Ed Tech Pro Tool Belt – Jason Schultz

 Very happy that Jason agreed to do this post. Jason is a friend and colleague, but also an up and coming leader of both Ed Tech and education as a whole. Enjoy!

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Name: Jason Schultz

Position: 10th Grade World History Teacher

Location: Brighton, MI

Twitter Handle:  @jasnschultz

Personal Blog/Website:  jasonschultz.wordpress.com

Mobile Device: Apple iPhone 4s

Tablet: Apple iPad 2nd Generation

Main Computer: Apple Macbook Pro 15″

What apps/tools/software could you not live without?

Things (App): This has probably been one of my favorite apps on my iPhone. With the hectic schedule of a teacher, there’s always a lot of tasks that I need to accomplish in a given week. This app really helps me organize my tasks and my to-dos, which allows me to be more productive. Another feature I really love is how the app allows you to make tasks for big projects that you want to accomplish. Overall, this app has really improved my daily productivity and organization.

Evernote (App): What tech user does not love this app? It’s a great resource to take notes on your iPad or iPhone and have it synced throughout all your devices. I especially love it when I’m away from my computer and I think of a lesson idea or resource I could use within my curriculum. I’ve also been experimenting with taking note on Evernote during department and staff meetings or even profession development days. It can be tough to type notes on an iPhone, but it keeps my notes organized and their always available on my computer.

Twitter (tool): This is easily the one tool I could never live without. Checking my Twitter feed is a daily routine for me. My twitter feed contains various educators, edtech sites, news sites, and social studies handles that provide great resources and ideas that I can implement in my classroom. I also use twitter to share the lesson plans and ideas I have to get feedback from educators around the world. Twitter provides great opportunity for teacher collaboration that goes beyond the school district.

What apps/tools/software have you repurposed from its original goal or end product? 

The Twitter Project: One of my big projects during my student teaching was incorporating Twitter as an educational tool within my classroom. I wanted to use Twitter as a source for students to express their ideas, understandings, or misconceptions throughout class. Whatever we say or write becomes an expression of our position, giving voice to our ‘speak consciousness’ no matter the context. I developed a class Twitter handle for students to tweet using their mobile devices or devices I provided for them. During class, I projected TweetDeck on the side where students could Tweet anytime throughout a class period. It created a “backchannel” for students to express their thoughts, concerns, or Class Twitterquestions they may not have asked during class. It provided a great space for students who are normally shy or embarrassed to share their voice in class and also create student collaboration inside and outside of class. It also allowed for myself to check for student understanding and questions throughout class.

QR Codes: This great piece of technology was inspired from none other than Kyle Shack. Reading his experiences and utilization of QR codes really inspired me to try and incorporate it within my own curriculum. I developed a Bantu Migration simulation where students were divided into various African tribes and engaged in their own migration throughout the school. QR codes helped navigate the students through the school, provided various information and factors for migration. QR codes really provide a great way for students to quickly access information while utilizing technology.

Share an Ed Tech tip!  

Know when to use educational technology to its full potential. Allow any Ed Tech tool and resource as a way to create new tasks and improve the learning experience.

What is one app/tool/software you would like to learn more about? 

I would love to learn more about Coding and how to do it. It would be a great skill to have both inside and outside the classroom.

Favorite blogs, twitter handles or other resources from your Personal Learning Network: 

Edutopia, T.H.E Journal, and Education Week are great Twitter handles for ideas and resources when it comes to Ed. Tech. David Warlick is a veteran teacher who provides excellent feedback on Ed tech knowledge on Twitter. Even simply just plugging in #edtech on Twitter contains hundreds of different perspectives, tools, and resources that current and future Ed Tech enthusiasts can utilize within their teaching practices.

Best advice you have ever received: 

Never be afraid to try something new, especially when it comes to Ed Tech. Nothing you incorporate, with regards to technology, will ever work perfectly the first time. Ed. Tech is just like cooking, you have to constantly refine, adapt, and improve the process in order to make a great final product and a better learning experience for the students.

Is there anything else you would like to add that you think the Ed Tech community would enjoy/find useful? 

Using Ed Tech is a tough busy and it’s even more tough doing it alone. Utilize resources, educators, and tools in order to make the process easier. There are a lot of great educators and tech enthusiasts who have great ideas when it comes to incorporating technology within the classroom. Blogs, websites, and Twitter are great tools to help build and improve your ed tech knowledge base and arsenal.


Previous posts from the “Ed Tech Pro Tool Belt” series:
Guy Larcom – eLearning Designer @ Davenport University
Candace Marcotte – Technology Facilitator @ Glenview 34

Ed Tech Pro Tool Belt – Candace Marcotte

 Extremely excited that Candace Marcotte was kind enough to be the feature of my second “Ed Tech Pro Tool Belt” series. I had the pleasure of spending two summers overseas in the MAET program with Candace, and she is an amazing member of the educational technology community. Enjoy! 

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QR in use

Name: Candace Marcotte

Position: Technology Facilitator/ Glenview 34

Location: Glenview, IL

Twitter Handle:  @canmarcotte

Personal Blog/Website:  candacemarcotte.wordpress.com

Mobile Device: Apple iPhone 5

Tablet: Apple iPad 3rd Generation

Main Computer: Apple Macbook Pro 13″

What apps/tools/software could you not live without?

Jing: Screencasts for student and staff tutorials

-Screenshots and annotating them: Creating user guides and providing help or inside view on how to get the most bang for the buck out of an application or software

Google Drive: Pretty. Much. Everything. Whether I’m collaborating on a Doc with all of the tech facilitators in the district or teachers to create a lesson, using Presentation to collaborate with a colleague to deliver a PD, chatting in G+ Hangouts with fellow EdTechies, tracking expenditures and budgets in Spreadsheets, collecting and sharing student peer evaluations with Forms, or using G Chat to touch base with colleagues, I’m pretty much “all in” and am a Google Gal.

Chrome Extensions: MAKE MY LIFE EASIER! My faves are- ShortenMe (create short links and QR codes with one click), Diigo Web Collector (syncs to your Diigo account and lets you highlight & comment on a site with one click), and Evernote Clearly (helps me focus by taking away distractions, syncs to my Evernote account and let’s me highlight and clip ideas/sites, also let’s me change text size and color of whatever I’m viewing)

Pixlr.com: When creating activities, lessons, or random projects, it’s an easy “jump-in” free photo editor that gets the job done efficiently (I also use it with students as an introduction tool…they create photo representations of themselves…I’ve gotten some pretty cool ones!)

iMovie: Creating book trailers and stop-motion films with students, creating staff videos that give ideas for using tools in the classroom (taking it beyond substitution- SAMR Model)

Apple Support Communities: Even though we have an IT, I still get random technical questions that stump me. One of my best friends this year has been! I’ve learned a lot!

tech in use

Apps: Evernote: Lets me keep track of my to do list as I’m running around the building or district meeting with people

Google Maps: With just moving, I don’t know where I’m going 98% of the time

PaperPort Notes: Let’s me doodle/keep notes on PDFs during meetings

CloudOn: Review/revise Microsoft Office files and syncs with Google Drive and Dropbox…did I mention it gives you Ppt, Word, and Excel on your iPad…FOR FREE!

Reflector: Let’s me airplay multiple devices at once so others can view them in real time and I can do screen captures for PD purposes

-Can I say, “The Internet” and a way to access it?! Now that I’ve been exposed to the wonders, I don’t think I could go back to finding information in our family’s set of encyclopedias and be happy with the one answer I got from it. 

What apps/tools/software have you repurposed from its original goal or end product?  Apps: Songify and I am T-Pain: I use these apps with students as a quick formative assessment or an exit slip. By having them summarize ideas from the lesson in a short phrase and go around the room to record, it’s very easy to understand who gets it or not by what they share. They’re super motivated by it because we have a sweet song in less than two minutes. A little auto-tune action goes a long way. We even used it to create Electromagnetic Spectrum songs that we paired with exported PowerPoints to create music videos, because they were so into it. While we still created songs, I’m sure the app creators didn’t plan for this use when they envisioned their product.

I’m really into “mash ups”, but not in the typical sense. I love to put my hacker skills to work by taking tools and re-working them to meet a new goal. For example, below is an infographic I created while serving as the course assistant for CEP 812 with MSU. I used easel.ly for my structure, bitstrips.com for my avatar, ShortenMe for the QR codes, and Pixlr.com to remove the background from my avatar.

Share an Ed Tech tip!  Everyone should know that Command+Return will let you move to the next line within a cell using Google Spreadsheets. It saves a lot of frustration. Also, if you don’t know about Infuse Learning, check it out! Powerful formative assessment options for nearly all devices…and, it converts text and audio to different languages. Talk about meeting students at their level!

What is one app/tool/software you would like to learn more about?  I’m going to dig into coding next, using codecademy.com and code.org. I have basic HTML coding skills, but want more! As educators, how many times have we said, “If I only had a program that…” I want to be able to help my teachers’ visions come to life and to create dynamic learning experiences for students.

Favorite blogs, twitter handles or other resources from your Personal Learning Network:  -Gotta stay up on my free Web 2.0 tools: Free Tech For Teachers  and Larry Ferlazzo’s Website
-Stay up on my EdTech knowledge (some of the resources I use for this): Tech & Learning,  Edutopia and Teaching Like It’s 2999

Best advice you have ever received: I’ve heard variations of this quote, but here’s the gist, 

“It’s not the technology that creates a stellar learning experience, it’s the teacher who has used best practice in designing the implementation of the technology as a resource, to meet the students needs and engage them in active learning.”

 So many times, people refer to the power of technology in education. They often fail to mention/remember that there is a great teacher behind every successful technology integration, who truly makes it come to life.

Is there anything else you would like to add that you think the Ed Tech community would enjoy/find useful? As a 21st Century educator, learn about the TPACK framework and the SAMR Model. Technology integration isn’t just using Word to type a document, there’s a whole lot more to it! Push yourself as an educator and, in turn, it will push your students to synthesize, create, and OWN their learning.

Also, be courageous and try something that is a little outside of your comfort zone with tech in the classroom…guess what…technology will fail! But, you’re an awesome educator and will run with it. It’s ok.