Friday, September 23, 2016

What is a Technology Integrationist?

iPads in Elementary! (Resources from ESU 8 - Sept. 2016)

Two great events at ESU 8 schools were held this week.  As we visited with teachers there, they were looking for ways to better integrate iPads in their elementary classrooms.  The following site of resources was a collective effort from the ESU 8 team to share our ideas with our schools.

Take time to learn more about the SAMR model by exploring the "Where are we headed" tab.

LEARN: Learn about apps for curriculum review and research in the "Curriculum skills practice" tab.

CREATE: Experience apps for student creation in the "Student Creation" tab.

ASSESS: Gather more information about the learning in your room with the "Formative Assessment" tab.

Then wrap it all up by looking at your own BrightBytes data and deciding what your "Next Steps" are.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Adventures in Art: Be an art analyst! (Green screen activity)

GreenScreen Activity
Be an art analyst! 

View student example from 2015-16 ESU 8 Art Show (Annika Thomas from Norfolk Jr. High)

Discuss key strategies.

Distance from the camera
Hiding “behind” parts of the artwork
Gestures and body movements

Determine access to the DoInk Green Screen app ($2.99)

Steps to Completion
  1. Decide if you want to put your video together on MAC or iPAD.
  2. Choose an art project that you have completed and digitize it. (Scan it or simply take a digital photo of it.)
  3. Write a script that you would say to give a “tour” of your artwork. Things to discuss may include:
    1. IDEATION: How did you get the idea/inspiration for the artwork?
    2. PRODUCT: What medium did you create with?
    3. PROCESS: What process did you go through to complete it?
    4. PRINCIPLES: Which art principles did you employ while creating it?
    5. BACK STORY: Explain the “behind the scenes” meaning and/or techniques used to create.
    6. MESSAGE: What do you hope your audience thinks when they see it?

  1. Film yourself reading your narrative.
Film with iPad camera
Film with iPad camera
AirDrop to a Mac
Airdrop clips from Photos app to another iPad (if desired)
  1. Edit your video
Open iMovie and start a new project
Open the DoInk GreenScreen app and start a new project
Drag in your art project and make it last for longer than you think your video will be
Add your art project to the very bottom track (+ Select a Source: Image)
Drag in your greenscreen video and drop it ON TOP of the art project clip
Insert your greenscreen video in the track ABOVE the art project clip             (+ Select a Source: Video)
Choose Green/Blue Screen from the drop-down effects in toolbar
Adjust the ChromaKey, if necessary
Clean up the area by dragging the handles around the greenscreen area. (Optional crop is also available.)
Pinch and zoom to place your greenscreen clip wherever you want it to appear on your background.
Repeat for additional clips as desired
Repeat for additional clips as desired

  1. Export and share!

Tips for a better finished product

Additional Ideas for Student Art Commentary projects

Gallery of finished products!

“Drew’s art example”

“Cardboard art”


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Letters About Literature: Reading/Writing opportunity for schools

Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors
Young readers in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest, a national reading and writing promotion program. The letter can be to any author (living or dead) from any genre—fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic—explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s view of the world. The 24th annual writing contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries and other organizations. This reading and writing promotion is sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission, and supported by Houchen Bindery Ltd. and Chapters Books in Seward.

Prizes will be awarded on both the state and national levels. The Nebraska Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select the top letter writers in the state, to be honored in a proclamation-signing ceremony at the state capitol during National Library Week in April 2017. Their winning letters will be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. Nebraska winners will receive state prizes, and then advance to the national judging.

A panel of national judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select one National Winner per competition level (Level I for grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8, and Level III for grades 9-12) to receive a $1,000 cash award, to be announced in May 2017. The judges will also select one National Honor winner on each competition level to receive a $200 cash award.

Teachers, librarians, and parents can download free teaching materials on reader response and reflective writing, along with contest details and entry forms, Nebraska-specific information (including lists of Nebraska winners of past competitions) is available at Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners, Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl, read and talk about and their winning letters to authors that meant something to them in their own lives, see NET Radio’s All About Books( Submissions from Grades 9-12 must be postmarked by December 2, 2016. Submissions from Grades 4-8 must be postmarked by January 9, 2017. For more information contact Mary Jo RyanMaryJo.Ryan@nebraska.com402-471-3434 or 800-307-2665.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing the most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website,

Monday, September 12, 2016

West Holt English class publishes book in iBooks Store

Students from Mrs. Dohrman's sophomore English classes are published authors!

The West Holt High School English 10 classes recently achieved status as published authors in the iBooks Store.  Following a study of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the students partnered up to create chapters in a companion guide to the novel.  Tackling tough issues from the time period and themes from the story gave them the perfect backdrop for their Multi-Touch book. 

Each pair of students authored their chapters in iBooks Author on their Macs.  Using built-in widgets from iBooks Author, sound recordings from GarageBand, copyright-friendly images for photo galleries, and additional widgets from, they made their writing come to life on the digital pages. Mrs. Dohrman along with Mrs. Morrow from ESU 8 compiled the student chapters into two book projects - one for each period of sophomores. 

Creating a Link with To Kill a Mockingbird
The first of the two books just recently passed the approval process and was released live in Apple's iTunes digital bookstore. Anyone with the free iBooks app can download this student project and view the interactive pages on their Mac, iPad, or iPhone. And look for the second edition by West Holt students to be released very soon. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Digital Citizenship resources from Common Sense Education... Teachers, get them NOW!

Common Sense Education, longtime advocate for digital citizenship practices in schools, has just announced that their very popular iBooks textbooks will begin to cost money.

While this is disappointing news, it is encouraging that teachers have one whole month to still download any of the Digital Citizenship series for free. Better yet, all textbooks have just been updated! So if you have ever downloaded them in the past, be sure to update them sometime before October 1, 2016.

Below are the direct links to the four interactive student workbooks for iBooks along with the accompanying teacher's editions.

Grades K-2 Curriculum (Teachers Edition): Digital Citizenship Curriculum 2016
Grades K-2 Student Workbook: Digital Citizenship 2016

Grades 3-5 Curriculum (Teachers Edition): Digital Citizenship Curriculum Common Sense Education
Grades 3-5 Student Workbook: Digital Citizenship Common Sense Education

Grades 6-8 Curriculum (Teachers Edition): Digital Citizenship Curriculum Common Sense Education
Grades 6-8 Student Workbook: Digital Citizenship Common Sense Education

Grades 9-12 Curriculum (Teachers Edition): Digital Citizenship Curriculum 2016
Grades 9-12 Student Workbook: Digital Citizenship 2016

A final reminder to also consider last minute registration to send a team to the Nebraska Digital Citizenship Symposium, being held at various locations across the state on September 27, 2016. Read more about the details at this site: 

As always, don't hesitate to reach out to the Technology Integrationists at ESU 8 to answer any of your digital citizenship questions or needs.