Monthly Archives: March 2014

Students Love Discovery Education Science Techbook

Quotes from students this year about the Discovery Education Science Techbook:

” Mr. Rowland, can I get Science Techbook at home?”

“Would it be OK if I took my username card home so I can work on this at home?”

“Science Techbook actually makes science fun!”

“We learned about Earthquakes on Friday and we had an earthquake on Saturday!”

“I think Science Techbook is the best because I love the videos, we all do!”

I have the distinct privilege of training teachers and students how to use technology in Greenville County Title I schools.  After attending a workshop with  Discovery Techbook in October, I decided to train teachers and students how to use Techbook and set that as my professional goal for the 2013-2014 school year.

Welcome Elementary School and Monaview Elementary School piloted DE Techbook this year.  I decided to spend time working with teachers during planning and after school to help them plan lessons and navigate the app.  The best part was modeling ways to integrate the amazing resources that are available to students using this app in their classrooms.

Welcome Elementary is a 1:1 iPad school and Monaview Elementary has a variety of devices such as laptops, iPads, mini iPads, Dell tablets, and 2 computer labs.

Both schools have a Virtual Science Lab and are able to partner with each other during Science experiments.

Here is the padlet wall that I built to help teachers with the Techbook Implementation. I took off the school specific information that I originally included on the padlet wall.

Here is a video as I introduce Techbook to students in 3rd grade.

Welcome iPad Learning Walk

On March 12, several teachers and Administrators from Anderson 1, Greenwood County and Greenville Schools came to observe the Welcome Elementary students and teachers in their 1:1 iPad environment.  We called it an iPad Learning Walk. The visitors were excited and extremely complimentary of the lessons they observed in the classrooms.

We created a survey to gather feedback and here are the results about a few things they learned on the walk:

  • how independent the students were
  • how well Related Arts were using the iPads
  • how well K5 and 1st grade use the iPad
  • how each class differentiated instruction
  • how knowledgeable the student leaders were
  • how useful the iPads were in every subject
  • how effective the use of Air Server was
  • how crucial it is to have an expert on site
  • how well the students behaved and were engage
  • how the classroom flowed and was differentiated
  • how much the students love the iPads
  • how feedback is generated for each student
  • how important it is to have a strong foundation and implementation BEFORE putting iPads in teachers/students’ hands
  • how an iPad classroom operates
  • how a number of apps worked across the various grade levels
  • how important teacher training and follow up is
  • how to limit apps

The apps they were most interested in were: Explain EverythingBook Creator, EdmodoDiscovery Education Science TechbookRaz Kids A-Z, HMH App for leveled readers, the ability to mirror using  Air Server, the usefulness of QR Codes, and the features of Padlet website.

For a list of apps and activities that students were using click here. Welcome iPad Learning Walk Activities (Responses)

Tagxedo as a Presentation Tool

Are your students tired of using PowerPoint as a presentation tool? Are you frustrated because your students don’t have enough time to prepare a Prezi presentation? Here is another way students can share their knowledge.  Students can take any report, book, project, letter, or story, that is in digital form, and copy and paste it into Tagxedo. For example, if they type a research paper about Earthquakes that they learned about from Discovery Education Science Techbook, they can copy it and paste it into a Word Cloud using Tagxedo. All you have to do is click Create, Install Silverlight, and you are ready to Load your text.  After the text is loaded, you can submit it.  You have the option to choose the shape you would like your words to fill.  This is perfect for Poetry writing. If students write a poem about a flower, they could upload a picture of a flower or choose the flower template that is available.  They can then choose the font layout, theme and colors.  When it is time to present their project, you can copy the embed code and post it on your blog or they can upload it to Edmodo. When they mouse over the words, the words will “jump out” and spin and grow larger.  I teach the students the term “function of frequency” which means that the more often a word is typed, the larger it will appear. It is a great way to determine the main idea of the presentation. It would be a great way to study for a test. Students could copy and paste their notes into Tagxedo and review the key points by mousing over the words with a partner.

I made a Tagxedo about last year’s Technology Showcase at Monaview by using the notes about the projects students were doing that day.

Here are some Public Speaking Tips from Prezi.

Horizon Report 2013 Summary