Thursday, June 20, 2013

Reflections on FlipCon13

I arrived home late last night from what I say, is one of the best conferences I have attended.  FlipCon13 was held in Stillwater, MN this year which gave me the opportunity to attend.  I met many great educators and even met some of my Twitter family.

Thoughts about FlipCon13:

  • The (almost) paperless environment of the workshop.  While they still printed maps, I would have liked to see QRCodes with the important information as we arrived.  This way we could scan the code and have the maps, etc right on our devices.
  • The setup of the conference was great.  It was held at the Stillwater High School, which I might add was larger than any of my college buildings.  It was easy to find all of the classes as they were located on the 2nd floor.
  • Almost all of my sessions were completely worth it!  I have been researching the Flipped Classroom for over a year.  I was taught many new tips and tricks over the past two days.  I can't wait to pass on the information to the schools I work with as well as teach the new ideas in my workshops.
  • Some classrooms were a little overcrowded but that is to be expected.  People had no problems sitting on the floor :)  
  • Having Ramsey as a keynote speaker!!  It seems like he is someone famous (well in the Flipped World).  His students are so lucky to have him as their teacher.  He brings such energy and passion to the classroom.  I am very thankful I was able to see his Keynote as well as attend one of his sessions.
It's an exciting time to be a teacher!  I think Flipping the Classroom is something that teachers should really look into.  Yes, it will take you a little time up front to make the videos and rearrange your teaching style; but I feel the benefits outweigh the time it will take you!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Favorite Apps

Being a Technology Integration Specialist, I am always asked, "What is your favorite apps?"  I can usually rattle a few of my favorites off the top of my head; but I know I am forgetting some.  So I thought I'd post my favorite Apps.  Not all have to do with education, but the majority of them do.  Apps with the asterisk (*) are apps that could be easily implemented into the classroom.


  • Chrome to Phone*
  • SwiftKey
  • Weatherology*
  • Facebook
  • Flipboard*
  • SVTP Lite
  • 4 Pics 1 Word*
  • Vine*
  • CamScanner HD*
  • Sleep Fan
  • iHeartRadio
  • Evi
  • NFC Task Launcher

  • TeamViewer*
  • Puppet Pals 2*
  • Puppet Pals HD Director's Pass*
  • Socrative*
  • Flipboard*
  • Vine*
  • Explain Everything*
  • Notability*
  • iMovie*
  • eClicker Presenter*
  • Goodreads*
  • Skype*
  • Twitter*
  • Facebook
  • Google Drive*
  • Comic Life*
  • Qrafter*
  • CamScanner HD*
  • Doceri*

Windows 8:

  • Fotoroom*
  • Ballstrike*
  • How Stuff Works*
  • Essay marker*
  • People
  • Messenger


I received my work Chromebook and am excited as I begin using it.  I think Chromebook has a huge potential in the education world.  Before you jump into a Chromebook for your 1:1 project, make sure you purchase one and read about the affordable laptop.  It may not fit into the needs of everyone.

So far, I have enjoyed using the Chromebook.  What many people don't realize is that the Chromebook does not run any software unless you can find it on the Chromestore.  So, no Microsoft Office.  Which is okay with me since I use Google Drive a lot.  If you can run it off of a website; it will work unless it has Java, which Chromebooks do not support.


  • Keyboarding on the CB
  • Built-In Flash
  • Everything I need is tied to one account, Google
  • Snappy bootup speed (approx 8 seconds)
  • Chrome Extensions
  • Guest Login
  • Lightweight
  • Price 
  • Almost zero setup (just login with your Google Account)
  • Auto updates


  • Doesn't support Java/Silverlight
  • Some classes may have a hard time using CB without certain software being able to be installed
  • Battery Life - about 6 hours, so students would need to be able to charge.  In my office, the battery life doesn't bother me; but for day to day use by students they would need to charge during the day.
  • No Skype - I like Skype but can use Google Hangout
  • To use some apps you will need to be online (but really, who isn't?!)
  • I can't install TeamViewer or another program like this because Chromebook doesn't allow for program installs
  • No SMART Board software