Thursday, June 28, 2007


WOW!  The Conference was awesome.  The best part was meeting/connecting with with others I have only known on-line.  The climate of sharing and helping each other to try to change the way we do business in schools was evident everywhere.

Many people took notes at sessions and posted them immediately to their blogs to share with those who could not make it to Atlanta.  My laptop is just too heavy to lug around all day, so my goal for next time is to have a lightweight tablet PC with me so that I can do the same!

The Discovery Educator Network(DEN)  hosted a dinner and showed some videos that teachers made at a pre-conference event.  They were given a digital videocam and used Adobe Premier's green screen feature to place themselves in the videos.  The videos came out very cute... teachers kissing gorillas, running with lions, etc.  I HAVE to learn how to do this! 

After attending the conference, I know that I need to intentionally focus on strategies to help teachers provide students opportunities to be CREATIVE....  using video, images, and sound to convey a message. 

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Did You Know

Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod just created another remix of the famous "Did You Know" video that has been circulating around the world. This version, about 8 minutes long, has more visuals. It also includes some important questions to ask ourselves, our school leaders, and our legislature. All of us need to do what we can do to change the way we do business in US schools to successfully prepare our students for the future. Karl and Scott have set up a collaborative workspace to share ideas.

First time to NECC!


I'm getting geeked about attending my first National Educational Computing Conference.  I leave Sunday morning for Atlanta.  I have sessions picked out and have been reading others' blogs about suggestions for making the most out of the conference for newbies like me.  For those who cannot make it to Atlanta, you can listen to podcasts and download presentation handouts from the Conference website.  Subscribe to NECC podcasts in i-Tunes, or get the raw feed hereSession handouts will be posted from now until mid-July.  I cannot wait to meet some of the folks I've met over the past 6 months in the blogosphere!  Thanks, Langwitches, for reminding me to let others know about these podcasts.  Last year, I was not able to attend, but enjoyed many sessions from home!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

High School Tech-Enhanced Lessons

The Michigan Dept of Education is sponsoring several technology lesson plan writing sessions across the state.  This year, the focus is high school, with an emphasis on UDL (Universal Design for Learning).  Lessons included strategies for addressing needs of all students.  The lessons will soon be posted at

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

One week is all it took!

After using Office 07 for a week, I already know I love it.  The ribbon makes sense to me and I really like the new features.   I know that it will take some time for teachers to get used to it, but I also know that they will also like it.  I spent last week exploring the programs with our district computer resource teachers.   We tried things, explored the new features, created written how-to directions and video tutorials.  Participatory PD is the best! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bernie Dodge on WOW2 Chat


Here's a great example of the power of web 2.0. Bernie Dodge, the creator of WebQuests, spent an hour this evening discussing the evolution of WebQuests during the weekly Women of the Web 2.0 chat. How cool is that? Those in attendance were able to ask questions. I wanted his advice on how to help teachers understand the difference between an Internet scavenger hunt and a real WebQuest. Bernie thinks that the most important part of a WebQuest is coming up with a really good Task, and from that all the rest comes along. I am envisioning a small group of teachers discussing WQ Task examples: excellent, good, mediocre, and bad. Perhaps I could come up with the examples. After hearing Bernie talk, I see that this discussion would be much more beneficial than on focusing on all the components and how to create your own WQ. This mini-lesson will help teachers determine which ones to use in their classroom from all the ones that are available to them by doing a simple Google search.

Bernie says the form really doesn't matter - He says "It's more about the teaching than the technology." He has seen excellent WebQuests made in PowerPoint and others on fancy web pages... how it is presented is irrelevant, how it makes kids think is the key.

Bernie also talked about the next generation of WebQuests.... WikiQuests, BlogQuests, VideoQuests. I'm interested in exploring this more!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Future of Education On-line Conference

There is an on-line conference coming up, called The Future of Education, that takes place June 4-8.  Read more about it at the conference website.  There are a couple of presentations each day.  The timing isn't great for many of us due to the end of the year... However, you may be able to find the time to join one of the sessions. There are many great topics that will be covered.  Check out the conference schedule to see what interests you!  "Educators Gone Wild - Instructional Mashups" by Brian Lamb sounds like a winner!  Another sure-to-be-interesting presentation will be Vickie Davis presenting on the value of global callaborative projects.