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Tricks and Treats for You!

Posted by deb_norton Oct 27, 2014

It was an interesting weekend of sorting through posts in my Feedly.  I can tell it's almost Halloween just by reading these Tricks and Treats. Here are some of the highlights.


* Google Tricks that are fun to try and share - Click here

* A Chart comparing the use of technology versus the integration of technology - Click here

* 21st Century Video

* Plethora of Graphic Organizers from Teacher Vision - Click here


* One "Coin" for all of your cards:

* Your Rubric is a Hot Mess; Here's How to Fix It - Click here


* All About the Books, No Trouble

* Androidify - Click here

Here are some great share outs from the educators that I work with:

1.  Letha is using Screenleap. This site allows the teacher to share their computer screen with others by sharing a link. It works very simply and easily.  I've written about Screenleap before here.  This would also be a great way for students to share their screen on a large screen in front of the class.

2.  Samantha is using newsela to find current event articles for her students. This site allows the teacher to adjust the reading level according to the needs of the students. Some articles have quizzes for students. 


3.  Brynn is using Thinglink with her students. I introduced this tool to our staff last week.  Thinglink is used to create an interactive image with hotspots.  You can read more about Thinglink here.


4.  Kerry and Valerie are having their students use Google Docs to publish their poems.  My latest Chat with Deb video was inspired by these two caring teachers.

What great share outs from my colleagues.  I can't wait to see what the future holds for all of us.  As always, I am inspired by our staff and their willingness to integrate technology into their lessons to create meaningful and challenging lessons for our students.

Monday, October 20th is the National Day on Writing. This year's theme is writing on your community. You can find more information by clicking here.

In this Chat with Deb, I will demonstrate tips and tricks to teach students for using Google Docs to its potential.  Borders, colors, text boxes, bookmarks and more will be shown.

I hope you have a chance to allow your students time to write for the National Day of Writing. Remember, publishing and sharing is an important part of the writing process.

Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb.

If you are finding yourself teaching the same lesson year after year with the same materials and teaching style; then it's time to add some new technology and spice up that boring lesson.  It's refreshing and motivating for students to see a teacher using new instructional strategies and materials in a lesson.

Here are a bunch of ideas:

1)  Involve the students - Use an online poll or backchannel to interact with your students during your lesson. This gives every student a voice and builds character and understanding amongst peers.

a.  Poll Everywhere

b. - Click here for my blog post.

c.  Today's Meet

d.  Padlet

e.  Geddit - Click here for my blog post.

2)  Student Choice -Allow your students to show their learning with these choices. Giving students a say in how they show their knowledge is empowering.

a.  Mindmapping with Slatebox or Click here for my blog post


b.  Create a visualization with Canva or Bunceeor Smore - Click here for my blog post

c.  Create an infographic with - Click herefor my blog post

d.  Use this simple drawing site


3)  Use a video - There are many choices of adding media to your lesson. Students today live in a media rich environment driven by videos. Tap into their learning style.


a. Educanon - Click here for my blog post

b. Teachem - Click here for my blog post

c.  Lesson Paths, Blendspace, HapYak - Click here for my blog post

4)  Add some game elements to your lesson - Gamification can add so much enjoyment and engagement to your lessons. Students find games to be motivational and rewarding.

a. - Click here for my blog post

b.  BrainRush - Create your own games or use the thousands that are available

c. Zondle - Click here for my blog post

d.  FlipQuiz  or eQuizShow - Jeopardy style review games.

5)  Use any of the amazing tools on!! Whenever I am in need of some tech inspiration and ideas, I often will visit this site for some help. Putting a little time into planning an interactive activity will go a long way with student learning.



Thanks for Sharing

Posted by deb_norton Oct 14, 2014

Inspiration from my wonderful colleagues comes in all different forms this week:

#1 Amy used - This site allows a person to make a sign up for any event. Amy used this site for a upcoming soup luncheon that we will be having. Click here to take a tour of the site.

Here are 30 ideas for using

One way I could see using is to allow students to choose a role that they would like to have and then create groups based on those choices.

Click here to see my example:

#2 Ginger is using to help her students learn content. This site lets you create flashcards and then students can use the flashcards in several ways:

Click here to view a set of cards on the 50 states.

I enjoyed playing the Bingo game and found that I was challenged, but also improved considerably the more I played.


#3 Abby is using to collect photos for our yearbook. 


Click here for FAQ.  I look forward to using this site because it is convenient and simple to use.

#4 Catherine is looking into Class Flow. This site allows you to create a lesson that is interactive with your students.

I remember hearing about Class Flow at the ISTE conference. This site looks like a great tool for classrooms with 1:1 devices.


Click here for the Class Flow You Tube Channel


Aren't these wonderful resources? Thank you to Amy, Ginger, Abby and Catherine for sharing the great tools that they have found. These educators add inspiration to my job every day.

In October we focus on Digital Citizenship.

One of the skills we want our students to be proficient at is having a critical eye when deciding if a website is a reliable and accurate source.

We also want to make sure that our students have the ability to determine if the information on a website is credible. This is a serious issue when we consider the recent events with the Slenderman case of the young lady who was knifed because her friends believed in this fictional character.

Watch this Chat with Deb to see how a new tool called Annotary can be used to have students mark up a webpage and share out what their critical eye sees.

Click here for Kathy Schrock's list of sites to use for critical evaluation

Click here for Common Sense Media lessons

Click here for Deb's Blendspace Lesson on Digital Footprints

Click here for the Annotary site.

Click here for the Annotary extension.

Click here for the Notable PDF extension

Click here for a checklist students can use to check the credibility of a webpage.

Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb

Common Core Anchor Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.


I’m going to pull in two other important sets of standards this month.

The International Society for Technology in Education has the ISTE Standards S (formerly known as NETS):

Standard 3b

Research and Information Fluency - Students locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills Information Literacy Standard asks students to

Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information


Digital Citizenship Week is October 19-26, 2014. While Digital Citizenship encompasses many things, we would be remiss if we did not address plagiarism and copyright when we talk to our students about what it means to be a responsible digital citizen. Clearly, teaching students the appropriate and ethical uses of information is key in helping them become responsible Digital Citizens, but how can we do that? Luckily, there are tons of people and organizations out there who are addressing our needs! Below are a variety of resources we can use to help teach our students about the ethical use of information.


Let's start with what we need to teach our students about plagiarism and copyright. We need to teach them when it is appropriate to use other’s information.



Plagiarism, in short, is using someone else's words or ideas without saying where they came from. For whatever reason, this seems to be a very difficult concept for many students. Below are some resources to help you teach your students about plagiarism.



Copyright is a hard to interpret law, one that becomes even harder with consideration given to things like Fair Use and Creative Commons Licensing. Although it is not important that students understand all of the ins and outs of copyright law, it is important that they are aware that it exists, and how it ties in to plagiarism.


Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a relatively new licensing project that was created so that others could share their work with various levels of usage rights.


Music, Video and Images

Written works are not the only information protected by copyright. Image, music, video and any information in a tangible format is covered by copyright laws! Here are a few resources to help you with that!



Teaching kids the proper way to use information is just one step in the battle. We also need to teach them how to cite their sources. We want them to know that they should give credit to those whose work they are borrowing from. The earlier we start teaching citation, the better our students will be equipped to give credit. Luckily, we no longer need them to memorize where to put the periods and commas in their citations. offers some great material on why and how to cite sources.


Citation Generators

There are a multitude of free to use citation generators available to help students and teacher create proper citations for the information they use. Everyone has their personal favorite, but I thought I would provide you with a variety of options so you could pick your own!


All of these tools, resources and tutorials are great, but the number one way we, as educators, can help our students learn about copyright and plagiarism is to model appropriate behavior! Always say where your information comes from (including those study questions you copied and pasted!) and be considerate of the information (including images, videos and worksheets) you provide to students!

Do you have a great tool or resource to share about Copyright, Plagiarism or citations! Be sure to chime in!


Posted by deb_norton Oct 3, 2014

Polls are a great way to gather data and information. lets you create a poll quickly.  Simply type in your question, add possible answers and share out the URL. You can also tweet out the answer.


Here are two polls I created:


Click here to take this poll


Click here to take this poll

This would be a great way to gather feedback from your staff, school, community or others. Students could collect data for a project or writing assignment.



This October, Engage is focused on Digital Citizenship for teachers and students. What does that mean? It means helping teachers integrate technology with instruction in ways that prepare students to operate in a global, online society. It means helping students be good consumers of information. It also means keeping kids and schools safe online. Click here to check out Engage activities and events related to this theme.


October is absolutely full with special events in the field of education, and Engage is celebrating every single one of them. Because it's National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), we'll revisit the Intel NCSAM Classroom Activity toolkit and its resources for teaching kids to be cyber-safe. Additionally, Engage will celebrate the following in October:


Our content focus for October is Career and Technical Education (CTE) . Click here to engage with others around our theme and content focus.


Finally, October is Connected Educator Month (CEM), a month-long celebration of connected professional learning that offers highly distributed, diverse, and engaging activities to educators at all levels. Last year, Engage offered over 20 events during CEM, and we're looking to top that this year. Check out all the great Engage activity here.


To see see the themes and content areas of focus from prior months, click here.

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