Archive for the ‘21st Century Learning’ Category

Testing out new softwares

April 15, 2015

Our school bought SMART Notebook Advantage which is an annual paid subscription program that gives us access to some really great learning resources that are not available in Notebook 11.  We can use this with our new Hitachi interactive projector.  However, since we have the Hitachi we decided to check out Starboard software which is the Hitachi interactive projector software.  You can download a 60 day trial at

I will post news about this produce once we have had a good trial.


Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

Hitachi Interactive Projector

February 18, 2015

We just got a Hitachi interactive projector for one of our classes.  This projector can be used with a white board or a wall and suddenly they become interactive surfaces!

One of our teachers said that she loved it because there was instant orientation.  On some interactive white boards we have to press in target zones to orient the boards but with the Hitachi, press one button and it orients itself!  How much easier could it be?


Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

Tablets in the Classroom

October 9, 2013

I just spent the day with my four year old nephew.  What a surprise to see a child interact with technology outside the classroom.

First he taught me to play Minecraft and showed me how to build a dwelling.  It thrilled me that he was able to quickly figure out how to construct a rectangular house with windows and a door.  There was a lot of problem solving and no one taught him how to do it.  He is also pretty good at filming videos and then making them into a movie with music.  He figured that out as well.  Did I mention he is four?  He isn’t exceptionally intelligent.  There are a lot of children who regularly use the tools without frustration or much difficulty.   It all leads me to believe that we don’t have to spend a lot of time teaching students how to use technology.

Here is an article that describes tablet uses that students will totally understand and love to use.

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Finding Locations on a Grid

September 25, 2013

I have been trying to think of educational things to make with the table tool.   One thing I know that some students needed some practice with was finding locations on a grid.  We can play submarine but I wanted to find something a Little different.

Finding an idea on the Scholastic website, it was adapted into Notebook  and a random reward was included.  Check out my Notebook file with the Grid Location game for students in grades 2, 3 and perhaps 4.  Instructions are provided in the lesson notes on page one.   (Email me at


Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Group Problem Solving

September 18, 2013

You have likely seen this little puzzle on Facebook.   You are asked to count the number of squares.  I have seen answers from 18 to 32.   I think I know the answer, but I’m not sure!


I handed a copy out to pairs of students in the class and they used different colours to identify squares.  After some time, they used the Samsung tablets to take pictures and send them to the SMART Board using Extreme Collaboration.  We had a lot of fun finding squares that were missed and being surprised by squares few had found.  It was GREAT problem solving.  Score one for the new Samsung Tablets and Extreme Collaboration!  I have provided a pdf of the template for this activity here.

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Establishing our Rules for Web Enabled Devices in the Classroom

September 4, 2013

We are continuing on this journey of using our personal devices in the classroom.  It is ever evolving but one thing the students determined was that if they were collaborating, they had to stay on task but if they were working alone, they could request a time “off task” for a period we agreed on.

This was hard to manage so I got several cardboard clocks with moveable hands.  They put the stop time on them and put them on a ledge with their names (in front and below the hands).  That way I could glance at them from time to time to see that they were honoring their stop time. We also had to practice getting back on task as breaks can disrupt the pattern of learning  BUT I can’t believe how these little breathers helped the students who just couldn’t focus for extended periods.  Some students did not use this privilege.  I guess some people have better staying power!  As to how we used these devices in the classroom, I will be blogging about them later.

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Student Web Enabled Devices in the Classroom

August 28, 2013

Now that our students are allowed to bring their personal web enabled devices into the classroom, education in my classroom has become more immediate and much more fun for the students.  We had to make up some rules about when, how and why to use these items and the kids had a lot of ideas for these that showed they had some good basic values.

Having read blogs from other teachers, I realized that these rules had to be established immediately and reviewed often.  We actually sent a letter home and so that they would take ownership of the process, I had the students primed for reading and explaining it to their parents/guardians.  Note that students who did not have a device on a particular day had access to one of eight other devices in the classroom.



Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Extreme Collaboration Part 3

August 21, 2013

Whoo hoo!  I found two friends to try out Extreme Collaboration with me.  One was on my Samsung tablet and one was on his Mac computer but any device that accesses the net will work.

Extreme CollaborationI had already started the activity and an ID had appeared in the add ons area.  My friends had to go to, put the ID in the session number  and add their names to connect with me.  You can see at the left that there are two students connected, that their text will appear in random positions and that one has sent text (contributions) which appears on a page in my open Notebook.  If I had the SMART Board attached, the text would be visible to everyone.

Now I have to find ways to use this as a learning activity in my classroom.  More to come but check out this video that describes the process for having students connect.  (Thanks to jpetersonlcisd)

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Extreme Collaboration Part 2

August 14, 2013

If you read my last post, you know that I installed Extreme Collaboration. I am continuing my experimentation with it  and now I will describe the teacher’s role in the process.

Extreme CollaborationI used my Windows’ computer to start Notebook, clicked on the Add Ons tab where I could see the Extreme Collaboration icon (You can see it at the left.) I clicked on Start Tour to find out about the add on. (Note that it would not work for me in the Chrome browser.) After going on the tour, I clicked the Connect button where I saw an ID for the session.  I had the choice to make a login or not and by clicking on SESSION, I could require that users be anonymous or type in their names (That is what I chose.)  Clicking on Start, gave me the opportunity to set the position of the text on the SMART board as the students type it in.  I had a look at the extended settings but decided to leave them blank for my first experimentation.  I clicked Start Activity.

In the next post, I will describe what we did but in the meantime, check out YouTube for part two of three videos that describe the process I described here.   I made a tiny url so you could find the video about starting an activity.  (Thanks to jpetersonlcisd)

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Extreme Collaboration Part 1

August 7, 2013

I heard about Extreme Collaboration, which is supposed to allow all my students to interact with me on the SMART Board so I had to check it out.  After logging into SMART Exchange, I did a search for extreme collaboration and found a Notebook file.  That didn’t make sense!  I was looking for a plug in.  However, on opening the file, I found that it contained the instructions for installation and use.  The Extreme Collaboration plugin was stored in the attachments.  I simply had to drag the file from there and onto the desktop where I could click on it to install.  It was much simpler than I thought.  Now I have to find a friend or two to try it out with me.  Watch for my next post where I will detail my progress with Extreme Collaboration.

By the way, if you go to YouTube, you will find a video that describes another way to download Extreme Collaboration and it also details activation.  I made a tiny url for this video.  (Thanks to jpetersonlcisd)

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom


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