This week during our faculty meeting we had a teacher present a workshop on Turnitin. Turnitin is an online plagiarism checker, grading platform and peer reviewer. This program uses a set of algorithms to match text from numerous sources and produces a “originality report” with the % of matched text.These reports can be made available to student prior to final submission allowing for revisions.

I have not used this program yet but my finals are next week and I have papers due that must use Turnitin.


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I found that the user interface of Turnitin is very clear and easy to use. Teachers should be able to navigate Turnitin quickly and be able to set up their assignments with ease. Here are some screenshots of me setting up my final papers for my Digital Photography Class.

On this screen I’m creating the class and setting a password. Each class will get a class code and a password.

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If you would like students to enroll themselves in this class, they will need both the enrollment password you have chosen and the unique class ID generated by Turnitin.
The next step is to create the assignment.
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Teacher must click on optional setting to set grading and originality settings.
Teachers can chose how and what the program will look for when it generates its reports.
I keep the quoted materials checked so I can  manually check them I also use the 5 word count setting because it is a better gage than the % setting. I also allow students to see the report so they can chose to submit the paper as is or revise the paper and submit the better copy. This program will take many different formats including pdfs. It will not take pages so students with mac must convert their papers to another format before submission.
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Along with that originality checker there is a grademark feature that will highlight all grammer and spelling errors. for example heres a paper that was submitted early. ( I asked the students permission to post this)
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For those of you that have to grade many papers this program is a huge time saver and a power tool in the teachers utility belt. Another teacher in my building allows numerous revisions as a way of teaching grammer. She said the students are very responsive to this because they can see their errors and look up what they did wrong.
The only con that is can find with this program is it is unable to identify sources such as textbooks and older texts that are not published electronically.
So try Turnitin and save yourselves much needed time and use it to teach.


My school just had a Teacher institute day and our principle used padlet during his session. We were having a discussions about test scores and  other important data. Padlet made it very easy to become engaged and informed at the same time. I have not used this in my classroom but some of my colleagues have and love it. One of our history teachers requires a Padlet page for his group projects. Each student must contribute to the page as evidence of group collaboration. He chose to add this because he needed gradable proof of collaboration amongst group members. The school where I teach just mandated that every teach must be able to deliver content electronically to students on weather or emergency related school closings days. Padlet is the perfect tool for that job because of all of its great features.

Here is a screen shot of a an empty padlet that took me less than 1o minutes to setup.

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This program is very easy to use for both teachers and students. The user interface is intuitive further enhancing it`s ease use use. These padlet`s are fully customizable which is great for kids to get them fully engaged.

padlet also has privacy controls that help safeguard students and keep out unwanted posts. I have included a screenshot of the privacy setup page to show all of the setting that are available.

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There are numerous activities that work very well with padlet.

1)Bell ringer activities — You can prompt students to summarize what they remember from the previous day’s lesson.

2)Webquests. – Webquests are great for student engagement and Padlet is a wonderful launching pad.

3) Homework posting- Padlet is a great place to post class assignments and see past assignments.

4)Syllabus and Rubrics- Again padlet is a great fun place to place syllabus`s and rubrics for assignments.

5) Exit Tickets

6)Class binder or portfolio-I read that some teachers require student create their own padlet and post it`s link on teachers padlet. Students then post all homework and documents. You can post everything in PDF form. You can also post videos,powerpoint,prezi`s and many other formats. ( no more excuses).

Other great feature of Padlet id the ease in which teachers or students can embed your walls in a blog, wiki or website.

Like This:


A final feature that is important to anyone that is a little less tech literate is the available  help functions. These are all right at your finger tips.

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Get help button

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Internet Addiction

What is internet addiction? After reading this article

Amid Internet Addiction Fears, ‘Balanced’ Tech Diet for Teens Recommended

I began researching internet addiction and gaming addiction. With school aged kids (two in high school one in college) this topic has come up a few time in the last few years. My youngest who is finishing his freshman year in high school is the one I worry about the most. His school began BYOD this year and he is required to have his iPad for every class. He never puts it down and gets angry when we take it away. In my experience I believe that schools are all in an “arms race” with technology not solely for its education merits but as a marketing tool or recruitment pitch. Most of the schools around me have put the horse in front of the cart and have not adequately upgraded their infrastructure before rolling out their tech programs. So what does that have to do with internet addiction? I believe that just like their infrastructure they have not fully prepared for the potential fallout from Internet Addiction. Do schools have people in place to identify students who may have a problem. Do teachers or administrators know how to spot a potential addict?
“The Internet polling site SodaHead.com this month asked their visitors this question: Are you addicted to the Internet? The poll finds that 61% of respondents said in fact they are addicted to the Internet, while the other 39% said they could quit if they wanted to. Women experience addiction more than men, with 64% of women compared with 55% of men reporting the symptoms of addiction. Interestingly, respondents addicted to other behaviors were less likely to be addicted to the Internet. Only 48% of smokers, compared with 65% of non-smokers, experience addiction. The margin between drinkers and non-drinkers was narrower, with 57% of drinkers and 64% of non-drinkers describing themselves as Internet addicts. Among respondents who felt addicted, teenagers between 13 and 17 were worst off, with 73% reporting addiction”
The Education Week article goes on to say that we as parents and teacher need to create a unpluged zone or time so children and student are able to communicate the old fashion way. Teachers need to balance their technology and use it as a tool not a crutch. I think its important for teacher to be able to recognize if a student shows signs of potential addiction. The following are some more resources to help.
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Here are some more resources on the subject that identify some of the signs.


Front page

Hi this weeks post is on a new product that I found called DigiExam.

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I sounds too good to be true how can you make cheat proof exams. This company started in Sweden and has since expanded worldwide. Sweden has been a leader in educational advancements for the last 10 years. Here are some more facts.

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DigiExam is a teachers dream find. Teachers can spend much less time creating and grading exams. The exams they make are cheat-proof which I find amazing and can be taken on or offline.Exams can be created collaboratively with an entire department making a much more consistent model. There is an exam library that every teacher can create, save and share exams. The exams can be graded anonymously, taking away any teacher bias or prejudice. Plus everything the teacher needs is right at his or her fingertips with user friendly software.

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Environmentally DigiExam can save on physical printer usage and paper consumption. There will be money saved on expensive ink and copier repair bills. Districts can also save money by not having to invest in hardware that is outdated almost immediately.

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Students can benefit from DigiExams as well.They can use their own device, one they are comfortable with. Students can also edit and delete their written text faster and more efficiently.Most student now a days can type faster and neater than they can hand write an exam. I have terrible hand writing and so does many of my students.

Here is the Q & A page:

Q & A

Here is a list of prominent schools that use DigiExam.

The Hewitt School is a private K-12 school for girls and young women in New York City.

Dwight School

The Browning School a college preparatory school for boys

Birch Wathen Lenox is a New York City college preparatory K-12 school

“The Viktor Rydberg Schools Foundation has three upper secondary schools and two secondary school in the Stockholm area. The three upper secondary schools are bilingual and about a third of the tuition is given in English by native speakers.”





This weeks blog is on TED-ED. http://ed.ted.com/


What is TED-Ed? TED-Ed is TED`s youth and education initiative. TED-Ed is designed to help students and educators create and share interesting and engaging content. There is an extensive library of both professionally created lessons and user created lessons. There is also TED-Ed originals,which are ” are our signature content: short, award-winning animated videos about ideas that spark the curiosity of learners everywhere”. These Originals are collaborative efforts from TED speakers, TED Fellows and experts in many fields from animations to space exploration. The Originals have questions a resources attached so educational professionals can use them in their class rooms.

Creating these lessons is very easy and can be save and used over and over. These lessons are very affective in a flipped classroom set up. Heres a screenshot of the set up page

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Here is a Original. You can chose filter these by

How art can help you analyze

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As you can see it provides great prompt (Think) which then goes to a quiz type feature.The quizzes ask higher level thinking questions that get students more engaged. They are a good summative assessment.

(Dig Deeper) then loads resources.

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Dig deeper allows the students further their learning with great resources and links. Many of these are TED talks on the exact subject or linked subjects.

These is a great discussion section as well. I think that requiring students to participate in these discussions is great.

Discussion link

So overall I think that TED-Ed is a great weapon in the arsenal any any teacher. I mentioned the flipped classroom before TED-Ed is a wonderful and user friendly tool. Multilayered collaboration is worldly and expands the students and teachers view of the world.