Monday, March 2, 2015

InFocus LiteShow 4 Makes Collaboration Easy

In my last post that featured the InFocus JTouch, I wrote about the LiteShow 4 and how it worked with the display. I wanted to take another post to dive deeper into the the LiteShow 4 and show how it can be used.


As I mentioned in the previous post, the cool part of using the LiteShow 4 is that it allows for multiple devices to connect and then those images can be shared on one screen. Here are a few photos of students using the JTouch display and the LiteShow 4.


 Two students are showing their two screen. One is using an iPhone and another is using an iPad. You can see that there are two open spots for other users to share their screen if they connected to the LiteShow 4. I get excited about all of the possibilities for this feature. Students working in four different groups can do research and then share out on one screen. Items can be compared and viewed by the entire class at the same time. The teacher can switch to one of the images and then back to the four with just a click of a button.

For our Makerspace, I envision four students designing four different solutions to a problem and then sharing them on one screen to see which is best. Being able to share from their own devices allows the students to do work freely and then throw it up on the screen. It is important to make sharing and collaborating easy. The LiteShow 4 allows students and teachers to work and share without interruption.


Here are the students showing their pages to each other from their devices. Again, I love that fact that the students can move freely from the 4 images to the solo images so the bigger picture can be explored in more detail. I think about the HoverCam Solo 8 that I will be adding to the space and how awesome the image will look on the JTouch and it does not have to be connected to the computer connected to the JTouch. From these pictures alone, the images are crisp. 

One of things that really make the LiteShow 4 stand out from previous versions is that it adds the element of touch control wirelessly when showing one feed from a PC, Mac, or Chromebook onto a touch display (like JTouch). That is such an amazing upgrade. Being able to use the touchscreen feature wirelessly is just an extra awesome feature that makes the LiteShow 4 a bigger deal in our Makerspace. 

Users can use the MirorOp app to connect to the LiteShow 4. It is a free download and easy to navigate and connect. From there, users can share their webpages. The camera feature can be used, so students can have another document camera in their hands while they are connected to the LiteShow 4. The LiteShow 4 add more options to the classroom. 

The LiteShow 4 also works with an HDMI/VGA display or a projector. This is great so it is not restricted with be paired only with the  JTouch. This opens up the possibility of a variety of different uses in classrooms around the building. It's portable size makes it a great option if other classes might need it during the course of the school year. 

For me, I am always looking for more ways for students to collaborate. It is one of the reasons I have been working so hard on the Makerspace in our library. I see the value in giving students the time, space, and the tools to connect, create, and collaborate. The LiteShow 4 is another tool they will be able to use to do all three. 

The LiteShow 4 retails for $399 and I think it is a solid investment when trying to get the most out of a learning space. 

Note:  InFocus sent me the LiteShow 4 for the purpose of a review, but that does not make it less awesome. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

MarkIt Up In Our Makerspace

One of the things I have been working on the past few months is turning a space in the library into a Makerspace. Part of that process is finding the right furniture and tools to place in the space so students can be as creative as possible. One of these tools is the MarkIt Up table from BeyondTheOfficeDoor.com. It is a 3 in 1 dry erase table that allows users to use it as a table, standing desk, and a dry erase board. It is a first of its kind.

I was very lucky to have BeyondTheOfficeDoor.com send me one for the purpose of the review and to help us create a space for our students. The first thing that stands out about this great table is the fact that it can be raised and lowered electrically. It can meet the height of any user. The height adjustment range is from 27" to 47". Once the table is assembled, just plug it in and get to work. The table moves up and down with two simple buttons to press. That is not the only thing that table can do.

The table can be flipped up to become a board to present the work you have done. Here are some pictures of the table in table form and flipped up in the board view. The easy lock mechanism is perfect to keep the table in the board position and it allows for a simple pull to move it back down to the table position. The transition is easy and great when people want to share their work with others.

The other nice part of the table is that the height can be adjusted. If there are taller or shorter students who need to work on the table, they only need to press the buttons to raise or lower it to fit their needs. It is also nice for those students who want to stand and work at the table instead of just sitting. It is better for students to stand and work at times and the MarkIt Up table allows students to do that.



We are currently using the table to help design the physical space in the library and to take notes when we meet. We then take pictures of the work when we are done and can erase the table for others to use next. The table is also on wheels, so that makes it very easy to move around the space and work wherever we need to. We truly envision this table playing a large part in the space as students work to create exciting projects to share with the school and the community. 

Here is a quick video showing the Markit Up in action. 


The dry erase markers worked wonderfully on the table. We were able to write, erase, and write again without any staining or shadowing on the table. It is perfect for quick brainstorming or long term writing. Here are some shots of table in action and some of our work. 




The MarkIt Up table retails for $1,299.99 and is a nice investment in a space that is going to have many students in and out planning big and small projects. I'm looking for tools and furniture that will support creativity and collaboration. The MarkIt Up table meets that criteria easily. I reccommend you check out the MarkIt Up table for your learning spaces. 

For more information on the MarkIt Up table, follow the link

Friday, February 27, 2015

The @BlackboardK12 BITS Learning Sessions #24 #BbK12Live

The @BlackboardK12 BITS Learning Sessions #22 #BbK12Live

I've partnered with BlackboardK12 to share out the awesome sessions they are having this Fall. Educators can sign up to attend and share with other great educators what they have learned. I'll feature the session and the description on my blog each week and on my Twitter account. If you have questions, feel free to shoot a tweet to @BlackboardK12. Have fun learning and sharing!

Teacher Toolbox - Reshaping Assessment and Feedback For Online Students

Assessment and feedback are at the heart of the learning experience.  In this session, we will discuss specific strategies for shaping assessment and feedback in the online environment to build strong teacher/student relationships, guide resource and learning path decisions, increase student metacognition, and provide tools for current and future learning within the content.

Jeni Day, Science Teacher, Instructional Leader, Course Developer

I have been teaching science for 17 years, and have 4 years of online teaching experience with NCVPS as a teacher and, for the past year, as an Instructional Leader. In addition to an amazing education in a rural North Carolina high school. I am a proud East Carolina University graduate, am National Board Certified (and renewed) in AYA/Science, and achieved AIG Certification through an online program with University of Virginia.

Twitter: @
MrsDayNCVPS

When:
Monday March 2, 2015 3:30 PM EST

Sign Up


Don't forget to check out the Blackboard Live App. It has all of the sessions you might have missed and much much more.
 Here is the playlist where you can watch this recorded session and other sessions you might have missed.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

The @BlackboardK12 BITS Learning Sessions #23 #BbK12Live

The @BlackboardK12 BITS Learning Sessions #23 #BbK12Live

I've partnered with BlackboardK12 to share out the awesome sessions they are having this Fall. Educators can sign up to attend and share with other great educators what they have learned. I'll feature the session and the description on my blog each week and on my Twitter account. If you have questions, feel free to shoot a tweet to @BlackboardK12. Have fun learning and sharing!

Breaking Through the Bricks: Providing Student Feedback in an Online Environment

How is providing feedback in the online environment different from in the brick and mortar classroom? Explore key considerations and best practices in providing specific and engaging feedback to learners of all ages in a digital classroom in order to improve student success..

Claudine Townley, Solutions Engineer

Claudine Townley is a K-12 Blackboard Solutions Engineer with a focus on teaching and learning and adoption success. She has spent 20+ years in public education in both the brick and mortar and online worlds. Her former roles included language arts teacher, reading coach, and director Florida Virtual School’s global department. She is also a published author, a National Board Certified Teacher, and holds a Master of Science in Education, with a specialization in reading and literacy.

Twitter: @
claudinetownley

When:
Friday, February 27, 2015 12:00 PM EST

Sign Up


Don't forget to check out the Blackboard Live App. It has all of the sessions you might have missed and much much more.
 Here is the playlist where you can watch this recorded session and other sessions you might have missed.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#NerdyCast Is Back! @SpencerIdeas is my guest. #edchat


Welcome back everyone! #NerdyCast is back and it is as nerdy as ever. Listen in as +John Spencer (@SpencerIdeas) and I chat about House of Cards, ambition, teacher pay, and other goodness. The episode is available to download on iTunes. Enjoy!