This past summer, I toyed around with the idea of hosting a 2 vs. 2 Rocket League Tournament. It was intended for educators to get together with a family member to game together in the spirit of ol’ fashioned fun. Well, it didn’t really go down like I planned. At the time, Rocket League was a paid game and most people who reached out never played it. Well guess what?! Rocket League is now free on all platforms and what a better time to play with a family member than during the Winter Break of this global pandemic! So here it is… Rocket League 2 vs. 2 Tournament… January 2nd, 2021 at 2pm CT. Get together with your child, nephew, niece, cousin, step-son, mother-in-law, distant second cousin’s nephew, or anyone who you could game with. The game is free on all platforms and requires an Epic Games account (Epic…the ones who host Fortnite). This is all in the name of fun in the educational community. If you are interested, fill out the Google Form below with your information. We’ll see you online and do not forget to subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already done so. Stay safe!
“I want to be a YouTube when I grow up!” If you have children at home, more than likely, you’ve heard this. And more than likely, your children are gaming this summer. And whether you want to accept it or not, there are many benefits to gaming online. There’s a huge gaming community and some of these gamers aren’t old enough to vote but are bringing in more money in eSports than we are as educators. If you’re like me, you’ve played some games with them and probably realized that your child can now outplay you! No worries. Remember that the purpose of games and gaming in general is having fun. And that’s what I’m inviting you to. A fun tournament.
Saturday, July 11th at 1pm CT, I will be holding a 2 vs. 2 parent/child Rocket League tournament. I invite any mother, father, aunt, uncle, or guardian to team up with your son, daughter, niece, or nephew and join. Here are the requirements:
- Have the Rocket League game on either PC, Xbox One, PS4, or Nintendo Switch
- A stable internet connection
- Have the online service for your particular platform and an account for that service. Your child will need an account as well. (Xbox Live, Playstation Plus, or Nintendo Switch Online)
- If you only have one online subscription in the family, make sure that you have enabled the online subscription to anyone who plays on that console. Check out the video instructions for Xbox One, Playstation 4, or Nintendo Switch.
- Make sure your settings are set to play online
How Do I Join?
To join this tournament, make sure you have a Voxer account, send me a DM on any Social Media platform or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your Voxer handle. I will be sending out the tournament name and password Saturday morning. If you’re interested but can’t make it this Saturday, don’t worry. This will not be your only opportunity. I will be hosting more of these.
I hope to hear from you and get some practice in!
With recent school closures all over the country, I decided to reach out to Tisha Poncio and Jacob Luevano to put together some resources. We connected, put together a list (that’s not too overwhelming) and connected. We streamed this through Periscope and recorded the conversation as well. A full list of resources is available on Tisha’s blog. Click the link to see these and check out our discussion on YouTube below as well.
For the past 4 years, I’ve been obsessed with consuming podcasts. If you were to go through my subscriptions, you would find a variety of different genres from education, hip-hop, comedy, and parenting. I could confidently state that I now to the majority of my learning through my headphones. I learn while I type, drive, cut the grass, wash the car, and walk. That last one…walk…I’ve been brewing an idea for a couple of years now and I’ve always put it on the back burner until now!
#PedometerPD Is Born!
That’s right, Pedometer PD. What is it? Well, let’s break it down. Pedometer: An ancient device that counts your steps and motivates you to be more active (NOT a device that measures your pedos!). PD: professional development, making ourselves better ________. I wanted to bring something different to our educators in the realm of professional development. But first, I needed to get approval from my directors to give teachers credit for listening to a podcast while walking the track at one of our district facilities. I did not want it to stop there though. I wanted a way for teachers to share what they learned from a podcast in a not-so conventional method. This way, they could reflect and put together an implementation plan to make their classrooms a more engaging environment. Once I wrapped my head around this, I began executing my plan! My directors loved the idea and were in full support of this. First, I booked a district facility from 4:30pm-5:30pm for our “course”. Knowing that was taken care of, I curated a list of podcast episodes that gravitated around student engagement. I put these into a Google Doc and typed out detailed instructions for installing a podcast catcher app, searching an episode, and downloading it to the device. Next, created a Synth Podcast for reflection. Participants would answer a set of reflection questions in the form of a Synth podcast. This way, I could promote using podcasting in the classroom! Lastly, I put the course in our digital catalog so it would be discoverable by anyone in our district. Before I knew it, people signed up for the course!
The official day was January 23rd, 2020. I arrived at our facility early, scoped out the walking paths, printed my sign in sheet, and was patiently awaiting participants. As they arrived, they signed in and I made sure they all had a podcast catcher app and an episode downloaded. As soon as all participants were present, we began walking. I was able to get in 2 miles in the 45 minutes allotted. We met up at the end of the session and I clarified any questions they had regarding the Synth recording for feedback. We agreed that 1 week would be enough time for them to get these reflections to me before I submitted my final attendance. The feedback was incredible! They loved being able to be outside on a perfect day and be able to learn about their craft while being active. I have received their Synth responses and they have some great ideas on how to increase student engagement. I responded to all of their Synth recordings and have another Pedometer PD setup for February 26th. I’ve already got people signed up for it and the word is spreading. I plan on keeping this as a monthly course and going with a different theme each month.
All in all, I would say this was a success and I really feel that this idea is going to grow exponentially. I love learning while I’m active and I feel that with the different media outlets that we all learn from, why not recognize podcasts as a true learning outlet? I’m really looking forward to next month’s session and I plan on outdoing my previous 2 miles. Let’s. Do. This.
January 23rd #PedometerPD Podcast List
- The EdTech Bites Podcast-Episode 37: Heather, Seesaw, and Raising Cane’s
- The House Of EdTech-Episode 129: Flipgrid For Assessment
- InnovatEngage-Episode 2: Technology Doesn’t Drive The Lesson (Digital Breakouts)
- The Cult Of Pedagogy-Episode 118: To Boost Learning, Just Add Movement
- Educational Duct Tape-Episode 22: John Sowash, Chromebooks, Video on ChromeOS, Adobe Spark, WeVideo, Screencastify, & Tech Integration Advice
I was first introduced to Nearpod in 2012 through my good friend, Nick Trakas. We were a two-person Ed-Tech department in Florence, Arizona and always looking for new ways to integrate technology in our schools. He showed me Nearpod and had me download the student app on my 16gb iPad 2 (remember when Nearpod had a separate Teacher and Student app???). It blew my mind. I couldn’t believe that he was able to get immediate feedback from me and control the presentation on my device. This led to an immediate bias to Nearpod which led me to eventually become a PioNear.
I was on Twitter one day minding my own business when wham! #flipgridfever is all over my timeline. I didn’t know what it was and started to raise an eyebrow. I then saw something shiny under the table and forgot what I was doing on Twitter completely! A couple of months later at an edcamp in our district, Flipgrid came up and I suddenly remembered seeing that along with #flipgridfever a few months before. We played around with it some at that edcamp and that summer, I had caught the fever. I even contemplated getting the logo tattooed on my neck… just kidding. I did however become a Flipgrid Student Voice Ambassador as well as a Flipgrid Certified Educator.
As the school years move along I’ve found myself app smashing different tools with one another to have students and teachers create projects that incorporate technology in meaningful ways. I found myself consistently using the same two apps. You guessed it, Nearpod and Flipgrid. This led to bigger and better projects with teachers, EL students, GT students, and administrators as well! I even created a YouTube video last year showing how to do this. Check it out!
It’s pretty evident that I love me some Nearpod and Flipgrid. I’m an ambassador for both and have taken my expertise in both to various conferences in and outside of my district. I know folks at both companies on a personal level and have had some great conversations with both parties…separately. I would however, like for my two friends to meet up and shake hands. And when they do, I have a request. I (along with thousands of other edtechers) want top see a Flipgrid integration built into Nearpod and a Nearpod integration built into Flipgrid. Perhaps this could come our way in the form of a Google Chrome extension, a complicated code written in the background of each tool, something! Please! We need and want this soooo bad. I’d love to be a beta tester and give input whenever needed. How about you? Would you enjoy this? Do you think these two tools should shake hands and share in this worldwide edtech playground?
I’ve entered The EdTech Bites Podcast in the My Rode Cast Competition. This is a worldwide competition for any and all podcasters. The prizes? New Rode gear! Rode will be choosing various shows based on content, quality, editing, and the ability to leave the listener wanting more. So please vote for my show using the link below. Voting ends March 20th, 2019 so please vote now and help spread the word!
So I’ve been using WeVideo for years now, both personally and professionally. I’ve done countless trainings, webinars, and PD for it, and with it. I’ve been podcasting for about 2 years now and have literally been the producer, creator, host, promoter, social media manager, etc. I’ve been doing this since the birth of the podcast. Then, while prepping for FETC a couple of weeks ago, I had an idea. Why don’t I marry WeVideo with the podcast and use promote with commercials?! Why didn’t I think of this before?! Well, with that being said, I created this video prior to FETC and TCEA and made sure I showed it at both. Check it out and please share. I’d love to hear what you think. Enjoy!
I recently planned a lesson with a teacher that slowly morphed into something greater than what she imagined. She wanted her high school students to write their own slam poems at the completion of this unit. The one non-negotiable was the fact that it had to revolve around one of the topics below.
Well, a week had gone by and the students all had their poems done. Now what? I’ll tell you what! Here’s what we did. I had the teacher create an assignment in Google Classroom that included a copy of the Google Doc template for their poem. We also added the topic flipcode for the Flipgrid Topic we created for this project, the URL for Soundtrap, and Adobe Spark. Once they had those resources, here is what they had to do:
- write their slam poem in a Google Doc
- create a background track using Soundtrap
- create an Adobe Spark Video of their poem using their own images
- record themselves reading their poem in the Adobe Spark Video
- upload their finished video as their Flipgrid video response
- mark the assignment as Done in Google Classroom
In anticipation, I created my own slam poem but to gain interest from the students, I created a quick food rap and the students loved it. I recorded the vocals and the beat using Soundtrap and uploaded them to my Adobe Spark Video project.
Needless to say, this was a fun activity for me and an opportunity for me to be creative. Imagine what the students felt? How often do our children get the opportunity to use their own creativity and voice to create a project that is relevant, tech-infused, requires critical thinking, and more than anything, fun! Give it a shot and see what your students create.
If you haven’t already seen Google’s new “.new” shortcuts for Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Sites, you need to familiarize yourself with them. They are quick, easy to remember, and work on any browser.
With these new shortcuts come new ways to add these to your Bookmarks Bar. Simply add a new bookmark to your Bookmarks Bar (on any browser) and name it (New Doc, New Sheet, Etc.) and add the appropriate URL (doc.new, sheet.new, etc) and save it. Now, whenever you need to create a new document, just click on the appropriate bookmark. Check out the GIF below. This can be done for any of these shortcuts. Enjoy!
STEAM schools are popping up left and right. In fact, many STEM schools are now incorporating the “A” into their curriculum and rebranding themselves as STEAM. In all fairness, they should as statistics show that the arts play a huge roll in our lives and help make up the whole child. With this being said, creation of the arts comes in many shapes and forms. One of my favorites is music and audio production. For those of you podcasters, music producers, writers, composers, teachers, or anyone interested in audio creation, Soundtrap is the perfect tool to handle all of these needs. Not only that, it is about to be used by educators and content creators like never before!
For those of you who do not know (or haven’t figured it out yet), Soundtrap is an all in one virtual music studio that can interface with USB instruments, microphones, and USB mixers. The best way to describe it is as follows: If Garageband and Audacity had a baby, and then that baby grew up, met Google Docs, and if they had a baby together, they would name it Soundtrap!
There is a track timeline equipped with pan tools, mute track function, and a whole load of other things you can do within the tracks.
In addition, there are also tools to create your own music, loops, and tools that are very reminiscent of Garageband and Audacity. There’s also a collaborate feature which allows for podcasts, music creation, voice overs, and all endless EDU possibilities!
My upcoming episodes of The EdTech Bites Podcast will be recorded and edited solely using Soundtrap and not Audacity, which is my go-to for podcast editing. I’m going all in with this tool and I plan on utilizing all of the bells and whistles that this amazing program has to offer. I’ve already began importing audio clips and recording segments such as my call to action using my Audio Technica 2100 microphone and Soundtrap. I must say that the audio that I have recorded and edited is professional and up to par with what I normally get from Audacity. There is one piece that Soundtrap has to offer that none of the others do, it’s completely cloud-based. This is an absolute game changer for the industry. The fact that I can begin on my work laptop, continue on my home desktop, and upload other audio clips from my son’s Chromebook, makes Soundtrap second-to-none in my book. In addition, I can send my audio file to my guest before hand and they can then record their segment on the same cloud-based file without having to be on the same machine, in the same room, or even worse, having to send audio files back and forth. So here’s what I’m getting to…
Soundtrap WILL revolutionize how creators create and collaborate. Without a doubt, many veteran podcasters and up and coming podcasters WILL choose Soundtrap as their means to record, produce and collaborate. If you listened to my latest podcast episode with Dr. Monica Burns, I made a prediction in that episode that I still believe because I will help make that prediction true. I predicted that Soundtrap WILL become the next big edtech tool, just like Flipgrid was and still is for 2018. The educator community with a HUGE boost from folks like Claudio Zavala Jr. and his #singasong movement catapulted Flipgrid beyond what anyone could have imagined and even birthed the #FlipGridFever. With this being said, here is what the I am making the “unofficial” hashtag for Soundtrap, #Soundtrapitis! (Get it?! Flipgrid has a Fever and Soundtrap has an itis?! Eh, eh!) I have caught #Soundtrapitis and there is no known cure yet. Not only have I caught this, it is contagious and will cause a major disruption to the educator community. But I’m not alone, at some point, someone in your district, building, or hallway will eventually catch it. My question to you is this: When #Soundtrapitis finally hits you in your classroom, home studio, or makerspace, what will you do with it?