Friday, August 31, 2012

It's FRIDAY!!!

We have had 2 great weeks at Hoover High! Seniors are super excited about getting iPads on Tuesday.

Have you ever wondered what the Hoover Ambassadors do during 5th period? Have you ever wondered what goes on at Hoover Hall when the students are at Hoover High? Both of these questions are about to be answered with this week's edition of Fun Fact Friday.

Mrs. Hummel- Hoover High School might be the size of Disney World, but those desks are not tea cups :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

From the iPad of Janet Ort, Environmental Science Teacher...

The photo below shows the Google Earth trail being created in Hoover High School's Environmental Science Research class. The students recorded gps coordinates, screen shots, alt, etc. outside.  They are now creating the map.  The locations are also study sites for projects.  They will be able to add data!

Tweets from Classrooms Today...

#Gr82BKing13 Tweets:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mrs. Kelley has hard at work this week using EduCreations to make a video showing students how to complete Unit Conversions with Dimensional Analysis. Mrs. Kelley did a great job with this video and it can be viewed below: 

Many teachers are creating QR codes with QR Creator which allows students (or anyone with a smart device that has the Scan app to go directly to a website without having to type in the web address. The examples below are signs that can been seen around Hoover High School. The first is our ER Student Assistance flier that allows student to scan the flier and go to a Dropbox form to sign up for ER during their lunch and advisory time. Students can access this from the poster or they can go to the library and use the computer lab to sign up. The second is a flier posted outside a science classroom that uses Edmodo on a regular basis. The teacher has it posted so the student can scan it as they enter the classroom and their smart devices will be logged in to the correct web address.

From the iPad of Mark Conner...

I am generally not one to send school-wide emails, but I’m so in love with the iANNOTATE PDF app that I’m making an exception.  While I love Notability, I haven’t seen anything that rivals this app when it comes to annotating pdf files.  There are a ton of ways that you can add annotations to pdf files, including adding audio comments that can then be saved back to a pdf file.  For me, that means that I can finally tell students what I’m thinking when I grade their papers rather than trying to write it all out.  (It also means that I won’t be carrying 20 pounds of papers over each holiday break!)  The program also has great synchronization with Dropbox.

The main reason for the mass email, though, is that the app is 50% off for the remainder of the week.  If you purchase by August 31st, it’s only $4.99 instead of $9.99.  I have a feeling that a lot of our students will also be interested in this.

Hope some find this helpful.

App Presented by Jill Thomas and Emily Barnes during PD and endorsed again by Kelley Self-

I read an article a couple of days ago in MacLife magazine that listed good Apps for teachers.  One intrigued me enough from its description to pay for it.  It is called “Pick Me” and it was $1.99.  You can import your rosters from your dropbox account as long as they are in CSV format and include headers of First Name and Last Name.  I exported my rosters from INOW in Excel format and got rid of all the non-essential stuff (a little time consuming, but totally worth it) and then saved as CSV in my Dropbox account.  I launched the app and linked my Dropbox account to the APP.  I then imported each roster and saved it.  Now, when they come to class I can randomize who I call on, and I can give them a thumbs up or down to keep a record of participation easily.  The App will email me a report if I want it.  I can add or delete individual students if there are changes, and I can add pictures of students right from the APP!!!!  Sorry to impart such enthusiasm for something so simple, but putting faces and names together is always challenging for me!  Just thought I’d pass this one along.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Hoover High School Band is amazing as always! I was visiting with them this morning and could not resist sharing their wonderful music. Here are some clips as they prepare for South Panola!

I think that they played this especially for me:

Mr. Ryan Fitchpatrick is the band director at HHS. Using my iPad and uploading the video to YouTube, I interviewed Mr. Fitzpatrick on the upcoming Marching Season at HHS. 

Assistant Band Directors at HHS:

                                 Jeff Fondren          Sallie White

                                   Valorie Morgan      Dennis Carroll

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hoover High School's new elibrary was featured on Fox 6 news. Check out the new "juice" bars!

Mr. Grice's art class has been hard at work preparing for Open House at HHS! The class created a video of the art pieces they have been working on using iMovie and then created a QR code with a free QR Creator app. This will allow parents to scan the code and view the video tonight. AND it is a great video!!

If you do not have a QR code scanner, here is the YouTube link:

From the iPad of Mrs. Ferguson, Spanish Teacher at HHS...

Spanish 1 students used Quizlet and learned 10 basic body parts. After listening to the pronunciation of the words and playing several games with them to become associated with the vocabulary, the students then used SKITCH app and took pictures and labeled them.

Today's Tweets...

All of our mistakes are correctable- you can do this!- via Mrs. Henley talking about math today. #HHSiBucs

From the iPad of Mr. Conner...

Here is a website with some interesting links and explanations of how to integrate iPads into the classroom.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Last week was one of the most amazing weeks of my career as an educator. There was a new energy, a new level of excitement, a new motivation to do better-to be better at Hoover High School. Teachers were excited, students were excited, our administrative team was excited. It was awesome!

The Engaged Learning Initiative has brought a new level of energy to our school. It has been amazing how many teachers are embracing the use of their iPad and the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) style of teaching. Many have commented that they are trying new apps and teaching strategies and that they feel like their kids are more engaged in the classroom. Some teacher have taken the iPads and run with them, while other are still in the substitution phase, but we are thrilled with all of the efforts we are seeing. We are respectful of these levels and will support our staff through this process.

It has been exciting for me to get into classrooms and highlight what I am seeing through the use of Twitter and this blog. I have already had teachers say that they have tried using a new app or used a new site after seeing a post here or a Tweet. Before attending ISTE '12 this summer, I was apprehensive about putting my ideas and writing out there for everyone to see. After attending sessions from Patrick Larkin and George Couros, I decided that not blogging and using social media in our school was the mistake- not being scared of making mistakes.

I believe that this year is going to be different, special even at HHS. It is like watching a sports team that you cannot exactly explain what it is about the team that is special, but there is something. Something magical even that makes them stand out from the crowd. Something that makes you want to be a part of the team.

I saw this video on YouTube and it made me think of our use of the iPad. It is not just the iPad that is making a difference. The iPad may be one of the tools, but it is not the only factor that is contributing to the energy and excitement at HHS. "It's not about the shoes (iPad), it's about knowing where you are going... It's about having the courage to fail...Taking everything you have been given and making something better...It's not about the shoes (iPad), it's about what you do in (with) them".

It's not about the iPad, it's about what you do with them.

Michael Jordan Nike Commercial:

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Friday and that means it is Fun Fact Friday! Visit the YouTube link below to learn about following James Spann on Twitter, using the Fox 6 weather app, and using CoachSmart to increase your weather awareness. We also had a guest join us today- Mr. Dennis Carroll from the HHS Marching Band (AKA Mason Smith).

 FFF #2 on You Tube:

Today I visited Mrs. Wilson's Economics class. The kids used the BYOD format and to increase their understanding of vocabulary related to their content. Mrs. Wilson got this idea from reading this blog and learning from her peers. She was nervous about using the site for the first time, but the the class went great. As the students explored the website, they learned and shared. One student even pointed out that you can download the Quizlet app and study your words from a smart device after you develop your lists. Great job Mrs. Wilson!

A word from Mr. Hulin...

Thanks for an awesome 1st week of school. Phenomenal things going on at HHS because of your efforts.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

From the iPad of Mr. Powers...

Want to view links from Safari with flash files on your iPad? Download an app called Rover.  It lets you copy a link from Safari, paste it into the app, then view Flash files, or tutorials that use Flash (Apple does not allow Flash in Safari). 

 Thanks for the Share Mr. Powers!
Bringing it all together...

I visited Mrs. Nowlin's Reading class today and it was awesome! The students were comparing The Hunger Games (our school wide summer reading book) to the ancient Roman gladiator fights that took place in the Coliseum. Mrs. Nowlin first used the Touwrist app to show the class the Coliseum in Rome. She then showed YouTube clips from The Hunger Games Movie, Gladiators, and some educational clips about the ancient Roman gladiators. The students then discussed the following: how were the opening ceremonies similar, what part of the Hunger Games would compare to the Coliseum setting, what types of weapons were used, the slave lives of the gladiators compared to the lives of the people in the districts, the spectators and their attitudes toward the games, and the entertainment value vs. human life. The students then wrote in journals about their thoughts in relation to the activity. Great job Ms. Nowlin!

Tweets from Other Classroom Visits:

Mr. Peterson uses card tricks to introduce scientific method and hypotenuse. Great student engagement! #HHSiBucs

Visiting Mr. Rutsky~ quote on wall, "What will you do to change the world today? " Rutsky- "Get to your highest level of success" HHSiBUCS

"Behind everything is a little story" Object share essay Mr. Barber 's Eng class "The doors of a memory are held ajar by things". These quotes and the students sharing their object that connects to a memory are the beginning of great essays! #HHSiBUCS

Photo Sent from Mr. Knippers...

                                         Tech Support 2012

Comment from Ms. Butcher: 
I learned in a graduate class last semester that our students are called Digital Natives-because technology is natural for them-born with it, and our generation is called Digital Immigrants-because technology is a whole new world for some of us and requires a different way of thinking and doing. Great photo of this concept!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Update to Post on Tuesday, August 21st about HCS Twitter Chats...

Use twtpoll as a way to solicit feedback from your students or as HCS did here with the topic for their Twitter Chat. Great way to find out information in a quick and easy format that is accessible for all. @jrickardson30 sent out the pole below for HCS staff to vote on topic for the 1st #HCSLRN chat on August 28, 2012.

From the iPad of Natasha Long...

My classes are Spanish II Advanced and mostly all my students are Pre-IB kids. I needed to find an engaging way to present their new vocabulary instead of from the textbook. So I entered their vocabulary into a website called Quizlet and students were able to go in and hear (audio) how to say the word in Spanish. Then they were able to quiz themselves and play games with all the words and phrases. Students asked if we could please learn all voc like this. It was totally engaging:) may sound silly but using the IPADS is awesome.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

All of this and we haven't even given our students their iPads yet...

Excitement and engagement are at an all time high at Hoover High School- not only for students, but for teachers as well. In my 5 years at HHS, I have never heard such a buzz about kids learning, the quality of instruction, student engagement, and an overall increase in transformational teaching strategies. It makes me proud just to be a part of such a wonderful team of educators! I visited several classrooms today and the following explains some of the instruction going on in our classrooms.

I first visited with Mrs. Self's government class. They were using the Socrative App ( Students were reviewing concepts that had been discussed by taking a 20 question quiz using this app.
According to the website, "Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smart phones, laptops, and tablets". Visit for more details about using this technology in your classroom.

Next I visited Mr. Powers room where students were using the CRS Student Response Systems to assess their initial understanding and knowledge of Economics. It was interesting to see students reaction to the fact that they have a lot to learn! Mrs. Glass is a co-teacher in Mr. Powers class and she tweeted while in his class today as well.

Ann Wascomb Glassawglass
Mr. Powers Econ class "you will want to impress your date with the meaning of economy" #HHSiBucs


Mr. Cable was my next visit and as always he was engaging students with his historical stories and passion for teaching. He was using an interactive Power Point to engage students in learning. Ms. Glass the Co-Teacher and I tweeted the following from his class:
I will tell you the stories- what I want you to do is THINK. Try to understand history so you can do better, be better~ Mr. Cable #HHSiBucs
Ann Wascomb Glass‏@awglass
Ethnocentrism is Mr. Cable's favorite word today. Students are already using iPads to look up word meanings #HHSiBucs

Mrs. Self invited me back to see her AP Government class using Nearpod during her next class. According to their website, Nearpod is "An all-in-one solution for the synchronized use of iPads in the classroom. The student logged into Nearpod and during the discussion about voting, the students sent questions and topics of discussion to Mrs. Self and she sent them things to read or think about. This was really cool! Below you will see her text about her first Nearpod lesson.
I’ve just launched one of my :"Chapter 1 AP Introduction 2012 part I"on @. #hhsibucs


Next I visited with Mr.Windle's Class. Mr. Windle is the beginning stages of Flipping the Classroom. He is using the Explain Everything App to develop online presentations. He is uploading his traditional Power Point presentations and narrate them. For now, the class is using the presentation in class. The presentations are uploaded in Edmodo for the students to access. Once the students and Mr. Windle are comfortable with the online presentation format, the students will start watching the presentations online before class and then the class time will focus on discussing the content.


My last visit today was Mr. Johnson's AP/IB Physics class where the students were learning about using Quest Learning and Assessments to individualize instruction and sometimes even remediation for his students. According to the Quest website, "Quest provides tools to incorporate online multimedia content and assessments into your course". Mr. Johnson told me that this assessment program allows students to take online assessments and complete homework assessments that are individualized for each student. It even grades these assessments and the teacher can easily see areas of weaknesses for each student according to the content being assessed.

WOW! An awesome day at HHS!

We are embracing Connected Educator's Month in the Hoover City School District! One of the ways we are ensuring that we grow in the area of connectedness is with our Twitter Inaugural Chat. This chat will take place on Aug. 28th at 7:00 pm. Below is the email sent from the HCS Technology Department:

Good Evening Hoover Tweeps,

I hope that you are looking forward to an exciting 2012-2013 school year. The technology coaches have been working on different ways to assist you in your professional development and overall learning for this school year. One of the ways that we have discussed aiding this development is through a biweekly Twitter chat. Every other Tuesday night at 7 p.m. CST (we are going to start here and may adjust according to feedback) we will converge on Twitter to share all things education, professional development, and Hoover City Schools! We encourage you to connect with other educators in the system and follow them. Twitter is a great way to learn and share ideas from a wide range of education topics. During each of our chats we are going to utilize the hashtag
#hcslrn so make sure that somewhere in your post that hashtag appears. We will post a weekly poll with some topics for discussion we hope you will take a minute to follow the link and vote on a topic. You can even email us suggestions for topics to use for the following weeks chat. It is our hope that you will learn from these chats and invite others to participate in the future. We look forward to our first chat on Tuesday August 28, 2012.  Please follow @theory249 and @jrichardson30 so that you will receive reminders about upcoming chats.

* Note: To participate in a chat your account must be set to public.

The Hoover City Schools Technology Coaches

The teachers in our district will be thrilled that they will be able to suggest topics. We believe that this will provide a wonderful opportunity for our teachers to learn and grow together using Twitter. Hopefully this will also give them the confidence to join in other chats on Twitter and grow their PLN. Great idea HCS Technology Coaches!

First Tweet Session Aug. 28th!
From the iPad of Jennifer Hogan...

Monday, August 20, 2012

It has been a wonderful first day back at Hoover High School. Technology was being used EVERYWHERE! Here are some photos of our staff and teachers in action.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Our Hoover High Marching Band is also moving forward with technology. Check out the new band shirt complete with QR Code for you to scan to find out more information about band events. Go Marching Bucs!