Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Flipped/Blended Classrooms: Zaption makes ordinary videos into interactive lessons.

One of the key components of a flipped/blended classroom is providing video based content for your students to view at home.  However, as educators, we know that a lot of students will just turn on a video and multi-task until they get to the end of the video, not really understanding the content.  What if we could make the videos more interactive?  Using Zaption, teachers can include multiple-choice questions, continuous polls, discussions and more to videos they pull from Vimeo, YouTube or their own computer.

Cost: Free for a 30 day trial.  $49/year after that.
Uses for the classroom: Use Zaption to annotate and make your videos interactive while engaging students.

Learn more about Zaption and watch some examples at:

Virtual Field Trips with Google Connected Classrooms

Through the use of Google Hangouts, we have the ability to visit anywhere in the world that we can get a person and an internet connected camera.

An initiative from Google called Google Connected Classrooms will allow you to participate in field trips from all over. This service is new, so the offerings may be limited in your area, but it's worth looking around for something that might augment your curriculum. At the end of this email you will find additional links that will show you some of what you might expect from this service.

Where we see the power of hangouts really having an impact in our classrooms is through local businesses and our own personal/professional contacts.

We see events like...
  • Multiple classes visiting a restaurant kitchen, interacting with a head chef
  • Walking a classroom through a factory while asking questions
  • Visiting the zoo with a guide
  • Interacting with the curator of a museum
  • connecting to other classrooms across the district/country
  • and so many more...
Imagine now being able to share experiences with your classes that required funding and time that were unavailable in the past. Not to mention the logistics of transportation and lunches. Now you can use your class time the way you want with more freedom than ever. Ever taken a 15 minute field trip? Well, now you can.

The setup is easy. The technology is already here. We simply need to foster the how and the why. This is where you come in. With your creative minds and my willingness to support your vision, we could begin creating some very exciting possibilities for our students.

Let us know how we can help you open the world to your students!

As for Google Connected Classrooms, the links below will provide you with an idea of what teachers and students might experience through using Google Hangouts in their classrooms.

Monday, January 13, 2014

PD: Digital Citizenship MOOC

Would you like to learn more about helping students blend their digital and non-digital lives into a healthy, inspired appoach to living?  Then this may be the MOOC (massive, open, online course) for you.

When does the course occur?
Spring semester, 2014 (January 12 to May 4).

Taught by?
Myself (Jason Ohler), President’s Professor and Professor Emeritus, Educational Technology, University of Alaska; Professor, Fielding Graduate University, Media Psychology PhD program.

The University of Alaska Southeast, School of Education

How to register?
  • Professional Development Course, ED 593. Contact: Cathie Thomas ( from the Professional Education Center. She will give you directions about how to sign up.
  • The free MOOC. As mentioned above, come to this website for the course materials. To join the discussion, join the Google+ Community Digital Citizenship MOOC 2014.
To learn more:

PD: KRESA Blended Learning Course Available

Start your New Year off right by registering for Blended Learning in the Classroom a free course for classroom teachers of students of all ages and administrators. The course begins online January 22 and ends May 9.

Register at: Blended Learning in the Classroom.

During this course you will:
  • Experience active and timely practice
  • Engage in learning, application, review, and revision of your own content
  • Begin developing your own blended environment
For more information check out or contact
Blended Learning Logo
Sponsored by REMC Association of Michigan with support from the MACUL.

Computer Lab Tips and Tricks for our Youngest Students at PPS

Taking Kindergarten and Young Fives students to the lab can be an adventure.  Having a plan before you go is essential for making the learning time in the lab successful and productive.  Here are two documents that should help make your computer lab time a stress free experience for both you and your students.

Kindergarten/Young 5s Computer Resources and Lesson Ideas

Lanschool for Elementary Teachers

As always, if you would like some help, I would be more than happy to come over to your building and give you a hand.  I can model  a computer lesson for you, we can work on a project together, or we can just brainstorm various ways to use the lab with our youngest students at PPS.