Monday, December 8, 2008

A Newer, Broader Definition of Copyright and Fair Use

Last year a long and involved document called "The High Cost of Copyright Confusion" was published by the Media Education Lab of Temple University. They are funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Fortunately, in November of 2008, the center released new, more liberal guidelines which will empower students and teachers to use copyrighted materials for "transformative" applications under the "fair use" provisions.

Here are some links that will explain the new guidelines:

This is really an exciting triumph for educators and students. Please take a look at the links. So many of the existing guidelines for teachers on copyright use are very restrictive, and these new guidlines should help to reduce anxiety.

A very inspirational video - Benjamin Zander speaking at TED

I came across this video presentation last Friday night into early Saturday morning. I should have gone to bed, but I was researching on the web, and we all know how one link leads to another. Actually, I was looking at a wiki that Toby had sent me, and somehow I ended up on a blog entitled "Learning in Maine" written by Jim Burke Here is the link to his blog:

On his blog, I was fascinated reading about twitter, watching the tutorial on how to use "Google Docs", reading the cartoons, scrolling down, and then I came to the post entitled "Leaders Empower Others". There were two videos from YouTube of Benjamin Zander, an orchestra conductor, speaking at the TED conference where the finest, most creative minds from all over the world gather to share their insights. The first selection runs 10 minutes and is worth watching, but it is the 2nd selection which runs 20 minutes that is a must. It was already 1:00am when I clicked on the video. I figured I'd look at it for a couple of minutes and then give up and go to bed. Well, I was so captivated that I watched the whole thing and have since watched it again. When it ended at 1:30am or so, I had tears running down my cheeks, and I was applauding loudly with the rest of the audience. It's a good thing my husband was sound asleep in the bedroom, for he surely would have wondered what was going on.
Please take the time to watch this video.
Here it the direct link to it on YouTube:

Enjoy! Please leave me a comment on this blog.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Daisy the Pig helps Bethany Middle School Celebrate Reading Achievement

The presentation by Farmer Minor and his companion, Daisy the Pig, was exceptional. Everyone had a good time. What a nice way to celebrate our students' reading accomplishment!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Using a Cluster Map to See Locations of Visitors to Your Site

Here I go again, experimenting.
I listened to the recording of a webinar from Edutopia with Will Richardson on Making Global Connections and on how the web is changing our lives and opening up our world.
He showed how one young girl's blog has reached out to audiences world wide. When her grandfather died in Dec. of 2007, she decided to make a difference in her community for each of 25 days. Then she decided, with her mother's permission and guidance, to blog about it. Her project has grown into nearly 365 days of making a difference in her community and has touched and inspired others all over the world to do the same.
Here is the address of her blog:

I looked at her cluster map and decided to try on for my blog. I doubt I'll have the coverage she does. The site gave me .html code to paste into my blog to get the map. So here goes. Hope it works:

Locations of visitors to this page

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Links to teacher blogs

At the PTO meeting on November 6, 2008, I want to have easy access to the blogs I'd like to show the parents. So.....I am putting them in my blog. Now they are all in one place and accessible.

Mrs. Miller's blog:
Mr. Norton's blog:
Mr. Fragione's blog:
Mr. Doyle's website:
Dr. Dellinger's blog:

A Link from Kathy Schrock

At NECC (National Educators' Computer Convention) 2007 in Atlanta, Kathy Shrock was a featured speaker on the topic of Web 2.0 tools. Here is a link she provided to educators to help them do further research on how these tools can be used to increase student engagement and achievement.

These tools can be really fun to use. Start small. Experiment with just one, and share what you learn and how you'd like to use it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


It is hard to believer that tomorrow is Halloween, and I haven't posted since August.
Lots of exciting projects have been going on at school, and we are integrating technology more than ever before to make our lessons even more engaging for kids.
I took pictures of all the lockers decorated for Halloween this afternoon and will try to post the winners here tomorow.

Monday, August 4, 2008

CEA Summer Leadership Training at Mohegan Sun

I arrived at Mohegan Sun for the annual CEA Summer Leadership Training shortly after 9:00a.m. What a beautiful location for a conference! I am taking Microsoft Office applications. The version we are using is still Office 2003, but the things I'm learning should translate to Office 2007 nicely. I have learned a lot of things in using Excel that I did not know, especially in learning how to use the sort feature and the subtotal features. No matter how much you think you know, there is always more to learn.
I know many of our staff will be a bit dismayed with the upgrade to Office 2007 because, at first glance, there are so many options, and the menus we are familiar with using are hidden. Don't panic. We'll find a way to make the interface easier.
The summer is flying by; make the most of every day.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A great link to a wiki with Web 2.0 tools

Toby sent me this link last week. To quote her, "Amazing stuff - would take a lifetime to do it all."

Take a look. Maybe pick two or three tools you'd like to experiment with over the summer and see if you'd like to use the tools with your classes.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Voice Thread is such an exciting Web 2.0 tool

After a lovely afternoon and a tea party in my backyard, I decided I'd better spend a little time on school work.
I followed a link from an email from CASL to their Web 2.0 wiki. There I found several links to collaboration done using the Web 2.0 tool called "Voice Thread". I had experimented with this some months ago, and Mr. Doyle used it with some of his classes. It is a really neat way to get kids talking about a topic. They can record their voices or type a response.

I found a teacher generated "voice thread" on the topic of evaluating websites. It was a tutorial not open to responses from viewers, but it offered a link to embed it which I copied and will paste below:

I was also impressed with how students can use this tool to do quick book reviews accompanied by pictures they have drawn of a scene from their book. You can listen in sequence, or if you click on the graphic (4 squares) in the bottom right hand corner of the frame, you can see all of the different frames included in the voice thread and choose to listen in any order you choose. Check it out.

I hope sharing the content in this blog will inspire more of us to use these collaborative tools with our students next year.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Adding a Blogroll

I just successfully added a blogroll of blogs that inspire me to my blog.
This was a learning experience for me.
Last evening I had to join in order to get this started. Once I was a member (free) at that site, I could start adding websites that I wanted added to my page.
Today, I logged in and I had to click on a link to get some java code before I could place those links in my blog.
I also had to go to the layout section of my blog, choose new element, choose "add javascript from an external source" or something like that.
I did, and the magic happened.
Lifelong learning. Don't you love it??????

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Great Workshop offered by Toby and Paul

This afternoon a number of teachers and administrators viewed Two Million Minutes - a Documentary on Global Education in a workshop sponsored by Toby Zabinski and Paul Yashenko. It was a very interesting glimps into how selected students in the U.S, China, and India spend their time in high school preparing for college and careers. The movie provides a lot of food for thought. Toby also gave us a link to the blog for the movie:
I followed one of the links in that blog to the Common Core website developed by an education advocacy group. That is a very interesting site to visit. I downloaded a .pdf of the report "STILL AT RISK: What students don't know, even now"-a report from Common Core by Federick M. Hess. I have only skimmed through some of it, but it is quite interesting and really slams the NCLB governmental program as being detrimental to our students. What else is new?
Anyway, back to the workshop. Paul suggested that next year we might try to get colleagues together, say once a month, to watch and discuss a compelling video on education. It sounds like a good plan.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Another try to upload Dr. Michael Wesch's video "Web 2.0, the Machine is Using Us"

Dr. Wesch was the keynote speaker at the conference I attended at UConn on April 11, 2008. The conference was called "The New Media Literacies for Today's Plugged-in Generation". The conference's tag line was "a conference promoting media literacy in young people today."

Dr. Wesch, a cultural anthropologist and digital ethnographer from Kansas State University became a prominent figure in this field after he produced the video in the title of this blog and uploaded it to YouTube. It has been watched by over 3 million people.

In order to get this video to play in the blog, I had to convert it from a flash movie to a .avi format using the conversion tool at It is a fairly large file of 46 mb, but Blogger says it will take a movie file of up to 100mb. If it plays in the frame below, we'll have success.
If not, it's back to the drawing board.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A PowerPoint Presentation from Helen Blowers, the initiator of the CLA Classroom Learning 2.0 Project

I haven't posted in nearly a month. It is now Sunday, April 20, and I have to return to school tomorrow after a very nice week off. I was showing my brother my Google Notebook and somehow got caught in the web and started following links from my notebook concerning my project with the California Library Association's "Classroom Learning 2.0 Project."
I found the presentation below which Helen Blowers had presented at a conference.
It is a static presentation, but it reviews the project nicely and shows how other participants were engaged in the process.

If you click on the icon of the people in the bottom right of the frame, the slide show will open in the application in which she created it -"Slide Share". There you can click on the icon of a slide projector, and the show will open full screen which makes it easier to read.

Learning 2.0
From: hblowers, 2 days ago

Presentation for Texas Lib Assoc.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Learning New Things all the time

I was working on my Web2.0 California Library Association project and followed one of their links to Eric Langhorst's page. He is an eighth-grade history teacher in Liberty, Missouri who has been using collaborative web 2.0 tools with his classes for the past few years. He is very willing to share what he's learned with teachers all over the world. Without Web 2.0 tools, this would be nigh on to impossible.
Anyway, when I clicked on a "slideshare" presentation in his blog about why it's so important for educators to embrace Web 2.0 tools and use them with their students, I saw a link where I could embed his presentation in my blog. When I clicked on the link, it gave me a choice. I could copy the .html code and paste it into a post, OR I could click on the "Blogger" icon, type in my username and password, and have it embedded automatically. I clicked on that link, and within a minute, the presentation was embedded in my blog.

Please take time to click through Mr. Langhorst's presentation. It is very persuasive and inspirational.


Dr. Dellinger Blogs

Dr. Dellinger is going to China from April 8 to April 21.
He will keep in touch with us via his blog.
Here is the link:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Still trying to upload a video and have it play successfully in Blogger

I had a lot of trouble uploading videos to the blog. They would play in the preview mode when I was in the "dashboard" view of my blog, but there would be a blank area with a little white box with as red x in it.
I deleted the post (actually updating this on Sunday, April 20, 2008), and then I uploaded a small video I had created using PhotoStory3. This one uploaded and played in the blog itself.

I still want to have the blog by M. Wensch be able to play here instead.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The video won't play at home, either.

Well, since the video won't play on my home computer where there is no blocking, it must be some other problem. Back to the drawing board.

The Experiment Continues

Well, I uploaded the converted video from my desktop to my blog. The upload time was not too bad, but it took a long time to publish it to my blog.
Unfortunately, when I went to look at the new blog post at school, there was a red x in a little white box where the video should be playing.
I went back into Blogger to "edit" my post and clicked on preview. The video played fine there, so there wasn't a problem with uploading it. Even converted to a .mpg in Zamzar, it must keep some of the coding that lets the blocking software know the video originates from YouTube.
I will have to see if the video will play when I am on my home computer.
It's all a leaning experience.
We have to work out the bugs.

Using Zamzar to convert a YouTube video

I followed Warren's instructions and was able to copy the video that is blocked in my entry below. The video file that I saved to the the new server on Drive Y is over 46mb, and I'm concerned about uploading it to this blog as I'm not sure of limitations. Well, I'll give it a try. If it uploads properly, this will be a good way to deal with the blocking of YouTube at school.

March 18, 2008 - I just deleted the uploaded movie. When I used Zamzar, I converted the movie from YouTube (Flash format) into an .mpg. When I clicked on the filmstrip to see about uploading it again, I saw that Blogger will accept the following formats: AVI, MPEG, QuickTime, Real, and Windows Media. There is a 100MB limit.
I am going to try and convert the file into one of the accepted formats and upload it again - another day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

YouTube Blocking at School

The video I embedded played at home, but when I opened my blog at school, there was only a shadow of the box where it would play. That is because YouTube is blocked. I fully understand why it is blocked and agree with the policy. It is unfortunate that some people mount such inappropriate content on YouTube which is a repository for some very good video selections.
I am going to try and follow Warren's directions on using the newly-created video server space and see if I can embed this video so it will be available.

By the way, the times on these posts are incorrect. I have to figure out how to adjust the settings in the blog to reflect the correct time. I was not up and working on the blog at 3:00 in the morning.

Trying to Embed a video from youtube

The Machine is Us/ing Us - Final Version by MWesch

I will be atttending the 6th Annual Northeast Media Literacy conference at UConn on April 11, 2008.
The author of this video is one of the keynote speakers.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Library of Congress gets into the act with Flicker

There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get stuff done. I was out researching on the Library of Congress site, looking for resources for the Great Depression to be used in an English class prior to the students' reading of Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck. When I got to the home page, I saw that the Library of Congress is embracing Web 2.0 technology offered by Flicker. Here is the proposed project:

"Offering historical photograph collections through Flickr gives the Library of Congress a welcome opportunity to share some of our most popular images with a new visual community."

"We are offering two sets of digitized photos: the 1,600 color images from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information and about 1,500 images from the George Grantham Bain News Service. Why these photos? They have long been popular with visitors to the Library; they have no known restrictions on publication or distribution, and they have high resolution scans. We look forward to learning what kinds of tags and comments these images inspire. "
We are truly moving into a collaborative culture where everyone's opinion can count and be heard.
How can we use this with our students?

This is the link to the Library of Congress page:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Getting Started Again in a New Year

Week #3, Thingie #5 (Flicker)
Well, things got very busy at the end of 2007. That coupled with the fact that I got a chest cold that wouldn't let go for nearly four weeks slowed down my progress with my Classroom Learning 2.0 project.
Tonight, I finally got the energy to go back into the 23 things page, review what I'd done, and get ready to forge ahead.
I registered my blog on the Classroom Learning 2.0 site. I won't be able to receive moderation from the administrators there, but I hope to connect to other users through blog rolls - something else new for me.
I also went out to Flicker and started familiarizing myself with that site. I am already a member of Shutterfly and have posted many pictures there. On Shutterfly, most of my pictures are available by invitation only. I do have a number of nice nature pictures I am willing to share, so soon I will try uploading some of them to Flicker.
I also need to try and use Flicker's blogging tool to upload a picture from their site and comment on it.
It's getting late, and I must go to bed. It's been a busy two weeks with lots of active teaching. I've been working with the 7th grade science teachers. They did a lab with their students called "By Golly, By Gum" where the students weighed unchewed and chewed pieces of gum and then figured out the difference, the ratio, and the percentage of sugar. I transformed the math they had done with calculators into an introductory Excel exercise - a first introduction to using formulas in Excel for most of the kids. They also graphed their results. The student feedback was positive, so I feel really good about the lesson.