EDIT 3220 MG Fall 2018

Welcome to EDIT 3220, a class devoted to providing ideas and training on how to use technology in the middle grades classroom. You might want to bookmark this page, as it will be continuously updated with new information on assignments, as well as technology, throughout the semester.


– You will need a Dropbox or Google Drive account for this course.



Video Production

For this project you will work individually or in a group to script, film, and edit a 3-5 minute film that aligns with the middle school curriculum. Project requirements (check the rubric for specifics):

  • Camera work shows purpose and forethought, mimics professionals
  • Lots of different angles are apparent throughout the film
  • The audio quality is good and all dialogue is easy to hear
  • Background music and sound effects are included
  • The production is 3-5 minutes
  • There is some alignment to curriculum

We will have a film festival the last day of class to screen these projects. Do a good job!!

Using Tablets in the Classroom

Using iPads, Android tablets and Chromebooks in the modern middle grades classroom is becoming much more common, and in many ways these devices are supplanting traditional laptops. There are many advantages for them, as we will discuss in class. This assignment has two options, and you and a group member will decide which option you want to choose.

Some great universal apps for almost any content area:

Tons more ideas can be found on this rich and essential website

Option 1

You will use a tablet to create a project using a student-centered, content creation app similar to what we discussed in class. This project will reflect what you would want students in your class to create for an assignment. This project needs to focus on the use of tablets for content creation. Simply doing a review game or similar activity is not sufficient. The project should utilize multimedia (such as photos, audio, video, or a combination) and align with the middle grades curriculum. You will present what you create to the rest of the class.

Option 2

You and a group member will research an app that can be used in the classroom (iPad or Chromebook is fine) and create a presentation on it that can be shared with the rest of the class. The presentation needs to focus on the app, how it can be used in the classroom, ideas for student-centered integration, as well as a breakdown of how the app is designed and looks. The presentation should be comprehensive and extensive enough that teachers can learn how to use the app simply by viewing the presentation. Use presentation software such as Nearpod, Google Slides, Prezi, Google Draw, Powerpoint, or similar.

As always, there is a rubric available in Livetext for this assignment.

Digital Storytelling

The use of still images to tell a story or relate content can be a fun and engaging project for your class. There are several different software packages that are freely available for this type of project, but this semester we will look at iMovie. Your assignment is to create a digital story, which will consist of still images as well as narration. The images should have transitions as well as movement to keep the video interesting for the viewer. For an A on this project, it must:

  • Be 3-4 minutes long
  • Include LOTS of high quality images (average 5 seconds per image). They should not be blurry and should not have watermarks
  • Include background music for some or all of the video
  • Include substantial narration that is clear and easy to hear (at least 75% is narrated)
  • Cover a subject that aligns with the EC curriculum

Here are some links for you to learn more about digital storytelling. Some contain ideas as well as actual examples of student products.

Using digital storytelling in your classroom

The elements of digital storytelling

More information on storytelling and how it relates to education

Video editing and digital storytelling

Professional Website

You can use this website as a model for your project

This might be the most useful project you do in the course. When you are finished, you will have created a website that showcases you as a teacher. You will be creating your website using the excellent free service Weebly.com

If you want a custom domain (for instance, www.drchrisgreer.com) then you can register one here and point it to your Weebly website.

Your website needs to be, at the very minimum, 5 pages and contain content related to:

1) what you teach
2) your philosophy
3) examples of your work (technology and other), embed your technology projects on a dedicated page for greater visibility
4) your overall experience
5) a link to your resume
6) lots of your own images

If you want to ensure a solid grade for this project, you should go above and beyond these minimum guidelines.

You can also showcase any research, presentations, work experience, or a variety of other topics.

This website will be due September 27th. It is important that you don’t wait until a few days before to finish it though, as it will take a while to gather the needed materials to complete it.

Apple Teacher and Google Educator

There are two certifications available to all educators that can serve to increase your knowledge of technology integration as well as provide evidence on your resume that you are a technology savvy educator. You will choose one of these and begin the certification process here in class. You have the until Sep 18th to become certified, but be aware that this takes a little while, so you simply cannot wait until the week before to begin.

Apple Teacher

Google Educator Level 1 (test costs $10 to take)

These certifications will 1) prepare you for technology integration in your classroom and 2) help you stand out when applying for a teaching position.

Electronic Whiteboard

For this project you will use the whiteboard to teach a lesson to the class. You will need to form groups of 2 to 3 students and plan about 15 minutes of instruction to deliver to the class. The instruction should be on something related to your content area, and you need to take advantage of the whiteboard’s functionality. This includes interactive exercises that get students up to the board and engage them in the lesson. You can have questions, writing exercises, integrated video, and links to external websites. The more functionality you utilize, the stronger your grade will be. Be creative with your layouts and make sure to utilize plenty of colors and images throughout the presentation. You will work on this today in class and present it soon (depending on how quickly we work through everything).

Here is the example I used in class:

Smart Notebook

Using a Promethean or SmartBoard at your school? Download the software to your personal computer so you can create lessons from home!

Promethean ActiveInspire

SMART software


Google is a powerful search engine, but many people don’t know some of the advanced ways it can be used. Try to answer these questions:

  1. Find some PowerPoint presentations or PDF files that can help you teach the structure and function of cells in the human body.
  2. Name the many bands/artists that have covered the song “Wagon Wheel”
  3. How many times is my last name mentioned on the Georgia College website?
  4. Find some of the critics’ reviews of The Walking Dead during previous seasons, but without worrying about coming across a spoiler from the current season.
  5. Your cell phone has started dropping the Wifi connection on a daily basis. It happens at school and at home. How could you solve this problem?

Social Media

General rules to follow:

1. Do not Facebook “friend” your students
2. Consider changing your last name once you begin teaching
3. Consider creating a new account on Facebook for online contact with students
4. Make sure your stuff is private. Make VERY sure. Go and view it as someone else and as the general public to make certain

Locking down your presence on the web can be tough, but now is the time to do it. Google, Twitter, Vine, Tumbler, etc need to all be examined.

Cyber-safety, Facebook, and You

Cyberbullying is a major problem. 43% of teens have been the victims of cyberbullying in the past year.

Cyberbullying – How to make it stop

So sad, and further proof that you need to look out for your students

Must Read:

Do cyberbullying laws violate free speech? It’s murky.

A recent study on cyberbullying in Boston schools


Hardware and Software

Using search engines activity

Basic computer components

How computer viruses work

Download free software to prevent viruses

Do not fall for phishing scams. They can be very clever and many people cannot tell the difference.

Concept Mapping

You all will be building your concept maps based on your content area or grade level. There can be no more than 4 individuals in each group. You will build your concept map on the laws that all teachers need to be aware of: CIPA, COPPA, FERPA, and Fair Use of CopyrightEach group member must work and develop the concept map. The finished map needs to be extensive and cover the laws in great detail.

We will be using Google Drawings for this

BTW: Google Drawings is super useful in the classroom

  • begin with a main title
  • break it down into the subtopics that are all related to the main subject
  • break those down further into detailed examples and media
    • you must include images, video, and links
  • Each law needs to include an example of something that could happen in a classroom to violate the law (this shows you understand how they can apply to you)
  • overall there should be a bare minimum of 40 elements on the completed concept map

This assignment is due at the beginning of the next class.

Websites for Your Classroom

TeacherTube – Just like Youtube, but contains educational content for K-12 curriculums.

SchoolTube – Similar to teacher tube, with videos that are edcuational in nature. Make your own and upload them!

UnitedStreaming – Massive resource for lesson plans and educational videos

Edmodo – A social network, for your class, that allows interaction and assignments

Google Educational Apps – Free apps for your school, quite powerful. Talk to your IT person about implementing them.

Google Docs – Excellent for collaborating on a word processor file

Google Scholar – Access journals, presentations, and other research on virtually any topic

Class Dojo – Free online classroom management software.

Linux for Education – Huge site of interactives and flash demos. Not the best navigation, but just check the link on the left that says “Resources by theme.”

National Geographic Education – Part of the excellent National Geographic site, but contains activities and interactives for students.

Nova – Excellent interactive exercises for science, history, contemporary culture

EduHound – Educational resources for teachers and students

The Jason Project – Excellent supplemental curriculum for science classrooms

Yahooligans – Kid-friendly search engine

Foreign Language Games – A site with games and exercises for all kinds of foreign languages

Howstuffworks.com – Amazing site with very thorough tutorials on how various things work

History.com – The popular cable channel has a website dedicated to K-12 education

HistoryTeacher.net – Great resources for history teachers

History Websites – A listing of some great instructional websites on various events in history. This website is a great example.

Merlot – Massive repository of interactive learning units

Geography games – Great site with interactive Flash geography games.

Ikeepbookmarks – Perfect way to keep track of all of the websites you use in your classroom

What is a Wiki?

What is a Blog?

Visible Earth – Wonderful repository of images from NASA.

The Human Body – An interactive look at the human body

Economics – Some great online economics lessons for business classes

Virtual Stock Market – Learn about the stock market with this free online interactive

WebEnglishTeacher – An online website with resources for English Teachers

English resources – More resources for the English teacher

Websites for Teachers – Numerous websites for ideas and lesson planning

EPals – Virtual penpals for your classroom

Teach-Nology.com – Lesson plans for incorporating technology into your classroom

PEcentral.com – Large resource for health educators

PBS.com – Great resource for teachers of all disciplines