Tag Archives: technology

Schoogle Your Content with Hyperdocs – #TCEA17

“Schoogle Your Content with Hyperdocs” was a TCEA presentation given this year by my illustrious NEISD colleague, Laura Moore.  Laura, who is also the author of, “Rock the Lab” and “Learn Moore Stuff,” is a guru of technology integration.  She is also an excellent presenter, so I knew that attending her session at TCEA would reap many benefits. I was right.

Laura will be the first to tell you that she did not create the concept of Hyperdocs.  For that, we can thank the Hyperdoc Girls – Lisa Highfill (@lhighfill), Kelly Hilton (@kellyihilton), and Sarah Landis (@SarahLandis).  You can find out more about them here.

On Laura’s site, you will find a fantastic step-by-step introduction to Hyperdocs that leads teachers from the definition through pedagogical best practices, examples of Hyperdocs, templates, and steps for creating your own.  It’s a great way to scaffold a staff development on Hyperdocs.

Teachers looking for a simple definition of Hyperdocs might settle for, “Google Docs with links.”  But those teachers would be wrong.  There really is no one-line definition for Hyperdocs.  To learn what they are, and what they aren’t, you need to see this page.

Plenty of Hyperdocs have already been created by many talented people, so chances are that you can dive right into using them by looking at the examples provided here. There are even Hyperdocs to learn about Hyperdocs available.

I definitely can’t do Laura’s presentation justice in a quick blog post, so I hope that you will take a look at her presentation site to find out more about this interactive method for digital learning that will engage your students on many levels.

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For the next few days I will be attending TCEA in Austin, one of my favorite annual conferences.  I may add some sporadic blog notes, but stay tuned next week for detailed highlights!


Smart Girls Build

I have raved about Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls site several times on this blog.  The work this former Saturday Night Live and Parks and Rec actress/comedian is doing to inspire girls and give them positive role models is phenomenal.  Now the site offers a new video series that pairs girls with the creators of The Sims video game to show how the talents and passions that the girls have can be used in a video game to express themselves and inspire others.

The “Smart Girls Build” series currently has three episodes that showcase dance, music, and photography.  They are relatively short (about 5 minutes each), but give great insight into how The Sims developers pay close attention to detail to make the game include realistic interpretations of each of the girls.

We need more girls to pursue careers in technology, yes.  But, even more importantly, we need them to see that their passion to create is valued and has enormous potential in an infinite number of hobbies and careers.

image from Amy Poehler's "Smart Girls Build"
image from Amy Poehler’s “Smart Girls Build”

Tech Field Day 2015

Do you live anywhere near the San Antonio area?

Are you, like me, so busy you can’t fit one more thing into your schedule?

Well, drop everything else and head on over to Tech Field Day 2015 this Saturday, November 7th.

Seriously.  Stop being so rigid and so, “I need to plan things way in advance.”



A. I’m presenting (you gotta click on the link to see what)

2. I’m in the middle of losing my voice so you can see me trying to figure out how that’s going to mix with my presenting-in-front-of-peers-is-more-intimidating-than-students anxiety.

c. You might actually learn something if you attend any other session but mine.

IV. Door Prizes

If that isn’t enough to convince you, here’s the cherry on the chocolate volcano:

IT’S FREE (and worth credit, if that means anything to you)

So, mosey on down to the Tech Field Day 2015 this Saturday and find out how great PD can be when it’s hosted by Dr. Roland Rios!

Find me and say, “Cherry on the chocolate volcano.”  You won’t get anything. Just the joy of seeing my confused expression when random people come up and talk to me about dessert at a technology conference 🙂

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The Power of Love

You might wonder when you first start watching this video why I would choose to put it on an education blog.  But hang on for the last line, and you will understand.  Even though this is a phone commercial obviously aimed at parents, the message definitely applies to teaching as well.

For more inspirational videos for teachers, check out this Pinterest Board.

We the Geeks

We the Geeks

In the fortuitous way that things seem to often happen in my life, I spent a fabulous Saturday morning with my daughter at a free event designed to spark girls’ interest in all things STEM related, then 24 hours later stumbled across a “Women Role Models” video on We the Geeks that reinforced all of my strong feelings about this topic.

We the Geeks is a series of Google Hangouts sponsored by the White House.  The purpose is “to highlight the future of science, technology, and innovation here in the United States. ”

In the latest episode, “Women Role Models,” several female guests are interviewed (you can see the guest list below), and give their insight on how to encourage more girls to pursue scientific careers. Many of the guests mention how influential their teachers and teachers were in stimulating their interest in science.  What I heard repeated several times, though, was how important the excitement of the adult mentors can be.  One guest said, “If you have an excited teacher, you’re going to be excited about it.”  Another guest advised that parents should “learn with the kids… stay excited with them.” The latter point is key because, as she pointed out, if parents show that they are intimidated by science and math, that “trickles down” to the children.

Some of the other past episodes of We the Geeks have included: “Celebrating Black History Month,” “Student Startups,” and “Don’t Be Bored, Make Something.”  I haven’t watched any of the other videos, yet, but they all look pretty intriguing.

(Here is a link to a collection of videos to encourage girls in STEM from Amy Borovoy at Edutopia.)

Guests who recently appeared on "Women Role Models" in We the Geeks series
Guests who recently appeared on “Women Role Models” in We the Geeks series


My daughter peers through a telescope at the sun during the Girls Inc Science Festival
My daughter peers through a telescope at the sun during the Girls Inc. Science Festival

Connect a Million Minds

Connect a Million Minds

Connect a Million Minds is a program that is sponsored by Time Warner Cable with the aim “to address America’s declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).”  The program includes some videos, a website, grants, and other initiatives. In today’s post, I want to focus mainly on a couple of sections of the website – though I encourage you to also visit the collection of videos that show how STEM is used in many careers that students may not usually associate with these subjects.

One of the features of the Connect a Million Minds website is “Connectory.”  This is a page that allows you to search for STEM activities occurring in your area.  I did a search for my zip code, and was a little disappointed.  I am aware of a few upcoming events that weren’t listed.  Obviously, this database requires entries to be submitted from the local programs, and there does not seem to be two-way communication going on everywhere.   Parents are often asking me for camps, classes, and events, and I would love to be able to use this as a one-stop resource.  This has potential, but may need more media exposure to be fully realized.

Another feature of the site is the “Campaigns” section.  Currently, they are running a “STEM in Sports” campaign, which looks like it could really be beneficial for “hooking” some students into STEM.  It includes videos from some sports celebrities, such as Victor Cruz, Magic Johnson, Ian Poulter, and Jeff Gordon.  In the videos, the men relate their specific sports to STEM. (Notice that I said, “men.”  It would be nice to find some women to include in the sports section, as well!)  The “STEM in Sports” campaign also includes some resources for Parents and Educators to download that give suggestions for fun activities highlighting STEM connections in each sport.

If you are trying to find some STEM resources for students, try taking a look at Connect a Million Minds.  You may find something new that will spark a student’s interest in STEM.