EdCampLA – Educators Teaching Educators

On a frigid Saturday morning, droves of educators gathered in West Hollywood, CA at the The Center for Early Education to talk technology and education, all for FREE! Yup, this was an un-conference called EdCampLA, where participants are invited to post 45 minute sessions on something they are passionate about and lead a discussion, how-to or just sit back and enjoy all of the great information being delivered. The following is a second look at wonderful presentations, ideas, resources and thoughts that I was fortunate to be part of!

Evernote was the first session on my agenda and in un-conference fashion, the speaker had posted the session on Evernote but wanted to learn more about it, rather than lead the session, and quickly, educators chimed in about their experiences. Just like that we had a full blown discussion on Evernote. Evernote is an online based product that can store notes, documents, audio and much more. Use it with students, share information anywhere, anytime from multiple devices.

@nerdyteacher for hands-on experiences using Evernote
Laurence School has great resources for teachers regarding Evernote
artsonia art online gallery for displaying kid’s art (can also monetize)

Apps! App Differently
This was the second session of the day for me and as the title states, apps! Jo Ann Fox (@appeducationfox) moderated this discussion and many apps discussed. Below is a small list and some of their attributes. See the image below for a more comprehensive list of apps that were discussed in this session. My favorite by far was MyScript Calculator (see video below)

-madlip app- free version gives you 15 seconds of audio. Have students make a talking book cover using
-imovie app. Use to make trailers with your content
-explain everything
-bugsandbuttons, bugsandnumbers, etc (for lower grades)
-imotionhd for creating stop motion movies
-remind101 – a single directional text for parents and students (can set up groups and for field trips )
-vintagio (for silent films)
-creative book builder
-pickplaypost (create collages) idea: take pictures that relate objective, make collage and explain
-myscriptcalculator (Microsoft version is mathmatica for PC). My favorite of the day (see below)
-join.me (cost?)

Apps mentioned in a session at EdCampLA

MyScript Calculator Demo

The 1 iPad classroom
John Stevens (@jstevens009) and Eduardo Rivera led this session on how they use a single iPad in the class to teach 8th grade and 9th grade algebra respectively. They utilize both Apple TV and/or the Reflector app to connect their iPads wirelessly to create an interactive and collaborative experience. Here are a few of the apps and resources they recommended:
-educreations and explaineverything (.99)
-appshopper (track apps for pricing)
-class dojo for participation
-Jumbo Stopwatch

After a great lunch I headed off to John Omekubo’s (@jumekubo) session on Subtext. Subtext is an app that allows students and teachers to collaborate on the same book. Students can be invited to a group by their teacher and then both parties can interact by asking questions, tagging and highlighting text , adding resources for the students and much more! Below are a few ideas and resources to support this app.

-readlist.com: turn web articles into chapters
-make an epub file

The day culminated in a Slam session, where educators stood up and presented their favorite thoughts, apps, websites or whatever they wanted to reflect on, from the day’s events. My favorite is listed below. I actually stood in line to present my slam of the day(MyScript Calculator) but @jstevens009 beat me to the punch, SLAM!
video 514.mov for playing youtube
– upload any video from google using google docs

Here are some other links that might be useful for finding information on sessions that I did not attend or did not cover in this blog post. You can also peruse the EdCampLA website to search for specific information. Thanks to all of the folks @EdCampLA for a great day!

EdCAmpLA Blog
EdCAmpLA Wiki

Teacher of the Year, Technology and Cool Links


I was recently honored as my school’s teacher of the year. I am very appreciative that my colleagues would distinguish me in this way. A few days later I received a message from the district that I could apply for the district teacher of the year award. Lucky me, more paperwork! Well, I decided to do it. I wanted people to know how I felt about using technology in the classroom and I did. I spoke about the inadequacies in today’s educational landscape and how we need to move forward in our instruction, because the students are up there waiting for us. They are waiting for us to teach them how to podcast, the are waiting for us to teach them how make movies and they are waiting for us teachers to catch up so they can teach us a thing or two. We need to learn to be the experts in any types of technology and often times we will have overwhelming support by the bright-eyed and bushy tailed students in our classrooms around the world. I use to love playing video games as a child. Space Invaders and Centipede were my favorite. Games have come a long way since then, but if I look back at those games and how they grabbed my attention, that is what we need to do all the time: grab their attention and keep it! Video games are nothing more than interactive television. Instead of watching the Simpsons or CSI, you get to control the characters, you get be part of the action and this is exciting! In education, we need to let student be part of the action. We compete with cell phones and text messaging, so wouldn’t it be great to tell students to pull their cell phones out and not to turn them off and put them away. Some may think this is far fetched and that students are just going to use this technology to cheat. Maybe we need to re-evaluate how assessments are being given. At polleverywhere.com you can try this by using this website as a differentiated way to take quiz or ask a poll question when there isn’t any money in the school budget for individual responders. You might even say that every student does not a cell phone or have a text plan, I say buddy up, “pair share.” There are always problems, some students don’t even come to school with paper and pencil to work with. This will always be a problem, but let’s not make it an excuse. I am driven to, not only highlight the fact that teachers at all levels must join the 21st century, but I am also willing to help you get there. Polleverywhere.com is one of many sites that is a class ‘A’ tool for learning. Here are some others links to sites that I will be making tutorials for in the near future: jott.com qik.com glogster.com animoto.com