Thursday, December 26, 2013

ChronoZoom into History

Chronozoom is a free tool developed by Microsoft to help put historical events into perspective. Try it out!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Make a fun Avatar with Picassohead < and many more>!

Avatar Laundry List!

Here are loads of graphic/avatar/image creation sites mixed in with a few Virtual Reality options! (Watch out- don't use these with your students until you preview them thoroughly... the sites can change often and the summary is simply my opinion and impression...)
Mr. Picassohead- Create  Picasso-like paintings and transform them into avatars. has a free 30 day trial

Simpsons Avatar Maker- "Simpsonize yourself".

Weeworld- Looks like kid-type avatars in a virtual worldwith a few games.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

shorten it and QR it with

URL shortener that tracks all the shortened urls you've ever made and it makes a qr code for you all at once- just type in your web browser.

URL shortening is a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator may be made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page.
 Wikipedia lists these reasons for shortening a URL-- note that some sites will not allow posting of a shortened URL...
"Other uses of URL shortening are to "beautify" a link, track clicks or disguise the underlying address. Although disguising of the underlying address may be desired for legitimate business or personal reasons, it is open to abuse and for this reason, some URL shortening service providers have found themselves on spam blacklists, because of the use of their redirect services by sites trying to bypass those very same blacklists. Some websites prevent short, redirected URLs from being posted."

Friday, October 4, 2013

Everything I know about rolling out a 1:1 iPad initiative. Post 7: Parent and Community Involvement

Everything I know about rolling out a 1:1 iPad initiative.

Post 7: Parent and Community Involvement

Initially, we wanted parents to have an opportunity to help out with the setup of the iPads for our initiative!

We invited them to come help out with unpacking and setup of our iPads.  It was a very exciting day for all of us!  We stationed our new locking carts in the media center and had the iPads delivered to the media center.

We have also continued to hold parent training sessions and opportunities for students to showcase their work through the iPads, and our Learning Management System has a great Parent component.  We're planning a day of Student-Led Conferences also, where students will explain to parents how they use their iPad for school.

Refer to the original post for all posts in this series.  The posts will be active links when they are available. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Everything I know about rolling out a 1:1 iPad initiative! Post 6: Training and App Selection

Everything I know about rolling out a 1:1 iPad initiative.

Post 6: Training and App Selection

We had a "Training and App Selection Team." Training and support is a critical need in the early stages of an iPad initiative.

Here are the apps we selected for our "boot camp"- an entire day of iPad training.

We also ability-grouped our attendees based on their honest responses to a skills index.  
Each group was named (we just used random colors) and name tags were the color of their group.

We met and distributed the training schedule, and were off on a day of learning and growing!  

We put together door prizes and had a drawing at the end of the day.  Each attendee received a nice new Stylus to keep.  We even provided pizza and salad for lunch.  It was a tremendous day of Professional Growth!

Here are the additional apps the team selected for the ipads:

Refer to the original post for all posts in this series.  The posts will be active links when they are available. 

Everything I know about rolling out a 1:1 iPad initiative.

Post 5: Cases

We had a "Case Committee."  Cases are critical to the life of the iPads.

We came up with several criteria we wanted to have in our cases, and prioritized the criteria.  We learned LOADS about case manufacturers, case availability, bulk purchasing, features, materials, and ease of setup.
Our ideas:
1. We wanted durability as top priority.  
2. We wanted protection on corners as a priority.
3. We wanted a kickstand/easel of some sort due to the lighting in classrooms and screen glare.
4. The cases had to be affordable.
5. The cases had to be available in our time frame.
6. The cases had to fit in our cart.
7. We preferred a consistent color, but could give this up if needed and wouldn't mind a variety of colors.

We narrowed it down to these four finalists and ordered samples of each.

Griffin survivor•    landscape in kickstand only
•    thicker
•    has plastic cover

Trident AEGIS
•    no kickstand
•    has plastic cover
•    soft plastic corners

Speck candy shell Wrap
•    separates easily - will break
•    corner protection not as good

Otterbox reflex
•    removable cover issue
•    kickstand breaks
•    kickstand on cover and awkward kickstand
•    good corner

iBlaison ArmorBox
•    less expensive
•    no plastic sheet cover

We went with the iBlaison.  However, we have recently noticed kickstands are breaking off with no negligence on the user's part.  We're working with the company on a solution.

Refer to the original post for all posts in this series.  The posts will be active links when they are available. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Announcing the DENbrarian Book Selection for August: The Fault in Our Stars

Discovery’s DENbrarians are getting their YA “book on” every month!  Wanna join us?  We’re looking for 10 Media Specialists who would like to select the book for DENbrarian! In October, the lovely and talented Susan Gauthier from Louisiana will be our hostess.  Click here if you’d like to take over for a month!

DENbrarians- get out your Kleenex.  The DENbrarian selection for August is:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Here’s the Book Trailer   ….soon to be a major motion picture!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Read, Watch, Interact! Literacy Resources for Grades 5-8

PBS is offering an encore presentation of their wildly popular webinar Read, Watch, Interact! Literacy Resources for Grades 5-8. The webinar will take place on Monday, August 5, 2013 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EDT). 
Co-hosted by PBS LearningMedia and AMLE (Association for Middle Level Education), the webinar ...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Looking for a virtual book club? Read, Share, Connect with DENbrarians

New DENbrarian YA selection for July will be announced tomorrow! We're going Sci-Fi this month! If you're interested in joining our virtual book club everyone is welcome! 
We're planning author chats, Google Hangouts, and classroom connections starting in September, 2013. Stay connected by signing up on our Google form and we'll send you updates and details...and you'll be added as a collaborator on our Pinterest boards. Even if you just want a great book recommendation each month, please join us!
Happy Reading!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pinterest Link-a-Rama: Great Educational Boards to Follow from #iste2013

Sandi Dennis
Livebinder with Pinterest Resources:

Pinterest Link-a-Rama:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vlogs, Microblogs, Avatar Dogs: Integrating Edmodo in K-12

Vlogs, Microblogs, Avatar Dogs: Integrating Edmodo in K-12 (Already exists on planner)
[Workshop : Mini]
Tuesday, 6/25/2013, 10:30am–12:00pm, SACC 205

Ashley Flores, Del Valle ISD
Give students something they can connect to! This workshop will get you going with an Edmodo profile, integration ideas, and promising practices.
Evaluate this session
Fee: $49 ($54 after May 1)
Lab Environment: Windows Lab
Theme/Strand: Digital-age Teaching & Learning—Technology Integration
Audience: Teachers, Technology Coordinators/Facilitators
Grade Level: 3-5
Audience Skill: Beginner
NETS•S: 1- 6
NETS•T: 1- 5
NETS•A: 1, 3- 5
NETS•C: 1, 2, 6
Common Core (Literacy): Reading (K–5)
Common Core (English): Language (K–5), Reading (K–5), Speaking and Listening (K–5), Writing (K–5)
Common Core (Mathematics): 3–5
Primary URL:
Handouts / Paper: Available at

Purpose & ObjectivesThis workshop will allow the educator to identify and plan the use of Edmodo in their classroom and be able to:
-create a classroom group and subgroup and understand how to use the group code
-join communities and learn how to share content and/or find resources
-browse the virtual library feature to save website resources and learn how to share with students
-generate ideas for developing student problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration abilities.
Additionally,this workshop will provide one-on-one support from an experienced Edmodo implementer and facilitate content connections specific to the participants needs.
As a primary level technology applications teacher and integration specialist it has been a challenge finding a technological tool that students and educators can both connect to. Even further is finding It is even more difficult to find one that can satisfy the National Educational Technology Standards. With Edmodo the NETS and common core are met at all levels. The virtual backpack and posting feature promotes student communication, creativity, collaboration and research fluency. Additionally, educators are able to engage students and also build their own community of technological experts to aid in lesson design and development . Thereby, producing an environment where technology and pedagogical content knowledge meet, combine and produce.
First half-45 minutes
Discussion of Edmodo features and how each can be used. Going over examples from the facilitators campus and discuss the multiples uses of the site across content areas.
Second half-45 minutes
Building Edmodo profile and practicing
Teacher will sign-up for Edmodo, change account settings, avatar and profile
Teacher will build the personal learning community (PLC)
Teacher will learn how to utilize the library feature
Teacher will learn and create a Student Group
Supporting Research
Holland, C. & Muilenburg, L. (2011). Supporting Student Collaboration: Edmodo in the Classroom. In M. Koehler & P. Mishra (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2011 (pp. 3232-3236).

Apps and Edmodo: Discover How to Effectively Connect Your Tech Tools

Handout Available at
Join this Edmodo Group Code: mjv36e
Create a Student Educreations Account at

"Apps and Edmodo - How to Effectively Connect Your Tech Tools"

ISTE 2013 BYOD Session presented by Tiffaney Lavoie 

I. Edmodo Group Code

  1.     Sign in to   Click "Join" beside Groups.
  2.     Enter this code: mjv36e
  3.     Refer to our Edmodo group for our session practice activities
  4.     iTunes Download: 
  5.     Google Play Download: 

II. Educreations

  1.      Go to or follow the Edmodo post
  2.      Follow steps to create a sample STUDENT account
  3.      Do not attach the student account to your email
  4.      You should then be subscribed to our ISTE 2013 course
  5.      Only students can be subscribed to a course
  6.      You will also need to create a teacher account - log out as a student first.
  7.      Now create a teacher account.  Attach your email to this account
  8.      Install the Educreations app for iPads: 
  9.      The app and web whiteboard do not function the same

III. QR Codes

  1. - create your own QR codes
  2. Choose data type (typically it’s a website URL)
  3. Paste or type the hyperlink you wish to turn into a QR code
  4. Download the generated QR code (or save the image to your iPad camera roll)

IV.  Scan App

  1. iTunes Download: 
  2. Google Play Download: 

Tiffaney Lavoie, Instructional Technology Consultant

Geekbumps and Nerdgasms: Tales from the Cutting Edge

Purpose & Objectives
This session will explore the latest and greatest from around the world of technology. From cutting edge learning technologies to flying cars, nothing is off limits! Have you ever wondered what your favorite ISTE presenters are carrying in their own bags? The technologies that they absolutely can't live without? We'll break out the x-ray machine and show you exactly what they're toting around with them. While many of them will have classroom implications, others are just far too cool not to share!
We'll also delve into the impact that crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are having on the geek community and how to get involved. Discover how to join the ranks of the bleeding-edge and support entrepreneurs. Awards will also be given celebrating the best of the ISTE exhibitor floor, and the top technologies for educators (online and offline). Before we wrap up, we'll open up the session to the audience. Sharing will be encouraged, and bonus points will be given to people that bring their own jealousy inspiring gadgets to show off!
Caution: This session may cause heart palpitations, tingling in extremities and a rapid loss of income. Pregnant woman and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to the levels of excitement that will be generated during this presentation.
This session will be an over-glorified show and tell for geeks and nerds. We will cover as many widgets, gadgets and technologies as time will allow. Slides, videos, and live demonstrations will all be used. The session may also include special surprise guests sharing their favorite tech.
Supporting Research
Hooked on Gadgets and Happy About It:
Presenter Background
As a former kindergarten teacher and school Director of Technology Steve Dembo is a pioneer in the field of educational social networking. Currently serving as Discovery Education’s Director of Social Media Strategy and Online Community, Dembo was among the first educators to realize the power of blogging, podcasting, Twitter, and other Web 2.0 technologies in connecting educators and creating professional learning communities. He has been instrumental in the explosive growth of the Discovery Educator Network and its online presence at Steve Dembo is a course designer and adjunct professor for Wilkes Unversity where he serves as class instructor for the Internet Tools for Teaching course within the Instructional Media degree program. In 2010, the National School Board Association named Dembo one of "Twenty to Watch," a list honoring individuals finding innovative ways to use technology to increase classroom learning

Infographics: Learn How to Create and Present Information Visually

Infographics: Learn How to Create and Present Information Visually (Already exists on planner)
[Concurrent Session : BYOD]
Wednesday, 6/26/2013, 8:30am–9:30am, SACC 007AB

Carmella Doty, Prince George's County BOE with Renee Henderson
Infographics are a way to present information in a visually interesting way. Both teachers and students can learn to create info graphics using easy-to-use templates.  Recommended by ISTE's SIGTAP, SIGILT

Classroom Workflow in a 1:1 iPad Environment

Purpose & Objectives
We will share and demonstrate, with attendees participating, how we solved the classroom workflow issue using a few apps and WebDAV sharing. Students with 24/7 iPads can extend the school day by accessing, completing, and submitting assignments at home or anywhere with Wifi access. Taking piles of papers home to grade is no longer the norm for our teachers.
Our District implemented a 1:1 environment in five large middle schools (grades 6 – 8). Each student and teacher received a mobile device for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This particular project had three goals: 1) Change classroom experiences; 2) Increase parental involvement; and 3) Increase efficiencies (fewer resources used, more time on task for students, more one-on-one help for students).
Overview of classroom workflow
Why did we choose the solution we did? (10 minutes)
What is WebDAV?
How does it work with iPads? (5 minutes)
Demonstration of how it works (5 minutes)
Now you be the student (15 minutes)
How do you review or grade student work? (5 minutes)
Lessons learned along the way (5 minutes)
Questions & Answers (5 minutes)
Supporting Research
Kupetz, Allen H. (2008). Is the Paperless Classroom Possible? Biz Ed. January/February 208 edition. Downloaded from the Internet on September 30, 2012 at
Wang, Jeremy F. (2009). Creating a Paperless Classroom with the Best of Two Worlds. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, Volume 2. Downloaded from the Internet on September 30, 2012 at
Presenter Background
Sherwood Jones has 20 years of experience in education as a teacher that includes: 4 years as a site based technology coach, 4 years as a district instructional technology facilitator, and 2 years experience with one-to-one iPad implementations. He has provided professional development in technology integration topics including: iPads, interactive whiteboards, student response systems, laptops, and classroom computers. Mr. Jones has presented at ISTE, CUE-SN, SITE, and local conferences. He is currently finishing a doctorate in curriculum and instruction.
Dr. Erik Skramstad has 10 years of public teaching experience and has vigorously implemented technology in traditional settings. He has participated in and led numerous user groups and professional development activities for a range of educational technologies, from digital whiteboards to 1:1 iPad use. Dr. Skramstad earned his Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Distance Education, a degree which has been invaluable as project facilitator for CCSD's e3 project and as an online instructor for a local college. He has presented at the International Reading Association's Annual Conference regarding multimodal literacies and has co-authored articles on the topic.
Loretta Asay is the Coordinator for Instructional Technology in the Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV. She oversees a staff that provides support for teachers integrating technology into classrooms. She has provided support and professional development for 1:1 projects, classroom computers, blended learning, integration of technology standards, and technology components for over ten years. In addition, she implemented and managed a statewide, online professional development program from 2009 – 2011. Ms. Asay has research published in professional journals and has presented at ISTE, CUE-SN, AERA, and local conferences. Ms. Asay is currently finishing a doctorate in educational psychology.

#ISTE 2013 Keynote: Learning is an Epic Win!

Opening Keynote: Learning is an Epic Win

Sunday, June 23, 5:30 p.m.
Jane McGonigal
  McGonical face From the iste2013 program:
Jane McGonigal is today’s leading speaker on games and the application of game-design to education. Referencing lessons learned through her work creating games for organizations such as the World Bank, the Olympic Games, the American Heart Association, and the New York Public Library, McGonigal will discuss the powers of gameplay to solve real-world challenges, and to teach 21st century skills like resilience, urgent optimism, and extreme-scale collaboration.
In the best designed games, our engagement is perfectly optimized: we have important work to do, we’re surrounded by potential collaborators, and we learn quickly and in a low-risk environment. When we’re playing a good online game, we get constant useful feedback, we turbo-charge the neurochemistry that makes challenge fun, and we feel an insatiable curiosity about the world around us. None of this is by accident.
McGonigal will explore the concepts of resilience, how character evolves through gaming, and how gamers, constantly presented with the prospect of failure in-game, develop an ability within their real lives to attempt multiple avenues for solving problems. Like 21st-century learners, their solutions are built on an appreciation for change and collaboration.
McGonigal is an advisor and affiliate researcher with the Institute for the Future (IFTF) in Palo Alto, California, where she has served for four years as the director of game research and development. Her book, Reality Is Broken: How Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World is the definitive modern work on gamification. Learn more about Jane McGonigal and follow her on Twitter.
McGonigal will be available immediately following the keynote to sign books at ISTE Central, East Registration.
ISTE President Kecia Ray and ISTE CEO Brian Lewis will provide welcoming remarks.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Connect. Connect. Connect. My visit with a class of soon to be teachers at The University of Georgia. (Go Dawgs!)

Great ideas for connecting:

Discovery Educator Network (DEN). A high-quality community of generous educators. 
Sign up for a free trial. 
When you are hired in a Georgia School you'll get a full account. 
Check out the Science and Social Studies Tech Books and the Student platform.


Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE). Highly competitive application process. Check them out on iTunes U. Part of their assignment is to make and share great content. 

Edcamp Atlanta.

ISTE- In Atlanta in 2014. (happens once every 15 years or so). Sign up to volunteer!!

Make a blog. Follow blogs.

Sony Education Ambassadors

Google Certified Teachers / Google Teacher Academy

Hashtags to follow-
#ntchat (new teachers)
#densi2013 (each year a new chat)
#denchat - Thursdays at 8pm

People to follow

Bonus Tips: Use IFTTT to manage all of your social media. 

Our City Schools of Decatur 1:1 iPad project at The 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue:

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gifts for the Librarian in your Life...on Etsy

Have you searched through the Etsy gifts and seen the awesome book-related items for sale?
If not- what are you waiting for?
I love the Etsy vendors who sell nerdy items-- for example, go to and search for "Book Geek" or "Book Nerd ".   Heaven right here on earth if you ask me!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

iPad Peek

This nifty little website allows you to view a website as it would appear on an iPad.
It has loads of advertisements, so you may want to use it as a teacher tool- but I like to see what things will look like when my students use websites on their iPads!

sample entry into ipadpeek--

Friday, April 26, 2013

Everything I know about rolling out a 1:1 iPad initiative. Post 4: Carts

Everything I know about rolling out a 1:1 iPad initiative.

Post 4: Carts

 I cannot tell you how important it is to order carts ahead of time! We ordered these carts: 


Bretford PowerSync Cart for iPad 2

Simultaneous charge, sync, and security for up to 30 iPad devices.

Designed for organizations managing iPad devices, the PowerSync Cart for iPad 2 allows you to store, transport, charge, and sync up to 30 iPad devices at a time.
  • Charge, sync, secure, and transport up to 30 iPad devices
  • Courtesy outlet perfect for accompanying MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, or AirPort Base Station
  • Ships fully assembled, including 30-pin dock connector cables

We didn't have space to store them in a storage room, so we distributed them to classrooms (empty) so teachers could get used to having them.  

We then tried out several "cases" and made sure iPads inside cases would fit into the carts! A post about cases will be coming up soon in this series!

Refer to the original post for all posts in this series.  The posts will be active links when they are available.