Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dan’s top ten ways to use the iPhone at school

At best, this post is only applicable to those with smart phones, but is really meant for those with iPhones. To those of you without smart phones this post might enlighten you as to some of the potential of a smart phone. The iPhone 5 pictured here has more computing power then the iMac also pictured here. The iMac cost around $1500 in 2000 and the iPhone 5 can be had for around $200 in certain instances.

These are not necessarily in order of my favorites.

1. Remote Mouse is an app I use to turn my phone into a mouse so I can plug my computer into the LCD projector and stay mobile.

2. I have all my emails sent to my phone and I get a notification when I get one to my school account.

3. The Easy Bib scanner(important for a librarian) allows me to scan barcodes and get perfect bibliographic citations which I can then email to myself or students.

4. Accessing Socrative, a web-based instant student assessment and response system. Socrative can be accessed by any device.

5. It's tough being the librarian and stuck as a disorganized 13 year old boy. I use Jotnot Pro (which cost me $0.99) as a scanner to turn all papers I really need to save into a PDF.

6.  I think that more than half of the student body and staff at FHS have an iPhone. I like to connect an Apple TV with a dongle to an LCD projector. With this set up, all of us with iPhones, iPads, and Apple Air's can project wirelessly. This set up will cost your classroom about $125 but can be set up upon request. At the elementary school, you all have it!

7.  I like to use Egg Timer to let students know how much time they have to complete a task. You can also access a stop watch via the iPhone's native Clock app. 

8.  The native Notepad app is a great place to write things down. If you have an iPhone 4S, Siri or Voice-to-Text can be used to take notes with your voice. Also, if you have an iPad your notes will sync between devices.

9. iCal is also terrific. I have my Google Calendar's synced up and when I add an event on my phone it easily syncs between all my devices

10. I use the Reminders app as my to do list. Siri works with reminders and can easily set them. For example, when I am driving I can ask Siri to remind to do a task when I arrive at work or home since my Phone knows where "Work" and "Home" is!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tech for Teachers - from Cathy, Dan, Peg, and Anne

Coming up in January - your opportunity to keep up with the technology tools you have heard about or have always wanted to try. We'll provide food, time and helping hands for learning and practicing lots of web 2.0 tools.

Improving your Teaching Through Technology

The Library & Tech Team is planning a series of tech afternoons from January through April. 

Classes will meet once a month at FES (likely).

Do you want to spice up your teaching painlessly? Earn PD time as you network with your peers in a laid back technology environment.  Are you tech timid? Are you tech savvy? Are you a tech savant?  

What we offer:
a tech class built for advanced and novice users and all those in between.
For advanced users we offer some flexibility on when class is done and assignments completed
For Novice users we offer a small group setting with lots of one on one help.

Topics will cover use of tech tools to improve your teaching. Topics: Blogging with your students for authentic writing skills, use of social media such as Twitter to stay up-to-date with your peers, use of Edmodo and Diigo to gather and use info.  Not already Skyping with experts in your field? Now is the time to learn and try it out. Have you used Google+ to hold a "hangout"? Why not give a self-graded test in Flubaroo?  How can you use the work that Khan Academy has already produced? 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nearpod and Tools4Students - 2 Great iPad Apps

I couldn't decide which of these apps I liked better so I decided to tell you about both. Nearpod is an app that allows you to synchronize all the iPads in your classroom. So if you had a presentation of website you wanted to share with your students, all at once, you could do that. You can use it with any grade level. It has some pre-made presentations that you can choose them that include videos, quizzes and links to websites. You can also add your own quiz, poll, or video and see the results immediately. It is free and amazingly simple to use. Watch the short video (1 1/2 min) below to get an idea of what this app can do but be sure to visit the website to get the full picture. 

The second app is Tools for Students, an app with tons of templates that students can write into right on their iPad. 

Here is a partial list of some of the templates:

There are many other templates such as KWL, Drawing Conclusions, Fact/Opinion, Main Idea?Detail, Begin, Middle, End.

Here is an example of one of the Cause and Effect templates:
Notice that there is a place for the Topic or Book and the page number if using a book.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Posterous: A Blog Option for Novices with Minimal Clicks

Unfortunately Posterous has shut down and is no longer and option for blogging.

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of options to publish content to the web.  What makes different?  Posterous allows users to post by sending their information via email.  Want to try it?  Find a YouTube video or some content that you love to watch or would like to share (appropriate of course).  Then email to as an attachment or a link. In the subject area, put your name so we know who posted. Email it anyway you know how and Posterous will figure it out.

I will get an email you have posted and I will approve the post.  You can see everyone's posts at mrwolotsky's Space - Home  Remember, you will not see your post right away because I have to approve it. To help you set up your own Posterous website please email your technology integrator or give it a try yourself. Posterous is a super easy solution which requires minimal clicks for both staff and students. Below are some examples.

Students, in Ms. Hjorts AP Civics class, shared quality articles they found in Marvel.

Staff and Students collaborate for a Benefit Concert and use Posterous to share musical selections.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Use Animoto to Create Professional Style Videos

Are you looking for an easy way create appealing presentations using photos or video? Animoto is a free site that allows educators and students to upload photos or video clip. Users may choose royalty free music from the Animoto site, and select a design. Animoto puts it all together for you!

Visit the Animoto Education site for a free educator account:

Teachers may register up to 50 of their students using their educator accounts.
(Animoto also offers a free app for iPads.)

Here's a video I created for Read Across America Day at FES.

Try our video maker at Animoto.

Example of a book trailer created by a 5th grade student using the Animoto app on an iPad:

Make your own slideshow at Animoto.

Example of a book trailer I created using my own photographs

Try our slideshow maker at Animoto.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Make websites Student Friendly

The annoying adverts that move and jump and promise that you have won (!) a free iPad aren't student friendly.  Although many can mentally block the ads, there are students who need a cleaner page. Getting rid of the ads is one solution.

Would you like to give ads the heave-ho? Compare these three screen shots from Gizmodo. The first is the site with ads, the second is the same site using Komando, and the third is the site using adblocker:
Gizmodo site with adverts

What did I do to get rid of the ads?
Try turning to


Gizmodo site using Komando

Which site would be better for your students?

Gizmodo site using AdBlocker

Sunday, October 21, 2012

YouTube Part 2 - How to Save, Edit, and Clean Up YouTube Videos

In this post (SEE VIDEO BELOW) I will show you how to make your YouTube Videos clean (without the comments or suggested videos). By cleaning them up you can post them on a website, send the link, or just show them in class without worrying about what students will see other than the video. I will also show you a few sites where you can download videos to show later and even do some editing.
In a future post I will show you how to do some further editing of YouTube videos and how students can make their own videos with titles, music, and editing features.
In my first post I showed how to set up your own YouTube channel via your school Gmail account so that you can save videos and create playlists. If you missed that post you may want to view that video first. If you click on YouTube under Labels to the right of this post it will take you there.

This LINK will take you to some of the resources I mention in the video below such as EmbedPlus, KeepVid, and SafeShare.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to Ingest a Flipped Lesson: A Lesson for both Novices and Experts

ingest a flipped lesson from Falmouth Flipped on Vimeo.

If you are unsure what people mean by flipping a lesson this video, linked here, explains nicely.  We (your information technology cohort) have basically begun flipping professional development on this blog.  Previous posts by Anne McDonald, Peggy Becksvoort, and Cathy Potter have all been examples of flipped lessons.
Above is a video for novice users. The video teaches you how to ingest a flipped lesson including starting, stopping, and pausing video, using tabs, and working between windows and tabs.  This lesson would be good for any teacher grades K-12 who wants to be more comfortable using their laptop. If you consider yourself a novice user, don't worry - you are not alone! Our goal is to provide a lesson that you can take in at your convenience and at your own pace.
For experts more interested in flipping their classrooms most likely geared towards grades 7-12, here is a shared document on flipping the classroom.  This document will guide you through all the basics of flipping including screencasting with iPads, the basics of using white boards, and sharing video.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Learn It In 5

Learn It In 5 is a free resource for teachers who want to learn how to incorporate technology into their classrooms. The site features short, how-to videos that demonstrate various technology tools and applications. Learn how to set up a classroom blog, find out about new iPad apps, learn how to use Skype in the classroom, and much more!

Screenshot from Learn It In 5

Friday, September 28, 2012

Use LIveBinders!

Looking for an engaging method to deliver content and differentiate for your students?  Thinking about flipping your classroom and looking for a framework?  Have you heard about Livebinders? makes gathering bookmarks, commenting, delivering content clear and organized.
Try one out: LiveBinders!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Welcome and YouTube Tips!

Welcome to the first post of our new technology blog! When I say "we" I mean the librarians and tech integrators in the Falmouth School District, all four of us - Dan Wolotsky, Peggy Becksvoort, Cathy Potter, and Anne Macdonald. Hopefully you will find something here in the coming months to excite you about using technology in your classroom. If you need a a helping hand, that's what we are here for.

Did you know that you can set up a YouTube account through your school gmail account? That's right, no extra username and password. You can save videos that you find to your favorites list, put them in your "watch later" folder and upload videos that you or your students make and allow only those people you want to view them. Watch the short video  to find out how.