Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category – Reports and Worksheets made Fun!

February 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Go beyond a simple book report or worksheet and challenge students to make a trading card with TradingCardMaker! TradingCardMaker ( can be used to create simple yet highly customizable trading cards. As an added bonus, you can challenge students to create an image in MS Paint and then have them insert it into the card.

Students would be challenged to be concise in their descriptions and detail, which can help you quickly judge if the student understand the assigned material.


ReadWriteThink – Combining Tech & Paper

February 8, 2014 Leave a comment


According to Georgia Tech 105 AD is the year most people say paper was invented, but it may have been around as much as 200 years before that! So in honor of paper, lets look at a website that has awesome student interactives just asking to be printed.

ReadWriteThink ( has student interactives that can be used for any subject and grade level. Students could create crossword puzzles, K-W-Ls, story cubes, flip books (my favorite), and more! To give you a jumping off point, please view the link below to a series of projects any student and teacher would love:

Please note that I used the OneTab Chrome Extension to share these wonderful links with you. Also, be sure to explore the entire ReadWriteThink website; not only do they have these great projects, but also the lesson plans to go with them!

Lucid Chart

February 7, 2014 Leave a comment

A Haiku to Lucid Chart, By Justin Cowen

Organize Words
Organize Thoughts and Pictures
Lucid Chart is Best

Now that I have amazed you with my literary abilities, prepare to be amazed by Lucid Chart ( This website can be used to create simple, yet efficient graphic organizers and brainstorming sessions. It can also integrated with your schools Google Apps, meaning that students can log into the website with their Google Apps accounts. They can also share and collaborate together using Google Drive! Please check out the example below and/or some of the great tutorials on its use.


LucidChart Overview: 
Creating & Editing a LucidChart:
Sharing with LucidChart:

Class Dojo

February 5, 2014 Leave a comment


Did you know that according to the #1 New Years Resolution this year was to lose weight? Did you also know that only 8% of people claim being successful with their resolutions? Well, to help you accomplish your resolutions, I prepped the dojo for you…the Class Dojo that is.

Class Dojo is a awesome free website to record student behavior, participation, group work, and more online. To help you understand the website, I created a short introduction to it:

If you need a personal trainer in the Dojo though, here are some more resources to help explain it:

*Class Dojo – Digital Classroom Management:
*What Works in Tech Tools: Spotlight on ClassDojo:
*Class Dojo:
*And for you Pinterest fans –

The Cold have you Down?

January 28, 2014 Leave a comment

The Cold have you Down?

Has the cold weather started affecting your mood? Do you need something creative and fun to do in your classroom? Well, look no further then! You can have students create movie posters pertaining to any subject or material! Just check out the attached example, who knew that Lewis & Clark could be so exciting?

You can challenge students to create a poster that not only looks good, but also helps others gain knowledge on the material. This project could even make René Déscartes even cooler! I know, I know, how could René Déscartes get any cooler then he already is.

Leaving a Digital Footprint

The article below was featured in the Florence Mining News (Vol. 131-No. 26) and the Iron Mountain Daily News (July 9, 2012).


Leaving a Digital Footprint
By Justin Cowen, IT Technician
School District of Florence County

Walking through one of the local forests gives many the opportunity to see various footprints left by previous passerby. It can often be easy to track a deer moving through the forest or to find the swaggering path of a porcupine. For some, the ability to track these prints is the difference between telling the story of the one that got away and a freezer full of venison.

During this past year, the employees of the School District of Florence County have worked hard to establish their digital footprint. The school started a social-media presence on Facebook ( and Twitter (@florenceschools). Through this digital footprint, the school was able to share updates, events, and pictures faster and to more people than ever before.

The school district team has decided to leave its biggest print yet by re-launching its website on July 9. The school’s new homepage can be found on The process of getting this new website off the ground started back in February of 2012 when the School Board approved the updating of the website. Since that board meeting, a Webpage Advisory Group has been formed in the district, and students helped chose a new name for the district’s webpage. The new name,, helps showcase the idea that education goes beyond the walls of the classroom and that students truly play the most important part in their education.

The new website will allow the district to help create a unified and aesthetically-pleasing look across all the website pages. Staff members will be able to get announcements and resources out faster and in greater frequency to everyone in the area. Using the new website, teachers will also be able to strengthen their own digital footprints. Florence County School staff will be able to create their own websites to share their classrooms with students, parents, and the community.

If you travel to the district’s old homepages any time after July 9, you will be redirected to the new website. The school district team is excited about the opportunity to expand further its footprint this year and to use that footprint to strengthen and to improve student learning.

Linoit – 3 Minute Tech

April 20, 2012 Leave a comment

In today’s 3 Minute Tech I discuss Linoit, which is one of my all time favorite websites! It allows easy and simple classroom collaboration and feedback. It can be used by students without requiring them to register, which can be a plus for those elementary teachers. It is basically a corkboard where yourself or students can post ideas, pictures, videos, links, and more. The ‘canvasses’ can then be shared via a url or embedded into a website. I have also done two previous blog entries about using Linoit, Using Linoit for Class Discussion, and Zoo via Minecraft.

Linoit – 3 Minute Tech

Categories: Uncategorized

Getting Cloudy

April 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Below is a copy of a recent artice I wrote titled, “Getting Cloudy.” This article was printed in the Florence Mining News on April 11, 2012. It is discussing how technology is having a big impact on both students and teachers at the Florence County School District.

If you were to walk through the classrooms in the high school and middle school you would find it to be “cloudy.” Of course there isn’t a fog settling in the rooms, but we are talking about the tech buzz term known as “Cloud Computing.” Cloud Computing allows students and staff to access their programs and files no matter where they are or what type of computer/smartphone they are using. This past summer the school district implemented a cloud computing program referred to as the FSD Cloud. Students and staff are able to log in to this single website and gain access to their files, grades, email, calendar, and more!

Students have been able to access this cloud by using netbooks provided by the school district, through the 1:1 initiative. Another buzz term, 1:1 means every student, in grades 7-12, have access to a netbook for classroom use. This puts students in a position where they can take direct control of their education and teachers in a position where their lessons can be interactive and student driven. In a recent survey a student stated, “(the netbooks) help make understanding in classes better and helps people focus on what’s being taught, and just makes classes better.” Also, the 1:1 initiative has allowed teachers and students to access material and information that otherwise would have been inaccessible. Students are now able to access up-to-date information on the fly and staff are able to provide students with relevant meaningful material.


It is truly the interaction of these two programs that have made a big impact on the school district. In the words of a teacher, the FSD Cloud and the 1:1 initiative “Expands lesson possibilities and can make learning more engaging and motivating.” These programs also prepare students for a world that has technology integrated into everyday life. The school district looks forward to further expanding these programs with the use of Google Apps (a cloud based productivity suite), our new interactive website (currently in development), and further training in Web2.0 websites for all staff and students!

Orginally publication:
Getting Cloudy, Florence Mining News, 4-11-12.

Categories: Uncategorized

Get More Out of Google Inforgraphic

April 11, 2012 Leave a comment

I am a sucker for neat infographics and couldn’t help but share this one, This infographic gives some awesome tips on better ways to find information using Google.

Hopefully you find a useful nugget of learning 🙂

Looking for some other awesome infographics? Check out the handy links below:

Categories: Uncategorized

My First Newspaper Article

March 28, 2012 Leave a comment

On March 28, 2012, my article titled “Teaching the Teacher” was featured in the Florence Mining News!


Categories: Uncategorized