Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekly Byte 11.13.09

Another busy week in technology!
On Thursday Frank Muto, Kristin Giron and I attended the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference ( Cranberry. Keynote speaker Hall Davidson delivered an engaging opening session with a focus on moving from hard copy books to digital copies and the impact of using video to better engage today's learner. Excellent!
If you want to see or learn about some of the resources we gathered from this conference send me an email and I will get it to you.

Teacher Highlights
This week I had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Leopold's English class using Pixton to create comic strips for the Odyssey. Cool stuff! Her students will be using Pixton on Monday and Tuesday periods 3 and 4, stop by and check it out!

Website of the Week, an amazing presentation tool! Check this out! It will make you rethink using PowerPoint in your classrooms.

Blackberry Tip of the Week
Download the player to your Blackberry and you can then listen to audiobooks! Many free audiobooks and many that you have to pay for. I downloaded Hot, Flat and Crowded, the latest book from Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat. I also downloaded Tribe, interesting book about the power of groups of people.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Weekly Byte 11.05.09

Good day!
Sorry for the Weekly Byte becoming the Monthly Byte, busy few weeks. But that is good. Obvisouly my services are becoming more important! Well what have I been doing the last few weeks? I have been working with the Learning Support Department on using Google Calendar to manage their students classroom and home work. We have had some glitches but we are in the process of working that out.
The World Language Department, in particular Val and Jeff graciously invited me to their classrooms to share Glogster with their students. I had the chance to see some of Val's students present yesterday. Muy Bien!
Ms Giron and I spent the last two days entertaining administrators and board members in her classroom. They were invited to observe what Kristin's students have been doing with Literature Circles. Truly Awesome stuff! If you get a chance check out her class. Here is her Ning (
I have also be working with Ms. Metzgar on planning a Heroes of Murrysville Project for her Mythology Unit.

I have been planning a few training opportunities for the FR faculty.
- Professional Development November 6th 7:30-10:30 and 11:30-2:30
- Thinkfinity Training/Senior High November 16th, 2:30-3:30
- Thinkfinity Training/Middle School December 4th, 7:00-8:00
- Math Technology Colaboration Day/@Latrobe November 23rd, 9:00-2:00
- English Technology Collaboration Day/@Valley December 16th, 9:00-2:00
- 21st Century Teaching and Learning Institute/@Hershey December 7-10 (BWesterlund, CRoland, TBurns and my self)

Site of the Week
This wiki offers evaluation of numerous Web 2.0 tools. So if you hear about a tool or read about one somewhere come here and check out their evaluation of the tool before you use it. They give strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will help protect you and your students.
Create a short term chat room for use in class. This tool is easy to use and will allow you to create a chat room in minutes. Great tool for in class discussions. Engage all of your students with this tool.

As always if you have any educational technology needs please don't hesitate to ask.

thanks and have a great weekend!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekly Byte 10.9.09

Hello All,

Welcome back to the first installment of the Weekly Byte for 2009!

I have been working with many of the teachers here at the high school on a number of different projects.
- Ms Giron has been doing amazing things with Literature Circles in her English 12 class
- The Social Studies ladies (Ms Miller, Ms Scarazzo, Ms Pursglove, Ms Rutherford) are using Glogster to present their Conservative/Liberal Issues
-Induction teacher training focusing on student collaboration

Site of the Week
Google Docs, this is a great tool for student and teacher collaboration. This tool can be used to create documents, spreadsheets, surveys and presentations where multiple people can collaborate on the same file at the same time.

Technology Integration idea of the Week
Get students to collaborate online on projects using Google Docs! Students can co-author documents, spreadsheets, surveys and presentations for classes. Eliminate the need for emailing files or passing a jump drive around. Students cannot lose work and worry about one person not pulling their weight on projects.

Teacher Tool of the Week
This source gives teachers access to other teachers sharing resources and lesson ideas using Twitter!

Tuesdays with Roger will be returning soon!
Upcoming topics
Quizlet (online flash cards)
Moodle (provide students with 24/7 access to course materials and collaboration)
Google Docs (student collaboration)

thanks and have a great day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weekly Byte 7.29.09

I am working with some fantastic educators at the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit today. We are working with Google Docs, Google Sites, Wikis, and Blogs. I am wondering why none of the FR teachers signed up for my class......
Anyways enjoy your summer and see you in August.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekly Byte 5.4.09

Hello Franklin Regional!

It has been two weeks since the last Byte, sorry for you avid readers. This week we have a few trainings that FR teachers will be attending. On Tuesday we have a math teacher and a science teacher attending Promethean Board training at the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit. On Wednesday there will be two English teachers taking the same training. Awesome stuff at the WIU! If you ever get the chance or are interested in upcoming training please let me know.

FR has been a popular place lately. We have had visitors from Burrell, Apollo Ridge and East Allegheny the past few weeks. They are coming here to see the great things that our teachers are doing in the classrroom. Special thanks to the Math dept, the Business Technology Dept, and Kristin for their efforts in sharing with these other districts.

Jesse and I attended a workshop at PSU last week. The workshop focused on copyright and fair use. It presented some new facts that many of you are probably not aware of when it comes to using resources in education. More to come on this!
Sites from session:

Teacher Spotlight

Special kudos to Gaye Burkett and Kristin Giron for giving their students the opportunity to use Evernote as an electronic option to note cards for research. Kristin gave her students the option of using Evernote (online notes) or the traditional handwritten note cards. 84% of students chose the online version! This is a great tool for notes and gives students a viable option to handwritten notes.
Thanks Gaye and Kristin for giving your students this choice!

Site of the Week
Kitzu, this site provides a ton of photos for educators organized by subject.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekly Byte 4.17.09

We are 33 days from the end of the year. A couple things to remind you.

1. embedded learning coursework should be completed by July 31st
2. I know that many of you do final projects in your classes. If you would like some new ideas on how to improve the experience for you and your students please let me know and we can set a date that I can help you with freshening up your final projects.
3. I am available to work with anyone on new ideas for next year if you like to plan ahead. I would even be available this summer to meet and share any resources or ideas for the next school year

Site of the Week
This site provides a ton of resources on a variety of Literature, US History, and Poetry. You can search for different topics and the site provides you with summaries, themes, quotes, plot analysis, study questions, characters, and web sites about the topic you choose. There is even a Book Club page that provide opinions and discussions about various books. Great resource! thanks KAG

Story of the Week
I have a teacher, who shall remain nameless, that has recently caught the technology bug! She has been slowly adding Moodle discussions and the use of other online resources to her courses. It is great to see her new found excitement. She told me the other day that she had students ask her if they could use Quizlet to help them study for one of their upcoming exams and her student have been much more engaged in discussions thanks to her Moodle discussion boards.

Personal Site of the Week

I decided to add this new segment to my weekly byte.
You may have seen a tv commercial about this site. Hulu provides tons of free movies and television shows that you can view whenever you like. They include networks such as Fox Movie Channel, NBC Universal, National Geographic, the Sundance Channel and more. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weekly Byte 4.7.09

The end of the year is fast approaching!

We have completed our last late start for the year. Many CFF teachers have completed their coursework and to you I say thanks. Keep in mind that this coursework is due to be completed by July 31, 2009. If you are going to have an issue with completing your course by the deadline please let me know so that we can figure out a plan to meet the deadline. Thanks for all your hard work.

It is the time of year for final presentations and projects. If you would like help designing final projects or learning a new tool that your students can use to better demonstrate their knowledge please don't hesitate to ask me for help. We can sit down and work on this together.

Another thing to keep in mind, Jim will be reimaging the teacher laptops in May. I will be working with him on developing a schedule so that your classes are not interrupted by this necessary update to our computers. That being said it would be a good idea to start saving your files to the network H: drive and not your laptop. This will expediate the process and minimize loss of work. More on this to come.

Tidbit of the Week
In a recent email exchange with one of our colleagues I was commenting on how their class has changed this year and this is their response, "It has changed significantly this year. I'm trying to change the way I see education, especially as an English teacher. I used to be the "discuss, discuss, discuss" in class kind of teacher, but I have seen better results when I motivate them to think on their own through online discussions and nings and web tools. For me, that is the best thing about the technology. Compared to my class discussions last year, my online discussions are 10 times better because students can truly share their feelings about an issue. And the classmates are great at responding to each other's comments. I can't tell you how happy students are to learn new things or use the board. They love evernote!"

Site of the Week, this is a great tool that allows you to post PowerPoint presentations onto the web and allows other access. You can just upload an existing PowerPoint and make it available to your students.

As always let me know if you need help with anything, a quick technology session or just some help with a new idea.

Have a great Spring Break!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekly Byte 3.30.09

I had a chance to speak with some teachers about Twitter the other day. I was explaining to them what it was and the fact that I was currently trying to figure out how it could be used for education. One teacher made the statement, "I think that is a problem when people are always trying to figure out how to use new technologies for educational purposes." I didn't make a response because I am not good at quick responses but after thinking about it my response should have been this, every day there is something new in the world of technology. Our students use new technologies all the time for personal uses and some for educational uses. Part of my job as a Technology Coach is to find these resources for teachers and show them how they can make their classrooms more engaging, make their jobs easier and/or make their students educational experience better. So if you ever hear about a new technology and wonder how it can improve your class let me know and I will help you to figure out if it is a good tool and how we can improve you class with it.

Here are some ideas on how Twitter could help you.
Free Tech 4 Teachers

Wednesday we have our last late start to complete our embedded coursework. Please make sure that you can access your class prior to Wednesday morning so if there are any problems I can get them remedied. thanks

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekly Byte 3.23.09

Hello CFFers!

Top 10 Reasons Why using your Promethean Board is better than using your Overhead Projector

10. Can you connect to the internet through your Overhead Projector?
9. Streaming audio and video is difficult to do through your OP.
8. Aren't you tired of green fingers?
7. Keeping a folder full of plastic sheets is a nightmare.
6. Getting student feedback is alot easier on a Prom Board.
5. You can't save all of your work easily and in an editable format with overheads.
4. Flipcharts are engaging, engaging, engaging
3. You can't record an overhead and post it to your wiki, blog or Moodle page.
2. Tina likes technology!
1. You don't have to talk to Hursky!

Embedded Learning courses
April 1st is our last late start to work on your CFF courses. Please make sure that you can log in and your course is working this week so that I can deal with any problems.
Most of you are progressing nicely and many are finished for this year. The coursework needs to be completed by July 31st!
Thanks for all your hard work.

Tech Update
Activstudio, the software that you now use to create flipcharts has been upgraded! The new version is called Activinpire. We will probably look to upgrade next school year but Kristin has already downloaded it and begun to use it. Many new features and its easier to create interactive flipcharts. If you are interested in checking it out before next year let me know.

Check out for all things dealing with your Promethean boards. The site offers training, teacher tips and many teacher created flipcharts that you can download and use in your classes. This site will save you time and effort.

Thanks to everyone who responded to my Teacher Needs Assessment Survey. I will be using your feedback to better serve you.

The first person who emails me the term of the day, Cloud Computing, will receive a prize.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekly Byte 3.9.09

The Flip the Switch Event was a rousing success! On Friday February 27th, we had seventeen guests at the Senior High School. Representative Pallone, Representative Markosek, Dr. D'Arcangelo, Frank Muto, several board members, members of the press and technology staff members from the Greater Latrobe School District and the Penn Trafford School District got a chance to witness first hand how our teachers and students are integrating technology. Our teachers and students did a fabulous job demonstrating how we are changing instruction here at the high school. I want to thank everyone for their participation in this event.

Special thanks to Principal Burns, Kristin Giron, Dana Metzgar, Daniel Casebeer, Jeff Traphagen, Barb Koury, Pam Mayo, Mark Wolfgang, Dottie Grego, Lynne Stalnaker, Christa Smith, Beth Hitt, Doug Komandt, Cameron Loutit, Meagan Daldoss, Kaitlyn Green, Jeff Wicklund and his crew for their efforts.

Websites of the Week, have you ever had a website that you wanted to share with students or colleagues but it was extremely long and difficult to share? Tinyurl will allow you to copy a long url and have a short one created for you. This makes it easier to share., this site is a great tool for creating Jeopardy games for use in your classrooms. It is much easier to use than any Jeopardy templates that you may currently be using to create games for reviewing course information. Give it a try.

This week I will be continuing to visit English classrooms to see how I can help our English Department improve instruction.

Next Tuesday, March 17th I will be doing a Tuesdays with Roger session on using wikis in the classroom.

Thanks and have a great week!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weekly Byte 2.25.09

Embedded Learning Courses
Tuesday was our third late start for the embedded coursework. Everyone seems to be moving along at an appropriate pace. We will have one more late start date on April 1st. This will be the last day we have time during the school day. Remember that all coursework must be completed by July 31st.
There were very few problems this time. I attribute that to the teachers trying the courses before the late start day. That way I was able to solve all of the problems but one, sorry Missy.

English Technology Day at Valley High School
On Tuesday Kristin, Sam and I attended the English Tech Day with teachers and tech coaches from around Westmoreland County. It was an awesome event where teachers were able to share some great lessons that integrate technology. The teachers then had the opportunity to work with other districts to create lessons that integrate technology based on PA English Standards. There were some great lessons shared.
All of the resources shared can be found at
Check this site out it is awesome. Lots of lessons and feel free to post to a discussion board.
The other great resource that i thought was quality is
This is a great source for students and teachers to learn about all types of writing.

There will be days like this around Westmoreland County for Social Studies, Math and Science. Check back to this blog regularly for future dates.

Tuesdays with Roger
I will be starting the Tuesdays with Roger trainings again beginning in March. March topics will be announced next week.

thanks and have a great day!
Coach Roger

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weekly Byte 2.19.09

Here are the websites that I demoed at the last faculty meeting.

Tuesday Februray 24th we will have a late start. CFF teachers will be working on the embedded learning coursework. We will have one more last start on April 1st. Please log into your embedded learning account to make sure that your course is open and working. Please do this before Tuesday morning so that I can fix any problems before then.
Friday February 27th we will be holding a Flip the Switch event at the high school. Local politicians, school board members and central administration members have been invited to visit classrooms to witness first hand our us of technology. If you would like to have classroom visitors on this day please let me know asap and I will put you on the schedule.

I have been working with several teachers in the classroom with glogster, voicethread and toondoo. If you want help with these or any other tools in your classroom please just contact me to set up a time for me to help you.

New technology resources for your classroom
Google Docs is a powerful collaboration tool for you and your students. Google docs will allow you and your students to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. If you would like to see how you can use Google Docs to collaborate and improve student understanding and teamwork skills please let me know and we will set up a date and time to develop lessons for use in your classes.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Special Edition of the Weekly Byte 2.10.09

Hello again from lovely Hershey, PA!

Today's keynote speaker was Dan Pink. He is the author of several books most notably for educators would be A Whole New Mind. He gave an update of how society is changing and how we as educators should change how we teach and what we teach.
Notes from Dan Pink Session

I also attended a few sessions on Professional Development. I will be bringing many of the ideas back to FR to share in my Professional Development sessions.

New Tools to check out
Diigo, online bookmarking tool that allows you and your students to organize sites and share them.
Conference Notes and Discussions, this link will take you to the social network created for the conference. It provides tons of resources for all of the sessions this week. You only need to create a new account and you will have access to all the resources shared this week.
National Geographic Resources, this site provides quality videos and podcasts for your classroom.

Please take some time to check these resources out. Let me know if you need any help with any of them.
thanks and have a great day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Special Edition of the Weekly Byte 2.7.09

Things are rolling right along here at the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference in Hershey, PA.
My first session focused on digital media in the classroom. Jason Ohler shared his method of digital storytelling using voice, video and music. Quite impressive but a little involved for the novice techie. Jason Ohler Website

My second session was taught by the Technology Director and Assistant Super from New Hope-Solebury School District. The title was "Technology Staff Development that Works!" The session spoke to the importance of the relationship between technology and curriculum. This district has a serious tech focus and the Professional Development is planned around teaching with technology. I would like to see this focus brought to FR to improve our curriculums.
Technology Newsletter

My third session, Google Beyond the Search, covered the many tools available for FREE in the Google Suite. You can use Google to share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Google Earth can be used to build uber-interactive web quests. Gmail, google maps, google calendar, and google reader are just a few more of the tools covered. Hopefully you will be seeing more of this later.
Google Wiki

Feel free to Skype me (Skype name:coachroger)Tuesday or Wednesday if you would like to ask any questions about the sessions. I will be on all day Tuesday and til noon on Wednesday.
thanks and have a great day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Weekly Byte 2.3.09

Well after an awesome SuperBowl win by the number one team of all time, I am lucky enough to be at a two day training in Beaver. After braving the hour plus drive for two days I thought it would be good to give some feedback about what I learned at this training.

1. I was reminded how easy it is to create a mulitmedia presentation using Photo Story (this is loaded on the CFF COWS and teacher laptops.
2. What a great graphic organizer Inspiration is (on CFF laptops) and that you can access an online version of this program, Webspiration. Good tool to teach students how to organize thoughts.
3. is a great tool to post audio and video files to allow student access. (more on this later)

I will be attending the Pennsylvania State Technology Conference next week. Stay tuned for updates from the conference (Feb 7-11). Check my blog for daily updates. I will also be bringing back to FR alot of new resources and ideas to share with you.

Important Dates:
February 24, late start for embedded learning. (make sure that login to your account before this day to make sure that you don't have any issues. i would like to solve any problems before this day so you can get 3 hours of good work)

February 27, Flip the Switch event. There will be local politicians, central administration, school board members in the senior high school for the morning. I will be asking some of you to be feature teachers, we will schedule a period where you will be using technology in your lesson.

thanks and have a great week! (the first person who emails me the phrase "i cant believe its not butter" wins a prize

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Weekly Byte 1.14.09

Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had an enjoyable break. I know i needed it and I enjoyed the long break. But all good things come to an end eventually so now its back to work.
I have already had a busy month as more and more teachers need my assistance.
Dept Meetings
I attended the English Dept Meeting last week to inform them that Kristin and I will be working on developing resources for the entire dept. Teachers were asked to submit lessons/units etc to Kristin and we will work to bring them into the 21st Century.
This week i will be meeting with the Social Studies Dept to discuss my suggestions after i have observed the teachers from that department.
It is my plan to begin the English Department walkthroughs next week (Jan 19-23rd)
My Services
I am currently looking for one person per department to work with me on creating 21st century activities for their departments. Tina has approved one teacher from each dept to get one release day to begin building dept resources. Let me know if you are interested.
Please dont hesitate to get lessons/units/activities to me and i will help to update them with technology. I will even help you co-teach the course to help with the technology.
Site of the Week
Google Alerts, mentioned in the previous post, is a handy web research tool. If there is topic that you or your students frequently search for, consider creating a Google Alert for that topic. You can create a Google Alert using any combination of search terms. Each time new content matching those search terms is indexed, the content or link (depending on your selection), is delivered to your choice of email or RSS reader.

Awesome stuff!
The first person to email me the passcode "Wookelar" will win a prize!