernote Peek. Both are free. Go to to sign up for a free account with 2 gigs of free storage.

For Visual Learners: 

Viewable on iPad.
If the video gets choppy, just click pause for a bit so the streaming catches up.

What is Evernote?
Evernote is your "save everything on the net" application. You can add the Evernote webclipper to the toolbar of your browsers to save clips of your webpages.  It's the Evernote Elephant here:

To learn how to use Evernote and the webclipper, go here for videos and download guides. Scroll to the bottom for links to webclippers for any browser (Firefox, Safari, etc.). I add them on all my browsers.

When you sign up, your Welcome note will include these explanations and more:

Save everything across all your devices: computers, smartphones, iPads. And the best thing in your Welcome note: every text, clipping, and image is searchable! It's amazing!

Creating a Notebook to become Flashcards

However, our task today is to learn how to create notes in Evernote, that will become flashcards in Evernote Peek.

Click on the image below to see what Evernote looks like, and to see how to click the small triangle by "Notebooks" to create your flashcard notebook.

Add the name of your notebook. I like to include the letters FC so I know that notebook is a flashcard notebook.
You can see the name: Figurative_Language FC.

Click the next image to notice the layout and how to create the notes.  Click on your notebook. You'll see it appear in the search bar. Click "New Note." In the Title of the note, write the question or term for the front of the flashcard. In the Body, type the response or answer you expect. Underneath the title of the new note, you can double check that you are in the correct notebook again.

Be sure to click "Done."

Just keep adding new notes with the title/body completed to create your flashcards.
When you are finished, go to view options and choose how you want the notebook to be viewed. I chose 'ascending.'
You can also share your notebook:
Click the triangle by the name of the notebook and click 'share this notebook.'

 Click share.

Right click the link to copy to paste into your blog or website to share with students.

Here's my Figurative Language  FC Evernote Notebook.

Add Evernote Flashcards to Evernote Peek

To learn about Evernote Peek -- how to add your Evernote notebook to Peek, watch:

Viewable on iPad.
If the video gets choppy, just click pause for a bit so the streaming catches up.

On your iPad, open Peek. Login to your Evernote account in settings.

 We'll be creating your flashcards from your Evernote notebook into Peek.

 The app is designed to be used with the standard "peekable" covers. No problem: the app provides you with a virtual cover!

Now back in the main screen, click the plus, then click "My Notebooks:

Select the notebook with your flashcards.

Click "Choose notebooks to add."

 Your notebook will download below. Click done.

Should you need to refresh or delete a notebook, just select it and hold your finger on it until the menu appears with your choices.

 Enjoy your new flashcards!

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Figurative Language Lessons

We've taught these a million times (hyperbole). We're like robots constantly repeating the requirements (simile/alliteration). The students are empty slates, wiped clean after each lesson (metaphor). Aarrrrrgggg! (onomatopoeia)

What if students could practice and practice, sitting quietly in a cozy brown rocker in the back of the classroom or laughing together with an iPad flashcard game learning together? Perhaps the student is home, sitting at the kitchen counter with a laptop or iPad, calling out questions to auntie as they ready for dinner. (imagery)

How easy could that be?

If you've learned how to create flashcards with Google Spreadsheet and Flashcard gadget, it is easy.

Our writing students have access at school and at home 24/7 to the document to read and the flashcards to study.

And, with apps for teacher and student on the iPad and online, we can review and test with easily created practice sessions and graded tests. engages students "through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets." Read about it here: How It Works.

Right now the beta version is free!  Easy to create your own games, quizes, exits slips online; students can log in on any device with a browser to respond. Quizes can be opened as Google Spreadsheets already graded!  

Combined with the practice of Google Flashcards, Socrative apps provide engaging learning activities that just might be played a million times! And learning? We all learn more with games and fun!

Try it. Sign up today and download the teacher and student apps to get started.

I'm ready for January 4th for Figurative Language review.

Try these Google Flashcards: Figurative Language FC

 What could you create for your class?

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

Pooka, Citizenship, and Flashcards

A walk with Pooka provides a review of citizenship to create a How To on flashcards with technology, which is the goal of NSD 21.

Flashcards help students learn basic and complex concepts; it's a game that helps them learn. How can technology help?

Four apps:  Google Spreadsheet, gFlash+ (Google Flashcards), Evernote and Evernote Peek

This post explains  gFlash+ (Google Flashcards) used with Google Spreadsheets with a gadget called Flashcard Gadget.

I chose our 4Bs as the content for the flashcards.

Pooka and Citizenship

Today, as I walked Pooka, I dictated into my free iPhone iPd app, Dragon Dictation, explanations for staff and students on the Four Bs: Be kind, Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Productive. Dragon Dictation translates my voice into text which I emailed to myself.

With that email and Google Docs, I simply added the punctuation and links: 4Bs_Document

A review of digital citizenship:
Be kind
Writing text on the phone, in e-mail, on webpages doesn't carry forth the intonation of your voice, the smile on your face, the gesture with your hands. Choose words carefully so that their intent is what you wish. This is one of the most important rules that we follow with students and also for adults. Be overly positive and overly friendly whenever using just text. Be kind. 

Be safe
Be safe when using your education account, or when conducting your professional or personal internet work. Always be aware of those trying to phish for your information. Look on the district website for Internet safety guidelines and videos, including one for phishing by trolls looking for your information. Remember when using district devices always use your most professional stance. safe. 
Be respectful
Be respectful and remember to use courtesy and manners. Take time to word your response. Consider every interaction one that requires your professionalism. Be kind, be respectful, and be safe: these three work together while you conduct your online interactions.  Your digital footprint is one for which our school is represented in a positive manner. Every comment, tweet, post, e-mail, website is a digital footprint, a path back to you; prepare your path wisely. resepctful.
Be productive
Gather and connect your data in relevant ways. Communicate clearly and intelligently. Technology  works for you-- connecting your ideas, your work, your peers, your life. Discover the tech tools that work for you, your work, your students, your community, and share them with others. Be productive.

Next, I opened a new spreadsheet and titled it "School Guidelines." In column A, I input the 4Bs and in column B I pasted in the textual explanations and links:

Next I choose "insert" ---> Gadget ---> Flashcard gadget

I scrolled to the flashcard gadget and added it to the spreadsheet:

I was asked for the correct settings. The settings should be listed as

sheetname ! first column and cell : last column and cell
On my sheet that was "4bs!A1:B5"

Your sheet will probably be called Sheet1 and will already be listed in the settings with the !
Just add A1: with your last cell number

You will then want to put the flashcard gadget in its own sheet.  Find the triangle on the gadget next to the "Gadget" and choose "Move to own sheet."  

Find the tabs at the bottom of your spreadsheet. I renamed Sheet1 to 4Bs by clicking on the title of the tab, and going to "rename." I clicked out of the tab, then grabbed the Gadget tab and moved it over to be the first tab.  The image below shows the tabs and the flashcards with the first answer checked.

Putting the Gadget tab first will link directly to the flashcards when you share your flashcards. Just go to Share, then make it public to the web. Copy the link and email it to yourself or put it on your school website or blog.

Here's the finished flashcards:   4Bs Flashcards

gFlash+  (Free)

Download and install on your iPad the gFlash+  App.  Open it.

You'll first open to a message about possible connection issues -- click OK.

Next, click "Add"  --- the plus button on the lower left.  Next choose "Google Docs" and log in.

Choose your flashcard spreadsheet (School Guidelines at top right) and download it.

It will appear in your list below the sample flashcards.

Look through the settings for various display modes: full page, quiz, etc.

For Visual Learners

HowTo ScreenCast: -- How to Create Flashcards in Google Spreadsheet
Jing FlashcardsGoogleSpreadsheet video

How to add your spreadsheet to gFlash+     
 ExplainEverything gFlash+   Open mp4 file.

Easy. Fun. Ready for kids as is or in gFlash. 


Google Docs Flashcards: Figurative Language FC
Evernote Notebook: Figurative Langauge FC

What will you think of while walking your dog?

What Flashcards will/did you create?


Explain Everything is $2.99 in the App Store. The screencasts you create can be shared with Evernote, Dropbox, YouTube, email, your PhotoRoll.

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.