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.


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:

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, 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.