Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Partnering for Real Learning

My new best resource for teaching with technology is Marc Prensky's new book Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Learning. Our world has changed and teachers/schools have to change along with it. We now live in a digital world where technology has shifted how we access information, how we connect and collectively create new products for sharing our ideas. Why would students want to listen to someone telling them things when they can access better and more relevant information themselves? Don't we want to empower students to be successful in the digital world they live in?  Prensky's book is a model for doing the hard work of "transformation," moving from teacher directed instruction to student-centered, technology rich 21st century learning. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Social Media for Learning

I often wonder when our schools will become adopters of everyday technologies used outside of school. It's as if our school walls are portals to another time where life is ten or sometimes one hundred years in the past. At home we use Facebook, YouTube, IMing, VideoChat and many other communication and collaborative tools but in school we might use email and paper. There are several reasons for this but the major one is fear, it's easier to play it safe and close the gates than it is to educate ourselves and our students to be safe in these worlds. The following is an interesting video responding to a principal's call for banning student's use of social networks. (Be sure to read the text overlay)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Scitable Learning Space

Every morning I scan the new links sent to me via my Educators Group from my Diigo Social Bookmarking account and every morning I'm amazed at the quality of resources people are finding out there. This mornings find included a site called ...

It's both a learning network and a resource center developed by the Nature Publishing Group where users can meet and discuss the many scientific articles. It also allows teachers to  create their own network and groups for students to work together. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

WCSU Technology Workshop

Two more days to Technology in the Classroom workshop. My expectation is that everyone...
  • will have a good understanding of what the Google Domains are, and how you can use them for not only managing your course materials, but  as a tool for student collaborations and communication.
  • and on day 2, I will introduce some digital storytelling and media creation applications, as well as web2.o tools.
I found this amazing YouTube video as an introduction...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Twitter in the Classroom

I've been thinking about Twitter in the Classroom for a while but watching Paul Andersen's video on using Twitter in his AP Biology Classroom has made it much clearer as to how this tool can be used effectively.
In addition, reading Cheri Toledo and Sharon Peters article Educators’ Perceptions of Uses, Constraints, and Successful Practices of Backchanneling convinced me that tools such as Twitter or Google Wave can be used to engage students in meaningful ways.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Google Wave

Google has recently added Google Wave to the Educational Domain Apps...take a look at the possibilities.

To get started Waving in our Domain go to

Like email on steroids, here are some links to how this tools is used in schools:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

U-32 Google Domain

This past year was a pilot of sorts in deploying our U-32 Google Domain, starting with a few classes primarily in the middle school we began introducing teachers and students to the many apps available. What I found was that it's a slow process introducing it one teacher/class at a time and that there are so many tools within the Google Domain that it can be overwhelming. Finding a piece that will fill an immediate need is essential and "Documents" seems to be a good way to begin. Having students create or upload word documents to their "Documents" is relatively easy and begins the process of understanding the Google sharing and management tools. One step at a time...we can move to sites, mail, calendar, groups, and how they interrelate. I'm excited to hear that next year Google will be adding new apps, including Picasa (photo manager/editor) and Blogger. As we deploy this tool district wide, I think it's important to provide various venues for professional development and training.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tips for using Google Docs

Two tips for using Google Docs:
  1. A new Google Document Editor was launched which offers many improvements over the older editor. For example, you can now simply select the line space button on the top menu and change from single spacing to double spacing, drag the margin guidelines to move your right or left margins,  or drag and drop an image, etc... To enable your new settings you must go to "Document Settings" in the upper right corner of your Docs and select "Editing" and check off "Create new text document using the latest version of document editor". The following is a video that illustrates these changes.
  2. Using Google Docs for Science and Math...a recent posting in David Wetzel's Blog Teach Science and Math

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    2010 Horizon Report

    This is one report that I look forward to each year, great research and a vision of where schools are (should be) going. 2010 Horizon Report
    key words...empowering, play, learn, socialize, and collaborate...value of innovation and creativity 
    We have begun using some of the innovations from the "short list"  Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

    Cloud ComputingElectronic BooksSocial ComputingSocial Media

    Technology in the Classroom Workshop

    I'm offering a hands-on workshop to all Washington Central SU educators on June 23rd and 24th with follow-up in the fall. Technology in the Classroom.


    I've used several photo slideshow tools but today I am enamored with PhotoPeach. It's easy to use, creating engaging slideshows in minutes fully integrated with both Flickr or Picasa Photo Albums and offers several options for audio. I was able to create a simple slideshow in 30 seconds.
    DNA on PhotoPeach Spiral Version

    DNA on PhotoPeach Story Version