Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Student work posting

This is student work from Nadja Tizer's classroom. View it at youtube when you get a chance. Below is the original message Dave Tarwater sent her. We should start calling him Super Dave because he's everywhere helping everyone.


Ms. Tizer,

Below is the link to the student photostory that we posted to youtube yesterday.



Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cell Phones in School

When I hear about cell phones in school I mostly hear how they are a distraction, they can be used to cheat, or how they should not be banned because they might be needed in a life threatening situation like a school hostage situation. In the last 24 hours the tune has been a different from the folks I follow on Twitter. I heard that Darren Draper was going to respond to an effort to ban cell phones in Utah. Darren wrote a blog post that is compelling and instructive about the educational opportunities that cell phones offer. The post points out that banning learning devices because most teachers have not harnessed their power is short-sighted. In conclusion Draper implores the policy makers to leave the decision about use of cell phones up to the teacher.

Photo credit

Also from Twitter I was pointed to this story of a young woman in Japan who wrote a novel in installments on her cell phone. The novel was available in installments through an online site for download to cell phone. More recently the 142 page book was published and has sold 420,000 copies.

How do you think states and schools should deal with cell phones? What do you believe the opportunities are for students with cell phones in the classroom? Do your students use cell phones to access information or only to communicate?

Below are some link suggested by Darren Draper for more information on how to use the cell phone in your classroom.

Pay Attention

Liz Kolb's Cell Phones As Learning Tools

Tony Vincent's Mobile Web on learninginhand

Marc Prensky's
What Can You Learn From A Cell Phone? - Almost Anything!
Jeff VanDrimmelen's 8 Ways to use Camera Phones in Education
Ellen D. Wagner's Enabling Mobile Learning

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Smart Notebook Update

The clever SmartBoard people from Canada have added a new feature for Smart Notebook, the Lesson Activity Toolkit It allows for teacher (and student) creation of lessons and activities in a really easy and straight forward manner. Who out there will give this a try?

Need Some Ideas

Every several weeks I see Dave Tarwater bringing some new tool (wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, etc.) It is like Christmas, the kids and I get really excited to see what we can do to use the technology in the classroom.
I just discovered the tools and graphics in the Smartboard software, they are awesome! We used one in Math to do division, it turned out great, the kids were way into it. We used another one in Science about the states of water.
1. I would like to start using blogs in my classes. I am familiar with, and have used blogger to create blogs for classes I teach during the summer, I really like it. I have looked at bloggmiester and gaggle blogs, is anyone using anything other than blogger in class? If you are what do you like not like?

2. I would like to have my students communicate with another class somewhere else in the world as part of our Weather unit next year and our plants unit (kind of like pen-pals). Does anyone have websites or resources of where I can find other Science teachers around the world that would be interested in collaborating in this way??

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Edublog Awards 2007 Finalists Announced!

Lots of Blogs and Wikis from around the world have been nominated in several categories. It is interesting to see the work of teachers as they embrace the collaborative aspects of Web 2.0. Check them out and cast a vote for your favorites. Will the Global Learners group have any nominees in 2008?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wiki work

I'm attempting to use my wiki in a "blackboard" sort of way. My students are posting their work to the wiki....this is as far as I've gotten so far! I feel good to have gotten this concept across to my language learners but please check it out! Today they will be posting paragraphs on pages they create themselves! I have small classes so I'm not too worried about stealing or manipulating other students' work....I don't think they have it completely figured out to be able to sabotage their classmates....hopefully it won't get to that!

check out our wiki and see what we're up to!

There is a link to American History Three and we are currently at causes of WWI! I would appreciate input and ideas! Feedback is awesome!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Learning 2.0: A Conversation

Save the date for Saturday February 23, 2007. Karl Fisch and Bud Hunt are organizing a Colorado conference focused on how the changing face of information is changing our classrooms.
Details will follow at:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I finished my research proposal

Yesterday I presented my research proposal...hopefully I won't have to change anything!
my question is: "what happens when English Language Learners are taught to blog?"
my sub questions ask:

  • Will writing achievement be affected?
  • will students see them selves as part of the classroom community?
  • Will students be more reflective about the content?
All of my students are ELL who are facing "double the work." According to Short and Fitzimmons (2007), the country is attempting to find solutions to trying to teach content, literacy and language to students at the same time. High-Stakes testing has created an environment where language learners must perform on tests in their second language. They must learn to read and write as adolescents in their second language at a time when they should be using reading and writing as a learning tool. On top of that, they must learn the content provided by the state and district standards.

My plan is to teach them to blog. I will slowly implement blogging as a reflective tool in my social studies classroom. My hope is that by the end of my research they will not only respond to teacher questions but, summarize, reflect, and internalize the course content. I also hope that they visit the blogs of other students to comment and connect.

Blogs and technology are an important tool and resource for our students to learn. Due to technological advances jobs and expectations of employees are rapidly changing. According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley, I am preparing my students for jobs that do not exist yet.

Okay, small "trailer" of my research. I'm hoping to being to quantify what we all know: technology makes a difference in the engagement and achievement of our students. After watching Darren and other educators successfuly integrate blogs I am excited to capture this process in my research. I believe that blogging creates an atmosphere of collaboration where, as Darren puts it, students become the experts!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Who Owns Digital Content

In March Lawrence Lessig the revered Stanford Law Profesor and creator of Creative Commons delivered spellbinding TED Talk (TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design) about the future of copyright and creativity. The talk is outstanding for three reasons: (1) He explains our modern culture so that it is easily understood, (2) he addresses issues that are relevant to us as educators and important for us to teach to our students, and (3) he is one of the best visual presenters alive (in fact, his style of presentation is called the "Lessig Method").
Phot Credit (http://flickr.com/photos/jdlasica/)

As leaders in the field of 21st Century education we can learn a lot from this talk. However, I think we can learn even more by showing this talk to our students and colleagues and absorbing their reactions. You will not regret taking 19 minutes to watch this talk.

Watch the Lessig talk and tell me what you think. What do we teach our children to respect about digital content? How do we encourage our students to experiment and participate in digital cutlrue?

Friday, November 9, 2007

change will come from top down

I told Dave I'd share this video with him so I thought I'd post it. It is pretty popular so you may have already come across it. We were discussing the article that he posted earlier and how most schools aren't providing students what they need, except ours, of course. My thoughts are that when the changes start happening at the university level, then high schools across the country will start to listen and react. And trickle down from there.
Do you see colleges taking this seriously and making changes within our students time at college?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

21st Century Learning: 'We're Not Even Close'

Dave Nagel submitted an article titled 21st Century Learning: 'We're Not Even Close" in a recent edtion of THE Journal. In the article he reflects on a white paper released by ISTE, SETDA, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. This paper suggests that a there are 3 broad areas education needs to address: (1) Knowledge of core content is necessary but no longer sufficient for students to be successful in a competitive world (2) To keep pace with an ever changing world schools need to offer more rigorous, relevant, and engaging opportunities for students to learn (3) To be effective schools and classrooms, teachers need access to the tools and training in 21st century teaching and learning. I wish Mr. Nagel had the opportunity to see what you (the Global Learners) have done in your classrooms during this last trimester. I am convinced he would agree that while we are not totally there, the Global Learners and their students are well on the way. All of the reflections being posted tell me we are 'Getting Close'. As Chris Berman of ESPN says; It ... Could ... Go ... All ... The ... Way!

3 months down ...

Hi everyone. Im going to jump on the 3 month down bandwagon and leave a few reflections.

Some of the early frustrations in using the gizmo's and laptop carts were short lived. With practice the students have gotten better at loging into the website and actually doing the work. The feedback I have gotten from the kids is great. They seem to like the change of pace of using technology instead of same ol boring books. The things I have used most in class have been the smartboard and gizmo's. I did an internet scavenger hunt that was great, and found some math games like "who wants to be a math millionaire" to play on short days. Some things I would like to get better at using is my class website and blog.

I have learned that high school kids will not visit this stuff on their own time, but if I make it part of the class, then they enjoy it. I made the students reflect on the year and answer some questions on the class blog as part of the final exam. Check it out and see some of their answers. I posted formula sheets on the website and offered extra credit and let them use it in tests if they went online and printed it.

Im excited to be a part of this group and im looking forward to reading about what everyone else is doing. Lets make the next 2/3 rds even better

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

3 Months Down...

(This is cross posted on my blog)

With the first trimester over, there is much to reflect on. Tonia's post has spurred me to think about how much my teaching has changed this year, and it's changed so much that it is difficult for me to sit down and put it into words.

I am still experimenting with much of this technology. Am I "improving student achievement by the use of 21st century tools"? I have much that I will do better after having a year under my belt. I am learning as much from my missteps that I will apply to my teaching next year as I am learning from my successes. One goal I have for myself is to continue using our class blog to show student work, but to use it more as a place for students to reflect on their learning and to set goals for themselves, rather than just to post work. I wonder if I am doing an effective job of EETT, enhancing my students' education through technology. I have been so excited about some of the projects my students have completed. But when I step back, I wonder if it really enhanced, or just supplemented. Along this line of thinking, another goal I have is to post and comment to other blogs, especially Global Learners' blogs. I think the strength of this group lies in the potential for collaboration among colleagues in the same community facing similar challenges. In order for this collaboration to happen, I have to be more a more active participant. What are other GLs doing that is really going well? There is a vast network of teachers out there who are making technology work for them, I want to tap into this network more than I am now.

Successes... the Smartboard is great! I think one of the best parts of the SB is all of the resources that come with it. Students are interacting with the SB, especially during math and writing and are very excited. Wikis... I am using our class wiki as a place to put links to projects that my reading group is working on as part of their independent work. That has also worked really well. My students are much more focused during their time on the computer and can get right to work because everything they need is in one place. I thought I would be using the wiki as more of a professional collaboration tool by now, but I think that may be a goal that takes longer to achieve. My students completed videos on a planet they were studying using digital still or video cameras. Some of the videos were a little "thin" on real content, but there are parts of the planning I will do better next year. An unexpected benefit was that they were so excited about each other's projects that they learned much more about the solar system from each other than if they had been doing a written report or even a PowerPoint (or if they had been learning it from me?! Self-directed learning?!)

So?? What's happening with other Global Learners? I look forward to reading everyone else's reflection on the past 1/3rd year. I appreciate everyone's honest blog posts. It is always very refreshing to read a post that expresses frustration or disappointment in the outcome of a particular project... makes me feel that I am not the only one.

Moving forward...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Global Learner Round-UP

Hey Global Learners!!

Let's meet for lunch on Friday, November 9, 2007 (teacher work day).
It would be great to see everyone again
and have an awesomely geeked out conversation!

Reply to the post with ideas, comments, RSVPs...so we can start coordinating!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Great SmartBoard Resources

I have been implementing the SmartBoard into 100% of my elementary math lessons and would like to report some experiences. It seemed to take the kids a while to get over the "wow" factor of the cool things we can do with an interactive whiteboard. Also, it takes a few tries to successfully write on the board for the kids, especially math problems, shapes, graphs, etc. But, after getting into the meat of the school year, I couldnt see myself teaching without one of these things. We now seamlessly go from taking notes, to seeing visuals, to manipulating numbers and shapes, to testing what we've learning without leaving the SmartBoard.

I've posted some lessons I've created on Central's website, and also would like to share some great web resources, where teachers from around the world have created SMART lessons for us to "borrow" especially created for standards-based interactive learning.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Finally a great success

Well I made it through the day of the internet scavenger hunt and for the first time using the laptop cart I feel it was a 100% success!!! Finally. The hunt kept the students engaged and having them look for images and videos really worked. If you get a chance go to youtube and check out a video called Pythagorean Theorem - The Movie. It's hysterical. Also check out my class blog and read some of the comments the kids made. It seems the next great invention is flying cars!!

Internet Scavenger Hunt

Hi guys, just wanted to share an idea I had today. I am having my Geometry classes do an internet scavenger hunt on Pythagoras and the Pythagorean Theorem. There are about 10 questions on his history and I also ask the students to find a You Tube video. There is one called Pythagorean Theorem - The Movie, check it out it's hysterical. It stars Schwartzeneger and Matt Damon. I am also having them post on the class blog, tomasgeeimatree.blogspot
My first block class responded well. Check out the entries and respond as well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

3 months down....

Hey Global Learners!

As of next week, we will officially be 1/3 of the way the way through the school year. For those of us who are secondary teachers, we are preparing for a new term!

I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to reflect on the past three months and make goals for the next three (or six).

I know that each of us has picked at least one tool that we have crafted into our own and fit it into our classroom. I'm anxious to know what that is! How have you done this? What was the process like for you and the students?

I know that Dave and Joe sent out a survey to gain feedback...but I want the juicy details!

I think our group is fantastic because of our amazing collaboration, so I thought that this would be the best way for me to become better at something that I'm not yet trying.

Please comment or post on your blog and link back here on your experiences and plans for the future!

Thanks! Tonia

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

iPod as learning tool

I have used the iPod quite a bit this year. I have been experimenting a lot but not publishing much. However, I took the iPod with the microphone to our field trip the other day and published the resulting podcast on our blog. I used the field trip to reinforce a lesson on Lindamood-Bell's Visualizing and Verbalizing program. It uses structure words to prompt students to better visualize what they are reading. We have another field trip coming up. This time I think I will borrow a few more and hand them to kids to record as they go through the Colorado History Museum.

My reading group has been experimenting with recording the upcoming story and then burning it for our listening center. We have had problems staying focused long enough to have a good recording, but will keep trying.

Another thought is to use my class blog to have students reflect on what we learned this week in each subject. The iPod would be a great way for my lower students to post their reflections verbally.

Any suggestions for other uses?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Colorado Software and Internet Assoc. (CSIA)

So I took Dr. Miller up on the offer of attending the evening portion of the CSIA conference last week on Thursday. It was a good conference there were eductional sessions during the day (which I unfortunately missed) but I got to walk about the showcase were companies displayed their products. Here's a list of the companies I liked and what they did.

Acadium, Inc.
has a system that combines TV, video phones, and GPS to create a live classroom.

Developing Minds has software serving developmentally disabled children that uses how the student interacts to direct and and adapt the learning for the student.

Kerpoof is an animation company where anyone can create art, stories and animated movies using a kid friendly interface.

Lijit Network, Inc. is a blog search engine. You put it on your blog and tell it which blogs you subscribe to and you and your readers can use it like an advice column where you type in a question and it pulls up information from all the blogs you've chosen to susbcribe to. Kinda like asking a author you've never met for advice or an opinion.

OpenWorld Learning long for OWL is building a network of peer teaching through technology. Several metro elementary schools are using OWL as an after school enrichment/reteaching.

TinyEYE Technologies Corporation
enables Speech-Language Pathologists to use a head-set and webcam to connect to clients, caregivers, educators, and colleagues for consultations and therapy services.

With the exception of the last company all of them are Colorado Based. After the showcase was a speech from a Google VP (I didn't even know they had an office here), and he talked about the "9 Notions of Innovation."

1. Ideas come from everywhere
2. Share everything you can (I think the global learners are doing well at this)
3. A license to persue dreams (apparently google allows 20% of the employees day to persue their own interests which is where snowball and adsense came from)
4. Innovation, not instant perfection
5. Don't politic, use data
6. Creativity loves restraint
7. Worry about usage and users, not money
8. Don't kill projects - morph them into something else
9. Technology is no substitute for humanity

During the speech Tim Armstrong continued to re-emhasize that no matter the product you use, the main concern needs to be on the end user and how it affects them.

Friday, October 12, 2007

drop in the bucket

The work we do sometimes feels like a drop in the bucket....but it is noticed and does, eventually, make a difference...We are being noticed and we are changing the climate of our schools...one blog at a time

But our colleagues are doing it...they're taking the leap. I get emails daily from colleagues in my building asking for blog, wiki and technology help...

If you get a chance, please add the following blogs to your aggregator. They are ESL teachers at ACHS. If you take a few minutes to look over what Linda-Dale has to say I think that you will become a more reflective educator. I'm glad that she took the time to create a blog...we all could learn so much from her.

here are links to the latest


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm It

Thanks for tagging me Regina! I am attending the K12 online conference for these 3 reasons;
(1) I want to see how many connections I can get on the attendr map.
(2) The 3 F's mantra of the conference.
(3) I want to make sure I don't chop off the invisible tentacles of digital natives or Global Learners.

From viewing the keynote of David Warlick and looking at many of the "teasers" posted by the presenters I know investing some time in the K12 online conference will be well worth it.

I am tagging all the new Global Learners: Anna Mendez, Heidi Bornemann, Gregg Laino, Nick Tussing, Lucas Eagon.

Yippe for the flat classroom with no gravity.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Three Things Meme (K12online)

Regina Stewart tagged me for the "Three Reasons to Attend K12 Online Conference". The K12Online Conference is for educators from across the world that share an interest in integrating technology in the classroom. The conference, in its second year, includes presentation on "New Tools", "Learning Networks", and "Classroom 2.0" to name just a few of the conference strands. I intend to enjoy many sessions from archive (the live conference events and my work life are contrasting this week). Here are my three reasons for attending:
(1) Hope to extend my professional network. With the rapid changes in teaching and learning (and technology) it is absolutely necessary to have a network to share the burden of discovery and trying new things. Increasingly effective educators are extending their networks globally and improving their effectiveness in the classroom. One of the goals of the Global Learners project is to create a network in Adams 14 that is local (28 teachers) and virtual (28 teachers connecting across the internet and with the world.
(2) Learn from some the cutting edge leaders in educational technology. I have been watching David Warlick's keynote presentation. He is among the world leaders in educational technology and 21st literacy. I am learning a lot from him.
(3) Inspiration! Nothing inspires me more that seeing the success of others. I thrive on knowing that success in teaching and learning is within our grasp.

I tag the Alsup Global Learners
Emily Taylor
Jeff Lewis
Kelly Schwichtenberg

Saturday, October 6, 2007

k12 conference

Anyone following Darrens "A Difference" Blog knows that the k12 online conference is right around the corner. One of the ways they are encouraging students blogging (if I understand it right) is to tag (you're it) others and ask them to then tag others. See the post http://adifference.blogspot.com/2007/10/k12-online-3-things-meme.html to read more.
So my three reasons for wanting to be involved in the conference is:
1. no travel required
2. Interested in hearing what good stuff can come from already respected participants
3. Find something useful to become a better teacher--(measured by students being more successful)

I tag:
Tonia J.
Joe M.
John P.
Dave T.
Izzy T. and
Tom D.

What's your reasons and who do you tag?
Any ideas about hitting the conference as a global learner team and sharing within our cohort?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Teaching paradox

I am using the smart board and recorder for a small project in my Accelerated Geometry class. I am having them work out word problems which I know they can do and they know they can do. However I am having them present it and digitally record it with the smartboard. Due to my lack of planning early enough, I have pairs of students doing each presentation, one to talk into the laptop mic and one to show the work on the smartboard. I have rubric that details what is expected in the areas of accuracy, presentation written and presentation narration. The students are comfortable with the math and the smart board and I am having them all score their peers and reflect on it each presentation. After complaining about working together, I thought this will also end up being a great lesson in working together.
They are a disaster. I am watching them totally miss the mark that I expected and outlined for them. And I saw it coming when they goofed-off during the "planning" day despite numerous prompts. We are droning through the presentations and each is getting flustered as they realized how hard it is once they are up there.
It's exciting. I realized, this is where I would have jerked the technology away and lectured them on taking this more serious, doing what I asked, etc.... But it is so clear that they get it now. We will agonize through each presentation so that the person who thinks they can do better gets flustered too. The most powerful fact is that they are producing something for a different audience than the teacher. They are also recording it so they can see/hear their work and realize how they can do it better next time. They are grading themselves and each other and they are identifying ways to get better. It is a slow process, but amazing. The students who are so smart that don't do well on tests because they go too fast and miss the details are now recording this and evaluating it.
This all directly links to the technology/design cycle piece of IB that we were conveniently just talking about. I am letting each group go through this, as painful as it is for a teacher to sit and watch awful work. It is interested to think if this cycle of iterations that has to come full circle for them to evaluate and revise. It doesn't all have to occur during one lesson or activity. I can use the same idea as their work in progress and have them continue to evaluate, revise, plan, etc. I will let them revise the rubric. I will get them more exemplars. I will keep encourage them to think bigger and more transparent. I hope to do this at least 5 more times this year and next year and then play back these first recording for them to show how much they will have improved.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Digital Divide 2.0

I grew up in the generation that first discussed and emulated the digital divide. Now reading an article about the Digital Divide 2.0 brings some thoughts to mind as my students remind me that having a webpage of information is useless to them as they have no access to the web or even, sometimes, a computer at home. The article describes the old divide between the have and the have nots, but that costs have gone down and most homes have a PC. The new divide is that between old and the new uses for the internet or Web 2.0 applications. They talk about how the divide is now about equity and the experiences that our students have. It goes back to a video shown in our trainings about how we're preparing our students for a generation of work that will be wireless, paperless, and officeless; however, it will have more information, more collaboration and more and different technologies. I guess can we say the experience we're providing in our classrooms truely prepare them for what we have no perception of, that will eventually be their everyday life? For instance most of our parents grew up with a typewriter in the home, now nearly every home has a PC with internet access, and that internet is now evolved in the Web 2.0. Where can it go next (anywhere, everywhere), and how do we prepare for the unknown?

But wait, let's throw a fear in there...a television show called Dark Angel started with the premise that a massive EMP went off destroying most of the computer networks (government, personal, etc) what would people do then? Are we also preparing our students for the possiblility they may not use technology in their chosen field?

New Blogger

Hi everyone,

This is my first post on the blog. I would like to introduce myself a little to everyone. I am a new teacher at ACHS and I am still in school myself. I am making my first lesson with the smart notebook right now so that might appear here shortly! I am excited to see how technology can take classroom learning further!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

We all use math everyday-- NUMB3RS

I'm a huge numbers fan. I watch it on the CBS website whenever I get a chance. (Season premier tomorrow!)

They have teamed up with Texas Instruments and created the WE ALL USE MATH EVERYDAY site.

The basic idea is that teachers can use the weekly show to teach math (along with the TI calculator of course). It has a blog and some other cool features.

I'm pretty sure that all my geeky (term of endearment) math colleagues have already seen this. But, I wanted post it up here.

I wonder do math geeks really dig this show, or do they just watch it for the flaws? How accurate is it?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Global Learners Join the Team

Five Global Learners joined the team today. Two from KMS (Anna Mendez and Lucas Eagon) and three from ACHS (Heidi Bornemann, Nick Tussing, and Gregg Laino). Please take a moment to welcome these educators to our team in the comment section below.

Check the demo video created using the SmartBoard during today's presentation. (Thank you Anna for creating this demo with no prep time).

Friday, September 21, 2007

blogging literacy

thinking about blogging again...I stumbled upon the REMOTE ACCESS blog and he was talking about blogging as a new literacy; we need to teach students how to read and to navigate...

So I went back and blogged about it

I'm working on blogging as a research project

I want to know how you all are using it....how are you teaching students to blog....and to read blogs? please post lesson plans, ideas, etc.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blogging Improves Writing...

Here is a link to an article I received through my classblogmeister group. I found it very fitting after my first trial with first graders and the laptops. Their behavior was wonderful in preparation for writing their first blog article. Once they turned the laptop on and I got them started, they were able to navigate quite well. Once I showed them one thing, they taught the other students who were a couple of steps behind.

They copied their writing into their blog after writing a draft on paper. Wow, they got right to work on their article knowing anyone might look at it. The only instruction I gave them for their article was that they had to choose a topic they wanted to share with the world. Now, if only we could work on using the space bar...


Our class blog
- check out their articles, they did a great job!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

get that man a cape

Can we see about getting Tarwater a cape? I mean, he rushes into the classroom to save the day and I just think it would be more effective and dramatic.
Honestly, I can't believe how spoiled I am to have such an amazing resource so handy that I make a phone call and he "runs on up" to my classroom in about a minute to fix the problem. I used the math laptop cart today and there were some troubleshooting that always goes along with trying new technology. I think that is the part that most people weigh the frustration of those days with the benefits of the technology and give up. I just can't stress how vital Tarwater's piece is to the whole Global learners project and technology in the classroom in general. Thank you Adams 14 for recognizing this importance and having such a great tech TOSA!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Making them ready.

As I visit your classrooms, read your websites, blogs, and wikis I just know you are making them ready. I am honored to work with you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Final (Seriously) Round of Logo Commenting

I just asked for a few color variations on the winning logo version. Please comment on this post and vote to the right.

Into the swing of things-and behind

I feel like we are now official into the swing of things and all of the initial stuff is in the past. It better be, since we are testing on our first unit assessment tomorrow. So, this seems like a very appropriate spot to reflect and strategize.
My website is up and all of the struture is in place. I attempted to update my voki to verbalize announcements, however, when I tried I had difficulties and never made it back. The pages that I think will have most importance is the lessons page for each class. My intention is to show the day's agenda (in reverse chronological order) and link to anything that will help them review or experience what was done in the classroom. I put notes for a topic in power point and uploaded the presentation to slideshare. Then I linked the presentation from my site and referred any student there if the "didn't get the notes." I felt like a rock star. Then I quickly got behind. No more rock star.
I also wanted to list all assignments on the assignments page (not up yet) and explain the assignment there or link to a worksheet in google docs. When I get real good, I want to scan and link to a pdf any other assignment. Maybe next term.
I quickly remember how behind I can give with meetings, emails, forms, and grading. Planning is squeeking by and I haven't gotten planned (electronically) what I would like to for the intentions of my website. I also haven't gotten to the point where I am updating my site regularly. I need to make it a routine just like entering and uploading my grades each week.
I have gotten some lesson plans written and posted to google docs with associated homework or worksheets. The mean, median, and mode lesson is at http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddz7t4gx_7d96hxf. This went well with my Algebra 9A students. And my virtual solving equations for Algebra 9B http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddz7t4gx_10dm5m4z using the national library of virtual manipulatives. This did not go as well due to trouble in the media center and centrix with the java. I am not sure if the lesson would have been better if they had more time to use the program. I asked the students to get back to the lab on their own time to complete the worksheet and homework or find access at home or somewhere else and they just didn't do it. This really surprised me and I don't know yet how much of the argument that they couldn't get access is valid and how much is them trying to get out of work.
Finally, I have put blogging on the back burner and would like to ease into smart board and blogging by next term for sure. Right now, I will focus on having a functional website and quality lessons to share.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Meaningful Blogging

I'm trying to have my students create meaningful blog posts that will aid in learning. My first few weeks bombed. Today I had them look a few interesting blogs on my reader and then return to our blog to comment on them. Hopefully, as we practice it will become seamless. However, for now not all of them have their school email!

most of the posts so far have been amazing, check them out over the next few days and comment on them. I'm trying to let them see how global we really are.

From experience, Commerce City kids don't always get to see the bigger picture and this is really hard for them....to imagine themselves in a bigger community. (Honestly, before I entered high school I didn't know there were music choices outside of rap and hip-hop! We don't really ever leave either: we bought a house next to my in-laws!)


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Classroom Happenings

Hi everyone! I wanted to share a couple of classroom updates with you. First, here is our classroom blog. When we first began this journey, I didn't think I would choose to create a blog, but now I'm sort of addicted! Anyway, check us out! http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=102127
We are not part of the "blogger" system, but you can always find us through our website.

Tomorrow, Thursday evening, is Back to School Night for Alsup. I have uploaded a podcast to our classroom blog. I'm hoping to have some student podcasts done for Back to School Night as well, but that depends upon our day of course!

Lastly, on our blog you'll find a link to a Responsibilities Wiki. If your students, or you, have time, our class would really like to know what responsibilities other people have!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Weekly Sound Project

Each week my students will be finding words with the sound for that week. Above is the SmartBoard portion of the project we completed in small groups throughout the week. For many, it was a good experience in handwriting (and alignment as the card/board moved). The students were in heterogeneous groups so they could help each other identify/hear words with the short a sound. Students each had to have their own word - no repeats! After a few days of practice, they sounded out their word and wrote it on the SmartBoard and then today we created the attached video. The lighting isn't great, but we truly only had about 10 minutes to do our best! There was a line on the floor, but they all wanted to be right next to the camera, but can you blame them? All so new and exciting.

We'll definitely have some editing thoughts for next week! We used www.flixn.com to create the video. The best parts about this site is that it's easy and the sound comes through great. The hard part is there is no editing!

It will be awesome to watch how much they grow and change in the weeks to come.

SOT---Support our Teammates

One of my teammates is so excited by our efforts she has begun her own blog. Check it out and encourage our teachers to become more reflective and in-touch with the "real world" (even the though the "real world" has gone virtual -- perhaps I will blog about his later...how intriguing)

Check out Nadja's Blog:

by the way I am very upset that I cannot get twitter to post my messages...from anywhere. I'm beginning to have withdrawal symptoms...this may require an intervention:
"Hello, my name is Tonia, I am a tweet-aholic"

Embedded HTML! Finally!

Ok, for some this may not be a huge deal, but for me the most challenging aspect of learning all of our technology tools has been embedding htmls. Of course now that I have done it on my own, it is quite easy.

Right now we are working on our IB unit called "I'm in Charge". We took a few photos today of students "doing what they were supposed to do, when they were supposed to do it!" I have been very impressed with the reaction of students - they sure don't want to miss out on what comes next!

Check out our slideshow!

Create Your Own

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Google Reader Publish to Share

Regina Stewart recently mentioned that she was looking for some good math blogs. Several comments mentioned blogs or websites that were relevant. This got me thinking: if a student was interested in a topic how do we best feed that student's interest? How do we use modern technology to do this?

I decided to create a published webpage of blog entries using Google Reader and method Will Richardson teaches and John Albright has blogged about. Google Reader allows you to "share" any entry in the Reader bin. Once the blog entry or other content is "shared" a static webpage is create with the content. The content can then be viewed like a webpage. A button for this shared content can also be placed on your website, blog, or wiki.

Here is an example using math blog content. The person publishing the content through Google Reader (me in this case) reads through the blog readers and then decides which entries are worth sharing (and presses the share button). Those shareable are automatically published to the shared website. This could be really useful for a principal or department chair to quickly and easily share relevant and previewed content with colleagues. It could also be a cool way for teachers to create shared content for students.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Global Learners Identity Final Comments

Please checkout the four images here and vote for the layout you like best. In the comments portion let us know what color color scheme you like best. This the last opportunity for input before the final logo is unveiled, so make sure you have your input.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

First day, First grade, First Smart Board.

Yesterday I introduced the Smart Board to my class. They really enjoyed aligning the Smart Board! They got a lot of practice too because they kept bumping either the board or the LCD projector stand. I started teaching a few students how to set up the laptop, projector and Smart Board right from the start with the goal of having them be able to do everything for me in the future. I'll report later in the year on how that turns out. We did a quick lesson involving tic tac toe and transitional words. So far so good. Check out the details on my blog: http://mrfishergloballearner.blogspot.com/

I also was turned onto a blog on Smart Boards by an educator named James Hollis that is full of resources. Be sure to check it out: http://smartboards.typepad.com/smartboard/websites/index.html

Friday, August 24, 2007

Making the leap

I have come across an issue that seems so obvious yet I hadn't thought of it. I was walking my students around my website and blog today and telling them all of the grandiose ideas of connecting with other schools and publishing reflections that can be commented on by hundreds of people. I was trying to give them the big picture and impress how great this opportunity is. Some were really doubtful and some were impressed. But the more vocal ones wanted me to surf over to rotten.com or check out their my space page. It dawned on me that they are technology natives, but they have (mostly) only ever used that technology for recreational things. How do we make that leap from recreational to academic and professional? It didn't dawn on me that this is an issue that I think needs to be addressed. How do we shift their thinking?
I would like to also find some math classes that are blogging because I believe the more examples of posts they can read, the faster they can jump in. If you know of any good ones, please let me know.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Global Learners Indentity Taking Shape

Check out the next level of drafts below. Which version do you prefer? What colors would you like to see integrated? What changes would make this represent our brand? Do you think we should integrate the Adams 14 name somewhere in the logo?

Please reply to the poll on the right panel.

Click the image to enlarge.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


For our first day of class I have put together a video playlist from youtube to go develope a discussion with my classes about Respect, Achievement, and Responsibility. These are three things we try to focus on at ACHS. Check out the videos, i'll let you guys know how it turned out in class.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Finally a class blog

ok ok no more football updates on this page, summer is over and it's time to focus, stay on task, and be productive. Check out this page for my actual class blog,Gee-Im-A-Tree any comments or feedback is appreciated, I plan on using this as an extra credit, 1st day HW. Let's see if we I can get the students to comment, feel free to share some summer stories too! Oh and check out the pic on the bottom, I thinks it's kinda cool how it shows how math subjects grow from others. good luck as we start the year.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Flickr Words

So Tonia added to the technology wiki and it looks great. It appears she too used SmartRecorder to capture how to use Flickr words in your website. Hope you go check it out. Plus she did way better editing it and the sound quality is awesome.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Google Calendar

So I've added to the technology wiki. I used SmartRecorder and MovieMaker to create a 4min video on how to embed your google calendar into your Contribute webpage. There is some audio but it's terrible and choppy (something with the SmartRecorder, I've got Dave looking into it). The wiki can be found at http://acsd14technology.wikispaces.com/ You can find the specific page at http://acsd14technology.wikispaces.com/Google+calendar+embed or simply view the video at www.youtube.com here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_WmQh269Sg I hope you all get to join the wiki, add and use it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

First day jitters

Okay I'm back. I'm writing a blog from my classroom for the very first time. Its really exciting to be back. I feel like I've been preparing for my students for three months. Aren't they lucky? I'm really overwhelmed though! Two days of putting my room together and last minute planning. I can't wait to see how awesome my room will look and how the technology tools will integrate to create a classroom full of thinking, wondering, reflecting...and learning!

My room is busting at the seams with technology! I have 8 desktop computers, 12 laptops in a cart I will share, my smartboard, my projector and all of the ideas I have crammed into my head about helping my students experience the world!

Watch out world Tonia Johnson's classes are coming on-line, learing is in progress...don't get in our way!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Alternate Photo Sharing Site

With this site you can add videos, photos, songs, movies...all of these can be done for instant loading.


I haven't played with the whole thing yet, but looks pretty awesome! Post your thoughts!

Teaching others what we're doing

Alright so we have the problem of learning, sharing and using all of the technology that's been presented to us over the past few months. Everyone is becoming an expert in different things. I thought creating a wiki to share our experiences would be the best way to share. If you have something to add gr8, if not you can look and learn, share with friends or anything else. Here's the link of the wiki
http://acsd14technology.wikispaces.com/ Hope you all think it's a good idea and participate.

Global Learners Indentity

A friend of mine has been working up some sketches for possible ways to get our identity across (as a group of cutting edge educators). He has put together some rough sketches of letters and different images. This includes everything and is rough (his words). He wanted to make sure we had a chance to see everything he has worked on so far. Once we develop an identity/logo we will use that for our websites and communication media (business cards).

Checkout the images below and let me know what you think. What parts work? What parts need to be added? What image/concept/identity needs to come across more clearly? What parts just don't get the idea of global classrooms across?

Thanks in advance of your comments. (click the picture to zoom)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Getting started with blogging and wiki's

On Monday, August 13, at 10:30am I'm going to begin a chatcast using Skype with a first grade teacher from Canada. Kathy Cassidy is going to answer some getting started questions about blogs, wiki's and technology in the classroom. Kathy teaches first grade Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Comment if your interested and I'll make sure your invited!

Kathy's Blog

Kathy's Website
Hi All - Some of us are planning to meet on at 10:00 in the Board Room at the Ad Building on Tuesday, August 14. We plan to fiddle with the SmartBoard and maybe the webcam too. Join us if you would like.

Summer work

This is a cross post between global learners and the achs math technology blog at http://achsmathtech.blogspot.com/.
I wanted to share some of the things that I worked on over the summer. One of the most universal things I wanted was practice with google docs where I typed in the question prompts of the Bloom's taxonomy. The document is published at http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=ddz7t4gx_4d9d68s&hl=en_US. My intention is to be able to print, cut, shuffle, or display in my room and have the students use these and try to progress up this chart (or down depending on your orientation.) Let me know if this it is helpful to have this typed and if it is helpful in the classroom.

I have also worked on my website http://schoolweb.acsd14.k12.co.us/rbstewar/index.htm (which has my voki), my blog for my classes http://adams14stewart.blogspot.com/ the blog for the math department to communicate the use of this technology http://achsmathtech.blogspot.com/ and the achs new teacher wiki at http://achsnewteachers.wikispaces.com/.
I have also spent some obscene amount of hours on my new favorite site, www.cafemom.com, which is like myspace for moms. After playing with it for a while, I feel like I get it! Ah Hah! The web 2.0 and social networking! It is smaller than myspace so I can get my head around it and quickly got addicted. So, I like to think those hours were/are well spent in being able to relate to my students.

Learning to Play the Guitar (Darren Kuropatwa)

The first hour of Darren Kuropatwa's presentation at Adams 14 on August 9, 2007. The audio in the first few minutes is low, but should be audible. It gets better as the video goes on. Darren did an outstanding job of weaving 21st Century tools into a discussion of pedagogy (or Best Practices). More footage will be uploaded shortly.

If the video player does not activate use this link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7681787884081149540&hl=en

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Using a video iPod in the classroom

I forgot that I was supposed to do this post earlier this summer. The only ways that I can think to use the iPod are recording tests so that disabled readers could have the test individually read to them which would allow them to work at their own pace and also allow them to remain in the classroom. Lessons could be recorded and put on the iPod for students who were absent. I'm assuming that work done on the smartboard could also be saved and downloaded to the iPod. What about power point presentations? When I put the question to people on a science listserve I also got the idea of virtual fieldtrips. I'll go back and read previous posts to see what other ideas there were.

Metacognition for me!

Metacognition is something I've been trying to employ with my students for the past two years. I was excited to hear Darren talk about it today. It really hit a "aha" for me! I've been using my blog sparingly, having students comment on current events or other happenings. It was amazing to see Darren use them for students to summarize and create their own learning experiences. I definitely feel like I'm doing my job well when I can step back and give students control of their own learning. (And I'm a lot less tired when the bell rings). I would like to try to use the approach he has been using with his students with my students. This seems like it would fit into every theory, strategy and pedagogy that I've learned in grad school for my ELL students. This would be cognitively demanding! -- and make sure that content is comprehensible!!

On another note, I have resolved to keep my own blog on my experiences and aha moments ... because I deserve to learn to! It would be great to have a record of that learning (just like my students will have at the end of the term)

So, please check out my new blog and aid in my learning!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ms. Schwichtenberg's Website

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that my website is officially up and running. I'm very excited for everyone to see it and use it as you see fit! If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be happy to consider them.
The website has 2 pages for students to access during literacy centers - these include access to I.B. unit information, videos, games, and podcasts. Parents also have access to curriculum, standards, calendars and activities to do at home with their children.

Check it out at http://schoolweb.acsd14.k12.co.us/kjschwic

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Summers almost gone!

Hi everyone just wanted to check in and say hello to the group. It's almost time for us to get back to it. Im excited about what we can all accomplish together this year. I will unfortunately miss the next training so I want to wish good luck to everyone with the school year. For an update on our football team check out this link.

Alsup Fourth Grade Wiki

I have created a wiki for the fourth grade to engage in online collaboration around the creation of our IB units. This seems like a perfect way for us to continue to develop these units and have our information in one place with the ability to pull it up any time. This summer I have worked on developing two units specifically: I Am Seeing Stars, a study of the Solar System and, A Timeline Study of History, a study of historical people of Colorado. I have done these on my own without consulting anyone... hardly a collaborative effort. But, I am hoping that this space will encourage everyone who has taught these units, or anyone else for that matter, to go in and add information, great ideas, resources and inspiration.

Go to Mr. Lewis' World Learners blog for a link and more information.

Design as a 21st Century Skill

On Friday August 3rd Daniel Pink was the keynote at the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) Conference in Breckenridge, Colorado. If you are not familiar with Daniel Pink, he is a former Gore speech writer that has taken up writing business books. His most recent book, A Whole New Mind, argues that left-brained skills such as analysis that were favored in the 20th Century are no longer sufficient to be successful in the expanding global economy. Jobs that include automation (or routine) can easily be outsourced for cost savings. The jobs of the future will require a worked that has left-brained analytic skills and right-brained skills like: design, symphony, empathy, play, story, and meaning.

Photo Credit

During the keynote address CASE had several live "bloggers" posted at the front of the room and members of the audience were also invited to join the discussion. If you read the discussion you will see that folks are responding to Daniel Pink, interacting with each other, and asking questions...all live. CASE actually convinced Mr. Pink to stop halfway through the talk and respond to the discussion on the "blog". This was an exciting moment of interactivity. I applaud Dan Maas (CASE President and Littleton PS IT Director) for setting this up, Daniel Pink for taking the risk, and everyone who participated live. I look forward to the day when people from outside the room are joining the people in the discussion. Truly, the power of this new social web resides in global connectivity and communication.

If you review the transcript you will find reference to Adams County School District 14 building a new high school. The comment asks whether our high school will be better designed than a Starbucks. I assume the comment was not intended to be insulting or even tongue in cheek. In fact, in Pink's talk he emphasized the importance of design and implored us to ensure that our schools of the future are better designed than a Starbucks. In the context of school design does form follow function? If so, what is the function of a 21st Century American high school?

How should schools and curriculum change to accommodate these new right-brain skills?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

My Experience With Class Blog and Learning Grids

This summer I taught a 5 week pre-college Anatomy Course, I decided to utilize the learning grids on excel, similar to what Kelly Star with schoolkit had shared with us. The overall quality of learning and student engagement was great. Due to constraints 0ne student was not able to complete the assignment on the computer and was allowed to do a paper/pencil version. It was only as this student turned in the assignment that he said "so basically this was just a vocabulary activity". None of the other students figured out that this learning activity was just a way for me to expose them to the essential vocabulary. To me this illustrated that if the learning is fun, engaging and something out of the ordinary the students are likely to learn without even realizing they are learning.
The second type of technology I used was a Blog, http://mrschrinersanatomy.blogspot.com/ I was able to post lecture notes, helpful websites and finally required studnets to place their ppwerpoint presentations to the Blog. Each student was also required to comment on at least one other presentation. Overall it was easy to manage and even though it was a very short durration, generated some good discussion. I think I will use both of these technologies this year.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ms. Taylor's Classroom Website

cross-posted at Ms. Taylor's third grade class blog

My classroom website is now active on the web! Please check it out and let me know what you think. My goal in creating this website for my classroom was to have it serve as a tool for communication and collaboration. I also see it being a space to share our classroom's educational experiences with the world, and a place for my students to access learning resources and activities. The website features:

  • pages for each academic area with related website links
  • links to google calendars for Alsup IB school, each academic area, and homework
  • a clustr map to track visitors
  • a page where Global Learner lesson plans will be posted
  • photo gallery that utilizes embedded Picasa slide shows
  • and more!

I used ideas from Jeff's website and many great links that Andrew has posted on Central's website. Thank you both! And thanks to Dave for helping me edit Html on my site to allow me to embed the clustr map and Picasa slide show! Any ideas on how I could improve the site?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Welcome to our school video

This is the cutest video ever! This year I'm working with the "Welcome Team" at the high school. This would be a great idea to use here to introduce new students to the people and places they need to know. Are there any high school teachers that want to help?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Central Elementary Technology Program Website

(This post is cross-listed at Central Elementary's Technology Blog)

I've created a Technology Program page for Central Elementary School. The page can be found on Central's main website under the 'Programs' tab. I've uploaded my created lessons, research papers, and links pertaining to educational technology. Feel free to use any lessons or ideas, read research topics, and engage in the tech blog. There will be a section for student-created work as the school year goes along, and students and instructors will update blog topics and links. Please check out the site and leave some comments for improvements.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mr. Lewis' Fourth Grade Class Website up and running!

Here it is.... Exciting right?

(This is cross-posted on Mr. Lewis' World Learners blog)

I have all of the structure in place that I think I will need when the school year begins:

  • I was able to create a direct link to my Google calendar so that parents will be able to see what is going on throughout the year. I can update on Google calendar and it will automatically update on the website. I don’t know if there is a way to wrap text so that some of my entries, like “Back to School Night”, aren’t cut off.
  • I am planning on updating the “What’s Happening” page in addition to sending the updates home as a hard copy.
  • I used many of the links that Andrew has on his Central website for kid’s links, I thought they were great. Thank you Andrew…
  • I would really like to record the first few stories as podcasts and post them on the website next, with the intent of having students do that throughout the year. I am also planning on having students post their writing throughout the year on a classroom blog. Students could also react to each other’s writing as well. I haven’t quite worked out how that is going to look yet.

This is my first crack at creating a website, so any suggestions would be appreciated.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Box.net - Online Storage and File Sharing

Box.net makes it easy to get your files from anywhere you have an internet connection. Once you've uploaded your files to Box, you can also share them with anyone, or just keep them safe for as long as you want. The free personal account allows for 1GB of storage. This may be a way for students to store and share files for your classes. It has many features including a widget that can be posted on your blog as I have done with this post. Do you see any applications for you and your students?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Making of an Expert

The July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review includes an article titled "The Making of an Expert". The authors (Ericsson, Prietula, and Cokely) discuss scientific research that shows experts are developed through years of dedicated practice and coaching, not simply born into their expertise. Ordinary practice is not sufficient to become an expert. Instead, to reach the highest levels in your field you must reach to expand your abilities that are outside your comfort zone and you must do this in a continuous and disciplined manner. They state that becoming an expert is a long road (at least a decade) and requires guidance.

Photo Credit (http://flickr.com/photos/phauly/35555985/)

How does this translate to education? More specifically, how does this translate to teaching with technology in the new world system? If you were challenged to be an expert what would it be in?

I challenge each Global Learner to identify the area of teaching and learning that they will be an expert in. If that area does not include some integrated technology try to add some. What will your area of expertise be?

Monday, July 2, 2007

How to embed Windows Media Player in Powerpoint

Finally, here is a screen capture of how to embed Windows Media Player in a Powerpoint presentation so that you can pause the video during the slideshow. This allows you to check for understanding during a presentation.

I used CamStudio for the screen capture and I set the video acceleration to zero in WMP so that it would play during the screen capture. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4gRhWNBxoM

Friday, June 29, 2007

Monday, June 25, 2007

Freedom of Speech

Lazy Monday!
I stumbled upon an article in the New York times today about a student who was suspended for 10 days in 2002 when he held up a sign that said "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" at and Olympic Torch event. Over the past 5 years his teenage angst has sparked great debate in schools and ultimately in the Supreme Court about the freedom of speech.

Regardless of the details of the particular case (the student happened to not even be on school property) it begins the conversation about the rights our students have when they come into our classroom and how far we have to go to censor them. I think a lot of us, especially in the secondary realm, want to use blogs and all of us want to post our student's work online. But, how far do we have to go to make sure that what is attached to the district's site is appropriate and who ultimately decides.

Chief Justice, John G. Roberts Jr., said, "the First Amendment does not require schools to tolerate at school events student expression that contributes to those dangers." So, the student is in some waypromoting something seen to be dangerous then its unacceptable . Justice Thomas, who did not sign the Chief Justice's opinion, argued that "it cannot seriously be suggested that the First Amendment ‘freedom of speech’ encompasses a student’s right to speak in public schools."

As we move into a place that allows our students to produce thought for a world-wide audience, I think its important to reflect on the opinions brought forth in this case. This is an old battle that may find a new proving ground if we do not at least begin to ponder about our own place and stance on the issue.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

TIE Film Festival Session (June 22, 2007)

On Friday we had about 14 participants attend the session titled "District-wide Film Festival". We introduced Adams 14 and the vision for film making in our district. We have a vision of students and teachers working together to produce quality films to be shared with the world. Here are the slides that introduce Adams 14, spell out our vision, and discuss lessons learned. During the session we also asked the participants to produce a short Public Service Announcement about Why Teachers and Administrators should attend TIE. We pre-shot the footage and gave them 45 minutes to storyboard and edit a 30-60 second PSA (not a lot of time). We had three groups complete their projects. Two of the videos are shown below (we had technical difficulties with one of the videos).

Why do you think teachers and administrators should attend TIE (Technology in Education Conference)? Why does technology in the classroom matter?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Film Festival Presentation Part II (TIE Colorado June 22, 2007)

During the presentation at TIE today we will ask the partiipants to storyboard and create a 30-60 second PSA. We pre-shot footage and created project files in Microsoft Movie Maker. In addition, we created our own 60 second PSA from the footage we captured. John and I planned together, but John edited the final product. We loaded the final product to youtube.com (see below).

Film Festival Presentation (TIE Colorado June 22, 2007)

These are the slides from the presentation that John, Dave, and I are giving on Friday June 22, 2007 at Technology in Education (TIE) Colorado (the embed feature of slideshare.net did not seem to work for this presentation). The presentation also includes a 10 minute documentary about the Film Festival and student videos. During the presentation attendees will have an opportunity create their own Public Service Announcement on Why Teachers and Administrators Should Attend TIE.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Film Fests and Online Video

In Will Richardson's TIE session entitled Podcast, Vodcast, Screencast Nation we learned about using tons of FREE web resources for creating and sharing content on the web. For those of us who are involved with digital video production in the classroom, check out some stellar examples of student filmmaking at the ICAN film fest in San Fernando, California. The group writes on its site, "Digital storytelling is our way of promoting the arts, celebrating our culture, and improving our communications with you: the world." That's what all this is about - empowering our students to be contributors to the global community.

One great tool is the YouTube Remixer, which allows a YouTube user to edit and add titles and effects to his/her YouTube films. Very cool, very fun, and very practical. The editing is all done online without the need for any fancy video editing software, and the final version of the video can then be uploaded directly in YouTube.

Here's another fun, free, and extremely useful tool: Windows Media Encoder. Use this to convert any A/V input for your computer to a windows media file, or simply use it to create screencasts. The screencast will prove to be a very powerful tool in your classroom. Use it to deliver instructions or to provide interactive feedback to students on their work. Watch my example of how I use IE7 daily at work.

To learn more about the many tools available out there, check out Will Richardson's Wiki.

Wireless World - It's Where We're Headed

The Global Learners project discusses many ideas for changing the world in which we live. Naturally, our discussions center mostly around classroom techniques for delivering 21st Century skills through the use of integrated technology.
As PIO for Adams 14, one of my job responsibilities is to track trends in education news in local and national media. Today, while surfing through the various online news feeds I receive (view my shared page here), I came across a story on NPR about wireless electricity research at MIT. Apparently, scientists at MIT have successfully transmitted electricity with no wires. This is an enormous development. Think of the implications not only for the classroom but for the entire world. Electric cars and mobile devices that charge while in use without wires - HOLY COW!
I'm ready and excited for the future that awaits my children and all the children that pass through our schools. Get ready everyone, it's already here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

RSS Tricks and Tips

Real Simple Syndication (RSS) is a method for organizing content on the Internet so the content comes to you rather than you looking for content. I have been using RSS to track the blogs I read for two years. Today in Will Richardson's (photo credit) session I learned new ways to use RSS that are useful and relevant to teachers and students. Here are the three coolest things I learned:
(1) News searching. Go to Google News and perform a search. For example, "educational technology". This search covers 4,500 (mostly) newspapers. Once the search is completed on the left-side of the page you will see RSS. Click the RSS hyper-text and you will get the feed. Add the feed to your reader. Now any time a new article is published on educational technology in one of the 4,500 newspapers you will be notified in your reader (Google Reader or Bloglines). In addition, using the advanced search feature in Google News you can restrict by publication.
(2) YouTube RSS: If you want to subscribe to Youtube videos by tag (or keyword) you can do this through your reader. Here is how you do it: first, copy this feed: feed://www.youtube.com/rss/tag/monkey.rss into a web browser. Change "monkey" to the keyword you want to track videos on. For example, if you wanted to know if any new videos were posted on "Darfur" you could create a RSS feed for Youtube using this method and any new videos would post to your reader.
(3) Google Calendar: Several of the teachers in the Global Learners Project (Jeff Lewis, Kelly Schwichtenberg, and Emily Taylor) were smitten with Google Calendar and have decided that their school will use it next year for IB Units and as a school calendar at Alsup Elementary School. Under "Manage Calendars" click the calendar that you want an RSS feed for. At the bottom of the page is a button that says "XML". Click that button to reveal a web address that is a RSS feed. Copy that feed to your Reader. Be sure to make your calendar "public" in order to use this RSS feature. Parents could subscribe to the school's calendar and know when it was updated with new events. How cool would that be?