Friday, November 11, 2016

Students Leading the Way: Sharing Apps

Today, I had the opportunity to catch a Periscope live broadcast of a group of students in Endwell, New York sharing out their favorite apps. The students gather information about their apps first in a Google Slide presentation, and then each student presented their rationale for the app they chose.

Without further ado, here is a link to tweet with the Periscope video available to view there.

You can also get an idea of the apps the students featured by looking through this Google Slide deck the teacher, Rachel Murat, shared: App Smashing

Here are three screen captures from the slide deck:

Here is a sample of the Google Form (survey) that was filled out to evaluate each of the apps presented. Students later created a blog post to support their top choice.

Overall, I was fortunate to watch the live presentation via Periscope to see the class in action and was impressed by the way the students took control of the learning, sharing their favorite apps with others and defending their choices as well as explaining how the app worked and its benefits.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Digital Citizenship Videos Created by Students

A few years ago, a social studies department chair, Paul Fitzpatrick, at Northwest Catholic High School, Connecticut, had his students lead the way in teaching one another about digital citizenship. At the time, he shared with me some videos his 9th grade Civics class produced for the unit of study.

Over the last couple of year, I have been teaching a course, Technology and Learning, to teachers enrolled in a Educational Technology Graduate Education Program. One of the themes of the course is Digital Citizenship. In an effort to encourage these teachers to have their own students lead the way in teaching about Digital Citizenship, I like to showcase the work of Mr. Fitzpatrick's students.

In the past, I have placed the videos in EdPuzzle for out-of-class viewing aligned with the Flipped Classroom model. This time around, I decided to share the videos, which are already publicly available on YouTube, thus therein with permission to insert them here.

Here are four of the videos.

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) , created by 9th graders, edited with iMovie

a) Bullying, Digital Citizenship

b) Identify Theft, Digital Citizenship

c) Prevention of Cyberbullying, Digital Citizenship

d) Plagiarism and Academy Integrity, Digital Citizenship

An additional recent example created by middle school students to promote kindness.

Your responses to any of the individual videos and to the concept of students taking the lead to communicate messages about Digital Citizenship are welcomed.

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Days

As the first days of school approach, we aim to set the tone for our classes and to get to know our students. Many have shared ideas about ways to approach these initial days.

  • Shaelynn Farnsworh, an educational blogger with a focus on literacy, shares these ideas Kicking Off Back to School With Camera Fun. As a camera buff, I illustrate one of her ideas, creating a 6 Word Memoir alongside a personal photo. 

November Learning, an organization founded by famed educator Alan November, provides these videos of educators offering their ideas found on this website page,  "First 5 Days of School."

Voxer for Professional Development

For the last few years, I have been an avid user of the Voxer app. When I mentioned the app to new users, they often want to know more. Here I explain some of its uses for professional development and integration with students.

Professional Development

The app offers the ability to send text, audio, images, videos messages to a single user or a group. If you have an interest in a special area, such as English Language Arts or the Flipped Classroom, you can join a group with others with the same interest and pose questions and learn of suggestions others offer. Planning on attending a conference or presenting at one, you can start a Voxer group to coordinate plans.

Here is a screen capture of just a few of the Voxer groups I have joined.

Integration with Students

In lieu of sending class emails or individual emails, Voxer can be used to send messages regarding course work. A class chat group can be set up with all class members. Once that is done, messages can be shared back and forth with all members in the class or separately to individuals by side voxing them. If a student has a question about an assignment, they can post it to the class chat or send it individually to the instructor.

Some Recommended Setting

  • I turn off alerts and just check the app regularly throughout the day for new messages. 
  • I prefer to have the audio message set to use the start and stop option instead of using the default option which requires holding down the audio button the whole time while audio recording a message.
  • For long audio messages spoken slowly, I will sometimes use the option to listen at a faster speed, usually setting the speed to 2X. This is done by hitting the speed button at the bottom of the screen when listening to a message.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Livestreaming For Building Your Professional Learning Network

At the end of July, EdCamp Global ran a series of professional learning events. Given the series was all online, the Periscope app was an excellent way to bring the sessions to a live, interactive audience.

Here's a sampling of some of the sessions offered via the app, and you'll be able to see the broadcast via the Twitter tweet in which they are embedded. Be sure to hit the volume icon in the lower corner to turn on the sound while watching.

What suggestions do others have for offering online professional development? What tools do you think work best for reaching a global audience during the EdCamp Global and similar events?

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.