WEMTA Conference, Day 3 March 24th

Computer Lab: The Time is Now! – this session focused on projects that can be done in the computer lab.  Big Universe is an ebook subscription and is great for RTI.  Use “Memory” type games at the beginning of the year for Kindergarten students to practice mouse skills.  1st grade can make word clouds using Wordle, ABCya and Tagxedo.  2nd grade use Padlet to share information about a topic they research, do green screen projects with ipads Green Screen by Do Ink.  3rd grade uses Type to Learn 4 to practice keyboarding skills and they also have a typing Symballoo of other text276_4keyboarding sites and Reflex Math (paid subscription).  Fourth grade does Prezi, Google Presentations, using the app Chatterpix (like Blabberize) but you only have 30 seconds to record.  Also PicMonkey app can be used to make diagrams.    Also for animal research, use Chatterpix to take a picture of the animal and have the child record facts with mouth moving.  Great ideas!

Session 2 – How to Be a Library God or Goddess – a variety of professional development ideas were shared – she starts the school year with a promotional video shared with her students.  Her videos inspired students to create their own iMovies.  She uses Slideshare to share student work on her webpage.  “If I Had a Fairy Godmother….” writing project using a Paint program with 1st graders and Ocean Animals Research project with Kindergartners, they used World Book Online Kids version (text is read aloud feature) to create an online book with KidPix.  4th graders created biography summaries and record 30 seconds using Chatterpix, exported to their camera roll and then shared it (emailed) to the librarian.  Using Veescope app students can create a book commercial.  Many of these projects were done in a 1 : 1 setting.  They used a “Snowball” microphone to pick up sound better.  The best projects were the My Hero animoto project where students focused on someone in their life and the Internet Safety project using Comic Life of a comparison of a good and bad choice, using a storyboard to plan script.  She also has an iPad Bootcamp for the grades that are new to having their own ipad – stations are set up around the library covering various projects.

Author Luncheon/Presentation – YA author Chris Crutcher – wonderful presentation about turning real life experiences into fiction.  His art as a storyteller was incredible to witness.

Session 3 – Badges?! Yes We Need Some Stinking Badges – creating a culture of individual empowerment where students, parents, staff or adminstrators can earn badges for various technology accomplishments.  Currently badges have been used in video games.  Openbadges.com is a site that has great resources.  Learning Management Systems like Edmodo or Schoology but you can’t export those to something outside of the LMS.  At http://www.classbadges.com you can create a badges program of your own not tied down to a LMS.

Overall this was a fantastic experience and a great conference!

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