Dec 12

Blogging to increase Communication and Collaboration

The first staff development session offered in December focused on ways to use your HCPS blog to increase communication and collaboration. If you are interested in using this tool, training is available on demand at this site:

Nov 29

Teaching students to communicate & collaborate with digital tools

This month, staff dev sessions were offered to help teachers devise ways to increase communication and collaboration in the classroom. Teachers explored the tools wallwisher and Google Docs in these sessions.


Wallwisher is a tool where anyone with the link can share their thoughts on a “wall” (website) for all other collaborators to see. This can be used to brainstorm or to check for understanding, for example. The site is free and teachers can start using this site after completing a free registration.

  • Register for wallwisher by selecting sign up on this page or use the google login button on this page
  • Create a wall by clicking create a wall
  • Add the title and description
  • Click Share and copy the link under mobilize. Give this link to students when you are ready for them to post to your wall.
  • Or you may use these detailed directions 


Google Docs

Google Docs is a free, powerful, and online collaborative tool that can be utilized to help with productivity and to increase implementation of 21st century skills.  This post contains information about creating groups of teachers and students in Google Docs, adding yourself as an owner to a Google Doc, organizing your Google Documents, and gathering ideas for using Google Docs in the classroom.

Directions Downloads:

Additional Online Support:

 Video Tutorials:

  • Prepare to be a Google Docs power user!Create contact lists for each of your classes from HCPS Link.
  • Create a Collection in Google Docs and Add a Document: You have a ton of documents now in Google Docs. Time to organize!

Oct 04

Audio and Video Resources

Video Editing:
Microsoft Moviemaker 
Animoto – Online Resource with free educator plus account
Premiere Elements – Advanced Users
Soundbooth – Advanced users

Download the presenter powerpoint: Audio and Video Design

Nov 30

ActiveInspire Training: Level 1

This week’s training session will focus on using ActivInspire to create interactive flipcharts. ActivInspire can:

Grouping                                                   Labeling with captions
Stacking                                                    Drag and Drop Actions
Drag a copy                                              Inserting Media
Magic Writing technique                        Rubber Stamp
Rub and Reveal                                      Inserting Templates
Deleting                                                     Desktop Tools
Groups and Pulleys (Restrictors)        Desktop Annotate
Design and Presentation Modes         Adding Backgrounds
Property Browser                                    Resource Browser


  1. Directions download (flipchart version)

Nov 10

Training resources for Activinspire

There are many training resources for ActivInspire available. Please let me know how I can assist you!

In person training:

Monday 11/14 during planning with Joy

On-Demand Training:


Nov 08

Use your teacher blog easily

This week’s training will focus on how to use your teacher blog. We each have a blog setup for us at

To access your own blog:

  1. Go to the main page
  2. Type in your email username and password (on right)
  3. Click login
  4.  Once you have logged in, you will automatically be brought to your Dashboard. This page gives you information about blog activity and a chance to write a quick post. The Dashboard is where you can find your starting locations for writing posts, creating pages, and other useful blog functions.

For additional training materials, please access tutorials here:

Nov 02

ActivEngage – Instant Feedback for Classroom Questioning

This week’s training session will focus on using ActivEngage to collect and display data in real time in the classroom. ActivEngage can:

  • Be used for pre-scripted questions or questions posed on the fly
  • Be used for multiple choice AND free response questions
  • Show progress charts for each question instantly
  • Import self-paced questions from ExamView tests


  1. Teacher setup directions
  2. Student directions
  3. HCPS Promethean training site 

Oct 07

Web 2.0: Make media work for you

Multimedia Resources

I am sure I will sound like an old lady by saying this, but ‘back in my day, we had to fork out hundreds, even thousands of dollars to work with digital images, sound and video’. When working as a recording engineering student at VT, the digital audio editing software I used in the studio cost $70,000 (in the late 90s)!!!! Thanks to the open source software movement and the subsequent spawning of Web 2.0 tools, we now can create, edit and share our multimedia work for FREE. I hope that the following resources maximize your and your students’ creativity and communication efforts.

Video Editor Resources

Movie Masher –
YouTube Editor –
OpenShot Video –
One True Media –


Image Editor Resources
Picnik –
Photoshop Express –
Pixlr –
Sumo Paint –
Aviary –


Video Converters
Hamster Free –
Miro Video Converter –
Videora –
Freemake –
Media Coder HQ –


Stock Images and Video
Video Footage –
Internet Archive –
Vimeo Free Footage –
Image Stock –
Image Vault –
Pics4Learning –
Flickr –

Oct 06

Schoolspace Testing – From EVP

This week’s staff development opportunity focused on electronic testing methods. Teachers practiced publishing ExamView tests into the secure testing environment in Schoolspace. A copy of the directions I used can be found SS_Assessments_From_EVP.