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:
I tried this in one of my older blogs that has been neglected:


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.