Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Revamping the Classroom Management

               Stuck in the same old routine? Students getting bored, unengaged with current management style. Check out this interactive and engaging management system:

              Class Dojo gives a fun and student friendly way to manage behaviors. You can customize rewards and reinforcements to your classroom needs. Students can create accounts and see up to the minute data on how they are performing in class. Students also get to customize their own dojo avatar.

              Class Dojo can also be a great tool for parent communication. Parents can create accounts and see their students strengths and weaknesses in class performance.

            This powerful tool allows you to have printable data to back you up with certain behaviors. How awesome would it be to have a pie chart to help  prove a certain problem with a child or to reward a certain strength. This free, fun, fool-proof tool is great for all types of classrooms.

Students love to hear the *ding* for positive behaviors and will quickly shape up when they hear the *dong* for misbehavior's!

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Image result for classdojo

Jessica DeVinck
ISD 709 Innovation Specialist

Thursday, February 19, 2015

No Devices? No Problem!

Hello everyone!  We have been busy around the district helping teachers to find fun and interactive ways to use technology in their classrooms, and I wanted to share a clear favorite among the staff!

If you've been hearing people talking about Plickers, there's good reason.  Plickers (like "clickers" but with a P because you just need paper) is an interactive formative assessment tool to use in the classroom that doesn't require that students have devices.  Instead, each student has a card that looks something like this:
As you can see, there is a number 1 on each corner.  That is to identify the student, so every time they come to class they use the number 1 card.  The letters are for choosing their answer.  If they want to answer A, they hold their card with A at the top, and so on.  The questions are designed by you on the website.  

But how, you may ask, do I gather their answers? 

As long as you have a smartphone or ipad, all you need to do is download the plickers app, log in, and you are ready to go.  The app has a built in camera that will instantly scan the room and show live student results on the computer.  If you can't wrap your head around it, check out this video! It really is as cool as it sounds!

Get instant feedback from your students with Plickers!  It works great as part of a lesson, a quick check in, or as an exit ticket!

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Have you ever wanted to have your Google Form quizzes graded?  And have those results then immediately emailed to students?  Well you can!

Flubaroo let's you do all of that and more, and better yet, it's very easy to use.

Check out the video below and try it for yourself:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Formative Assessment Fun!

This week the Innovation team had the pleasure of leading another tech session at Ordean East!  The focus of our meeting for October was formative assessment tools, or tools that give quick feedback to teachers to guide instruction.  Here is a summary of the tools we looked at and their functionality!


Tally is a tool that allows you to very quickly create a question or poll for your students to respond to.  It doesn't do much beyond that, it doesn't even save, but it is by far the easiest and fastest tools to use to quickly get feedback!

Tools needed:

Students could use any device with internet access


Plickers was a favorite among our Ordean group for the same reason it is a favorite among many teachers-- no student devices necessary!  Each student has an assigned piece of paper with a puzzle code on it and a letter (a, b, c, and d).  The teacher sets up some questions, and then simply scans over their classroom using the app downloaded on their own phone, and bam!  Instantly the results start filling in on the screen for the whole class to see!  It's awesome!

Tools needed:

Students would need a plickers card 
Teachers need smartphone with free Plickers app

Google Forms

Google Forms is a very under used tool!  It is a survey you can create right in Goolge Drive that will automatically put all of the results into a google spreadsheet.  You can include youtube clips, images, and many different styles of questions.

Tools needed:

Students could use any device with internet access


Kahoot is an awesome gameshow style assessment tool for teachers.  It's SUPER fun for kids, and even shows which student has the high score after each question.   It's easy to set up and easy for students to respond.

Tools needed:

Students could use any device with internet access
(or play game in groups requiring less devices)


Geddit is a very comprehensive assessment tool.  Instead of students viewing any kind of results up on a projected screen, all results you want them to see you share out to them via their own device.  This includes questions, images, anonymous responses from their peers, results of class polls, etc.  Geddit's most famous function is the "check in" feature, where throughout the lesson students can click how well they are understanding the material, and you are able to adjust your teaching as needed, or view individuals that are having particular trouble with the lesson.

Tools needed:

Students could use any device with internet access

If you would like to try to use any of these tools in your class, but would like some help getting it set up, trying it out, or just talking more about what it does, let us know by filling out our form!

Innovation Help Form

Monday, August 11, 2014

Conquer Your (Technology) Fears

We all know that technology is constantly changing. Do you feel like you are so far behind that you can’t possibly catch up? Is learning a new skill too daunting for you to even try?
For years, I felt the same way about many things that intimidated me. For example, downhill skiing was something that I had tried when I was younger and failed miserably. When my young sons decided they wanted to join the ski team, watching from the chalet became boring, so I decided to try it again. Although it was difficult at first, I started on the small hills and, after a couple of years, progressed to the more difficult. Did I fall along the way? Of course, but I can now say that I ski with confidence.
Something else that would have intimidated me when I was younger was riding a motorcycle. We had talked about getting a motorcycle when we became empty nesters, but I had never ridden, let alone driven one. My husband was pretty skeptical when I told him I was going to “ride my own”, but at the age of 48, I received my motorcycle endorsement and am now an experienced rider.
How does this apply to technology? It’s all about being brave enough to try something new and not being afraid to fail. Start with baby steps. When I learned to ski, I didn't start on a black diamond hill; I started on the bunny hill and eventually worked my way up. When I started riding motorcycles, I took a class and began on a smaller bike. I soon gained enough confidence in my riding skills to take over my husband’s Harley (and he was more than happy to purchase a new one for himself!).
It might take you a day or a semester, but if you start small, you will gain the confidence you need to get off of the bunny hill or move up to a bigger bike. Begin by using a new technology on just one project. If you don’t know where to start, research your ideas online, and don’t be afraid to ask our Innovation Team for help. With a little practice, you’ll be ready to tackle other technologies with confidence!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tech Camp Session 1

We did it!  Thank you to all of our presenters who helped make session 1 of Tech Camp an inspiring day full of fun and learning.

If you missed out, don't worry, session 2 is Aug. 12 & 13 and there is still room to sign up!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tech Camp 2014: Share Your Brilliance!

Since Tech Camp is just around the corner, and also what has been consuming the majority of my thoughts lately, I figured what better topic to blog about for our first blog post!  

Tech Camp is a professional development opportunity for teachers in our district, as well as surrounding districts, to learn more about integrating technology into their teaching, learning, and overall professional life.  There are so many tools available to teachers that make teaching not only infinitely more engaging for students, but also help teachers themselves to grow in their practice.  I personally believe that integrating technology into curriculum is as important as integrating basic literacy skills.  It's no longer an option for teachers to remain entrenched in the status quo while students graduate deficient in the most basic 21st century skills.  We all need to keep growing, changing, and learning together!

Tech Camp is going to be an awesome place for teachers to inspire one another to think outside the box.  The sessions are a combination of learning how to use organizational tools to enhance professional practice, exploring ways to integrate fun tools for students, as well as overall basic training on new devices.  Many of the sessions are for inexperienced users, but we have to start somewhere!  The real hope is that those teachers who feel they already have mastered some of the more basic tools and concepts would share their wisdom with their colleagues.  The second day of Tech Camp will be in the EdCamp style, meaning we will decide what sessions will be then and there, as well as who will lead them!  Please step up and inspire others!  The Department of Innovation has only four of us, but there are hundreds of teachers out there with brilliant ideas that are doing amazing things with their students!  

Consider a discussion you could lead for your colleagues--  A device you use, an online tool your students like, an idea of how to integrate particular curricula through technology.  The level of technology integration and innovation in a district starts and stops with teachers. Integrating new tools and using new methods can be scary, but asking questions, leading discussions, and supporting each other will open doors to collaboration and ignite innovative thinking throughout the district! 

Share your brilliance!

Mandy Stanton