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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

TUIT: Julia Lyles, James Morgan, Colby Wilmoth, and an entire high school

Happy April Fool's!  As the days count down to spring break and the end of my embedded tour at Heritage Elementary (Painted Stone, I'll see you Monday the 13th!), I wanted to squeeze out one more Edtech Elixirs entry.

Looking over my latest blog posts, I realized that I haven't given a #ShelbyTUITshoutout recently. Luckily, I have several reasons to do so today.

Julia Lyles is a new 3rd grade teacher here at Heritage. Last week, she asked me to help co-teach her class and we used Nearpod in a work station setting.  (You can read more about Nearpod in a previous entry.)  Ms. Lyles reminded me that even if you have only a few devices, Nearpod can be useful in a rotational station format.  I was glad to see her integrating Nearpod in a lesson with such young students, and happy to help teach in her classroom.

James Ray Morgan is Heritage's music teacher.  He already had an interest in edtech before I arrived, but after our consultation, he is now in the process of creating a YouTube channel of helpful videos for his students.  For example, Mr. Morgan wants to create tutorials for next year's classes to learn to play a recorder (or use the videos for extra practice, support, and enrichment).  In addition, he is creating a website as a launching platform for his class; you can view it here. He's well on his way to flipping and blending his instruction! (Note: if you want help recording directly on YouTube with your webcam, check out one of my how-to videos below.)

Today I observed Colby Wilmoth with her second graders.  What was impressive was not just the edtech tools themselves (a SMART board interactive clock activity, a document camera to demonstrate drawing a clock face, and so on), but how seamlessly she moved from one to another.  In addition, Ms. Wilmoth reminded me of the need for balancing your tools.  Her students drew large clock faces onto their desks with dry-erase markers, then practiced in pairs putting the correct hour and minute hand for a list of times.  Of course, there are digital equivalents you could do for this, but the tactile analog nature of drawing on a desk has its own benefits for engagement and learning.

Last but not least, I have a historic shoutout to give: to an entire school! At Martha Layne Collins High School,  Instructional Coaches Jennifer Cox and Tracy Huelsman (along with the enthusiastic encouragement of principal John Leeper) gave their staff a Twitter challenge this week. Using the hashtag #TitanStrong (created by Mr. Leeper), Ms. Cox and Huelsman have asked teachers to tweet every day, once a day, all week long.

The results have been fantastic and it has been very fun to follow the hashtag.   In some cases, teachers are tweeting for the very first time.  Good job, Collins!

A well deserved shoutout to MLC, Ms. Wilmoth, Mr. Morgan, and Ms. Lyles! Enjoy your spring break and the mild weather.


  1. We are having so much fun celebrating the greatness that is #TitanStrong at Collins! We would be remiss not to mention NONE of this activity would be possible without support, modeling, and brainstorming with Principal, Mr. Leeper!

  2. Thank you for the insight, Jennifer! I did a small edit in the story to reflect Mr. Leeper's contribution.