Friday, August 8, 2014

Five for Friday: Technology in the Classroom!

Hey Hey Hey!

Okay, I am not going to lie...this post has been a draft in progress for a week now! oops!! But I figured Doodlebugs Teaching Five for Friday linky would be the perfect time to *finally* post it! I am going to be posting about 5 amazing tech ed tools you can use in your classroom!!

Last week, I was invited to apply/got accepted to attend the very first Educational Technology Summer Institute through my district!! Holy cow did I learn a ton! I met some amazing teachers in the district(shout out to my techy friends!!) that are just as excited/in love with learning how to use technology in the classroom as I am!! I wanted to do a blog post just to share with you all some amazing tools you can use in your classroom and/or connect with other great teachers..aka..Professional Development online!! Do you ever feel like you just learned so many awesome new things and you are super scared you are going to forget it all?! That's how I feel!

Here are some great things I learned about at the first couple of days of ETSI:


Okay guys seriously?! I knew twitter was blowing up for educators..but REALLY! Talk about a PLN completely all online at your fingertips all day! This has been so great for me (I just started 2 weeks ago..hehe) to collaborate with other teachers, MEET other teachers, chat with educators, & more! There are twitter chats pretty much every night of the week that you can hop right on and off to get some great ideas and chat about educational things! If you haven't gotten a twitter..just do it!!! and follow me! :) 

Also!! A lot of teachers are using twitter in their classrooms! It is a great way to communicate with parents and show them what you are doing in the classroom! We will be starting a school twitter this year & I am super excited!

Mystery Skype!
Mystery Skype is something I have been wanting to do in my classroom since I began teaching. I just haven't! I WILL be doing it this year though!! Have you heard of Mystery Skype? Basically, you Skype with another classroom in another state. Your kids take turns with their students asking yes or no questions about where you live! The point of it is to try and guess what state the other class is in. Once you and your students have done it once or twice, it doesn't take that long! Which I love, because who has a ton of extra time throughout the day?! Before I Skype with another class I am going to have my kids practice their "jobs" with a partner. Looking up things in an atlas, asking questions, taking notes, etc! There are tons of resources online if you are interested in this! If you don't live in Texas (like me!) and want to Mystery Skype with my me!! Once we get started on this in my room..I will "plot" all of the states we have "visited" on a map in our room!! I am sooo excited for this! p.s. remember twitter? You can use the hashtag #mysteryskype to see how others are using this and connect with other teachers skyping! 

Kahoot!!! {one of my FAVS!}
Kahoot is a fun, engaging game based classroom response system. (that is straight from their website! ha!) Basically, it is like bringing a game show to your classroom! Ummm hello!! Your students use devices-ipad, tablet, phone, computer- to answer questions that YOU create for them! It gives them a timer and then shows them the correct answer after the 30 seconds. After the time is up, they can see how many points they have and what place they are in. Best part? It is SO easy & quick to create questions! You can plan it ahead of time or just do it on the fly! I believe there is also a "survey" feature if you wanted to something like that. ex: What should we name our class pet? So here is what you do: 1. Create your question(s) 2. Students go to and enter in the game pin you tell them 3. GO! Again..can't wait to use this.

Popplet is a great tool, online and an app, to organize ideas. There are so many options with this! Your students can use this during research projects, to show what they have learned about a specific topic, or as a whole group class discussion about what we already know about a topic. This is basically a thinking map on your device!! 
Genius Hour!
I am sure a lot of you have already heard about Genius Hour or are implementing this in your classroom! I LOVE this concept! I will be honest and say it does freak me out a little bit (can you say, control freak?!) Watch the video above to learn more about what Genius Hour is. Students research a topic that they are passionate about. There are no limits!! They must get it approved by their teacher but other than that they go for it! They must show research to prove an answer to a question they have about a topic. They can do any type of project to show this information. Ideally you would want to spend about an hour a week on this. If you do Genius Hour I would LOVE for you to comment on this post with your thoughts!! 

Those were just five, FIVE, things/ideas/concepts that I learned from the amazing ladies at our training! If you read this whole post: thank you!! I hope I inspired you somehow to use technology in your classroom! Not just as a tool, but as another way to learn and create!

So what did I do after all this tech talk?! I made some cute posters for my classroom of course! I created a BYOD stoplight (when to use their devices), technology rules for the classroom, Before you.. THINK! (tech version), and a digital citizenship poster. I think teaching our kids how to be good digital citizens is SUPER important!! You can get these posters here!
Thank you for stopping by!!!



  1. Oh my gooooodness! Mystery skype is a must. I think I am going to to team up with our younger buddy class to do all on our research. I would love to hear more about how you are going to prepare your kids before their first Skype. Thank you for all of these ideas!

    Teaching with Hope

  2. Great post, Ashley! I also joined Twitter this summer and love gaining new ideas or feedback anytime and anywhere. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    The Positive Teacher