Friday, April 25, 2008

StoryTubes Book Talk Contest

April 25, 2008~ View one of our entries in the contest under the Facts, Fads and Phenoms. We will let you know how things progress and when the online voting starts and where to go to vote. Hopeully we will make it that far!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pay Attention!

April 23, 2008~This video was shared with participants in a session during SCETV Technology Workshops. It just seem to strike a chord with me and the way our students learn and the tools we as educators need to be using.

However, it leads me back to my argument with the district filtering rules. Yes, we need to be engaging our students and using the tools they are already using everyday in their non-school lives...How, oh, how am I supposed to meet the needs of my teachers and students if I am not able to access the necessary tools?

Any others having issues with Web 2.0 tools being blocked? How do you convince the powers-that-be to allow access?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What Do You Consider Technology?

April 8, 2008~ Being a quiet day, I was able to catch up on some of my personal professional development. Having stopped by Craig Nansen's Ustream of their state technology leader's meeting with Dr. Richard Van Eck, UND Pedagogy for the New Millennium and Steve Dembo's UStream, thoughts started floating in my head. One of the speakers mentioned the question of what is technology and how different generations view different things. My grandparents thought the radio was technology, my parents thought the color television was technology and I grew up thinking CD's were technology. The American Heritage Science Dictionary defines technology as "The use of scientific knowledge to solve practical problems". So with the advent of generational changes radio, television, CD's, ipods, Web 2.O why is it taking so long for our teaching practices to change. To quote an audience member in Steve Dembo's UStream this morning, "you wouldn't want to go to a doctor today that is still practicing medicine the same way he did 20 years ago, then why would you let your child's teacher teach the same way teachers taught 20 years ago?"

As a technology coach, I have actually heard most of the excuses for not using technology in the classroom. We have all heard it..classroom management issues, technology networking issues, Internet safety issues and the list goes on and on...But I am here to tell you...the good of the technology so tremendously outweighs the "issues". Let me help you deal with those issues..I promise it will make your teaching life a lot better in the long we will hit a few road blocks along the way but isn't that what teaching and learning is all about? So for me technology is anything that helps me do my job better and that job is helping the teachers help the students succeed. So..if it includes You Tube, Instant Messaging or Webcams..come on tech up those filter gates!!

Image: Technology Then & Now

Friday, April 4, 2008

Book Talk Video Contest

April 4, 2008~ Talk about surpassing my expectations! The Literacy Coach and I put our flyers stating we would assist any students interested in participating in the StoryTubes Video Book Talk Contest and to bring their lunch to a "lunch and learn" mini-session. We expected a few students based on our hall conversations with kids. To our pleasant surprise, we had 25 students come to have lunch with us. Keep in mind that due to our current class schedule, students will have to give up their recess to work on their projects. Amazingly, that wasn't an issue. They are anxious to get started and I look forward to helping them create, edit and publish their book talks...students have already started the planning process with scripts. It was great to see the excitement swell as soon as we announced the details, you could hear the chatter as they began brainstorming on how they would put together their book talks.

I cannot wait to share our final products. Even if they don't make it to the finals and the voting process, they will still have shared some great books and increased their technology abilities. Isn't that what true learning is supposed to do???