My Interactive PD Calendar - Created with ThingLink

I've been engaging in some constructive play and exploring the use of the new custom icons and slides available at ThingLink EDU. 

My first slideshow is an interactive Professional Development Calendar. I believe the calendar will be able to grow with me throughout the year and I think it will be a lot of fun to use.

Thoughts Worth Sharing from Edutopia

Here is a very nice poster from Edutopia to enjoy!

Create Images with Buncee

I love to create with images and multimedia so today I am excited to discover Bunce. Here is the official description of Buncee.

"Buncee gives teachers and students a whole new way of creating interactive lessons, project, and presentations, by incorporating digital media in a fun and easy way." 

2 Ways to Track Santa in 2013

This year Google has brought us a multimedia rich Santa Tracker which will use street-view technology to help us follow Santa's big journey on Tuesday evening. 

Now there is an alternative to tracking Santa through the NORAD cameras. Which will you chose?

Elf Yourself this Season

If you want a few genuine laughs this season, why not take a few minutes to put those camera photos to use and Elf Yourself? Choose your music and create an elf dance with the ones you love. 

You can use your your laptop to easily share a link to your video for free, or create an elf dance right on your mobile device and purchase the inexpensive video clip to download and share on the spot.

Class Badges to Promote Digital Literacy

Badge - I Teach Above the Line
Class Badges is a free online tool designed to help teachers use digital badges as rewards for accomplishing learning goals. The badges can be a useful tool for teachers to keep track of individual student accomplishments as they help learners focus on making progress.

I really like Class Badges because the badges serve as a useful reminder for teachers to work with students on an individual level to set goals and assess progress. If used appropriately, they can improve students' self-esteem as they work towards attainable goals. I believe this tool that can help teachers get a little closer to a 1-1  learning environment.

73+ Ways to Use ThingLink by Donna Baumbach

Are you looking for ways to use ThingLink? Are you wondering if you should sign up for the Free Educator Premium Upgrade before December 31st?

Please view this extraordinary collaborative slideshow created by my talented friend, Donna Baumbach and follow her on Twitter @AuntyTech

Grab Your Free ThingLink EDU Upgrade

It's no secret that ThingLink EDU is one of my favorite and most frequently used tools. I love ThingLink because it provides users with the ability to turn any image into a multimedia rich interactive graphic. Add video, images, audio, and links to any content on the web with the click of a button. Pack a lot of content into a small space and embed it into a variety of online learning platforms for easy access, 24/7. ThingLink is a user friendly and flexible tool that's just gotten better for educators!

The Hour of Code - Join the Movement

We live in a computer powered world. Coding is the language our computers speak. 

Computer science is a top-paying college degree. Jobs in this market are growing at 2 x's the national average, yet the number of students pursuing computer science degrees has dropped in the last decade. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020 there will be 400,000 computer science students in the United States and 1.4 million computer science jobs. Women and minorities are extremely underrepresented in this group. Why such an enormous gap?

Webinar Resources: SAMR Through the Lens of the Common Core

I had a lot of fun presenting a webinar today for Infinitec. Here is a link to the slideshow for review!

Click to view

4 Tools to Connect Students to Real World Math

On Today


SAMR Through the Lens of the Common Core

One of my goals is to weave digital tools into the Common Core to design flexible, student driven learning experiences that are Above the Line as defined by the SAMR model. While this might sound like a mouthful of EdTech, I assure you that combining all that is on our crowded plates is far better than tackling each individual initiative in isolation. This idea is supported by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

mQlicker – Create Interactive Presentations

mQlicker is an audience response system that that allows users to turn a PowerPoint into an interactive slideshow to engage audiences and collect useful feedback. mQlicker is free, flexible and definitely worth checking out for use in a variety of educational settings. This cool tool has a lot of potential for collecting feedback and fine-tuning instruction.

Instructional Shifts to Support the Common Core

Are you looking for ways to effectively implement and manage the Common Core aligned classroom?

The CCSS identify a spiraling set of skills necessary to prepare students for success. The standards are designed to teach students how to think. They call for increased comprehension, synthesis of information and the ability to clearly express learning. To facilitate the deep learning experiences supported by the CCSS, a shift in instructional practices is necessary. 

Google Tools for Teachers - Free Webinars on 11/16/13

On GettingSmart Today: 8 iPad Camera Ideas for 1:1 Classrooms


ThingLink: Design Engaging Learning Experiences

Nov. 12th @4:00 PM CST
As an instructional technology facilitator my goal is to weave together digital tools to design engaging, interactive learning experiences that support all learners and encourage higher order thinking. Of course, in order to be useful for teachers, these learning experiences need to be aligned to standards, initiatives and hot edtech topics.

ThingLink is one of the most frequently used tools in my digital toolkit because it is flexible, user friendly, and it can be used to help me meet my goals. I believe ThingLink allows me to create whatever I can possibly imagine! 

SAMR - Flexible Toolkit Slideshow

I enjoyed presenting the Infinitec webinar today and truly appreciate all the attendees! Here is a link to the interactive slideshow with resources.

The final webinar in this series will be held on December 3rd at 4:00 PM CST. SAMR Through the Lens of the Common Core. The webinar is free and registration is open to all.

SAMR: Design a Flexible Toolkit for Success

SAMR: Design a Flexible Toolkit
I just finished putting the finishing touches on the presentation for a webinar I'm hosting on Tuesday of this week, SAMR: Design a Flexible Toolkit for Successful Tech Integration. This free webinar is sponsored by Infinitec and registration is open to all.

Assembling the resources has caused me to dig deep into my toolkit to examine ways the tools I frequently go to can be used effectively to align with each level of the SAMR model. I have been evaluating the usefulness of my favorite tools and reflecting.

On GettingSmart Today

Google Docs for Learning Glog on Edudemic

Read on Edudemic
I was excited to see my Google Docs Glog featured in a post by Jeff Dunn on Edudemic last month. This morning it has been getting some attention on Facebook and Twitter, so I thought it would be a good idea to direct the readers of this blog to the post, 12 Effective Ways to Use Google Drive in Education.

4 Digital Citizenship Week Resources

Click to to listen 

Search by Reading Level Without Twurdy

For the past few years I have been introducing students, teachers and parents to a toolkit of resources assembled to help students use search engines that match their learning styles. One of the most popular tools in my toolkit has been Twurdy, a simple search engine that displays results by readability. Unfortunately, it appears as though Twurdy has gone off the grid at this point in time. I cannot find this beloved tool.

Common Core Connections: Halloween Writing

The Common Core Standards identify six instructional shifts necessary for effective implementation of the ELA/Literacy strand. These instructional shifts provide a framework to help us understand the big picture before diving into the specific individual standards. 

Using Avatars to Teach Digital Citizenship on GettingSmart Today

In honor of Digital Citizenship Week, October 21st - 25th, I've revised one of my favorite interactive learning experiences.


Webinar: SAMR Through the Lens of 21st Century Skills

SAMR Through the Lens of 21st Century Skills October 15, 2013, 4:00 PM CST

Are you looking for ways to leverage the power of technology to help students develop 21st Century Skills? 

This webinar will demonstrate how to use the SAMR model of tech integration as a guide for planning and implementing classroom learning experiences that take student learning to higher levels. Join me and Infinitec as we look at some traditional learning tasks focusing on 21st century research and writing and walk them up the SAMR ladder to help you "Teach Above the Line." 

Registration is open to all

2 Games for Learning: Alge-Bingo and Remembus

I'd like to introduce the readers of the blog to 4TheKingdomApps, a father and son team who have developed a couple of apps for learning. Kevin Scritchfield is a veteran high school math teacher and his son Tad is a high school student. They have each created a game style app to help students improve memory and practice skills.

6 Tools for Connected Educators on

October is Connected Educators month. If you’re reading this post my guess is you are already a connected educator to some degree because you are, at the very least, someone who is opening the door to the ideas of others. It’s quite possible  you stumbled across this post
on TwitterScoop.It or Pinterest. And it’s likely that you might pass it along to others through the various networks  in your own Professional Learning Community.

Webinars This Week

Please join me and Simple K12 for back to back webinars this week.

4 New Ways to Use a Google Docs Forms with Students

Back to School with Google Docs

Google Docs is truly one of my favorite tools for teaching and learning because of the features it offers to support research, writing and collaboration in the 24/7 classroom. Here are some things to try with Google Docs as you make plans to use a little more tech and embrace change this school year.

3 Ways to Encourage Higher Order Thinking with Technology

On Today...


Upcoming PD

SAMR Through the Lens of Common Core Standards
12/3 @ 4:00 CST, sponsored by

Are you looking for ways to leverage the power of technology to help students develop 21st Century Skills? Researchers have determined that technology integration typically moves through four specific levels: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition (SAMR).The higher the level of an activity the greater the educational benefit. This webinar will demonstrate how to use the SAMR model of technology integration as a guide for planning and implementing classroom learning experiences that take student learning to higher levels. Join Susan Oxnevad as she looks at some traditional learning tasks, aligns them to the Common Core Standards, and walks them up the SAMR ladder to show how to transform your teaching and "Teach Above the Line."

Register open to all


Weaving Digital Tools into the Common Core
12/7 8:00 - 12:00, DeIce Winter Mini Conference, Lockport Township HighSchool

We will take a look at free and user friendly digital tools through the lens of the Common Core to design and facilitate learning experiences that require students to construct knowledge and create. Google Docs and ThingLink will be featured, and additional Web 2.0 tools and apps will be explored, as we weave digital tools into the CCSS.


Digital Differentiation: Tools to Support Flexible Learning Paths for Individualized Learning 1/23 @ 1:00 PM EST, Sponsored by Simple K12

Technology is a tool that can be used to help teachers facilitate personalized learning experiences to address the diverse needs of all students. At the most basic level, digital tools can be used to help students find, understand, and use information. When combined with student-driven learning experiences that are fueled by essential questions and offer flexible learning paths, use of digital tools can break the learning barriers that exist in our classrooms. Join Susan Oxnevad as she provides an overview of digital tools and resources to design personalized learning experiences that effectively incorporate digital differentiation.

Register open to Simple K12 members


Winter 2013 Preview

Webinar: Google Docs Writer's WorkShop, January 2014, sponsored by Infinitec

Webinar: Using Google Slides to Construct Knowledge, February, 2014, sponsored by Infinitec

Hands-on Full Day Workshop: Design Your Digital Classroom, February 2014, Illinois Computing Educators Conference 

Hands-on Full Day WorkshopDigital Differentiation, February 2014, Illinois Computing Educators Conference 

ICE Conference Break Out Session: Unpacking the Common Core: Embracing the Academic Vocabulary Shift, February 2014, Illinois Computing Educators Conference 

Webinar: Using Google Docs for Collaborative Learning, March, 2014, sponsored by Infinitec


10 Terrific Tools in My Toolkit

Flexible Learning Paths
The key to successful technology integration is the efficient use of digital tools tools that are appropriate for the task. Technology provides us all with the ability to develop our own toolkit of flexible resources for use when needed. Here is a toolkit I assembled that is filled with tools I frequently use for designing flexible student-driven learning experiences. Starting with a good toolkit is essential.

Wikispaces Classroom - A Flexible Tool for Teaching & Learning

Wikispaces Classroom is a flexible tool that has many useful features for designing and implementing technology powered learning experiences to support all learners. This online learning platform and virtual classroom is free, efficient, and built to support teaching and learning. 
Wikispaces is well-suited for engaging students in creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.

The SAMR Ladder on

The SAMR Ladder Through the Lens of 21st Century Skills


Digital Differentiation - QR Codes on the iPad

Managing a classrooms full of students with 1:1 iPads presents the challenge of getting them on the same page, literally. Trying to manage differentiated groups requires a good tool for organizing resources. QR codes are one quick and easy solution.

Global Virtual Classroom to Extend Classroom Walls

How will you go beyond the walls of your classroom this year?

GVC LOGO with GSBI 2Global Virtual Classroom provides teachers and students across the globe with amazing opportunities and resources to collaborate, work together, and learn from each other. My longtime friend and mentor, Janet Barnstable, has been the program manager for Global Virtual Classroom for several years and I highly recommend working with Janet and the GVC team. You can participate in the Web Design Contest or the GVC Clubhouse if you are interested in extending the walls of your classroom this year.

SAMR - Walking a Wiki Up the Line

For those of you interested in learning more about the SAMR model of tech integration ...

I created a MentorMob playlist designed to share a sample of a wiki project I've walked up and down the SAMR ladder. The playlist displays illustrated examples of the project at each level of SAMR. After you've viewed the example, please read the whole post on to learn where this example fits into designing lessons.

Using SAMR to Teach Above the Line on GettingSmart Today

I have been digging deeper into SAMR to help educators embrace this tech integration model because it is simple, easy to gauge, and something to strive for. I hope you will read my post on to see the connections I've made and watch me walk a wiki project up and down the SAMR ladder.

Explore - Wagon Wheel Project Toolkit

And now for a mouthful of EdTech...

I have been weaving together digital tools with the Common Core to design flexible student driven learning experiences that start out Above the Line, as defined by SAMR.

Good news! My digital toolkit is filled with great resources to tackle these design challenges. Do you have a digitalt toolkit of resources? Take a look at mine.

SAMR - Teaching Above the Line

Image created by
the amazing Janet Barnstable

For as long as I can remember I have been an advocate for helping teachers understand the stages of technology integration in order to effectively use tech as a tool for learning.

I've adopted a few different tech integration models over the years, discussed the ideas with administrators for use as a starting point for tech integration, and kept the ideas front of mind as I invent and discover new ways for using technology as a tool for learning.  

Wagon Wheel Through the Lens of the Common Core

The wheels are turning slowly, but that's okay. Let's start with vocabulary and the big picture. Here are the lyrics, wordled and connected to the  Common Core Shift #6 - Vocabulary.  It's a good way to dig deeper into words.

Collaborative Learning with ThingLink - Wagon Wheel

Yesterday I created an interactive image to demonstrate how easy it is to engage in collaborative leaving with ThingLink. If you explore the live image, you will discover the Padlet online board that is being used to assemble collaborator's thoughts. I've pulled some of the ideas together and have been adding them to the ThingLink to define the song through multimedia. Now I am digging deeper to connect standards and design a student driven learning experience. 

Explore, Learn, Contribute & Share

Just having a bit of summer fun today sharing and collaborating about music.  Join us!

Learning Through Music & Collaboration

Time for a bit of summer fun. Please click on the link to contribute ideas to kickoff a project with Padlet. 

Mastery Connect - An Essential Tool for the CCSS

Without a doubt, the most useful reference tool I use when planning CCSS aligned technology powered learning experiences is Common Core, by Mastery Connect.