Thursday, June 29, 2017

What I Learned at #ISTE17 Day 3

Today was the end of the ISTE 2017 conference.  I was in a session this morning that included the following quote:

However, simply hearing about new things does not mean I have acquired new skills. The Conscious Competence model specifies four stages towards skill acquisition.

(Women Embracing Brilliance, 2010)

In regards to much of my learning at ISTE, I find myself in the Conscious Incompetence stage.  I've now heard these great ideas or found resources, but I have a great deal of learning left to do.  I have skills to acquire so they can be put to use to improve instruction for our students!  So, today's top 5 list of things I have learned is really more about the top 5 things I have heard about that I need to explore and master.

1. Photospheres

According to Mary Howard, a photosphere is "a 360-degree panorama feature. It's designed to be a pseudo-immersive experience allowing the viewer to feel as though they are in or at the location" (Howard, 2017).  We used Google Streetview to capture a 360-degree video. The Streetview app has a 360 camera built into the app! From there, we looked at other resources where we could find photospheres or 360 images we could alter. She suggested or Flickr. (Please make sure you practice good digital citizenship and uses images that are fair use.)  After locating an image, she edited them in Pixlr and hosted at Holobuilder.  I'll be exploring these resources further. If you would like to explore on your own as well, here is a link to the presentation! Create, Capture and Cardboard your Curriculum: 360 Photospheres

At first look, this seems to work much like Padlet as a place for collaboratively sharing ideas. However, Dotstorming allows you to vote on your favorite ideas shared. Here are some posts on Dotstorming that I have found to review later: Dotstorming by ICC TLC and Search results for Free Technology for Teachers with multiple blog posts. Richard Byrne also has a detailed YouTube video on dotstorming. Note, this video was created in 2015 and features have been added since this time.

(above video linked from

Videoant is a tool to allow users to add annotations, or comments, to web-hosted videos. There are multiple video annotation tools available. Part of my learning process will be comparing these products to see which one works best within our district.

3. Poll Everywhere in Google Slides

I have used this feature some in the past, but not near enough, and I know I haven't modeled it well.  The Poll Everywhere Chrome Extension allows you to embed polls directly into your Slide presentation. When you create a new Poll Everywhere, you have options for multiple choice, word cloud, Q&A, rank order, clickable image, survey, or open-ended questions. You can learn more about Poll Everywhere in Google Slides at

(above video linked at

4.  Quizlet Live

When Quizlet added their Live feature, teachers gained a digital way to use the Numbered Heads Together Cooperative Learning Strategy. Quizlet Live assigns teams (zebras, alligators, oxen, etc. ). Every participant's device sees answer options, but the answer options all are different between all team members. Participants have to talk together because you may not have the correct answer on your screen. Here is a video tutorial I found that explains more about Quizlet Live.

(the above video is linked from

5. YouTube

I went to a quick session with Google on Using Video As an Instructional Tool.  Lately, I've been spending more time exploring YouTube and realizing there are so many functions in YouTube that I have not been utilizing.  I hope to explore them further this summer. I did pull a couple of things from this session that I will share in bullet form:
  • Every minute, over 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.
  • YouTube has over 1.3 billion users (½ of the internet).
  • YouTube reaches more 18-49 yr olds than any cable network.
  • It's all thanks to Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake
  • Tyler Tarver led this session and has a very engaging personality. His site includes math and Google videos. 
  • Tarver believes everyone should download YouTube, YouTube Music, and YouTube Capture (records video and forces you to turn camera to the side)
  • Creation vs. Curation: if you are afraid to create your own videos, then start curating others!
  • Find channels you like and subscribe to them. Find videos you like and add to Playlists.
  • Notifications are legit. Look for bell icon. Set up notifications for people you like and you will be notified anytime they add a new video.
  • Create videos for bell ringers!  You can have it start playing while you are taking attendance, talk to kids, etc. QuickTime on Mac or Screencastify on Chrome devices are easy tools to learn to create your own videos.
  • Unlisted allows anyone with a link to view your video. Note, someone can take your link and post it elsewhere, and people can see it then…

Each of my posts from ISTE has had a bonus piece of information, but this bonus is a big one!  You don't have to attend ISTE (or other conferences) to have great learning!  We want our students to be self-regulated learners, and we should model it as well.  My learning from ISTE won't stop because I am home.  I'll still be learning from it probably this time next year!  Here are some sources to get you started on your own learning path!

  1.  Search #ISTE17 on Twitter and be prepared to open link upon link of learning goodness!  Hint: I use Tweetdeck to organize my Twitter and currently have a column of all ISTE17 goodness.
  2. Search the website for conference sessions. Many times, you can access resources from sessions without having to log in as an attendee. ISTE is one of those conferences. Go to and start exploring sessions. You can narrow down your search to sessions with digital resources, or you can find the names of presenters that you are interested in and follow them on Twitter to build your PLN and keep the learning going!
  3. Find a name that you know that attended ISTE and see what information they are curating for you!  I happened to see Richard Byrne from filming in the bloggers' lounge, so I went to his page to see what he had to offer. His YouTube Channel has some live videos and interviews he did this week that I look forward to checking out. Friday morning, he will be live on his channel to recap ISTE17.  Byrne also wrote some posts this week while at ISTE that are on his site linked above.  Byrne is just one blogger who was active this week. Search to see if your favorite blogger was there as well. If you find a great post, we would love to have you share in the comments!
So, the rest of my summer will include some great learning. I'm going to take the time to refresh my mind and body, but in my opinion, a refresh doesn't mean to do nothing. If I were to refresh my house over the summer, I wouldn't let it build up dust. I would work to clean it and make it better. I hope to do the same with my brain this summer!

Note:  Anytime you are exploring new resources, make sure you check out the age requirements to ensure they are appropriate for your students and that the terms of service allow for users under 13, etc.  Also, use Common Sense Education to see if they have reviews of the product you are going to use (you can also find additional sites worth exploring on their page at As I continue to learn about the above products, I will be practicing these above tips!


Howard, M. (2017). Create, capture and cardboard your curriculum: 360 photospheres. Retrieved from

Women Embracing Brilliance. (2010). The four stages of learning. Retrieved from

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What I Learned at #ISTE17 Day 2

My brain is starting to stay in a state of fog! There is so much learning here at ISTE. I've heard there are around 15,000 people in attendance. The sessions are full of information, but the conversations are also rich with learning. I mentioned yesterday that relationships were important to my learning and they are making a repeat appearance in today's top 5.

Here are the top 5 things I learned:

Relationships Part 2

1.  Today's relationships that grew my practice came in the form of the "Playground" that focused on Ed Tech Coaching. I have enjoyed the playground feature of the conference. Each day has a different theme with tables for small group learning and conversations. Most of today's playground sessions focused on Instructional coaching. Here is a link to the schedule with many presentations linked. There were some books that were suggested to read that I am going to explore further:
  • The Global Education Guidebook: Humanizing K-12 Classrooms Worldwide Through Equitable Partnerships
  • The Global Educator
  • Cognitive Coaching: Developing Self-Directed Leaders and Learners
  • Made to Stick
  • Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling For Less
  • Learning First, Technology Second: The Educators Guide to Designing Authentic Lessons
2.  Yesterday, I mentioned Flipgrid (and I still need 10 people to respond to a post with a quick video reflection on something they have learned this summer at ). Tonight, while enjoying the evening at the rooftop pool, Erin shared with me an innovative way to use Flipgrid. The teacher created a Flipgrid and sent the link to parents and asked for them to respond with a video on their experience with the upcoming content.  During the classroom learning, the teacher played video clips of the parents' responses. What a fun way to bring relevance to the learning and connect the parent to the classroom!

3. While in the pool, Kerissa shared a hidden gem within Chrome!  On the iPad or other mobile devices with the Chrome app installed, pull down to reveal the Spotlight search and search for "QR".

Select "Scan QR Code" and you can scan directly within your browser!  No need for Chrome extensions or QR reading apps!

Thank you, Kerissa, for sharing your learning and your willingness to pose for my picture! I'm sure there was so much more learning gleaned from relationships, but I am going to move on to learning from my sessions!

4.  I went to a great session on giving feedback within Google Apps led by Eric Curts (one of my favorite bloggers!). Eric suggested giving video feedback by creating a Screencastify as you review the document and then putting a link to the video in a comment on the document. Your students hear your voice and see exactly what you are referencing on their paper!  Susan wrote a post on Screencastify earlier this year that you can read here. You can access Eric's full presentation on his website!  If you don't read closely, you might miss this gem for ELA teachers with pre-canned comments with links to learning resources for the student!

5. Google Forms

I was invited to attend a roundtable meeting with our Texas Google Edu representative. In this meeting, we gave feedback on GSuite Apps and heard about updates that were forecasted to come soon. In the midst of all the ISTE learning, I missed the announcement of the updates to Google Forms and the ability to batch grade questions in quizzes.  Here is a tweet from Google with an animated GIF to show the steps.  Ricard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers also wrote a post to share a little more about this new feature!

Bonus: Take a moment to explore a new resource announced by Google yesterday!

There are so many other things that I learned today that will have to be a later post. I'll leave you today with a couple of quotes from Alice Keeler to ponder!

Signing off at 12:45 AM to get ready for another day of learning tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

ISTE Day 1 Takeaways

When you go to a conference, the amount of learning can often be overwhelming. I also have a tendency to push myself to gain new knowledge at every opportunity that I fail to allow time to process that learning and to master it. Thanks to a colleague, I decided that I wanted to learn 5 things each day and anything beyond that was a bonus. I also wanted to make sure that I learned at least one thing from a Playground or Poster session or a vendor in the Expo.

Here are 5 things I learned today:

1. Padlet's shelf feature

I like Padlet as a tool for collaboration and sharing of ideas in the classroom. However, it can become quite disorganized as students add thoughts. In the past, I have created background images in Google Slides to provide columns for students to sort their notes on the canvas. Now, with the addition of the shelf feature, there is no need. You can create the topics/questions for each column and participants respond in the correct column. You can read more about it at this blog post by Padlet.  When Padlet released the Shelf stream, they added some other new features as well. You can read more about them here.

2. Twitter Searches

I regularly go to Twitter to search for a certain hashtag. What I didn't know is that I could drill that search down even further. I'm currently at ISTE.  I can search Twitter for #ISTE17 but that feed is long and full of great information. If I want to see what is being said at ISTE about the Apple app Clips, I can search #ISTE17 Clips.  Pick something you want to know more about and go search the #ISTE17 hashtag. You may find some great resources!

3.  Speaking of Clips, it is my new favorite app! There is so much this app can do and I am just beginning to scratch the surface. The Verge says Apple’s Clips App Is iMovie for the Next Generation.  Here are my notes on the app from a session I attended today:

Clips app

  • allows you to create multiple clips on the go
  • Live Titles allow you to speak text and it will add it as text on the video
  • You can pause for humor/drama
  • You can tap on text to get a text editor to make changes.
  • Can add music from your iTunes or from Soundtracks that apple has built in that are completely legal to use. Apple paid musicians to write the songs. Songs change length based on length of the video! 25 sec video they make a 25-second version of the song!
  • Videos will be square to fit the screen without turning to landscape mode.
  • You can tap library to pull from what you already have on the device. Hold to add the photo.
  • Trash to delete. Or pick up clip and flick away
  • Pinch in to zoom and then as recording, drag out to give animation like Ken Burns effect.
  • Zoom way in on satellite picture to make it seem like a drone film
  • Ease in and out feature makes it smooth.
  • Trim to make it where the entire time it is in motion.
  • Tap anywhere on the video you brought in to preview.
  • Scrubber bar is along bottom
  • You can position video before or while recording. So you are moving the camera in post production.
  • Keep things moving in clips videos. Don't make your scenes too long.
  • Can use panorama clips. You can pan from one side to another and it becomes animated video.

4. Plotagon Education

I enjoy creating animated videos and I really enjoy a good Bitmoji! Plotagon Education brings these two worlds together! (Note, there is also a Plotagon app but you will want the education version. If you sign up soon, teachers can get a 1-year subscription for free!)  Here is my first Plotagon that I created! (To all those who feel they have lived this scene with me before, I'm sorry. Special shout out to @ErinGerdes for the voice over!)

I've read a few additional blogs tonight on uses for Plotagon. Here are some of my favorite so far:

I'm thinking it could be a great teacher-created "hook" for your next HyperDoc!

5. Relationships are important. Whether talking to a vendor, friends, or strangers, I seemed to learn something from them all. I seriously walked up to the Plotagon booth and said: "Tell me why I would want to learn about your product and how to use it". I had a great time visiting with Joe from Plotagon.

I had lunch with two of my teammates and we were able to discuss our learning through the lens of GCISD. Then tonight, the three of us joined the ISTE Ed Tech coaches for a meetup dinner. Listening to others in the role speak of what they are doing in their schools gave me food for thought and reminded me that GCISD is the BEST and I am grateful to work and learn alongside so many wonderful educators!

Bonus: Flipgrid isn't new conference learning for me, but I do love the app for a way to capture student/teacher voice.  Today I learned that Flipgrid now offers Flipgrid Certified Educators. In order to apply, one component is to provide evidence that I have had 10 respondents to a Flipgrid post. Would you be willing to go to and leave a quick video reflection on something you have learned this summer (if posting from a mobile device, you will need the app to respond)?  By doing this, you will help me grow my practice!

Well, it is 12:30 AM and learning starts all over bright and early in the morning!  Signing off from #ISTE17