Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reflections on 2008 Learning Curve

During the last year there has been a lot of technology and learning opportunities to be proud of. I personally have continued on the path to provide engaging learning with technology with my students, however the process of changing is sometimes a slow path. This is on the part of the teacher as well as students, when you begin to shift from a teacher centered classroom to one that is more student centered the change in focus is on differentiated learning and honouring multiple intelligence of the learners. There had to be just as many adjustments for the students as the teacher. I am proud of the amount of personal and professional learning that I have encountered, using many new programs for the first time, like this blog, Google Reader, creating wikis, and lots more.(see side links) Back in the Fall when I heard Will Richardson talk about trying new things for ourselves and then incorporating them slowly into the classroom were words of wisdom that I have taken to heart. 2009 will be more about sharing what I know and bringing it into the classroom more frequently, be it on line or in the face to face classroom.

After watching this video, I have to wonder if the changes and progress have been enough.
Mr Winkle Wakes
Here is a wonderful video that illustrates how much technology and education need to work together.
Created by Mathew Needleman- Creating Life Long Learners.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Web sites made easy, with Read- Write Web tools.

I've made several web sites over the years in a wide variety of formats. Creating sites from HTML code, using web design programs like Dreamweaver, First Class, and now with the advance of online tools and Read/ Write web anyone and everyone can easily create a web site or a Blog or Wiki. The level of creativity and program choice is truly in the hands of the Creator.

In teaching technology to high school students I think they need to be aware of the various programs as each has different limitations and advancements. And along with the software come lessons in "responsible publishing as an ethical citizen."

For those Student, Teachers and Anyone who wants to publish but is NOT highly technologically inclined you can still create a great looking site without any annoying advertising using either of these sites. A account has to be set up but after that it's all yours. These are WIWIGS (What you see is what you get) they are also easy to update and no uploading is required.

Google sites

View this instructional video for Google Sites

Steve Hargadon recently posted some information about as a web tool. I think this one is great for those who want a fast easy site in 10 minutes with 20 or so templates to choose from.

Is there a place for Avatars in Education?

Is there an appropriate place for avatars in education? In the classroom and in an on-line environment I think there might be a few occasions when using an avatar would make learning more fun and the hope is more memorable. I looked at some programs before but this one got my attention because it is free, and easy to create.

Get a Voki now!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Video and Quiz ?

Ok there are lots of video's on U-Tube. Millions being added each day.
Some have more value than others to say the least,
but when you have a video that is useful, you can now add a quiz to it to make it more interactive.

Looking for a way to add a short Quiz to a video.
This site is designed for students learning english but could be used for any level, as teacher can design their own questions.

Sample activity:
How to Find a Niche Market

Storyline Online

I've been on a quest to find web sites and tools that appeal to multiple intelligences and came across this one the other day.
Although it is more suitable for the elementary level It might be a way to get more students interested in reading and with all the video and Internet tools out there secondary students could create and publish their own book talk.

Looking for a fun way to read stories and encourage reading.
Check out, this free online story telling web site.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friends of Eramosa Karst Winter Walk

I'm involed with a local environmental community group and if you are in Hamilton Ontario, I invite you to join Friends of the Eramosa Karst conservation Area for a walk to view the caves and winter features. Hot drinks will be available.
Sunday Dec 7 at 2pm.

Click to play Fotek - winter walk
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Classroom 2.0

Classroom 2.0 is an amazing web site with nearly 14000 educators interested in technology and education. A wonderful site for information, resources and professional development. I have only been a part of this group for a short time have found lots of FREE and amazing ideas and tools to make learning a teaching fun and interesting.
check it out!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Technology for Teachers, My e-learning favourites.

I have been teaching on-line for secondary students in my board in southern Ontario for only one year. This is my second year and I am developing a new course ( Business Entrepreneurship - E-Business) I was required to build all of my materials in :
First Class
This progam works fine, some limitations but easy to use.
We have also just began using -Adobe Connect
for webinars and conferncing. Although we still working out a few tech support items with our board server. It's definately will be a great tool for teaching online.

I have also be actively searching for ways to integrate multi- media to appeal to different learning styles, so a few other useful programs are:
Adobe Presenter- takes a PowerPoint and adds voice, students can forward rewind pause as needed. view a Sample

Another useful program that is FREE is JING
This is a wonderful screen capture program that allows you to show views what you mean by creating a flash and audio message. Here is a sample.

One more program that I haven't used a lot so far but has great potential is Voice Thread This program allows you to add multiple comments to a slide, visual or video. sample:

Making movies is easy with windows Movie Maker

That's just a few of my favorites and I 'm sure I will be finding more as I continue to work in an online environment.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Will Richardson speaks to Ontario Teachers

Earlier this fall I was able to attend a presentation by Will Richardson.
I had read his book, (Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (Paperback)by Will Richardson (Author) "Tim Berners-Lee had a grand vision for the Internet when he began development of the World Wide Web in 1989..." ) and have personally been interested in technology and educations for many years.
I enjoy the challenge of learning the new tools and expanding my own learning and bringing what I find into the classroom.
He provided us with a wealth of useful information and links and I have been testing out many of his suggeted resources since that day. Check out his materials, well worth the time!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reflections on impact of technology on education

Technology is changing so fast that it is impacting everything in our world. Education is struggling to keep up with the changes. Challenges include the Administration, access to technology tools, need to provide safe and secure environments, but the biggest challenge is a shift in pedagogy for educators.

Friday, October 10, 2008