Thursday, August 30, 2012

Need a little inspiration??

Ok, so this is not necessarily and tech tip, but as teachers, we sometimes need a reminder why we got into this crazy field.  Here is a video that reminds us of the power of one--and the power of a supportive community.  Get your will leave this video feeling a little better about the human race. You have an amazing job; be proud.  You are truly molding our future leaders.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Free Apps...No really!

Hi all!  It is the first day back for me.  Yikes,  that transition out of summer is a difficult one.  So, how about some free stuff??  There is a great free app on iTunes called "AppsGoneFree" that sends you a list of well received apps that have gone free for a day or two.  Sometimes they are useful apps and sometimes they are silly, but free is always the way to go.  Today there are some great free math apps from Everyday Math, so go and check it out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What about the iPad?

I love iPads.  I am excited to see them in the hands of kids and teachers.  They are engaging and the list of apps continue to grow each day.  The future of textbooks and books in general seems to be pointing in this direction.


It is so important to know a few things before you jump on the iPad bandwagon.  To successfully integrate iPads into the day, one needs really great professional development.  All technology integration requires good pd, but for iPads it is vital.  The reason is that iPads do not run "java."  Java is a programming language that is used in A LOT of websites, especially interactive education sites.  So, one cannot just have kids jump on websites using their iPads.  For example, the virtual math manipulatives will not all work on the iPad.  Starfall, the awesome phonics site, only partially works.  All of those wonderfully fun games on the Colonial Williamsburg site will not run.  Most video will not work unless you are using an app to run it.  Also, apps cost money and all must be approved through your district tech person.  You also have to figure out how to easily get those apps onto all of your devices.  You don't really want to have to load the apps one at a time on each individual machine. 

So, one needs to find creative ways to use the device and also needs to have ways of adding apps easily.  All of that requires great professional development and a smooth relationship with your technology department.  It is possible and it will be worth all of the hard work.  With that said, this week I will be covering some great apps and sites that you can use for the iPad.  I can't wait!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Do you Voki?

Press play for information on Voki and some examples of its use in the classroom.  It is a free service located at  The kids (and adults) in your life will absolutely love it!

50+ Ways to Tell A Story

So, I was out and about on the web looking for new ways for students to tell stories. I came across this wiki by other ed tech teachers. Wow! So many new ideas listed by names, types of stories they can create, and by media capability. He has also included videos of the same story being told in each web 2.0 tool. What a resource!  Check out the intro video from the site.

How to Begin

Ok, so when I started using technology in my classroom, I was overwhelmed with how to begin. How do you teach 35 excited (often uncoordinated) kids to use this stuff without damaging it? So, I made a little powerpoint/keynote that I share with each class at the beginning of each year. I also review it periodically during the year. I am providing them both for you to use/change as you see fit. But...of course I cannot load them onto my blog, so I am providing them on a free file sharing site. Don't worry this is a very popular site used by loads of teachers. The address is:

Here is a tip: If you want to change a powerpoint into a keynote, simply click on the file (do not open the file), hold down the control button and click the mouse. A menu of options will appear. Click "Open With" and choose "Keynote." The slideshow may shift or change a bit, but it is always better than having to rebuild everything from scratch.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who I am and what I believe...

I am Jaime Speed. I have been a classroom teacher for 11 years and have a Masters Degree in Education and a math endorsement. I am also an Apple Distinguished Educator and a technology leader in my school and district.

Ok, so now that I have that out of the way...
  • I believe the best way to impact where our world is going is to inspire and prepare those that will be the future leaders.
  • I believe that teachers are more important than most people are willing to recognize.
  • I believe that we learn best from each other.
  • I believe that technology is the setting in which our students live. It knocks down the walls of the classroom and shows students that the world and their place in it can really be anywhere.
  • I believe that technology is not "fun" or an "add-on" or "something people are into"; it is a vital skill for all of our students.
I hope you will join me as I post integration ideas, tips, app reviews, my experiences (good and bad), questions, and various musings. I also hope you will post ideas that have worked for you. Collaboration is the best. I am so excited to have you around!