Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Edcamp Session One Recap - We Flipped Our Edcamp and Started With A Smackdown

We held our first of our summer-long Tuesday Edcamp sessions yesterday morning at BHS.  One of the most popular sessions at many Edcamps is something called a web 2.0 smackdown where participants are each given a couple of minutes to show/share a resource that they find useful.

One of the most popular sessions at many Edcamps is the Web 2.0 Smackdown, a session that is usually held at the end of the day where attendees share their favorite web 2.0 tools/resources. However, due to the schedules of some of the attendees who could not stay for the whole time, we put the smackdown first and it was a great generator of conversation/topics for the rest of the day.

It got me thinking about Professional Development days as well. What if we previewed topics in the morning of a PD day to allow teachers to get a glimpse of the topics/sessions that would be offered.  Or if we wanted to plan ahead of time, we could ask staff/presenters to create a 2-minute overview of their session/topic days or weeks ahead of time.

Anyhow, we need to spend some time thinking about ways we can infuse our PD in schools with some the qualities of an Edcamp.  Taking this a step further, we just need to infuse learning in our schools, be it teacher learning or student learning. with the engaging qualities Edcamps offer.

Here is a list of apps/sites that were shown at yesterday's session:


Flipboard for iPad - One of my personal favorites! Apple's iPad app of the year in 2010! PC Magazine gave Flipboard 4.5 stars stating:
"Flipboard offers iPad users an entirely original alternative to browsing the Web for news; its magazine-style layouts and breathtaking use of photos and white space show the way forward for digital media."
"Pulse takes your favorite websites and transforms them into a colorful and interactive mosaic. Tap on an article to see a clean and elegant view of the news story. Save stories for reading later across all platforms or sync them with Instapaper, Read it Later and Evernote. Sharing a story via Facebook, Twitter and email is as easy as two taps."
Show Me - One of the hottest new FREE apps on the market.  It is simply a must have! Allows users to show their work with an audio recording embedded. Check out Lisa Nielsen's Post on Show Me - You and Your Students can be the next Sal Khan with Show Me.

Stop spending money on clickers and polling websites!

Instead use Socrative - This great tool works on any web-enabled device without the need of downloading an app. Here is a great review of Socrative from Dennis Villano, Burlington's Director of Instructional Technology, which ran on Richard Byrne's blog.

Note-taking apps.

Noterize -  Here's an excerpt from the review in Mac World

"Noterize is a combined note taking and document annotation app for the iPad that hits the sweet spot where many students live. They are taking lots of notes, reading and reviewing many PDF documents and PowerPoint presentations, and collecting articles for research projects.
 What if students don't have wireless at home?

 Off line reader options from - Even though we are fortunate to have a great wireless infrastructure at BHS, we need to remember that not all of our students have wireless at home.  With this in mind, we need to make sure that students can save web-based resources their devices and access them at home if they do not have a wireless connection. All of these apps offer this flexibility.

 A few flashcard apps
For those of you who want to continue searching...

The Apps in Education Blog - A great site to read reviews on the latest apps, with a breakdown from different subject/learning areas.

The BHS Educational Technology Collaborative  - This wikispace will serve as a resource for all BHS content area teachers.  The wikispace allows everyone associated with this space to add and subtract content. On the left hand side is the navigation frame. This frame has links to both wiki pages and external links.  


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!At first, I was a bit intimidated as I watched all of the tech savvy educators. But, I was greatly encouraged as they all helped me. I downloaded many more Apps for my IPad as well. It was a great time of sharing, collaborating and getting ready for our students. Thank you for having this at our disposal!!!I'm grateful for the continuous amount of incessant and quality support from the Tech Teams.

  2. This is a fabulous idea! I want to put it into practice for my school district. Thanks!
    Tracy Watanabe