The Instagrok iPad App is Here

instaGrok has just released a free iPad app. The app combines the functionality of the web based version with interactivity to support learning on the touch screen. 

instaGrok is an intelligent visual search engine and interactive learning tool that collects content and displays it in the form of a cloud of related words. The tool is very appealing because it offers a variety of multimedia features to meet the unique learning needs of students. 

Students use the the visual mode to collect content, then they use the integrated journal to sort through collected content and take notes. Click on the push pin to add content to the journal then add original thoughts and ideas as notes. The journal can be emailed or printed for convenience.

instaGrok Integration with EasyBib 

The last time I shared instaGrok through this blog I included a wish list. On that wish list was a suggestion to integrate the tool with EasyBib. I am very excited to announce that the teams have worked together to build information literacy and digital citizenship into the instaGrok interactive learning process.
  • instaGrok collects sources pinned to the concept map.
  • The web based version exports sources with one click and imports them to EasyBib for creating citations. 
  • The iPad App launches a screen requiring students to evaluate the credibility of the source.

Final Thoughts

Students with 1:1 iPads will most likely find this app extremely useful as they dig deeper into content through research and improve their ability to express learning through writing. 

Download the instaGrok app from the iTunes Store.

ICE Wednesday Webinar – Teaching Above the Line

Join me and ICE as we explore 

Teaching Above the Line:

Using the SAMR Model for Tech Integration

Are you looking for ways to leverage the power of technology to maximize student learning? Researchers have determined that technology integration typically moves through four specific levels: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition (SAMR) The higher the level of an activity the greater the educational benefit. 

This webinar will show how to use the SAMR model of technology integration as a guide for planning and implementing classroom learning experiences that take student learning to higher levels. Join us as we look at some traditional learning tasks, align them to the Common Core Standards, and walk them up the line to show how to transform your teaching and “Teach Above the Line.”

This live, online event will be held Wednesday, January 22, 2014, from 5:30-6:30 pm. FREE for ICE members, but you must register to receive link and instructions to access session online.


3 Ways to Collect and Curate Genius Hour Content

Genius Hour in the classroom is a movement that allows students to spend 20% of their time exploring and developing their passions, as long as the learning is driven by research and productive. Genius Hour provides educators with an opportunity to engage students in real world learning experiences and encourages them to invest in their own learning The potential for student growth and well-rounded development is abundant. Teachers serve best as facilitators of learning within the Genius Hour environment, guiding them and taking advantage of the teachable moments to encourage them to work harder and dig deeper to develop their ideas.


Webinar: Create Interactive Graphics for Teaching & Learning

Are you looking for a free and user friendly digital tool to help you create engaging, student-centered learning experiences to meet the diverse learning needs of the students in your classroom? In this webinar,we will explore ThingLink, a digital tool that provides users with the ability to turn any image into a multimedia rich interactive graphic. Add video, images, audio, and links to any content on the Web with the click of a button. This amazing tool allows users to pack a lot of content into a small space. 


Join me and Simple K12 as we explore inspiring examples and easy-to-follow instructions to help you add ThingLink to your digital toolkit of resources.

Thursday, Jan. 16th @ 4:00 PM EST

Webinar 1/14: Improve Writing Skills with Google Docs

Would you like to improve your students’ writing skills and help them bridge the gap between writing in school and writing in the real world? Learn how to leverage the power of Google Docs to help students write better and more frequently than with pencil and paper. 

Join me and Infinitec as we explore ways to thoughtfully incorporate digital writing into the curriculum by utilizing the latest Google Docs features and writing supports. 

Hot Topics to Explore 

  • Built-in research tool
  • Integrated writing tools
  • Opportunities to include digital citizenship
  • Differentiation through classroom management

Explore Interactive Graphic


Tuesday, January 14, 2014 4:00 PM CST

Learn More and Sign Up

Crowdsourcing Genius Hour

My first post of the new year was published on, Embrace Change in the New Year with Genius Hour.  I am collecting ideas from experts and enthusiasts in my PLN about the idea of Genius Hour. Please explore this interactive graphic to learn more and consider contributing your ideas to the Padlet.


Create Custom ThingLink Icon Sets in a Couple of Clicks

ThingLink icon sets are useful, visually appealing, and easy to create in a couple of clicks! I’ve been having fun during winter break engaging in constructive play and exploring creative ways to use them.

I have uploaded 25 icon sets and used them to create an interactive professional development calendar and a set of social media buttons. I’m also working on an interactive map. 

I believe the ability to create and upload custom icon sets is a major improvement for ThingLink and I’m very excited about this new feature!

Explore my Social Media Icon Set

Learn How to Create Multimedia Graphics with ThingLink

Webinar, sponsored by Simple K-12
January 16th @ 4:00 PM EST

Explore this interactive calendar to learn more.