Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Teacher Conference! Free! Summertime in the Berkshires!

We wanted to let you know that registration is now open for the Massachusetts Teachers Association Summer Conference New Member Program! You can learn more about the program and register online at

Educators in their first five years of practice are invited to the MTA’s New Member Program at Summer Conference. The 2013 program will run August 4-8 at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. The program fees, housing and meals are offered at no cost for eligible MTA members.

The New Member Program is the perfect primer for educators interested in learning more about education policy, rules and regulations. During the week, participants will learn how to be informed educators and what they can do to be active participants and leaders. Throughout the week, you will work with your peers to untangle the maze of policy, regulations and laws that affect you as a classroom teacher, including the rules that guide MCAS, curriculum and the school year. 

New for 2013!! If you have already completed the New Member Program, you are now eligible to join the Emerging Leaders Program! Learn more about Emerging Leaders and register online today -

Find us on:

Twitter - @MTANewMembers

Monday, May 20, 2013

Seven Digital Ways to End the School Year (from

In keeping with our promise to send you interesting articles about authentic and meaningful uses of technology in your classrooms, we're happy to share the following article with you. 

The following article is from which is provided by the K-12 Teachers Alliance.  This wonderful website compiles lessons, shared resources and K-12 news and is by teachers and for teachers. It's a site that is well-worth poking around on and it focuses on much more than just technology.  See the ( mission statement at the end of this article.

7 Digital Ways to End the School Year

7 Digital Ways to End the School YearIf you've been swearing all year to get students online using some amazing digital tools,  I have some ideas for you. These seven projects will be so much fun, students will eagerly welcome the new school year, hoping you have more toys for them to learn.
The trick with so many of these online sites is to let students explore. Don't rush them. Don't teach them every twist and turn. Don't expect perfection. Expect inquiry and enthusiasm, and self-paced discovery. Let them solve problems as they create.

Here are seven ideas for amazing end-of-year projects that leave students thinking the school year is ending too soon:

End-of-year Multimedia Summative

8 Activities to Make the Last Days of School Memorable and Fun
Students take pictures of each other holding up favorite projects or working on tech skills - humorously, of course. Use these pictures in an Animoto movie to share light-hearted details of their Year in Tech. Open it with a magazine cover featuring students (created in Big Huge Labs). Accessorize with  music, transitions, and text bubbles. Save to the class network and load onto the school set of iPads. Students can play these movies on the last day of class as they celebrate the end of school. If you don't have iPads, gather students in comfortable seating and play the student video as they reflect on another successful year of Tech.

Tips and Tricks Trading Cards
Create trading cards (in Big Huge Labs) for next year's students that share grade-level hints and tips for thriving in tech class.

Voki Cheerleader
Create a Voki that will greet next year's students with positive messaging when they most need it -- you can do it--just two more minutes of typing! You are blazing! And you almost never look at your fingers--woah!

Create a movie of the school for prospective students. Walk around campus sharing what goes on in the gym, the science lab, near the lockers. It should be upbeat and positive, underscoring activities that make the school a uniquely great learning environment.

Digital Welcome Book
Create a digital 'Welcome' book, telling next year's new students how to keep track of log-ins, what the computer UN and PW is, the best approach to keyboarding, when Minecraft Mania time is, and anything else you decide is important for new students. Maybe do the classroom tour that the teacher usually does on the first day of school. Walk around the classroom pointing out where the bulletin boards are with important news, what the 'Evidence Board' is, how to use the printer, where to get new headphones/pencils if yours disappear.

Jeopardy Summative
Play Tech Class Jeopardy! There are a lot of online templates for Jeopardy. Simply use questions that sum up the year's worth of tech knowledge or take the questions from the students. What do they think was most important? Divide the class into  teams, give them study guides to prepare. While they study, you create the game slides, and then play on the last day. An alternative to this is to have each team create their own Jeopardy game, with questions of their choice, and spend 15 minutes on each game--see who wins.

Put up a Padlet (the new name for Wallwisher) on the class website, blog or wiki (in my case, the class internet start page), inviting all students to add notes about what they're doing this summer. Keep these up all summer, until the new school year. Students can check in while on vacation and add notes for classmates about what they ended up doing even though they planned something else.

Mission Statement

At TeachHUB it is our mission to improve the quality of education by making available the most current, complete and affordable resources for all K-12 Educators.
Built by Teachers, for Teachers, we offer free lesson plans, the latest in education news, professional development and real teacher blogs plus the tools and applications modern Educators need to maintain a level of excellence in their classrooms.
TeachHUB K12 Teachers Alliance

Monday, May 13, 2013

Technology In Our Classrooms: How to Make It Work Authentically and Meaningfully for YOU!

Our New Teacher Community SPRING EVENT, Technology In Our Classrooms: How to Make It Work Authentically and Meaningfully for YOU was enthusiastically received!  The team of teacher experts who chaperoned us through websites and apps were terrific and we all spent a good chunk of time working in small groups to learn how to use these.  May 4th was a beautiful spring day outside and it was pretty special inside as well!

If you didn't attend, here's the list of what we learned about.  Experiment, try it out, go online to see how other people use this and have fun!

A quote that we read at our event states: "Simply adding technology to K-12 environments does not improve learning.  What matters is how students and teachers use technology to develop knowledge and skills." (Zucker and Light, 2009)

With that in mind, during the next few weeks we will be posting interesting articles and resources about technology on our blog.  Please help us by sending some of your thoughts and good articles that have crossed your desks about this HUGE topic!

Google’s Gmail 



Note: there are 2 sites for Glogster – go to the EDU site (Link Above)


 iPad: free apps from the iTunes App Store:

SketchBook for the iPad


Voice Memo