Thursday, October 31, 2013

Electronic Ballots at Wood Elementary School

Wood Elementary held their Student Council officer elections Thursday, October 31st.  Mrs. Van Horn and Mrs. Richburg, the Student Council sponsors, changed things up this year. Instead of a face-to-face assembly with all 4th-6th graders in the cafeteria, the officer candidates' speeches were recorded with an iPad. The speeches were compiled into one eight minute video which was later shown to all 4th through 6th graders at various times using the district's computer network (a la Dropbox).

With the help of some amazing PTA volunteers, students then cast their votes using iPads (with QR codes) during their lunch periods.


These votes were recorded in a Google form and instantly tallied so the results could be announced at the end of the day.

This is one of those cases where technology certainly made the process so much easier- and saved instructional time! Way to go Mrs. Van Horn and Mrs. Richburg for stepping out and taking a risk to try something totally new! I think the results speak for themselves.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Video Announcements at Miller ES

Miller Elementary School, home of the Mavericks, is currently testing different methods of delivering the morning announcements via video throughout the school. Since Miller is home to the district's deaf education program, this serves a great, immediate need.

Of the many things they include in their morning announcements is the daily cafeteria offerings. Principal Jeanne Curtis does nothing in conventional ways. Instead, she sings the daily lunch menu. Here's one of many of their greatest hits! Audio alone just wouldn't capture the spirit of the Miller Mavericks. Take a look:


We salute the Miller staff for always being willing to push the envelope!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Getting Started with Educlipper! Click and Learn

Last week I taught a session via webinar over educlipper. Using the thinglink.com web application from my previous post, I've embedded the educlipper overview videos along with a link to their site, handout and ppt. You can hover the image below to watch each video to learn about educlipper!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cellular Organelles Geocaching



Recently, the Instructional Technology Department collaborated with seventh grade science teachers, Ms. McGovern & Mr. Granberry, at Gunn Jr. High. This activity centered around geocaching- the high-tech, treasure-hunting game that is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. Watch this video to learn more about the game/sport/hobby:



For this awesome science activity at Gunn JH, students used handheld GPS devices to find six geocaches hidden around campus. Each geocache contained items that somehow correlated to the function of the cellular organelle represented by that cache.

For example, one cache contained the following:

  • battery
  • empty bottle of 5-hour energy drink
  • miniature candy bars
Students were charged with the task of listing the items that were found in the cache, the organelle it represented, and the function of the organelle represented. In the above example, which organelle was represented? (for the answer, highlight the area below with your cursor to reveal the text):

This represented the mitochondria. The mitochondria is the "powerhouse" of the cell. Since these items all provide energy, this cache represents the mitochondria.


Students were challenged to find as many of the six caches as possible within the short time period. Students did a great job- and a few groups even found all six! 

As always, the Instructional Technology Department is ready to collaborate with teachers on any level, teaching any given curriculum!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Rafranz's Friday Tech Round-Up

Each Friday, I will be sharing an app of the week with a short tutorial, recommendations of other apps and blog postings from other educators around the web. In addition, I'll be sharing moments captured from campuses that I've visited. If you would like to see video about something in particular, please feel free to drop me a line!

My App of the Week: Thinglink
Thinglink is an app that enables users to turn images into interactive experiences. Using the thinglink app, students can add ongoing learning moments to images which add greater depth of knowledge to what students are experiencing in class. Take a look at the short tutorial below about thinglink!


  Do you have these apps yet? Hover over the image below to learn more about each app!

  Tidbits from the Web

Ipad Journals as an Exit Ticket

Giving Graphingstories.com a Go

Creating a Short URL and a QR Code using the ShortenMe Chrome Web Extension