Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Classroom Connections: Virtual Field Trip Opportunities for Cozad Classrooms

How cool would it be if you could take your classes on a trip to NASA, visit museums across the country or UNL's Morrill Hall, tour an agri-business, speak with a group of veterans, or visit with an acclaimed author?  Would it be even better if you didn't have line up transportation, get permission slips signed, or arrange meals?  What if there was little or no cost?

Image result for nasa spaceImage result for feedlotImage result for museum

These experiences ARE available today, through Virtual Field Trips (VFTs), and we would like to help you take your students on one (or more) of these amazing trips!  In fact, we'd like to make the process as easy as possible for you as a classroom teacher, so we'll keep it as simple as...

  1. Pick out a field trip and the dates that would work for your class(es).
  2. Complete this form.
  3. Enjoy the VFT!
We'll schedule things, get your computer set up, and make sure that everything works.  All you'll need to provide is your classroom computer connected to your projector.  We'll connect a conference camera with a quality microphone that will allow you and your students to interact with the presenter.

After the trip, we will ask that you complete a short reflection form for feedback on the experience.

That's it.  You can take as many trips as you like.  Please note that these experiences are designed for education, and most include both pre- and post- trip activities for your students. 

Please check out the selection of VFTs by following the link in #1.  If you are interested in one, please complete the form in #2, and we'll get everything lined up for you.

Feel free to contact Dave or Patty if you have questions or would like to visit with us first.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Should you take electronic candy from strangers?

Imagine if one of your friends told you there was a really creepy guy hanging out on the corner who was giving away free candy and soda.  You might be brave enough to go check this out, so you ask the creepy stranger if you can have some candy.  He says, "Sure!  Just let me look through your wallet or purse, please.  It will only take a second and I promise I will never use the information in it."
Image result for creepy stranger

Would you do it?  You might say no, but what if he offered you LOTS of candy?  What if he offered you UNLIMITED candy?  Would you be tempted?  He's not going to steal you wallet or the money you have in your purse.  He's just looking at (and recording) your information.

Image result for candy

Would you feel safe in this situation?  Would you give up your information?

Currently we have some users who are giving up their electronic Apple ID keys and other information to creepy strangers (check this post to see how it works).  They don't realize they are doing this, they think they're just getting free game rewards or tokens (electronic candy) that you normally have to pay for in the app store.  Is this dangerous?

Image result for clash of clans

One thing that is generally true is that "free" is usually not free.  Some games are "free", but when you play them, you soon realize that "free" is just a way to get you to want something that you have buy.  This is not illegal, and many legitimate businesses use this model.  But in this model, the vendor is just after some of your hard-earned money.

If you are using a "free" hack to get something, you are not paying with money.  You are paying with something far more valuable.  You are paying with your private information.

Image result for private information

Think about what your private information is worth.  Think about what you could lose if someone stole your apple ID and purchased thousands of dollars worth of apps.  Think about what could happen if your apple ID information was enough to steal your identity and you could not get a loan for a new car, could not get into college, or could not get a job.

Image result for identity theft

This could easily happen if you share your information with creepy strangers.  It happens to thousands of people every day.  On the internet, the easiest way to steal things from people is to just ask them for it.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mobile Mondays - ISTE Mobile Learning Webinars in October

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Connected Educator Month
ISTE MLN and GSN Mobile Mondays Mini-Conference
October 2015

Join us Connected Educator Month in October. Throughout October, there will be hundreds of opportunities to participate in events and activities in dozens of online locations to develop skills and enhance one’s personal learning network.

The ISTE Mobile Learning Network and the Games and Simulations Network are pleased to present a Mobile Mondays Mini-Conference with webinars, hangouts, tweetchats, game  jams, and virtual environment sessions each Monday in October. Please visit the Connected Educators website for the full schedule of professional development offerings at http://connectededucators.org We hope you can join us in October!

ISTE Mobile Learning Network Mondays Mini-Conference Schedule

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 6:00 PM EDT

Webinar - Top Free Tools to Differentiate, Communicate, Assess, & Organize BYOT (1-1) Classrooms

Presenters: Melissa Henning, Educational Content Manager, Source for Learning and Kevin Bower, Third Grade Teacher, Penn Manor Schools

With so many devices and so many apps available, how does a teacher find the most appropriate, useful, and free resources? Explore apps to differentiate for all students, communicate with parents and students, assess knowledge, and get organized!

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 7:00 PM EDT

Webinar - One Tool For All Your Parent Communication: How Bloomz Can Save Teachers Time and Effort

Presenter: Horatio Ochoa, Head of Marketing, Bloomz

Every day we see hundreds of missed connections between teachers and parents. Between reminders, meetings, event signups, all flying around in hard copy, digital and verbal formats, teachers and parents can’t keep up.  On the other hand, social networks and mobile phones have redefined how we connect. Facebook for friendships, LinkedIn for careers; it seems as if there was a social network for every aspect of life. Almost.

Bloomz is a new mobile and web app that helps teachers save a great deal of time in their communication with parents, by providing a powerful set of tools to connect, coordinate and communicate with parents, all in one beautifully designed app that is easy (and free) for teachers to use.  From messaging, to picture sharing, event and volunteer signups, Bloomz provides the right tools to increase parental engagement and satisfaction in your school and classroom. Join this webinar to learn more about this app and how it works.

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 8:00 PM EDT

Hangout: Smart Parents for Powerful Learning

Kae Novak and Marie Bjerede, ISTE Games and Simulations Network with
Tom Van der Ark, CEO, Getting Smart

Getting Smart joins the Metagame Book Club for a discussion of their book, Smart Parents for Powerful Learning. This panel will discuss the inspiration for the book, what is personalized learning and why it is important to parents. It will also include a discussion of educational opportunities available to students and last but not least where does making and game based learning fit in.

Link to livestream and padlet bit.ly/gsnlivestream

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 4:00 PM EDT

Webinar - Build Some Content!

Presenter: Carolyn Lowe, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Education, Leadership & Public Service, Northern Michigan University

See how simple it is to build in a 3D virtual environment. These quickly-mastered building skills can facilitate and demonstrate learning in any subject area.  Examples in STEM and social studies created by children ages 8 and up, and teachers will be shared. The virtual environments used are Open Simulator virtual worlds Biome4Kids and Biome run by Carolyn Lowe out of Northern Michigan University and part of the Virtual Islands for Better Education (VIBE) collaborative. All are invited to visit and build on their own or schedule a time for Carolyn to meet with you virtually. Receive login information at this webinar so you can connect to Biome4Kids.

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 6:00 PM EDT

Webinar - Ready to Go Mobile Friendly FREE Tools

Presenters: Melissa Henning, Educational Content Manager, Source for Learning, and Ruth Okoye, Director of K-12 Initiatives, Source for Learning

Explore the FREE resources of TeachersFirst. In this fast-paced session, explore several mobile friendly (ready to go) resources, learn about FREE PD, and more. Why reinvent the wheel when we have done it for you?

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 7:00 PM EDT

Webinar - The Mindset of a Maker Educator

Presenter: Jackie Gerstein, Boise State, Walden, American InterContinental, and Western Governors' Universities

Being a maker educator often requires developing a new mindset; a new set of skills and roles. Discover, through this presentation, first, why we are in a perfect storm for maker education in both formal and informal learning environments, and second, through a self-assessment, the characteristics and qualities of the mindsets of an educator who is embracing making education.

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 8:00 PM EDT

Hangout - Pervasive Games: Playing and Creating Them!

Presenters: Chris Luchs, Associate Dean, Colorado Community College System, and Kae Novak, ISTE Games & Sims Chair
A pervasive game is a game that extends gameplay past a screen into the real world. Pervasive games often use mobile devices and geolocation associated with augmented reality. In this hangout we'll show you different types and how educators are going about making their own.This Hangout will be livestreamed with a padlet over the Games & Sims Network website http://bit.ly/gsnlivestream.

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 9:00 PM EDT

Tweetchat - Digital Tools in the Classroom http://twitter.com  hashtags: #istemln #CE15

Facilitator: Rachelle Poth, Teacher and MLN/GSN Officer, Riverview Jr Sr High School

A discussion of everyone's favorite tools to use in class, whether they be apps or not, for assessment, enrichment activities, collaboration or communication. Share the tools and resources you have found work best for your class.

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 4:00 PM EDT

Webinar -  Implementing BYOT in a Third Grade Classroom

Presenters: Katherine Buttery and Grace Choi, Loudoun County Public Schools

Join us as we share strategies for implementing BYOT in an elementary classroom.  Helpful websites and resources for establishing a successful BYOT program will also be shared.

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 5:00 PM EDT

Webinar - Social Justice via Mobile Learning

Presenter: David Stoloff, Eastern Connecticut State University

Educators and community members will explore the uses of mobile learning for mindfulness and for social justice.  We will discuss Charity Miles and Goodsearch, mobile tools for fund-raising.  Participants will share their uses of mobile learning for community connections.  

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 6:00 PM EDT

Webinar - What & Why of Computational Thinking

Presenter: Susan Wells, K12 Education Outreach, Shodor
Jeanette Wing, vice president of Microsoft research and pioneer of computational thinking – the ability to break a problem down and express the solution in a form that a computer can understand and evaluate – sees it as a skill as important as reading, writing and arithmetic, and one that will be embraced by everyone by the middle of the 21st century.

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 7:00 PM EDT

Webinar - Smartphones as Tricorders

Presenters: Rebecca and Chrystian Vieyra, Physics Toolbox
The smartphone has evolved into the anticipated "tricorder" of science fiction. Learn how to use your mobile device’s many sensors to scan the world around you to engage students in authentic STEM.

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 8:00 PM EDT

Hangout: 21st Century Skills and ARGs: Welcome to Ingress

Ingress is an Augmented Reality Game (ARG) requiring players to join one of two factions which are fighting for the future of the world with smart phones.  Players  "hack" portals, which are real world locations and must physically move to the locations in order to hack them.  The panel discussing this game will consist of players, educators, and game designers.  The panel will discuss the playing of the game, the skill-set needed to succeed and how these skills relate to Common Core and 21st Century Learning.  The panel will be moderated via prepared questions regarding the game with  plenty of time to answer questions from the audience, throughout the presentation.

Livestreamed with a padlet over the Games & Sims Network website http://bit.ly/gsnlivestream

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 4:00 PM EDT

Webinar - Leading, Managing and Implementing an Ongoing BYOT Initiative at the Elementary Level

Presenters: Robert Marple, Administrator, Loudoun County Public Schools and Laura Briggs, Loudoun County Public Schools

Learn how our BYOT Initiative helps students and teachers learn. From integrating devices within instruction in multiple grades and classes through professional development for teachers, learn about strategies to help your classroom and/or school program. Join us in sharing reflections and plans for a successful BYOT program.

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 5:00 PM EDT

Webinar - Educational Virtual World Apps

Presenter: William Schmachtenberg, App Developer and High School Teacher, Educational Virtual Worlds

Faster processors in mobile devices allow students to explore 3D virtual environments.  In this webinar, I will discuss apps that allow students to search for animals in a murky ocean environment, explore a futuristic Mars Colony, or search for fossils.

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 6:00 PM EDT

Webinar - Game Jams: Students as Designers

Presenter: Matthew Farber, Denville Township Schools

Excite Your Students with Designing and Playtesting Games -- All While Teaching 21st Century Skills!

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 7:00 PM EDT

Webinar - Mobile Learning, Creativity, and the Cloud

Presenter: Danielle Abernethy, Integration Specialist, Tech4Learning
Teachers need tools that are flexible enough to work on many devices, are engaging, and allow students to make and share. Meet Wixie, the student publishing tool from Tech4Learning for cloud-based learning that is anything but fluffy and boring.

Webinar Location: http://bit.ly/istemln_webinars

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 8:00 PM EDT

Hangout ­ Hearthstone: How a Card Game Teaches Statistics, Math and Quantitative Reasoning

Presenters: Russell Brandon, Educational Technology Coordinator, St. Francis Xavier School, Phoenix, AZ hosts a panel  PJ Bennett, NANSLO Lab Director, Colorado Community College System, Bob Smith (sixth grade student), Chris Luchs, Associate Dean, Colorado Community College System and Trish Cloud, Technology Teacher, Grand Oak Elementary, Huntersville, NC.

Hearthstone is a popular strategy card game available on PC, Mac, phones and iPad. Dr. PJ Bennett, an avid hearthstone player and director of the NANSLO remote science lab, will give an overview of the free digital card collecting game and everyone will play a few rounds. Hearthstone is available in Google Play and iTunes. Link to livestream and padlet bit.ly/gsnlivestream

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 11:00 PM EDT

Tweetchat - Designing Digital Media to Enhance Teaching & Learning Hashtags: #istemln #CE15

Facilitator: Torrey Trust, Assistant Professor of Learning Technology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Digital media is a fundamental part of students’ lives and can enrich teaching and learning in and out of the classroom. In this Twitter Chat, we will discuss and explore ideas, resources, apps, and strategies for incorporating digital media into the classroom to enhance teaching and learning.