Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Google stuff!

I met with a teacher yesterday and was able to help guide her through some google stuff. I helped her find her igoogle account, showed her how to get to the blog she created, and helped with blog stuff! I realize that may not sound like much, but I picked that stuff up from just listening to Emory's google workshops and I was proud of myself! :) I started working on a google calendar yesterday and really like it too. I am having a good time finding and showing people "new" things!

I also started using google reader yesterday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

blogging tech training

On the way home, I thought more about the tech training today. I had two 3rd grade teachers ask me (of all people to ask) what the educational value of blogging. I told them how I used it, which I thought was for a very educational purpose. I guess that means they have not looked at the stuff on blogs that I sent that include some links about why kids should be blogging (and it probably would not do any good to send it again) :)

Even though the negatives are the things that stick out, I think some good things came out of today's training. I have already had emails asking for more guidance/suggestions concerning using blogging with students.

I think it all goes back to changing the mindset of the teacher. If the teacher sets it up so there is a purpose and a structure (while still allowing for some freedom), wonderful things can come from student blogging (or any type of project, especially one related to technology). I saw that for myself last year. I saw how much more students were capable of doing if they were just given the chance. I keep hearing the "our kids can't use this at home and the parents won't look at it" excuse. My students last year for the most part did not have home access. We did it at school. Yes, it was a bit daunting at first to think about, but I just felt like I needed to jump in and do something to figure it out. I was/am so impressed with the results. I can't imagine teaching and not doing the technology stuff that I did, which was why I found the question about the educational value of blogging so surprising. I probably did not do a very good job answering it since just the question itself totally shocked me.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I created a pageflakes connecting the resources I have pulled together to encourage teachers to blog and have students blog. There are several teachers at FP who now have blogs. One teacher said to me today that I am all about blogging! :)


I have a 4th grade teacher who is having her students make a powerpoint about another student they interviewed. Her plan was to print out the powerpoints for each student to make a book. When she printed the first one to the office, the secretary said the colored backgrounds were taking to much toner and blah blah blah. I told the teacher that we the students could connect them to the class blog so they would be accessible that way. I sent her some information on VoiceThread (and examples from my students last year). She emailed me back that she wants to do that!

I thought I would pass this little story along since I remember having a question at the beginning of last year about how I could put the student-created powerpoints on the webpage and Emory suggested VoiceThread :) which I then used in many different ways throughout the rest of the year. My students really enjoyed it.

Then I had another teacher asking me how I could help her class and what did I do last year. She asked if I could show her students how to do things on Excel and how much advance time I would need before she could bring them. Responded with hmmm I could but . . . :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good Week!!

I feel that I have had a good week in my new job. I have learned lots and begun to trouble-shoot some technology problems pretty well, especially related to the ActivBoard. :) People have signed up to come work on projects and assessments in the laptop lab (where my desk is located). People email me with questions about their ActivBoards. I have even helped some other learn different things to try when they think their board is not working.
I am looking foward to the things that come from the Year-Long Staff Technology Training (I sense excitement and interest in many teachers about trying new things).
While it is true that document camera have been my downfall so far, I will continue to try to figure out what to do with those pieces of equipment because there are lots of things that have worked well including:
• I’ve been made the webmaster of the school site and learned some things to try to make it more interesting/appealing
• I’ve successfully loaded SRI and SRC (reading tests) on the laptops in my room, and I have learned (after several calls with customer service) how to use SAM
• I got 4 ActivBoards to work yesterday (even had to reinstall a driver on one) with help via Skype!!
• I was able to find answers to questions teachers had rather quickly (ActivInspire, SAM, SchoolCenter, SRI . . . )
• I talked with Cortez, Rothwell, and Voigt about class blogs. I sent information to some and hope to get them started next week so we can work on projects!
• I posted a request for information about digital penpals (teacher request) on twitter, and was directed to a link to OnlineProjects4Teachers Ning where I found a neat project to do with 4th grade students when they learn about the Native Americans in NC (involves a wiki)
• I have a teacher interested in some type of Stockmarket game (that I need to find out more about)
• I have several teachers doing About Me powerpoints with students at the beginning of the year (one is going to upload the projects from his class through MovieMaker so they can make movies)
• I have a teacher interested in learning more about Podcasting (me too) and still wants to know if/how document cameras can be used as webcams