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bunnyatwork_small.jpg We know that you have been having an awesome time with our new Intel Engage Gamified Community. We want you to continue with that fun and excitement and at the same time explore your Wild and Creative Self. 

Go Wild on our FIRST Learning Pathway Mission.

We have several mini-missions for you to embark on which will allow you to transform yourself into a Gamified Wild-Self.  So be creative and get in touch with your Gamified Wild-Self and complete the SEVEN tasked-Missions to earn 500 points toward a Learning Pathway Badge.

Participate in our Learning Pathways Thread between May 22, 2015 and August 22, 2015 to receive your points toward your Learning Pathway Badge.

The Mission title is Learning Pathways- May-August 2015- Building Your Wild-Self Challenge

Visit the New York Zoos and Aquarium’s website- Build Your Wild Self ( and Build your Gamified WIld-Self. What features will you have? Will you have special powers? Can you fly or can your leap tall buildings? What educational endeavor will you change or implement with your new Gamified Wild-Self.


1. First Post:Your Wild-Self and Description: (Reply to Original Post)

  • Post your Gamified Wild-Self  along with a description of your Gamified Wild-Self.  Share what your Gamified Wild Self would do. How would you transform education?  What would you do in the classroom? What would you do with administrators? With technology would you make available to students and educators?  Most importantly, share what you would do with students? Why did you choose this Wild Self?

2.  Second Post:Wild-Self Traveling Collage: (Reply to Original Post)

  • Take a picture of Your Wild-Self at 4 different national locations (parks, museums, monuments, libraries or surprise us etc) (Think Flat Stanley...take your Gamified Wild Self on vacation with you. Choose an application or a website and create a Collage of your 4 pictures.and upload the1 collage . Tell us what application you used to create the collage.

3. Reply to at least 4 other people : (Click Reply to that Person’s Post- Not Reply to Original Post)

4. Share this thread with 3 other people

5. Bookmark this thread

6. Upload your Wild-Self as your Avatar

7. @ Mention at least 3 other Wild-Self posts you like and detail why you like that person's avatar.

8.  Have fun with this activity. Sorry you can't earn points for having fun!

There are many ways to celebrate the end of the school year. One of the more popular ways is with pictures. Perhaps your students would like to try Loupe Collage which is a Chrome App.

Loupe Collage lets you create a collage out of your own pictures, and that collage can be in many different shapes and forms.  You can choose a pre-made shape, use your own text, draw your own shape or use a grid or create with a photo pile where you can arrange your pictures in any arrangement.


Check out my collage:

Click here to interact with my image.  If you hover over an image it will zoom. I included images from this year from my Facebook, Google+ and Google Drive accounts.


Another collage using the photo pile option:

Here is how Loupe Collage works:

Give Loupe Collage a try and share the link to your collage in the comments. It would be fun to see everyone's year in review using all of the various options in Loupe Collage.

Recently we discussed the SAMR model of technology integration with our staff. This model provides us with a great reflective tool for evaluation of our lesson planning and engagement with our students.

Check out this video about SAMR to become more familiar with the model:

Here is a useful image:

Today I am going to share with you several examples that I feel reach the redefinition of SAMR. When we consider the learning that is taking place instead of the tools being used, these redefinition examples promote student engagement and higher level critical thinking.

#1 Cultural Awareness and Exchange:

My colleague and friend, Ms. Gorges, used Google Hangouts to record a video for her students while she was traveling in the country of Russia. She created a Thinglink to for easy sharing. When we connect with others via web conferencing and experience a culture through the eyes of someone we know, the learning becomes more relevant and realistic. Kudos to Ms. Gorges for promoting this type of technology with her students.

Click here for the Thinklink.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 7.16.31 AM.png

#2 Public Blogging:

When students publish written posts about topics that interest them and have personal meaning to them, there is an investment in the task at hand. At the same time, when students get comments back from others outside of their direct circle of peers, the feedback can be more eye opening and can expand learning beyond what the student knows or believes.  The public posting, which can reach out globally, is what helps us to reach redefinition on the SAMR model.

#3 Twitter, Voxer and Google+

Twitter can connect students with people from a variety of locations and backgrounds. It is also a great lesson in writing with 140 character limitations.  Twitter Chats can focus on preparing for, moderating, and supporting others in a chat group.

Voxer allows students to hold a group conversation and allows for audio, image and text communication.  Rather than having a classroom lecture or discussion, why not use Voxer to allow for an online group discussion for sharing student learning. 

A Google+ Community would be a media rich platform for sharing resources and projects  with the ability for commenting and reposting.  There is also the possibility to hold a Google Hangout to connect the community in real time.

#4 Green Screen Technology

Video creation is very popular among our students, so when we add in Green Screen technology, there is the ability to place ourselves in any setting.  Students have created newscasts, public service announcements and short skits via the use of green screen technology. Students practice communication skills as well as knowing how to use the Green Screen technology properly.



#5 A Portfolio of Knowledge Over Time

Using an application such as, Livebinders or Pinterest, students can keep a running record of their learning. The portfolio can also serve as a reference guide outside of the classroom for help after class. This would be especially useful in a math class where the content builds upon itself.  Giving students ownership of their learning for their own benefit and purpose is the key. Adding in a collaborative option to work together on a Portfolio of Knowledge is also beneficial.  And providing students with the time in class to post to their portfolio is essential. 

No matter what level of the SAMR model you are focusing on, keep in mind these three important standards:


  • Students should own their learning
  • Students should consume information critically and intentionally
  • Students should communicate clearly and powerfully.



Please share if you have an example of what you would consider redefinition in the SAMR Model.

May is Connected Families month, where we celebrate the home school connection that allows learning to continue long after the students have left our classrooms. Involving families in the education process is one of the key indicators of student achievement. Classroom Challenge (with holmesg ) this month looked at four tools:, Doodle, Goose Chase, and Smore while Chat with Deb (with deb_norton) looks more closely at and After reading each of their posts, I started thinking about ways that these tools could be used to support the Common Core Standards.  What better way to create a connection between home and school than to have a student generated newsletter that goes home to families and explains what has been learned each week in the classroom!


Here is how that might look:

The Project: Students will be creating a weekly newsletter that will be sent home to their families to involve families in the classroom. The newsletter will include news about what they are learning, essential questions being explored, tips on how to study, questions for parents to answer with their child about the content, upcoming events, etc. The students are responsible for creating the content of the newsletter, which is not only a way to get them involved, but a way to do formative assessment!


Students can use or to sign up to be the reporter for each day/week in a different subject area/topic, and for other jobs such as artistic team, editorial team, etc. They then work together to build your classroom newsletter. At the end of the year, the archive of newsletters can also be used to review!


Smore is a great tool to create a 1-page digital flyer that could be used as a weekly newsletter home, but what are some other tools you could use to share out student work? JooMag looks promising, and allows for 20 student accounts and no ads if you apply for an education account. Check out my post from Last August about Reaching a Global Audience for some other tools you might wish to look into.


The Objectives:

Students will identify key concepts and ideas learned throughout the week

Students will explain the key concepts and ideas learned throughout the week

Students will illustrate the key concepts and ideas learned throughout the week

Students will identify ways to practice the key concepts and ideas at home

Students will revise work based on feedback from peers and the teacher


In all honesty, depending on how the project is structured, most, if not all, of the Common Core Standards for ELA can be addressed with this project. For your convenience, the standards are listed below.


What other tools have you used to create a student generated connection to home?


The Standards


  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.1
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.


  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • 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.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Speaking and Listening

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.



  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.


In the 2014 Intel Teach Live Birthday Bash, Michael S. Tamayo introduced This website shares a series of courses that teach coding in plain English appropriate for most age levels. With a series of short commands, anyone can create a beautiful snowflake.


The simple created the sophisticated.



This same principle applies to the missions we on the Engage leadership team create in Nitro. Each mission in Nitro comprises discrete actions from a limited list of possibilities.


When we enter the Nitro gamification dashboard, we have a tab that lists out all of the actions we can use to build missions.


These are actions that you, the users, do on the website. When we use one of these actions in a mission, we are telling Nitro that it is important and needs to be tracked.


Some of the actions we can use are:




These allow us to track when you create a blog post and when you look at a blog post.


You’ll notice that we cannot track length or quality. We don’t know if you spent half an hour poring over a blog entry or if you opened and almost immediately closed it.


The only limitations we can set are at the mission level. The limited function of actions makes being thoughtful with mission creation even more important.


When we open up a mission, we see the following screen:




This is from one of our newly released Mentor level badges. The purpose of the mission is to encourage full engagement with blogging on the Intel Engage platform.


The actions are used to create rules that you must complete before earning the badge. Each rule has a trigger, which is one of the actions, and a goal. The goal is the number of times the action must be completed to satisfy the rule.


The Metadata line is one of the ways we can limit and tailor missions. For example, if we wanted, we could adjust this so that you had to view blog posts shared in a specific community. Those viewed outside of it would not get counted. We can also limit missions by only allowing them to be earned a certain number of times or only within a certain date range.


For the Blog Master mission, the trigger action is BlogPostEvent-VIEWED. The goal is at least 100 times. This means you must look at 100 or more blog articles on the Intel Engage platform to satisfy this rule.


Of course, this is not the only requirement for the mission. Among other requirements, the mission also has rules that say you must create 30 blog posts—which is something that can only be done within a group you’ve created or with special permission from our team—and receive 100 comments on your blog posts.


While we cannot control for quality, by adding a rule for recognition, we are suggesting strongly that creating high quality posts will be advantageous in completing the mission. A good and useful post is likely to garner more comments, likes, and shares than a rushed or useless one.


When we create a mission, we start with what we want the missions to do. At the mentor level, we wanted to create missions that represented the increased level of engagement and quality we expect from mentors in the community. We also wanted to spotlight ways mentors help and encourage other members in the community.


Then we went to our possible actions and discussed ways we could use and combine them to create missions that would help us meet our goals for mentors.


After we release each mission, we watch to see how you all complete them. If a mission starts to encourage spamming actions, rather than engagement, we tinker with the mission to increase the difficulty or limit its use.

I realize this post is a bit longer than usual, but if you’re still following along, I have the following challenge for you. I’ve listed below some of the actions we are able to use to create missions. Using them, can you create a mission for the community?

Note: If an action ends with a dash,  you can add a specific type of content afterward. So, for example, not just likes, but likes on blog posts. If you want to restrict your action to a specific area in the community or to a post that is already on the site, then make a note that you'd need metadata.

ActionWhat it does
CommentEvent-COMMENT-Tracks every time you leave a comment
CommentEvent-COMMENTED-Tracks every time someone leaves a comment on content you created
FollowEvent-FOLLOWTracks every time you follow someone
FollowEvent-FOLLOWEDTracks every time someone follows you
LikeEvent-LIKE-Tracks every time you like something
LikeEventi-LIKED-Tracks every time someone likes content you created
UserEvent-LOGGED_INTracks every time you log into the site
ShareEvent-SHARE-Tracks every time you share content with someone else on the site
ThreadEvent-ADDEDTracks every time you create a discussion thread

In May we focus on Connected Parents and Families.  In this Chat with Deb, I show two sites for connecting and communicating with students, parents and peers. 

Here are the links to the two sites shared in this video:


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



It's May, and in the U.S. that means the school year is winding down. Teachers and students are starting to finish final assignments and review grades. Summer reading lists, activities, and enrichment are being planned. Technology can play a huge role in all of this. Families can get real-time updates on progress and grades. Teachers can push summer reading selections to their students' connected devices.Younger students can keep skills sharp via online enrichment modules, and high school students can take blended and online "summer school" courses to catch up or get ahead. And we all know teacher professional learning and growth almost never stops, enabled year-round by tools like Twitter and online communities like Engage.


Of course, summer is a time to unplug, wind down, and recharge for students and teachers too. Ubiquitous connected devices can make taking time off just as challenging as planning next year's curriculum or an online Algebra class. Balance is a must. We also know that in many places, ample devices and bandwidth are a luxury and not an assumption. It's important to consider this issue and strive for equity of experience. Particularly if you're educating a socioeconomically diverse group, it's key to remember that not everyone goes home to the same tools and resources.


Think about these ideas, and let us know how you approach summer.

  • What's one way you stay connected, either as an educator or a parent/guardian, when school's out for summer?
  • How do you help kids who are less connected outside of school keep pace with those for whom access isn't an issue?
  • How do you ensure that you and/or your students/children take time to recharge during the summer months?


connectedfams.pngStarting this month, these posts will offer something new...a chance to earn a badge. If you complete all the actions related to this month's content during the month of May, you'll earn the Community Roadmap Connected Families badge and 200 community points. To do this, you need to:

  1. Read this blog (hint, if you're reading this, you've already completed this step)
  2. Comment below with responses to the three questions in the post above.
  3. Book mark and then leave a comment to participate in our Teacher Appreciation week thread.


Have a great month!

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