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Lake Orion Community Schools

May 2012

LOCS Technology and Media Newsletter The Flipped Classroom Flipping the classroom is one hot topic in education right now. As the 2011-2012 school year draws to a close, you may already be thinking about new ideas that you want to try out next year. As you think about your planning over the summer, maybe “flipping the classroom” is one new idea you want to think about. recently posted links to 15 news stories that show examples of flipping the classroom all over the U.S. Check out their posting “The Flipped Classroom is Hot, Hot, Hot” for more information. http:// the-flipped-classroom-is-hot-hot-hot/

High School Poetry Contest Lake Orion High School IRC is sponsoring a Poetry Contest. All students were encouraged to submit a poem, and fifteen were chosen as finalists. Now, students, teachers, and community members are invited to read the poems and vote for their favorite. The poems and voting can be found at Voting will end on May 15th at 3 pm.

Cloud Computing Explained Cloud computing provides you the ability to access all of your work, from anywhere, on any computer with an internet connection. If you strip away all of the jargon around cloud computing, it basically means that the software you use isn’t on your own personal or work computer. Your data is stored someplace else. It could be anywhere. You pretty much use it through a web browser, a mobile phone, a laptop, or a tablet. This is how your personal email works if you use Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL. It’s also how your online banking works. Your banking information isn’t on your own computer. It’s stored in the “cloud,” so to speak, at your bank. Is it safe? The misperception is that if you have your data stored locally, it’s safer than if you have it stored in the cloud. In fact, it’s usually easier for a motivated person to get into your home network, or to pose as a cleaning person and take your computer right off your desk. If your data is stored by reputable companies, it’s often more secure than on your own computer. We used to worry about credit card transactions over the internet, and now most of us don’t worry about buying a product from Amazon, eBay or similar vendors. To really understand more about how cloud computing works; check out one of these helpful videos on YouTube. 1.

Cloud Computing - How it all works (2:33)


Cloud Computing Explained (5:23)


Cloud Computing in K12 (8:01) – a little longer, but provides great information in context of education.

The first one is only two and a half minutes long, and provides an easy to understand explanation. The others also provide nice explanations with additional information. Source: See back page

Where is Lake Orion Community Schools headed as it relates to cloud computing and our email system? LOCS staff is already using cloud computing on a daily basis. Programs and software like SchoolMessenger, Destiny, Moodle, Google Apps, NovaNet, and IXL, for example, are all cloud-based. However, one system that is not in the “cloud” is our email – GroupWise. GroupWise email is hosted on servers located in our district technology department server room. The servers housing email are quite outdated, and provide users limited mobile access to their email, as well as limited storage levels. Email is the next service that the district is planning to move to the cloud. By doing so, we will be providing our users access to their email from anywhere they have an internet connection via an Outlook interface. Users will also get increased storage space of 10 Gigs of or more. Continued on page 4

iOS Fun Featured iPad App of the Month

(iPads, iPhones, iTouches) iPads in Education: Special Edudemic Magazine Issue An easy-to-read guidebook for the basics of iPads in education. A helpful resource for only $.099. You can purchase the pdf version or the iPad version.

Discover the Surprising Side of Color

Learn About Dollars and Sense The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has released its first economic education and personal finance application for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The Econ Ed Mobile app allows students and educators to gain an understanding of how inflation and cost of credit can affect spending and saving decisions. With the app, students can investigate the cost of goods and services purchased in one year compared with another year; use interactive graphs to compare inflation rates at various points in our nation’s history; examine how interest rates, monthly payments and time can affect the overall cost of using credit; and play two challenge games to see how well they can estimate the cost of credit and the price of goods and services over time. Download the app, at no charge, in the iTunes App Store. Website: education_resources/ Download Free App:

When is yellow yellower than yellow? What color is a whisper? What’s missing from the palette of Renaissance painters? Students can explore the surprising side of color with Color Uncovered, an interactive book for the iPad, featuring illusions, articles and videos developed by the Exploratorium. A broad spectrum of colorful surprises focuses on the art, physics and psychology of color. There are also a few color activities students can conduct on their own using the iPad and simple items they have at home. Download the app, at no charge, in the iTunes App Store.

Help the Lorax Regrow Forests Dr. Seuss’s 1971 classic, The Lorax, was recently released as a motion picture. With the Lorax Garden app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, students can help the Lorax regrow the world’s Truffula tree forests. Students can design their own trees and flowers, see them grow right before their eyes and share with friends and family beautiful postcards they create. A world map shows how many forests students have regrown and how many still need their help. The app includes 3-D artwork inspired by Dr. Seuss’s illustrations as well as whimsical music and sound effects. Download the app in the iTunes App Store for $0.99.

Pocket (Formerly Read It Later) This is currently the App Store’s iPad App of the Week! When you find an article on the web you want to read, or maybe a video you want to watch, but don’t have time right at that moment, save it to Pocket. Start by downloading the Pocket bookmarklet tool from their website to your computer. Next, download the Pocket app to your iPhone or iPad from the App Store. Then when you find something on the web that you want to view later, put it in Pocket. It automatically syncs to your iOS devices and is even available to view later without an internet connection and the items you save are arranged in an easy-to-view layout similar to an online magazine.

The Teacher’s iPad Spectrum The Teacher iPad spectrum provides teachers ideas on how to use the iPad organized around degree of difficulty: consume, collaborate, and produce. See the full spectrum chart on page 3 of this month’s newsletter.


Lake Orion Community Schools • Technology & Media Newsletter • May 2012

Lake Orion Community Schools • Technology & Media Newsletter • May 2012


Featured Websites Continued from page 1 Next steps and projected timeline for switching to cloud based email: 1.




Select a cloud email system by May 18, 2012 – we have this narrowed down to two choices: Microsoft Live Edu and Google. Either of these will utilize the Outlook interface. Communicate with staff by June 1, 2012, the steps they will need to make in preparation for the email system change. Set up our new domain with the selected email system by June 30, 2012 – Our goal is to try to keep the extension if at all possible. Migrate to the new system by July 30, 2012.

A FOCUS on TWiTTER How to Use Twitter for Teaching and Learning “Are you still unsure about taking the plunge into Twitter? Worried it’s not actually useful for learning or teaching? Think it’s still just about people talking about what they’re eating? Whether you’re a newbie wondering the above questions or a talented tweeter, there are always new and exciting ways to use Twitter. Lucky for us all, Maggie Verster created an epic e-torial (etutorial!) that walks you through the A to Z of Twitter for education.” Check out her slideshare “How can we use Twitter for teaching and learning?”

100 Ways to Use Twitter in Education, By Degree of Difficulty I know a list of 100 things might seem overwhelming, but the article organizes the resources to help you get the most out of Twitter into the following categories: Basic, Etiquette, Connecting, Classroom, Professional Life, Pro Tools, Who to Follow, and Applications to Emulate. This is a great resource for anyone interested in using Twitter, even if you’ve never tried it before!

Adobe Acrobat X Pro Quickly combine several documents into one using Acrobat.

• Place all the documents you • •

• •

want to combine into one folder. Select all the files you want combined into one document. Right click on one of the selected files and select “Combine Supported Files in Acrobat” A new window will pop up that will allow you to arrange your documents. After arranging your documents, make sure all files are selected, then select combine files. Give your file a name and save.

More Acrobat Tips: tutorials/PDF/ Adobe_Acrobat_X_Pro_Intro.pdf


Teaching Video Resources Bored with those dull story problems in your math or science textbooks? Are you students complaining they’ll never use what they are learning outside of school? See how Ben Rimes from Mattawan schools creates video story problems to tie the real world into the classroom. Video Story Problems: The entire collection of REMC Connected Educator videos can be found at the following links:

• • • REMC MIStreamnet: MACUL MI Learning iTunes U channel with more videos being added throughout the school year.

Lake Orion Community Schools • Technology & Media Newsletter • May 2012

Featured Websites Web Resources Facebook for School Counselors Facebook has released a new resource, “Facebook for School Counselors,” intended to help counselors use the social-networking website and teach students how to use the site responsibly. The resource was released in collaboration with The Internet Keep Safe Coalition and The American School Counselor Association. The guide includes information for considering school policies, responding to online incidents and identifying risky online behavior. Free Guide: Plus: If you’re looking for Facebook-related resources from other educators, check out the Facebook for Educators.

Bring an Author to Your Library or Classroom Virtually Skype an Author Network is a directory of writers willing to arrange virtual visits with classrooms. The mission of the Skype an Author Network is to provide K–12 teachers and librarians with a way to connect authors, books and young readers through virtual visits. Authors’ names appear in alphabetical order on the scrolling navigation to the left of the homepage. It is up to you to identify and contact the authors to set up a virtual visit via Skype. If you’re not familiar with Skype, visit the Skype Overview page. Visit the Skype an Author website.

Model It in Three Dimensions 3DTin is a free web-based program for creating 3-D models. The program provides templates that you can use to develop the 3-D models, or you can build models from scratch. The service is free to use as long as you allow your models to be labeled with a Creative Commons license and put in the 3DTin gallery. The gallery is also a place to find examples of what can be created in 3DTin. Models that you create can be exported for use in other modeling software.

Spot the Dangers in the Wild Web Woods In an effort to teach children about potential dangers online and ways to avoid them, the Council of Europe offers a free online game called Through the Wild Web Woods. The game is designed for children aged 7–10 to help them learn how to spot dangers on the Internet and what to do when they do spot a danger online. The game is available in 25 languages. Access Free Game:

Next Vista for Learning At Next Vista for Learning’s website discover all sorts of videos created by students to teach you about a topic. Topics can be found in almost any subject area and videos are no longer than five minutes. Students can also consider creating their own videos to submit to the site! Lake Orion Community Schools • Technology & Media Newsletter • May 2012

Web 2.0 Tools A Web 2.0 Store Just for Educators Edshelf is an easy-to-use directory of Web 2.0 apps especially for educators that are rated and reviewed by educators. You can customize your search by price (including free), grade, subject, platform, and category. You can also save all your favorite tools and share them with others.

Collaboration Room Create a room, where you can collaborate live with others for a few hours or up to two weeks. Allows you to connect with an audience, classroom etc. in real time. Participants can use the live stream to make comments, ask questions, and give answers. The presenter can use the live feedback to tailor the discussion or presentation based on the needs of the group. is a content curation platform, where users can curate information about any topic they want. Once you sign up, you will be able to create a topic of your choice (no limits) and start curating information. The site is geared towards providing users a very quick and easy way to “scoop” any information that you feel is relevant to the topic you have chosen. There are several ways you can do this, the easiest being via a drag and drop tool that you add directly on your browser. The result is what looks like an online magazine.

Word Cloud Creator Create word clouds fast and easy. Tagxedo is similar to Wordle, but with some added features. You can conform your Tagxedo into almost any shape. Examples: A word cloud shaped like the face of Abraham Lincoln with the words to the Gettysburg Address or one shaped like a star with names of constellations. Another useful feature is the interactive capabilities of the word clouds you create. As you move your cursor over the word cloud, the words pop up and into appropriate orientation, so if your cloud is a list of vocabulary words it’s easier to call attention to specific words and discuss them. Tagxedo also provides a simple interface for printing, saving, and linking your creation. Website: Example Cloud: 5

Resources for Newsletter  In addition to websites referenced throughout the newsletter, information was also curated and quoted  from the following resources:  1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


Emerging Ed Tech –  iTunes App Store –  Simple K12 –  The Big Deal Book of Technology Newsletter –  Cloud Computing – page 1  Source: Information quoted from “Cloud Computing Simplified,” by Joe DiDonato – 

Technology News May 2012  

Lake Orion Technology News

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