Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What Are You Doing Right Now!

Global Learners, in the spirit of re-engagement and stimulus, I am encouraging you to comment in response to the following question:

What Global Learner project do you have in the fire right now?

For the purpose of this post, don't post lesson plans, don't worry if it is not finished or well-planned, just tell everyone what you are doing right now that involves the use of technology in the classroom. The goal is to reconnect with the group to see what everyone is doing, and to have the opportunity to follow up with a colleague who has a project in the works that you are intrigued by. So... what ARE you doing right now?


Joseph Miller said...


I am not a Global Learner per se, but I am occasionally thinking about new and important applications for technology in my job and the classroom. Two new things that that I have been playing with are which allows you to create a PDF from an RSS feed that is emailed to you. It is made to look like a newsletter...more friendly reading. I have had some hiccups doing exactly what I want, which is to select six or eight feeds I read all the time and have them emailed to me using tabloid. I think a single feed can be created using Google Reeder, but so far I haven't figured it out. Second, I have been fooling around with Ideascale. This is a DIGG like vote site. I created one for Adams 14 with *fake* suggestions:

Wesley Robinson said...

Finishing CSAP! I feel guilty saying it, but most other worthwhile educational pursuits (like GL) has fallen by the wayside in the run-up to the all-important test. Most of my students came to me proficient, and I aim to keep it that way. I have been doing my usual Smartboard and Clickers routines, but not too much else lately. One Smartboard template that has been really useful is a Jeopardy set up; I'm able to throw together very engaging reviews quickly. Now that the tests are almost over, I feel I can finally try some more ambitious technology lessons. I'd like to get the students posting writing online, teaching my mentee's (Kate) 2nd graders something new, and more. What other ideas are out there? Thanks for putting up the post!

doug.abshire said...

Working with Todd to collaborate on plan B 3.0 to save the Earth.


Doing this with shared students and attempting to bring English and Science together. Will be using cover it live and other web 2.0 tools to share our students in the cloud.


Ms. Stokke said...

Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to implement blogs in my classroom. I'm looking at having kids, after spring break, read a book of their choosing, do a one-pager and have them write/post a review of the book on my blog. I've had trouble this year trying to integrate some of the technologies due to the pressures of student achievement. I'm looking forward to getting this project up and running! Oh, and I'm stressing out about CSAP:)

Liz Springer said...

Just like Ms. Stokke, I am working on re-invigorating student blogging. All year we've had a class blog that I post on and the students (and others) comment on. But starting post-CSAP, my 8th grade students will be creating their own blogs and personal philosophy statements. Ideally, their page will reflect them as individuals. It will contain at least weekly posts. They will be required to comment on another student's blog at least once a week as well. I'm still trying to decide if this would work better as individual blogs or as a single wiki, with each student having their own page. And suggestions?

Dave Tarwater said...

This week I saw technology in action as ACHS seniors talked live with 3 recent ACHS graduates from their campuses. Take a look at:

I finished a really good read, "Here Comes Everybody" by Clay Shirky. In his book he talks about what is and what will be happening with the advent of Web 2.0 tools and ubiquitous internet access. How sharing, conversation, collaboration, and collective action of a group has gotten easier. I think our GL group is tapping into that. Are your students using Web 2.0 tools?

Mr. Palmer's 5th Grade said...

I, like Wesley, have been so into CSAP the last few weeks, my technology equipment is spending some time in the corner of the room. But, previous to that, my class (5th grade) have been using the CPS clickers to do a comprehensive review of skills found on the tests. I've also implemented some technology "stations" or "centers" in each of my math, writing, and reading blocks.

Jon Fisher said...

I just completed a voicethread assessment project for the colleagues in my Second Language Acquisition Class. I'll post it online soon. Ever since the Classroom 2.0 discussion I've been thinking about ways to incorporate VT in my classroom. Our next project is student Voicethreads (an adaptation of a writing project)on the lifecycle of the Butterfly. Lisa Kellogg and I have been sharing some great ideas on Smartboard features and lessons in the class. We are implementing several ideas to show how technology can be used to support direct and systematic instruction (a la Reading First). I just completed an online course in integrating technology in the curriculum at Walden University where I am pursuing my Masters. The coolest part about that class was the use of technology in Universal Design. I'm now taking a course in technology for learners with special needs.

Lisa said...

Right now I'm thinking about typing or scanning the letters my students have written. The letters are in response to an excellent book called Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. I used it to model expressive reading and making my voice match the words and expression of the character. My class is excellent at reading the story and I wonder about the legality of posting on a class website, a reading of the book by my students with the pictures from the book. Any thoughts on copyright?

Joseph Miller said...


It is probably prohibited under copyright (, but there would not appear to be a lot of appetite to take legal action since you are probably helping them reach a new audience:


Stewart said...

Right now: I am trying to teach 5th block after CSAP testing--AGH!
I am also feeling guilty for missing the meeting yesterday and sleeping through the skype conversations.
In relation to technology in the classroom: I am trying to find time to finish outlining my Acttion Research Project in order to collect data to measure how students' investment in their education changes when the audience changes from strictly the teacher to a global, digital audience. Then I will need to outline which technology to use (I am really leaning toward Voicethreads and wikis) and finding my audience (has anyone worked with epals?) I think it will be really cool but I see the time that I have left to collect data slipping away.

Dave Tarwater said...


It never hurts to ask. Maybe your class could write a letter to Mo asking permission to use a few of his illustrations from the book?

Mo Willems
c/o Christian Trimmer
Hyperion Books for Children
114 5th Ave, 14th fl.
New York, NY 10011

Dave Tarwater said...


I would really like to see your Technology Stations in action. Hows about an invite to visit after the testing window?

Kelly Berry said...

My class began using color coding to help organize writing. The vast majority of my students will have completed eight sentences (topic, 3 "star" idea, 3 details and conclusion). Students will be publishing work on their blog along with a picture they create on KidSpiration. They're very excited about the entire project.

I'm also going to try creating clicker quizzes for reviews. I think I'm going to start with money and measurement quizzes. I think I started this a year ago and just found it again today! Ever feel like that?

I look forward to seeing more results from GL using VoiceThreads.

cvigil said...

I am currently finishing up translating CSAP spanish to english. I'm also starting a new trimester with different students. Therefore, I am teaching students spanish and we're brainstorming on what they want to do as a final project. Some examples are: setting up a restaurant, cafe, movie theater, or a mercado. Most classes are leaning towards setting up the classroom as a restaurant.

Christine Mac said...

Right now I am watching my students take a quiz. I have an action research project going for graduate school (I was not as smart as Regina to have this also have something to do with global learners) and this is taking up a lot of my time. Also, I am getting married in June so all that fun planning stuff is happening now too. I have been using technology daily in my classroom and the students seem to be enjoying this. I just found out that this summer the graduate classes I will be taking will be collaborated in real time by video with teachers in Wyoming. This should be an interesting tech filled summer.

Dave Tarwater said...


Your Spanish class final projects sound fun. For those students that do choose to setup a restaurant, will they be serving food, if so I am totally in.

Some ideas you might consider in your Spanish class:

Using the SmartBoard with the language setting switched over to Spanish. Then you could create activites on the SB where the students could interact in the Spanish language.

For the restuarant project have the students create Menus in MS Word, there are lots of free "menu" templates online for that.

Have the students create a short video commercial advertising their restaurant or whatever final project they might have.

What do you think?

Dave Tarwater said...

Stewart (Regina),

Regarding epals, how about posting a short blurb in the epals Teacher Forum describing what kind of classroom match you are looking for? It would be interesting to see what kind of response you might get from around the world.

pmci said...

I have instituted an "electronic Do Now" feature every Wednesday in my classes. It is essentially a scavenger hunt type of activity in which students solve a few math problems, take the answers, and compute a code which is used as a URL address to get to the next set of problems for the following Wednesday. I have also found some places online that give assessments whereby the student does an interactive "quiz" and submits their response to me via email (we had the laptop cart). The quizzes are autograded and scores come to me through my email.

Sara said...

I use the smartboard daily.
Some of the lessons I use it for are:
1. grammar
2. phonics
3. high frquency words
4. math

I am also having my kids comment on my website about the changes in our mealworms. We are learning about complete metamorphosis, so this is a good opportunity for kids to share their thoughts.

Dave Tarwater said...


The Wednesday activity sounds interesting. Would you consider sending me one of the activities? My math skills may be a bit rusty but I would like to give it a go.

KL said...

I'm afraid I'm not doing much. 8th grade health students made tri-fold brochures about specific drugs which they had researched, including available community resources for treatment and rehabilitation. Should have researched a program that would have done it better/more efficiently than Word. Suggestions? Use United Streaming videos for all grade levels. Will investigate the Jeopardy template on the smartboard.

cvigil said...

Dave, thanks for the ideas. Yes, we do have food. Students have used the computer to make menus. The video sounds great. I will definitely have my classes do that. I intend to use the smart board more this trimester. I will send you an invite for one of our grand openings.

Emily Taylor said...

I have been teaching an IB unit of inquiry about creative expression. My focus is on painting; the history of painting and various techniques and types of painting. I've been using videos from you tube to help me show the students many examples and am also going to allow them to experience two different websites that allow people to create "paintings" online. One is and the other is which is more like drawing, but really neat. Thank you Dave for introducing me to the site!

Kathy and I are planning on meeting soon to finalize our second collaborative project. We are planning on having students use the smartboard to teach a concept in mathematics. Their lessons will be screen captured and then posted and shared. We're still working out the details. Do you have any ideas of how we could share them?

I'm also really excited to get a group of student film makers together for the Spring Break workshop. Will I see any of you there?

Dave Tarwater said...


I recently discovered another online art tool you might try with your class.

It was blocked by the District filter but I requested it be released for use. Let me know what you think.

Mrs. Heaton's Class said...

I know I am not technically a part of the GL community I thought I would post what I am doing here in my fourth grade class in Beaufort, SC.

My students are finishing up powerpoint projects that won't ever ever ever die. They are slowly being uploaded to the class blog at All our computers are being used for MAP testing for the next two weeks so I have had to get creative to finish it.

Yesterday students created avitar versions of themselves using the NY City Zoos and Aquariums for a voice thread project we have coming up with another school. We are having some streaming issues with voicethread at the moment, which might kill the project before it starts (they were going to debate the new uniform policy that goes into effect for all elementary and middle schools in the district).

Students in all fourth grade classes are creating 3 slides each in powerpoint covering important people and events in astronomy. I will stitch them together with music to show at a parent night project in conjunction with the 100hours of astronomy project. Have no idea how I am going to get that done by April 3rd with the computers and lab out of commission for two weeks. Sigh!

At the end of the year (after our state testing) students are going to make a video of all my class rules to show my next year students.

We have a composting grant and students are suppose to make worm inspired children stories to share with our lower grades. I would like to teach them how to scan it into PowerPoint and do a voiceover to present to the classes (they know how to use powerpoint and do voiceovers but not the scanning in and saving to their computer folders.)

That will pretty much take me through the year. I do want to teach them how to upload photos they take from our digital camera to their folders as well.

We will continue to blog during that time at our site. Someone pointed out that we only have three full teaching weeks before our end of year state testing so it is plausible that we won't get to much of the above but I continue to live in my "teacher fantasy".

Eve Heaton
Mossy Oaks Elementary School
Beaufort, SC

Jeff Lewis said...

Just finished an IB unit on the "Magnificent Body". Students created cutouts of a body, then posted what they learned about a particular system on the cutout. Decidedly low-tech, but I really like the way it looks when we are finished. We did use our class wiki to solicit responses to our questions about the body. I sent an email to everyone I know asking for answers from medical professionals. We got all 30 or so questions answered. I printed all the questions and answers and created flip cards to add to our body cutout bulletin board in the hallway. Other students have been reading the answers to such questions as, "Where do boogers come from?". It aint pretty, but the students were very proud.

Next, we will be studying India as part of a cultural comparisons unit. I am determined to use Voicethread for this one since I have recently created free student "profiles". Two other fourth grade teachers are having students create powerpoints. I am thinking I will get those ppt files and upload them as voicethreads and post them in a central location so all fourth graders can comment on each other's work. Not blogging or twittering as much this year with my students. Other tools just seem to fit this particular group of kids better.

Stewart said...

When I grow up, I want to be like Jeff Lewis!

Joseph Miller said...

Thanks Mrs. Heaton. Perhaps you can be an honorary Global Learner since you have been connecting so much this year with our classrooms.

Jeremy S said...

Right now, It is all CSAP all the time. For the end of the year I will be doing a water quality / plant / animal unit that will integrate technology.

Kate Ibarra said...

Technology projects I have implemented thus far this year:

The smartboard has been my biggest technology implementation in my classroom. I use it in all subjects but mostly in math. I use the notebook pages as a reteach and warm-up of past concepts in whole group instruction and then later use the same notebook pages as an independent student center.
When I show videos off teachertube or find a great online resource I have made great use of the screen capture feature.

I had a short stint with Windows movie maker and produced a video on the tropical rainforest. I took video footage at the Botanical Gardens and edited with movie maker to give my students a real feel for our “Habitats” science unit.

Projects I would like to start:

I have been involved in a trial program at my school called the Children’s Global Peace Project. The project is based in Wisconsin and is using my school as a trial expansion. I have spoken with the founders of the program about further implementing technology. I am thinking about either a blog or wiki where my students would share their feelings and experiences and/or correspond with their “peace leaders”. The peace project has done a lot of work with children in Africa as well. I brought up the idea of correspondence, emails or even web conferencing, with these other Peace Project students but was informed that these students have little or no access to any technology.

Dave Tarwater said...


I took a look at the Children's Globlal Peace Project web site. There seems to be some natural fits that could be done with your students.

Dancing and singing Dances of Universal Peace – fun and simple circle dances from all over the world that are inspired by different wisdom traditions".

This sounds like a natural for a short video produced by your class.

Other exercises chosen by the school, including writing letters to pen pals.

How about hooking up with a class from a far away place on

Justin said...

It's good to see a lot of us on the same page again!


I am currently experimenting with vocabulary words and engagement using the SB. I am also having advanced students lead small group discussions/lessons to small class groups. We will incorporate PowerPoint into their lessons soon.

Finally, we are finishing CSAP.

Hope all is well!

DLo said...

I just don't know where the time goes! This year, I've been incorporating the SMART Board into daily usage. I use the SMART Board in the morning for science/smart centers. WE look up information on whatever topic we are on and/or play games related. For the Literacy Block, the SMART Board is used for "Splash into Phonics", sight words, identifying opposites, literacy games. I've also come up with activities for math that a team teacher and I both use. I'm also awaiting my new laptops for the kinders to use. I think that since I'll have more access next year to laptops, I am definitely going to incorporate the blog that I started but, unfortunately, didn't keep up with. There are also leapsters that I utilize during my centers. (These have reading games that the students have access to.)

I am also in the process of having students record themselves reading so that they can hear how they sound. We are using the Ipod and voice recorder to do this. It works, sometimes. It's hard to find a time where it is quiet enough to record a good one.

There is a kindergarten PD coming up, and Jenny (my team teacher) and I are set to present to the other kindergarten teachers. We are hoping to inspire them to use the SMART BOARD! :) We'll see how that goes. The others are a little reluctant when it comes to using technology.

My hope for penpals fell through. :( I'm going to try again next year for penpals with a classroom in Vail. That's it for now, I think!