Thursday, October 22, 2015

Protect Yourself from Internet Fraud: Security Measures

At the Digital Citizenship Summit held at the University of Saint Joseph October 4, 2015, Sarah Thomas, a technology integrationist from the Washington DC area, did a session on tips for protecting oneself in age of online fraud and hacks. Several people have asked about her session, and I had the opportunity, with her permission, to video the presentation with the Periscope app and then uploaded it to YouTube. Given the video was done while livestreaming, it will show the presentation as it unfolded without editing.

Happy to share with others. The video is of nearly the whole session, so it is long, but you can fast forward and rewind as you like.

Any comments about Sarah's presentation are welcomed.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Social Media in Schools: Why Not?

Presentation on Social Media in Schools

Many people have asked for information following the "Social Media in Schools" session that Marialice Curran and lead for an educational event, EdCampCT.

Given, I used the Periscope app to livestream the session and archived the stream, I'm able to share out the video and texted in comments.

Beside face-to-face attendees, about 125 people watched and interacted virtually. We projected the live broadcast (using Apple TV) for in-person attendees who didn't have a chance to download the Periscope app.

Session Questions

Prior to the session, we tweeted discussion questions:

Replay of Periscope "Social Media in Schools"

To find the replay of the Periscope on Katch.em, click on image.

Here are two screen captures from the broadcast showing a few text comments. 

Additional Resources About Periscope

For the session, I shared in Google Document prior blog posts I wrote abut the app.

1)  “Around the World in 24 Hours with Periscope” on Integrating Technology and Literacy Blog :

“Blabbing about Periscope with Colleagues” on Technology for Learning: Blog

For more information, contact me on Twitter at @JudyArzt, and try the Twitter hashtags #PeriscopeEDU and #PeriscopeTeachers. 

Follow-up Discussion 

We had a lively discussion of educational applications of the Periscope app and came up with these ideas.
  • Virtual field trips
  • Mystery Locations (comparable to Mystery Skypes or Mystery Google Hangouts)
  • Bringing experts into the classroom such as National Park Rangers, NASA astronauts, weather reporters, and authors 
  • Immediate access to breaking news stories 
  • Cultural tours from places around the world
  • Class cultural and geography exchanges
  • Access to hearing world languages and reading comments texted in the languages
  • Watching an artist or scientist at work
  • Attending professional events (as we modeled by Periscoping our session)
  • Doing Periscope Chats instead of Twitter chats (as some educators have already done)
With app being new (released in late March 2015 with updates since), educators will continue to seek ways to use it. For use in K-12 classrooms, we suggested broadcasters set the stream so only specified viewers can join. 

Other Thoughts

What are your views on the use of social media in schools?
What social media do you find effective for school use?
Would you use an app like Periscope in school, and if so, how?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Move Over Twitter: Periscope Chats Have Arrived

Several innovative educators, Angie Olson and  Ashley Schroeder, have taken the idea of Twitter chats and transformed them into Periscope chats. The benefit of this method is that you see and hear the moderator while texting comments.  Luckily, the moderators use, a site for archiving Periscope video streams and comments.

Click on image for a recap of one of the recent Periscope chats, which attracted 127 live viewers and 1675 chat comments.

Check Angie's blog post, "Periscope Chat and TPT Cha"t to learn more about the concept, by clicking on image below.

What is your take on the idea of Periscope live streamed chats with video and the ability to text comments?  How can this social media platform elevate the way educators share ideas for professional development and forging a Personal Learning Network (PLN)?

This post is cross posted on my other blog Integrating Technology and Literacy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Blabbing About Periscope: Community Building and More

Four of us tried out the new website Blab this week. Blab is a website that enables four people to video conference. In addition, there is a chat window, and anyone can join and watch and text in comments. Plus, others can join the Blab video segment when one of the four people gives up a spot.

Best of all, once the Blab is completed, the person who initiated the Blab can download the Blab. The download provides access to the video part of the Blab, but the comments texted in during the broadcast are not included. The download can be embedded into a website or blog as I have done below. While the Blab is live, anyone on the Blab, including those watching it, can tweet a a link to invite others in to watch and comment.

The topics we blabbed were livestreaming, social media, and specifically the use of Periscope in schools.

Do you think Blab offers features beyond those of Google Hangouts or Skype? Explore some of the Blabs on the site. This is a relatively new tool, so expect updates and changes in the near future.

To get to Blab and to learn about it, go to

Thanks for checking this post.

I will cross post this in my other blog. Thanks for checking out our Blab and for expressing an interest in this tool as well as Periscope. If you have questions, leave a reply. Thanks.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

New Spin on Mystery Location Game with Periscope

The Basic Concept

The conventional Mystery Hangout or Mystery Skype has two classes simultaneously using the platform of choice, Google Hangout or Skype, to guess the location of the other school using yes/no questions. Many are familiar with the concept and plenty of information can be found online for running these class activities. Now Periscope offers a new spin on the idea.

Screen shot from the Twitter feed of the app

Two colleagues in advance who both have the Periscope app on their devices (iPhone, Android, iPad, etc.) make arrangements in advance. One colleague at Location 1 is in a place that does not obviously give away the location but has some hints available to show as the game progresses. In the classroom where students will be trying to guess the location, the teacher, library-media specialist, or IT coach has the selected device hooked up for projection and joins the Periscope just as the colleague starts the broadcast.

Some Tips

1) In advance of the Mystery Periscope (aka Mystery Scope), the "scoper" could put on a website or blog some pictures that won't give away the location but offer some enticement to generate student interest. This step can also be skipped.

2) The "scoper" is on site at the location. The beauty of using the app as opposed to the standard Mystery Hangout or Mystery Skype is the "scoper" can easily move around, be on location out-of-doors, and make adjustments of what to show on the camera as the guessers text in questions.

3) The "scoper" could be prepared as the guessers come close to identifying the location to show a famous landmark at the site of the scope. Once the location is guessed, the "scoper" can tell about the landmark and more about the location. At this point, the students can continue to prepare questions or responses for the person showing the broadcast, who can text in to the "scoper" the students' suggestions to keep the momentum going.

4) ** Important** The "scoper" needs to turn off Location setting in Periscoper before starting the broadcast.

See the first icon (up arrow) in the below image. The "scoper" would click and toggle until "precise location is turned off " before the broadcast is started.

The second icon can be tapped if the "scoper" wants the broadcast private and wants to select who can see it from the list of followers, with the list popping up of followers once the icon is tapped. The third icon allows the user to determine who can chat (text in comments): anyone or just those selected by the "scoper."

5) Time zones, which are often a hangup in organizing Mystery Location events with Skype or Google Hangout are less of an issue when using Periscope. The person doing the broadcast can go live any time that is convenient. Granted, this is just one class or perhaps more joining in to guess the location, but the person doing the broadcast is not in a school setting and nor should the person be at home. A setting convenient for the "scoper" that will be of interest to the students should be used. For instance, if I were doing the scope for young students in elementary school, I might be at Monterey Aquarium or the Bronx Zoo. For older students in a social studies class, I might be on the mall at Washington DC ready to show and speak about the Lincoln Memorial after the students figured out the location from me just standing on the mall but not showing any of the monuments until the location were identified.

How I Can Help

I am willing and able to go to landmarks, places of interest, and places that will generate discussion for the students viewing the scope. For instance, I could be on site at one of the landmarks in my own state or a neighboring state and because I travel often, I could arrange the scope per where I will be and input from the person who will be showing the scope to the specified audience.

Guess the Location

I am throwing in some screen captures from recent Periscopes I have done. Most of my broadcasts start with my location, but I would change  the format for a Mystery Location and not use that as a opening.

So here are some images from places I recently scoped with Periscope. See if you can figure out where I was.

Not quite enough information to figure out the location, at least in most cases, but images like these can be put on a blog in advance to pique student interest before the Mystery Location Scope. They can also be captured afterwards in a blog post to continue the discussion and add more information based on student interest and comments during the scope.

For more ideas about using Periscope, see my blog post, "Around the World in 24 Hours." That post suggests ways to use the app for cultural experiences, studying famous places, and learning about natural wonders of the world.

For now, I simply offer the idea of a new spin on the conventional Mystery Skypes and Google Hangouts by using Periscope, which gives the person on the other end the freedom to move around and decide where to go based the comments texted in during the scope. The use of Periscope's hearts can also figure in, with the person who is showing the broadcast tapping on the screen to send hearts based on how well the students are guessing the location.

So have you used Perisocpe yet? What are your thoughts and ideas for using this app? Do you think the app could put a new spin on Mystery Location games? 

Here are two examples of a Periscope I created and uploaded to YouTube, while in DC. Now the app also offers a way to save both the scope and comments, but at the time that I created these two, was not yet launched. I offer these two example to point out how a scoper working with a class on a Mystery Location game can offer insights into historical places and monuments. 


This post is crossed posted on one of my other blogs.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Getting Going with Blogger

Am doing a session for the Connecticut Google Summit, Sunday, June 14, on using Blogger. The goal is to get beginners up and running and to offer those who have used Blogger some refreshers and reviews of features, such as how to use and customize templates, add labels to posts, and work with the layout features.

For an overview of what will be covered in this hands-on session, view this site:

Blogger Session at the Google Summit

Here's a screen capture showing the tabs, main parts, of the site.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Around the World in 24 Hours with Periscope

Watching and Interacting with Periscope App

Recently, I have been watching and interacting with many Periscope live broadcasts. One of the ways I considered how this app can be used in schools is by showing broadcasts from around the world in social studies, science, and world language classes, though broadcasts of other kinds fit other disciplines. For instance, I created several broadcasts at the Mark Twain House and Harriet Beecher Stowe Cottage at Noon Farm in Hartford, CT that would work in an English class.

Traveling Around the World with Periscope

During the course of a day, I took screen shots from Periscopes that I watched and uploaded them to iMovie to create a video illustrating how the app takes us around the globe.

To create the video from the multitude of screen shots I had, I decided to focus on broadcasts from four people I have been following on Periscope.

This is my first attempt at the process of using screen shots from Periscope broadcasts to create an iMovie, and although the process was time consuming, I learned a few tricks to facilitate the process next time.

So here's the final version. Would love to know what you think and what suggestions you have for follow-up videos to share my experiences with Periscope.

Following the Four Who Did the Periscope Broadcasts

The four people whose Periscope broadcasts I used have Twitter accounts where they tweet out links to Periscopes in progress. You can click on their images to find them on Twitter.

Euro Maestro

Claire Waddington
Giulio Base

Dick Danger

Suggestions and Questions

So let me know your thoughts about how to use Periscope. Leave a reply. If you have suggestions of how I might share my Periscope experiences, would love to know those.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Is Being a Connected Educator Addictive?

This post is cross-posted to one of my other blogs: Technology in the Classroom

Now that I'm using an increasing variety of tools to stay connected as an educator, I am wondering if the allure is addictive. Do I need to check each of these daily, or even more than once a day, and oh, sometimes hourly or admittedly even more often? Here are just s few I check throughout the day, and sometimes into the wee hours of the night, way beyond midnight.

  • Twitter
  • Voxer chat groups
  • Periscope
  • Instagram

With ease of access to all of these on my iPhone, I am wondering what is overkill, and I have named just a few of the apps I use daily. Each leads me somewhere else via posted links or live streamlining videos. A Twitter chat alone can be not just the hourlong, but far longer if I check all the links to resources shared or decide to do an archive of the chat with Storify such as ones I do of a #Read4Fun Twitter chat, one I follow weekly on Sundays, 7-7:30 pm, and for #teacheredchat, for which I am one of the organizers.

Watching a Periscope and texting in comments is another half hour or hour shot.

Look all those hearts coming in from a recent Periscope I watched and did some screen captures from, tweeting out to the broadcaster my appreciation in this example.

In the short time I have had the Periscope app on my phone, I have watched live stream broadcasts of the National Parks in Utah, taken a tour of Rome and of Milan, checked several live-streams of Paris, and watched streams of a class using GetKahoot in Hawaii and an AP Lit class in Queens, New York writing and research with school-issued laptops.

We say we want to be connected educators and it helps us grow professionally and connects us with educators and resources globally. We tout that we become better educators because we are connected and learn from many others and the myriad of resources thereby put at our fingertips.

But do we go through withdrawal symptoms when we need to disconnect?

Last week, I dropped my iPhone in a park when taking photos. The phone was lost for a few hours. I had used iCloud to lock the phone and put out a text message alert on the phone to call a number if found. At first, I was somewhat relieved to know my phone might be gone for a day or two while I waited to decide if I wanted to buy another one and upgrade to an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6+. I almost felt a sense of relief to be without the phone, though I would still have my laptop and iPad to connect, but the phone really functioned as my quick 24/7 access, anytime, any place. 

Well, my dilemma ended when about two hours later I got the anticipated call my phone was found. Did I rush to get it? You bet. After all of this debating, I decided if I had to have one addiction (other than coffee in the morning) being a connected educator was the one.

Now another commitment I need to make is to do more blogging. But every time I look at one of my blogs, I am reminded they need a makeover. Look at all those Blogger messy "Labels" hanging out on the side (Index) and likewise all the accompanying, dated "Gadgets" that just need to go. But instead of spending time cleaning up my blogs, I am off to another online place to stay connected.

I thank my PLN (personal learning network) for getting me to this point increasingly over the time of being a connected educator 24/7, or at least almost 24/7. So is it a complete addiction when the first thing I reach for in the morning before the cup of coffee is the phone to check notifications!

Oh and I do promise to clean up all "Labels" and "Gadgets" on the sidebar if I can just break myself away from checking Voxer messages, tweeting on Twitter, checking Instagram posts, and tuning into Periscope broadcasts. Oh, and I did I mention Flickr, where I need to get to now to find a Creative Commons images to add to this post.

flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

So how do others feel about being a connected educator? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Do you take a tech sabbatical sometimes and disconnect?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

We Have to Stop Pretending

Recently, I received this invitation from Dave Kimball, via Twitter. You can find Dave's response to the prompt here, and to learn more about the origin of the challenge, check Scott McLeod's post.

Basically, the We Have to Stop Pretending challenge asks participants to pass along 5 thoughts on the topic and then to tag another 5 people to keep up the momentum.

I am going to do this cold, not looking at what others have already said, but will surely look later.

In education, we have to stop pretending:

1) That a child's home life and socio-economic status are not significant factors in a child's readiness to learn and succeed in school;
2) That students who speak a second language and come to the USA from other countries with different cultures will miraculously integrate into our educational system;
3) That comparing students' educational levels to those of students' in other countries where very different variables exist makes sense;
4) That music, art, and physical education are not just as important as other subject areas such as math and English/language arts; and
5) That schools are not becoming reflections of the unfortunate violence we find surrounding us in society and the world at-large.

I pass along the challenge of We Have to Stop Pretending to these five connected educators who make a difference in a student's life every day, knowing they'll accept the challenge and write a blog post and tag 5 others.

Marialice Curran @mbfxc
Sarah Thomas  @sarahdateechur  
Starr Sackstein @mssackstein
Scott Boylen @iowasboy
Paul Solarz @paulsolarz

Follow along on Twitter #makeschooldifferent to find others' responses to this challenge.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Twitter, Reaching More Educators Than Ever

A popular use of Twitter is to join and share with educators in weekly chats. Apparently, these have become so popular that they have also gotten competitive. Recently, I came across this blog post.

Edu Tech Stories: EdChats... Getting Competitive?

I dipped into to see what the author had to say about the competitiveness of Twitter chats and was not surprised. Each night, there is a multitude of chats to join, many at the same time, making it difficult to choose one.

Wondering what chats others find popular and of value on Twitter. The ones I join regularly are TeacherEdChat, at #teacheredchat, well, because I am one of the organizers and need to be online each Monday to help out the guest moderators and then to archive the chats at our website: Teacher Ed Chat on Twitter.

I also like to check into some state chats such as the California one, which obviously gets crowded and fast-paced, given the size of the state, and number of educators there as well as others that join from other places. California Ed Chat also has its own site and does a good job of it. Check out the chat's Profile on Twitter.

In addition, I have recently joined the Sunday night Read4Fun chat, and even though I'm not one of the organizers, I frequently archive the chats, which can be found on the chat's website:  #Read4Fun

Although I have named just three chats I join, there are plenty others, and my picks vary by week and topic. A good Twitter chat leaves me with a wealth of resources to check out and with colleagues to connect with both through Twitter and other connected means including Voxer groups, but Voxer chat groups is a topic for another post.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Storify: A Tool for Reflection

Last night, some of the participants in a Twitter chat, used the Storify app to create a reflective essay about the chat. Here are two examples, which speak for themselves about using the app in this way. I really like how the process proceeds from a chat question to an example tweet, followed by a reflection and comments for practice in the classroom.

From Edgar Ayala, a mathematics educator and facilitator. 

From Megan Amely, another math enthusiast,

I also like how Megan embedded the Storify in her blog as a viewable slide show, which you can find with this link;

 Teacheredchat Twitter Chat

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Blog a Month Challenge

So it is Blog a Month time. Glad to participate, and above is the prompt. Because I have been teaching Educational Research this year, and not Integrating Technology and Literacy, I have not been posting to this blog with my frequent regularity. Thus, it is good to see a challenge presented and to set aside time to do another post.

Yes, this quotation does resonate with me, especially the first two sentences. Each day, I do focus on purpose, especially when I'm teaching. Even when not in the classroom, am thinking of ideas for the classroom, which is one reason why I turn to Twitter, with a steady stream of tweets for gathering and prompting new ideas. I like to be creative, and sometimes just any tweet will spark an idea. So many wonderful educators share ideas and links to blogs, websites, and tech tools on Twitter. Twitter chats keep me even more focused. Just last night, I happened upon the #Read4Fun chat, a new chat, which garnered over 1200 tweets. How do I know that number? Well, after the chat, I went to Storify to gather them. I collected all of them, but the free version of Storify only allows for 1,000 entries in creating a Storify. Later, I joined the California Educators chat, #CAedchat. The topic was on "pimping your lesson plans," with links to Google Docs to submit a plan for feedback and suggestions.

Tonight, I will be on #teacheredchat, one of the Twitter chats for which I am an organizer. Being an organizer means I am always in search of good guest moderators. All of this reminds me how critical it is to be a connected educator. Why am I a connected educator? I guess it is because I stay focused every day on my purpose as an educator.

Would love to know how the above quotation resonates with others. Hoping you'll leave a comment, and if you are one of the participants in the Blog a Month challenge, leave a link to one of your posts.

I have several blogs and will cross post this one on one of those.

Looking forward to making connections and learning about how others stay focused.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Power of Play

Last night on Twitter, California Ed Chat, aka #caedchat, had a wonderful chat on "The Power of Play." People shared so many encouraging thoughts and suggestions for ways to integrate play into the school setting in a variety of grade levels and subject areas.

I love the California Ed Chat. People from all over the world join in to share ideas, and the chat is always interactive and highly engaging. Although I live on the East Coast, and California Ed Chat starts late Sunday night for an East Coast person, I make it a point to stay up and join each week, as my schedule permits.

Here is the archive for the dynamic chat, Feb. 8, 2015, on "The Power of Play."

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Students Create Weekly Newsletters Using Digital Storytelling App

I came across this example of how one class uses the Shadow Puppet app to create weekly newsletters about what is going on in the classroom. Thought it was interesting to see how digital tools were used to communicate with parents and how students took ownership of the process.

The Shadow Puppet was created by Mrs. Weber's 2nd grade class.

Thanks to Mrs. Weber's 2nd graders for sharing this. Hope others consider the possibilities of using digital storytelling and apps like Shadow Puppet in this way. Big fan of Shadow Puppet, and recommend educators sign up for the educator's account.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Some of My Favorite Tech Tools for Course Integration

As another semester comes to an end and I reflect on the tech tools I used this semester, some are ones I have used in the past, and some I tried for the first time. I was teaching Educational Research this semester, which requires another whole toolkit than when I teach educational technology courses.

1) I made greater use of Google Forms to create surveys. Whereas I have used this tool in the past to collect input from students, I used it almost every other week this semester. Again, I embedded the surveys on my Google Site, but the increased frequency of use helped me on a more ongoing basis to assess student needs and what needed more emphasis in the course. I will definitely follow this pattern in the future of frequent use of the surveys. I also like the updates Google made to the Form templates, which allows for customizing the look and feel of surveys. Here is one example of a survey I created using the new look options.

2) In the past, I closed each course with a quick Animoto recap of students' research proposal topics. I did this again this semester. Right before the last night of one of the courses, I saw a post on Richard Byrne's blog about using YouTube's Slide Show creator in lieu of Animoto. I decided to try it out, using some of the same images I used in the Animoto version. The hardest part about using the Slide Show option as a first-timer was getting the timing right for adding captions. Here are the two final versions, one done with Animoto, and the other with the YouTube Slide Show feature. Neither is precisely how I would like finished product to look, but under the pressure of needing to prepare the presentations in time for the last class meeting, I compromised time for quality.

Animoto Version

YouTube Slide Show Option

3) Once again, I used Google Sites for uploading all course materials. Given I taught two sections of the course, one in a 15-week format and the other in an 8-week format, I needed two separate sites. Because Google Sites enables creation of many sites for free and the frequency with which I need to create sites, this tool serves my purposes well.

Quick screen capture of part of one of web pages on the site

4) Google Docs was a dream for giving feedback to students on an ongoing basis, especially in a writing intensive course, with different parts of the written project due on different weeks. Students also made use of Google Docs for us to share ideas. Further, we experimented with using Padlet for students to brainstorm topics for research study proposals.

This worked well, especially because students did not need an account to share their topics using Padlet. Here is our Padlet. Once we moved into more detail with our proposals, however, Google Doc worked better for sharing ideas.

Well, that is just a few of the ways I used tech tools in the course. Not a tech-based course, it was intriguing to see how seamlessly tech is integrated into a traditional of courses. I found using thee multiple tools much easier than Blackboard for a course management option. Students in the course also used tech in new ways for their presentations. One person used Kahoot to engage all of us, as well pulled out our phones to interact with a set of questions. Another demonstrated Class Dojo, as a behavior management tool, given her proposal was on the use of technology to minimize classroom behavior challenges. It was good to see that students on their own in a non-tech course opted to use specific tech applications for their presentations.