Creating Community – A Schoolwide Project

All 270(ish) students in my elementary school collaborating on one big project over the course of a month, each part of the project relying heavily on another group doing their part.  That was my goal.  My principal had mentioned a collaborative project, and it had grabbed my interest.  I had no idea what to do from there.

One morning a few weeks later, while in the shower (where all amazing ideas are born), I had a fleeting thought about my oldest daughter’s upcoming field trip to a fire station.  This sparked a little genius hour project of my own to see the scope and sequence of the study of community helpers through elementary school.  It turns out that every grade level has some mention of community helpers/citizens woven into the North Carolina Essential Standards for Social Studies (K-2, 3-5).

So I wrote a DonorsChoose project for a Community Helper Lego Construction set and an Ozobot.  The majority of the project was funded by our friends at Paradise Games, a local gaming store in our community.  (A HUGE thank you to these guys!)  The idea?  To use Lego bricks to build a community and have an Ozobot programmed to move through it using codes created by markers.

Here was the plan:

PreK, Cross-categorical class, and Kindergarten: Research various community helpers using PebbleGo  and create a list of community helpers they would like to see in our own community

1st grade: Use the list created by PreK, CC, and Kinder to determine where those community helpers worked.  For example: Kindergarten said we need a doctor.  1st grade decided that doctors work in a hospital and a doctor’s office.  They also mentioned dentists, so we included those as well.  These buildings were compiled into a list for 2nd grade.

2nd grade: Create a blueprint for the community.  Use the Lego blocks to begin building the workplaces of the community helpers.  *This was where I saw real engineering and the STEM element of the project begin to emerge.  My students did not understand the proper way to build with the Lego blocks; they didn’t get the purpose of the overlapping of bricks to create an interlocking wall.  The walls would crumble when moved. Lots of devastated kids and a few tears, but they figured it out and created some excellent building foundations.

3rd grade: Put the finishing touches on the Lego buildings and review the blueprints for the community with a suggestion prepare for 4th grade.  This group also laid the foundation of the community (white bulletin board paper) onto two large rectangle tables in the media center.

4th grade: Place buildings throughout the community.  Heated conversation ensued about the location of the church (which was insisted upon by my 2nd grade students), the proximity of the school to the police station/jailhouse, and the ability to move from the doctor’s office to the hospital quickly.  These students also created the “sidewalks” to signify road spacing on which the Ozobot would travel.

5th grade: Using the open road spaces for the Ozobot, the 5th graders designed a color-coded roadway that allowed the Ozobot to visit all of the buildings in our community.  It started in the entrance to the community and went to every single building performing various tricks, tasks, and moving at different speeds along the way.

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The project took only one class period (45 minutes) for each class in the school.  There are 14 classes.  With snow delays and my media schedule switching each week, this schoolwide STEM project took nearly 6 weeks to complete.  Overall, all students in the school worked toward a common goal, collaborating each step of the way.  The younger students took delight in seeing their community helpers and the buildings come to fruition on the tables in the media center.  The workspace was out front and center where everyone could see it as they entered the learning space.  During the creation of the community, the workspace was organized chaos.  Students left it, as is, when their class time was over.  Our faculty still held meetings here, students still circulated books, and we still held media classes and small group instruction.

It is my hope that this project continues to push forward a change in school culture.  For me, this project was never about the materials (which were an awesome addition to our makerspace collection).  It was the idea of my entire school working together to make something really cool.  I almost cringe to call it a STEM project because STEM seems to be becoming another “buzzword”, a label to put on something to make it sound educational.  Truly, this project was an adventure.  This project allowed my students, in all grade levels, to see a long-term goal met with research, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.  It was a mess throughout much of the process, none of us knew what we were doing, and we pushed through and made a masterpiece.  Our students’ future is not about coloring in bubbles on an answer sheet, sitting in desks taking notes, and listening quietly to an adult talk all day.  Their future is about engagement, empowerment, and enthusiasm.  Through this schoolwide project, these students were all engaged, they were empowered by creating a community of their own, and they were more enthusiastic than ever before.

*Video on YouTube.

Using MinecraftEdu to Create NC Map

Fourth grade students in North Carolina study North Carolina’s geography and history.  One of my favorite parts of my job as media coordinator is collaboration with classroom teachers to bring lessons to life.  Fourth graders in my school have been learning about the three regions of North Carolina, the coastal plain, the Piedmont, and the mountain region.  Students spent several days in class researching industry, geography, and major landmarks in each region.  In the past, students have created a map on cardboard paper using various materials.  They have even created Live Museums where each pair of students showcased their learning by sharing with other grade levels waiting in the lunch line.  Fourth grade teachers at my school wanted to take it to a new level this year and allow students to create a map of the regions of North Carolina using MinecraftEdu.

I have been running a MinecraftEdu club every Friday afternoon to test out ways to use MinecraftEdu in the classroom.  My MinecraftEdu club has been exploring various lessons in the MinecraftEdu World Library and I have really seen the value in using MinecraftEdu to teach various concepts in the classroom.  When fourth grade teachers approached me about the possibility of using MinecraftEdu in this lesson, I was ecstatic.

The first thing I did to prepare for this lesson was look for a map with the North Carolina border already created in MinecraftEdu.  I could not find a single one.  So, I used the Flat World (Original Style) Map from the World Library as a starting point.  Using a North Carolina map with latitude and longitude lines, I began to block off my image to transfer into MinecraftEdu.  Basically, each latitude and longitude line would be separated by 20 MinecraftEdu blocks.  This allowed me to keep the integrity of North Carolina’s shape while keeping the area of the state manageable for my students to cover in the limited amount of time they would have in MinecraftEdu.

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Once the latitude and longitude lines were in, I started outlining the state using the paper copy of the map I had blocked off.  I started on the east coast because I knew it would be difficult to do.  I would place a few blocks, then fly to see if it looked right.  Then I would place a few more blocks, and fly to see how they looked.  It was basically trial and error.  I abandoned the idea of creating the islands of the Outer Banks due to constraints in the area I had given myself.  After a few hours of work, I am pretty proud of the final product that will be uploaded into the World Library soon.

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From this point on, it was up to the students!  The teachers and I decided to start with the coastal region and build from east to west.  Each region was given 45 minutes to work collaboratively to create symbols of what they had learned about their region.  Students had various levels of experience in MinecraftEdu; some are in my MinecraftEdu club and some have never played before this project.  Because the coastal region was first, we ran into some quick problems with the ocean (specifically the flooding of what would be South Carolina and Virginia) and had to start completely over at one point.  Another problem we faced: I began by allowing students to remove lines of latitude and longitude if needed and upon seeing the black border of the state disappear, we started over and I told students they could not remove any pink or black blocks and they must contain the ocean in the blocks provided.  After about an hour of working (including having to restart), the seven students assigned the coastal region were finished.  They included a shark, a pirate ship, beach houses, seafood restaurants, sand for beaches, tourists tanning on the beach, and palm trees.  The ocean even had a strong current in it to represent the movement of the waves!

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You can see they were very particular about keeping the Piedmont region out of their coastal plain, so they went as far as to create a visible division between the two regions.  The Piedmont was next and within their 45 minutes, they created Bank of America stadium (Go Panthers!), McDonald’s, and skyscrapers.  They also created a forest of “apple” trees using oak seeds, but the oak trees overtook the skyscraper, so we had to cut down an entire forest.  This led to an spontaneous discussion about deforestation and a debate about cutting down trees vs industry, which was an excellent unexpected learning opportunity!  The seven students who studied the Piedmont also took it upon themselves to make a border so the mountain region would not build in their area.  The students were very territorial about their regions!

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The last region to build was the mountain region.  They discussed where the foothills would be and decided as a group (with my permission) to move the border created by the Piedmont so they could have ample room to build the mountains and have a section for the foothills.  They were adamant about having the foothills represented as that’s where our school is located.  After 45 minutes, the mountain region had created a good-sized mountain range and the Mount Airy Granite Rock Quarry.

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Once all students in the class had the opportunity to add something to the map, the MinecraftEdu club members put on the finishing touches.  They dubbed themselves “experts” and made everything come together nicely!  They also added a lighthouse to the North Carolina coast, the Krispy Kreme headquarters (with a donut on the top, HA), a race track to represent North Carolina’s role in the creation of professional racing, and the Biltmore House in the mountains.  The final touch was a beacon to show where our school is located in the foothills.

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As I watched the students work, I was amazed at the level of knowledge they had about North Carolina’s geography, industry, and landmarks!  These students came with an idea about what they could add to the map to represent North Carolina and they worked together so well to create what I consider to be a masterpiece.  I posted several times on Twitter with updates on this project, which were shared and liked many times (thank you for that).  Each day I would remind the students that their work was being shared globally and many people were waiting to see the finished product.  The students gave everything they had to this project and far surpassed any expectations I had for this project.  Their learning is evident in ways that a standardized test could never showcase.  I am a firm believe in the power of MinecraftEdu in school and I can’t wait to work with my fifth grade teachers to create biomes in MinecraftEdu in the coming weeks!

*A link to a walk-through of the completed NC Region Map will be added soon.

Why I Love Edcamp and So Will You!

I have been to several edcamps in the past year. My first edcamp was in November 2014. I was so re-energized when I left that I immediately signed up for others in my area. Edcamp is like Pringles; once I popped, I just couldn’t stop. Edcamps are like Lays; I couldn’t have just one… you get it. I love edcamp. After attending 8 edcamps in my state in just over a year, I have learned that all edcamps are the same, and all edcamps are different.

Here are 8 reasons I love edcamp and why I keep going back to edcamp after edcamp (Believe it or not, door prizes aren’t even listed! Although they are always an awesome bonus!)

1 – There is no hierarchy. When you attend an edcamp, you drop your title at the door. Whether you are a classroom teacher, a school level administrator, a director within a district, or a superintendent, you are equal at edcamp. The North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. June Atkinson, attended #edcampLDR in the summer and was just as much a participant there as I was. It doesn’t matter if you run a world of 20 students or 150 schools, you are there to share ideas and find ways to make education better for all of the stakeholders.

2 – The culture is positive and inspirational. Edcamp is not a place to complain, grumble, and vent. It is a place to seek answers, share information, and grow your PLN. This isn’t to say that we sit around singing kumbaya. Instead, we have a safe place to share our failures and make new friends who help us find real solutions to our problems. After every edcamp, I feel inspired, motivated, and ready to change my students’ lives.

3 – The ideas shared are realistic. I love that edcamp isn’t about what “could” happen and what we “might” can do on Monday, but it’s about what others have already done in their classrooms and how it impacted their students. Rather than just talking about change, edcampers are actually making the change.

4 – There are no “presenters”! No one will stand up in front of the room and dictate the conversation. It is truly about sharing ideas with others in a round-table discussion. Everyone present is valued. Everyone is encourage to participate. Conversations can start with a comment, question, or idea. Anyone can start the conversation. Every person has the opportunity to contribute to the topic at hand. In addition to face-to-face conversations in the session, there are also Twitter back-channels and collaborative notes via Google Documents which are available to everyone.

5 – Participants are not just from within your own district, but from various districts and various levels of education. Test scores have the ability to make us competitive, just like scores in sports. Edcamp takes away this competition and allows us to focus on what we all agree is the most important – giving our students a quality education. We can all learn from one another’s successes and failures. I love that all levels of education are present. It really gives a larger picture of scope and sequence. By talking with teachers from middle school, high school, and secondary education, I can see where my elementary students will be in a few years and how I can better prepare them for the future.

6 – No edcamp is the same. Every single edcamp I have attended (either in person or following virtually via Twitter) has been different. The participants are what make each edcamp special. I have walked away with something new after each edcamp that has been directly applicable to my students.

7 – Edcamp is for YOU! Edcamp is always about what YOU need. If you are in a session and it is not meeting your needs, it is perfectly acceptable to quietly leave the room. I will never forget the first time the culture of edcamp became a reality for me. I was in a session that started out being exactly what I needed. Then it veered to a discussion that was not directly beneficial to me and I went back and forth about whether I should move to another session. I checked Twitter and the collaborative notes. Finally I ended up leaving the session to exchange ideas with a member of my PLN in the hallway. We made our own “session” right then and there, and even had a few other people join our discussion before moving to the next session. It’s totally okay to be selfish in your learning at edcamp.

8 – Edcamp is about growing your PLN! Your PLN is your Professional Learning Network. Meeting new people is one of my favorite parts of any edcamp. I have met outstanding educators at edcamp and have formed bonds with many of them that now extends outside of Twitter and has evolved into true friendships. Whether we meet face-to-face first and then continue our sharing on Twitter, or we “follow each other” on Twitter and then meet at edcamp, it’s always great to meet new friends at edcamp!

So – how do you get to an edcamp?

1. Find an upcoming edcamp in your area. Check out the Complete Calendar.

2. Sign up – Edcamps are free! Have your friends sign up, too!

3. Get to edcamp in time to help create the session board! It’s the best part! This is where you decide what you want to learn about. I suggest having three topics in mind. When I suggest topics I always suggest one that I feel confident in and can share information with others, one that I have no idea what I’m doing & will ask questions and take in as much information as possible, and one that I have some experience, but still have questions.

4. Take it all in. Live in the moment and enjoy the culture of edcamp! Tweet, share, collaborate, participate! When you leave, tell your friends! Take back the enthusiasm you gained and repeat as needed! I will bet you search for the next local edcamp before you leave your first.

Relive some of my edcamp experiences: #edcampwnc, #edcampldr, #edcampqc, #edcampqc 2.0, #edcampmaker, My EdCamp Addiction

#EdCampQC 2.0

I honestly didn’t think they could do it… truly, I didn’t!  There was no way that the #edcampqc group that organized the first EdCamp Queen City at Hawk Ridge Elementary School could possibly outdo themselves.  The sequel is NEVER as good as the first, right?

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Wrong!  I’m a firm believer in giving credit where it’s due and the organizers for #edcampqc are amazing!  This team has got it together; everything seemed to run very smoothly and whoa – look at this session board (with collaborative notes) the participants created!

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I attended Something Gaming first where I learned more about ClassCraft and shared my 3dGameLab course I have created for my Battle of the Books students.  Stepping out of my comfort zone I am considering having students create their own games to show mastery of content.  We talked about the resource GameStar Mechanic which looks very exciting!  I hope to be able to incorporate this into the media center or with my Battle of the Books team this year.

Following Something Gaming, I hit up the Twitter as a PLN session.  It was the very first Twitter session I had ever attended where EVERY SINGLE PERSON was a Connected Educator on Twitter!!!  It was awesome; there was so much energy in the room!  This allowed us to take the conversation to a new level by discussing an educational revolution and how to pull more people onboard the Twitter train.  One idea was to show reluctant peers the difference between twitter for personal use and twitter that is used professionally.  Derek McCoy (follow him on Twitter: @mccoyderek) shows the difference using current feeds of two people, like Charlie Sheen vs Steven Weber (follow him on Twitter: @curriculumblog)

The third session had so much goodness packed into 45 minutes that I couldn’t possibly attend all of them, even with the rule of two feet!  This is honestly the very first edcamp that I have relied on the collaborative docs to fill me in on the conversations.  With topics like Genius Hour, Inquiry-Based Learning, Personalized Learning, Green Screen, Teach Like A Pirate, and a discussion on School News, I was torn.  I ended up in Green Screen and walked away with new ideas for this week.  Thanks to Megan Mehta (follow her on Twitter: @megan_mehta) we stopped by Starbucks before leaving Charlotte to grab green Starbucks straws and coffee stirrers to use in puppet shows with green screen! GENIUS!!!

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Lunch was superb.  Ooo-Wee BBQ was soooo delicious & I just had to purchase ice cream from a legit ice cream truck!  Being from a small town in the country, I didn’t have ice cream trucks while growing up.

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Finally, my last session was Digital Formative Assessment.  I signed up to facilitate this session.  Many of the teachers in this session learned about Kahoot! in an earlier session, so we did a mini-smackdown of Digital Formative Assessment tools including GoFormative, Kubbu, Plickers, and ThingLink.  We also touched on GooseChase, a terrific scavenger hunt app!

As if the day couldn’t get any better – I won an autographed copy of Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess!  Thank you, Dave (follow him on Twitter: @burgessdave)

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It was an excellent day and I am already looking forward to my next edcamp experience!  These things are the best educational rejuvenation!  I get to see my fabulous Professional Learning Network (PLN) and I always leave with so many new ideas that I can share with my peers at work and implement in the classroom.  I am constantly amazed at the people that I meet and humbled to be considered a member of their PLN.  If you’ve never attended an edcamp, you should seriously find the next one coming your way, clear your schedule, and attend!  I have never been disappointed!  If you are near me – I will even drive you there; no excuses!

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Teaching & Learning

What a busy summer!  After NCCAT earlier this summer, I worked on two sessions for my county’s Teaching and Learning Conference.  The first focused on Problem-Based Learning and I was fortunate enough to get to present this information with a dear friend and fabulous colleague, Laura (Follow her on Twitter: @lm_whitaker).

The other focused on Twitter as a Professional Learning Network & was especially important to me as Twitter has changed my professional career in so many ways.

Spending two days presenting information to all levels of my district, PreK-12th grade, was a great learning opportunity as I typically work with only elementary school teachers.  When I was not presenting, I made a bee-line for the Smackdown sessions and as usual, I was not disappointed!  I left with many new resources and I can’t wait to use tools like Incredibox for original beats to presentations and show my husband the School Planner app so he can better organize his coursework.

NCCAT – Teaching Generation Z

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The best week of my entire summer was spent at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) as part of the advisory group for a week of sessions called Teaching Generation Z.

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This idea was the brain-child of Jonathan Wade (@edtechwade) and was coordinated by Darcy Grimes (@DarcyGrimesNC).  Throughout the week, 10 educators from around North Carolina discussed topics that are relevant to today’s classrooms, such as game-based learning, Minecraft, gamification, the use of Green Screen, the learning management system Canvas, Aris, and others.

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Throughout the week, we were inspired by many exciting ideas for engaging the students of generation Z.  There were so many new apps and websites that I could add to my #edtechsummer that I decided to simply post them all here, along with presentations from each of the presenters.  As if NCCATGENZ wasn’t enough awesome packed into each day, our group had the honor of teaming up with the other group on campus, TeacherQuest.  Those participating in this group were learning to design their own games with Daniel O’Keefe (@dokeefe) from the Institute of Play (@instituteofplay)!  Each day the NCCATGENZ group play-tested the games created by TeacherQuest.  These games gave us even more outstanding ideas to bring back to our classrooms.

Monday:

After a 3 hour drive through the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, I arrived at NCCAT, checked in to my room, and met with my colleagues and new friends in the commons room.  We congregated here to be given a quick tour of the facilities and were led to the conference rooms in the main building.  From there we participated in a geocaching, alternate reality Campus Quest using the app Aris.  Jason Lineberger (@teachertechccs) created a quest that led us to create a haiku while touring the grounds of NCCAT.  We then ate dinner in the dining hall and met back in the conference room for a SMACKDOWN of epic proportions!  I honestly could have gone home right then with more edtech tools than I could use this year!  Every night after we wrapped up in the conference room, many of us met in the commons area for board games and card games.

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Tuesday:

We discussed the difference between Game-Based Learning and gamification and built our working vocabulary for the week with Lucas Gillispie (@lucasgillispie).  Then we participated in a GooseChase created by Sarah Cardwell (@sarahwcardwell) to build relationships and learn about one another.

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Next we play-tested with the TeacherQuest group and played variations of Musical Chairs.  Megan Mehta (@megan_mehta) taught us about using a green screen in the classroom and we were able to experiment with Green Screen using green bed sheets and the app Green Screen by Do Ink.  After lunch and a time for reflection, participants were given a choice between my Digital Formative Assessment presentation and Cathy Musci’s (@CathMus) SAMR Presentation.  Jason Lineberger shared more alternate reality games with us and showed how he set up the Aris game from Monday.  Before dinner, Sarah Cardwell, Darcy Grimes, and I talked about the power of social media and growing your PLN.  After another delicious meal, Darcy and Megan shared Mystery Skype and we participated in a mock Mystery Skype session by splitting up the group, choosing a state, and answering yes or no questions about the location of our state.  Skype has a fabulous presence in the classroom and more information about how to use Skype in your class can be found online.  More gaming in the commons area ensued!

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Wednesday:

As a highlight to my professional career, I was privileged to present Digging into Learning with Minecraft with Lucas Gillispie.  (Google him – Go ahead, I’ll wait)  Truly, I was more of a Vanna White as I clicked for the next slide in the presentation and helped a few friends who were stuck in a hole they had dug in Minecraft while interjecting a few coherent points.  Nonetheless, let it go down as a moment in history for me – being deemed worthy of presenting with your mentor is always a blessing.

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After a quick break, we play-tested with TeacherQuest again.  This time we did games with a taste of trust and betrayal.  In one we were split into two teams, blindfolded, and two directors told us where to move to avoid the “mines”.  We had to choose which one to trust as one was on our team telling the truth and the other was trying to sabotage us by making us walk into the mines.  It was very cool, and a great team-building game.  My friend and colleague Pedro Caro (@karop3) was on my team.  Neither of us stepped on a mine as we sashayed to the left three steps (yes, that was a true direction we were given)!

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After play-testing, we joined back with our NCCATGENZ group to listen to Heather Wilson (@mhmshistory), Lisa Montgomery (@lmontgo), and Chris Goodson (@goodson) as they discussed their adventures with Minecraft and the evolution of game-based learning in their schools.  I was blown away with their examples and experiences and can’t wait to get my MinecraftEdu club going in a huge way this fall! After lunch and a reflection period, we played a bit of Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, and we were introduced to Mission US, an amazing web-based game from PBS that allows students to BE a part of history through a “choose your adventure”-like game.  Wednesday evening we were allowed to have unstructured time which, for us, turned into… you guessed it – games!

Thursday:

We kicked off the morning with Sarah Cardwell as she gave us an in-depth look at Canvas, the learning management system that works well with PowerSchool and SchoolNet here in North Carolina.  Then we play-tested one last game with TeacherQuest.  These games were my favorite as they truly had an educational feel to them, but not enough to make them boring – perfect for my students!  One game used word parts and word associations to have students guess the meaning of an unknown word.  If we guessed correctly, we rolled the dice and moved up that number of lines toward the prize.  Whoever reached the prize first won the game!  I love the idea of using this with metaphors/similies and other figurative language, as well as content vocabulary and higher level vocabulary in reading. Winning this game was particularly fun!

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Megan Mehta then shared her knowledge of personalized learning and OpenEd with us, and then we had lunch.  After lunch, Lucas talked about Game-Inspired Learning.  To be honest, I’m not sure what all was said because I was so focused on finishing the spreadsheet to earn all the badges, but I plan to revisit that particular presentation.  I feel sure it was amazing! (HAHAHA!)  After hearing about Stakeholder Buy-In from Chris, Lisa, and Heather, my friend and amazing teacher Elaine Waters (@62waters) showed how she gamified her entire social studies/history class using 3DGameLab by GoGoLabs.  She was awesome!  I remember doing the NCCAT online course on 3DGameLab with her and am in awe of how she ran with it and is inspiring her students to love history through making it a game.  She also showed a clip of Lord of the Rings, which makes her super-cool in my book anyway!  To end our sessions, Lucas led us as we played survival mode in Minecraft with one another.  Then, of course, we stayed up really late enjoying our last night of board games together!

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Friday:

We ate breakfast in the dining hall and did the whole evaluation thing, watched a cool Animoto slideshow that Darcy made, then checked out the NCCAT store before leaving.  I had not planned on purchasing anything all week, but couldn’t help myself – I had to buy a t-shirt.

On the way home I reflected on how amazing NCCAT is and how inspired I became while there.  As educators, we need a place like NCCAT; somewhere to safely explore lesson ideas, share with other professionals, research innovative strategies, and grow ourselves which will, in turn, grow our students.  This week has motivated me to be a better media coordinator for the staff at my school and for all of my students.  I learned so much more than I ever imagined I would this week!  Being around like-minded professionals and seeing the amazing things they are doing in their classrooms was the best part of the week.  I am hoping to be part of the Advisory Group for NCCATGENZ 2.0 and feel sure I would walk away from that experience as excited as I am now!  Watch out world; these educators are prepared to Teach Generation Z!

Presentations (more to be added as approved by presenters):

8 Ways to Assess Without Tests (Digital Formative Assessment) – Alicia Ray

Social Media – Darcy Grimes, Sarah Cardwell, Alicia Ray

Canvas Introduction – Sarah Cardwell

GooseChase – Sarah Cardwell

SAMR – Cathy Musci

Augmented Reality Resources – Jason Lineberger

EdTech Summer – Periscope

The latest phenomenon in social media is Periscope – a live video streaming service provided by Twitter.  I was instantly intrigued by the possibilities of use in the classroom, so I went straight to iTunes and downloaded the app.  Signing on via Twitter was quick and simple.  None of the people I follow on Twitter had live videos at the time I downloaded, so I checked out the map view to see where people were periscoping throughout the world.  Wow… they’re everywhere!

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I figured I’d check out India, and lo and behold, there was a live streaming of someone taking a tour through the Taj Mahal!  I couldn’t understand a word they were saying since they were broadcasting in a different language, but to actually go on a tour from my couch was amazing!  How cool would that be for my students!!!  Tony Vincent (@tonyvincent) has created an awesome infographic giving The Scoop on Periscope.  It is a comprehensive look at Periscope and how to use it in the classroom.  There is a community of educators on #periscopeEDU who are gathering ideas for classroom use.  I’ve read ideas about using it after Mystery Skype, broadcasting live from edcamps and conferences, and chatting internationally as 21st century pen pals.   I also love Mike Paul’s How to Use Periscope for Education for tips to keep students safe.  Follow Mike at @mikepaul.  One important point to note: videos are only available for 24 hours, but you can save your own broadcasts under the settings feature to your camera roll.

So, what are your ideas?  How do you plan to use Periscope in your classroom?