Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Google Goggles -

Oh, my Gosh,
In my previous post, I included a video on Google Wave.
I was going to shut down my computer lid and go do some holiday baking, but I followed another link and found this brand new app from Google called "Google Goggles". It allows you to take a picture on your cell phone and Google will search on the picture for you - no typing or voice. Thankfully, they will not do a search, YET!, on a picture of a person because of privacy issues.
Anyway, take a look at this. I like the fact that in the future you can take a picture of a tree leaf or a flower, and Google may be able to identify it for you.I never can remember names of plants that I see and would like to get for my backyard perennial garden.



Now I really am going to go do something else besides stare into this computer screen. I need more balance in my life!
I hope you enjoyed learning about these Google apps. It also makes me a bit afraid!

The Google Wave is Here!

Whether we like it or not, Google Wave, a sort of real-time collaborative email program, is here and catching on. On Twitter, I saw several educators begging to be invited. I was not one of them. I have all I can handle with getting Google Apps for Education set up and getting kids and teachers used to using it.
However, it is important to be aware of these tsunami technological trends.
I got a message in my email that John Sowash, the Electric Educator, was now following me on Twitter. I am flattered; John is a Google certified educator as well as a technology guru at his high school in Southfield, Michigan. While scanning through his very excellent blog located at:
http://electriceducator.blogspot.com/
I came across this video he embedded in his blog explaining Google Wave. I decided to follow his example and include it in my blog. It takes about 7 minutes to view, and it's packed with info, but it's a starting point. I hope you enjoy it. Right now, I think you still need an invitation to be part of "the wave". I'm sure it will be more widely available in the near future, so get ready. Even if we don't use it, you can bet our students will be.



Well, it's our first snow day. I think I'll shut down this computer lid and go do some baking for the holidays.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Little Book of Leadership Powerpoint

I joined a webinar tonight sponsored by LearnCentral.org. Ruston Hurley moderated the on-line presentation by Mr. Jon Corippo, a media production, English, and instructional technology teacher from Minarets High School, part of Chawanakee Unified School District in North Fork, California. This school is on the cutting edge of technology and believes all students need to use technology in school to learn 21st century skills they need to succeed. On the mission statement page of their website, http://minaretsmustangs.wikispaces.com/, I found a link to the presentation embedded below. It is well worth a read and even a reread.
Enjoy.

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Learn.org and Classroom2.0 offer many free webinars using Elluminate; Here is a link to their archive page where you can listen to recorded streams of sessions of interest. It's great fun to participate live and participate in the chat, but having the recorded sessions to listen to is also a tremendous resource.
http://live.classroom20.com/archive-and-resources.html

Monday, October 12, 2009

Creative Commons Attribution-an experiment

I found this "wordle" on the topic of Google Docs pasted in the a blog by Matt Montagne called the "Digital Down Low". The image is by Nedral. When I decided to use the image in documents I am preparing for parents and staff on our Google Apps for Education roll-out, I clicked on the Creative Commons licensing for the image, and found it was o.k. to use provided I gave attribution to the author. There was also some .html to copy and paste. I tried pasting it into a Google doc, and just the .html pasted, so I knew I needed to put it into a vehicle which would translate .html, so I decided to experiment in my blog. What happened was the .html code actually translated into a link to the wordle's creator's Photo Stream on Flicker. I previewed it, and everything seems appropriate, so I am leaving the link in my blog. There is also a link to an overview of Creative Commons licensing.
I am determined to learn more about using photos, videos, etc. under the Creative Commons licensing in order to use them for educational purposes and follow the copyright guidelines of the creator of the content.




Monday, October 5, 2009

Alan November - "Who Owns the Learning"

In my web wanderings this evening - actually, I picked up this link from a tweet by demacisaac, a elementary teacher on P.E.I. in Canada.
The video by Alan November doesn't give us answers but leaves us with lots of questions. Take six minutes to watch it; it's worth it. It reminds me a little of a book by Mel Levine Ready or Not, Here Life Comes. Just as in the video by Mr. November, Mel questions how we can prepare our kids to live lives independent of their parents once the kids come of age.

I have copied the embed code for the video. Hopefully, it will paste successfully below.

Mrs. Miller's Fabulous Bethany Book Blog

Lots of wonderful things going on at Bethany. We had a great assembly with Len Cabral who returned to instruct and entertain Bethany students with his wonderful stories. Everyone has a story to tell, and Mr. Cabral got some of our 7th graders involved in telling their own stories - very cool.
Speaking of stories, if you haven't checked it out for a while, you must visit Mrs. Miller's Bethany Book Blog. She has been reading up a storm and producing wonderful reviews of books she's read hoping to entice others to enjoy the books. It's also a great place for you to share your opinion of the books listed there that you have read.
So please, click on the link, read some of the reviews, grab a book, and start reading.
I am going to read Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains before the snow flies, I hope.

http://amitybooktalk.blogspot.com/

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back To School 2009-2010

Welcome back, everyone, to a new school year.
The summer flew by. Thank goodness I had the motivation of the calendar feature on my iPhone to journal, at least a little, of the events of every day.
As for this woefully, neglected blog, now that the new school year is here, I hope to document new things I'm learning that I feel are worth sharing with my colleagues and students alike.
In fact, I downloaded a Seedlings podcast to my iPhone today from February of 2009. Bob Sprankle was interviewing the owner of http://pixton.com, a site set up where people who are drawing challenged can still create cartoons. The site is free, but the owners, a husband and wife team, offer a subscription service to schools where teachers can have kids use the tools and share their cartoons in a safe, walled environment. It is offered by the month and fee per student, so you are not locked into an expensive contract.

It was a smooth start to the new year. Let's hope for wonderful achievements from our students.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My new iPhoneG3s

Wow! I just figured out that I could add a new post to my blog from my iPhone.
Very cool! It will be nice when I'm traveling, and I don't have Internet for my laptop, but one finger typing gets a bit tedious.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A very interesting take on new digital media by Howard Gardner

I was navigating around the Digital Generation Project on the Edutopia website, and I decided to watch this video from Howard Gardner. With all the enthusiasm about multitudinous tools available to our students to produce multimedia projects, it is important to temper that with legitimate cautions of educators. Kids certainly are adept at using these tools and at social networking, but may lack judgement in what they are producing and sharing with the world. While Mr. Gardner is certainly not opposed to this new wave in education, he makes an important points of how educators are still needed to help students navigate and make sense of this vast wealth of resources available at the click of a mouse or the touch of a finger.
Watch the video, and please comment on what you think about the topic.

Here is the link:
http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-howard-gardner-video

I tried to embed the video, but the embed code they gave me was not accepted by blogger. I will have to ask someone who knows more about html than I do to help me fix it.

Thanks, Carolyn

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Nice Example of using Skype in the Classroom

ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) has been running a contest for teachers to upload videos showing innovative ways they are using technology in the classroom. In the video embedded below, you will see an example of kids connecting with an author. Sean Capelle authored this video which shows kids using Skype to ask question of Patrick Carmen, author of Skeleton Creek, a book the 5th graders had read. I caught some reference to the book having an element of technology embedded in it, as well. The video shows a realistic setting and is an inspiration for us to try something like this next year.

Annotation on Sept. 5, 2009
I just noticed that the embedded video was not in the post. I am editing the post in the .html view currently, and deleted the embedded code. I will now try to put in a direct link to the video so you can view it.
http://www.istevision.org/watch.php?vid=5616d271788a52a1dc35198186f202a986cb18fb
Let me know if you are interested in trying to set up something like this.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fantastic 8th Grade Interteam, Interdisciplinary Project

Our eighth graders have been involved in a week long interteam, interdisciplinary experiment where they have been working in collaborative teams to produce projects with technology as an underlying tool to facilitate their learning. The students created propaganda videos about the American Revolutionary War and also did experiments on how music has an effect on mood or ability to recall information or heart rate. More on that later.

I was inspired to write this blog post when I came across this video which won an award from ISTE (International Society of Technology Education), and I thought it mirrored a lot of what went on at our school this week. Maybe we can use it as an inspiration and make a mash-up video of our own.



Here is the link to the video on the ISTE site:
http://www.istevision.org/watch.php?vid=d04f32b7af250b9a542b05b32c9b25ba4619555e
I loved the part where it questioned "Do we still get report cards?"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Options Available in Embed Code for a YouTube Video

I have one last post. When I first embedded the video in the post below, it came in with links running along the bottom to other videos. I did not want that. I went back into the video options on YouTube, and I pressed the little cog icon beside the embed code. That gave me "customize" options, and I unchecked the box that said "include related videos". That's a good feature.

Students Lead the Way

As teachers we are often reticent to post anything with recognizable student faces and names attached, but the kids feel no such reticence. While we have to be diligent in helping kids understand how important it is to be careful of what they post, posting online is here to stay. I had taped a similar video with my VadoHD camera of Sarah's rendition of "My Funny Valentine", but had no intention of posting it. However, Sarah's dad shot a video of the same performance (much better than mine, I must add), and she edited it and posted it on YouTube herself. I asked her permission to embed it on my blog, and she was happy to have me do so. Enjoy.



I am still uncomfortable with all the information made available to the public in her description, but hopefully, only good things will come of it.

Twitter

I thought Twitter was really stupid and a real time waster at first, but I am now following a select number of educators who are technology leaders such as Will Richardson, Chery Lemke, Bob Sprankle, Kathy Schrock, Clarence Fischer,Vicki Davis, and several others. I find their "tweets" to be very relevant to the job I try to do, and following their links leads me to many areas of new learning. I recently followed a link and ended up on a blog by Matt, an instructional technology coordinator in Centralia, Missouri. He recently facilitated a classroom communication with a soldier in Iraq via Skype. What a wonderful experience for the students in that classroom. Here is a link to his blog:

http://www.etsreflectingpool.blogspot.com/

He also had some interviews with teachers just starting to get comfortable with technology and how it is changing their role in the classrooms. To date, I have not been able to load a sound file on my blog. I have been able to upload a video, but I didn't see any option for a .mp3 file. I intend to get in touch with Matt and have him help me. No one person has a handle on all the wonderful tools available out there for communication, collaboration and learning. "It's all about the conversation." If you haven't been following blogs or participating in online conversations such as those at http://www.edtechtalk.com/, I encourage you to do so. It' takes a little extra time, but the benefits are worth it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spring Concert and Art and Tech Display



The annual Spring Concert by the chorus and band was presented to the whole student body on Thursday morning. There was an evening performance for parents and students at 7:00. The concert was absolutely amazing. We have such wonderful multi-talented students here at our middle school. Also wonderful were the displays of art projects and tech projects. Such creativity is fostered by our district, and for that we are grateful. Let's never forget how important a role the arts play in our curriculum.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Here is my pond video again.

You know, I am trying very hard to embrace new technologies and have other teachers incorporate them into their curriculums, hopefully to add to student learning and engagement. It's sad that some individuals feel it is better to destroy than to build. Who ever hacked into my blog, well, please don't do it again. You have proved your point.

Here is the pond video again. I need the relaxation.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day

One last post on this rainy Friday afternoon. Hopefully, these left-over April showers will bring May flowers.
I have finally set up a YouTube account. I haven't uploaded many videos, but I intend to add to the knowledge base with some of the digital tutorials I have created. There is ugly stuff on YouTube, to be sure, but there are so many more great resources that it's time we use the tool to our advantage. I don't know what to do about the bad stuff except just avoid it and not watch it.
Anyway, yesterday I was talking about going home to sit by my pond and decompress, and Warren asked me to upload a video so he could see what I was talking about. I recorded this with my HD Vado from Creative using the HD+ setting as opposed to the low-quality setting I used to create the lab video experiment a few posts ago. It took quite a while to upload to YouTube, but it was easy. Here is the link. Enjoy.

I will upload Pond movie again. Some one hacked into my blog and put up a Brittney Spears video. So - nothing is safe.

There is a frog hiding in the green grass clump, but he's so well camouflaged that it is hard to spot him.

Every Day is Earth Day

Last Friday Amity students celebrated Earth Day in a variety of ways. Led by the Student Council, several students participated in a clean-up of a nearby roadway. Some students got involved electronically. Matt Montagne put up a Voice Thread where people from all over the world could share how they were helping to conserve energy and be good stewards of our environment. I was actually the first one to leave a message after Matt's introduction. It was very exciting to have some of Mrs. Habersang's students participate in the thread as well. I will embed it here:


While I think it is worthwhile to listen to all of the threads, I know that would take a long time. To hear those contributions from Bethany, click on me, second icon, then go to the navigation panel in the bottom center and click on the "more" button twice. Look in the right hand panel and find the "hourglass" icon. That will be Mrs. Habersang's recording. Next, click the large white arrow on the bottom right. Chick on the hourglass icon on the bottom right named "Tom" and you will hear a series of different students explaining how they are observing earth day.

Voice Thread is a powerful collaboration tool. Let me know if any of you are using it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What a Great Video Find!

Well, folks,
I mentioned in an earlier post that I am following a few folks on Twitter. Kathy Schrock, a technology coordinator from Cape Cod in MA, who has become very famous, has allowed me to follow her. I clicked on one of her links in Twitter and was taken to a video-sharing site (much like the one Warren has introduced us to at Fliggo) called Vimeo. Here Kathy has mounted an interview she had with her superintendent over 10 years ago on the topic of technology and web sites. At this time, the recommendation was given for any parents who wanted the web address to call the school. The superintendent even asks her, "What is a website?" as if he did not know. Of course, this might have been staged so Kathy could frame her response. It is amazing how far we've come in just a decade. It's worth a look. I copied the embed code (html) and will paste it here, so you can watch the interview.

A 1997 Glimpse of Educational Technology from Kathy Schrock on Vimeo.
Kathy's site -just search on "Kathy Schrock" is a wonderful collection of resources, and you should take a look. Kathy also provides wonderful resources for teachers who want to learn more about incorporating Web2.0 technologies into their curriculum projects.
Enjoy and join the conversation.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Participating in Live Collaborative Web Casts

It's hard to believe that it's Thursday, and we've been on vacation for nearly a whole week. My foray into participating in the live webcasting community began last Thursday evening. I followed a "tweet" from Twitter to the Ed Tech Talk site, and I logged into a live discussion forum. I wasn't connected by voice, but I participated in the chat window and was blown away when the folks who were speaking started to respond to my comments in the sidebar chat panel. I am beginning to understand the whole concept of being connected with others of similar interests and collaborating on how to do our jobs - engaging our students in learning - better.
I joined in again this evening, and was welcomed warmly. In fact, one of the moderators called me on my cell phone, and I was participating live -Everyone logged in could hear what I was saying. It was a little scarey, but really engaging.

One of the topics of the show tonight concerned the live webcast that will take place on Earth Day 09. There is also a Voice Thread set up which I had contributed to last Thursday. When I typed about my participation into the chat, they immediately found my audio response and broadcast it. Amazing. I hope we can get some of our kids to add their voices to the "thread" on Earth Day next week.

Here is the link:

http://earthbridges.wikispaces.com/

Check it out!

Here is the link to the Ed Tech Talk show:

http://www.edtechtalk.com/

On Tuesday nights, there is a great show - Women of Web 2.0.

On Thursday nights Seedlings is on, usually hosted by Bob Sprankle and Cheryl Oakes, two famous educators from southern Maine. Tonight's show was on Google educators. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. EST. All of the shows are archived, both the audio and the chat.

At 9:00 p.m. EST is EdTech Brainstorm, which is the one I spoke on live.

So much to learn; so little time.

Enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Typographical Error in Movie Title

Oops! I just realized I have a typo in the title of the movie posted below- meant to type "with"- I was tired and careless. At least the experiment worked.

Playing with my Vado Hi Definition Pocket Cam

I am still at school, and it's 6:30PM. I am a crazy lady. I recently purchased a Vado high-definition pocket camcorder. It is a great little tool, and it fits comfortably in my purse. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any program other than the one that came with it to edit my movies. I really wanted to use the recorder for class projects that could be edited in Windows Movie Maker by the kids. So, I did some research on the web and figured out how to record at a lower VGA resolution of 640x480. I did a test movie, and was able to import it into Windows Movie Maker. I am psyched. Now it will be easy to capture video clips and put them together for kids projects.
video

Monday, March 23, 2009

Professional Development Day at Amity

There were lots of technology offerings for our Professional Development Day.
Because I was teaching the Smart Board Notebook 10 software offering, I didn't get to hear about some of the other technology workshops.
Please comment here. Share what workshop you participated in and something valuable you learned at the workshop you can share with our community.

Besides the workshops, I had also signed up for a webinar from Discovery Streaming at 7:00 this evening. The featured speaker was Don Tapscott, the author of Growing Up Digital, written about 12 years ago. He has recently published Grown up Digital, about these digital natives who have now entered the workforce.
While there were some glitches in the audio, it was a pretty interesting session. There was also a team of experts on hand answering questions and responding to messages sent from participants in the "live chat" window.
Vicki Davis, who runs the "coolcatteacher" blog was on hand. She is also one of the teachers who set up the now world-famous wiki - Flat Earth Project. She responded personally to 2 or 3 of my posts to the chat - very exciting.
I must admit, I did have a hard time paying attention to the speaker and his presentation and following the chat at the same time. Others didn't seem to have the same problem; they were also on Twitter.

Anyway, go to Don's blog, "NetgenEd,grownupdigital" for more information.

http://netgened.grownupdigital.com/

Good Night!

SmartBoard Use in the Classroom is Transforming Education

I am offering a professional development workshop this morning featuring how to use Notebook10 software. There is so much to learn about this wonderful tool. I have only begun to scratch the surface of what it can do to make the classroom a more engaging place in which our students can learn.

Here are some important links for teachers to use when they need to review how to use this software.

Here is where you go to download the software. It is a free application for any teacher or student whose school uses SmartBoards:

http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/Products/SMART+Board+software/default.htm

In the training center, you can watch short videos on various aspects of using SmartBoards:

http://smarttech.com/trainingcenter/tutorials.asp


Here is a hub where you can access thousands of lessons created in Notebook10 from teachers all over the world:

http://education.smarttech.com/ste/en-US/Ed+Resource/Lesson+activities/Notebook+Activities/

As you experiment with creating lessons using SmartNotebook10 software today, please leave comments on this blog post to share your learning experience with others.

I will also set up a folder on our shared "Y" drive for teachers to share the lessons they have created.

All of the training materials for this session are located in that drive, as well.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Time Flies

I cannot believe I haven't posted since January of 2009. Many exciting technology integration things have been happening at Bethany. I wanted to post something quick just to get back to the blog.
I will make a comment on the previous post. Once I removed the toolbar with "next blog", my place to sign in to edit the blog also disappeared. I had to go to blogger.com and sign in in order to access the blog. It's worth it, I guess.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Removing the "Next Element" in Blogger

I recently participated in a webinar hosted by EdTech. The presenter was Tim Chase, a middle school teacher who teaches reading and technology. The title of the webinar was "Tim Chase - Xtreme Teamwork-Communication and Collaboration in Your Classroom and Mine." In the webinar he talked about a number of Web 2.0 tools he'd been using with his students, Blogger among them. He expressed concern about the "next blog" tab on the blogs meant for student use and how they randomly lead to other blogs that might not be appropriate. He told us he had directions on one of his blogs on how to remove the "next element" feature.
Here is the link:
http://blog.edtech2020.com/2008/01/removing-next-blog-element-in-blogger.html
I tried this in one of my older blogs that has been neglected:

http://bethanymscomputerlab.blogspot.com/


Now I will try to eliminate it from this blog.

YES! It worked.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Students Participate in Speak-Up Survey to be Shared with President Obama

The team from Project Tomorrow recently sponsored the Net Day Speak-Up Survey for 2008. They decided to add a "Special Inauguration Survey" for students only. It will be open until Tuesday, January 20. The students were asked to provide a response to the following topic:

"Imagine you are the President of the United States (or the leader of your country) and your #1 education goal is to make sure every student is prepared for the jobs and careers of the future. What is the one thing you would do to improve schools to ensure that all students receive the education and skills they need to be successful in life?"

I asked the students to copy their responses before submitting them to the survey and paste them into a word document, so I could have a printed copy. I then read through all the responses and wrote down all the responses putting checks beside similar ideas.

What was interesting was the overwhelming response asking for more career education in the schools. Here are some of the responses dealing with that issue: (Over 25 of the 100 kids polled felt that career education should be an important part of school curriculum.)

  • More career education
  • More career days
  • Have students take tests to determine what career is best for them
  • Go on field trips to see people working in various careers
  • Expand curriculum to include course in learning about careers
  • More mentoring by people working in different careers
  • Workshops once a week hosted by people from different careers and occupations

And then there are these responses with a variety of suggestions:

  • more scholarships so students can attend college
  • allowances for special needs students to get a college education
  • qualified teachers sent to educate children in 3rd world countries
  • fund city schools so they can offer students the same educational advantages as surbaban schools
  • train teachers to increase interest in subjects they teach
  • students have more choice in courses they take (several responses)
  • later start time for school to ensure students get enough sleep (several responses)
  • more classes in life skills such a home economics ad managing money
  • more tutors in schools and more opportunity for individualized help
  • more courseware offered on computers so students could work at their own pace
  • fund more after-school programs
  • fund more field trips and provide more real-life experiences
  • more assemblies
  • teach through hands-on projects
  • Add more access to technology such as computers and Smart Boards (several responses)
  • computers for every student
  • more hands-on construction projects - so students know how to build things for their homes
  • learning how to work cross platform on Macs and PCs
  • provide more one-on-one help for struggling students
  • build more schools and equip them with books and supplies
  • create interactive games to help students learn subject matter (several responses)
  • more programs for special-needs students so they can be educated in regular schools and not be sent to other schools
  • provide more guidance counselors who have time to give individualized attention to all students
  • more time after school to complete homework so no work has to be take home
  • recess for all students mandantory to help avoid obesity
  • physical activity for all students every day
  • make it mandatory that students learn how to work in small groups on projects
  • offer more foreign language classes as well as cultural awareness classes
  • smaller classes so students can get more individualized attention

We can hope that President Obama listens to our young people and makes sure that funding education is one of his top priorities.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Faith is experimenting with Wordle

Faith is experimenting with Wordle with her student library advisory board. They will be creating "word clouds" using Wordle.

She wanted a way to get their creations from the web page into her blog.

I tried one. Let's see how it looks.

Faith likes it! I am so pleased.