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Posts from October 2006

Friday 5: Notetaking

Friday 5: Notetaking

Greetings –

Friday 5 readers seemed to like the flash cards list from a few weeks ago, so this week I thought I’d create another study skill oriented list. Hope you find this beneficial for your students!

Lucy Gray

1)    Geek to Live: Take Study-Worthy Lecture Notes – Lifehacker

Lifehacker is an amazingly practical site and I think older students will find these tips based on the Cornell note taking method. Links to PDF and word templates are provided.

2)    Cornell Notes – 43FoldersWiki

If you’re like me and never heard of the Cornell method, here is a good overview of this note taking strategy. There is a link off of this site to D*I*Y Planner (  which also contains a great deal of helpful information.

3)    The Learning Toolbox

There is a great section on Cornell notes within this site that is designed for students, parents, and teachers of learning challenged students. It looks like the tools and strategies listed here would be beneficial to all learners!

4)    Evernote

This product for Windows machines was cited at one session I attended at Closing the Gap.

5)    AquaMinds – NoteTaker

I have a NFR copy of NoteTaker and am just starting to play around with it. It looks very promising and seems ideal for kids and adults.

Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments II - Trailer

How many kids are going to see this and want to replicate it for their science fair projects?!?! :)

EepyBird's "Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments II" is coming soon! Here's a sneak peek at what we just finished filming. The full video will be at on October 30, 2006.

Keywords: eepybird eepy bird mentos coke diet coke mentos experiment fountain soda science geyser experiments fountains geysers

I Am A Geek

Okay, I was going to post something about this in the Infinite Thinking Machine, but some people might find this overwhelming.

I love RSS. I love my newsreader NetNewsWire. I subscribe to feeds from a gazillion sites. I do not read them every day, but the headlines from these feeds are in NetNewWire just waiting for me if I have time. It is simply the BEST way to keep current in my field.

So, I just spent time cleaning up my newsreader, put new feeds into folders and deleting ones that are dead or don't seem to interest me much anymore. Being the generous person I am, I have put them into an .opml file so that others can see what an RSS nut I have become. So if you're looking for a little light reading, check out my feeds.

Download lucysfeeds1026.opml

You need to download this file and import it into the newsreader of your choice. I recommend Bloglines or Google Reader. It's interesting to use Bloglines for reading feeds because you can see how many others have subscribed to a particular feed. I like seeing what others are reading as I think it's a picture of a person's mindset. Send me your OPML file if you feel like sharing!

Infinite Thinking Machine

Link: Infinite Thinking Machine.

I think I mentioned here that I am blogging for another site called the Infinite Thinking Machine. If not... here's another plug! Sponsored by Google and produced by WestEd, seven educators from the blogosphere are contributing their thoughts to this space. The real star of this blog, though, is the internet t.v show produced by Chris Walsh. Check out this week's episode... I think it's great for teachers AND kids alike. I know my students are jazzed about new things such as wikis that I've introduced in class lately, and I think this show will appeal to them.

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Apple of My Eye #4

It's been a few months since I've posted a referral list to posts that have caught my eye, so here are some headlines I've recently flagged in my newsreader.

1) My curiosity is piqued about how Web 2.0 technologies can be leveraged for students as many tools require registrants to be of a certain age. Two sites have appeared on the blogosphere horizon that might be worth checking out. One is Imbee, which I read about it this press release. The second is Studicious which I read about here. Via Net-Gold Yahoo! Group, there's something for librarians on the Web 2.0 front, too... an online course called Five Weeks to a Social Library.

2) Edtech guru Kathy Schrock gave a very nice closing session keynote at NECC this year, and I particularly liked the PSA projects that she highlighted. I plan on showing these videos to student in the next month or so when we start working on various iMovie projects.

3) I'm glad George Bush has gotten the hang of THE Google. Check out this    from Think Progress via Techmeme. The leader of the free world can't even remember the name of something extraordinary like Google Earth. Any middle schooler can tell you all about Google Earth! I must go look at Bush's ranch on Google Earth now and see if all the brush is cleared.

4) And finally from a blog called Photojojo, there is a reference to Zingfu, a site that offers silly templates for your digital pictures. It's not a completely kid friendly site in my book, though, but maybe I'm just getting old. It's defintely fun for grownups not adept at Photoshop.

EarthLink DSL and Home Phone Service : Don't Do It!

Link: EarthLink DSL and Home Phone Service.

Don't do it! It's too good to be true!

I am a longtime Earthlink customer and invariably something goes wrong with my DSL about once a year. Last year, the service was mysteriously taken off my phone line and it took weeks and many phone calls to get the situation rectified. I should have changed ISPs then, but I didn't want to be inconvenienced.

My service has been steady ever since, and of course, I bit when I saw this ad. It seemed like a great deal. One Earthlink rep told us it was not available to us, and another told us we were eligible to participate. So the order was placed and a few weeks later, our phone service went out and phone calls were diverted to a voicemail account. However, our phone in our house never rang. After about five days of phone calls and promises from Earthlink, they finally told us that this service was NOT available in our area and they are now promising to restore our phone service at no charge. I hope this is true, but I am not holding my breath. This has been a truly frustrating experience and a huge waste of time... this time for my husband who's been dealing with all of this... and I will never recommend this company again unless a minor miracle occurs. I am seriously considering moving to another ISP even though it would be highly incovenient. Argh.

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Michael Thompson Ph.D. Professional Website

Link: Michael Thompson Ph.D. Professional Website.

Dr. Thompson spent the day at my school today, meeting with kids, parents, and teachers. I wish I had been taking notes on my computer while he spoke of his interactions with our students, but unfortunately, I did not. One comment did stand out to me... he said that middle school kids don't have many things in their lives that they can actually control. Parents often choose their clothes, activities, and schools for their kids, and but kids feel that their only arena of control is over their social lives. I thought this was a really good point, and later on, a friend and I speculated that if we give our kids some choices in life matters, maybe it would lessen the angst of adolescence. Anyway, Dr. Thompson was a pretty witty and interesting guy, but I am not sure I gleaned enough strategies for working with middle school kids. I guess I'll have to check out his books!

Google For Educators: Global Warming Student Speakout

Link: Google For Educators.

Google recently just launched a page for teachers which was developed after Google solicited advice from teachers, including several from Lab last spring. I just noticed that Google is sponsoring their first collaborative project for students using one of their products, Google Spreadsheets and Docs, formerly known as Writely. Google Spreadsheets and Docs, as the name implies,  are  online wordprocessing documents and spreadsheets which can be have multiple contributors and can be shared with others in a number of ways.

In this global warming project, participants are asked to brainstorm ideas for fighting global warming in a spreadsheet, and the top 50 ideas will be published in an full page ad in the Washington Post later this year. For more details, visit .

Friday 5: Found @ Closing the Gap


I’m home after a busy week attending an assistive technology conference called Closing the Gap in Minneapolis. The Friday 5 sites this week are gleaned from various sessions and conversations with colleagues during this interesting event.



Lucy Gray


1)    Closing the Gap

This is the main page for this organization started in 1983 by parents of a deaf child. It is considered one of the premier assistive tech conferences in the U.S .

2)    Apple – Accessibility

Did you know that there are many features built into the Mac operating system that make it easier for
students to use computers? This site will help you learn about these features, including VoiceOver which is designed to help those with vision issues. I am very proud that I learned a bit about how to use this spoken interface! Also check out Apple’s Accessibility in Education page at

3)    Assistive Technology Blog and Assistive Technology Yahoo Group

These two resources are maintained by fellow ADE colleague and assistive technology expert Brian Friedlander.

4)    Blogs, Wikis, Webcasts, Etc.: New Tools for Students with Disabilities

This wiki was used for a presentation on how the popular technologies known as blogs, wikis, and webcasts can help kids. There are lots of great resources listed in this online document that would be helpful to special ed and regular ed teachers.

5)    Marratech: Video Collaboration, E-meeting, and Web Conferencing on the Internet

I have not tried this yet, but it was recommended to me by another ADE, Kris Hill, who presented with me this week at Closing the Gap. Apparently, you can video conference with others and share documents.


iThought: Help Westley Blog

Link: iThought.

I have no idea if anyone reads this, but if anyone is out there... consider helping my fellow ADE colleague and friend, Westley Field. He's new to the blogosphere and has lots of questions about blogging and Web 2.0 stuff in general. So visit a blog from Down Under, and leave a helpful comment or two for Westley. I am going to refer him to some resources, but I am sure that there others out there who know more. Thanks!

By the way, Westley is the guy on the right in this picture!


Friday 5: New Projects

Hi All –

Here are some newly launched initiatives worth checking out. Admittedly, some are shameless plugs for projects with which I am involved, but I think you will appreciate them nonetheless.

Next week, I am off to the Closing the Gap conference in Minnesota and hopefully will have some assistive technology resources to share with you next Friday.

Take care,

Lucy Gray

Two links in this week’s list come from Friday 5 reader James Lerman:

1)    Educational Hotlinks for New Teachers

2)    Educational Hotlinks for Middle School People

More stuff related to Google:

3)    Google Accessibility

This search tool finds access friendly sites for those with visual impairments.

4)    Google for Educators

Another resource from Google that resulted from several Google Educator Councils held around the country last spring. The purpose of these focus groups was to gauge the needs of teachers and several people from my school, including myself, participated in these meetings.

5)    The Infinite Thinking Machine

A new blog from WestEd and sponsored by you guessed it… Google… has debuted this week. An internet T.V. show is featured along with blog postings from various educators across the country, including moi.

6)   First Monday

I attended an educational publishing event this week (AEP Midwest Seminar and learned of this peer reviewed journal that sounds fascinating. While it’s not new, in fact it has been around since the early days of the internet, I thought people might like to check it out.

Friday 5: From the Blogosphere

Friday 5: From the Blogosphere

Hi All –

I am an avid fan of keeping track of web site content via a newsreader. Examples of newsreaders include Bloglines, Google Reader, and my personal favorite, NetNewsWire. Web browsers such as Safari and Firefox have built in newsreaders, too. I subscribe to web sites, blogs and podcasts and headlines from these sources appear in my newsreader. After reading a headline, I  can choose to read  a full entry by clicking on the headline. It is a time saving, powerful process that makes it possible for me to monitor information without visiting a gazillion individual web sites.

Recently, I had a chance to catch up in my usual daily perusal of material stored in my newsreader and today’s list are highlights of interesting things I came across.


Lucy Gray

1)    Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 1

Web 2.0 refers to the second wave of the internet in which there are many web based applications allowing users to interact and generate their own content. There are a ton of Web 2.0 tools listed here that could potentially be used in your classroom for free.

2)    Slideshare

There are sites such at You Tube or Google Video that allow users to share short video clips. Now, there’s Slideshare where one can post and share PowerPoint presentations. I haven’t tried it yet as it’s still in beta testing, although I have requested in an invitation to join.

3)    bgblogging: Books, Books, Books

Middlebury professor Barbara Ganley has a great post about books that have moved her. Other bloggers should answer the same questions posted here with their own selections to keep this meme going. I am going to have to think about what I’d post! I think this is a fun blogging activity; it's interesting to see the impact of books on people.

4)    Introduction to 90 Online File Storage Services –

Here you can find a solution to storing and sending large files in this long list of mostly free services.


Make online web movies using images, audio and text at this web site. Again, it’s still being tested, so you need to request an invitation.

Apple Learning Interchange 2006 - Rethink. Global Awareness.

Link: Apple Learning Interchange 2006 - Rethink. Global Awareness..

I am so pleased to announce the official launch of the Apple Learning Interchange exhibit on global awareness. This project was initiated as part of the Apple Distinguished Educator 2006 Summer Institute which took place in Europe. I traveled with approximately 60 other ADEs, Apple employees and people from EF Tours to Berlin, Dresden, and Prague and we began working on various curricular projects while on the trip. It was a life altering trip and I'm so impressed with the resulting work of my ADE colleagues. I hope others will join in the projects that we've started as part of this initiative.

I've started a discussion group about global awareness, by the way, and anyone with an interest is welcome to join. Just email me ( so that I can invite you to the group!

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