Friday, November 19, 2010

Exit Task

"Think Ahead..."

Where will you go from here?

Choose one key idea from today's workshop and develop a plan to implement sometime in the next month or so. Describe which ideas you plan on developing and how you will utilize the technology knowledge that you gained today to benefit your students. Leave a comment with a description of your "action plan."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Leadership Bootcamp Closing Panel = iPad Required

This panel is not an Apple ad, I swear. #lbc10  on Twitpic

Leadership Bootcamp - ISTE 2010

Event website at:

View the recorded Ustream of my session on Communication and Collaboration tools here: My presentation on SlideShare
View more presentations from Katie Morrow.

Google Workshop for Educators - Minot, ND

Apologies for not finding the time to write an adequate reflection on this awesome event. View Lisa Thumann's summary of the two days by visiting:

View resources for the entire event at

Or my two workshops here:
Google Sites
Google Maps

Finally, a Flickr Set of the two days can be found here:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Doodle at Aviary

doodle.png  on Aviarydoodle.png on Aviary.

Logo Creation courtesy of Aviary

Teach42Morrow logo.egg  on AviaryTeach42Morrow logo.egg on Aviary.

[Aviary] Adventure Music

Edit this in Aviary.

Edit this in Aviary.

Note: This stub file was created in an Aviary editor. To make further changes to it, just click the Edit this in Aviary link below (or above) the thumbnail image. You can share access to this Aviary file and allow others to make changes to it by using the Share button at the top of this Docs file.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Google Forms for Authentic Assessment

Providing authentic assessment in project based classrooms is challenging.  Google forms has allowed for the self and peer evaluation process to be much smoother, faster to tabulate, and has provided much more authentic feedback to all students involved in the learning projects.  In addition I have found that when I use a google form for peer assessment, that the students' NEXT projects improve by leaps and bounds as opposed to just receiving feedback from me (it seems the kids listen better to their peers than their teacher!)

Here are a couple of examples. 
First the form is created with the assessment criteria

Then the link to the form is shared with students (I personally love how easy it is to embed within an iWeb site).  Gooogle Apps for Ed allows me to share with the entire domain at once, also.

Students submit their peer and/or self assessments and refresh their page before the next presentation

After the results are tabulated in the Google spreadsheet, I sort by student name and add an average formula if I need a numerical grade.  The most valuable part, however, is sharing the honest, anonymous feedback with the students who created each project-- either digitally or just printed on paper and cut apart.

A final, less exciting use of forms is for our students to report laptop damages straight from our website and have it all automatically compiled in a Google spreadsheet for documentation purposes.  The benefits here are obvious if you know my personal struggles with paperwork organization!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Teaching Without a Net

We as teachers are used to being master planners.  We are used to being in control of our classrooms.  Change is uncomfortable.  Anything that slightly resembles chaos makes us feel out of control, and worse- ineffective. We as teachers have learned in these situations to quickly create Plan B- to scrap, pitch, change, and re-present the lesson in a way that will work with less "teacher discomfort."

Being flexible is an essential skill as an educator, and rightly so, but there are times when staying the course (however uncomfortable it may feel) can have deeper, longer lasting benefits for our students.  I'm speaking about Challenge Based Learning.  Our students have been passing through a system (some for nearly a dozen years already) where they are rewarded for doing things in exactly the manner that was asked.  The teacher crafts the lesson or project, the student goes through the motions to receive the clearly-defined grade.

In a CBL project, students sometimes resent being challenged to think differently, question the status quo, and dig for understanding independently of specific step-by-step instructions. Rather than a reason for teachers to quickly change their plans, we should instead persist on- for the good of our students- knowing that "teaching without a net" is sometimes a very good thing.

The following video reflection by a student from Larry Baker's AP Government class encourages educators to continue to challenge students to greater learning- even if at first met with resistance or discomfort.

I'll end with a quote from Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, called Erasing Our Innovation Deficit

*Innovation is disruptive and messy. It can't be controlled or predicted. The only way to ensure it can flourish is to create the best possible environment -- and then get out of the way.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Multimedia Project Choices

for students to get started thinking creatively on the many options of digital tools available for their presentations.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Aperture 3 - and Holt County, Nebraska

Apple Computers just released a new software product - Aperture 3 - a professional photography application- and they used images from Holt County to promote its new features. Last year Apple commissioned Sports Illustrated photographer Bill Frakes to create a video testimonial about the slideshow creation features in the Aperture software. He could go anywhere in the world to do the photo shoot to gather the images to tell his story, and being a native Nebraskan he knew he wanted to do it somewhere in our state. Although Bill currently lives in Florida, he has previously produced numerous multimedia stories for Sports Illustrated including the Nebraska State Wrestling Tournament and a feature on Arnold, Nebraska’s 6-man football team. (See Frakes was a featured instructor at the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute held in July 2009 at Full Sail University in Florida. It was there that he crossed paths with Katie Morrow, technology integration specialist at O’Neill Public Schools. He inquired about events near O’Neill occurring in early August that would be suitable for photography/video documentary purposes and agreed to come out to O’Neill during the weekend of the Holt County Fair. Along with Bill Frakes and his assistant Laura Heald, came a 4 person production team from Apple Computers. Due to the secrecy of the software development by Apple, little could be said about the true purpose of the photo shoot. Katie, along with huge help from her husband Kevin Morrow, arranged for local ranchers to film a sunrise scene on horseback at the Carson ranch, cleared for photographer’s access to the Holt County Fair and Rodeo, and obtained releases from all individuals photographed for possible inclusion in the piece. “Everyone was so agreeable and willing to help out- from the Holt County Fair Board to the Carson family to Elsie Eiler, owner of the Monowi tavern,” said Katie Morrow. “This was even more amazing since we weren’t even really being told what all the photos and interviews were for! The people of Holt County are a very generous people and Bill wanted to feature that in his story.” The piece was originally expected to be published before the new year, but delays in the software release date held it back. Currently the finished product is featured prominently on Apple’s website at and more Holt County images can be viewed in the movie clips Numerous Holt County residents who provided portrait releases should soon be receiving prints by this famous photographer in exchange for their help with the project.

UPDATE: Bill and Laura's Holt County piece published on their own blog: "Strawhat Visuals"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My response to what makes a 1:1 initiative successful-- request from eSchool News

In my opinion, a successful 1:1 initiative is evident in the byproducts- the student successes, the faculty stability, the community pride and interaction with its school. Perhaps a backwards way of thinking by some accounts, we believe a "bottom-up" approach is better than a "top-down." Put the technology in kids' hands as early as possible and let them drive the initiative forward. Students should be involved on planning committees, tech support teams, and any visioning or research teams. Publish student projects early on, bring in visitors to see the possibilities in action (rather than just talk about them), use students to share at community meetings, board meetings, in any way possible. Students will push and promote the laptop's application in their various courses much more effectively than an administrator forcing it upon an unwilling teacher. Very few teachers are not in it 'for the kids.' Keeping communication and community connections open is crucial. When the benefits beyond the school building are apparent, patrons realize they can support education and students realize it's not just about the grade at the end of the unit. Collecting data is important, but more important is collecting stories. Compile anecdotal evidence. Interview students. Publish projects that evolve out of the students' opportunity to have 21st century access 24/7... as opposed to purely test scores and teacher-driven assignments. This culture can cultivate in an initiative where the learning is the focus, rather than the instruction.

Katie Morrow
Technology Integration Specialist
O'Neill Public Schools
O'Neill, Nebraska

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

iMovie '09 Multiple Effects

Hi Katie! This is Audrey Farmer from Little River. I attended several of your sessions a few weeks back. Good news is .... I've already put a TON of things you shared to work. Bad news is ... I've run into a snag! We are doing a green screen project right now where one person is interviewing another about a specific occupation. Their background is that of a newscast.

One of my students is actually reporting on the job of the president and wanted to be interviewed on location (The White House). I thought it was a GREAT idea, but don't think it's possible to do picture-in-picture over a green screen project. Can you shed some light?!?



Hi Audrey,
How exciting!
This is what you need to do as a work-a-round to make your project work. Do the green screen part first... mix it all together and everything.. and then export that much out of iMovie. (Share > Export using Quicktime, most likely). Then start a new iMovie project, import the recently exported clip (File > Import > Movies) and add the picture-in-picture effect. It kind of stinks that you can't do both at once, but with a little extra time you can at least make it work. I can't wait to see your student's final project. Make sure you share it, if you can!
Thanks for the email,

Going Mobile

While I may be a little slow to get in the iPod touch/iPhone in education movement, I can clearly recognize the value of putting the devices into students' hands. A number of recent events have sparked my gaining enthusiasm for promoting their use in our classrooms here at OHS. First was the purchase of a lab set of iPod touch devices (20 plus a Bretford charging/syncing cart). It is true that many students have access to these devices at home, however to truly expect educational outcomes, it is imperative to provide equitable access to all kids. Secondly, updating to the 3.0 OS with the ability to record audio through an add-on mic. This feature which enables students to create content, not just consume it on the iPod touch, has opened my opinions of the mobile devices immensely.

These events, along with attending recent Apple education seminars and working with a great team of Apple Distinguished Educators to create an "iPod in Education" exhibit on the Apple Learning Interchange, have led to an increased amount of time discovering, exploring, and applying ideas about learning on these mobile devices. I have started a collaborative blog specifically for teachers using the iPod touch lab in their classrooms to visit links, integration ideas, and apps suggestions all in one place. It can be found at: As the teachers make their own discoveries and find successes with students, they too can post to the blog.

In addition, I received the following question via email today and so I am posting my response to share with all interested.


I was looking at your explanation for creating flashcards for the iPod
Touch through iPhoto.

Is there a way to export so that you can hear the sound from the Keynote?
Can links on a Keynote be made active?
I'm really interested in having students "create" using the iPod Touch.

Thanks! Your website is also amazing!


Thank you for the compliment and the questions! You could export a Keynote file as a Quicktime movie and it would include sound on the iPod as well. You would just add it to iTunes and sync and it would be in your Movies on the iPod. Clickable links I'm not so sure of. I haven't tried it, but don't think it would work with a Quicktime movie export, anyway. You may be able to open the actual Keynote file on the iPod touch with some other app, but that is a really great question!

It should be noted that both of the above situations where kids are creating content for iPods are where the kids create on computers and then transfer to iPod (as opposed to actually creating on the iPod touch). There are several cool apps for actually creating on the iPod touch itself; my favorite is a recent find that I love called Sonic Pics. My own kids went crazy creating little enhanced podcasts after I showed it to them one time. As of today the app is $2.99, but what you get is a simple, clean interface to add photos to a project and then record your voice narrating them. For the images you could use photos from the web, synced from your iPhoto library, or screenshots you captured right on the iPod itself! I'm looking forward to trying out this app with students for projects like digital scavenger hunts, vocabulary development, book talks, school tours, technology tutorials, etc

If you discover any additional apps or ideas for using them with kids, please share! Thanks again for the email,