eTech Session Notes: Collaborating Across the Atlantic

MY THOUGHTS IN CAPS LOCK

Presenter: Kim Lord of Bellbrook Middle School and Tony Breen of Plockton High School

The two teachers met at Space Camp in Alabama.

Starting with a video (made on Blabberize) that appears to be for the oversea’s classroom to introduce the American town/teacher.  Also shows videos/still pics of around the middle school.  Shows sports, programs, classrooms, hallways, etc.

Now showing the video the teacher from Scotland made to show the students in the American classroom.  Shows lots of clips from the space camp adventure of the two teachers.  The video shows the average day in the lives of the Scotland teacher.

VIDEO IS A LITTLE GRAINY, AS IS THE SOUND.  I’M NOT SURE IF THAT’S THE VIDEO QUALITY OR THE PRESENTATION MATERIALS QUALITY.

Presenter is now going over the objectives of the presentation.  Also going over the other presenters.

Going over Skype.com. Free distance learning.  IM, share files, interactive chats.  Pro: video files are too big to email but can be shared on Skype.

Now skyping with the teacher from Scotland.  Fun to chat with.  Discussed the delay that comes with Skype.  THIS WOULD TAKE STUDENTS A WHILE TO FIGURE OUT AND GET USED TO.

Showing webcams.  She uses Logitech 9000 for about $80.  Tony uses the HueHD for about $50.  Free-standing camera is better in a classroom because you can use a USB extension cable to take it anywhere in the classroom.

Showing “share screen” options in Skype.

Now discussing the use of student-made videos that can be shared with other teachers.  The students appear to have made videos about topics that are shared.  The Scotland teacher is giving data to the American students.

Time challenges: American kids only hook up with one of the Scotland classes.

IT IS A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO HEAR/UNDERSTAND.  THIS WOULD BE A CHALLENGE FOR SOME OF MY STUDENTS WHO HAVE ENOUGH TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING ME WHEN I’M STANDING IN FRONT OF THEM!

New presenter now talking about the book “Life As We Knew It,” a book about life without the sun.  Students read the book and discussed the concepts within the story with the Scotland students.  A GREAT CROSS-CURRICULAR, TECHNOLOGY-BASED LESSON.

Showing a video of the students interviewing and asking questions of the Scotland teacher.

Presenter mentioned that using Skype is a great lesson for the students in diction and speaking out/up.

“There is a lot more interaction with smaller groups [using Skype]”

Permission slips were sent home to allow for video/voice messaging.

Planning is an important part of it – working together.

Now discussing WeAreTeachers.  This is a social networking website (account required (COSTS?)) They have microgrants to assist teachers in getting flip cameras and other tools.

DigitalWish is a site for lowering technology prices for teachers.

More Skpying with Scotland teacher.

GOOD SESSION WITH SEVERAL IDEAS FOR USING SKYPE IN THE CLASSROOM.  THESE TWO HAVE OBVIOUSLY FOUND SEVERAL SUCCESSES WITH USING SKYPE.

eTech Session Notes: “How to plan and conduct a Webcasting program in the Middle School”

MY THOUGHTS IN CAPS LOCK.

Presenter is Eric Miller of Winchester, Virginia.

Website for presentation is http://dynamicclassroom.com.

Starting with a video made by students (or at least narrated by them?) about the Civil War.  I’M NOT SURE HOW HE HAS THREE SEPARATE VIDEOS PLAYING IN A POWERPOINT SLIDE.  MY COMPUTER (MBP) WOULD BLOW UP.

Contact information for presenter is on the website.

Overview: Teaches US History II for seven years, former military.

When he began teaching, he was given a textbook.  Bleh.  Now faces challenges of where to get money for technologies or where to get free technologies.

SEEMS TO BE A BIG CIVIL WAR BUFF – BEING FROM VIRGINIA, LOTS OF BATTLEFIELDS AROUND.

Webcasting: Tried to find the correct name; didn’t want to use “podcast” because of the idea that you’d need an iPod.

Virginia state law: for every 1000 students, school must have one technology coordinator

District superintendent had $, asked him to spend it.  Created a summer program called “Webcast Historians”

You need a team! Content teacher, technology resource teacher, school administration, central office, community, parents

Needed a theme: “The Civil War in Winchester” to give them direction.

Tools needed: “ready bag” (digital camera, digital camcorder like a flip camera($123) with a mini-tripod, digital voice recorder or headset with a microphone, bag (numbered and inventory).  A ready-bag costs about $500.  2 kids per bag.

Webcasts: profile community, interact with historical sites, utilize technology, engage students, demonstrate the effectiveness of technology in our schools

Chose 10 kids.  Had an application form.  Included legalities and releases.  Selected a large spectrum of highly-motivated kids.  Not necessarily gifted kids.

Identified sites to use.  Identified transportation and logistical issues.  Had students for  5 hrs/day for 10 days.  Created schedules.  Visit sites, collect still images, collect video images, collect audio sound, produce webcasts.  The latter was the toughest!  Kids learned by practicing around the school.  Learning about shadows, sun, etc.  Learned about focusing, shooting techniques, etc.

Students became the best teachers.  Self-discovery.

In planning phase, created storyboarding lesson.  Emphasized taking more footage/pics than you need as you can always delete.  Students and groups given mission papers with things to research and learn before heading out.

PRESENTATION MOVES QUICKLY AND DOES A THOROUGH JOB OF EXPLAINING THE PROCESS USED.  I’M HOPING HE COVERS SOME GRANT/$$$ OPTIONS BY THE END.  IDEAS ARE RUNNING ALL OVER MY HEAD!

Students ate lunch wile working.  Lots of work!  Had sessions to ask questions.  80% of the time the students could answer each others questions.

Note: Check spelling before post-production!

Software Used: Movie Maker, PhotoStory, PowerPoint.  Demonstrating Movie Maker now.

Showing some more examples from their final products and reflections from the students.  Had a preview night for parents, had certificates for participants, made a 5 minute video for BOE.

Second year, curriculum dept. came up with money, upped the number to 20, and brought back some from the first year (“Master Casters”).

Used more authentic materials (videos from Civil War reenactments, Civil War photos, etc.)  Got permission from a Civil War band to use their music.

Had the students research and use actual Civil War tools.  Took pictures of the items.

Recommends the Civil War Trust for information and resources for teachers.  Used their guides to take the students to actual battle fields.  They recorded this to capture the emotions of the students.

THIS GENTLEMAN IS A VERY MOTIVATED, INSPIRING EDUCATOR WITH A PASSION FOR LEARNING THAT IS CONTAGIOUS.  IT WAS GREAT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS SESSION TO SEE HIS IDEAS, HIS LESSONS-LEARNED.  GREAT!

eTech Session Notes: Facilitating Web Research Using Web 2.0 Tools

MY THOUGHTS IN CAPS

David D. Huston, presenter

Co-director, Kenyon Academic Partnership (KAP) and History Teacher at Laurel School

Presenter introducing himself and suggesting that research can be much more these day than just looking up information and putting it on index cards.  Today, we’ll look at lots of Web 2.0 apps that can help this process.  He hopes that today we will take away one or two different tools to help us each.

Claims that copy/paste has taken over student research and we, as educators, need to help them to overcome these temptation.

Students have access to 21st century information using 20th century tools.  We need to bring them both together.

Today’s Gold Ring metaphor:

prospecting: Google

staking a claim: iCyte

collecting resources: Noodle Tools: Reference Managr

refining the dross: Noodle Tools Notes

pouring the mold: Noodle Tools Outliner

presenting the ring:  ______________ MISSED IT, SORRY

“Successful research is a process requiring the integration of all six steps and all four tools.”

“research means: information literacy”

Information Literacy means what to look for, where to look for it, and how to look for it – especially collaborating and sharing.  Logically organizing what you find.  I THINK THE LAST LINE IS IMPORTANT – STUDENTS DON’T THINK ABOUT WAYS TO STEP AWAY FROM THEIR MATERIAL AND ORGANIZE IT IN AN ACCEPTABLE, PLEASING MANNER.

How do students research?  They google it.  “The first answer they find – that’s the answer!”  HAHA…AGREE.

Presenter is going through data on how often students are on computers, what social networking they do, etc.

Challenge in modern computing: they work on multiple computers during a typical day.  We must create a work process that keeps this in mind.  Another challenge: platforms.  The beauty of Web 2.0 tools is that they are platform neutral.  AN OBVIOUS POINT, BUT ONE THAT I HADN’T RECOGNIZED.  Same with browser-netural.  Data must be stored in a cloud.  Cloud computing: still some concern about file security.  SURE, IT’S AN ISSUE, BUT IF SOMEONE WANTS TO STEAL MY WORKSHEETS AND DOCUMENTS…HAVE AT IT! 🙂

Now (FINALLY) getting to some of the tools.

Google: A simple search of “world hunger” gives 9,320,000 hits.  Not effective!  Thus everyone needs trained on how to Google.  Users need to be able to effectevly use Google’s Advance Search.  Also, users should use the newer “Show Options” expansion bar on the left side of the main Google view.  Now introducing Google’s “Wonder Wheel” where Google will link ideas together.wheel Also showed Google’s custom search features.  GOOD FEATURES THAT I NEED TO PLAY WITH A LITTLE MORE.  I’M EXCITED TO SHOW THESE TO MY STUDENTS.

Now discussing some bookmarking tools.  Problems: bookmarks are stuck on one machine.  Social bookmarking is the answer.  He has had a hard time getting students to wrap their minds around this.  Now showing iCyte.  Great advantage is that it will socially bookmark it as well as archive the page as it looked when you visited.  Free, account required.  Add-ons available for popular browsers.  Showing the add-on in the Firefox window which allows for archive snapshot to be taken and to view your archives.  Tagging available.  THIS LOOKS COOL – I’M EXCITED TO PLAY WITH IT.  iCyte has unlimited number of saved “projects”.  Showing the sidebar and its options.  Also able to go to “live” view of the page instead of the archive you originally took.  Sharing is easy: via email or URL link.  Recipients don’t have to have iCyte account to view your collection.  Embedding available.  I THINK EMBEDDING COULD BE COOL FOR THIS FOR USE IN A WIKI.

Moving on to how and where to organize information.  Funny picture of a table full of index cards organized for a paper.  Another funny picture of a huge pile of printed out webpages.  YES – STUDENTS ARE TERRIBLE AT DOING THIS!  Alternative: copy/paste into a MS Word doc.  Problem: stuck on one computer; emailing makes confusing versions.  Same issue with thumb drives.

Now showing Noodle Tools.  Small fee (used to be free, too many users overwhelmed the servers), account required.  Pros: available anywhere.  Creates a database of all of your digital/print resources.  Makes an ongoing list of citations.  I BELIVE THIS PART OF THE SITE IS CALLED “NOODLEBIB”.  It produces the popular citation lists (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.)  Claims that it does a great job of following citation records.  Also helps you to take notes as you write from each source and keeps the notes linked to the source.

NoodleTools Overview:

– Create your own notes in three stage process:  1) copy and paste, 2) re-word in your own language, 3) add further questions and thoughts

NoodleTools is the answer for teaching students the ethics behind citations and research.

NoodleTools helps you sort information on a “table top” to create piles of “cards” or tags.  Creates and editable outline of paper, all while keeping citations organized.  Export outline as an .rtf file.  Take that file and polish it into a final paper.

Finishing up with Springnote Wiki.  It can be private, shared, etc.  Much easier than DreamWeaver.  Great place for sharing the research information.

GOOD PRESENTATION WITH SOME GREAT, IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ABOUT TOOLS TO USE IN THE CLASSROOM.

eTech Session Notes: Cellphones and Mobile Technologies

MY THOUGHTS IN CAPS

Rick Abbott, KHS Principal is introducing Ryan.

Ryan is giving his background information.  Ran out of handouts so directing people to his site.  Explaining the backchanneling methods (cell phones, Twitter hashtag (#rc).

Giving the background of KCS: 750 student machines, etc.

Introducing polleverywhere.com.  Showing people how to subscribe to his polleverywhere account and testing it by asking about the teaching positions of the audience.

SEEMED TO WORK PRETTY WELL.  INTERESTING THAT RYAN REALIZED THE POLL DIDN’T REFLECT THE WHOLE AUDIENCE (AS NOT EVERYONE IN THE ROOM HAS A DEVICE), JUST AS I FEAR MOBILE COMPUTING IN THE CLASSROOM (NOT ALL KIDS WILL HAVE DEVICES).

Talking about the history of computing.  AH, THE MEMORIES OF A MAC CLASSIC AND AN APPLE 2+.

Showing a quote from Western Union stating that there was no future need for a landline telephone.

Transitioning now to modern mobile devices (netbooks, iPod Touch, iPhone, Nokia N900, and game systems (PSP/DSi).  Now Apple’s iPad, HP Slate, and Archos 5 Internet tablet with Android enter the market.

Showing data to show number of iPod Touches found on network registry per buildings in Kenton City Schools.  I’M NOT SURPRISED TO SEE THAT SEVERAL STUDENTS HAVE IPODS.  WE SEE THEM BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL EACH DAY.

Ryan shared that a huge percentage of students in even elementary have cell phones and texting plans.  BUT WHAT ABOUT THE 5% WHO DON’T HAVE THE CELLS?  WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE CELLS AND THEY’RE PREPAY AND NO TEXTING PLANS?  HOW DO THESE PLAY INTO MOBILE COMPUTING IN THE CLASSROOM?

Ryan’s famous quote: “Every time you open the lid to a laptop, it creates a wall, or a barrier, between the teacher and the student.”

Discussing that he sees many high school kids texting in front of the school before school starts and wants to harness this “downtime” for OGT review.

Discussing that the number of cell phones are on the rise and we, as educators, need to take advantage of this growth rate.

Watching a Simpsons episode citing the need to manage cell phones.

More statistics on cell phones/voice/texting.

Explaining www.k7.net.  This is a free service that gives you a number out of Washington state (206).  Gives you a voicemail that you can give to others.  SOUNDS A LOT LIKE GOOGLE VOICE TO ME, ALTHOUGH LESS FEATURES.

Showing www.YouMail.com which allows for visual voicemail, customized greetings, and voicemail retrieval from phone, email, and web.

Showing GoogleVoice and calling it “the Cadillac of voicemails”.

Showing www.drop.io which will save audio/video recordings.  Allows for conference calls.

Discussing now the question, “Why text?”

Showing TextMarks.com which allows for one to many, one to one, and many to many communications.

Discussing Twitter and using it for KCS for delays, announcements, and football scores.  Many clients available for it.

Discussing Google’s SMS searching (466453)

Discussing using MMS to send media messages to users.

Discussing that a huge number of novels in Japan were written on a cell phone.  Ryan uses his iPod Touch.  Uses Evernote. YES, I’M A BIG FAN!

Quick overview of the use of Podcasts. Notes that you don’t need an iPod.

Many sites now have mobile versions of their sites (m.facebook.com).

Now discusses the challenges/concerns about mobile device computing in education.  Costs, off-task students, filtering, inappropriate communications, teacher and student training, etc.

Finishes with another Simpsons clip.

GOOD PRESENTATION – SEVERAL GOOD SITES SHARED AND WAYS TO USE THEM IN THE CLASSROOM.  NOW TO GET BOARD APPROVAL!

eTech Session Notes: Using Blogs and Wikis

MY THOUGHTS ARE IN CAPS.

Going over definitions of blogs and wikis. Did a show of hands to survey who the audience is.

PLC grant (professional Learning Community) gavehen the direction for this.

Going over what is a blog and a wiki.

Noting that blogs and in reversed chronolgical order.  Some pages appear in static, meaning that they don’t change and can be used as portfolios for students.

Watching the camping trip planning video to describe wikis and how they are useful to collaborate.

THE AUDIENCE SEEMS TO LIKE THE VIDEO AND FINDS IT HELPFUL IN UNDERSTANDING WIKIS.

One downside to wikis: only one person can edit at a time.

Showing some examples of wikis.

One presenter is discussing using wikis to make collaborattive lesson plans.  THIS IS AIMED AT THE COLLEGE-LEVEL EDUCATORS, NOT FOR CLASSROOM TEACHERS.

Discussing the email notification features of wikis.

STILL LOOKING FOR IDEAS ON USING WIKIS FOR CLASSROOM LEARNING.

Now talking about disocvrries that they found while trying to incorperate wikis and blogs into teaching. It made students more resonsible, students learned from each other, gave a voice and presence to the introvert (INTERESTING), etc. Presenter describes that this may be because this is the natural language for so many now.

Explaining a few more lessons learned about wikis. Be sure your IT department is strong and in place before you begin. Additionally, warn students about frustrations and explain that this is a “new way to explainld things.”

Looking at graphs of the results to see that a majority of the students felt like the use of wikis and blogs increased interactions between the profs and students. Additionally, the quality of instruction was enhanced.

Audience asked which sites to reccomend. Answers: wiki – PB Works (allows for folder management); blogging – no real preference.

GOOD PRESENTATION. OBVIOUSLY GEARED TOWARD THE COLLEGE LEVEL.  I DIDNT WALK AWAY WITH MANY TOOLS, JUST CONFIRMATION THAT THERE IS ROOM IN EDUCATION FOR WIKIS.

eTech Session Notes: Ways to Mashup Google Earth

My first session to start off Ohio’s eTech conference is titled, “Ways to Mashup Google Earth” by Kathy Parker-Jones and Lauren Davis.

Here is their presentation material:

http://www.hilliardschools.org/classroom.cfm?id=77&TempID=9366&school=SSF/Technology%20Team&preview=

MY COMMENTS IN CAPS LOCK.

The session started with the presenter showing www.voki.com to demonstrate how to make a speaking avatar.  No account needed.  One drawback mentioned: the kids love it and won’t stop using it.  Let them play on it for awhile before productivity will begin.  LOOKS A LOT LIKE A WII MII.  One limit mentioned: there is a character limit so users may want to keep it at three sentences.  Cool feature: Have the avatar speak your voice OR have it change the voice.  LOOKS FUN TO PLAY WITH.

To embed into Google Earth, use the MySpace code to copy code.

COOL THAT OTHER CODES CAN BE USED FOR OTHER WEB 2.0 PLACES.

Put the code into the DESCRIPTION box after right-clicking on the placemark.  Delete the comment part of the code so the “welcome message” doesn’t show.

PRESENTATION MOVES A LITTLE QUICKLY.

Now showing Photo Peach.  Showing a slideshow made with Photo Peach.  Includes Ken Burns effects with music and ends with “replay” option as well as commenting feature.  Also embedded onto a placemark.  Note: Must bring in photos as jpeg.  Photo Peach requires making an account.  Presenters made a single account as a “tech team” for them all to share.  Nice, clean slide sorter for arranging the order of the photos.  Music available with site or you can import your own.  Easy to make slideshow with clean previewing features.  Embedding code available with easy copy feature.

On Google Earth, select a placemark, get info, and paste code into description box again.  Unfortunately, the presenters had errors and couldn’t get it to paste.

Now showing SlideBoom to show how to turn PowerPoint files into a Web 2.0 app.  Account required.  Fairly straight-forward uploading.  Options include turning a PP into a Quicktime video or just show it as slideshow.  Also makes embed code.  Again, paste code into description box.

I WONDER IF THE FILE HAS TO BE A CERTAIN POWERPOINT VERSION/FILE TYPE.  I NEVER KNEW ABOUT THE ABILITY TO PASTE HTML CODE INTO THE DESCRIPTION BOX.

Just answered my question on file types. Looks like it’s limited to many versions of PowerPoint and a few Open Office apps.

Showing how to right-click on a folder of placemarks to save the entire folder as a .kmz file to keep/share.

Now showing Time Toast, a timeline maker/sharer.  Many already-made timelines available on the site or you can make your own.  Pretty simple to add events and make a nice, custom timeline.

I DO A MULTI-TIER TIMELINE PROJECT WITH MY STUDENTS EARLY EACH FALL.  IT IS ALWAYS A STRUGGLE TO GET THEM TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO DO THE SPACINGS.  NEXT YEAR…TIME TOAST!

Drawback to Time Toast: date and month are required for each event.  When you finish the timeline, change the status of the timeline from “draft” to “publish.”  Embed code then available.  EXCITED TO SEE IF TIME TOAST ALLOWS FOR MULTI-TIER TIMELINES?  HAHA..SOMEONE JUST ASKED.  ANSWER: NOPE.

Now showing MyStudiyo, a neat online quiz maker.  Multiple choice quizzes with instant feedback  Account required for MyStudiyo.  Emphasizing the ease of creation.  Users can choose backgrounds, name for quiz, tag/category, etc.  LOOKS VERY EASY TO CREATE.  I LIKE THE EXPOSURE AND REINFORCEMENT A STUDENT WOULD BE RECEIVING WHILE MAKING AN QUIZ, THINKING OF THE RIGHT/WRONG ANSWERS, ETC.

Discussed making one single account for several of these technologies instead of having the students each make their own account.

Lastly, showing Yodio to record voice using cell/phone.  Account and phone registration required.  Now demonstrating how to record voice.  LOOKS PRETTY EASY and voice activated.  Again, recommending making a single class account.  NOTE SURE ON THE TIME LIMIT FOR A YODIO RECORDING.  Presenter is setting recordings for photos.

GREAT PRESENTATION AND A GOOD STARTING SESSION FOR ME AT ETECH.  LOTS OF TAKE-HOME LINKS, IDEAS, AND MATERIALS.  I’M IMPRESSED AND EXCITED!

It’s That Time of Year!

In a few hours, I’ll be leaving to head to the big city for the 2010 eTech Ohio Conference at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.  I’m psyched.

This will be my third year attending the conference.  My first two years, I presented a session called, “I Teach, Therefore iWeb,” which discussed my use of a classroom website as a springboard for students to visit en route to other technology sites (Moodle, Online Grades, etc.).

This year, I am assisting in a colleague’s presentation, titled, “YouTube, iTunes, and Social Networking in MY Classroom?”.  We will present information on how we use different technologies in our seventh grade classrooms.  Additionally, we’ll present a Bloom’s Taxonomy Meets Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences matrix for use in a reading, science, and social studies classroom.

Looking ahead at the conference’s online planner, I am, unfortunatly, rather disappointed at the session offerings.  While the prior two years have been filled with “How can I go to all three of these sessions in the next block?”, this year looks like it may be more of, “Now what should I do?”.  Oh well.

As this if my first year attending the conference with a well-working laptop, iPod Touch, a PLN, and a plethora of tools to update everyone on what I’m doing and thinking, I plan to use the entire arsenal to do just that.

Stay tuned for session updates, reflections, and probably most importantly, where I’m having dinner.

Backchanneling in the Classroom?

I was first introduced to public speaking backchanneling when I attended a session by my district’s technology coordinator, Ryan Collins, at eTech Ohio’s 2009 conference.  During the session, he used several different backchanneling methods (I don’t remember the specific services.) to relatively instantly gather background information about his audience.  Additionally, he was able to provide a medium that the participants were able to submit questions or reflect on comments he has made during the presentation.  Essentially, it was instant (and silent!) collaboration.

The thing I noticed most about this, was that all of the participants in the backchanneling process had to be completely engaged in the presentation.  That’s what I strive for EVERYDAY with EACH of my students.  Admittedly, the extent of engagement in my classroom is all too often listen-to-what-I’m-saying-and-write-it-in-your-notes.  Bleh.

So that’s where the idea of students backchanneling to me (I’m not sure if I used the verbiage correctly there) during lessons comes in.  Has anyone used this successfully?  What services are available?  Which are better than others?  How can one student backchanneling be beneficial to all my students?  Are there some hidden benefits here for absent students to utilize?  Other thoughts or advice?