Ripper's Chatter

D. Ripollone is a STAR member of the Discovery Educator Network

Ripper's Chatter

Robotics Tournament

February 2nd, 2014 · No Comments · Article, robotics

Finished! And it was a great success. According to everyone who participated in the event. We had over 500 live views on our broadcast at High School Cube. It was the second most watched event at Cardinal Gibbons since we started broadcasting live. Over 300 people attended the event. A special shout out to all the volunteers who worked. We were lucky in that we had a number of volunteers from Cisco. We also had teacher, parent and student volunteers working throughout the day. To read a brief summary of the event you can see an article written by our development person (thanks Rachelle) on our school web page.  see more



Board Builder Revisited

December 19th, 2013 · No Comments · Discovery, Teacher Ideas, Teaching Strategies, Web 2.0 Tool

Well the project is finished and I am happy to say the students enjoyed the use of the Board Builder in the Discovery Ed. The boards were simple but visual pleasing. Students used the boards to visually outline their Alternative Energy Projects. When talking to some of the students about the Board Builders, they commented that it seemed easier to use then other programs.

board example

However, there were some problems when saving the boards. If the internet connection had any problems some students lost their work unless they saved the project a couple of times. We found this out at the beginning of the project, so I reminded students to save often. Otherwise students liked the way you could upload certain types of documents, bibliographies to be specific. Another positive to the web tool was that students could search Discovery for any videos or photos they would like to use in the project. So the good points, it’s free compared to Glogster, pictures and video are readily available on discovery, and attachments can be added to the board.


The bad points, if your internet connection is not good you will have problems, I found out at school when my students accessed the internet at the busiest time of the day, the connections did not work correctly.  Also if you have problems with flash or Java, this could cause you problems. There were times my students would try to save and couldn’t. There are Pros and Cons to the tool; but overall the tool can be used for other projects. One of the other digital tools I used in combination with this project was Google Presentations. Instead of having students doing a two page paper as years past, I asked them to do a Google Presentation. This allowed them a bit of a leeway with their write up.  I like Google Drive and apps, I’ve been using them a great deal this year. Thanks to other teachers at school, (@CGHSMrsCole and @Melks_Physics) we have come up with many ways to use these teaching tools in class.

What I would advise to everyone is to try the Board Builder. If you have a Discovery subscription all you students can access it and its components. Even if you school does not subscribe to Discovery, as a Teacher you can use it as presentations in class. Try it you might like it.


Thanksgiving …. Board Builder…

December 1st, 2013 · No Comments · Article, Discovery, Project, Teacher Ideas, Teaching Strategies, Web 2.0 Tool

Check out the new post on the tool offered by Discovery; the new board builder. see more…..



Modelling for excellence | Class Teaching.

November 29th, 2013 · No Comments · Article, Teaching Strategies

Modelling for excellence | Class Teaching. Great article about developing a skill in class using modelling. Giving examples the author(Shaun Allison) explains the common theme used by teachers to best teach students how to master a particular skill. I really like the connectives sheet, it looks like a good resource for teaching lab write ups. Good question posted at the end…


Discovery Fall VirtCon 2013

November 29th, 2013 · No Comments · Discovery, Teacher Ideas, Teacher Workshop

Want to read about the Fall VirtCon 2013, read the summary I posted here


Blackboard Mobile Learn | Features.

November 29th, 2013 · No Comments · Flipping the Classroom, Modeling/Whiteboarding, Teaching Strategies

Blackboard Mobile Learn | Features.  This definitely looks like a great mobile learning tool. It was recommend by people who have flipped their classroom. See more at “9 Video Tips for a Better Flipped Classroom”.


SOS: Connect The Dots – DEN Blog Network

November 29th, 2013 · No Comments · Article, Discovery, Teaching Strategies

SOS: Connect The Dots – DEN Blog Network. Two posts in one day.. What is the world coming to. :) Great idea from Ginny Washburne on DEN. I think this would be a great warm-up to a topic. Could be used to find out what the students know?


Using Doceri, iMovie, & Telagami to Make Flipped Videos

November 29th, 2013 · No Comments · Article, Flipping the Classroom, Teacher Ideas, Web 2.0 Tool

Using Doceri, iMovie, & Telagami to Make Flipped Videos –

I know it’s been a while since my last post. It’s coming I promise. Meanwhile I think this would be an interesting addition to my flipped videos. I’ve been fretting recently on how to make my videos more interesting and have planned on redoing them this summer. Hopefully! Enjoy this small blog entry on these tools to help your videos out. Entry is by Jon Bergmann


Discovery Fall VirtCon

October 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Discovery, STEM

DEN Fall VirtCon.  Another VirtCon is upon us and yes Cardinal Gibbons High School is hosting a F2F (Face to Face) event.

Looks to be like an awesome day again, collaborating and getting new ideas for the classroom. If you are in the Raleigh area, feel free to

register for the event at Cardinal Gibbons. We will have breakfast, Lunch and prizes.  Remember this is not only for Science, this crosses the curriculum.

Awesome resource for Elementary and Middle School. High School teachers can also benefit, I change theessons to suit my grade level. But one of my favorites about this day is the new technology tools I learn about.


Literacy Project completed

September 25th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Modeling/Whiteboarding, Project, Teacher Ideas

I finally completed the Literacy project and found it worked out well. I’m thinking of using a principle every day to warm the class up. It could come from any one of the Literacy’s we used in the project. Idea forming, year long project? Maybe? If you have any ideas feel free to post them.

To understand what this blog is about you need to read the Literacy project I posted in one of my other blog entries. No problem just go here.

I did do the Literacy project and I would say it was a success in some ways. While in others it needs to be improved. First the success , students became more informed about the issues facing climate, ocean and the Earth in general. The literacy formats are really easy to use and can be used to cut across topic lines. Pretty much each of the principles the projects use can be linked (correlated, trying to find the proper word here) to Next Gen Standards. Check out the example below of the Ocean Literacy with the National Science Standards.


Each of the literacy has a movie on youtube. The Earth Science Literacy from AGI has a DVD with all the principles on it, but you can get these videos on youtube. Check them out they are pretty good and my students doing the Earth Science Literacy used them as a resource.  After students gathered their information they then could use any format to present. This is where I think I will make changes. Their choice of presentation format was PowerPoint. Don’t get me wrong I think PowerPoint is great for presentations, but I wanted a bit more variety or rather creativity.  Some did do Prezi presentations and they were very good. I think next year we we will do video presentations and Padlet for whiteboards (thanks for the idea Angie). I also think students don’t need a lot of time for this , actually when given class time I found most student groups had finished their presentations early. On another note I also had them set up Google accounts so they could share information. I’m loving the Google documents and other Google resources. Good resource on Google apps is Richard Bryne and his blog. Once students completed their projects they began their presentations.  I do use a rubric to grade students, its very basic, but I think its appropriate for this project in my case. I use points on the project.

Bottom line is the project was a good idea, but needs some tweaking. I will definitely use it next year but with those minor changes in place.  Since Earth Science Week is celebrated every year this might be a good idea for an activity during that week.  I’m also going to do a survey or formative assessment at the end to find out how much students are learning from the project. Feel free to post any questions you might have about the project.