Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nearpod for Elementary Classrooms

Keeping students engaged can be difficult if not impossible.  Perhaps the greatest hurdle for a teacher on a daily basis is to keep your entire class on task, participating, actively thinking and... wait!  Are we off task again?

4th Graders at Oakdale learning about the
Native People of Utah.
If you throw a class set of iPads into the mix chances are you've just given each student approximately two million more things to distract them while you're teaching.  Or did you?  Teachers at Willow Springs and Oakdale Elementary schools are finding the app "Nearpod" for iPads does just the opposite.

Nearpod (available for free in the iTunes store and online at is easy to start using.  Although the app is fantastic for iPad users, it's also available in a web based form at  Try it with a MacBook lab, Chromebooks, or any web based portable device.  As long as you have internet connection you can have an engaging lesson.By using Nearpod you'll be able to hold their attention and control their screens.  As long as students don't leave the app, you determine what they see!

Step 1: Go to and click "Create Account"

Step 2: Complete the form fields required for your new free Nearpod account

Step 3: Watch the short "How Nearpod Works" video to get a preview of how your first lesson will run with students.

Step 4: Now that you're ready to go, browse the Nearpod Content Library available at to find a lesson you can use on your first run of Nearpod.  There are great resources here from LearnZillion, Time4Kids, and more.  Although some resources cost money, there are enough free opportunities for your first few activities.

Step 5:  What are you waiting for?  Fire up your computer or iPad, launch your lesson, and have your students jump in with the unique code that is given at the start of each "NPP", that's short for NearPodPresentation.  Although you might want to present your iPad or computer screen for the whole class, you probably don't have to.  Since all of the content you'll be sharing will appear on each student's device, don't distract them with another big screen.

Step 6:  How did it go?  If you liked it, but think the content library doesn't have exactly what you need for free, don't stress.  You can make your own NPPs with PowerPoint and upload them to your web account.  For directions on this check out the great tutorial available from "Making Tech Simple" at

For more info on how to use NearPod, visit the NearPod Community Blog at

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Find My iPad

If you have an iPad or other Apple device (iPhone or Macbook Pro), knowing how to find it if lost is a MUST!  This is a great tip to know even if you misplaced your device in your house, bag/purse, car, or pile of papers on your desk.  

Even though the app and demonstration video use an iPhone, the app and features function the same way.  Watch the video or follow the written steps below:

1. Install Find my iPhone app on your iPad. 
2. Enable Location Services for Find my iPhone app in Settings> Privacy> Location Settings> Turn On AND Settings> iCloud> Log in with iCloud or Apple ID> Turn on Find my iPad.
3. Log onto with your Apple ID on your computer or other internet-accessible device.
NOTE: You can use different Apple ID's for your different devices, just remember which is which.
4. Click the Find my iPhone button and select the device you would like to find from the device drop-down menu.  
5. After clicking the green button on the map, you can choose to play a sound, lock the device, or erase the device.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

TEDxCSDTeachers on YouTube

We had an extremely successful TEDx event on the 8th of November. It was a great team effort lead by Rachel Murphy who started the dream well over a year ago. We have had a great reception to the talks given that day. The most often hear request now is when will they be online. We are happy to announce the availability of the TEDxCSDTeachers talks through the TEDx YouTube channel. The playlist for the videos can be found at

Talks were provided by a variety of educators from inside and outside the district. Take some time to view them, you will enjoy what our great presenters had to say.

Friday, December 13, 2013

iTunes U and You...

iTunes U is a growing source of knowledge.  No longer are we kept from quality resources because of cost!  There are full courses and materials from the greatest educational institutions available for free for everyone.

Our Ed Tech department is taking a crack at creating content that is available to our own teachers and those who live/work in other areas as well through iTunes U.  A couple of great courses we created are "Using Pearson Successnet in your Classroom" (geared toward K-6) and "Designing Instruction for the 1 iPad Class" (designed for all grade levels).

Topics can be searched by genre, institution, or academic level (K-12/Higher Ed/Beyond Campus).  One featured piece was created by the University of Virginia.  It is called "The Kennedy Half Century" and chronicles his presidency and legacy following his death.  This is one example of how we have access to more knowledge that will help us to become even better teachers.  There are many examples of amazing content available to anyone with an iOS device.

From practitioner information to lifelong learning enrichment, it's all here on iTunes U.  Just download the Free App on your iPad, sign into your Apple ID and download a course that interests you.  For more information check out our ProLearning page on iTunes U!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Presentation Tools

Are your students tired of creating a PowerPoint every time they present to the class? There are many great options for students to create unique presentations that are just as clear and communicative as a PowerPoint, but mix things up a bit and encourage creativity. Check out this list of possibilities!

Computer-Based Software Tools:
  • PowerPoint - A great tool if your students haven't used it a lot already
  • Keynote - Similar to PowerPoint with great creative potential - Available for Macs only
  • Comic Life - Create presentation comics or posters. Kids love using the software.
Web-Based Software Tools:
  • Google Docs Presentation - Similar to PowerPoint, but students can collaborate simultaneously!
  • KerPoof - "Kerpoof is all about having fun, discovering things, and being creative. Here are just a few ways that you can use Kerpoof: Make artwork, make an animated movie... tell a story..."
  • ZooBursta digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books.
  • StoryJumperPublish your own children's book. StoryJumper is a place to create and discover stories for kids.
  • Prezi - Presentations that zoom in and out
  • Voki - "Create speaking avatars and use them as an effective learning tool.
  • PowToon - Create animated videos and presentations
  • Animoto - Create easy, beautiful videos online
  • Layar (augmented reality) - Bring print to life with digital content
  • Weebly - Build your own website
  • VoiceThread - Create presentations, then narrate them and have others leave audio comments.
  • SlideRocket - "...make great presentations that engage your audience and deliver tangible results."
  • projeqt - "Dynamic presentations for a real-time world"
  • - "Your creation and presentation tool, simplified"
iOS Apps:
  • Keynote - There's an app for that!
  • Doceri - "The professional iPad interactive whiteboard and screencast recorder with sophisticated tools for hand-drawn graphics and remote desktop control."
  • Stage - Interactive whiteboard and camera app
  • Haiku Deck - "Meet Haiku Deck, a completely new kind of presentation software. We make telling your story simple, beautiful, and fun."
  • KerPoof - There is now a KerPoof mobile app too!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Turn your iPad into an Interactive Whiteboard

Recording a video lesson has never been easier! 

There are several apps that will let you share a presentation (photos, PowerPoint presentations, etc.) and record your live annotations and voice notes. I want to share information about two of these apps below, but there are several others available in the app store.

First up is Explain Everything. This is a paid app ($2.99) but with all of the recording and import/export options it is well worth the money. When you create a new project with this app, you are given the option to import a PowerPoint, PDF, or photos from your iPad or from your online file storage program, like Dropbox. You can also start with a blank screen and add your own notes and annotations. Once your recording is completed, you can save the movie file to your iPad or share it via Youtube.

Another great app is Educreations. It is free and they are adding features all the time. Any presentations you record are saved to your iPad and can be shared via email or via a link to your video on their website. The Educreations website is also a community of other teachers who are creating and sharing their videos, so you may be able to find other presentations that work for your lessons.

See the images below for a comparison of the recording screens in Explain Everything and Educreations: 

In Explain Everything, the primary controls and settings are listed to the left of the recording screen. The page selector, playback, recording and saving options are listed at the bottom.

In Educreations, the controls for recording and other controls are displayed above the recording screen. You can use the controls at the bottom of the screen to change the paper, duplicate and add pages.

Both of these apps work do a great job of presenting and sharing information live or creating screen recording from your iPad for students to review concepts or to share information with students who may have missed your class. From math instruction to annotating parts of the anatomy, class reading projects to professional development, these two apps have application for almost all teaching situations.

BONUS App: Knowmia Teach is also Free, has a database of teacher-created content similar to Educreations and has a ton of great recording tools like Explain Everything. It also allows you to use the front-facing camera on your iPad to record your face while you are teaching to make the videos a little more personal. See more about Knowmia Teach, including some great screenshots on the Knowmia website or in iTunes.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Story

Today I am spotlighting My Story-Book Maker for Kids. This fun and engaging iOS app allows students to create and share ebooks.

Students become authors as they add text, drawings, photos, and stickers to each page. Then, they can record their own voice on each page and share the story with friends, family and classmates via email, iBooks, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

My Story is very teacher friendly because you can add multiple authors to the app and sync across multiple iPads. You can have all of your classroom iPads sync to one teacher account via a free Bright Bot Classroom account. It is a perfect app for the classroom and well worth the $3.99 purchase price!

View the video below for a demonstration of how the app works.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Teachers at East Sandy Elementary have a reason to celebrate!  Alison Stroud, Lora Griffin and Karen Johnson were all awarded Donors Choose grants.  With the help of their Achievement Coach, Brooke Rauzon, the teachers wrote grants to purchase technology for their classroom.  Alison wrote her grant for two iPad Minis which was fully granted.  Alison stated that it was very easy to complete the grant and that it only took about 30 minutes to complete.  She would love to do it again and says, "Take the time!!!  It is well worth it.  I am so excited to have two new iPad Minis in my classroom to enhance my technology curriculum throughout the day."  Lora and Karen also applied for iPad Minis through Donors Choose. Lora included headphone splitters and other accessories for her iPad Minis.  They agrees that the process was easy and only took thirty to forty minutes to complete.  Karen and Lora were both very excited about the support that their Donors Choose grants will help in their 'College and Career Ready Classrooms.' Lora states, "Would you like to earn $800 in an hour?, It is possible! I have applied and received numerous grants...but Donors Choose is by far the shortest and easiest grant to apply excuses unless your classroom doesn't need $800."

For more information about grants available for teachers, visit ProLearning!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


As winter draws near, it is easy to fall into the slump of the winter teaching blues.  The TeachingChannel is a great way to rejuvenate yourself and remind you why you became a teacher! For example, watch the video below by Taylor Mali posted on

The TeachingChannel has a collection of videos and other resources to keep you motivated.  The free site houses nearly 800 videos in many different content areas and topics.  These short video clips provide a wide variety of teaching strategies for pre k-12, and are a great way to renew engagement in your classroom. The videos have great lesson plan ideas, engagement and behavior strategies, and even have ideas for new teachers.

By using the share button in the Resources tab, the website can be used as a web 2.0 tool.  You can upload videos, lesson ideas, or other documents and presentations.  You can also follow other teachers, creating an extensive collaborative network.

So, instead of dreading going to school during the cold wintery months, try visiting the TeachingChannel and get some new ideas to brighten and cheer up your classroom.


Tales2Go is a kids audiobook service that streams books to computers and mobile devices.  Parents and teachers have unlimited access to thousands of name-brand audio titles that can be used in the classroom and even in the home.  Titles are available from pre-school up to eighth grade.  Tales2Go is a paid service, but a free 30-day trial is offered for those who are interested in trying out the service.  There is a monthly subscription of $9.99 a month or a yearly subscription of $99.99. Audiobooks are used in the classrooms to teach reading, build critical vocabulary, and to help with fluency and listening skills. Student achievement can be improved when adding a listening component to reading instruction.  This is a great resource for kids to have and another way to get them involved with reading. 


Link to free app:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to Download Youtube Videos

Did you use a YouTube video last year, but this year the video is gone?  Know that you are not alone.   I found a great five-minute video teaching students about political cartoons my first year of teaching in a way that I could never do by standing in the front of the room lecturing.  However, I went to show it the following year and it was gone.

At that point I decided “NEVER AGAIN!”  I searched the web for a way to download Youtube clips and save them to my hard drive and/or insert them into PowerPoint.  Listed below are different tools for downloading videos and safe viewing of Youtube videos.  Resources were shared by CSD EdTechs and are free. 

     Downloading Tools:
        Downloadhelper –Plug-in for FireFox
         * This is my favorite.  Here is a How to Document. 
        Fast Video Download - plug-in for Firefox.
        DownloadYouTube Videos as MP4- Plug-in FireFox
        iSkysoft – Free download

    Safe viewing options:
       Safe Share

Monday, December 2, 2013

Music for Learning

Music is one of the most prevalent and universal forms of expression in our world. Music is not only one of the biggest money making industries around, but is also a staple of most people's daily routines and is included in everything from a morning workout to an afternoon drive home from work, yet we don't see many teachers utilize music for learning in most classrooms.

According an article from Johns Hopkins University School of Education entitled "Music and Learning: Integrating Music in the Classroom,"author Chris Boyd Brewer states that "music can be used to help us remember learning experiences and information..." and it "...can also create a highly focused learning state in which vocabulary and reading material is absorbed at a great rate." 

The article includes many fantastic ideas for using music in the classroom as a way to help the learner and the learning environment be more effective. Click here for more of his ideas and the research that supports music for learning. 

If you decide that adding music to parts of your teaching is something you'd like to try, talk to your Ed Tech about options and possibilities, but another great place to start is Pandora. 

Pandora is a free music-playing website that you can customize with the kind of music you prefer to hear. (This does require you to set up an account, but you can select the free option.) This is just one of many resources available to teachers and is a great place to start when it comes to changing a stuffy classroom atmosphere! 

(Just be sure to use caution and common sense when selecting types of music to play for students. Be sure that all music is age and language appropriate for your classroom.) 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

SpellMania App

SpellMania is a free app available in the iTunes store.
 It is available for the iPad and iPhone.
This app gives players 16 letters to make words.
Words must be 3 or more letters.
Players use their finger to connect letters to form words.
This app has a timed and un-timed feature

The Un-Timed Feature
The un-timed game shows the player how many words can be made with the 16 letters.
This player has made 4/148 words, words are shown in the center.
The Timed Feature
The timed game has a timer that runs out.
Once the timer has ran out, the player must start a new game.
The game can be paused and resumed.

This app is great for all grade levels. It gets the brain working. 
For an extension of this app, teachers could have students make sentences using one, two, or three of the words that have been made on the app. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Parent Connections- New Site!

Parents Connections is a new website full of resources for parents!  This is a tool to assist teachers and parents in educating our students.  One of the main goals of the Parent Connections team is to inform parents and students about the importance of Online Safety.  Although technology provides many positive results, there are also dangers lurking if not used correctly.  Teachers can refer parents to this site to answer questions and provide useful and important information.

The features available for elementary teachers and parents include:
  • K-5 Online Safety brochures and resources
  • Skyward Family Access tutorials
  • Pearson SuccessNet tutorials and information
  • Homework resources
  • Access to the I-Canyons Parent Tool Kit for report card information
  • Information and guides for volunteering in the schools
The features available for secondary teachers and parents include:
  • 6-12 Online Safety brochures and resources
  • Skyward Family Access tutorials
  • Homework resources
  • Information and guides for volunteering in the schools
  • Information about Google Apps for Canyons and Chromebooks
  • Canvas Resources coming soon!
Come check out the resources available at the Parent Connections Website today!

Friday, November 22, 2013

CSDDocs on an iPad

A couple months ago, Dustin posted a bit about the district's new Google Apps for Education instance called CSDDocs. It is still in a sort of soft rollout phase, but is available for all Staff and Students (3rd grade and above). Everyone in the district from 3rd graders and beyond have CSDDocs accounts. Teachers talk to your EdTech to find our more and how staff and students access their CSDDocs accounts.

What CSDDocs allows us to do is have a platform for teachers and students to collaborate on and share documents, presentations, spreadsheets and files easily with one another. For example, a teacher could assign groups of students to create a report together. Instead of each member of the group working on their own copy, the entire group could work on one document in Google Docs, AT THE SAME TIME. CSDDocs can be accessed on the web, from a Chromebook and even from an iPad. I want to share with you how to access your Google Drive (this is where all of your files now live if you use Google Docs, etc.) from an iPad.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hour of Code - Calling All Teachers!

In the month of December, Canyons School District classrooms (and schools across the state of Utah) will be participating in the Computer Science's Ed Week project called 'Hour of Code.' The Hour of Code project strives to involve all students, ages 6-106, in a "one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code" and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innovator." Teachers and entire schools can sign up to participate and every teacher who completes an hour of code with students will earn an extra 10GB of Dropbox space! Schools in which every student participates are entered to win a mobile computer lab.

Tutorials for students to use during the hour of code are available for FREE.  Teachers need not worry whether (or not) they know how to code as the tutorials are designed to be self-paced training students that complete on their own! If computers are not available for your class and you still want to participate many activities not requiring computers are ready as well - use the tutorials found at Computer Science Unplugged!  

Sign up to participate today!

Not convinced you should participate? Take a look at these statistics!
  • There will be 1 million more computing jobs than students over the next 10 years (adding up to $500 billion in salaries)
  • More than 50 percent of all projected math and science occupations are in computing occupations.
  • Computing occupations are among the highest-paying jobs for new graduates. Yet fewer than 3% of college students graduate with a degree in computer science.
  • In 36 states, computer science classes don’t count toward math or science high school graduation requirements.
  • A.P. Computer Science is taught in only 5% of U.S. high schools
  • Fewer than 20% of AP Computer Science students are women. 
  • Fewer than 10% are Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino.
  • More statistics can be found at the CSEdWeek Pitch PowerPoint Presentation!

I-Canyons Parent Toolkit

The I-CANyons Parent Toolkit is a resource created by elementary educators in the Canyons School District to help parents with student academic achievement.  A parent and/or teacher can go to the web site and click on a specific subject and standard for each grade level to learn how to help students who have mastered or not yet mastered a concept.  There are many links that parents can download to work with their students at home.  Working together with their child's teacher, they will most assuredly help their student succeed and be college and career ready.

Click here to go to the Parent Toolkit

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 for Fun and Bouncy Digital Storytelling

Let's build a "Buncee"!

Check out this exciting and free new web app that allows teachers and students to build interactive digital presentations in a snap.  This tool is great for sending a simple message or creating a full-scale digital story.  Something as complicated as the Gettysburg Address can be shared online with a fun "Buncee".

Much like a PowerPoint Slideshow or Keynote Presentation, a Buncee can be made with slides and images to tell a story.  But unlike the other two programs, a Buncee is free and easy to make online with digital resources straight from the web - images, movies, hyperlinks, and other interactive features can be dropped into the show right from the Buncee website.  Check out this story of Thanksgiving:

Learn more about how to get started building your own Buncee with this short YouTube Video.  Then go to to make your own free educational account for students and teachers.

Monday, November 18, 2013

App Feature: Red Stamp

Red Stamp is one of my favorite apps for creating beautiful birthday cards, thank you notes, invitations, letters, and more!  The app is free and does not require a login to create or send notes via email, text, tweet, Facebook or Instagram.  Red Stamp will even print and mail your cards for you (login and payment required)!  Some templates even allow pictures!

Ways to use Red Stamp in the classroom:

  • Inform parents of upcoming events
  • Thank you notes to students for a job well done
  • Student Spotlights
  • Introduce yourself to parents/faculty
  • Class party invitations
  • Class Posters

Templates are organized into categories on the main page and then subcategories on the next page.

There are over 600 designs to choose from and each design comes in several different color options.

You might even recognize some of these flyers hanging around your school!

 Try Red Stamp for free today!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Parent Communication has Never Been Easier, Thanks to Technology Tools for Teachers!

When I was teaching 5th grade I had many parents who were very interested in supporting their kids in school, but with demanding schedules and 30 students it was difficult to make individual contact with every parent regularly.  I found one year that a successful tactic in coordinating our efforts was to send a weekly email that outlined the major plans for the week, project deadlines and expectations, and supplemental resources that supported the classroom lessons and activities.  I was quite impressed with the quality of work I received from these students and how happy the parents were with being able to know what was happening in the classroom without having to dig it out of their children at dinner.

I found that I was a much more effective educator because I was no longer working alone.  My students' parents had more information and could ask more specific questions to target growth in their children.  The greatest thing about this development was how easy it was to do.  I simply used Outlook Contact Groups to easily email everyone at once.  The unpleasant duty of chasing down work was all but gone because parents were informed and reminded of deadlines.  They were not reliant on their children to let them know these important dates.  The parents were my allies in our common mission to help make the students successful.

I made sure to collect the emails of all of my parents at the beginning of the year and enter them as contacts in Outlook.  Skyward is a great resource in our district because the parents enter their emails when they enroll the students each year.  For about 30 minutes of work at the start, I was able to become a stronger teacher for the entire year.

For a Tutorial on how to create these contact groups click here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The iKnow Podcast on iTunes U

Did you know that iKnow, the Canyons District employee newsletter, is now available as a podcast? The iKnow podcast is ideal for busy teachers who want to stay "in the know" with District events and news but have busy schedules. The podcast can be accessed through iTunes U and downloaded onto a computer or iOS device (iPad, iPod, iPhone) so that it can be accessed on the go. Imagine learning about all about the latest and greatest happenings in the District while you're running on the treadmill, commuting to and from work, or cooking dinner. The iKnow podcast makes it easy!

The iKnow podcast and many other podcasts and professional development courses are available on the Canyons District iTunes U channel. Watch the following tutorial videos to find out how to subscribe:

iTunes U on iOS

  iTunes U on a Computer

Monday, November 11, 2013

What Can Canvas Do For You?

We are talking about Canvas in all of our secondary schools this year. To help teachers to better utilize this tool in their classrooms, we want to help provide answers to the question:

Why Canvas?

Maximize opportunities to Respond.
Canvas can help you to better understand what your students are learning. You can give students opportunities to share what they know and ask questions when they need help. You can track concepts students aren’t grasping, which assignments they have missed and who needs extra help.

Re-Capture Instruction Time.
Canvas is designed to give you more time to teach and to give students more time to learn. With Canvas you can extend your instruction time beyond your classroom walls and time limits, and students can learn from your instruction materials anytime and anywhere.

Want to cut down on the time you spend grading tests, quizzes, essays and other assignments? Use SpeedGrader in Canvas to grade student work in a fraction of the time while still providing personalized feedback to each student. The SpeedGrader app for iPad lets you take your grade book wherever you go.

Professional Learning.
Teachers can become students in a Canvas course and share ideas and resources across classes and across schools. Canvas is easy to use and can engage teacher-learners anywhere and anytime, so more time can be spent teaching and working with students.

What should you be doing with Canvas now?

Most teachers won’t begin teaching with Canvas until next school year. But for some groups and for those teachers who would like to get started, there are some guidelines listed below. The goal is to help ALL secondary teachers participate in Canvas as a student this year. If you’d like to do more, contact your Ed Tech Specialist.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Write About This

An app I recently shared with the teachers at my schools is Write About This.  It is a great writing app. You can use this app in whole group or small group lessons, or as an independent activity. Prompts include a picture and a written prompt. Use can use the preloaded prompts, or create your own. The app allows you to type your response to the prompt or vocally record a response.

The free version of this app provides you with 50 preloaded prompts and the ability to try the create your own feature. The paid version allows you full access to all features and costs $3.99. Your students are sure to love this app!

Watch this video for a demonstration of the features and ideas on how to use it in your classroom.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


This year much of my time and effort has been helping teachers and counselors with, Google Docs.  There is no mistaking that using Google Docs in the classroom itself is not an amazing tool, but I am asked a very specific “how to” questions that Google Docs cannot do easily .  

The number one question is “How can I share documents with students so that each student has their own document to edit without students having to share the document back to me?”  

Doctopus is the answer.  Doctopus allows the teacher to distribute, share, and manage documents (templates) easily to each student.  This will help increase differentiated learning and communication with your students.  

To learn more please watch "Doctopus 4.0 walkthrough" by Jay Atwood.  The video is licensed as "Reuse Allowed" by Creative Commons.  Thanks Jay for sharing. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Flippin' the Classroom with Knowmia Teach

 Knowmia Teach is a free online tool and iOS app that allows teachers to build and record lessons for teaching and learning purposes.  Teachers can create their own lessons and post them on the website for everyone to see, or they can search from over 19,000 lessons created by other teachers in the Video Lesson Library.  Lessons can then be turned into assignments using the Assignment Wizard Tool.

Knowmia can provide free training opportunities to teach teachers how to use the app effectively.  You can get a group of 5 or more teachers together and then schedule an online training session.  The website also provides online tutorials that provide more detail about the product.

The app allows you to build lessons by adding photos/graphics, voice, face recording, text, shapes, background color, and a pen.  It even has a pointer tool to help draw attention to specific things on the screen as you are recording.  Once the lesson has been created, it can be exported to the iPad, Dropbox, Google Drive, or added to your lessons on the Knowmia website.

To learn more about Knowmia Teach, click on the link below.

Monday, November 4, 2013 is a site that allows you to show and share YouTube videos without the ads and other videos that show up. If you have been on YouTube lately you know that you can't control what images and ads appear on the YouTube site.  Many of the videos and ads that appear are not appropriate for students young eyes. is a site to help eliminate that problem. 

Once on here are the directions for how to use it:
  1. Copy the YouTube link for the video you would like to share
  2. Go to
  3. Paste the link in the space provided and click Generate Safe Link
  4. Click Take Me to the Safe View (It will appear below the button you just clicked)
  5. It will then take you to a page that just has the video you would like to view/show your class.
 You can copy the Safeshare link and reuse it.
Click here to view an example of a video shared using

Friday, November 1, 2013

Vocabulary Spelling City

If you are looking for a place for students to practice with vocabulary or spelling words- this is the place! Vocabulary Spelling City is both a website and and app, so students can practice and play games in a variety of ways both at home and school. The FREE version of the program works really well for most teachers and most grades because you select the level of difficulty based on the words you enter.  For information on how to set up an account to use with your students see below.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Wishing you a safe night of haunting! 
Happy Halloween from your Ed Tech Team. 
2013 Canyons District (costumed) Educational Technology Specialist Team 

Monday, October 28, 2013


Even though blendspace ( has been around for quite some time, I was thinking it would be a good idea to review.  This site allows you to easily drop content into a nice format, easy for kids and adults to navigate.  You can select colors, themes, and layouts. 

For this example, I used blendspace for the PG&L (Professional Growth and Leadership) class for the teachers to review the articles that they are assigned for that night's class.  You can also search within blendspace for content.  In this example, I used some content that I located, and some from their search engine.  I was very impressed with the ease of use.  Check it out.

iOS 7 Battery Saving Tips

iOS is great, but it also drains your iOS device's battery very quickly. Here are 3 easy tips to help save your battery on you iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device that is running iOS 7.