Thursday, August 27, 2015

New Padlet iPad App

Padlet ( ) is a great website for collaborating, communicating, sharing, or just staying organized!  You might even call it an “online bulletin board!” Create Padlet walls to post ideas, comments, photos, video, and more. It’s a great tool for the classroom or presentations since only the teacher or presenter needs to have an account. Others can access the Padlet and add their own ideas, thoughts, and information.

Really exciting news! Padlet has just released an iPad app! The free app lets you access your Padlet account to create and review your Padlet walls. Or students can access as a guest to post to their teacher’s walls. 


You can even add custom backgrounds for your PadletsPretty slick.

Padlet can be used in schools for professional development, student portfolios, exit tickets, surveys, or class assignments.

Check out Padlet. How could you use this app?

Custom Padlet Backgrounds from TechChef4You:

How to Add Custom Columns to Your Padlets by Richard Byrne:

20 Way to use Padlet in the Classroom:

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Explain Everything 3.0 Has Arrived!

We have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Explain Everything 3.0! And it has arrived! This version of our favorite app has several new features, including a new flattened look, an equation editor, and the ability to engage a simpler interface for younger students.

iAchieve now has several 1:1 iPad classrooms in the early grades - K-2. This new simple interface is going to be great for them, especially at the beginning of the year. To turn on the Simple Interface, select the gear icon in the top right of the home page, choose General, and move the slider. The simplified toolbars will be a great option for our little ones.


The new equation editor is going to be a fabulous resource for our math teachers. To access the Equation Editor, choose the plus sign (+) on the left toolbar. The equation builder keyboard opens with a wide array of math symbols to create math equations and even generate graphs.


The new "flattened" look also provides some simplification to the tools. Now there is only one button for exporting projects with a wide variety of places to export to - and a very colorful screen!

Can't wait to do more creating with Explain Everything 3.0! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

iMovie Trailers on the iPads

Digital Storytelling is a pretty hot topic right now and there are so many tools and resources out there for creating Digital Stories. Many are web based and there are lots and lots of apps. Some of the iPads apps we are using include Shadow Puppet EDU, 30 Hands, Videolicious, StoryKit, or Animoto.

One of the other tools teachers and students have used is the iMovie Trailer feature to create digital stories in our 1:1 iPad classrooms. iMovie trailers are much like movie trailers that you would see at a movie theater prior to viewing a movie. They are used to entice you to want to see an upcoming movies.

iMovie's Trailer feature is very similar. These are short videos created using a variety of different available templates. Usually iMovie Trailers showcase an event or happening in someone's life, such as a special vacation, graduation, or birthday. I created a couple of iMovie Trailers as Father's Day presentations for my husband and son!

Teachers could create an iMovie Trailer as a way to build background for students or as a "hook" to spark interest in a topic. Here are a couple of examples:

Students can create trailers to showcase their learning or understanding of a topic, as an alternative to a written book repot, biography of a famous person or highlights of an historical event. Trailers can address a wide variety of content areas.

At a recent conference, we shared information about digital storytelling and iMovie Trailers. Attendees at the session also had an opportunity to create one of their own. In order to help facilitate the creation, we came up with a topic and provided photos and video clips for attendees to use. The creations were as varied at the attendees themselves! Here is a model of a Saguaro Cactus iMovie Trailer:

Here are the resources used for the presentation:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

ISTE, Here We Come

Heading to Philidelphia this morning to attend the Internationl Society for Technology in Education Conference (#iste2015 or #iste15). This is an international conference with attendees from all over the world. Looking forward to learning, sharing, and connecting!

Doing a poster presentation on using iMovie Trailers for digital storytelling. More about that to come. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Designing with Canva

While I am by no means a Graphic Designer, I have been creating some designs using Canva for
presentations, posters, and even some personal items (digital Father's Day cards!). I have a lot to learn but it's been fun!

I recently created by own customized Facebook cover graphic!

Canva is a free online tool ( and an iPad app. You can create graphics for social media posts, documents, event posters, advertisements, and so much more. Canva includes templates that can be customized with their built in tools. Tools include images, icons, fonts, lines and shapes, and more. Many are free to use but some resources are available for purchase - usually only $1.00 each.

You can also upload your own images to use in your designs - be sure to follow copyright rules though if you did not take the photos yourself!

Some other examples of my recent creations.

These were used in a recent presentation:

Banner for a presentation:

BYOD Poster:

Canva has an online Design School ( to help you get started designing. Design School includes tutorials and teaching materials with lots of tips and tricks.

TechChef4U, Lisa Johnson, has put together some resources to help teachers in using Canva: Recently Lisa did a Classroom 2.0 webinar on Canva. You can watch the recorded session:

Note: if you work with younger students, be sure to check out Canva's Terms of Service to make sure it falls within the guidelines for your district.

I'm looking forward to learning more and more about Canva and refining my design skills!


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Social Media Smart Cards

Recently one of our School Resource Officers sent out information about Social Media Smart Cards. These cards were developed by the FBI to aid social media users in staying safe online and protecting private information. They really have some good tips.

Here are some additional Staying Safe on Social Networking Sites tips:


Google +

They are available to download from several websites, but the East Tennessee State University has provided links to download each of the 4 smart cards:

Enjoy and Stay Safe!

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Several of our teachers have been using Plickers ( in their classrooms for quick formative assessments and checks for understanding during instruction.  Plickers provides realtime formative assessment data and only the teacher needs to have a device - not the students.

Teachers need to setup an account and load the app, either IOS or Android, on their tablet or smartphone; and both are free. There are also pre-made Plickers card sets you can download for students to use.

It's also a great tool to use to survey staff during meetings and professional development.

IOS app:
Android app:

Here are some ideas and resources for using Plickers in your classroom: