Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2008

Google Earth Trips

Recently, a high school teacher asked me about helping her create a Google Lit Trip using Google Earth . Since I hadn't tried that before, I first started by creating a trip relating to my life and all the places I have lived. I won't bore you with that here! Then, I decided to try it out with my 5th grade son to see if he could use it on a project. Here is what he did...(Note: I used Jing to capture it off of the computer for the movie. Normally the file would just open in Google Earth.) I see this as a great way to integrate geography and literature with a. Students could create a lit trip for a book they read, add images and a summary of the story.

Social Bookmarking Presentation

I'll be speaking to new staff in the next few days during Big 6 training, and put together a 20 minute presentation on Social Bookmarking. I like how the Google Presentation embeds right in the blog! I'll be coming out to the buildings the week of November 17th to visit further about social bookmarking.

Reading at Edina High School

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of reading to 10th Grade Language Arts classes at Edina High School . Since they are all blogging, I decided to read a blog post that I thought would be of interest to them. I chose a recent post by Doug "Blue Skunk" Johnson, titled Facebook-An Educational Resource ? In the post, Doug explains his philosophy regarding blocking sites for student access and the things he will be sharing with principals in his district about social networking sites like Facebook . I talked to the students a bit about our filter, and why we block sites like Youtube . Since our network sees a 10th grade student the same way it sees a 1st grader, and Youtube has content that may not be appropriate for 1st graders, it needs to be blocked. (I won't go into the question of whether Youtube has educationally appropriate content, or whether our network should be reconfigured to differentiate between 1st and 10th graders...) After reading Doug's post, I asked them


I decided to put this blog through Wordle to see what I'm talking about the most here. I guess it really is about the students!

One to One Learning Leadership Institute: Session 6

Superintendent's Perspective We finished with Stillwater superintendent, Keith R. Ryskoski , who began by sharing the " Beloit College Mindset ", facts about the class of 2012. He spoke about the analogy of a box, and how we limit our thinking by traditional things that define our "box". We need to think of all the possibilities, and be like the amoeba, constantly changing. Other thoughts: In 1907 if someone said we'd be traveling around on roads in machines that drove around, they'd have said you were crazy. Are the children of today going to learn and do school the way that we did? If you were starting this from scratch...Start at the middle school. Plan how you will grow. If AP courses are College Board certified, and colleges are requiring students to have laptops, what would cause a High school teacher to say that students can't have a laptop in that course? Laptop carts do not change teaching and learning in the classroom the way that one to

One to One Learning Leadership Institute: Session 4

Panel Discussion On Thursday morning, students and staff participated in a panel discussion on their experience with the one to one program. Here are their comments: Everyone has a laptop, so there isn't the temptation to steal -Student I have more problems with teachers losing laptops (500 staff have laptops in the district) than students.- District Tech Coordinator We have a separate network for students who bring in laptops from home, that is locked down -District Tech Coordinator I'm worried when I go to the high school over the ammount of note writing I will have to do .-Student The laptop doesn't do everything for us...We still need to use our brains! Genius program is used for flash card notes for memorization We type more fluently, " 10 Thumbs Typing " is on the computer, but no keyboarding course. My dad tells me I know more about technology than the people at his work!- Student Our parents ask us for help, even if it's Windows. (Mac District)-Stu

One to One Learning Leadership Institute: Session 3

During the last break there were a few kids sitting by the front door and one had his Macbook open. I asked them if they thought that the laptop had improved their learning? Here are their comments: Oh, yeah! I don't lose my papers Definitely-Keeps me more organized. I then asked them about battery life, as I used similar models in my former job and had issues with them. They said that if you came to school with it charged over night, then you were OK . They had learned to optimize battery life, by dimming the screen and turning off the wireless access when it is not needed. Laptop Learning at OJHS ( See the principals presentation here ) Oak Land has 1020 students and 94 total staff members. 7% minority, and 11% qualify for free and reduced lunch. They believe: 1. The only way to prepare kids is by something very close to this 1:1 program. 2. What was adequate for us is not adequate for our kids. 3. Schools need to mirror the world in which our kids will live. Rel

One to One Learning Leadership Institute: Session 2

In this session, Oak-Land teachers presented on How Technology Changes Teaching and Learning. Prior to that, there was discussion about staff development, and how implementation is happening. In South Dakota, they gave core staff tablet PC's a few years ago, and have phased in to everyone. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau had a tech academy this summer, and also uses Atomic Learning. They admitted that some lessons are not suited to tech integration, and that's ok! The Apple Learning Interchange has resources for staff on specific subject areas, and the new Thinkfinity (Formerly Marco Polo) has a lot of resources for integration with one to one. Oakland's principal mentioned that he is working with staff during observations this year on how they will teach differently with one to one. Laptops in the English 8 Classroom Jesse Fredrickson, who teaches both regular and honors english at the 8th grade level spoke about her experience. She started by telling us how laptops have ch

One to One Learning Leadership Institute: Session 1

October 8 and 9 I attended a 1-to-1 Learning Leadership Institute at Oak Land Junior High in Stillwater. Oakland has had a one to one initiative for the last 5 years. ( Twitter blocked on the filter, but Facebook not!) There were folks attending from Warroad (Looking at 6th-8th Grade), Harrisburg, South Dakota (Building a new high school designed with one to one in mind-this year all staff have laptops), Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Wisconsin (Building a new middle school, and looking at best options), and Jim Hawthorne and I from Edina ( "Go Wireless" CoP ) . 21st Century Learning and Learning Tools Paul Musegades from Apple started things off discussing five challenges:Global Competition, Global Interdependence, Workplace Innovation, Ubiquitous Information and Student Experience. He noted that skilled worker growth in Japan is 25 million, whereas in China, it's 300 million! We are both competing with them and are interdependent with them! Ubiquitous information-"

Educational Vodcasting

Today I watched a Webinar from ISTE on Vodcasting in Education . In it, two teachers from Colorado shared how they transformed their AP Chemistry class, by transforming all their lectures into Vodcasts, and use classtime for homework and hands on activities where the students can get expert help. This year, they moved to a mastery program, where students are self paced, and they have seen tremendous success. Students enjoy the ability to go at their own pace, and Students are owning their learning, and they've seen all students pass assessments with 85% mastery! There have been some management issues, but overall, they've had great success. In the future, they hope to beam video to cell phones via Bluetooth, post to blogs, and embed in Moodle or Blackboard. To create their Vodcasts, they use the following: Software Snapkast-Converts to PPT and allows upload of audio, and then converts to mp4. Camtasia- To capture video and animation and add voiceovers Snapzpro Promethean Jing