Best Practices In Teaching, Learning, and Technology Integration

Welcome to my Blog! I hope to share innovative information that I learn about technology integration and best practices in teaching and learning. Combined with good instructional strategies,technology integration is the key for creating an engaging and rigorous environment for students. Feel free to join the site and follow my blog posts. I look forward to interacting with you and adding you to my Professional Learning Network. Thank you!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Google's Project 10^100 Finalists

Though Google has seen some criticism in the last several years -- accusations that it doesn't practice its own "don't be evil" policy in the wake of its interactions with the Chinese government, its battle with Apple over its Google Voice port for the iPhone, and the declining relevance of its technologies -- it often spurs the creation of extremely interesting, engaging new programs and features. Google's Project 10 to the 100 is yet another example of this. The company is providing $10 million split between 5 organizations to advance their projects, which this year are the Khan Academy, FIRST,, Shweeb, and AIMS.
Khan Academy received $2 million from Google. The organization, led by Salman Khan, seeks to use "video to explain the world," providing educational opportunities through free courses available in many languages. Khan's organization takes a more conversational approach, breaking the lecture structure down into smaller chunks to render it easier to digest, particularly in the worlds of math and science. Its long-term goal is to produce adaptive software and simulation games to complement its video curriculum.
FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, received $3 million for robotics team programs intended to recruit additional students. The organization, founded by Dean Kamen, seeks to further science, engineering and technology education in young people predominantly through mentor-based programs. It organizes many robotics-based competitions for students aged 6-18 (using LEGO robotics early on, then more sophisticated systems at higher levels) and seeks to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, become involved in their communities, and seek out graduate degrees in the sciences.
Over the last 21 years, FIRST has according to many studies produced students far more likely to attend college (and to intern in their first year), work in science or technology, major in science or engineering, and serve in their community in some capacity. received $2 million to make "primary legal materials in the US available to all people." The nonprofit corporation publishes court cases, legal documents, and other materials that have been published for years in expensive database services such as LexisNexis but have been unavailable for free. It also publishes government videos and documents where available and applicable.
Shweeb received $1 million for research and development of human-powered transit rails. Perhaps the most farfetched sounding of the groups to receive support from Google, the organization is looking to develop recumbent cycles on monorails in order to combine personal fitness and mass urban transportation, initially serving as a complement to existing train, subway, and roadway systems. Perhaps, unlike the Segway, we'll actually see this take off. I can't help but wonder.
AIMS -- the African Institute for Mathematical Science, based out of Cape Town, South Africa -- received $2 million to fund additional AIMS centers to "provide quality [math and science] education to African students," particularly at the graduate level.
All of these organizations show Google choosing not to be evil, but rather to support innovation and education, Congratulations to the winners.
Andrew Hall is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online degrees for Guide to Online Schools.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stu's Quiz Boxes! | Diigo

Stu's Quiz Boxes! | Diigo

This is an awesome download. This Stu guy is great! I like the way you can include your own images. This is a break from the regular Jeopardy style games using PowerPoint or SMART Notebook.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How I Used Edmodo in the Mathematics Classroom

Below, beginning with the word "Share," is a link to a Wallwisher wall where my students commented on their experience using Edmodo in the computer lab. Students were sent an assignment, with links to video instruction, practice (with immediate feedback), and problems to turn in. The front load work was a bit tedious at first, but now I have it down. Edmodo allows you to save URL links, files, and embeddable content to your library. So, when I see something that I may use in the future, I save it there. Then, while planning for a block, Edmodo allows me to send any chosen items to a "shared" folder for the class of my choice. Talk about differentiating instruction!!! I love this technology because with the assignments feature, I can prescribe lessons for students, based on their needs. I welcome any comments or questions. I am working on a rubric for students to use. If you know of any, let me know. I am thinking of "tweaking" one that was used in my graduate studies for a blackboard assignment. I will post it when I am done. has a Facebook interface that the students absolutely enjoy. They can ask questions to each other or me. They can be silly (with limitations). They can share their personality, which is very important to young adolescents. I am most happy with the security features: 1. No outsiders allowed 2. No private chatting 3. Teachers can edit or delete student entries

Share what you worked on today, and tell if and how the computer lab setting was beneficial to you. Do you have any ideas to improve this use of time? by amccord

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Find of the Week: Prezi (Presentations)

Below is another example of how Prezi can be used to spice up any presentation. This is a new, exciting way to make presentations (Goodbye PowerPoint). You will be sure not to bore your audience. Thanks to Ms. Garrett for using this to present her cohort summary.
*There are two options: 1. Click on the play button (center) to advance each slide or 2. On the right there are 3 options and one is an Autoplay button.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Find of the Week: Wallwisher

View full screen by clicking on the icon to the right of the word BOX, in the lower right corner of the window.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Find of the Week: Digital Citizenship Wiki

This is a resource for grade level teachers to prepare students to use technology appropriately and being mindful of the citizenship skills they already possess. This WIKI will be continually updated, and is maintained by Vicki Davis, a.k.a. Cool Cat Teacher. Click on the image above to follow the Wiki.

Friday, March 19, 2010

ETV Workshop: SMARTer Ways...

Karen Ogen, District In-Tech Specialist and I had the pleasure of "subbing" for the SMART workshop today at ETV studios. We presented 10 Ways to Add Interactivity to Your SMART Board. Below is a PDF copy of our presentation that you may download or print for future reference (use the icons at the bottom of the frame). Also, if you would like to download the SMART Notebook file, click on this link and scroll down to Related Files: SMART Notebook file

ETV Workshop on Podcasting (Slides)

Today, I was fortunate to share "Podcasting in the Classroom" with interested South Carolina teachers, at the ETV Workshops. Several teachers went through the process of recording their voice with Audacity, choosing music, exporting as an Mp3, and uploading to create a podcast episode on Thank you for your enthusiasm and comments about the session. Below are the slides from the workshop. You may download them for your reference. Feel free to leave a comment. Thank you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Glogster: Interactive Tools for Teachers & Students

Karen Ogen, one of our newest Integration Technology Specialists, presented at the ETV free workshops. She introduced to several teachers. This is a great tool that should replace the "old" cardboard poster boards forever! More engaging for the students, and less work to take home for the teachers. Below is an example that demonstrates some of the properties of a Glog.

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Find of the Week: Headmagnet

Headmagnet is a free online flash card maker that would allow your students to create their own personalized study guides. Or, the teacher can create flash cards that all students can access for revision at home. What makes Headmagnet so neat is that it records your scores as you click through the cards, and will give you a breakdown of the areas you need to study in more detail. There are even a collection of ready-made flash cards for vocabulary, social studies, math and more. A useful tool for both students and teachers!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Week In Rap

This is a video by the talented group Flocabulary, who publishes each week's news events in rap format. Sometimes it is easier to reach today's students by grabbing their attention with the music and then, once we have it, injecting the knowledge they need to be equipped with. For better a streaming view, after clicking play, quickly click pause and wait a few seconds, until the bar is about half way. Then click play again. (This will prevent your video from stalling and pausing.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SMART Notebook Feature: Transparent Background

One of the new features of SMART Notebook 10.6 is the transparent background. The video below shows how it can be used to keep a floating timer above lessons as you navigate through pages. Another idea is to have a score card as you play jeopardy or another interactive game.

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Find of the Week

This image was produced on a site called
It is very similar to

Word cloud made with WordItOut

Sunday, March 7, 2010

SMART Notebook Feature: Click and Reveal

This video demonstrates a Notebook feature that can be used in a whole class setting or small group to individual instruction in a computer lab setting. Information created by the teacher is revealed as buttons on the right are clicked. This makes for great differentiated instruction, as video clips may be created using the SMART Recorder, placed on a blog, and assigned to students by topic. E-mail me if you are interested in creating a similar lesson.

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Find of the Week

Today was an exciting day for me. Rarely do I find a great website or application, share it with a teacher, and have a request to implement it in the same day. Take a look at this Wiki generator.