Thursday, November 08, 2007

TRETC Session 3 - netTrekker DI and other web resources

I'm not above a bit of shameless self-promotion, so I will review the third session of the day that I attended, which just happened to be one that I did. After having experienced a similar session at the Classrooms for the Future Coach Boot Camp in September, I wanted to co-present virtually. Dawn Crawford, Customer Relationship Specialist for netTrekker, was the virtual co-presenter and mastermind behind the presentation.
I had a nice-sized group in a PC lab that was able to follow along with what Dawn and I were searching for/manipulating the results of search results for in netTrekker. When Dawn spoke, she had control of the microphone, whiteboard, etc in an Elluminate vRoom I had signed up for only a week or two prior. (If you'd like your own vRoom from Elluminate, start here).
I liked that Dawn and I had to collaborate and cooperate via a virtual classroom space like Elluminate; I liked that the participants were working on a lot of different levels at the same time: attending to the presentation content, attending to one presenter in the room and one that was not, and attending to the results they got through this robust academic search engine.
I definitely want to do this again, at other conferences, and even during professional development sessions at the AIU or in the districts. It is efficient, a time- and money-saver for the other presenter, and I think it provides an additional level of engagement for the participants.
Among one of the ideas we gave to the group was the inclusion of a hyperlink to a "Shared Folder" within a teachers "Saved Searches" on their account, which gets embedded into a placemark on Google Earth. For more on why that can be helpful to a student and a teacher, you'll have to comment.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

TRETC Session 2 - The Power of an Image

Stevie Kline, my colleague from IU1, showed us that a picture really is worth a thousand words, and maybe more. Images can convey a lot of meaning quickly, and we can infer a lot from cues within the image.

Simple exercises with a single image helped us realize how much learning/information can be derived. A single image can be a great jumping off point for a multitude of topics.
The tie-in with the references to Pink's book and its emphasis on using our inherent creativity are evident.

TRETC Session 1 - Digital Storytelling

It's safe to say that the theme for today is using the tools to allow students to express themselves in ways beyond standard assignments: written or oral. Peter Scott, who works for Harcourt Connected Learning, did a nice job of showing how digital storytelling can:
  • engage students
  • be cross-curricular
  • encourage writing
  • provide an outlet for student creativity
A timely question emerged: what are the implications of using images in the digital stories if they are posted online? (teachers need to familiarize themselves with the multimedia fair use guidelines) short answer: don't do it if you don't have permission to use the images - longer answer is that there are plenty of sites where teachers can find copyright-cleared images that are great and present no worries!

TRETC Keynote - ESL with Lance Rougeux

Lance Rougeux from Discovery Educator Network delivered the keynote, having us consider our "ESL" students - our kids who speak txt lingo. He provided a translation site, so that we can convert the language we use to a language that kids use more frequently. Emoticons are the new "Rorshach" test. These collections of punctuation marks, letters, and other keyboard strokes have meaning for the group that assigns meaning to it.
He also told us that learning the second language is mandatory. The icing on the cake was his IEP he had developed for us to follow - great resources as starting points for learning the language - walking a mile in their shoes, so to speak.
New to me: Moonk (similar to Animoto, other sites) - a tool that allows posting of images, video, and audio and automatically converts them to Flash format.
Link to Lance's take on the session (Boy, he's fast!)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Pre-conversation at TRETC Pre-Conference

I just finished a powerful conversation with a group of great educators at the pre-conference session for TRETC. Ostensibly, my session was titled "Blogs and Wikis," but after finding out that most folks were at level 1 on a scale of 5, I shifted back to starting off with, which remains one of my favorite tools, and seems to be an easy entry point into Web 2.0 and social networking.
I also realized that even in a two-hour block, it is very easy to overwhelm people who are new to these tools. Part of that is because of the inherent value of these tools: their interconnectedness. Becauseone tool truly leads to another, it is very tempting to jump down the rabbit hole and get lost in Wonderland. Yet, people need to see how these tools begin to feed into and off of one another. Creating bookmarks that can then be fed to your blog, and then adding audio content (often known as podcasts) to your blog, and then peeling parts of that content off and attaching it to a get the idea.
Ultimately, I tried to emphasize two things: find what is useful to you, and begin the conversation within your classroom and with the world.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

When the power of love...

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. listen

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Verizon is offering...

Verizon is offering in limited areas 20-20 service, 20 meg download and 20 meg upload, interesting level of service for home users, thus every home becomes an ISP. listen

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Justifying ed-tech ivestments

CoSN: The Consortium for School Networking
CoSN: The Consortium for School Networking
eSchoolNews recorded presentations at the 2006 CoSN Conference, and one of them centered on a hot topic for all of us: justifying ed-tech investments. While I think sometimes technology is purchased before an application is selected, for the most part, schools are doing their best to keep up with technology, both in selection and software. View the video segment titled "Rich Kaestner: Justifying Ed-Tech Investments"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Inspiring children with the Myst game series

This fellow is amazing - he uses the MYST game with kids to motivate them to write.  I have never palyed the game, but I understand there is a lot of "geography" that is not covered in the gameInspiring children with the Myst game series - KC
If you are sufficiently motivated you can achieve ANYTHING! Tim, a Primary school teacher for over 20 years has always maintained that in order to gain experience you need to do it. In order to do it you need to want to do it! “Children need to be inspired if they are going to pick ideas up and start to juggle with them.” Tim has been described as an “extremely gifted and inspirational teacher, with a love of the creative potential of technology, who has an excellent rapport with his pupils. The approaches he uses are innovative and imaginative, in particular his use of games software.” (Becta)
Inspiring children with the Myst game series

New day, new tool

Using a tool called "Post2Blog" Hoping it will simplify how I add my (very intermittent) posts.

Attached Files:

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


If this works, I'll add to it. Click here

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fun with Text to Picture Generators

I have tried several of these sites, and enjoy creating random things
Here's one for a "dummiez" book cover

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Working on building 21st Century Schools(Skills)

We are working on figuring out how to catch up to the 21st Century before everyone else decides to move into the 22nd!
So many hurdles to jump, so many structures to change/re-engineer

Thursday, February 22, 2007

PETE&C Adventures

The presentation I had prepared for PETE&C was essentially a bust when a major winter storm moved into Pennsylvania from the west and threatened to engulf Hershey PA during day two of the conference. I had a small audience, but that was in part due to the hordes of people heading for their cars in an attempt to get home before the storm got too bad.
On the drive home, I got to thinking about the K12 Online Conference, and how it made a lot of sense to make part (all?) of the conference available online for people who couldn't make it at all, or had to leave early. A lot of presenters had small/no audience that day, and had good information to share.

Picture via AP Multimedia Archives ((AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, 2/14/07)