Thursday, June 26, 2014

We are headed to ISTE 2014 and could not be more excited! We have 6 of our finest Hoover Ambassadors presenting "What Students Think about the 1:1 Classroom". We will post photos and blog from ISTE to share our learning!

If you are at ISTE, check us out on Monday from 4:00-6:00 EST GWCC Murphy Ballroom Galleria, Table 6.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Yesterday I was awarded the 2014 Marbury Award for Technology Innovation. I was asked to only give 2-3 sentences why technology was important to me, but I wanted to take the time to formally share what this award means to me and thank those who have been instrumental in my journey to be a more connected educator at Hoover High. If I could have had more time and if I was not so nervous the following is what I would have said.....
It is an honor to be awarded the 2014 Chiquita Marbury Technology Innovation Award. This award to me represents the amazing faculty and staff that I am blessed to work with each day at Hoover High School. Three years ago our leadership team stood before a group of 200 plus faculty members and asked them to embark on a new journey. A journey that we did not know the destination or really how we were going to get there. We began a 1:1 Engaged Learning Initiative at Hoover High School by jumping out of the plane and building the parachute on the way down. We did not even have a committee! Our teachers showed blind faith in this initiative and I believe that it has been one of the most powerful, motivating, and rejuvenating things we have ever done at HHS. It was not simple, it did not make planning easier, it did not save time initially, BUT it did make an impact on learning in each and every classroom and changed relationships by building stronger partnerships between teachers and students. No longer was the teacher the “hoarder of the knowledge” teachers were learning from students, teachers were learning from teachers, and admins were learning from teachers and students. It was amazing- but not easy. As my dear friend Principal EL says this journey is not an easy one, we cannot pray for a lighter load if we want to make an impact, we must pray for stronger backs!

I would like to thank my wonderful family (my mom and grandmother are here with me) who instilled in me a strong work ethic and taught me that to be a leader is to be a servant first. And most importantly that ALL people matter. My husband and sons who could not be here today make sacrifices of mommy time and attention- to the point that my son Whitt made up a song entitled “All I do is Tweet, Tweet, Tweet no matter what”. Yes, you can view that on my blog.

I would like to thank the outstanding leadership team at HHS, led by Principal Don Hulin who commonly asks us- Can we afford not to do this? And Jennifer Hogan whose passion for teaching and learning inspires me daily to do more and want more. Jennifer is the co-moderator of Aledchat and USedchat and is the definition of a connected leader, a friend, and a mentor.

I would like to thank my curriculum technology specialists Keith Fulmer who never said we cannot do it when I came to him with crazy ideas that were outside of the box. He was supportive and even when I could see that his eyes were beginning to glaze, he put a smile on his face and said “let’s do it”. Keith, Jonathan Sandlin, Bryan Phillips and the HCS tech team have made this dream a reality and we often do not even realize their importance- until the WiFI goes down at least. I would not be here today without their hard work.

Most importantly, I am here today because 14 years ago I decided to be a teacher. At that point, I made the commitment to do whatever it takes to be the best educator I could be. I made the commitment to be passionate, work hard, be a lifelong learner, and to let ALL students know that I love them. Technology has provided me new and exciting ways to connect with students, celebrate students, and share the awesome things that students are doing on a daily basis at HHS.

In closing I would like to remind you that It does not matter if you have 3000 students or 300 in your school, whether you are in a 1:1 school or a 1:1000- you can be the change. I encourage you to share your passion about education and technology integration, to use the power of Twitter and social media to grow, share, and learn. If we are going to be teachers and leaders who have powerful impacts on students and learning, we cannot pray for a lighter loads, but stronger backs. Thanks you AETC for having us today and to Dr. Bice for presenting me with this award!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Free Online Opportunity!!
Transform your classroom with Google Apps!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Daily I see posts and articles on how Google+ is the new Twitter for educators. I am no where near ready to leave my Twitter PLN (although most of the educators I follow are already in my Google+ circles), I am using my Google+ communities to learn daily. As we make the transition to devices that are more friendly to Google Apps in Education, I believe that we can learn and grow if we use Google+ Communities. The link below is a good article on how to get started with Google Communities.
I would also suggest once you begin to explore Google Communities, that you check out these:
Chromebook EDU
Google Apps for Education
Google + Helper Community
Google Apps Meets Common Core

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

School's Out for Summer!!
We are excited that our teachers, students, and staff have some time to catch their breath and enjoy a beautiful Alabama summer. We are also excited to have time to plan for the upcoming school year! At HHS we will have some shifts in devices over the next couple of years starting with Chromebooks for our freshmen in the fall. We will continue to support our 10-12th grade teachers with the integration of technology using iPads, but will also add lots of opportunities for teachers using Google in Education. We will post lots of resources here for teachers and will continue to collaborate and learn together over the summer. Enjoy! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

From the iPad of Lisa Bridgeman...

How do we use iPads in PE? We demonstrate knowledge of "Why We Workout" for others.

Video Link:

From the iPad of Ms. Moncus...

Amelia, my Finance Academy I student, is one of the four winners of the EverFi Student blog contest!  So proud of  her!  Read their (she’s third on the list) blogs at . She gets $250 and our classroom gets a GoPro camera. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chromebooks are here!

Yesterday we had our first PD session for 9th grade teachers and most of these teachers received their new Dell Chromebook. Now the fun begins! We will start focusing on Chromebooks and Google in Education with this group as we continue to support and increase our integration of iPads in grades 10-12. Below you will find useful links from Nikki Robertson for those who are looking for additional Chromebook resources:

Don't forget that we have a Google/Chromebook Pinterest Board:

Here is a Chromebook Basics site you might be interested in taking a look at:

Learn more about HAPARA here:
From the iPad of Melissa Hamley...

The IB juniors have begun their final oral presentations for English 11.

All topics have to be student-selected and distinctly different from each other and from material we have already covered in class.

Many of them have taken what they’ve learned in other IB classes (like psychology) and applied them to the characters in the novels we have read this semester.

Here are some examples....

Use of rhyme and repetition to comfort readers in The God of Small Things
Influence of religion/Christianity in 1984
Psychoanalytical interpretation of the use of dreams in 1984 and Heart of Darkness
The effect of George Orwell’s usage of binary oppositions on his portrayal of totalitarianism in 1984.
The God of Small Things  Fruit / Nature imagery

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Notability is the most used app at HHS and it is FREE right now!
If your school is considering 1:1 with iPads or currently is 1:1 with iPads, I would recommend that you check out this app!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Team Cahaba National
Finalists Again!!

2014 High School National Finalists (Caroline Amerson & Massie Cho with mentor Janet Ort &assistance from HHS AP/IB Students and Lexus EcoChallenge winners Tyler Reynolds, Hunter Striklin, and Johnathon Harvey)

Congratulations to the high school National Finalists of the 2014 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge!


  • Team Name Team Cahaba 13-14
  • Location Hoover, Alabama
  • School Hoover High School
  • Teacher/Mentor Janet Ort
  • Description Inspired by our school habitat, E.O. Wilson, and a the new film “America's Amazon” that showcases Alabama’s biodiversity, Team Cahaba decided to champion our state. Our projects educate and showcase the wonderful biodiversity in Alabama through outreach to our local schools and connections to other state wide organizations! Through four outreach projects, Team Cahaba is educating the community about the threats to biodiversity such as invasive species and improper land management while creating enthusiasm and awareness across the local, state, and regional area.
From the iPad of Kristy....
I learned about a cool app this weekend that I thought I’d share.  It’s called BaiBoard and it’s basically a collaborative whiteboard.  Once you start a board anyone in your class can get on it, which means you can all be adding to it at the same time.  I haven’t had much time to play with it, but I envisioned one scenario where it might be helpful: groups of students working on a mind map (or something similar) can be adding to it from their own ipads but with one final group product.  Teacher can display pages from individual groups on the screen for discussion, questions, etc. 
Let me know if you have any questions or cool ideas to share! J


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

From the iPad of Sara Taylor..

Here is an awesome HHSiBucs Tech Reflection. Check it out!

Great Video using Pow Toon:

From the iPad of Teddie Butcher...

Check out how Ms. Butcher's class is using the Homestyler app for Interior Design!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

From the iPad of Nikki Robertson...
We have had some great speakers at our school recently. 

Mr. Coltrane’s father came and spoke about his experience during the Vietnam War:

Ms. Cantley had an author visit her classes and talk about her great uncle’s survival aboard the Titanic.  She was a riveting storyteller.  If you missed it you can watch and share with your classes here:

Below is an email from the Titanic author’s publisher with the names of other authors who can visit our school.

Thank you for being awesome!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hoover High School was thrilled to participate in a Google Live Event hosted by Xavier High School in Iowa. Teachers from around our building. They not only were watching the Google Live presentation, they were also Tweeting in to participate in the discussion using the hash tag #XavierLive. Great day of collaboration! The photo below is from Coach Trent Hosmer's history class.
We are so pleased to welcome Cesare Frustaci, a Holocaust survivor, to Xavier High School on April 10 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (CDT).  Cesare will share his story with our U.S. History classes in our school’s theatre.  We will stream the presentation (approximately 45 minutes) and Question/Answer period (approximately 45 minutes) and make the feed available to all of you. 

To submit a question, we ask that students pose the question to their teacher and that the teacher submit the question on Twitter, identifying their school/state and using the hashtag #XavierLive.  We will give a shout out to your school as the question is asked.

 Here is the press release for this event (which includes the link for the stream):

 Xavier High School will welcome Cesare Frustaci, a Holocaust survivor, on April 10, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.(CDT) Frustaci will discuss growing up in the Jewish ghetto in Budapest and surviving in a Nazi youth detention camp.

 In addition to sharing his story with Xavier students, Mr. Frustaci's presentation will be streamed as a Google Live Event to students from other schools around the globe.

 “We are blessed to have the opportunity to welcome Cesare Frustaci to Xavier High School to share his compelling story with our students and we are excited to share his presentation to students around the globe," says Tom Keating, principal at Xavier High School. "To hear a first-hand account of one’s encounter with the Holocaust will truly be a phenomenal experience for all who are fortunate enough to be part of this event.”

 The presentation itself will last approximately 45 minutes, which will be followed by a question and answer period. Viewers who are watching via the live stream will have an opportunity to field their questions on Twitter using the hashtag "#XavierLive."

 The video stream will be available at  as well as on the Xavier High School YouTube page at . The presentation will be recorded and able to be viewed following the live stream.

 For more information, contact Tom Keating, Xavier High School principal, at 319-294-6635 or at .

 About Cesare Frustaci

Born in 1936, Mr. Frustaci was the child of Margit Wolf, a Hungarian ballerina, and Pasquale Frustaci, an Italian composer. During World War II, Frustaci and his mother were forced into a Jewish ghetto in Budapest. At the age of seven, his mother was interned by the Nazis in a German concentration camp. Frustaci survived out on the streets until he was eventually captured and sent a youth detention camp. After two years of separation, they were reunited in a small village on the border with Romania. Frustaci has made it his mission to share his story with young people. An extended biography is also available at .

If you know anyone else who may be interested in taking part, please have them contact me via e-mail.  We will add them to our list!

Looking forward to an phenomenal national/global collaboration!



Tom Keating, Principal
Xavier High School
6300 42nd St. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA  52411
“Learning With A Higher Purpose”


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mr. Brad Coltrane's father speaks to IB students about the war. Watch these presentations with Google Hangout! #RewindableLearning

From the iPad of Holly Sutherland...
John Wink, a fellow educator and tweeter, wrote a blog recently challenging us to tell our school’s story. He has challenged us all to share our story on Friday, April 11th via twitter. You and your students can tweet what you love about HHS all day on Friday. Since we are using the hash tag #LoveMySchoolDay and we need to add the hash tag #HHSiBucs, all you will need to tweet is what you love about HHS. An example tweet would be:
Love Teachers at HHS! #LoveMySchoolDay #HHSiBucs

Below is a copy of the blog post that started the challenge. I think this is a great opportunity for us to tell our story and what we love about HHS! Join us on Friday and encourage your student to join as well. This would be a great activity to post on Edmodo!  Happy Tweeting J

From the iPad of Nikki Robertson...
Here is the recorded version of last night's #TLChat Café.

Monday, April 7, 2014

From the iPad of Nikki Robertson...

In preparation for the April 15th Google 101 Session 4: Doctopus & Goobric PD please be sure to do the following BEFORE Friday, April 11th.

Locate the Session 4 Google Form in your Google Drive that we created during the Google 101 Session 2 PD.

Copy the link to the Session 4 Google Form you created during the Google 101 Session 2 PD and have the students in ONE of your classes complete the form.

Think of an assignment you have coming up the week of April 14th - April 25th that you would normally create in Microsoft Word and upload to Edmodo.  Either create this assignment in your Google Drive OR upload an already created word document into your Google Drive.

When you arrive to the Google 101 Session 4 on April 14th we will jump right in using the information your students entered on the Session 4 Google Form and your upcoming assignment to demonstrate Doctopus and Goobric.

If you need any assistance in completing steps 1 through 3 please let me know early rather than later.

For a preview of what can be done using Doctopus & Goobric check out Ms. Virginia Young’s class using it here:

Hopefully I won't look like this on April 15th! LOL!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Happy Prom Friday 2014! We have many students who are excited about tonight and I am sure we will see tons of pics of our beautiful and handsome students! We are still working on our SAMR videos and reflections and they look awesome! Here are examples from Susan Davis and Susan Norris. 
Susan Davis:

Susan Davis Reflection-

Here is a video from Ms. Susan Norris-

Susan Norris Reflection-

From the iPad of Lisa Smith....

Our competition caught up with us in the voting process!  We need your help!  HHS Academy of Finance has four teams in the final six for the Junior Achievement Business Plan Challenge. The top 3 scholarships are $3,000, $1,500 and $500.  Our students have won in recent years and we are hoping to win again this year!  Voting is still open today.  Please vote and allow your students just one minute to vote, too.  Please help us by going to the Junior Achievement of Greater Birmingham Facebook page and “Like” one (or you can vote for all four) of our students’ commercials.  We would also appreciate it if you would help us spread the word




Alabama Funk

Will Clifton

Dress Better

Jake Callahan

Haute Lacquer

Shaina Cadet

Room Me

Jenna Osczepinski
From the iPad of Ben Rigsby...

Check out these new HHS Advanced Digital Photo Albums. These students will amaze you!

From the iPad of Nikki Robertson...

Join me Friday, April 4, 2014 as I teach Ms.Virginia Young's 1st and 7th period classes how to use Canva, BlendSpace, and Google Drive to create and organize their Event Planning Project.

To watch, click here:

Tweets from Around HHS:




Wednesday, April 2, 2014


From the iPad of Thea Ford...

My Pre IB students are using Google doc to create a shared research paper on a Latin American independence movement.  Today was our first day and there was a lot of experimentation, learning together, etc.  The kids are excited; they are having fun playing with the technology, working together to find and determine the validity of sources, etc. I also feel like I am learning throughout the process, which I love!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Yesterday was an awesome day of learning about Google Hangouts!
From the iPad of Nikki Robertson...
Thank you all for such a fun day of PD!  Each group had me laughing so hard especially when we used the Google Effects and we were pirates, or wearing crowns, tiaras and more!
In case you missed the PD session yesterday or just needed a refresher, here are detailed instructions about using Google Hangouts On Air to record your lessons:
Scroll down past the first part that details connecting your YouTube account. (You already did that as homework before the PD session)
I am always available to work with you one on one whenever you are ready to tackle this technology. Remember that you don't have to record every single lesson.  As Kevin Honeycutt said, "Record those 'trip over' lessons. The ones that seem to cause the kids the most trouble understanding." (
Thanks again for being AWESOME!