Episode 1.4

In our fourth episode, we discuss various ways of using your smartphone with ISD Tech, embracing failure (including a big fail in this episode, bonus points if you can find it) and how to create an effective web presence.

Bell Ringer – Desert Island Tech

For our bell ringer, we dusted off an old road-trip standby, the Desert Island Question. We turned it into a question about ed tech, by trying to answer the question ‘If you were stranded on a desert island and had to teach a class, what is the one piece of tech you would bring?’

We were unanimous in our choice of the iPad.

Tech Talk – Learning New Tech

Tricia shared that her favorite way is to just play with the technology. She also explained that she embraces the surprises that come up when using with students and what can be learned from them.

Carrie chimed in that she likes to read up on what the program or app is intended to do before she jumps in to using it with students. Once she has a grasp on what it is supposed to do she jumps right into using it with students. She once read that whether students are taught step by step how to use a tech or thrown into it without much teaching, the end results are the same. So she’s adopted that approach and now is comfortable figuring it out along the way.

Josh really has no idea how he learns technology. He plays with it, sometimes he reads directions but mostly he just wants to know the answer to two questions:

  1. What can it do?
  2. What can it do for student learning?

He’s adamant that tools that are really good often have a narrow scope which frees him up to spend his time learning how best they can support learning. He also advocates Just-in-Time learning verses Just-In-Case.

Application Time – Tech Tools for Formative Assessment

This fortnight we turned our attention to how tech can support powerful formative assessment.

We also brought in a special guest for the second half of the show. Kris Coleman is a PE teacher at Creekside Elementary and has long been fascinated with how technology can help improve learning in the gym and the PE classroom.

He began our look at formative assessment by sharing how he uses Coaches Eye, an app designed to ‘show’ learners how they progressing in their skills. The app allows him or students to capture on video a skill when it is first introduced and then, after some practice with the skill, video the skill again so that a side-by-side comparison can be made. The ‘coach’ or instructor can also provide audio and visual feedback.

Josh jumped in with his love for Turnitin.com. Which he believes is a great tool for formative assessments as well as for summative assessments. He’s also a big believer in Socrative as a tool for pushing out questions and results to students, especially the built-in Exit Slip feature, which he found supported his Exit Slipping habits. His favorite though is Plickers, which he compares to Space Invaders,

Pic Collage is Tricia’s go to tool, especially for sorting and organizing ideas, information, pictures, etc. She believes it’s a great tool for students to quickly show what they’ve learned. She also loves Padlet…because we all love Padlet.

Carrie shared how she uses Active Expressions every day, including exporting the data into a spreadsheet. She then had the data to establish patterns for how students were doing in here class, and identify ways to offer greater support to her students. Also, another fortnight brings another screencast tool: Screencastify.

Show and Tell


Tackk.com – Tackk makes it easy to create pages for everything in your life. Customize your Tackk to make it unique, and add fun content like Instagram pics, Vines and more. Check out this awesome Tackk about using Tackk in the classroom.


Assembly – Assembly is an iOS app that gives users a bunch of vector graphic shapes to choose from and then the tools to assemble pictures out of those shapes. It’s so gestalt. Controls include layers, color, transparency, copy, paste and orientation. Graphics can be exported as jpegs, and you can also create animations of how you assembled your creation (check out Josh make a robot here.)


Comic Life – Comic Life is an app that let’s you be the super hero you always wanted to be. Seriously, the app let’s take photos with your iOS camera and then turn them into glorious comics for all to marvel at (wink wink.) Kris has created posters for his kids to review various PE skills and techniques.


Stick Pick – Ditch the old soup can and popsicle sticks for choosing students to respond to discussion questions, and use Stick Pick. This app lets you import class rosters, randomize students, provides

Iska Dhaaf (the band who makes the music in our show) is appearing on January 29 at the Timbrrr! Winter Musical Festival. You should totally check them out, and Timbrrr! is a blast. Click on the banner below for details.