Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Get Connected!

Yesterday was a staff development day for my district.  Part of the day was spent doing the mandatory training for the upcoming STAAR tests, but the rest of the day was for technology.
Those of us on the technology committee for our campus spent an afternoon last week with one of the district's technology trainers, learning more about our Smart boards and the Smart notebook software.  I absolutely love my Smart board so I was thrilled to discover more of what I can do with it.  Then yesterday we shared with our teams.
I think our favorite tool was the magic pen.  The pen can be used to write, and then the text gradually disappears.  But the coolest tricks of the pen were using it to spotlight and magnify.  By drawing a circle around a spot on the screen, everything inside the circle is spotlighted and the rest of the screen darkens.  When you draw a square on a spot, the area inside is magnified.  We decided this would be a great tool to use to call our students attention to directions or key words on documents or assignments.

I love technology and feel pretty comfortable with most things.  But after reading a post by Donna at Math Coach's Corner, I decided to follow her lead and step outside of my own comfort zone and into Twitter.  I set up an account a long time ago, but I've done little with it except to follow Jon Stewart and The Daily Show!  I've heard what a great tool it can be for professional learning, but I'm just a little bit afraid of it!  But I'm trying to figure it out.  Right now I'm mainly just retweeting, but you can follow me @clmcnab.
Another tool I am playing with is Edmodo.  The tech specialist who trained our committee set up an Edmodo group for us- I managed to get myself set up and I "think" I shared some files this morning.  I have to confess...I think I have an inner geek!  This is so much fun!
I'd love to hear from those of you who use Twitter, Edmodo or any of the other wonderful technology tools out there!


  1. QR codes....most versatile teaching tool ever!
    And if you have more than one Smartboard, or iPads, you should look into Bridgit from Smart. It basically lets the mobile devices/ Boards "talk" to each other. If the program is running, each groups work shows up on all the devices, as they're working. This has been an invaluable tool for classroom collaboration!

    The First Grade Derby

    1. I wish I had Ipads or even Ipod Touches to use QR codes; I have heard about so many great ideas. Our PTA is hoping to purchase us some for next year. Haven't heard of Bridgit so I need to check that out!