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.