Eric Strommer’ Blog

Eric Strommer is a STAR member of the Discovery Educator Network

2 more nuggets from MACUl14

Here are a couple  more nuggets gleaned from this year’s MACUL conference.

Kahhoot! is an online site where you have participants answer questions with their device (pc, phone, tablet) in a game show (kind of) format.Think of student-response-system that uses the students’ devices.

Participants get points based on right answers and how quick they answer. It keeps tally of the points and has a leaderboard.

A couple of big selling points: it’s easy to set up and it’s FREE!

MeL logo

Tons and Tons of resources. Whether you are an educator or a student there’s resources for just about anything. One part that is worth an hour or so exploring is the MeL Michigana. Primary resources galore about the history of Michigan.

 

 

Minecraft Edu at MACUL14

 

Diving into Minecraft, specifically MinecraftEdu. Why have I NOT gotten into this yet? One goal was to try to catch up with my sons and I feel that I can just about keep up with them. This will be on my to-do list for what to being back to my school and district. Being shown examples of how they had a Minecraft Camp with students last year. They had to team work builds of bridges, locks/canals, etc. Wow!

MACUL 2014

2014MaculBanner

I am attending (working most of it) this year’s MACUL Conference in Grand Rapids for the next few days.

I will be posting about the neat, cool, innovative, interesting, awesome, etc. sessions and finds while here.

Have fun!

Thoughts of a tablet

Here is a video of one of my students of her thoughts on her tablet.

The class put together the video to share what they thought was a perfect item to place in a time capsule that helped show future generations what their generation was about.

 

Some Sites You May Find Useful

One of the tasks that I have placed upon myself before the school year starts is creating class lists and student accounts for the sites that my students and I use throughout the year.

I have found them to be very useful as; a classroom management tool, content learning site, and even something fun to use.

In no particular order here they are.

I first learned about ClassDojo last spring at the MACUL Conference and knew that this was to be used in my classroom. My students (2nd graders) instantly bought into the format and how we can keep track of all the positive behaviors (and negative) that took place in the class. One feature that I really found useful was the weekly reports that could either email or send in their Monday folders. Lots of positive comments from parents about that.

 

 

  Qtopia is what they call an “online learning platform”. There are lessons, activities, and games that students can use at their own pace.  My students liked that they could customize their avatar with the points they earn from doing well on the lessons and activities. I just scratched the surface with the site this past spring. I look to use it more fully this fall.

 

 

  Here is my fun one, sort of. I use Kerpoof as one of our digital story telling tools. This is one that can be used and is fun for all ages. Yes, I like to play around with the site. You can tell stories on just one picture, a story book, or even make you own animated story.

 

  Of course I could not forget Discovery Education. More than likely if you are reading this post you are fairly familiar with what DE has and what it is all about. I love that fact that I can find just about any kind of media for whatever lesson, topic, or concept we are learning.

For all these sites the best way for you to really understand them? Go and explore/play.

My Top 10 for a One-to-One Computing Classroom

It still really has not sunk in yet but I have a one-to-one computing classroom. When I checked into my room at the start of the year I found a laptop cart in there. Even though they are half as old as my students, most don’t hold any charge at all, and just able to pick up the wireless signal in the next room I have pressed them into service. To keep myself sane as I do this here is my top 10 list for 0ne-to-one computing in my room.

10-make sure that the cart works to charge the laptops. (mine works on one side)

9-see which laptops hold a charge before passing them out to be used (most of mine don’t)

8-get enough power strips to plug the laptops in ( I gathered 6)

7-label those that show the blue screen of death or whatever ills it so I don’t keep passing those out

6-reconfigure the room and desks at least 3 times before you find an effective layout for students to see IWB, and run cords out of the way

5- make log-in cards (student log-in info) before hand and make sure they work

4- plan on taking one session on how to log into the laptop, RenPlace, DE, Kerpoof, etc.

3-plan on channeling MacGyver when running the cords, powerstrips, etc.

2-Buy an industrial sized package of zip-ties (for securing the cords and strips to the desks

1-don’t get overwhelmed by all the “Can we get on the computers today? Are we going on the computers? When are we getting on the computers?”

An example use of Bubbl.us

As most teachers do when summer starts I am taking a class. This one is on-line and uses Moodle and the group feature of Facebook as its platform. One of the tools used is the web 2.0 site Bubbl.us.
Here is one mind map that I put together for an assignment on early Woodland culture. This is only the second time I used the site but I plan to use it with my students next school year.

Techbook in Action, a film by a student

After the DE Techbook became available for perusing by DEN STARs I began to use it in my class. And speaking of class the techbook is one class act. As per the offer by the DEN team I had one of my 1st grade students take control of a Flip-type video camera. She and a couple of others guided me in making the video in Movie Maker. They told me what they wanted and I put it together.
Don’t expect an award winning documentary. Just a neat little quickly-made video.

2011 Geocaching Day in Grand Blanc

Six members of the Michigan LC and 3 guests gathered for a beautiful couple of hours of geocaching at Creasey Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc. For a few of them this was the first time ever geocaching. Even though we had to navigate some flooded areas we were able to find 3 caches out of four (1 may have been washed away).

Reminders

In case you missed all or part of this spring’s DEN Virtual Conference you have two ways to watch the sessions. The first is at the DEN’s webinar archive page. The second is at the Discovery Education YouTube page . Just give them a couple of days to upload the sessions.

Also, don’t forget about Spring Training DEN style. Deadline to enter in your stats is May 13th. Reach 50 points and you get this canvas bag embroidered with the DEN logo.

Go here for up-to-date information and the top DEN’ers.

Thirdly, this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. It runs May 2-6. Check in each day for cool thank-you’s from the DEN.