Friday, April 24, 2015

NETA 2015 - Tech Treasures

WOW!  What a great turnout for the NETA 2015 edition of Technology Treasures!  Check out my friend and co-presentor Susan's webpage that highlights this session.

I am linking to the slideshare of the full session below -- but you can find the full presentation as well as a Symbaloo page with links to all of our 2015 Treasures on Susan's blog, "The Digital Scoop".

We both had a great time presenting at NETA and hope you keep in contact with us.  If you have a great treasure -- let us know!  We would LOVE to see it.

Check out the full post of NETA 2015 Technology Treasures
courtesy of "The Digital Scoop"

NETA 2015 - Getting Creative with Google Drive

NETA 2015 was a great success.  The new venue was amazing!  The keynotes were phenomenal -- Adam Bellow and George Couros are inspiring and motivational speakers.  More on them in a future post.

My great friend and colleague, Susan, and I shared "Getting Creative with Google Drive" and really enjoyed sharing our ideas and lessons.  I have attached the slides below.  If you would like to view the templates and lessons, you can check them out here.

Shoot me an email, or tweet me (@jrushing72) if you have any questions or would like more information about our session.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

10 Free Kindle Books for Kids

I subscribe to the Smart Apps for Kids list that highlights great educational and FUN apps when they are on sale or FREE!  Every day I get an email telling me about some great apps to use with my students.  If you aren't familiar with this site and list, check it out here!

Today they highlighted 10 Kindle books for kids that are completely Free!  An amazing deal!  I always have kiddos that finish their projects or assignments a little early and need something to do.  I have a couple of older iPads that are reserved for situations like this -- and adding these books to the list of items from which they can choose will be GREAT!




Happy Reading!

Monday, April 20, 2015

NETA 2015 Preview

The Nebraska Educational Technology Association (NETA) Spring Conference is this week (Thursday and Friday).  I am SO excited!  I have been an attendee, a workshop leader, a presenter, and I even served on the Board of Directors.   I LOVE NETA!  I have the privilege this year of presenting a few sessions with my good friend and colleague Susan Prabulos.

One of our sessions is on Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and how we use it with our students.  GAFE is integral in what we do each day in our classrooms -- planning, projects, and assessment.

As a small preview -- I'm sharing a couple of the items we have on our "short list" for our NETA presentation.  If you are attending NETA -- I hope that you plan on attending our session on Friday.

Google Drawing is one of my favorite tools to use.  The possibilities are endless!  One way I use it is to get student feedback about lessons and concepts we are learning about in class.  I use this during instruction and as an exit ticket at the end of a lesson.  I will type in a question ( Yes/No, True/False, or A/B) and students will either move their name marker (or an anonymous dot) to the box they feel is the answer.  Many times I will have them put their name in the red box if they need more time to work on a lesson/project, or in the green one if they are finished and ready to move on.

Susan is going to be sharing an idea that uses both Google Drawing and Google Docs.  She creates a "story starter" using Drawing and includes images and words that will help inspire and guide students during a creative writing activity.  Students are are required to use each of the items in some way in their stories.

For more ideas and some great resources, be sure to stop by our NETA presentation on Friday, April 24, 2015.  We will be in the Junior Ballroom 2014 from 12:30-1:15.

I will also be blogging about the Conference and include the full presentation, complete with all examples, after the Conference has finished.  

If you are there -- I would love to connect with you!  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Creating with Canva

I'm all about free online creation tools.  One of my favorites is Canva.  I've used it in the past to create signs or posters for various school events or to even create something new for my Facebook or Twitter profile.

Using Canva is totally easy -- you just create a free online account and start using backgrounds, text options, colors and styles to make a really attractive image that can be downloaded for printing or shared online.  There are tons of free fonts, colors, textures, and layouts -- but there are also a ton that you can pay a small fee to use.  Honestly, I have never done that -- and have never really felt that I was limited in what I could create by only using the free stuff.

We are working on some small group coding lessons, and I need to have some easy-to-learn (and fun) lessons for kids to do when they aren't with me doing the programming lessons.  I was looking around my room for inspiration on what to have them do -- and I actually saw it.  A poster.  An INSPIRATIONAL poster.  You know what I mean -- we all have them in our classrooms.  FYI - Pinterest is full of them!  I grabbed a couple of screen shots of some really nice ones to give the kids an idea of what I was looking for and threw them into a Google presentation.  I knew right away that using Canva to create some inspirational posters would be a fun activity for kids to do while they are waiting to move into the programming/coding group.

During class, I shared how to use Canva and really emphasized that they can ONLY use the free options.  I then shared the inspirational pieces I found on Pinterest and encouraged them to do a little online research of their own for some "inspirational quotes." They were off and running before I could finish the sentence, "Get to work!" The students really picked up using Canva quite quickly and turned out some nice work.  Many of them are hanging in my classroom!!  I know that I will be using Canva again soon with students.

Have you used Canva?  I would love to hear about how and see some examples!