Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mobile learning for the classroom.

Today's presentation...


 What do you think about using cell phones in the classroom for learning?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The value of Blogging to change Classroom Culture

I just spent the last weekend at the Ontario Tech Ed - Google for Education Summit  I was an amazing event and I was inspired by several of the presenters. 
One in particular was Chris Moore with a session Blogger: Changing the Culture of your Classroom 

Quoting from the session Description "You will leave this hands-on session armed and dangerous with a Blogger Blog of your own creation! More importantly, you'll see how blogging with students can create an audience and a purpose for their work. You will learn how you can begin using your work with student bloggers across all grades and content areas. Your students will want to revise their work! Your students will want to write more!"

Here is the class blog from grade 5 students.
The blog is a collaborative project for Mr Moore and Ms. Nicolette Vander Velde classes.

You can view the student blogs from the side bar.

I have worked on educational information blogs for several years then kind of got busy and forgot about the value of sharing and publishing in this way. I have had my students in some of my classes work on blogs before but not in all my classes and not currently. Chris shared some critical success stories and how making student writing authentic and giving the pride of publishing could make a difference.  So here I am again! Thank you Chris for sharing your stories of success and blogging..I'm back for another round and will do my best to share the inspiration for other teachers and my students.

Here is the Blog from my Grade 11 Business Class:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

YouTube Editor and Screencast-o-matic

Hi, it's been a while since I have made some posts, but now I'm back and inspired by attending Google for Education summit in Ontario. One of the most useful and easy to use tools is YouTube. Creating content for online students or for other teachers to use is essential both online and for use in the classroom. 

Check out Youtube Editor & Screencast-o-matic

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Free Technology for Teachers: LoudLit - Listen to Books and Read Along

Free Technology for Teachers: LoudLit - Listen to Books and Read Along: "for technology integration in education.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
LoudLit - Listen to Books and Read Along is a good place to find free audio recordings of famous works of literature. Many websites do this, but what makes LoudLit unique and useful for teachers is the option of reading the text online while listening to the reading of the text."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Drop box ! File share and maintenace is easy now.

Technology comes in many shapes and forms and managing files and folders is difficult. If you work on several different computers, a laptop, iphone, or ipod-touch than you might want to know about dropbox. You get 2G of space for FREE! This works for all file types and Windows, Mac and phone apps. It's fast and easy to use. This site was recommended to me from friends at Classroom 2.0 check it out and get in Sync.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Show them what you mean.

Ontario Business Educators Association
O.B.E.A. Conference
Nov 7, 2009

Here is part of my presentation for teacher colleagues.
A variety of Image and video tools that are free and easy to use.
We looked at Jing Project, ExtraNormal, GoAnimate and VoiceThread.
Teachers can use these to quickly add visual / audio video for instructions.
Students will have fun using some of the tools too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

G-mail and Google docs

I Just noticed a small, useful feature, on G-mail- at the end of a message you can select to convert the message as a document. (Google Docs)
This makes it easy to go from an email containing minutes of meeting or something that you want to save, or do something with.
Once it is a Google doc you can then invite others to collaborate, publish on web, blog or wiki, download , or just save for later reference, etc.

A lot of people, and I'm guilty, currently save messages in e-mail format because we want to keep the message, contacts or attachments and view them again. This uses up lots of storage space and means you have multiple folders and programs to work with and search when you are looking for your own stuff. I'm like Google docs and how it works in sync,with G-mail.

On another Google Note Picasa for pictures also has built in GPS on Google earth so you can designate where photos are taken. Geo-tagging photos with Picasa and Google Earth
This may be useful for the traveler, geographer, photographer. I want to create a virtual tour for the Eramosa Karst Conservation area in my back yard so that will be a great (easy, free) tool. When I have it done I will let you know.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google Operating System- Great news for education!

News out today shows how Google will be releasing an Operating System distributed initially on Netbooks in 2010. I think this could be great news for education. Since last year I have been testing out, exploring, using and sharing a wide variety of software. Google has a huge number of online services. Using the internet more for online applications is easier, and free for users. There are several privacy and security options with each program and individual file. I've blogged about "Cloud Computing" and "synchronicity" previously. It all makes sense, and I agree that more people will be turning to the web for programs and storage.

Educators around the world are under pressure to have technology accessible for students integrated in all subject areas. E-learning is growing and will continue to prosper. Keeping students engaged with creative and challenging task, differentiating for each students needs, requires more use of technology in all classrooms. Add to that increase ease of use and tight budgets and making more use of free tools just makes sense. Technology can be a way to increase innovation and reduce the economic gap between schools in districts and even countries around the world.

The Old model of having an expensive "fat" computer loaded down with a lot of programs that quickly go out of date is a way of the past in my opinion. I purchased a Netbook last year and love it. Half the price, half the size and weight and all the functionality you need when you work online.

As an educator who works in the classroom, teaching online, with students and peers, I think that this is great news for education. If progressive school boards consider moving to Netbooks in the future that would be great. Our computer labs are overbooked and laptop carts are not available. In the U.S. and other countries there have been one-to-one programs so every student has access to a laptop. We have not been that fortunate, but with a lower cost maybe it will be considered. At a cheaper price even if students come in with their own Netbooks, that may be welcomed in some cases. Of course if school provided access to Netbooks then than the teachers would have an easier time managing their use to ensure it is effective and appropriate, and put away when it is time for other teaching/learning vehicles. Educators can focus our teaching that enhance student creativity, engagement. I'm hopeful that lower costs will reduce or eliminate barriers to access that exist now.

Here are news announcements:

Related posts:
Netbooks- wouldn't it be nice!

Why Cloud Computing

Sychronicity Google + YouTube + Picasa

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Music - Creative Commons

Looking for Free Music with Creative Commons license.
Check this out.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Synchronicity ,Google + YouTube,+ Picasa

Synchronicity is defined by Wikipedia as "the experience of two or more events which are causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner." When it comes to technology and web 2.o tools this is really exciting. Before web 2.0 programs people and computers worked as "independent" work stations, documents and files were kept separately. If you wanted to transfer a single document or a number of files you would most likely attach files to an e-mail, copy files to some sort of memory device.

I recently was uploading a video to YouTube and discovered a few new things about synchronicity. First I was asked at the YouTube log in if I wanted to sign in using my Google account I agreed and now, every time I log into Google I also have my YouTube account, with access to my "favourites", and "playlists" at the same time. Selecting a video as "favourite" and adding it to a "playlist" means you can find that video again when you need to share it with someone or reference at another time. There are also new comment, annotations and message tools now in YouTube that will make collaboration on a video possible. The one Log In now works for both accounts. When these two programs are opened together it makes for easier transfer of YouTube files to my Google Blog, Document, Presentation, website or wiki.

The power of having files in sync is clear when I Started using Picasa. This program takes all the photos you have on a given computer (or the folders you want) and lets you upload and store them on the Internet. Those file can be synchronized. So now I can access, edit and create with my photo's on my home computer, office computer, net book or even on mobile device. Each of the folders of photos can be left private by default or made public and shared. So no longer do I need to worry about loosing all the special photo's if my computer breaks down. Everything I need is together, photo's video' docs, etc.

Sychronicity means = access to my stuff, anytime anywhere! Try it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Creative Classroom

Technolgy tools and programs help make learning fun and engaging. Teachers working with a variety of old and new technology is illustrated in this presentation. Using new tools for the future is one way to help students be more challenged in the classroom.
This video illustrates the contrast between the technology and innovation dream for the future and the sad old technology reality that we work work with each day. The majority of photos were taken in my real classroom , school in 2009! Those are my outdated desk and yes, lots of overhead projectors and photocopies were made this year. Even though we are try to prepare students for the future and we have some technology we are far behind many other schools and regions around the world and persist in teaching excellence in spite of the drawbacks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cookbook - Technology

Jeff Urich wrote : Do you Sprinkle or Mix
wrote a quote about- sprinkle or mix - as an approach to technology in education.

I've been working with technology and my teaching areas and the response of other teacher varies. I think all to often technology is viewed as but one more add on to what teachers already do. They teach curriculum and students of all ability, they have are expected to ensure success for all, but keep everyone challenged. The emphasis continues to be on literacy and numeracy and we have to build our capacity to work with children as a whole person. That includes using new technology to make learning fun and engaging. It can't be about the technology it has to be about the inspiration to life long learning with technology and people!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More great music sites

I previously ad a posting about music web sites where you can listen to legal streamed music. Here are some more sites that provide great music.
(can't find and about us on this site- or any statement on copy write content etc?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Why cloud computing?

"Cloud computing" sounds like a fancy term but really it 'simplifies' your files and work. Working on the Internet and saving your work on line means that you have access to your work anytime, anywhere. If you're like most people you have a workstation at an office, another desktop or laptop at home and sometimes may want to use a file or document when neither of those are available. Cloud computing means you work and save your stuff on line. This also means you no longer need to spend money on hardware that uses up high storage space or software that requires costly new versions every few years. A year ago I, like many of my colleagues use to use office products and always had to figure out how to share, move and update files, waited for upload or download to make changes. One of the biggest advantages of web 2.0 free software programs is the freedom now available by cloud computing. Try it out and after a few months you will never go back. The solution to too much content on the web is to create your own.

Google docs

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Professional Learning Communities

Professional learning communities are what make education fun and engaging for me. This last week there have been a number of different learning communities that I have been able to be involved with. Some may think I'm a bit off the wall but hey, who isn't? I think it's more about following you passion and learning as a continual progess. Earlier this week I came home form school and listened in on webinar while I made supper. Ok call me crazy, but somehow to being connected to a conference that I could not afford to attend because of money and time, I was able to listen in and participate, in the comfort of my own kitchen. There where well over 120 other "crazy" people just like me listening in, and participating to this webinar.

Monday, May 4, 2009

PBS Digital Nation

This pbs series is thought provoking and asking key questions? Where are we going as a digital nation?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

KISS Youtube- Download youtube to avoid slow streaming or filtering.

I was making a presentation today at the OBEA (Ontario Business Educators) conference and the Hotel Internet connection was too slow to wait for streaming. Not a big problem, but this can be frustrating and often happens in our school classrooms. I was also asked about being able to see Youtube or other items when board or district have filtering that is blocking worth while materials in an attempt to keep out the "junk". When you have good educational video but can't view it for any reason, here is a short term option.

Kiss Youtube- this program allows you to enter the url and converts the file for you.
This way you can download and save it. It is free, fast and easy to use. You will also need to download a FLV player - there is a link to a free one on Kiss You tube. This is with the assumption that, as teacher you want to view the video because it is of value to your class or presentation, maybe created by your students, and is not infringement of copy write, but under creative commons licence. When it's just the slow/no Internet connection that is the problem.

Teacher Tube - has download option on site.

I think the bigger issue of filtering still needs to be addressed, between teachers and IT policy makes in the boards that are having those issues, but at least this tool might help teachers "get on with the show"...
If you want to create "how to" videos try out -

Tour web 2.0