NOVA T.E.A. Publishes its First Online Newsletter Using Sway

In our first edition of NOVA T.E.A. Lights, Dr. Emblom-Callahan, Professor of Biology at the Alexandria Campus, speaks to us about how she uses student video projects to engage students and enhance learning.  In this edition, you can:

  • Watch a short interview with Dr. Emblom-Callahan about the project
  • See clips from some of the finished student projects
  • Learn how to do this project yourself

NOVA T.E.A. is an informal group of Alexandria Campus colleagues who discuss ways to actively engage students within the classroom and beyond. We are seeking ways to improve our instructional practices.  Please join us for our informal meet-ups to share and receive.

App of the Week: Periscope

Imagine seeing the world from a different perspective?  Imagine being able to connect with people from around the world, seeing and hearing new things, all from a mobile device.

Periscope is the app that can connect users from all over the world, instantly.  Periscope is FREE and is available on both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store.

Periscope was designed by Twitter, so it’s easy to use for anyone who already has a Twitter account.  It allows users to follow the same people they follow on Twitter, and will send you a push notification when one of your connections goes ‘live’ on Periscope.  Once a ‘broadcast’ has ended, it be replayed for up to 24 hours after the event was live.  Periscope allows users to host private broadcasts as well (attendees must be followers and invited to join), and any link to a ‘live’ broadcast is easily tweeted out with click of a button.  From a mobile device, you can touch your screen when in a broadcast to let the host know how much you like it.  Broadcasts can be ranked based on the amount of hearts it receives, known as the “most loved” list.

Share an experience, whether it is educational, personal, or professional, with the Periscope app.  Others can join in to listen and watch, and share in the experience.

Users may also connect through their computer, but will be unable to connect with the conversation or hearts features of the mobile Periscope app.

Show the world YOUR perspective and watch from others, and start using the Periscope app now!


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App of the Week: PixiClip



Have you shied away from creating a screencast to use in your classroom because you think it’s too difficult or time consuming? Well, I have a tool that makes creating a screencast as easy and 1, 2, 3.
It’s called PixiClip. It is an interactive whiteboard that allows you draw, type, upload images and narrate your screen with just a click of a button. You can even insert a video of yourself right into the project.
PixiClip has a very simplistic interface. The tools are limited to a pen, a text box, a marker and only 5 colors to choose from. This helps keep you and your students from getting overwhelmed with too many buttons and gadgets.
Here are some key features:
• PixiClip is compatibility with all browsers
• PixiClip is available for Chromebook users. (not all screencast tools are)
• PixiClip allows you to upload images and annotate them.
• PixiClip recordings can be shared on Facebook, twitter, and email.
• PixiClip is a web 2.0 tool and an app.
• PixiClip is Free.

App of the Week: Padlet

Before you go crazy and say “Padlet is not an app, it’s a web tool,” I am here to tell you that YES, in fact Padlet has finally (for those users like myself and others who use it often) developed an iPad app.

For those of you who have never used Padlet, let me tell you why the app should be the next download you make: Padlet is a virtual “tabula rosa”, where users can put whatever they want on it. From images, to links, to embedded YouTube clips, to documents, to simple posts, Padlet is an all around collaborative experience.  Use Padlet in the classroom to brainstorm, to bookmark and share resources, as a platform for student portfolios, or even as a backchannel during in class activities and discussions.

Padlet is versatile, flexible, and easy to use (for teachers, students, and parents.) Imagine Padlet being a virtual bulletin board that you can share with parents during a ‘back to school night’ showcasing student work.  Whether in the same place, or in different areas, users on Padlet can connect and use it from just about anywhere, anytime.  Padlet also offers educators security features such as limiting who can view or post onto the ‘wall’, even allowing the instructor to view posts prior to them being uploaded to the wall.

Padlet is a great learning tool that is now both a web tool and an iPad app.  Get started using this FREE app and change the way you and your students collaborate and connect!

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App of the Week: ExitTicket

We can all agree that assessment drives education.  Whether that is informal, formative, or standardized, assessment is a tool used to measure just how well your students are learning the content.  So why not use assessment as a resources to impact your instruction and their learning?

Then you should check out the Chrome Web Store app called ExitTicket.

The basic account is FREE (there are pricing options for a premium teacher account and even a school or district account) and as the tag line suggests, it “empowers personalized learning through just in-time data.” ExitTicket works on ANY device (tablet, iPad, PC, Mac, Chromebook) and was designed by teachers.  ExitTicket allows you to see “performance & progression metrics” for the individuals students or as a class in real time.  Those metrics can be stored and used as long term data to view the academic progress of your students throughout the year or semester.

ExitTicket is a “student response system with one simple goal: Accelerate student achievement.”

Use ExitTicket now and begin to see the impact it will have on assessment, instruction, and learning, in the classroom.

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Check Out All The New Stuff!

Have you stopped by IS&D lately?  Well, you’ll be pleased to know that we have several new toys in AA337.

  1.   Zoom Cameras – These cameras were created by an audio company giving it great sound quality.
  2. Nexus Tablets – Google’s response to the iPad, Nexus tablets are a great way to show an alternative to the iPad.
  3. Professional Development Library – After attending the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference, we have amassed a small professional development library focused on best practices with technology.


Is there something you would like to see us carry?  Stop in and let’s chat!


App of the Week: Comic Life

Alright, now as the name suggests Comic Life helps you create comics!  The technology is easy to use.  There are pre-made comic pages and options.  All you have to do is add the pictures and words.  Really, it couldn’t be simpler!  You also have the option to share the comics you create.  This makes group work and classroom sharing easy breezy too!  Students can create their comics and basically create a bookshelf for other students to browse what they’ve created.

The one drawback is that it is only an IOS app so that means you can only use it on Mac and iStuff.  Well, it also isn’t free ($4.99), but if you are into making comics or want your students to experience the unique creativity that it takes to create one then it’s worth it!

App of the Week: OSnap! Stop Motion Studio

OSnap!  What is “stop motion?”

Well, remember when you would draw on the edges of the pages in a book and then flip them quickly to make it look like your stick people were moving?  This is the same thing, just with technology!  Basically what OSnap! does is it takes a series of still photographs and then moves through them to create a video.  For ideas on how to use Stop Motion in your classes check out my blog.

Now the downfall, it is $0.99 for the app, but the fun you can have with it is totally worth it!


Sample Video