Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Friday, October 28, 2016

Adobe Spark Update with Help from John Funk's 6th Grade Class

Last year, many teachers introduced their students to Adobe’s digital storytelling tools as a powerfully visual way to demonstrate their learning. In the younger grades, teachers created a class account, but in the upper grades, students were able to create their own Adobe accounts.

This year, as students began to use Adobe, they were asked to enter their birthday. If the student was under 13, they were denied use of Adobe Spark. Adobe now requires its account owners to be at least 13 years old. While this is a barrier, students may still use Adobe if their teacher creates the account and allows the students access through the teacher’s username and password. While Adobe projects are not collaborative, only one student can work on a single project at a time, there can be multiple sign-ins on a single teacher account which means students can concurrently work in the same account.

Having all students sign in with the same username and password means that all students have access to all the work on the account. However, once a student creates work, they can download it and save it to their Google Drive.  Thanks to John Funk and his students, Alex, Devin, and Ellie, for creating this Google Slide Presentation to show us how to download an Adobe Spark video on a Chromebook and then upload it to Google Drive. Just follow their step-by-step directions.

This gives the student ownership of the work they created. Although Adobe work saved in Google Drive can’t be edited there, students can use the Google Drive URL to easily add their finished work to their Google Site. Just make sure to share the video as you would any Google Drive file. And, once the work is saved in the student’s drive, the teacher can delete the student’s work from their list of projects, making the list more manageable to navigate.

Students using iPads can also use Adobe Spark as long as they are using their teacher’s username and password. For primary students who have one-to-one iPads, the teacher may want to sign them in, but as long as the user doesn’t sign out, Adobe Spark will remain signed in. Students can easily save Adobe Spark to the iPad Camera Roll. Once downloaded, teachers can remove the student’s work from their Adobe Account. Students can upload the movie from the iPad Camera Roll to Seesaw (click here to watch a how-to video) or Google Drive (click here to watch a how-to video on how to upload to Google Drive). From Google Drive, students can easily add their finished work to their Google Site. Just make sure to share the video as you would any Google Drive file.

Adding Chromebook Photos to Adobe Spark Video

When students are creating Adobe Spark media, they may like to add photos of art or projects they have created. While it takes a few (ok, a bunch) of extra steps, once students get the workflow down, it can become a fairly routine process. Find out how to do it here.

While our students love using Adobe Spark to make video, they can also use Adobe Spark to create graphic Posts or tell a story with Page. To help students, Adobe offers suggestions on how to storyboard different types of presentations. Genevieve has collected and created Google Docs for many of them here.

Still need a little inspiration sparking ideas? Adobe offers a guide for educators with lesson ideas and examples. But of course, some of the best ideas come from brainstorming (be one of the first five people to correctly answer this question and win a small prize) curricular ideas with your colleagues. Please let us know how you are using Adobe Spark. We’d love to share your ideas and your students’ creations by featuring them in our blog.

When you are ready to share the tool with your students, we’d love to help. As always, the Tech ToSAs are here to help.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Eureka! Math Works! guest post by Marika Parnell, 2nd grade teacher at Alta Vista

There are a lot of mixed feelings from the parent community surrounding Eureka Math and Common Core. It has been a difficult transition for students to learn math skills in a different way. Students have needed to learn new vocabulary and new processes. This has led to parent anxiety. Because this method of teaching math is not one parents are familiar with, many feel inadequate to help their students with their homework and find it hard to gauge their students’ grasp of the material. 

Following the Scope and Sequence, I gave my students the first Module assessment at the beginning of September. After taking the first half of the assessment I could tell the students were not yet ready for the assessment. Their scores clearly showed they were struggling with the concepts. The first graph shows how the students did on our first Module assessment at the beginning of September. Eleven students (or 44%) scored below proficiency or at risk, with six students meeting expectations, and eight exceeding for the portion of the assessment they completed.

While we started Module 2, we continued to review Module 1. When I felt the class was ready, we re-took and finished the Module 1 assessment at the end of September. I could not have been happier with the results. It showed twenty-two students meeting or exceeding expectation, while three (or 12%) scored just below and NO student scoring at risk. This was amazing growth in such a small space of time!

I shared the results with the parents, who are feeling a bit easier about Eureka Math. Many attended the Parent Math night and now understand the importance of this new rigorous math and see its benefit. But most importantly, as my students become more familiar with the routines and vocabulary, they have continued to show growth in their understanding and proficiency.

While the implementation has taken and continues to take many hours spent reviewing lessons and watching videos at night and sometimes on weekends, seeing the growth in my students makes it feel all worthwhile.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Digital Citizenship Week & New Media Contest

It's digital citizenship week! In a 1:1 classroom environment and a technology-driven world, we must not only raise good digital citizens, we should be cultivating digital leaders. Teaching digital citizenship shouldn't be a box that we check off of our list of things to do every year. Even though we do have many Common Sense Digital Citizenship lessons available to all teachers. Digital Citizenship is taught when we model proper use of technology and when we show students that we use search tools and the Creative Commons to give credit to creators of images and media that we use in the classroom. 

Have you ever had a student come across an inappropriate image while completing an assignment?

What would you do in this situation?

Although our district has Safe Search turned on, our filters will not catch every inappropriate image when doing a search. If this ever happens in your classroom, use it as a great teachable moment. Start a conversation with your class. Have them come up with a solution in a way that doesn't draw attention to the inappropriate image. Here are some possible answers:
  1. Don't draw attention by laughing, pointing or calling friends over to see the image.
  2. Click out of the screen and tell an adult. 
    • The adult can warn the tech department and can quickly address the class, if needed.
  3. Students won't get in trouble if they follow this safe digital practice in the classroom.

How could you avoid this situation?

It is understandable that nothing is 100% predictable when it comes searching the Internet for images. If you are doing something like a vocabulary lesson with your students, before starting the lesson, preview the vocabulary words while keeping in mind multiple meanings that may cause an inappropriate image or topic to come up. 

Click HERE for working links.

Digital Citizenship Digital Media Contest

In the spirit of Digital Citizenship week, here is a Digital Citizenship HyperDoc full of all kinds of projects and activities that your students can try. Last year we had a contest where students submitted their video projects. This year we have created a contest with 3 categories:
  1. Digital Graphics
  2. Digital Writing
  3. Digital Recording
Hopefully we've included at least 1 project that every classroom can try. If you need any ideas or help getting started with a digital lesson, please contact Mary FranSandy or Genevieve. We would love to help out!

Projects are due Friday, November 18, 2016 and students can submit their work by filling out the Official Entry Form.

If you are looking for resources to share with parents, here are ones that we recommend:
Click HERE for working links.

Friday, October 7, 2016

An EPIC! Library for Students

Epic! is an all-you-can-read eBook library for kids 12 years and under.  It offers unlimited access to over 15,000 children's books, including read-to-me and Audio books.  Its library brings award-winning fiction and nonfiction books to your students’ fingertips.  Best of all, it is completely free to use, and there are no fees associated with Educators accounts.  You can sign up for a free account here.  Click on the video link below if you’d like a tutorial.  


Once you've signed up for an account, you’ll be directed to create a class.  Epic! even gives you the option of importing profiles through Google Classroom!  You will be able to create a library for your students and choose from a collection of assignments if you’d like.    

Epic! creates a virtual library perfectly tailored to your students’ reading levels and interests by offering personalized recommendations. Teachers and students can add books to personalized bookshelves.  Another great feature is that it carries over 500 Spanish and bilingual books in its library.  Epic! is available on all mobile devices

Thousands of titles to choose from!

Beautiful Videos

Epic! Has also partnered with Smithsonian, Blue Wonders, Animal Wonders and Encyclopedia Britannica to make available educational videos.

Getting started is easy.  Reach out to a tech ToSA if you’d like help getting started with this amazing resource!