Monday, October 26, 2009


October 26, 2009~Came across the following resources across my reader and wanted to share. The first is called Soople and there are many faces to Soople. There is the search aspect of Souple that streamlines the searching process tremendously. Google has Advanced Search with is similar but you still have to use the various strategies like plus, minus, etc. There is also the calculator aspect of Soople. This will assist those with an array of mathematical computations and may not have access to a calculator which at a price tag of over $100 can be out of range if not provided). Lastly but definitely not least, is the Translator which will assist in language transitions.

Soople Search

Soople Calculator

Language Translations

The second resource is Historic Maps for Students and Teachers. If you have ever attempted to teach geography or incorporate into a lesson, finding historic maps has always been a hindrance. Here is a resource from the Florida's Educational Technology Clearing House. It is Historic Maps for Students and Teachers. Teachers and students may use up to 25 maps for free without having to gain permission. There are over 5,000 maps to peruse for any subject area. If you have ever used Google Earth and needed maps for an overlay comparison, this would be a great avenue for such an activity.

Historic Maps

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Christmas in July??

July 23, 2009~ Recently, I attended the SC Middle School Associations Middle Level Summer Institute focusing on the Schools to Watch Model (STW). It was during the Q & A session in which I was struck by how naive I can be sometimes. While my school is contemplating the process as a learning experience and to gain feedback from an outside entity and either validate we are on the right track or assist us in getting there, other schools do not see it in that manner. It seemed as though they were looking for another ornament to hang on their "tree". My question to those participants would be...what is your motive and what drives you on a day to day basis? Because I work in a place that is student centered and our driving force is what is in the best interest of the child, what can we as professional educators do to assist that child in becoming the best person they can be regardless of their backgrounds or their socioeconomic status. It is our job to maximize their potential.

I look forward to undergoing the STW application and reflecting on our process of meeting every child's potential with with high-quality teachers, resources, learning opportunities, and supports.

Attribution: Photo Credit by Whitney Salonich

Monday, June 22, 2009

Web 2.0 in the Classroom

June 22, 2009~ Yes, it is June 22, the first Monday of summer and I am at work already planning for professional development for the fall. Budget cuts have forced my 220 contract to be changed to a 190. This removes my days of planning prior to the teachers arriving. So here I am avoiding the 100* heat,getting ahead of the game. For once...rather then waiting until school starts (which is ultimately too late to begin with!)

So for those of you still at work or needing a break from the summer fun, I would appreciate any and all comments on my Voicethread!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wandering While Writing

June 16, 20009~ I find myself wandering as I attempt to finalize my narrative for my grant. As I organize my data so it can be effectively analyzed for our reporting, I keep getting sidetracked. (Now that is not a bad thing at the moment since I still have a few days until it is due to my supervisor). So let me share what my latest wanderlust is at the moment. It is TweetPsych created by Dan Zarella. Now, not really sure at this point how I could use this in the classroom but personally can see some items that are interesting. For example, my score on the cognitive for education is 218. So does this explain why when I am at a social gathering and feel quite comfortable and confident when I have conversations with those in the educational sector but if my conversation partner is a non-education person I often feel stressed at making small talk?

As for the second graphic below, having just come out of a training session in All Kinds of Minds, I will have to refer to my Glossary of Terms more indepthly to understand about the temporal references and such.

But for now..this looks like an interesting tool and I look forward to more study as to applications in the classroom or perhaps a tool to understand your fellow educator. Hmm...maybe I will run this on my teenage daughters to better understand them??? Think it will work???

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Google Forms

March 24, 2009~ Again, still learning...I have used the various aspects of Google and not ever attempted the forms but have teachers wanting to use this type of format. Please humor me while I learn. Also, if you have any insightful advice, do not hesitate to share...

Google Forms:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks...

March 17-19, 2009~ It never ceases to amaze me on the variety of presentations that are provided by SCETV's Technology Workshops. If you have never attended then it is well worth the time (did I happen to mention the cost if FREE!). It is truly the epitome of the hands on workshop. I will be using this post as my work space to practice some of the techniques being shared.

Virtual Field Trips (Guide) with Google Earth (by Tom Taylor of Spartanburg Five)

Fort Moultrie

Decades of growing strife between North and South erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.

Fort Sumter

Fort Johnson

Attribution: Photo by Kevin Gerzema

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Student Cell Phone Use in the Classroom

February 18, 2009~ So I have been racking my brain trying to figure out a way to use cell phones in the classroom. Since our students bring them and seem to get in trouble for having them (and using at the inappropriate times), why not find a way to incorporate them into the classroom. To me it is a win-win situation. I want all to participate in class but cannot afford to purchase class sets of the response systems. Thanks to a Twitter from Alec Couros , I know believe I may have the tool to do just that...

So I created this practice poll to see how it would go and will share the cell phone version with my administrator. Hopefully, it will take hold and we can implement this in classroom!!


Create your own sms poll at Poll Everywhere

Monday, February 16, 2009

It gave me the chills....

February 16, 2009~ I woke up this morning with the expectation of doing what every educator does on a teacher holiday, catch up on whatever personal issues (i.e. housework, errands, etc) that are left undone during the regular school week. However, while drinking my morning coffee and going through my reader and stumbling on fellow blogger Bill Gaskin's Blogging on the Bay's latest post, felt compelled to blog. I have seen the Kaplan University clips before and thought they were a great marketing tool and used the Pay Attention clip in my teacher workshops as well and for those new to the technology scene they often find it very compelling and it does seem to ignite their viewpoint and revisit how they are preparing students.

The clip entitled A Vision of Students Today embedded below has given me the chills as well as re-igniting my enthusiasm and urgency for the teacher and students that I work with on a daily basis. The question "AM I doing enough for them (my teachers and ultimately "my" students) to prepare them (teachers so they can prepare the students) not just for high school but to survive and flourish in a world that is constantly changing" is one that drives what I do on a daily basis. The information shared in the video has forced me to regain and refocus my thoughts. It is a powerful tool that everyone should see..parents, teachers, administrators, district office personnel, state level personnel and the Education Department in Washington would benefit. I see the reality everyday. I live the reality as I sit in training sessions Twittering, going through my Google Reader, texting to my child that forgot her shin-guards for soccer practice, emailing an administrator a confirmation for a training session. I had even forgotten that the position I hold today did not exist when I was in college nor did it exist when I entered the educational workforce.

So as I sit here being a real-life example of the reality of the 21st century..I ask my self this question..Am I doing enough...enough for my teachers, enough for "my" students and ultimately enough for the future of our society?

Watch the clip below and let me know your thoughts...