Class 1: Publish with WordPress

Publish with WordPress

Overview / Goals

We will open with a introductory exercise using Jamboard, then turn our attention to some essential questions for students of ed tech:

How will this tech tool add value to learning?
How do we use tools that support student comprehension?
How do we use tools that turn students from
consumers of information into creators?
How can we provide students opportunities to
share their learning with others?

Intro to WordPress web publishing

All classes and student work will be published to this site. We do this to motivate both the instructor and students to do their best work – since “the world is watching.” WordPress is a simple and popular way to create a website or blog. And it’s a great skill to have – because it’s used by roughly 1 out of every 3 websites in the world.

Assignment 1: “Tell a Story with Web Content”

Students will create their first web post and have a chance to get familiar with WordPress platform. Guided practice time will be provided during class, so that students can get personalized assistance.

Since the goal is learning to work with WordPress Blocks, students should feel free to choose a prompt that inspires them …. like:

  • “2020 time capsule”
  • “Scrapbook for my future self”
  • “Things that make me smile”
  • Any other prompt that supports the task

Use at least 10 WordPress embeds from other sources. – Such as:

  • Posts from TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Imgur, Pinterest
  • Videos from Vimeo, TED or YouTube
  • Audio from Spotify or MixCloud
  • GIFs from Giphy

Note: Only GIFs have a built in search by topic. All others require first finding the content on the destination platform and then copy the URL into the appropriate WordPress embed block. Most platforms have a share button that leads to a URL you can copy.

Your post should include:

  1. Clever title – be creative with this.
  2. At least 10 embeds from list above (use as many as you want from any one source)
  3. Use blocks like: Paragraph text, Heading and Separator to improve layout.
  4. NO IMAGES for now – next week we will learn how to find public domain images.


Class 15: My EdTech Portfolio

My ed tech portfolio

When someone clicks on your author link, they will see all of your posts in reverse chronological order. This is a great portfolio to show prospective employers. (And you can bet that in these times, ed tech skills will be highly valued.) Here’s your chance to add one last post that will introduce your work to your viewer.

You can “illustrate” this post with a few of your favorite posts using a WordPress embed. To embed one of your previous posts, just add a WordPress block and add the URL of the post you want to add.

Your embed will look something like this. It will have your featured image plus the beginning of your post. It will also be an active hyperlink to the post.

Sample WordPress embed

ASSIGNMENT: Create a Final post to introduce your work | Portfolio Showcase 20-A14

Be sure to give it a good title and featured image. You might want to think “big picture” here. This will introduce your work to the world.

Possible prompts:

  • Highlight / showcase a few of your posts that you are proud of. Maybe offer short explainer for each.
  • Showcase your progress – ” I started here – and now can do more complex work.”
  • Your approach to teaching / learning / tech
  • What you learned about how tech can support instruction.

  1. Complete course assessment at SmartEvals
  2. All blog posts completed – see list here
    (You should have completed 14 posts – includes your final project and this final intro post )
  3.  Note: UP is asking instructors to take care of uploading your work to TaskStream. I’ll be doing that

Final Project Guidelines

Every student will design a lesson that demonstrates effective integration of technology with instructional goals. Posts on your lesson are due by class time on the dates below. Those students who do not present that week are responsible for detailed feedback on two lessons. Example: you present in Group 2: April 22nd and will give feedback to two students from Group 1: April 15th.

Group 1: April 15th
1. Chloe Mar
2. Anna Wanner
3. Clare Nelson
4. Nicole Baer
5. Emma Cromwell
6. Liz Frick

Group 2: April 22nd
1. Lex Henderson
2. Kali Tagomori-Lai
3. Jessica Wehber
4. Allie Haakenson
5. Ellie Cordova
6. Braelyn Higdon
7. Josie Matz

  • Students should incorporate one or more digital tools that demonstrate how to effectively integrate technology into a learning experience.
  • You can use a tool we have worked with or another edtech tool you like.
  • Students should create new content (not reuse an old post).
  • Your goal is good alignment between the technology and the learning experience.
  • The audience for your lesson could be your typical students or it could be designed as an “adult PD” as if delivered to peers. 

Students should prepare a blog post (due on your due date) that explains your instructional goals and how they are supported / enhanced by the technology. Be sure your post includes:

  1. target audience
  2. lesson content
  3. instructional goal (what do you want students to know or be able to do)
  4. an explanation of how the technology you used supports instructional goa
Examples of final projects

Begin with your instructional goal – then think about a good tech tool to achieve it

Goal: provide resources for students while out of school
Tool: create a Google site that delivers content

Goal: to better target instruction
Tool: Use a series of Google forms a pre-assessments

Goal: students work in team to map the community
Tool: MyMaps for students to collect and share content

Goal: Showcase student work with parents
Tool: Have students collect best three pieces and create a Adobe Spark Page

Class 12: Teaching with Book Creator

Teaching with Book Creator

In this class we will explore Book Creator – a simple tool for creating awesome digital books. Create your own teaching resources or have your students take the reins. Combine text, shapes, images, audio and video to make a book that can be viewed online or printed out. There is a paid iPad app, but you can also use the free online version in Safari or Chrome browser.

With a free account, you can get 1 library and create up to 40 books to use in your classroom. There’s no cost per student, and there’s no limit on the number of students that can join a teacher’s library. Also you can delete unused books and keep going.

For this lesson, you should log into Book Creator Online and sign up for a free Teacher Account.

It’s a very easy app to use. Start a new book. I recommend always choosing a comic book, because it allows you to get comic elements even if you don’t use a comic book grid. Here’s a quick intro to adding media, comic, shapes and backgrounds for your paper.

Assignment| Books 20-A12

Use Book Creator to make a book and embed in your post. Your book could either be a resource for students to use or a model for books students would make or contribute to. Or you might want to make something to share with parents.

  • Embed your finished book into a WordPress post that includes a written description of the audience and purpose of your lesson.  
  • As always, be sure to include a featured image and clever title for your post.

The video below takes you through how to add content to book, how to “publish” and get an embed code to use with HTML Snippets.
Jump to 4:17 into video to see how to get embed code

Below is a sample of an embedded book with lots of ideas. You’ll see how it displays online with page flips. Click on reading settings in upper right and you can see what a powerful learning tool this is.

For inspiration click image link below to go to a whole library
of books made with Book Creator

Click to go to Book Creator Library of elementary books

Class 11: Curate and Brainstorm with Mind Maps

Curate and Brainstorm With Mind Maps

You might remember our second class – “Teaching in the Digital Era”. It explored the skills we need to be “digitally literate in the modern world.”

  • Find, decode and critically evaluate information
  • Curate, store and responsibly share information

Today we will look at some tools to help you curate, store and share content in the form of a digital collection or mind map. Kind of like Pinterest? We’ll look at five curating / mind mapping apps. All are easy-to-use and popular with teachers and students who want to organize digital content in a visual layout.

I have added a link to a how to for each app, but I want you to be able to experience the learning curve of a new user.  That means you may need to search for more support material to learn how to use. For example: you’ll have to figure out how to add content in an app or get an embed code for a finished collection. (You can always Google it or use the app’s help feature). And remember if an app is tough to use, its the app’s fault.

Here are the apps arranged from most full-featured to least. All have a free option and you will find a link to a how-to for each app.

  • Padlet – app that enables users to create an online bulletin board to display information on any topic. It has many options for types of information that can be collected. It’s great for curating information – either individually or with others. How to
  • Webjets – allows you managing any kind of information with ease. Place cards freely, or group them at the speed of thought. Any content collected from the web automagically turns into an interactive card. How to
  • Wakelet – Save your favorite content from across the web. Articles, videos, blogs, tweets, songs and more – bookmark anything you find online in two clicks. Arrange your bookmarks into stunning collections. Add images, text and organize however you like to build stories from your content. How to
  • Popplet – In the classroom and at home, students use Popplet for learning. Used as a mind-map, Popplet helps students think and learn visually. Students can capture facts, thoughts, and images and learn to create relationships between them. How to
  • – A mind map is a graphical representation of ideas and concepts. It’s a visual thinking tool for structuring information, helping you to better understand, remember and generate new ideas. How-to

You should try at least two apps and decide which you like better.

Feel free to team up with one other student if you want to collaborate. One of you can do a post and I will assign you both as authors.

For inspiration:  Here’s some examples from last year.
Note: we did the comparative part in class.

  • Decide what your criteria are – for example ease of use, or collaboration features.
  • Write a review that details why you preferred that app.
  • Include an example of something you created using each app. It could be the same content for comparison sake. Decide if the app provides an embed code to use with HTML snippets or take a screenshot and use it as hyperlink (we did the latter with Google sites lesson 6.)
  • Include at least one idea you have for using your “fave” with students – either to deliver content to students of for them to use the app to curate their own content.

Class 10: Promote Active Viewing

Promote Active Viewing

This week our focus will be designing lessons around existing video content. There’s so much video content out there , but you need to help students truly interact with the video content, rather than passively consuming it. 

First – take a quick look at ViewPure – share video content with students without related sidebar video suggestions. 
Click here to “purify” a video.
This is a great tool to shelter your students from nasty YouTube content that may only be a few clicks away.

In this lesson we will use EdPuzzle. It’s a free web-based tool that you can use to pick a video, add your magical touch and track your students’ understanding. It allows you to add questions, audio and notes to existing videos from Y ouTube, Khan Academy, Crash Course and more. If you’d rather record and upload your own video, go for it!

Create a free teacher account at EdPuzzle.
Follow these steps to create an account, a test class, and make content

Here’s a guide to using EdPuzzle (plus more info here)

Here’s how to get an embed code from EdPuzzle to use with HTML Snippets
Courtesy of Claire
ASSIGNMENT | EdPuzzles 20-A10

Use EdPuzzle to turn a video into a lesson.

  • You can use a video you create or a video you find on the internet.
  • Your EdPuzzle should include a variety of questions, comments and notes. How about a voice over?
  • Embed into a WordPress post that includes a written description of the audience and purpose of your lesson. 
  • As always, be sure to include a featured image and clever title for your post.
  • Need Ideas? Here’s 6 Ways to Use Edpuzzle for Elementary Students

Class 9: Explain with Screencasts and Sketches

Be sure to leave a comment below
as proof of “attendance” during regular class time.

A lot of a teacher’s time is spent explaining things to students – typically by talking to them. But teachers can create short videos to explain things that otherwise would need to be repeated. In this class, we’ll look at a few ways to “automate” explanations with video.

Edtech guru, Kathy Schrock defines screencasting as “the capture of the action on a computer screen while you are narrating. Screencasts can be made with many tools and are often used to create a tutorial or showcase student content mastery.” A related practice is sketching out a lesson with drawings and make a video using your smartphone.

  • Keep it simple. Think of audience and purpose.
  • Keep it short. Why make students sit through a long how-to?
  • If you can, use a plug in mic (just a standard smartphone earbud mic works well). Do a quick test to check the volume level and mic position first to get sound level right.
  • Practice a few times to find efficient ways to demonstrate and describe what you’re doing.
  • If you will be entering much text as part of the task, I create a text document first so I can copy/paste text into what you’re demonstrating ( I hate watching videos of people typing.).

Option 1: Use an app to capture a video screencast of what is on your screen.

There are many apps that can do this. Most of you have Macs. So I’ll go into detail on Quicktime Player, which is built into the Mac OS. It’s easy to use and quickly uploads to your YouTube account.

Another screen capture option is Loom – a free Chrome browser plug in. To get Loom open your Chrome browser and get the Loom extension here. Or you could turn a PowerPoint or Apple Keynote presentation into a video with narration. How to here.

 This video shows an older Mac running Quicktime Player.

This is how the Quicktime Player record controls look on latest version of Mac OS Catalina. The process is the same as the video above – just slightly different controls.
Scroll through two images.

Once you have finished your screen recording. You can upload to YouTube directly from QuickTime using "Share"

Once you have finished your screen recording. You can upload to YouTube directly from QuickTime using “Share”

Once your video is on YouTube get your YouTube video’s URL and paste it into YouTube Block in WordPress

Once your video is on YouTube get your YouTube video’s URL and paste it into YouTube Block in WordPress

Here’s two QuickTime Screencasts
from last spring’s class

Option 2 – Sketch out a lesson and video tape it

Shoot a video using your smartphone. You can use little slips of paper or you could draw. If you’re not an artist, you could also shoot a video of you reading a picture book. Here’s a collection of picture book read alouds to inspire you.
Note: You’ll need an extra pair of hands or tripod rig to hold the phone.

Here’s TWo Sketch lessons from last spring’s class

ASSIGNMENT: Teach with A Screencast or Sketches | Screencasts 20-A9

Students will design and record a lesson. They will embed the video into a blog post and briefly describe lesson context, audience and purpose: For example, is this to help parents with homework? Or to provide students background for a new unit

If you use Quicktime Player, they should plan to load it up to your YouTube account and embed using the YouTube block built into WordPress.

If you shoot a sketch video on your phone, you can transfer it to a computer and then upload to YouTube from there. Embed using the YouTube block built into WordPress.

Class 8: Tell Stories with Video

Tell stories with video

To open class we will take a look at FlipGrid – a free video chat tool. It may come in handy if UP classes are suspended.

We’ll look at three free video-creation apps – Toontastic, Clips and Adobe Spark Video. All are easy-to-use for video storytelling and are popular with teachers and folks who want to produce fun video content for their social networks.  

Students will be organized into teams and assigned one of three apps. Teams will “figure out” their assigned app and prepare a sample video and brief instructional review to share back with the full class. 

There will not be any instruction on how to use the apps – we want students to be able to experience the learning curve for a new user. Plus we will be relying on students using their own iOS and Android smartphones – also known as BYOD (Bring your own device).

Meet the apps and see a sample from spring ’19 class

Toontastic  – a Google project for creating animated stories. Choose from cast of character and backgrounds. Narrate and create a story. It runs on iOS and Android phones and tablets. Also select Chromebooks. No social network sharing features. 

Made with Toontastic

Clips – an Apple project that makes cool videos designed for sharing on social media. Think Instagram on steroids. Shoot you own images or videos or use animated versions of yourself. Auto transcribe your words into titles. Add filters, stickers or shoot green screen. It is iOS only and runs on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Built in social network sharing. 

Made with Clips

Adobe Spark Video – Part of the Adobe Spark suite. Built in storyboards allow you to integrate images, video, sound. Choose public domain images and soundtrack. Runs on iPhone, iPad. But also can be used with desktop browser. Built in social network sharing. 

Made with Adobe Spark Video

ASSIGNMENT | Videos 20-A8

Student will pick one of the apps and use it to tell a story. Here’s some ideas for writing prompts

  • A myth, fairytale or folktale
  • A quick synopsis of a book or movie
  • Something instructional
  • Another great idea you have for a story to tell
  • Toontastic videos can be moved to your iPhone photo gallery. If you then move them to a Mac desktop, you can upload to YouTube using QuickTime Player. Then embed YouTube video. We’ll figure out the Android method.
  • Clip videos can be uploaded to YouTube directly from the Clips App. Then embed YouTube video.
  • If you use the desktop version of Adobe Spark Video, you can get an embed code for your video. (Or download and then upload to YouTube via Quicktime Player
Toontastic and Clips video can uploaded first to YouTube

Your post should include an embedded examples of a video made using the app. If you upload the video to YouTube, you can use the YouTube block on WordPress with the URL of video. 

Adobe Spark Video provides embed code you can use HTML Snippets

Publish your Adobe Spark Video and follow prompts to embed code.

Class 7: Where I’m From: Telling Digital Stories

Where I'm From

We will open class with a review of our sites and we’ll tale look at two Google applications:
1. Google Forms integration into MyMaps: “My Dream Vacation” Link
2. Google Drawings Shapegrams

In the poem, “WHERE I’M FROM,”  George Ella Lyon tells the story of her youth in Kentucky

Where I’m From
I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments–
snapped before I budded —
leaf-fall from the family tree.

~ George Ella Lyon

Use the poem as inspiration for your digital story of “Where I’m From” using Adobe Spark Page. Use Adobe embed code with HTML Snippets to add to your post. (how to below).

First “write” your story, then use Adobe Spark Page to illustrate it. (It does not have to be as long or artistic as the one above – but have fun with it and make it personal.)
It should have a title that starts “I’m from (something artsy).” Be sure to put your name in the subtitle.

Your WordPress post should include:

  • Featured image (could be image used your story)
  • A post title that is the same as your digital story
  • The “text-only” version of your story
  • Your embedded digital story
  • Your thoughts on telling stories with Adobe Spark Page

How to get Adobe Spark Page embed code to use with HTML snippets

How to make a webpage with Adobe Spark Page

Sample Stories with Adobe Spark Page
(WE had a different prompt last year)

where i've been

Things I love and don't love 

Where to? 

Class 6: Design Learning with Google Sites

Design Learning with Google sites

In today’s class we’ll learn how to create a website using Google sites. Sites are free and become part of your content stored in Google Drive. Sites can easily showcase content you have created using Google docs, slides, forms, MyMaps, Tour Creator or YouTube videos. Note: be sure to use the new (not classic) google sites.

We will begin by exploring some Hyperdoc lesson ideas (learning activities designed using the Google Suite.) Then we will have some basic instruction on creating a Google site and importing content from a variety of sources.

Assignment 5: Design a Google site | Sites 20-A6

Working solo or with a partner, design a learning activity that is supported by Google site. The Google site and WordPress elements

1. Google site – Start Page (Home Page)
Be sure to include:

  • Unique header image
  • Title of the lesson
  • Author (s) of the lesson
  • Target student group. Grade, course
  • Lesson context? – for example – introduction, pre-assessment, part of bigger unit, etc
  • The intent of the lesson –  for example – what would students know or be able to do? Or what feedback would teacher gain?

2. Google siteAt least 5 additional pages that provide resources and activities for the students
Be sure to include:

  • Unique header image for each of the pages
  • A pre or post assessment using a Google form
  • At least 4 content elements from the following Google suite: Slides, Forms, Docs, My Maps, Tour Creator, YouTube Videos (made by someone else)

3. A WordPress post that showcases the site.
Be sure to include:

  • Fun title and featured image
  • An image of the site that serves as hyperlink (see how to video below)
  • A brief write up about the site that includes – material from your start page list above


How to create an image link to your Google site and put it into WordPress

Get started with Google Sites

G Sites Learning Center