On days like this …

Senseless killing in Oregon and Connecticut this week has made my heart hurt.  A friend shared this prayer with me …


I have to admit, God,
that sometimes it’s hard
to even call your name.

On days like this
I can’t help but think
that if you had been there,
we wouldn’t be here—

—here in a world where
so much violence
has changed everything

—here where such bloodshed
fills today’s news
even as many more die
each day alone.

But here is where we need you,
and here is where we cry to you.
Be here with us, Lord, be here.

Let us be angry for what has been done,
but don’t let us be consumed by it
that we no longer recognize ourselves
as your creation.

Give peace to the children.
Unbind them from the bonds of grief and fear
that they may become again
children of joy, of love, of trust, and hope.

And not today, Lord, but in time,
if there’s at all any room in our hearts to forgive,
then so let it be,
for we all need to be created again.

Be here with us, Lord, be here,
right where we are, as broken as we are.
Be here with us, Lord, be here.

(c) 2012 Diana Macalintal
— at Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University.


Daily Edventures 365-day Blog

I am honored to be included in Anthony Salcito‘s Daily Edventure’s 365-day look at global heroes in education blog.  Salcito is Microsoft’s Vice President – Worldwide Education.  Every day the blog features a different educator from around the globe.

I used this opportunity to promote connected learning, the importance of certified school librarians and my involvement with edcampPDX.


Daily Prayer resources from #CatholicEdChat

#CatholicEdChatInsomnia strikes and I happened to get up early on Saturday morning and jumped onto Twitter — just in time for #CatholicEdChat.  What a wonderful way to begin the weekend.  I appreciate the leadership of Nancy Caramanico, Barb Gilman and Nick Senger for getting this going.

After introductions and sharing of activities of the week we began earnestly connecting with one another – talking about faith families, teacher-led PD, Noodletools , an 8th grade class blogschool-based edCamp, social justice themes with literature connections,  sharing resources for going 1:1, discussing Google Apps for Education, Google Docs for Kids book, The Catholic School Standards Project, BYOD resources, daily prayer resources (see list below) and using iBooks Author to make a daily prayer book for iPad.

The group will archive the chat stream HERE and also has created a Edmodo group (c6u263).  Look how much I learned in ONE HOUR on TWITTER!!

I requested daily prayer apps/ web resources that I could share with my teachers.  Here are the results:

iPad Apps

Web Resources

Greg Miller from Alberta, Canada shares a bulletin board from his school



Staff development for mobile learning initiative

Our school is developing staff development for our mobile learning initiative.  Our plan is to require every teacher to go through “bootcamp” when they  first receive their iPads.  Then the department chairs who have been part of our planning team will work with their department to share apps and resources.  We plan to then offer a series of workshops focusing on productivity apps, content-creation apps and interactive experiences.  All of these activities will be to support student learning

Teacher Learning Targets The teacher can:
Teachers can use and care for mobile devices in a responsible manner


Teachers can use mobile device to access and use La Salle Prep related resources

  • Operate device, learn basic procedures & care for devices
  • Access wireless networks
  • Install apps & sync with Institution computer
  • Take attendance and access/input student grades with PowerTeacher app & browser version
  • Access & manage school email
  • Access student resources:
    • Access Google Apps using Drive App & browser Desktop version
    • Save Library web page as icon on iPad
    • Access Moodle using browser
  • Access school resources
    • Access Library databases using Gale  Apps
    • Access Atlas Rubicon (view only)
Teachers can use mobile devices to access resources that support their curriculum area
  • Access web resources and subject-specific websites
    • iTunesU, Khan Academy, LOC, YouTube, eduTecher, TEDed, etc
  • Locate, install & use subject-specific apps and digital books
    • Apps, iBooks, Flipboard, Google Earth, Inspiration, The Elements, Algebra Touch, Sketchbook Pro, Notability, etc
Teachers can use mobile devices to access, create, share or edit teacher productivity tools and can apply file management procedures
  • Create & manage documents/presentations between device, computer & school network
    • Pages, Keynote, DragonDictation, Google Drive & Dropbox
  • Create & manage subject-specific documents
    • Numbers, Inspiration, iAnnotate,
Teachers can use mobile devices to create, edit or share content-creation tools
  • Use screencasting apps to record & share lesson
    • Explain Everything (ShowMe & EduCreations)
  • Web clipping or bookmarking tools
    • Built in Bookmarks, Diigo, and Evernote
  • Create, edit & share video/audio/creative projects
    • iMovie, Garageband, SonicPIcs
Teachers can use mobile devices to create interactive experiences with students
  • Create interactive polls for mobile devices
    • Socrative, NearPod
  • Use collaboration & communication tools
    • Edmodo, Skype, Facetime
  • Create & share projects using subject-specific apps
    • VoiceThread, iBooks Author, Instagram

Learning plan with 1:1 technology

iPadA team of teachers and administrators at my school identified eight areas where we feel that mobile devices could really impact student learning.  This is not an exhaustive list but represents how we need to really look beyond the iPad as a  consumer device and look for opportunities for content-creation, authentic learning experiences and collaborative projects.
Increase efficiency

  • Students have 24/7 access to Library databases & ebooks with Access My Library, Destiny Quest and Follett Digital Reader app.  Accessing these resources right when student’s need the information promotes the “flow of learning” and reliability on credible sources.
  • Students have access to productivity apps to use right when they need them for note taking, writing papers, completing science labs, etc.  The apps include:  word processing (Pages), spreadsheets, presentation (Keynote) and annotation apps (and more).
  • The built in camera gives immediate access for students to take photos and movies and edit it with the same device.  This streamlined process is much more efficient and easier than using desktop software and eliminate scheduling issues in the computer lab.
  • Having eTextbooks on devices means that students don’t need to purchase separate books for each subject area and will have the resources they need 24/7.

Increase student engagement

  • Use Socrative or Nearpod to engage students will polls or teacher-led or student-paced quizzes
  • Using enhance eBooks – like E. O. Wilson’s Life on Earth – that contain audio & video can engage students with multimedia elements to further their understanding of the content material
  • Students can gather, create or digitally manipulate images to demonstrate their understanding of a concept learned.  The learning can be even deeper if audio recordings accompany these digital images (SonicPics).  Audio recordings could be language practice, persuasive speeches, debates, poetry readings, etc.

Improve speed and quality of feedback to students

  • Record student giving speech/presentation with camera.  Open in iMovie and orally record feedback soundtrack on top of movie.  Publish and upload to share with student
  • Teachers can use iAnnotate to give feedback to students on written drafts.
  • Share resources, assignments and images through iTunes U or Google Drive.

Scaffolds learning for students

  • Use ExplainEverything, ShowMe or EduCreations to record an explanation for a student.  The screencast will record voice, diagrams and written text.
  • Students use Inspiration Maps to brainstorm ideas for writing and project planning, or provide a visual representation of learning.
  • Students can use a virtual dissection app before conducting a science lab in class.  This can provide students with an interactive environment to learn concepts being presented and alleviate concern and stress during the activity.

Promotes discourse focused on critical thinking and problem solving

  • Using Book Creator, students (or teachers) can create eBooks that demonstrate their understanding of learning targets.  These eBooks can contain text, audio, images and embedded video and can easily be shared as a PDF or uploaded to iTunesU.
  • Use authentic data to create graphs and charts to support a hypothesis or thesis in Numbers.
  • Use interactive tools of Algebra Touch to interact, manipulate or create math problems for deeper understanding.

Engages students in metacognition / reflection

  • VoiceThread provides an asynchronous threaded discussion around images or documents.  Students can leave comments by text, audio or webcam or it can be used for personal reflection about projects, art, participation, etc.
  • iAnnotate gives students the ability to annotate iBooks, pdfs and written documents with their personal reflections.

Helps students meet / exceed standards

  • Apps can provide review for material presented in class such as Algebra Touch, Hello Hello World (languages), Library of Congress Docs Teach, etc..
  • Students can use math or science virtual simulation apps to help their understanding of concepts that are difficult to “see” or understand.
  • Students can access free online courses through iTunes U or review videos from Khan Academy, TED, or Discovery Channel.

Engages students in application-based authentic learning

  • Using Skype or Facetime to communicate with guest speakers or experts in the field.
  • Use camera and video features to document service learning projects. Upload them to La Salle YouTube channel.
  • Access news and information in real-time as current events are happening.
  • Create their own textbook for use in class.

What would you add to our list?


Using features of Google Search & the new Research Panel in Docs

I’ve started creating some simple screencasts of different ways you can effectively use Google search and Google Apps for Education for teachers and librarians.  This first video showcases the “preview panel” in the Search results panel as well as filtering the results using the sidebar and “related searches”.  Too often I see students looking at the first results from a Google search and not taking advantages of these features.  The video also introduces the new Research panel that is now built into Google Docs which is great way to continue to see your search results right from your document and use the link & citation features.


Pepperdine OMET/MALT Alumni Conference – Day 2 & 3

I began the presentations on the 2nd day of the Pepperdine OMET/MALT Alumni Conference.  I shared how my own Cadre 9 Action Research impacted my teaching and my student’s experiences.  I also shared how I built a PLN through Google Teacher Academy, meeting edtech teachers & Teacher Librarians on Twitter, presenting at conferences, co-founding edcampPDX and my future plans of teaching an online edtech class for Portland State University.

Next up was Jonathan Silk (Cadre 14) who talked about building an online Community of Practice with Leadercast for military officers.  David Greenfield (Cadre 9) talked about the Arts and importance of including them into STEM S.T.E.A.M programs — and not just think that doing “artsy” lessons is the same thing.  I really enjoyed meeting Noah Sparks (Cadre 13)  — (yes, he’s Paul’s son) and hearing how Yammer transformed his work environment.  Andrea Flagiello & Jacquelin Sandoval (Cadre 14) shared their MALT Design project — which was solving how OMET/MALT alumns can better stay connected using social media.  We will definitely use some of their ideas as we move forward with organizing future meet-ups and conferences!!

I especially enjoyed hearing about Jeff (Cadre 3)  & Maria (Cadre 11) Lee’s experiences using VoiceThread in their research of Himalayan Communities Leverage 21st Century Technology To Solve Problems.  Jeff had attended one of my VoiceThread sessions at ISTE and was able to meet  Steve & Ben, the owners of VoiceThread and then worked with them to take their beta iPad version of VoiceThread to Nepal to record the villagers talking about their experiences.  Even Robert Martellacci got into the action and updated us about MindShareLearning and Dawn Ryce shared a poem enhanced with her own photos – (thanks Debby & Dawn for being our photographers all week long!).

When enjoyed a leisurely lunch (highly recommend Malibu Seafood) and then returned for our 2nd day of unconference sessions.  I attended a discussion about what questions about technology should we be asking & how its affects our culture.  I also really enjoyed the next conversation about best practices when using collaborative tools with students and teachers.  The final panel once again shared “What’s got your attention” and we ended Friday with a community circle by the Heroes Garden with Margaret.  Of course Friday wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory after dinner visit to the Lego room as the MALT15 cadre mates worked frantically to finish up all of their projects.

We all cheered on the MALT15 cadre mates on Saturday morning as the ran their Hunger Games Lego robots — “May the PROCESS be ever in your favor” — and watched their videos.  By then everyone was all happy and smiles (and a little sleep deprived) and after the final community circle then the conference was over.

I really am glad I decided to attend the conference.  It was fun for me to meet the MALT15 cadre and enjoyed their questions of: What did you do for your Action Research, is it really going to take over my life and what are the instructors like?  Best of luck to my MALT15 buddies Kristina Peters and Catherine Davis and all the other cadre members.  Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions of need some help with Twitter, Dreamweaver, Action Research or just a compassionate person who will commiserate with you.  And remember … it really is all about the process.  Good luck!


Pepperdine OMET/MALT Alumni Conference – Day 1

The first ever Pepperdine OMET/MALT alumni conference was held at the Malibu campus this last week.  Members from almost every cadre 1-14 were represented with around 40+ attendees coming for part or all of the alumni conference.  The experience was different than a “traditional” conference but very interesting.  Conference Coordinator, Debby (Kilburn) Kurti said it best, “Our common experiences going through the program binds us together because we all value the same thing”.   Thanks to Bill Moseley for pitching the idea of an alumni conference to Pepperdine and Margaret/Paul and a HUGE THANK YOU to Debby (and the Thundering Herd), Julia, Derek & David for making it happen.

I especially enjoyed meeting folks from different cadres and comparing experiences.  We all reminisced about our VirtCamp experiences, the bonds of friendship, frustration with learning how to program Legos, making websites and movies, and remembering “it’s the process”. I enjoyed catching up with fellow Cadre 9 folks:  Kristen, Robert, Novita, David, Allen and honorary Bucca9er – Pam.

OMET/MALT Alumni members in order from Cadre 1-14 (left to right) who attended on Thursday

During the morning sessions of the alumni conference each day various people spoke about their Action Research, current projects, or how the program has impacted them in their current position.  On Thursday we learned about ways to use Edmodo from Jill Florant (Cadre 13) to engage students & faculty and develop communities of practice.  Jacquelin Sandoval (Cadre 14) shared an amazing story how her digital marketing plan from her Action Research helped resurrect a fledgling salon business.  Kevin Chow, a teacher from Venice CA (Cadre 14) talked about marshaling student self-efficacy through knowledge building communities hoping to affect the dropout rate at his high school.  Charlene Reed (Cadre 7) shared the story of how having an real client engaged her design students.  Trey Eubanks (Cadre 14) used the analogy of using the right “power tool” when working with faculty who are learning how to integrate technology at his school. Unfortunately I missed most of Oscar Menjivar’s (Cadre 13) presentation on Teens in LA:  Hustle & Hack because I was pulled out to be videotaped about my Pepperdine experience. The passion of each speaker was obvious and I enjoyed the variety of topics.

After enjoying a nice lunch, Cynthia Martinez (Cadre 1) helped explain and organize an unconference.  Topics by attendees were suggested and voted on and I attended two sessions.  During the first session people shared an online resource, software tool or website.  The next session focused on best practices with mobile learning and favorite Apps.  It was nice to have an opportunity to interact and get new ideas from each other.  The nice thing about the unconference format is that if you feel you missed something by not attending one of the sessions, you can always suggest that topic at the next unconference you attend!

Panel members answer "What's got your attention?"

Julia Fallon (Cadre 8) then organized an informal panel and asked members to share, “What’s got your attention”.  The sharing and conversation was insightful, engaging and inspiring.  Cynthia talked about the Maker Faire movement and this got me thinking about how I could encourage more creativity at my school or for myself personally.  We also got into an engaging conversation about empowering students, empowering teachers and leadership.  What a wonderful way to end a full day of conversations and learning.

We were off to Duke’s for dinner and met up with some of the MALT15 folks later on for drinks.  All in all it was a great first day for the alumni conference.


Flickr Photo pool:

Facebook Group:


Google Apps California Summit

I am presenting at the Google Apps for Education California Summit this week – July 12 & 13 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara.  My presentation are:

Winning ways to use Google Apps in your Library

Got books? Promote Reading and YA Literature Using Google Apps


It was very interesting taking my Got Books? poster session presentation that I did at ISTE 2012 and completely convert it to Google tools.  I was amazed how many opportunities there are to using Google tools while using technology to promote reading and book projects.



There and back again

I am thrilled that Pepperdine has decided to have an OMET/MALT alumni conference alongside when the new Cadre 15 will begin.  My participation in the Online Masters of Educational Technology (now called Masters of Learning Technologies) program was life changing for me.  I was challenged to connect with all types of educators using online and virtual tools.  Never did I know that this constructive environment would stretch me and challenge the way I taught.

It has been five years since I graduated and during the alumni conference I will present a 20minute TED-type talk about my journey, what I have learned along the way and how it challenged me to make a difference.  Here are my slides (including brief speaker notes)


ISTE 2012 – Got Books? poster session


Reach your upper elementary or teen audience with creative ways that promote reading and Children’s / Young Adult literature using free or open-source technology tools

Got Books? website


Celebrate Poetry on Monday 4/30/12

April is National Poetry Month and our school is having several events to celebrate.  Students are encouraged to submit their original poems to the “Poet Tree” in the Library all month.  We plan on sharing poems for “Poem in your pocket” day on Thursday, the 26th.  I am thinking of coordinating a semi-field trip to Verselandia - a poetry slam sponsored by Portland Public Schools on the 25th.

On Monday, April 30th we will host our all-day poetry celebration in the Library.  The morning session will be for community members as the creative writing and guitar students share their original poems and poems put to music.  Throughout the day various classes will visit the Library for an open mic poetry reading.  Anyone is welcome to attend and share either an original poem or read a previously published poem.  Selected classes from other schools will Skype into our reading and share their poems with us.  If your class would like to Skype with us – contact me at colette (dot) cassinelli (at) gmail (dot) com.


Smart Search

 Smart Search ideas shared at #edcampPDX on 2/4/12

Social Bookmarking

Content Curation tools

Content Creation Primer by Beth Kanter

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OASL workshop: Winning ways to use Google Apps in your Library

My OASL conference presentation and resources:


edcampPDX reflection

edcampPDXYesterday we hosted our first annual edcampPDX at my school near Portland, Oregon.   After attending conferences and hearing about edcamp unconferences around the country I thought to myself, “We need to do this in Portland because we have a lot of talent here but not a very strong network”.

I approached a few local Twitter friends and pitched the idea and the edcampPDX wiki was established.  35 educators attended with 10 of them volunteering to facilitate  sessions.  We self-organized ourselves in the morning and divided the workshops into three sessions.  The variety of sessions was awesome with everything from Design thinking, Google Apps, iPads in the elementary school, Reflective thinking, BYOD, and more. Read more on the blog of Peter Pappas.

All participants were actively engaged in conversations, sharing, and networking.  A sure sign that the day went well is that everyone agreed the networking was valuable so we decided to set up a Google Group for conversations, encourage folks to participate in Twitter and MACEP … but the best part is that they want to meet quarterly instead of annually!!!  Our next edcampPDX meet-up will be on Friday, 11/11/11 at Catlin Gabel school.

Thanks Peter, Melissa, Mike, Richard and LuAnn for your encouragement and assistance.  I think we are off to a great start.

© edtech VISION