MS Sway in Action

Are you a Sway Master?  Do you want to become one? Those are the question the MS English team proposed to me earlier this year which prompted me to start exploring this tool.

Microsoft Sway is a tool that lets you create interactive reports, digital stories, newsletters, presentations, and more. Sway is part of the office suite and you can find it with your other office apps.  You may have accidentally clicked on it as it shares a resemblance to SharePoint.

Things that I like about Sway are:

  • Ease of use - you can quickly insert text, headings, images, audio, and video in your "Storyline"

  • Design - you can choose from their designs or customize your own


G8 students finished writing their realistic fiction stories and invited me to visit their classes to demo Sway. In advance, we sat down to talk about their expectations and criteria.  They also gave me an example story that I used to create the exemplar (see links below).  Since students had already completed their stories, all they needed to do was put it together in Sway.  I created this infographic to guide them in building their digital stories. They also worked with Mr. Manley in the Audio Hive to record themselves reading their original stories.  What a great way to build reading fluency.  Some students even created their own illustrations – very impressive!

Students in Design Technology I & II were wrapping up their second unit and looking for another option to present their work.  Sway was an easy tool for them to show evidence of the design thinking process and share their projects.

Book a time to meet, send me a Teams message, or stop in for a chat if you would like to learn more about how Sway could be used in your classroom.

Check out some examples below – once you click the link to the Sway, you may need to click Play in the top right-hand corner to view the presentation.




G8 Digital Story (Realistic Fiction) – Teacher Exemplar

G8 Color Blind


G8-The Hospital


Design Thinking Summative II – Teacher Exemplar

Design Thinking Summave II – student example


Stop Motion Annimation #InnoPUBPD

Teachers and staff gathered in the NCPA InnoHub for the first official #InnoPUBPD event of the year to learn about stop motion animation.

For this workshop we followed the framework:  Follow, Make, Tinker, Share

Follow, Make, Tinker, Share was created by William Rankin and Bea Leiderman of Unfold Learning.  This framework is often used in conjunction with project-based learning which is the core of the makerspace.  Jordan and I attended an EARCOS Weekend Workshop in the spring of 2021 led by the creators.  We adapted our stop motion PD to follow this framework.  Check out the slides below to learn more.  


Teachers worked in three teams.  Here is what they created in 15 minutes based on the agreed criteria.  Enjoy!


InnoHub Safety Training and Upcoming Events

InnoHub Safety Training – September 24, 2021

Seventeen teachers and staff completed the InnoHub Safety Training and Best Practices workshop last Friday.  After completing the training, which involved practical tasks at 6 stations, they joined in a Kahoot to test their knowledge.  They also received a badge (designed by Jordan Wambeke and made on our vinyl cutter) for their ID cards.  This indicates they have completed the training and they may book the InnoHub (subject to availability) any block of the day.

The stations included:

  • First Aid & Emergency Procedures
  • Box Cutter Safety
  • Ring Light Procedures
  • Hand Tools & Materials
  • Scroll Saw Safety
  • Clean up & Lock up Procedures

Teachers Shared

Liza Fagan and Greg Elsen also shared their experiences on bringing classes to the InnoHub last year.  Liza’s Chemistry students designed molecules, made models, and answered questions about the process.  Greg shared his experiences with AP Human Geography classes.  His students worked in small groups to bring an agriculture model to life through stop motion animation.


Basic InnoHub information


Upcoming Events in October

October 16 – ACAMIS Tech Conference Watch Party  RSVP HERE

October 22 – #InnoPubPD – Stop Motion Animation

Virtual School EdTech Briefing – June 16, 2021

Last VS EdTech Briefing of the Year!  

In this episode, we share tech tools for you!

  1.  Liz Shuler directs us to the NCPA Virtual Wellness Room – a resource-rich site that has everything from relaxing music, links to yoga videos, mindfulness exercises and much much more.
  2. Pat Hughes recommends apps related to fitness and lifehacking.

Watch it below or check it out on Stream HERE


We also ended with some Mentimeter questions – see the results below.

Virtual School EdTech Briefing – June 9, 2021

Today’s session covered:

  • Text Engineering with Mats Haaland
  • with Grace Ridnour

Watch Recording below or HERE

( I missed the first minute – but you can catch the Agenda and Check-in in the slides below)


Virtual School EdTech Briefing – June 3, 2021

This morning we ran the session twice.  Here is a brief look at the lineup.

  1. Check-in with Lisa
  2. Canva for Reflection and Collaboration with Steven Groene
  3. Revisit Tech Tools Inventory with Elizabeth Cooper

Watch the whole show below or HERE

Or check out the slides below

Link to Padlet HERE

Virtual School Readiness

May 31, 2021 Virtual School EdTech Prep

Today I covered the essentials for:


Today I covered the essentials for:

  • Using Tencent Meeting
  • Using Calendly to schedule office hours
  • How to create and share links for office hours and virtual classes.





Teams Notifications & More

Are you getting too many notifications?

Not enough?

Do you feel like you are missing information?


Sometimes our preferences change.  At the beginning of the year, you probably visited your settings in Teams with one desire in mind.  Now that you have a handle on Teams, let’s take a look to see if the settings still fit your needs.

Take two minutes today to revisit Teams settings.  

  •  Start by opening MS Teams.  Click your profile picture in the top right-hand corner to find the settings.

  •   In the “Notifications” panel, check each category
    • Email – do you need email notifications when something is posted in Teams?  If you have a good handle on Teams, I recommend “Daily” or “Off”.
    • Appearance and sound – do you want the desk-top pop-up with the option to reply?  what about the sound?  I realized that if I was in a meeting, or working on a project the sound was a distraction for me.
    • Teams and channels – go through each option (chat, meetings, people, and other) and edit your personal preferences.
      • Banner – means you will receive a larger notification in the corner of your screen
      • Feed – means messages will appear in your activity feed (unread ones will be bolded)
      • You will also note that a channel will appear bolded if there is new activity.  


More Tips in Teams

Have you ever received a chat message at the same time class begins, someone walks into your office, or while you were in a meeting… and then you forgot to follow up?!  Don’t worry, you are not the only one.  Here are a couple of things to try that may cut down on that happening.

  • Pin Chats (and channels!)– if you click the three dots to the right of any individual chat, a menu will appear, like in the image below.  Select pin chat.  All pinned chats will appear at the top of all chats.  This is very helpful so that important chat groups do not get buried!  If the chat was specific to a time range, you can unpin when it’s no longer relevant.  I have the “Staff General” and “Staff Bulletin” channels pinned in Teams.


  • Mark as unread – within any chat, you can hover your mouse over the place in the conversation you would like to mark as unread.  The chat will then reappear bolded in your chat feed so you can refer to it later.

  • Save this message – in the same place as mark as unread, you have the option to “Save this message”, it has a bookmark symbol to the left of it.  The only problem with this one is that you will then have to remember to access your saved messages.

ALSO, you can type “/” in the Teams search bar to see a list of commands


For more information on MS Teams check out this article from Ditch That Textbook – How to Manage MS Teams Like a PRO

InnoHub Feb/March Happenings

The InnoHub was as busy as ever last month.  We hit the ground running immediately after Chinese New Year with Liza, Rachel, and Adam’s chemistry classes.  They designed a theoretical molecule that doesn’t currently exist and used recycled materials to build a 3D model of their molecules.  The students finished the project by presenting their molecules to staff and fellow students.

Middle School

Elizabeth and Ann’s STEM 7 class visited the InnoHub to examine a dissected laptop and compare the contents to the parts of a cell.  The students then dissected some small wind-up toys and drew their own comparison diagrams.



Fernanda brought her 8th grade art class to the InnoHub to carve linocut printing blocks and film video tutorials of their process. The videos are on their class Seesaw account and they are awesome!  Here are a couple for your viewing pleasure.


There’s More!

Through most of the month Katrina and her drama crew have been in and out in the afternoons and evenings painting and building set pieces for the upcoming Spring musical, Ranked.
Jordan and Lisa brought their Advisory classes to the InnoHub to have their students create personal logos and turn them into MacBook decals on our new vinyl cutter.  If you would like to learn more about the vinyl cutter, we will introduce this tool at our next #InnoPubPD on May 7th.
Greg brought his AP Human Geography class back to the InnoHub for a third time, this time to create 3D models illustrating different urban planning systems from around the world.


Did you know that the first-ever NCPA Wood Shop Club finished its inaugural trimester?  It was so popular with students we had to add a second section in T3 to meet the demand!  The InnoHub is utilized for ASA’s every day.


And to cap off the month, Jordan and Lisa organized two staff PD’s.  The first was an introduction to Design Thinking, with special guest Yosef, and the second was a crash course in basic woodshop safety and techniques.


As always, thank you to all the teachers who visited and utilized the InnoHub and we look forward to another month packed with new classes and activities!  Don’t forget to contact Jordan Wambeke if you want to schedule time for your class in the InnoHub or want some help integrating the InnoHub into your curriculum!

InnoHub January Happenings – January 2021

Numerous projects, visions, and plans came to life in the short period between winter break and the new year holiday.

Here are some of the highlights:

NHS students designed and built signs for their New Year’s Carnival, with a little help from the Wood Shop ASA.
The Elsen’s, always big supporters of the InnoHub, both brought classes to the InnoHub.  Katrina Elsen brought her Drama II class to do some costume and set design for the upcoming musical, Ranked.
Greg Elsen brought his AP Human Geo class to film stop motion animations of agricultural practices from around the globe.
Nina Jiang and Chris Cheronis brought their Chinese 12 and Pre-Calc AB classes to the InnoHub to make some gifts for CNY.  Students had a choice of making either keychains or LED red packets.
Last month was the busiest month the InnoHub has had this school year, and next month is looking even busier!  Can’t wait to see even more of you utilizing our makerspace!