21st Century Classroom

What does a 21st Century Classroom look like? Here’s what I have found in my research (in no particular order):

  1. Paperless – not a reality unless you are 1:1. All teachers need to make an effort to save paper, use Google classroom, etc to turn in assignments, give homework.
  2. 1:1 devices or at least a mobile lab in each classroom.
  3. Hands-on learning.
  4. Teacher as a facilitator – no longer are we thought of as standing in the front of the room lecturing.:)
  5. Transparent assessment – students do better when they know the expectations. The use of portfolios. rubrics, etc help to gives the students the knowledge of the goals/expectations of assignments.

What am I missing?




Paperless Music Classroom

While doing research for my math and science classrooms, I came across this article titled “The Paperless Music Classroom” by Robin Giebelhausen. Giebelhausen, Robin. “The Paperless Music Classroom.” General Music Today29.2 (2016): 45-49. ESBCOhost. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

Honestly, I had not considered the Fine Arts classes having to also go paperless. Here are the highlights from this article. First, the teacher noticed she was using a lot of paper and wanted to fix this. Her school was already 1:1 so she had devices available. She still had to accrue some costs to get started, but not as much as the paper and toner would have cost her int eh long run. She does not promote Chromebooks for a music classroom. She preferred iPads of MacBooks due to the software she chose to use, Garageband. While using GarageBand she also made herself an online presence. She was able to disseminate information to her students through social media and her web pages. She suggested schoology.com. edmodi.com and wikispaces.com. Since cost is important, the author suggested getting grants to fund your technology for the classroom. The author does warn that a completely paperless Music classroom is not a reality. Going paperless must be done over time.

Going Paperless

Ok, you are 1:1 now what…my school is looking ahead and we are pushing our teachers to look at their copies and see where they can downsize. It’s a struggle, not that my teachers are fighting the paper situation, but they are downsizing and it still isn’t enough for the administration. We are not 1:1 yet so, my teachers are not able to use technology every day. We utilize Google Classroom and Master Connect to give tests. The biggest issue I see with my teachers are those who teach Math. Here are some ideas for my Math Teachers:

1. Knowtes http://www.knowtes.com

Knowtes is a flash card based learning community that allows teachers and students to build flash card decks online.  The flash cards can then be studied online.  When cards are added to a Knowtes deck, it becomes due at optimized intervals.  The Knowtes ‘Adaptive Learning Engine’ adjusts how frequently cards should be studied based on how well students know them.  Knowtes decks can be easily shared between teachers, students, and peer groups.  Each student gets their own study room where they can organize their decks and study.  The study rooms include helpful tips for studying.  Cards can be created with text, images, audio, and video.  This is a great way for students to study sans 3×5 note card.  These are truly smart flash cards, if a student consistently gets an answer wrong, it requires them to study it more than those that they consistently get right.  What paper note card can do that?

2.Sketch Up https://www.sketchup.com/

Easy 3D drawing for both teachers and students.

3. GeoGebra https://www.geogebra.org

GeoGebra is dynamic mathematics software for all levels of education that brings together geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics and calculus in one easy-to-use package. GeoGebra is a rapidly expanding community of millions of users located in just about every country. GeoGebra has become the leading provider of dynamic mathematics software, supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and innovations in teaching and learning worldwide.


Chromebook management tips

When going 1:1, management is a HUGE concern. How will we manage 1900+ chromebooks? Here are a few tips I gathered from my sessions at the TCEA Conference last week. #TCEA17

Some classroom tips:

  • Label Chromebooks with an assigned number
  • Have students use the same Chromebook each time
  • Turn off Chromebooks before connecting them to chargers

Some simple troubleshooting:

  • Refresh your page
  • Restart the Chromebook
  • Make sure Chrome OS is up to date. video
  • Clear cache and cookies video
  • Delete unnecessary apps and extensions
  • Close unused tabs

Some Chrome Shortcuts:

  • Caps Lock = Alt + Magnifying Glass

  • Delete Key = Alt + Backspace

  • File Manager Quick Access = Alt + Shift + M

  • Quick Screenshot = Ctrl +

  • Only need some of the screen = Ctrl + Shift +

  • Bonus shortcut = Ctrl + Alt + Shift +



CHROME Apps vs Extensions

What is an App?
Applications that run inside your browser
Photo editors, video players, games, etc.
Found using the colorful “waffle” icon below the address bar, on the left Extensions

What is an Extension?
Extend functionality of Google Chrome
Apply to the current website being viewed
Found to the right of the address bar

Some recommended apps:
Spell Up

Some recommended extensions:
Turn off the Lights 


Challenge boxes

One of my favorite things that came out of my session at #TCEA17 with Rachel Amrine @rachelAmrine,  Lindsey Herring @LHerring82 and Marisa Vickery @marisavic10 from Dripping Springs ISD, Texas was the idea of Challenge Boxes. Challenge boxes and plastic boxes with directions and all supplies needed inside. For example, 


These could be available for checkout by teachers or students. I can envision my students checking these out during their lunches.




Chrome extensions and apps

In a session presented by Albert Thomas @educopilot.

He is sharing with us Google Chrome extensions…I had NO IDEA! 

PicMonkey – let’s you grab images from any Web page and open them in Picmonkey for editing.

CraftyText – allows your text to be displayed on top if a Web page in large type.

LastPass – saves all your passwords and give you secure access from and computer or mobile device.

Tab scissors and Tab glue – splits your window in two and then glue puts it back together.

One Tab – saves your tabs and save for later. Can share with students as a collection.

Digital Citizenship 

Well, I’m overwhelmed here at the TCEA conference here in Austin, Texas. I’ve witnessed a lot of sessions but one that stood out so far is about Digital Citizenship by Christy Febbewald @christyfenne.  She is amazing and has so many ideas. She opened with a discussion about “Fake News” and this video Fake News video. EYE OPENING! I want to add this to our Advisor Session. I think each month I could share a digital citizenship activity, 5 minutes tops, with our teachers for Advisory. What a great session! More to come!

Letting the parents know…

How do we let our parents know we are going 1:1 next year? I propose we send home a letter mapping out our intentions. We can send it home in hard copy and place it on our website. Now…what do we place in this letter. Let’s look at some examples:

Morris Middle School

  • a single school so discusses the district’s policies and their own
  • gives chromebook tips for parents
  • links to the parent video presentation
  • links for parents (good ones!)
  • chromebooks policies and FAQs

Marysville School District

  • entire school district not a single school
  • lists chromebook policy and FAQs for both students and parents
  • gives a calendar for the rollout
  • discuss the initiative in-depth
  • attached all forms needed

Camden County School District

  • entire school district not a single school
  • attached a letter from the Superintendent
  • attached letters to both students and teachers
  • attached video for the parents
  • all forms also attached

Chester School District

  • entire school district not a single school
  • gives reasons for going 1:1
  • lists goals and AUP
  • attached forms needed
  • a few links for parents

Sapula School District

  • separates each grade out since they are a school district, not a single school
  • lists Student FAQs
  • lists Students handbook
  • lists Insurance and chromebook agreement
  • gives parents information digital citizenship and how to get WIFI connections


Each of these have a few things in common:

  • forms needed for both parents and students
  • FAQS

What is missing:

  • list links for parents (i.e digital citizenship)
  • reasons for going 1:1
  • links for students – tips




TCEA Conference 2017

Who’s going next week?

TCEA Conference

I am lucky enough to be going WOO HOO!  Here’s what I am planning:

Monday – spending the whole day focusing on Makerspaces ideas for my library.

Tuesday – presentations on going paperless and digital citizenship.

Wednesday and Thursday – Both days I am attending presentations made just for Librarians. Things like: Librarian Superheroes in a Google World and Becoming a Social Media Librarian.

I’ll be blogging each day so TUNE IN!