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Rusty_Farm_Machine.pngThe concepts shared in The Bare Minimum Of Learning Technology blog made me think quite deeply. I quickly sent the link to my district's Technology Training Director. The image on the post captivated me.

"The Fifteen Things Every Teacher Should Try This Year" is similar to content shared by Intel Engage community members. In my opinion, the idea that if teachers and students are not directly involved in technology integration they are "rusting."

I have begun working to have students create digital portfolios. This is a work in progress and still needs much planning and executition.

Currently, it is a violation of my district policies to do four of the things. I've proposed changes so student work is can be shared with the world.

As you consider the fifteen items on the list, please share your thoughts on the following:

  • Which item from this list do you want to focus on this year?
  • What Technology Integration item do you think is missing from the list?

Today's post is about updates, tools or sites that I found interesting as I was searching the web.  Perhaps you will find something of interest to you or your students.  Check these out.

#1 Google Forms is getting an update and it looks pretty sweet! The new icon is purple.

Read all about it here.


#2 Salaries in Real Time

How many hours do you need to work in order to buy a burger?

Check out this interesting site:


11 minutes and 5 seconds until my next burger.

#3 Biteable - a simple video animation maker

This looks like a very useful tool for creating a tutorial or a visually animated infographic.

#4 2048 Game - I often spend time in study hall or in the lunch room to see what students are choosing to do on their Chromebooks during their free time. This tile game has become quite popular among our high school students. The game is simple, move like numbers together to add the tiles up from 2 - 4 - 8 -16 -32 -64 -128 - 256 - 512 - 1024 - 2048.  Although the concept is simple, to win the game is still a challenge as the boxes fill up and soon you are without a move.

As far as games go, this one is right up my alley. I love anything mathematical.


Time for Avatar fun!

Posted by glen_w Sep 21, 2015

I just created a new Peanuts avatar. The site Peanutize me is way too much fin! I envision my students creating new avatar. This is to prepare for The Peanuts Movie.



This represents me as follows:

  • I wear similar glasses.
  • I usually wear tennis shoes to school.
  • I wear a tie almost every day.
  • I wear a lab coat for safety during lab.


I hope other Intel Engage communitymembers will join in by doing the following:

  1. Create your own Peanut avatar.
  2. Upload the image to this blog.
  3. Explain how your avatar represents you.
  4. (Have fun!)

How do you promote creativity in your classroom? This Chat with Deb will show you several digital creativity exercises that you can do with your students.

Click here for the presentation from this video with all of the digital resources.

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 5.18.44 PM.png

Do you have an idea to share for promoting creativity with your students? If you do, please share. I'd love to hear about it.


STEM Snacks - Paper Rockets

Posted by glen_w Sep 15, 2015

Rockets.jpgThis past week, science teachers at my school challenged students to build paper rockets. As you see, we used a launcher that students pumped air into from a bicycle pump.  The materials provided for student rockets included: paper, masking tape, clear adhesive tape,  glue, and construction paper. We provided a dowel the same diameter as the launcher so students knew how large to make their rockets. Students were invited to build rockets, test their design, and then re-engineer the rocket. Many students made small changes and tested them again. Some students, however, made large changes before testing. I was thrilled at the enthusiasm shown by all participating students. It was something to behold as 33 students worked together to ensure everyone was able to launch their rocket multiple times. No one pushed, shoved, or tried to take another's turn. The rocket launcher was built using the Rocket Boy Launchers design. I found a simpler launcher design.


Two of the rockets went a distance of 345.2 feet (105.22 meters!) The distance was measured on Google Maps. (If you look closely, you may notice the construction of our new gymnasium is showing on the Google Map screenshot.)



I'm interested in comments from fellow Intel Engage community members.

  • How might an activity like this allow for collaboration between science and your content area?
  • What similar STEM activity do your students do?
  • How might we add technology into this activity the next time we do it?
  • How might an activity like this encourage students to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?

I just recently learned that the funny pictures with a clever little saying or thought on them are called memes (rhymes with themes).

These smart little images can convey a clever strong message.

The definition of meme is


So after coming across numerous memes related to education such as these:







I thought, why not give these a try in the classroom. 



Imagine if students created memes to help them remember important concepts in math, science, literacy etc.  The image is just as important and powerful as the words and having students create memes would require critical thinking and creativity. And since memes are spread via the Internet, it would be neat to hold a voting poll to see which memes get the most likes or shares.



I like this math meme:


And check out this science meme:

And recently I shared this meme on social media:

Click here for a free download of memes for Classroom Rules.



Whenever I see a trend that is taking off in social media that is of interest to students and draws in their attention, I'm ready to put the idea into practice in the classroom. It makes the learning relevant and current for the student.

What do you think? Would you use memes with your students? Would your students enjoy creating their own memes?

Here's one more meme for your entertainment:



Tuesday Sept 29th @ 6:00 pm CDT. (Please note NEW Time) Use a World Clock Time Zone Converter - like -

Special Note: Everyone who attends the webinar and completes the webinar survey will receive a September Webinar Badge.


Thinking critically and exploring open-ended new ideas and solutions is not only a big idea in the education community, but also stands firm in the business world as well. Being creative can often mean a lot of hard work and dedication to thought and to the overall  process.


As we celebrate creativity and tap into students’ curiosity and empower them to create through making, think about how you and or your school or community embarks on this creative journey.

Has your school or community set up a Makerspace? Have you  adopted a "Maker Mentality"?  If so, how have your students responded to it? Have they investigated squishy circuits and computer programming? Have they explored sewing machines or conductive thread?


Discuss the many ways that "Making" and the “Maker Mentality" can transform learning and teaching. Share examples of student-created, standards-aligned projects and discuss innovative ways to integrate “Making” into the classroom between September 9 and October 30 and partake in our Makey Makey Mentality Webinar Followup Blog and earn a Webinar Badge.


The Mission Title is Intel Teach Live September 2015:Makey Makey Mentality Webinar Badge


You must complete all the actions related to this Month’s Webinar Follow-up Blog to receive the Webinar Badge.


  • Reply to this thread at least 2 times.
    • Must include an instructional resource (document, video, image, how to document, link to a website etc) in one of the replies
  • Share this thread with 3 people (see Comments, Sharing,Likes and Ways to Share Thread)
  • Bookmark this thread
  • Post a link to another Intel Engage thread and or Blog post that provides enrichment and or creative ideas that enhance the Makey Makey Mentality Movement.

Recently I was asked to suggest a tool or site for holding an online discussion with students.  Google Classroom offers a discussion option that works really well. However, some teachers may not be using Google Classroom or are looking for an alternative.

TitanPad is a nice alternative. It allows the teacher to save the discussion and also has a cool replay feature.

Watch this Chat with Deb and see it in action.

Do you have a favorite tool or site for holding an online discussion? I would love to hear about it!

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

People have been telling visual stories for a very long time. When I grew up it was all about using a camera (with film!) or drawing with colored pencils.  Times sure have changed and it's no wonder that today's visual stories are much more interesting and flashy.

Gone are the days of a simple image growing the interest and success of marketing an idea. New trends in visual storytelling today include GIFs, real-time broadcasts, and infographics. 

GIFs are really starting to take off in popularity even though they have been around for quite a while.


A series of still images looping one after another creates an animation that can visually explain a concept. 

If you would like to create your own GIF I recommend a site called Picasion.  Simply upload a series of images to create your GIF. is a site that will create a GIF from images, a YouTube video, an uploaded video or a webcam.  

Students could create GIFs to demonstrate the steps for solving a math problem, or showing a physics equation. Students could also create a how-to GIF or even a GIF to show a transformation of a living thing.

Real-time broadcasts are also growing in popularity.  Meerkat and Periscope are two such apps.  Periscope grew out of Twitter and is quickly becoming a phenomenon.  If you haven't given Periscope a try, I highly recommend checking it out. There is something about broadcasting an event live and in person that gives this storytelling

app an edge above other apps and also gives others a chance to interact in real time while the story unfolds.  Students could broadcast a presentation or a science experiment live.



Infographics explain a concept in a very visual and factual way. Even the most complex information can be displayed in an understandable way with an infographic.

I recommend using Pictochart or for creating your own infographics. Both of these sites have templates to help you get started.  Students could collect and display data on a historical event,  science concept, famous person(s), or on a specific location in the world.   Infographics tell a story in a uniquely creative and critical way.

What is your favorite app or site for visual storytelling? How might you use that tool?  I'd love to hear from you.


Changing thoughts on rubrics

Posted by glen_w Sep 2, 2015

After reading the blog post Your Rubric Is A Hot Mess; Here's How To Fix It my team decided to try this rubric format this year. The only written details we include  in the rubriic  explain "requirements." As we collaborated, we felt it unnecessary to explain how students could do "less than their best" on a project.


When a projecct is completed, it is given to peers for reveiw. Peer reviewers mark if each requirement was met, how the requirement might "need work"," or how the requirement "exceeds expectations." My team is focusing on helping students do their best worka s they omplete assignments. The teacher then compares student peer review with his/her own review. So far, I have found EVERY peer review was accurate.


I am including an image of our last rubric. I look forward to the comments from members of our Intel Engage community.




Are you feeling creative today? If so, why? If not, why not? In a way, creativity is linked to a lot of the factors that drive educators to do the great work they do: inspiration, ambition, energy, empathy, and commitment. Everyone is capable of creativity, but it's not necessarily a natural phenomenon that simply emerges and inspires - it takes effort.


So what keeps this going? Think about:

  • Where do you find creative inspiration in your daily life? How do you encourage your students?
  • How do you get creative within the context of things like new Common Core curriculum and materials? How do you fit in creative instruction and student activities in the context of what many educators to feel is too much testing?


As with each month, if you participate in our Roadmap theme-based activities, you can earn a badge. If you complete all the actions related to this month's content during the month of September you'll earn the Community Roadmap Creative Classroom badge and 200 community points. To do this, you need to:

  • Read this blog (hint, if you're reading this, you've already completed this step)
  • Comment below with responses to any two of the three bulleted questions in the post above.
  • Bookmark and then leave a comment to participate in our Engage and Win giveaway discussion.

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