Thursday, November 29, 2007

Return of the Gadgets- Leslie Fisher

Presented by Leslie Fisher-- A great discussion of interesting tech gadgets.

happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wikis, RSS, Social Bookmarking- in Plain English

check out these easy to understand videos to help define these topics...

Social Bookmarking-

Open Source Software-- What is it?

Open Source software- what is it, why would you want to use it- what are the benefits? Opportunity, Flexibility, Choice, Freedom.
Open Source is publicly available software that includes the source code so the community of users has the ability to modify it and contribute to its revision. It is LICENSED and free in the sense that you do not pay for it, but it allows you freedom. Check licenses before modifying, share if you modify, comply with the rules of the developers.
Take a look at High quality- Windows platform software. Launced Oct. 14, 2007. Download and burn as many copies as you want!
Sample programs discussed:
  • Celestia- a great solar system simulator
  • Tux Series- ELEMENTARY software including Tux Paint like Kid Pix, Tux Math Command liek Math Blaster, and Tux 4 Kids. (we are working on getting this for our students here at Sims)- students cannot adjust or modify this software- the setup/config program is a separate file.
  • Open Office- just like MS Office- but free
  • Neo Office Impress- like Power Point
  • Scribus- desktop publishing and PDF Creation
  • the GIMP- image editing program (advanced)
  • Inkscape- liek Adobe Illustrator
  • Blender- make Pixar style movies

Great Sites

Here is a list of web sites I noted throughout the week - I didn't want to forget to look at them-- misc. topics...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Each topic I want to share with you is a separate "post" below. The first topic is: Technologies for the next 5 Years--- David Pogue

(warning- this info is technical-- feel free to skip this post if it's a little bit confusing, or ask Justin to have lunch with you to discuss,....)
David Pogue was the keynote speaker for Ga ETC this year-- (see more in the post below below)- he described technologies that will, according to him, have the most impact on us in the next 5 years. I'm not endorsing these topics- just sharing with you. As educators, it is always helpful if we stay current on technology- since creative teachers find interesting ways to use all sorts of technology in the classroom...
1. the i-phone. you can watch his hysterical movie on You Tube from home called "i-phone, the musical"- once the most viewed movie on You Tube. i-phones will be much more popular in about 4 years...
2. RFID--Radio Frequency ID Tags-- which would allow library users to simply walk out of the library as long as they are carrying their library card-- the books would automatically be checked out to them...-- Cathy & Donna- can you imagine library inventory where you just run around the room w/ a wand and you're done in 10 minutes?
3. Voice Over IP- cheaper alternatives for phones such as Vonage or Skype
4. Voice to Text-- your voice mails can now be automatically transferred to text or emails and sent to you. Companies such as Simulscribe, Callwave
5. Sling Box type technologies-- take your TV shows with you when you travel- control your home TV from anywhere w/ computer or mobile phone.

How much do you know (or want to know) about these? Post a comment!'

Gail Lovely- ABCs, 123s, and WWWs- Primary resources

This one is for the lower grades- Preschool- K - First.... Maybe EIP and SPED...
Gail Lovely is an awesome leader in the area of instructional technology-- I have shared many of her items as sites of the week w/you over the years...
Click here for the entire presentation-- It should open in a few seconds...
Here are a few items that might be worth a try...
Real and Make Believe - gamegoo- Patterns - Art Zone - Musical Sketch Pad - Online projects - The Tooth Fairy count starts January 1st, 2008 - E-Pals projects - - The Spaghetti Book Club - Book reviews for kids by kids.
Great Sites she shared:
For Students:

Between the Lions
Up To Ten
Game Goo
Color Patterns
Shape Patterns
Weather Patterns
More Patterns
Piano Patterns / Sounds
Kids Art Zone
Making Music

Teacher Resources:
Read Write Think
Make your own ABC pages/chart
Beginning Keyboarding
Almost instant Rubrics
PBL checklists
Create an online lesson in Trackstar
General Resources and Links By Subject:
Math - Time
Science with PEEP
Literacy Resource Examples
Vocabulary Development Word Fun
Book Reviews By and For Kids
Lots of Literacy Activities
Make a Robot and then Write about it!

Tiny URL

If you have never heard of this site-- it is a neat thing and free. It allows you to make a SHORT student-friendly URL (which means web site address) from a really long one.
The instructions are on the main page of the site- see me if you need help.

Google Tricks

OK- please read this post and tell me how these tricks might change your life!! is a free site for you-

Did you know you can type a QUESTION into a Google search box and have the answer appear quietly at the top of the search results page? (try it! I typed in what is the capital of Spain?)
Join the Google teacher community by entering your email address on this site...
Type in a math question into the Google search box- and press enter. Guess what happens? Type in the sentence: 1 cup in teaspoons. (what is the answer? I bet Google can figure it out faster than we can!)
Here are a few more wonderful features- you can set up free web pages , use the Google documents/ spreadsheets/ presentation software (similar to Office), Create PDF files (FREE), even set up CUSTOM search engines with sites you PRE-APPROVE for your students to see when using the Internet for research. Of course, we never want to just set kids free on Google to search-- the custom search engine allows you to totally control the sites they get!
There is MUCH more than I can enter here-- email me if you want to get together for a tour of some of these features...
Here is the complete handout from the presentation... (open or save)
--- see anything here that might work in your classroom? Post a reply here!!

Activboard announcement....

Guess what....there is something new available for activboards-- the ability to use TWO pens on your board at the same time! This will be possible in January 2008 using their new software called ACTIVarena. Post a reply here and let me know if you think it would be worth the purchase price for the software and pen.... (nothing is free!!!)

(when posting, please put your name inside your message- it will be marked as anonymous otherwise).

Keynote Speaker- David Pogue

The keynote speaker for the 2007 Ga ETC was David Pogue, the technology writer for the NY Times, correspondent on CBS News Sunday Morning, etc. He was very entertaining -- actually hysterical-- he also has an awesome job... has access to all new technology since companies send him items for free in hopes of a favorable review. He shared some techie tips with us while kicking off the conference.
Did you know you can send a text message on your cell phone to Google-- at the number 46645 -- and get a reply in about 5 seconds with movie listings and times for your area, weather forecasts, driving directions, etc?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Podcast Practice- Cool Tools Class

During my workshop today at UGA--- I learned how to upload audio/ video to blogs. If you are interested in creating some podcasts such as this and uploading them to the web, let me know !
This is test run- practice audio file upload- pasted url from uploaded MP3 in itunes.