Betsy DeBiase's Blog

Betsy DeBiase is a STAR member of the Discovery Educator Network

Reviewing and catching up on Spring VirtCon2014


Everyday, I try and watch one or more session to review or see the sessions I missed.  Tonight I rewatched Duane Weber’s “Don’tWorry, Be Appy With iPad and TechBook.”  It froze on  me Saturday, so I was glad to watch the whole thing.  Great resources at (GREAT APPS FOR DISCOVERY EDUCATION).

What was I interested in?

  • Reflector – great app, would like to see it work on my PC, but more importantly on a Smart Board.
  • Guided Access – very nice to be able to give students access to APPS or limited web searches.  Does require thinking ahead.
  • DE Tech Book – I was just talking the Tech Book up with a 4th grade teacher today, and there was interest!
  • QR Readers & Generators ( – QR Code generator; QR Code Monkey – a QR Code generator that incorporates logos and images; &  i-nigma, QR Code Reader
  • iCab Mobile – nice choices on how to save images, videos, and .jpg
  • Coaches Eye – marking up video with your voice overlay (wouldn’t the exceptional students I work with love this!)
  • Evernote – I am an Evernote convert and use the 3 related apps Duane mentioned (Pentultimate, Peek, Skitch).
  • Additionally I use Evernote Food (hunting for recipes or saving from newspaper, the Moleskine Notebooks for Everbook, and Everbook Sticky Notes!

Duane was running out of time as he explained Sync Space; will do some sleuthing….

Onward to another session.



DEN VirtCon2014


Loved DEN VirtCon 2014 and as usual learned learned learned more than my brain can process.  I had to be flexible with sessions because so had technical problems. (Who am I to talk, I had technical problems from the start – my  computer wouldn’t turn on.  Fortunately, I am a person of multiple devices so I viewed the majority of the VirtCon on my iPad although my netbook was standing by.  During technical delays, I checked Twitter on my iPhone talking important notes on my computer (which finally decided to work!).

I look forward to viewing archieved sessions and reviewing sessions I participated in.  Thanks everyone!

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New Year, New Approach thanks to DEN


As member of my family was diagnosed with a immune disease that can be debilitating, I had to rethink priorities.  I took Family Medical Leave of Absence for a period of time so I could help out.  Schedule was a lot like school:  occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy.  Add to that getting  this family member to appointments for various things (appointments, MRIs, infusions, and more) gave me a lot of time to read the DEN weekly bulletins even if I couldn’t take advantage of everything,

Being a Discovery Education Network STAR, at this time in my life, kept me more grounded. I cannot thank everyone enough!

I  am participating in WALK MS in a few weeks.  I encourage all of you to become involved with a cause that means something to you.  Give a little bit of your valuable time!  Causes I would recommend because these have touched my life as they have affected my life personally, or family members, or friends, or students.

  • Alzeheimer
  • Arthritis,
  • Autism
  • Breast Cancer,
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Psoriasis.  These have touched my life personally, or through family members, or through friends, or students.


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Changes…To Do Lists…Discovery Education is part of my PLN!


New year, new school, new position.  Want more continuity than last three years.  The 2012 Fall Virtual Conference was awesome-so many choices!  I need to go back my notes and archived sessions I missed.  Started using Evernote & once I get a handle on that plan to tackle LiveBinders.

Changes need to come; and they must start with me.  Things on my TO DO list:  Evernote, LiveBinders, learn  more about basics about Twitter (yeah, I am in the Dark Ages!), master MindMeister or dump it, figure out Prezi, clean up my LiveText account.

Can I do it?  I think so.  If I have questions I know that other members of DEN will help; WON’T YOU????

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Fantastic Teacher Appreciation Week!!


STAR Discovery EducatorDEN Teacher Appreciation Week is just halfway done and WOW have DEN Stars been offered some great stuff.  I just signed up for PhotoPeach and got to have a year upgrade!  I love teaching visually because my students are often special education, English Language Learners (ELL) , or RtI students with specific interventions.  Combining visual learning makes learning more authentic plus the visual avenue is closely tied with my first career as a Broadcast Journalist.  I am writing this in a hurry because I have signed up for (LAST MOMENT….) for a webinar on using PhotoPeach.

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Awesome Spring Virtual Conference 2011


STAR Discovery Educator

Saturday, I spent a few hours with my computer (that did not involve video games!)  I attended Discovery Education’s 2011 Spring Virtual Conference in the comfort of my home.  I love Porter Palmer’s presentation and Lance is always informative, but I really liked Katie’s “Flip My Class” approach to differentiation.  Makes students responsible for their learning.  I haven’t had the extra time I thought I would have so I have gotten back to the DEN blog archives.

I do have a “date” with a friend and colleague to teach her about Discovery Education & what she can use it for, but also to share the fascinating info that Jeff Corwin presented in his presentation about the Gulf Oil Spill.  I am looking forward to it for it provides me a chance to reconnect with someone in my district (we are currently at different schools).

With the three teachers I work closely with, I shared a printed copy of “The Best 5 Tools For Making Slick Infographics” (Amber Mac).  They use Wordle, but thought they might investigate further — I want to tryout Hohli….

And finally, WOO-HOO, I finally was successful adding a DEN ribbon; a virtual pat on my back.

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Digital Textbooks – How Will it Affect Us?


On Tuesday, February 22, 2011 I attended the ICE reception. I found it interesting that states were mandating to go digital within 5 years. I hope it happens because I believe it will be a savigs to the schools and the students. Additionally, secondary students will not be toting over 15 pounds in their backpacks.
Advantages to digital books: less weight, can higlight text, pages don’t tear, updates aveilable, etc.
Do you want textbooks in digital form?

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Discovery Education ICE Reception


WOW!  I am still so amped that I cannot spell or type; here a former journalist loses those tools…..

The invitation was great; the presentation by Mike Bryant was interesting — digital texts FINALLY!  Accessibilty for special education students will be easier in (about)  4-5 years. 

Delighted at the number of special education professionals using tools like DE.  Have a couple pages of notes to pursue (like Google Scribe) thanks to Susan. 

Attendance made missing a Discovery webinar worthwhile.  (Very Very Sorry Whitney!-Have rescheduled, but not sure you will be presenter.)

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Nice mix – technology and people @ Tech or Treat Virtual Conference



I love technology, but it’s nice to interact with people.  Then I don’t think that I am the only one who thinks this is a cool idea OR struggles to do something.  Thanks to CUSD 200, I didn’t have to provide my own computer although I had brought my netbook.

That became a topic of short discussion with Steve Dembo; he asked how I like netbooks.  I am sort of a gadget hog, owning a desktop, laptop, and a netbook.  The first two are at least 5+ years and a lot of hard word (grad school and work), while the netbook is a more recent acquisition.

Netbooks are nice b/c they are portable, inexpensive, and fast. BUT 1) They do not have optical drives such as a CD/DVD drive; 2) lack the graphic ability to access the newest version of my webmail; 3)sadly are without graphic and audio sufficient  to enjoys an online game; 4) they do no show web pages without scrolling. 

Don’t expect me to trash my laptop in the near future to use only the netbook.  However, it will be a lot lighter on flights.  And since I can’t afford the iPad, I don’t let my eyes wander that way…..

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Fall Virtual Conference 2010



I am looking forward to Saturday’s DE Fall Virtual Conference.  I am actually attending an in-person event!  I was registered for the Conference and then found out it would be at Hubble Middle School and I e-mailed Mike Bryant at DE (who was great -thanks Mike!). 

Now, should I go in costume????

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