Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Two For Tuesday: 10-30-07

1. Instant Feedback: iChat is an instant messaging application, installed on all Mac computers, that allows you to communicate with others in real time. Don't have an IM account - no problem. iChat comes with a feature called Bonjour messaging. Just open the finder, click on Applications and open iChat, log in and open Bonjour messaging, iChat will find all the people in your network who have also opened up Bonjour messaging. Here are some directions for how to do this: http://www.helponechild.org/help/ichatbonjour.html

2. International Photo Sharing: www.flickr.com is a photo sharing Website where people around the world post and share their photos. This is a great resource for copyright friendly images that you can use for presentations and Website. You can also watch photos as they get posted in real time using www.flickrvision.com. You can view a map of the world in 3D and see photos pop up in real time as they are posted. You have to see it to understand it. Give it a try.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Two For Tuesday: 10-23-07

1. Social networking for good rather than evil. There is a website called ning: http://www.ning.com where you can create your own social network around any topic you are interested in – baseball, knitting, technology… It can become a space to talk to people about your interest and find and get to know others that have something in common with you. There are some great public networks – the one I am active in is called http://classroom20.ning.com. It is a network created for teachers that are interested in integrating Web 2.0 technology tools into their classrooms.

You can also create closed networks on Ning that are by invitation only. They are very easy to set up. I have created networks for my school faculty and staff and for some of my classes. This is a new adventure - I'll write more about it in the future.

Here is a video that explains Social Networking (in plain English)

2. Increasing the text size in Word. Have you ever opened a word document and found the text too small to read? Here is a quick fix. On your Word toolbar there is a zoom drop down menu. The default setting is 100%. To increase your text size, click on the drop down menu and choose 125% or 150%.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I hate Conferences...

I've just returned from a TV/Video Educators conference. It was a frustrating experience. I am not very good at sitting and listening to people talk. The first session turned out to be a sales pitch. I thought I was going to learn something about the software, instead I was treated to an apple rep telling me how good the software is. Arghh! Thank you very much - I didn't pay money to come to this conference so you could sell me things that I already own.

The second presentation was a typical PowerPoint with lots and lots of text - and no hard or electronic copy of the presentation. The guy had an interesting project to share, but oh yeah - this is a TV/Video conference - how about showing some video...

The third presentation was much better - finally. She provided us with lots of materials (hard copy only) and showed us some interesting video both about the project and video from the project itself. She also left a lot of time for questions.

The final session was another sales pitch, this time for a TV/Video textbook written by the presenter...I went home.

In less than a month I am going to be presenting at the MassCUE conference about my podcasting project. How can I make my presentation interesting for people like me. I have one hour, one computer and a projector. I have some ideas - obviously I'm going to share my podcasts, I've created a wiki for all of the presentation materials, I want to create a podcast of people talking about the project (could be hard to do, since I am now working in a different school), I hope to use Google presentations and allow for some back channel chat and I was thinking about providing some time for people to turn to their neighbor and share some ideas.

What do you think? What was the best 1 hour conference presentation you ever attended? What made it great? Please share your ideas! I've cross posted this as a discussion over at Classroom 2.0 on ning. Please feel free to join the discussion there as well.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two For Tuesday: 10-16-07

Two For Tuesday 10-16-07

I am going to try to share two interesting tech tips, tools or Websites every Tuesday.

1. This week I want to remind everyone about an old favorite: http://del.icio.us.
Delicious is a social bookmarking site that allows you to take your Websites with you wherever you are. You can also share them with others. I think this is one of the most useful Web 2.0 tools out there. You can learn a lot more about it by watching this video:

Check out Google Docs Presentation. This Google application allows multiple users to view and collaborate on slideshow Online. They can also participate in an Online chat while working together. Mark Wagner wrote an excellent blog post about this tool.

This tool has the potential to allow students working in groups to work together on a presentation without having to be in the same place at the same time. Check out this presentation about Google presentations created by Vicky Davis (no relation) along with many other educators around the world.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Multiple Intelligences

This week I attended the fireside chat with David Warlick as a kick off event for the K12 Online conference. I followed that up with a demo of Ustream.tv with Will Richardson. I ended my evening feeling like my head was going to explode.

Both experience involved watching, listening and reading simultaneously. I found it very difficult to listen to someone speaking while reading what people were writing about what was being said. I could only focus on one stream of information at a time. And, since it was live, I couldn't pause to catch my breath. When I was done, I wondered if I had learned anything. There was so much going on, that nothing really sunk in.

This was my first experience with this kind of learning. I remember when I started reading articles, blogs and discussion forums Online. At first, I printed everything out. I found it very challenging to read on the screen and make sense of what I was reading. I needed to see it on paper to process the information. I wonder if attending to multiple sensory inputs is a learnable skill. In a growth mindset it is. The more I put myself in these situations the better I will get at taking everything in.

So I am going looking forward to the K12 Online conference experience as a place to learn and improve my skills. In fact, I've even signed up to moderate one of the "As Night Falls" sessions. I hope by the end of the conference I'll have grown enough to do that.

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