Thursday, February 27, 2014

Seguin High School Throws A Technology Party

Today, Juan Seguin High School had its first technology party. The event was meant to be a launching pad for more in depth technology use throughout the campus and from my view it looks like Seguin is off to a fantastic start!

With stations set up throughout one side of the library, teachers were able to learn, from other teachers,  how to integrate specific tools in small groups during all conference periods and lunch.  Teachers were tasked with the goal of finding one small change that they could in fact implement into their classrooms both purposefully and immediately.

I love that the planning committee kept the tool sharing to a minimum, choosing to focus on technology pieces that teachers could jump in and learn in one sitting. Shared today were remind101, Google apps, imovie on ipad, Examtime and Kahoot.

The overwhelming favorites today were Kahoot and Examtime.


Kahoot is an assessment platform that enables learners to utilize devices to respond to questions in a gaming format.

Heard today....
1. "I replaced my bell ringers with Kahoot. Kids beg for them. Sometimes I even end class with another Kahoot quiz because kids love playing them that much."

2.  "Oh my gosh, my kids love Kahoot so much. My kids beg me to play!"

Examtime is a free study tool meant to connect learners where they can collaboratively create mind maps, flashcards and quizzes to develop understanding of their content.

Students in AP English create Examtime accounts and utilize the mindmap feature to take notes which can then be populated with images and video. In addition, students can create flashcards and quizzes to share with their peers.

I loved hearing teachers of non-AP classes talk about how they too could introduce this tool to their students as a way to collaboratively grow in their coursework.

My Point of View
It was awesome being here to share with teachers, connect and have conversations about how we can work together to ease them through this learning transition. The true highlight was watching random teachers hop up to share the technology of their classroom with others.

Today was such a success that there are already plans in the works to throw another tech party in April and I look forward to being on hand to support the efforts of this amazing campus. 

Kahoot! is Causing Students to cry "Let's Do it Again!"

Marianna Ellis, English teacher at Seguin High School, has found a technology tool that engages and captivates her students. In her own words, she says:
Last year I trepidatiously began to use technology in my Resource English classes.  We started with using iPads and moved to Google Drive form/quizzes.  The students were receptive to this, and this encouraged me to try even more this year.  We used Educreations for grammar warm-up exercises.  Then I was introduced to Kahoot by our librarian who would not stop pestering me until I tried it with my class.  Now I will never go back to the old way.  My students were so excited.  They begged me to keep reviewing them and their grades were off the charts.  Thank you for providing the technology that is user friendly and improves student assessments in a fun and easy way.

 There are so many things we love about this! Did you catch that?

  • The teacher started off with small steps and took a risk to try something new
  • The librarian has embraced technology and collaborates with her teachers (thank you Brenda Gorman!)
  • The students "begged to keep reviewing!" That does not happen with worksheets!
  • Their grades "were off the charts!"

Here's what some of the students had to say:

Cameron W. - "I liked practicing with Kahoot.  It really helped me. We practiced it multiple times, and it was fun.  I made 100 on the vocabulary quiz."

Shabrandon Y. - "I like it. It helps by making review easy."

Kaylynn C. - "I liked it. It helped me to make 100 on the test."

Cadaro Q.  - "It was awesome. It was so much fun. It is better than paper work. I would like to do it again."

Kahoot is a free, powerful, game-based review tool that can be used on any device: laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, Android devices, iPhones, anything with an internet connection! To learn more about Kahoot, check out this blog post!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Math Teacher Leveraging Technology to Help Students and Parents

Chelsea Pearce, math teacher at Lamar High School, is using technology in some awesome ways to do what's best for students! Take a look at her blog at

She is using this blog to post announcements and tutorials for her students and their parents. She uses her document camera to record video of her working out assigned problems, complete with an audio narration. She then uploads that to her YouTube account and embeds the video on her blog. Here is one example:

By providing these videos, students can access and review the information presented in class. Often, parents are not available to help (or in the case of classes like Algebra I, parents themselves may need a refresher of the content). These videos, in conjunction with other resources, provide that extra help and clarification in a subject that is difficult for many students.

Chelsea has taken the technology resources available to her (Kidblog, document camera, YouTube, and most recently Kahoot!) and have leveraged them to impact learning. Thank you for what you do for our students- you are making a difference!

(All Arlington ISD teachers can get help with any of these resources by contacting the Instructional Technology Department)