These are a few of my favourite websites!!!

These are a few of my favourite websites ūüôā

My current favourite Twitter Chat is #1to1techat which occurs Wednesday evenings at 8:00 CST.¬† Started by Shawn McCusker (@ShawnMcCusker) and Shaelynn Farsnworth (@shfarnsworth) to discuss everything from assessment to digital citizenship in the context of effective 1:1 programs.¬† Be prepared for thought provoking, informative and reflective sharing with educators from around the world.¬† Educators willingly share examples of what‚Äôs happening in their class.¬† This is the chat that inspired my ‚ÄúWhy Join a Twitter Chat?¬† What can one hour with fellow educators do for you?‚ÄĚ blog post.

There are many wonderful Twitter chat’s and @thomascmurray , @cevans5095 and @cybraryman1 have compiled an informative list:   Weekly Twitter Chat Options

Te@ch Thought

Te@ch Thought is a website dedicated to ‚Äúexploring new learning models, including blended learning, project-based learning, self-directed learning, and the role of play in learning while also supporting existing K-20 educators as they seek to improve their own craft in practice today.‚ÄĚ (TeachThought, 2014).¬† Numerous articles are available about Learning, Teaching, Common Core, Technology, Apps, iPads, Culture and Social Media. Posted articles are relevant to many aspects of teaching that we encounter every day and provide thoughtful reflection and ideas for planning forward.

Cybrary Man‚Äôs Educational Web Sites ‚Äď Jerry Blumengarten

Started in April of 1999 as his school library website, it has evolved into an amazing collection of resources for educators, parents and students.  Resources for educators include everything from assessment, blended learning, leadership, rubric, TED, universal design for learning to YouTube.  He also has an informative collection of blogs. If you are looking for information related to education chances are Jerry Blumengarten has found it and organized it for you.

Leadership Freak ‚Äď Dan Rockwell

A daily blog written by Dan Rockwell that highlights insights into effective leadership in 300 words or less (something you actually have time to read).  Rockwell started the blog in January of 2010 to share what he was learning about leadership.  If you want a quick read with suggestions that you can put into action today, this is the blog for you.  From the value of gratitude to success to positive action and transformative change, this blog will provide daily reflection and provide you with ideas to move forward as a leader today.

Curriculum Corner ‚Äď (North East School Division)

A collaborative collection of resources developed by educators in the North East School Division and curated by the Coordinators of Learning.  Resources are organized by grade and subject from K-12 and include rubrics for every outcome in the updated Saskatchewan Curriculum.  Each outcome includes an unpacked outcome, examples of assessment events & rubric and learning and reflection resources (for those that have been shared by teachers).  Other resources include assessment (from understanding rubrics to student led conferences), instruction and data.  This is a great place to start when you are beginning with the end in mind.

A Principal‚Äôs Reflections ‚Äď Eric Sheninger

Sheninger blogs about ‚Äúeducational leadership, effective technology integration, best practices and creating a student-centred learning culture.‚ÄĚ (Blog overview, 2014).¬† He is an avid user of Twitter and shares many valuable resources on daily basis ( He openly shares his journey into the world of social media and the positive impact that it had on his school.¬† He is currently a Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) (About Eric, 2014).

Three years ago after a conversation on Twitter, Eric agree to Skype into a Twitter workshop that I was leading.  It was an informative experience as he shared his journey into the world of social media and the value it has added for teachers, students and parents.

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

This site aims to deliver the best EdTech content and is curated ‚Äúby a team of dedicated teachers located in Canada‚ÄĚ (Disclaimer section).¬† This website include resources on 21st century education, android and apple apps, blended learning, digital citizenship, Facebook, Google, iPads, Multiple Intelligences, TED talks and YouTube.¬† Posts are filled with useful links, valuable ideas and useful infographics. They are active on Twitter and Facebook.




Free Technology for Teachers ‚Äď Richard Byrne

Free Technology for Teachers is a personal project of Richard Byrne (Policies and Disclosures section) has a subscriber network of over 60 000 educators (About section).  Bryne has reviewed many ed tech tools and created free guides such as Google for Teachers (I and 2), A Short Guide to Using Google Drive on Your iPad and Making Videos on the Web a Guide for Teachers.  You can easily search his site to find ideas for free tech tools and ideas to use in your classroom. A great place for quick overviews of useful tools. Richard Byrne also curates,, and


About Teach Thought. (2014). Retrieved 11 25, 2014, from Te@chthought:

Blumengarten, J. (2014). Retrieved 11 26, 2014, from Cybrary Man’s Educational Website:

Byrne, R. (2014). Retrieved 11 21, 2014, from Free Technology for Teachers:

Coordinators of Learning . (2014, 11 28). Retrieved from Curriculum Corner:

Ed Tech and Mlearning Team. (2014). Retrieved 11 28, 2014, from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning:

Sheninger, E. (2014). A Principal’s Reflection. Retrieved from Eric Sheninger:


Ideas for Enhancing Student Learning by Incorporating 21st Century Tools

Enhancing Student Learning by Incorporating 21st Century Tools
By: Stephanie Pipke-Painchaud

As the theme for the Accelerator is “technology”, I compiled a few ideas for incorporating technological tools into your¬†Science Classroom. ¬†Stay tuned to future issues for more ideas.

  • Creating your own website is a great way to collect and share resources for your science classes. Think of the website as your online binder. When you first start to build your website take time to think about how you would like to organize your site.¬† In my experience, teachers often like to organize but unit and then outcomes. Once you have decided on your organizational structure then you can build the basics of your website.¬† Once created you can quickly add resources, videos, assignments or build in new lessons.¬† You may also want to consider the blog like features of your website, which would enable you to post your plans for the day.

Google Sites and Word Press are easy website creation tools.  Remember if your school division uses Google Apps, then you already have access to Google Sites.  You can also use the LiveBinders or Wikispaces to organize your resources.

  • If you like to collect video of demos or capture segments of your lesson to share with your students later, consider starting a YouTube Channel. ¬†Students and other educators can then subscribe to your channel and get notification as you add videos.¬† Checkout Bozeman Biology for an example of a great Biology YouTube Channel.


  • Consider creating a Twitter account to connect with other educators.¬† Twitter is a great source of professional development with links to many websites, videos and articles. You can quickly search Twitter for ideas or you can take part in many types of Twitter chats. Check out #edtech or¬†#scichat¬†
    • Start by following the SSTS @SkSciTeachers
  • Create a twitter account for each class that you teach and have students link up their cell phones. ¬†Each time you tweet the students will receive a text message update. ¬†I used this feature for sharing the plans for the day through my class blog, sharing links to my YouTube channel after posting review videos and for tweeting out class related links. ¬†Students appreciated having key links available instantly on their smart phones.
  • Check out the SSTS ( website for a growing list of Science Educators on Twitter!

Google: Earlier I mentioned Google Sites, but a Google account (and you have one if you have a gmail account) gives you access to much more.

  • Google Drive: ¬†Formerly known as Google Docs – Drive gives you access to a variety of tools including docs (a word processor), Spreadsheets, Forms (great for quickly collecting feedback and graphing results), Draw or Presentation. ¬†Because these tools are all in the Google cloud, you can access these tools from anywhere. So students or teachers can access these from home or anywhere with wifi. ¬†You can also share any of these with other people, which makes it easy to collaborate. ¬†Another great feature is that your work is saved automatically and it includes a revision history if you need to go back to an earlier version.
    • In Biology 30, students created their assignments in Google Presentation or Docs and then shared it with me. ¬†As an editor, I could leave feedback for the students in the text of their document or in the comments section. ¬†It’s also easy to check the revision history, which quickly shows the progress between the versions. ¬†One of the best parts is no more paper to carry home to mark. ¬†You can access the work from any smart device.
    • We also used Google Presentation for¬†collaboration¬†in class as students could quickly create docs or pres and share with other students in their group. Within a matter of minutes student groups could create mini multi-media presentations to share with the class. ¬†It was easy for students to include images and videos to share with the class.
  • Google Chrome is a free internet browser that lets you connect into your Google account. ¬†Once you are logged in you can add Apps &¬†Extensions¬†to your browser for quick access to a variety of Web 2.0 tools, including Google Drive. ¬†In Google Chrome, the address bar is called an omnibox, which means that you can type in your search information, as well as, math equations. ¬†Apps and extensions that you can add range from Speech to Text and Text to Speech, to Science apps, to Evernote, Diigo, qr code creators, WordPress, Songza, TweetDeck, Twitter & Facebook. ¬†The great part about Chrome is that you never need to update your apps, you can access multiple Google accounts, and all of your Chrome created bookmarks are available within your Chrome account.
  • Skype is another great tool that connects you with learners from around the world.
    • We have used Skype to connect and have interactive sessions with officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as, Professors from the U of R. ¬†Students were engaged and involved in asking questions and referenced these Skype opportunities many times throughout the semester.
    • Skype is also a collaborative tool that you can use to co-teach between classrooms. ¬†For example, my Bio 30 class connected with a Grade 5 class two towns away and built a collaborative learning relationship that began with us Skyping in each day and discussing science¬†concepts¬†that we were learning and ended with the students co-creating a body systems project. ¬†The Grade 5s were each paired with Bio 30 students and then the teams worked together to research and learn about human body systems. ¬†Students collaborated through Skype and a variety of Google and Wikispaces tools. On presentation day, the Grade 5 and Bio 30 student teams presented through Skype by sharing screens. ¬†It was a memorable learning experience for all of us.

  • Digital Portfolios:
    • Consider having your students start a digital portfolio to share evidence of their learning. ¬†What you put in your portfolio depends on what you and the students decide. It could be as simple as a Google Site in which students create pages for your class and then share their assignments, images and videos of their learning. ¬†They can also reflect on their learning within the site or their portfolio could be a reflective blog where they respond to prompts about their learning.
  • iPads, Apps, Androids & other Smart Devices:
    • Opportunities abound for creative ways to incorporate iPads, Apps and other devices into student learning. ¬†For example, students can use iMovie to create digital stories to demonstrate their understanding of various science concepts and their impact on our life on this planet or use Book Creator to demonstrate their understanding of an outcome. ¬†Devices are also great reference tools such as ¬†interactive periodic tables, timers and graphing calculators.
    • Stay tuned to future issues of the Accelerator and the SSTS website for more creative ideas and examples of how to incorporate these devices into student learning.
    • If you would like to be added to the Free iPad Apps mailing list (this includes everything from early learning, diversity to science apps), please send an email to Stephanie at

Remember: ¬† However you choose to incorporate technology into your science class, it’s not just about the technology tools you use it’s really about how you use the tools that you have to enhance student learning.

Links to ideas shared in this article will be available on the SSTS website!

Do you have a story to share about how you use technology or apps or social media in your science classroom? ¬†We’d love to hear about it and share your ideas with our SSTS members. ¬†Send your story to Stephanie at

Be sure to check out the SSTS on Facebook and Twitter.


Free App Reminder – urTalker Pro

Just in case you didn’t have time to download one of the apps from the email last Friday. ¬†The urTalker Pro App that’s normally $99 is now free. ¬†I’ve included the app description below if you are interested.
If you or others that you know are interested in being added to my Free Apps email list, please send me an email at    pipke-painchaud.stephanie(at)

urTalker Pro –¬†¬†(Normally $99) ¬†

urTalker Pro is a fully featured¬†communication app for individuals with speech and communication disabilities.¬†This communication app comes with fully customizable grid or “board” style views for categories and words allowing the user to grow with the app with their own pictures. You can start with simple 1 or 2 word communication views and move all the way up to 16 grid displays for advanced communication needs.

urTalker Pro comes with over 280 images to get users started and allows users to easily add new categories and images using built in camera feature or web images. Any audio can be added by recording sounds or selecting sound from your iTunes library.

urTalker makes communication easy, affordable and effective for children and adults. urTalker Pro is great for autism / autistic spectrum, stroke, IDD, Cerebral Palsy (CP), ALS and any other speech impairment condition.


Ways for Digital Immigrants to work with Digital Natives

I was recently reading through a blog entitled, “Free Technology 4 Teachers ” written by Richard Byrne .  He mentions 11 new techy ideas that one could try in the new year.  His blog post includes comments on wikis, blogs, web building programs, video editing, google maps, social networking and more. It is an interesting read filled with many ideas for the upcoming year.  Read his blog post 

He has also published several e-books.  If you are interested in the technology mentioned in the blog post, you can check out his e-books on how to use/get started.  One of his examples is embedded below.

And if you are wondering where the title comes from, I just read through an article by Marc Prensky called Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.  It is an interesting read on how we are teaching a generation of students that have been surrounded by and have used technology their entire lives.  Prensky discusses how most of us (teachers) are a part of the Digital Immigrant generation meaning that we learn and process information differently.  Learning was different when we went to school.  We have adapted to be digital learners, but Prensky comments that we still process and store our second language (digital) learning differently (i.e. he reminds us that people who move to a new country/culture later in life store info in the brain differently than children who are born into the culture).  He points out that because our current students have grown up networked and connected via the internet, gaming or cell phones, etc. that they have naturally adapted to learn in different ways and store information in different places in the brain. It is an interesting read.

Step by step instructions on how to use the technology mentioned in the blog post that I linked to above.
How to Do 11 Techy Things in the New Year – Richard Byrne