Posts categorized "Lessons & Projects" Feed

#CUEROCKSTAR Global PBL Resources

Hi All -

Anyone, including those not present in my workshops today, are welcome to join my Edmodo group, Project-Based Learning with a Global Focus. Use this link to join and I'll approve your membership: https://www.edmodo.com/home#/join/qtizux.

Make sure to check out the four tabs of global learning resources that I've compiled in this Google sheet. Feel free to add any additional resources that you think are valuable. This is not an exhaustive list; I'll be adding to this frequently.

Thanks,

Lucy 


Illinois, Do You Know?

Wonderful to see how the Shift Happens videos have morphed over the years.  Kudos to Scott McLeod and others who have contributed to the various versions.  Also, I'm thinking that we need a version like this in Illinois.  When are our state leaders going to get it? 

For those of my friends who aren't in the field of education, especially those with children,  please take time to watch this. The video touches on many ideas that drive the work that I, along with many others, do. Pass this along to your school leaders, and start asking what your district is doing to evolve in the 21st century. If your child's school is remarkably similar to what you experienced as a student, my guess is that difficult conversations need to happen. 

This is not about competition entirely... for me, this is about preparing our students sufficiently enough so that they participate in civic life and have choices in order to live their lives fully.

 


What's new and exciting?

What's new and exciting in your classroom and school? Well, relatively new and exciting as most US schools are on summer break!

I'm looking  to refresh some presentations/workshops and am interested in telling stories related to the compelling things going on in my PLN's classrooms.  Please share any relevant links, too!


These topics are of particular interest:

- anything related to PBL supported by technology
- mobile learning with any sort of device
- bring your own device programs
- Android or iOS apps related to global collaboration/awareness
- Using iOS devices to differentiate instruction
- social networks in schools (Not many schools seem to be going in this direction, but are you building a social network for your students to use in house or have you purchased a solution? Or, are you leveraging Facebook instead? Anything related to using SNs for educational purposes would be interesting.)

Some of the above relates to my work with the Consortium for School Networking on a mobile learning initiative and to a iTunes U global guide I'm developing with ADE colleagues. The rest are related to workshops I'll be giving in August... I'll be sure to share everything when I'm ready. 

Thanks in advance!


Organizing Global Collaborative Projects

Over at the Global Education Collaborative, I've posted a link to a Google spreadsheet where you can post and locate projects online. The GEC has really needed a better method for organizing this information, and I think the document will serve as a central location for finding projects. I expect people will be able to sort projects according to certain criteria as well.

I've embedded the form below. If you haven't tried Google Spreadsheets live forms yet, you simply must. It's a fairly easy method for creating your own surveys.


iSummit 2009 - Nashville

I'm in Nashville through Saturday at iSummit, a conference for private and charter school educators at schools with 1 to 1 laptop deployments. I'm really excited to be here as it's my first time visiting Tennessee!

Below are my presos which I've posted in Slideshare. Please feel free to contribute to my Google Maps/Earth teacher meme project and to join our group in Diigo where I will be bookmarking relevant links. Also, consider joining the Google in Education group as well.

View Larger Map


Friday 5: 100th Day of School

We're celebrating the 100th day of school at my new school next Monday. I put together a list of resources for our staff and I thought I'd share them here as well.

Work life has been unexpectedly busy and I hope to get around to publishing the Friday 5 more frequently!

Lucy Gray
subscribe to the Friday 5 at: http://groups.google.com/group/friday5/

Education World: Celebrate the 100th Day in 100 Ways
http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson149.shtml

One Hundredth Day of School Activities, Crafts and Printouts from Enchanted Learning
Enchanted Learning has been one of my favorite early childhood sites for many years. They also have some great world languages resources.
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/themes/hundred.shtml

ReadWriteThink: February 15, 2008: Celebrate the 100th Day of School!
ReadWriteThink has a calendar linked to various lessons and web-based activities for kids.
http://www.readwritethink.org/calendar/calendar_day.asp?id=631

Celebrate the 100th Day of School! See What Life Was Like 100 Years Ago! PowerPoint SlideshowThis slideshow includes pictures of commonly known people and objects contrasted between 1908 and 2008 which might foster a great conversation about how things have changed in the course of a century.
http://murdock10.typepad.com/greenwald/2008/01/celebrate-the-1.html

100th Day of School Homepage
One stop shopping for all things related to this unofficial school holiday!
http://www.siec.k12.in.us/~west/proj/100th/

Starfall's 100th Day of School
Starfall is a classic site for many interactive reading activities for young children.
http://www.starfall.com/n/holiday/hundredthday/play.htm?f

Countersquare
This is an interesting  web-based tool that could be used for 100 day activities.
http://www.amblesideprimary.com/ambleweb/mentalmaths/countersquare.html

Counting on and back in ones and tens
Another tool to demonstrate counting which could be especially useful for lessons involving interactive white boards or projectors.
http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primary/teachingresources/mathematics/nns_itps/count_on_and_back/num_itp_counting_on_back_1_1.swf

SMART - 100 Square - for use with SMARTboards
http://education.smarttech.com/ste/en-US/Ed+Resource/Lesson+activities/Notebook+activities/Browse+Notebook/United+States/Elementary/K-3/Math/100+Square.htm

CanTeach: Songs & Poems - 100th Day of School
http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems80.html

100th Day of School Printables from ABC Teach
http://www.abcteach.com/directory/basics/math/100th_day_of_school/









Robomance: An iStopmotion Production

Fellow ADE Dan Schmit and I attended a stop motion workshop at Macworld sponsored by Boinx software, the creators of iStopMotion. The workshop was held at the Zeum, a very cool digital technology space for kids. For pictures of how the Zeum sets up its space for visiting school groups to do stop motion animation, check out my Flickr photos.

Here's our first attempt at this type of animation. We used previously created figures from the Zeum.


Friday 5: Pageflakes

I've been wrestling with a quick and easy way to direct students to relevant web sites. Our new web site management system is great, but a little clunky for quickly adding links. We have a wiki that will serve as a repository for curricular resources, but again, it takes time to add links to this. I also have envisioned one page of links for kids to reference, so that little ones in particular do not have to do a lot of web browser navigating.

So, the other day after speaking with technoguru principal, Tim Lauer, about how he keeps web sites up to date on his school's machines, I decided to try Pageflakes (http://www.pageflakes.com/).

Here is a tutorial wiki on Pageflakes that explains everything you
need to know:

Techwithme: PageFlakes for Education
http://techwithme.pbwiki.com/PageFlakes+For+Education

And, here are the ones I created for teachers at NKO focused on
currently taught math topics:

NKO Pageflakes Home
http://www.pageflakes.com/NKO/19739953

PreK-1 Cluster
http://www.pageflakes.com/NKO/19741294

2-3 Cluster
http://www.pageflakes.com/NKO/19739840

4-5 Cluster
http://www.pageflakes.com/NKO/19739844

Research and Resources
http://www.pageflakes.com/NKO/19739845

Fun For Kids
http://www.pageflakes.com/NKO/19739851

Teacher Sites
http://www.pageflakes.com/NKO/19739930

These pages are works in progress, so stay tuned!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year,

Lucy Gray

P.S. - Remember you can subscribe to the Friday 5 via email at http://groups.google.com/group/friday5!


Friday 5: Special Mystery Guest: ELL

Hi All -

Larry Ferlazzo has put together tremendous resources for teachers and students. He teaches Social Studies and English to English Language Learners and native-English speakers at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, CA.  He was named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2007 International Reading Association Presidential Award For Reading and Technology.  He has a website with over 7,000 categorized links accessible to English Language Learners and younger native English speakers at http://www.bayworld.net/ferlazzo/english.html and a blog (http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/) where he daily shares new content added to the website. A few months ago, I shared his student examples page (http://www.bayworld.net/ferlazzo/Student%20Work.htm l) with Friday 5 readers; it's helpful because I'm always seeking concrete examples of student technology use. Thanks, Larry, for sharing your expertise with us!

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com
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1) Oxford University Press -- Student   Sites
 
Hundreds, and probably thousands, of online   English language development activities for all levels.
 
 
2) Peace Corps English Teaching Manuals
 
I think the teaching manuals the Peace Corps   has developed for teaching English as a second language are extraordinarily   helpful to teachers.
 
 
3) Starfall
 
The best online site to teach reading to   beginning English Language Learners or young native speakers to read..
 
 
4) Dvolver Moviemaker
 
A great site for students to develop their   writing skills in a fun and creative way by creating simple movies.
 
 
5) Hello World English
 
A site for beginning English Language Learners   to learn basic "survival" English.
 
 
6) English 180
 
A very good site for both Beginning and   Intermediate English Language Learners with graduated lessons.
 
 
7) English Interactive
 
Another excellent site for both Beginning and   Intermediate English Language Learners with exercises at various levels.
 
  -----
 
  You can subscribe to the Friday 5 at   http://groups.google.com/group/friday5 or read it in my blog:   http://elemenous.typepad.com.
 
 




Blog Action Day 2007 : Remix This Idea

I found a link to this in the Google Earth Users Guide Project blog. The main site can be found here .  I  like this activist concept, and will be thinking about what I can blog about on October 15th.

In the meantime, what about an Education Blog Action Day? Wouldn't it be neat if edubloggers or any bloggers with an interest, for that matter, blogged on a particular topic in education on one day, tagged it with the same tags and made a statement to the world? What topics would be good for this? Hmmm....perhaps something related to  NCLB, School 2.0, early literacy, digital divide? What is a univeral issue for everyone with education?


Friday 5: Math Mania

Hi All -

Just a quick list of some recent math related finds.

Have a great weekend,

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

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1. Rainforest Maths
http://www.rainforestmaths.com/

I thought this site was better than typical drill types; nice sets of visuals accompany math problems organized by grade level. The same web author publishes a math dictionary and a writing help site. You can find these links at the bottom of the Rainforest Maths home page.

2. Intermath
http://intermath.coe.uga.edu/

This is a project from the state of Georgia that seeks to improve the content knowledge of middle school math teachers. I was struck by the links within lessons to "constructionaries", small web demonstrations of various mathematical principles. The lessons seem to refer in general to many interactive sites including Interactivate, a site dedicated to math and science interactive tools. This page, in particular, has some great tools.

3. That Quiz
http://www.thatquiz.com/

Create customized online math quizzes for students and track their progress at this web site.

4. Countdown
http://countdown.luc.edu/NCTM_cat/NumberOperation/WholeNumbers/index.html

This is a video library of math TV shows produced at Loyola University in Chicago. I used to watch this show with my students two schools ago, and I think it's great that the materials are now archived online.

5. Math.com's Homework Help Everyday Math
http://www.math.com/homeworkhelp/EverydayMath.html

Everyday Math is a popular math program currently used in my previous and current schools.

6. Everyday Math Resources - Center School District
http://www1.center.k12.mo.us/edtech/everydaymath.htm

Find more resources here for using the Everyday Math series.

Don't forget that you can subscribe to the Friday 5 at:    http://groups.google.com/group/friday5


Field Trips 2.0 Project

I am part of a group of teachers working on a project that we plan on submitting to the Apple Learning Interchange. Specifically, this project focuses on the idea of reinventing field trips as we traditionally know them. We'd like to show teachers how to plan effectively for mobile learning experiences, what great excursions look like, and help them kick field trips up a notch by taking advantage of collaborative opportunities, digital tools, and web-based resources.

Interested educators are welcome to join our project. There are a couple of ways you and/or your colleagues can help:

1) Add bookmarks to our resource collection in del.icio.us by tagging any great links with the tag: Fieldtrips2.0.

2) Let us link to your educational blogs, blog posts, and Google Earth files that deal with your own field trip experiences. We also would love links to geocaching projects. We will post your name and school along with any links you send.

3) Participate in a group audio and/or video. We want to record a conversation, preferably using iChat AV, between multiple educators on how to make a field trip work, particularly when using Apple stuff and other digital equipment.

Send any of us an email indicating strands of interest if you'd like to participate. Additional details will then follow.

Thanks in advance,

Lucy Gray - University of Chicago Charter School
Judy Beaver - Punahou School
Andrew Gardner - The School at Columbia
Julene Reed - St. George's Independent Schools
Mike Searson - Kean University


Friday 5: TeacherTube

Friday 5 : TeacherTube

Hi All-

TeacherTube  is a new service for educators to upload and view educational content. Here are several videos worth watching!

Have a great weekend,

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

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1) Did You Know
http://tinyurl.com/3dqmdl

2) Pay Attention
http://tinyurl.com/3y38xj

3) Why Let Our Students Blog?
http://tinyurl.com/ynlvt3

4) Riddle iMovie Step 1
http://tinyurl.com/326nkc

5) Homage to Magritte
http://tinyurl.com/374unv

6) Inspiration Software with Math Instruction
http://tinyurl.com/32oyaq

7) Constitution Day 2006
http://tinyurl.com/2rwo49

8) Poetry and Multimedia
http://tinyurl.com/32vbyz

9) Dinoland
http://tinyurl.com/33cug2

10) Digital Students @ Analog Schools
http://tinyurl.com/32rmmm

11) When I Become A Teacher - This is my all-time favorite. I couldn't find it on TeacherTube, but here it is on YouTube.
http://tinyurl.com/3dtdmz


Google Scavenger Hunt for Middle Schoolers

I'm so excited about a spur of the moment project I started today in my sixth grade computer science class. We just finished group reports in our millennial/computer terms wiki, and our next topic to cover is graphing. For the past two quarters, I've done a rather dry assignment involving temperatures of cities around the world in Google Docs and Spreadsheets. I decided I wanted to explore an Ogle Earth blog posting forwarded by Chris Walsh to the GCT community, and I began by trying out the Google LookUp formula within Google Spreadsheets. Essentially, you enter certain search terms into this formula, data is found by Google, and entered into the specified cell. See this blog posting in the official Google blog for more information and check out the hunt itself. I need to add more complete directions and polish it a bit, but I may post about this over at the Infinite Thinking Machine when the project is finished. So far, my students' reactions have been really positive... they had no idea about the calculator features in Google Search and many said that this alone would help them with their homework. Another thing to note is a suggestion from my colleague, Marty. She thought it would be great to use autofill with this Lookup formula, to say, find statistics for a set of pro baseball players. Unfortunately, autofill doesn't seem to be a feature with Google Spreadsheets yet!


NECC 2007 Workshop Resources

Excuse multiple crossposts -

Julene Reed and I are teaching a workshop at NECC on global collaboration, and I've set up a series of resources to demonstrate during this class. I hope that these resources will live on as people become interested in sharing resources used to teach global awareness concepts. Please consider jumping in and joining any of these groups. Some of them are already seeded with material, but others are just getting started. Feel free to pass this info on to anyone you know that also might be interested.

If you are presenting on a simliar topic at NECC, please think about "crosspollinating" material in these spaces as well.

1) Global Education Ning group
http://globaleducation.ning.com/

2) Global Education Flickr group
http://flickr.com/groups/globaleducation/

3) Global Ed Google Group
http://groups.google.com/group/globaleducation

4) Global Education Collaborative Wikispace
http://globaleducationcollaborative.wikispaces.com/

5) I'm tagging any resources I bookmark with the tag globalawareness in Furl and in del.icio.us.

6) Google Calendar for Global Education - enter your NECC global awareness events here, for instance.

If you think of other similar resources we should include, please send me suggestions.  Thanks!!!


The Global Education Collaborative

Link: The Global Education Collaborative.

Excuse the multiple cross-postings on various listservs etc....

Please consider joining a Ning community on global education: http://globaleducation.ning.com/

At the National Educational Computing Conference to be held in Atlanta, Georgia this June, fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Julene Reed and I will be hosting a workshop on global collaboration. I plan on utilizing a variety of tools and resources throughout this hands-on class, including Ning, a service that allows one to establish a custom social networking site. I am hoping to seed this site with people and content in preparation for this workshop, and I would like to invite anyone to jump in and participate.

I've made a few prior attempts at creating an online meeting space for those interested in global collaboration which included the establishment of a .Mac group and a blog. While I still plan on posting to these resources, I think this environment might be more inviting because it allows for the posting of photos, videos, and RSS feeds. Users can make their own custom personal pages, contribute to discussion forums, network with other like-minded individuals, and comment on these features. I've been inspired by the success of Steve Hargadon's Classroom 2.0 and School 2.0 Ning communities, particularly by the forum conversations in the Classroom 2.0 one.

I also hope that this will also serve as a hub for anyone who will be presenting at conferences on various global education topics. Please consider uploading any relevant files including presentation slides. You can upload slides to sites such as SlideShare and Scribd, which I think, will give you the html code to embed videos in a Ning community. If you need help with any of this, just let me know.. it's pretty easy. Of course, you can probably also save slideshows as Quicktime files and upload them directly, too.

Please let me know if you have any questions...

Continue reading "The Global Education Collaborative" »


Friday 5: Using Chat and Instant Messaging in the Classroom

My students have found me online. I haven't decided if this is a good thing, or not, quite yet, but it definitely has me to thinking about using chat and instant messaging to communicate with students.

In my sixth grade computer science class, our discussion about instant messaging started when a student asked me about my user name for a class wiki project. I explained that I use the same user name (elemenous) for all my accounts, including the AOL Instant Messaging service (AIM), and my students perked up immediately. They were surprised that a teacher, of all people, actually used AIM, and I bet one class that many more teachers use an instant messaging service than they realized. I also explained that I use chat regularly to communicate with other teachers around the world, and that it's been wonderful tool for exchanging files and learning from other educators.

So, since this discussion, the number of kids instant messaging me after school has jumped from 1 kid last week to about 8 kids last night. I think I had 4 different chat windows open on my computer, and it was difficult for me to multitask. I noticed that the conversations are markedly different than the ones I have with adults. When I chat with an adult, I usually am pinging them for a specific reason such as tech help or to share a resource. With kids, however, it seems as if they are sort aimlessly IMing each other and me. This is a social tool for them, and they must be chatting with lots of other people because often our conversations go dead as if they were busy elsewhere. Sixth graders, IMHO, have not learned the fine art of  carrying on an online conversation. Interestingly enough, though, one of my students told me that most of the grade-level "drama" happens within instant messaging conversations after school. One kid said he's learned to hit certain keys to quit IMing quickly when his mother approaches as he's not supposed to be online during homework time. Another kid said his mother took away his keyboard because she thought his computer habits were too distracting for him. (I'm making a mental note of this tactic for when my children hit middle school.) It's fascinating to see how important this tool has become to kids; I feel like I've been let into the club a bit as they have been reaching out to me via IMing.

Generally, I think using instant messaging and chat rooms in the context of learning is not something most teachers want to incorporate into their curricula; it's a matter of digital natives versus digital immigrants. We immigrants have been slow to realize that this tool is wildly popular amongst adolescents, and that if we frame its use properly, chatting via instant messaging or inchat rooms might actually empower learning. So this week, I've compiled a slew of related articles that might help you understand this phenomenon.

Take care and have a great weekend,

Lucy Gray


1)   Strategies For Using Chat
Academic Distance Learning Center, Webster University, Saint Louis, Missouri

2)    Let's Chat: Chat Rooms in Elementary School

3)   Educause | Resources | Resource Center Abstract

4)   PC World - Internet Tips: A Grown-Up's Guide to Instant Messaging

5)   Moving at the Speed of Creativity>Blog Archive> The Case for Instant Messaging in the Classroom

6)   Experimental College at Tufts | Instant Messaging: R U Online! RU? | By Robert Farmer

7)     Spiral Notebook > IM in the Mood for Chat

8)     Apple - Education - iChat AV and iSight in the Classroom: Lesson Plans

9)     iChatCollaboration.pdf from Goochland County Public Schools



The Friday 5 Search Engine

I've made a customized Google search engine using sites I commonly use when compiling Friday 5 lists. It's now listed on the left-hand side of my blog along with a box that allows people to subscribe to the Friday 5 in Google Groups. If you ask to contribute to this search engine, you can add relevant sites. It is also possible to add the search engine to your blog, homepage, or Google start page.

I can see teachers using Google Co-Op to make customized engines for various units of study. I think it's a pretty handy way to direct students research instead of just letting them loose on the Internet.


Friday 5: Creating Comics

Hi All -

I've been working with a science class this week in which kids are creating newspapers on genetically modified foods. Some kids are drawing political cartoons and I showed them how to scan their work, import these files into Comic Life and add fun touches including captions, speech bubbles, and various graphical enhancements. This project got me thinking about other useful tools for creating comics and thus, this week's theme was born!

Have fun exploring these tools!

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com


1) Comic Life

This is one of my favorite pieces of software, and I believe it comes installed on new Macs. iPhoto is integrated into Comic Life, and you can publish directly to a .Mac account as well.

2) ReadWriteThink: Student Materials: Comic Creator

This web site generally has great tools and lessons for students and teachers.

3) Make Beliefs Comix

This site seems kid friendly!

4) Comeeko

This site lets you create comics with photos. It is a social web site, too, meaning that you can rate and comment on users' comics if you choose. I would recommend using this site for teachers to possibly create materials, but NOT for student projects, as the content does not seem to be screened for the k-12 arena.

5) ToonDoo - The Cartoon Strip Creator

Again, this is a social site and you may want to take a look around this site before using it with students.

6) The Comic Book Project at Teachers College, Columbia University

I found this link while looking for comic resources, and it looks like an interesting project for hand-drawn comics. Take a look at the online gallery of student work.


Google Earth Meme Update

There's a new entry to the Google Earth Teacher Meme. Thanks to Marilyn DiPasquale for her .kmz file. Marilyn asked me how to created this file and put it in the Google Earth Community, so I'm copying and pasting the instructions I sent to her via email. To participate in this particular project, click on the aforementioned Googel Earth Teacher Meme link and you will see instructions. To create your own collection of .kmz files, follow the instructions below.

1) Make sure you register with the Google Earth Community site.

2) In Google Earth, each participant saves their .kmz file by going to File>Save>Save Place As> and then they browse to the place on their computer where they are going to save their file. This way they have a copy.

3) Then, they send this to me as an attachment or in GE, they go to File>Email>Placemark and send me the file that way.

4) Once I received the files, I made a folder in Google Earth (Add>Folder), selected it and saved it to My Places (File>Save>Save to My Places). I made folders in the same manner within this folder for each person participating.

5) I then opened the .kmz files from the emails sent to me and I selected those, moved them to their respective folders, and saved the entire enclosing folder again by going to File>Save Place As. I noted where I saved that .kmz file.

6) I then went to the Google Earth Community web site, found a forum that looks appropriate for posting my project, and I made a post describing the project. It's fairly self-explanatory; the first step was to create a new topic in a forum. The forum I chose was Education>Educators.

7) After creating my new topic post and entering relevant info, I clicked the continue button at the bottom of the page, and on the next page, there is a place for uploading files. This is where I uploaded the saved .kmz file and then I clicked the button that says ok, submit.  Note that it's helpful to save your post to your favorites within the Google Earth Community so that you can find it easily again.

8) To make additions, I open my .kmz file in Google earth, make additions in the manner described in Step 5, save again, and then visit my post in the Google Earth Community. There is an edit button on the post, and I go through and reupload my new edited .kmz file. There is a link that says to view it in Google Earth and one to view it in Google Maps. I usually look at the Google Maps one to make sure I uploaded files correctly.


Passionately Curious: Blogs and Copyright

Link: Passionately Curious: Blogs and Copyright.

I'm doing some long overdue blog maintenance this weekend while avoiding doing other chores! I've revised my blogroll to include blogs of colleagues and blogs that I'm currently reading on a regular basis. I eliminated a few feeds that I felt were no longer giving me inspiration as well as a few that simply are not updated regularly enough to warrant further recommendations. I wish bloggers would make it an informal rule to post at least once a week.. I cannot tell you how many feeds I've deleted from my aggregator that have not been updated in months, but I suspect are still works in progress for the blog owners.

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to look at the blog of my colleague, Lisa Harrison, in quite awhile. She's got a ton of useful things to look at in her Passionately Curious blog, and I was particularly struck by this post. Look how the internet has changed everything... you can reach out and touch authors and ask for permission to use their work. The internet does make the world small and mangeable and accessible. I just love this! And... I had a book by one of the poets mentioned when I was probably in second grade, Joan Walsh Anglund. I can still imagine her distinct illustrations and I recall that they were quite popular on merchandise, sort of like Hello Kitty for the '70s. Boy, am I feeling my age. :)


Friday 5: Special Mystery Guest: Astronomy

Greetings -

This week's list comes to us from the one and only Karen Thompson of Springfield, Illinois, another Apple Distinguished Educator. She is a stellar person, no pun intended!

Next week's list will feature summer professional development opportunities... send along any suggestions that you think should be included!

Thanks,

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com
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The spring equinox is March 21, 2007. I started this list of websites with Stellarium. It offers so many delightful explorations for students!

1)  Stellarium

A free open source planetarium for your computer.

2)   Springfield Public Schools - Stellarium Projects

I’ve listed some of the lessons we’re using with our 6th graders.

3)  Open Astronomy Curriculum

Stellarium is great, and this will get you started in some meaningful explorations.

4)     Bad Astronomy

I know it’s going to come up, so as long as we’re talking about the equinox, let’s not forget about standing eggs on their ends. Don’t miss the Bad Astronomy website and the discussion on the eggs and the equinox.

5)  The Ceres Project

Did you see the recent lunar eclipse? Stellarium makes it very easy to preview these events. If you’re looking at the moon, let’s explore the Birthday Moons!

6) Time Exhibits

And if you’re looking for more information on the change to daylight savings time, check out this site.

-----
Karen Thompson started her teaching career as a middle school science teacher with a slide rule in hand. Currently she is an instructional technology facilitator in Springfield, Illinois and serves as a school board member in the consolidated school district of Tri-City in Buffalo, Illinois. Karen is currently using her vision of educational technology to help guide her district’s 1 to 1 laptop program for 800 6th graders.


Mapping Literary Journeys: Google Lit Trips

There's a new post up at the Infinite Thinking Machine that focuses on the new project of my fellow Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Teacher, Jerome Burg. Jerome has instituted a project called Google Lit Trips, which are essentially guided tours of resources related to books within Google Earth. Check it out and consider making a lit trip of your own to submit to this site!

I have an idea for a collaborative Google Lit Trip that I'll post here later!


Friday 5: Special Mystery Guest: The Great Potato Famine

Hi All -

I sent this list in the midst of editing, so I apologize for duplicate entries this week! Please welcome my friend and neighbor, Joan Kane, as our special mystery guest this week. Another SMG will follow next week with sites on the spring equinox.

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

------

As St. Patrick's Day approaches and all things seem to turn green, it is important to remember the reason why the Irish seem to be everywhere. Many of these Irish are descendants of the four million victims of the Great Famine that left Ireland between 1845 and 1851.

The links below highlight some of the resources available if you would like to explore some of the social, political, historic, governmental, and cultural issues associated with the Great Famine.

Beannachtái Lá Fhéile Pádraig (pronounced: ban-ach-tee la fay-le Paw-drig) or Happy St. Patrick's Day!

-Joan

1) An Gorta Mor

This site, developed by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut and County Kerry Library offers original source documents from the time of the Great Famine, digitized resources, Irish history e-texts, a collection of over 400 pictures of Ireland, and more.

2) Following the Great Famine

This website focuses on the impact of that Great Famine on Canada. It tracks the experiences of the Great Famine victims in Canada through stories that mirror the Irish experience in many countries. The site provides curricula on the elementary and high school levels.

3) BBC History of the Irish Famine

Information on the Great Famine from a British viewpoint. This site provides a different viewpoint
that can be used as a basis for discussion of famine and reactions to famine across the globe.

4) Curriculum on Great famine from the New Jersey and New York
Departments of Education
http://www.nde.state.ne.us/ss/irish/irish_pf.html
http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/nysssa/gif/curriculum.html

Both sites offer complete version of curricula for grammar school and high school students with many resources listed.

5) The International Famine Centre at University College Cork, Ireland

The International Famine Centre commemorates the more than one million people who died and nearly four million who were exiled during Ireland's Great Famine by working to prevent the present-day recurrence of famine elsewhere in the world. This site provides information on current famine conditions across the globe.

------
Joan Kane has over twenty years experience in the software industry. She has worked in training, marketing, and management roles for leading software companies, such as Adobe, Ashton-Tate, Asymetrix, and Borland Software, but she has always considered herself to be a teacher first. She recently returned to teaching as a business/technology teacher for the Chicago Public Schools and is completing her doctorate in instructional technology. Joan has presented at the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators, the ToolBook Developers conference, and the American Society for Training & Development Conference.


Official Google Blog: Coffee Talk in the Teachers' Lounge

Link: Official Google Blog: Coffee Talk in the Teachers' Lounge.

There's been a major "site refresh" at the Google for Educators pages. The latest posts from the Infinite Thinking Machine are visible here, and there's now a Google Group community for all teachers. I especially like the downloadable posters, and am planning on doing a bulletin board using these resources. I also noticed something cool today, and I'm not sure if this is new or what, but any picture I've used in my Blogger blogs appear in Picasa.


Apple - Retail - Youth Workshops

Link: Apple - Retail - Youth Workshops.

My daughter, Julia, attended her first Apple Youth Workshop a few weeks ago, and here is the resulting song. She learned how to create music in GarageBand. This workshop was free, and there are two others in the next couple of months on photos and movies.

In addition to receiving a CD of her music, Julia also a pink Music Project Book that fit inside the CD envelope. This booklet contains some GB basics and has pages for notes.

Download 01_julias_song.m4a



Friday 5: Best of IL-TCE

Friday 5: Best of IL-TCE

Hi Everyone –

Last week’s list is compiled from various presentations that I attended at the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators.

Stay tuned for this Friday’s list which should feature another special mystery guest…

Take care,

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

1)    OhmyNews International

This citizen journalism site was highlighted in ADE Tim Wilson’s Web 2.0 presentation.

2)    My Friend Flickr

ADE Charlene Chausis presented on all the things one can do with the photo sharing site known as Flickr.

3)    Photofiddle

Cited by NYT columnist David Pogue during his digital photography workshop, Photofiddle lets you create interesting items from your own photos.

4)    Breaking the Myth of Megapixels – New York Times

According to Pogue, four or five megapixel cameras are sufficient for most users.

5)    The River City Project

My ADE friend, Steve Wagenseller, instant messaged me during my workshop with David Pogue and during our virtual conversation, he mentioned this site. It’s an online simulation described as “a multi-user virtual environment for learning scientific inquiry and 21st Century Skills”.


Google Earth Scavenger Hunt

My school held its third annual celebration of science today known as Science Expo, and I hosted a Google Earth scavenger hunt. I made a simple activity designed to introduce families to the featured content in Google Earth, and kids received a piece of candy for each answer they found. Strangely, we had some bandwith issues with Google Earth. It seems like the internet connection was lost and the screen went black a few times. Google Earth also quit several times on various machines. Families were able to get through the hunt for the most part, but it took longer than my original fifteen minute estimate. This activity worked best with my fifth grade students who did not need a lot of guidance with this.

Check out my activity here:   

Download googleearthhunt.pdf


Buddy's Visit


DSC_0447.JPG
Originally uploaded by elemenous.

My son Henry's class bear, Buddy, is our houseguest this weekend. Buddy visits a different family every weekend, and even managed to snag a ride to the Superbowl in Miami! On the Mondays following these weekend jaunts, the host child has to report back to the class about what Buddy experienced during his visit. I believe they have to add a picture to a class book, too.

This picture was taken last night as Henry was getting ready for bed. He wanted Buddy to have some company so he introduced him to his Care Bears.


Friday 5: Writing

Friday 5: Writing

Hi All –

Writing has been on my mind this week, and so I spent time digging around for fun, interactive web sites geared towards elementary kids. My favorite find was the Student Materials Index at the always fabulous ReadWriteThink site. There’s something for everyone in this short list, and if you can think of any must visit additions, feel free to email me and I’ll publish your suggestions next week!

Thanks,

Lucy Gray
University of Chicago Lab Schools
elemenous@gmail.com

1)    ReadWriteThink: Student Materials Index

2)    WritingFix: Word and Writing Games for Young Writers

-contains several interactive writing prompts

3)    Teacher Tap: Magnet Poetry, Stores, & Mad Libs: Writing Fun on the Web

-check out various forms of Mad Libs online

4)    Young Writers Workshop

- lots of writing prompts for dictation use can be found here

5)    42 Explore: Writing Pathfinder

- a long list of resources for students of all ages

6)    National Writing Project Interactive

- a free online community


Lucy's NICE Mini-Conference Resources

NICE Homepage

PDFs of My Two Presos:

Apple Global Awareness:

Download global_awareness.pdf

Google:

Download google.pdf

Essential Links:

Google For Educators
Rethink.Global Awareness

Document containing most links mentioned in both presentations: 

Download NICElinks.doc


Please email me if you have any questions!


Slideshow Using ImageShack


Go to ImageShack® to Create your own Slideshow
Just saw an example of a slideshow created with ImageShack on a student blog linked from ADE Mike Searson's iStory tour blog. Very cool! I grabbed these photos directly from my Flickr account to create this slideshow.  My after school class is starting a wiki, and I'm wondering if we could embed a slideshow like this in Wikispaces. I'm guessing the answer is yes...


Friday 5: Special Mystery Guest: Google SketchUp & Architecture

Hi All -

I am pleased to present our first Friday 5 Special Mystery Guest, Fred
Bartels, Director of Information Technology at Rye Country Day School
in Rye, New York. Fred is an innovator and is constantly exploring new
ideas involving the uses of technology. For more information about him, please visit this link. He has also been instrumental in the development of the
School Computing Wiki.

Various friends and acquaintances will be making similar special
appearances on the Friday 5 during 2007.  If you are interested in
contributing a list of sites devoted to your interests or areas of
expertise, drop me an email and I'll send you additional details.

Enjoy,
Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

Fred's Friday 5:

Google SketchUp is a wonderfully accessible 3-D design program that is available for both Macs and Windows. Even better, there is a free version. With SketchUp, students can easily and quickly develop all kinds of designs. My particular interest is architecture and what follows are 5 of the best websites to support using SketchUp to learn about and create architecture.

1. Google SketchUp's home page and Google SketchUp Pro's home page. On the second URL, under the Education tab, you can find many examples of student work.

http://sketchup.google.com/
http://www.sketchup.com

2. The Google SketchUp Warehouse. A huge and rapidly growing collection of free-to-use SketchUp models submitted by SketchUp users from around the world.

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse

3. The Designing with SketchUp Infowiki. A wiki resource for teachers and students interested in SketchUp and architecture.

http://dws.editme.com/

4. An excellent video podcast with clear explanations on how to design with SketchUp.

http://go-2-school.com/podcasts

5. Architecture Week, a great online "magazine" about architecture. They have very good pricing for educators.

http://www.architectureweek.com/


Friday 5: Online Collaboration

This week’s list was inspired by a workshop led by GlobalSchoolNet founders at NECC last summer. While I’ve been aware of this web site for some time, I previously hadn’t taken the time to explore its great resources. I am just now starting to, and in the wake of my recent  Google Earth extravaganzas, students in my afterschool program and I have come up with a project to share. Please feel free to join in any time between now and June.

Clearly, one of the benefits of today’s technologies is the ability to connect and learn from others around the world. Hopefully, you’ll find one project or idea from the following list that will inspire you to reach out!

Stayed tuned in the coming weeks as we will have some special mystery guest authors of the Friday 5... I've invited some friends and acquaintances to share a bit of their interests and expertise with us. If you'd like to participate, shoot me an email!

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

1)    Education World’s Internet Archives – Site Reviews – Collaborative Projects

2)    ED Teacher’s Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet

This list contains many links to established and well regarded programs that promote online educational collaboration.

3)    A Sampler of International Web Projects from Edutopia

4)    Technospud Projects

Check out the calendar page for upcoming projects that seems pretty manageable.

5)    The International Telementor Program

This sounds like a great way to connect students with a virtual mentor. There is a cost involved of $200 per student.

6)    The GLOBE Program

This looks like an amazing science program, and it appears that there needs to be some commitment on the part of participating schools to regarding training.


e-artcasting: Web2.0 Initiatives Revitalizing Museums: Tableau Vivant on Seurat’s painting

Link: e-artcasting: Web2.0 Initiatives Revitalizing Museums: Tableau Vivant on Seurat’s painting.

I love this re-creation of Seurat's, "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the La Grande Jatte", particularly because this took place in Beloit WI, not far from where I went to college. Beloit's riverfront has undergone a tremenous transformation since I went college there. Incidentally, I was an art history major at Beloit and interned one summer at the Art Institute of Chicago where the original painting is housed. I actually thought that I'd go into museum education work for awhile as a result of this experience. I was telling my kids this weekend about working there, and about how peaceful it was  to walk in the galleries before the museum opened. Anyway, I think this is a fun model for doing a photography project with kids.


Friday 5: Google Earth

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I just looked through my group archives, and I can’t believe I have never compiled a Friday 5 devoted to Google Earth. It is such an amazing application, and once you’ve experienced it, I think you’ll agree that it has great implications for enhancing teaching and learning.

A couple of projects have occupied me during the last couple of weeks. I’ve been playing with Google Earth and I have even started collaborative projects using Google Earth files. Inspired by a fellow Apple Distinguished Educator who collected holiday greetings in audio format and podcasted them for the ADE group, Ken Tuley and I came up with the idea of posting New Year’s resolutions from around the world using Google Earth. Several ADEs created a file of a Google Earth place mark indicating where they currently live or work, and put New Year’s resolutions into the description field of the place mark. Files were emailed to me and I compiled them, simply by dragging and dropping .kmz files into a folder. I then emailed the main file back to all participants. It was great fun to “fly” around the world, seeing people’s homes and gathering inspiration from various New Year’s resolutions.

I’ve started another similar project, and this one is geared for all teachers and students. Participants again will create a place mark indicating their home, workplace, or other special location. In the description field, they are supposed to write a paragraph or two about their favorite teacher and/or learning experience. I’ll collect these files via email, and put them into one file that will be posted on my blog and in the Google Earth Community. Follow the link below if you’d like to participate… detailed directions are included.

Have a great weekend,

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

THE BASICS

1)    Google Earth
http://earth.google.com/

Download the free software here.

2)    Google Earth – Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Earth

A little background info on GE.

3)    Google Earth Community: Teacher Meme
http://tinyurl.com/yfnfux

This is the link to my current project. Join the fun!

4)    The Good Earth
http://www.edutopia.org/1661

Read about how teachers are using Google Earth in this Edutopia article.

NEXT STEPS

5)   Google Earth Education Community
http://edweb.tusd.k12.az.us/dherring/ge/googleearth.htm

6)   Juicy Geography’s Google Earth for Teachers
http://www.juicygeography.co.uk/googleearth.htm

5)    Tom Barrett’s Classroom Google Earth Wiki
http://classroomgoogleearth.wikispaces.com/

Lots of great resources can be found here and if you feel inspired, you can add your school’s location to a collection of files from other schools.

6)    Google Earth Users Guide
http://googlearthusersguide.blogspot.com/

7)    Google Earth Wikipedia Layer
http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2006-12-10-n72.html

This is a blog post about a relatively new feature in Google Earth.

8)    Virtual Globetrotting
http://virtualglobetrotting.com/

9)    Google Earth Blog
http://www.gearthblog.com/

Click on the links labeled GE to download the file and view in Google Earth.

10)     Google Sightseeing
http://googlesightseeing.com/

11)     Official Google Blog: The Illuminated Continent
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/09/illuminated-continent.html

National Geographic naturally has content viewable in Google Earth.

DEEP CUTS

12)     GeoGreeting
http://www.geogreeting.com/

Send a fun message to a friend using satellite images. Thanks to Charlene Chausis for this link!

13)     Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes: Google Earth Education Initiative
http://geography2.blogspot.com/2005/12/google-earth-education-initiative.html

Get a free copy of Google Earth Pro for your school. Follow the instructions posted in this blog.

14)     Google SketchUp
http://sketchup.google.com/

Create 3-D models in SketchUp and import them into Google Earth.  You thought Google Earth was mind blowing? Wait until you try this!

15)     Google 3D Warehouse
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/

Store and share SketchUp files here. Check out Fred Bartel’s collection of designs for 21st Century schools:
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/search?q=21st+century+school&btnG=Search
and his Designing with SketchUp Infowiki : http://dws.editme.com/.


Room 132 » Room 132: Archived

Link: Room 132 » Room 132: Archived.

I wondered this fall why there was no activity coming from this vlog's feed. I don't know how I missed this as the announcement was posted October 26, 2006, but my favorite educational vlogger is no longer a regular classroom teacher. I first discovered Bre Pettis when researching video blogging for a Friday 5 edition last year.... I believe I found his stuff via a Yahoo group on vlogging. Anyway, I completely cracked up at his videos depicting events in his classroom; he clearly made learning fun for his students. He did a huge service for parents who deserve a glimpse into the learning lives of their children and for teachers looking for new ideas. Fortunately, the best of Bre has been archived here ( I like Too Much Sugar and In the Future) and he now works for Make magazine. Check out his video podcast on bridge building! If you haven't checked out Make before, you must... the print version and the web site are very interesting!


Friday 5: Images and Video

Hi All –

Here’s a quick Friday 5 list of sources for video and images. Teachers and students are always in need  of  digital material for projects but, before you publish anything using materials from others, check out this chart from Hall Davidson.  Also, don’t forget about Creative Commons Search for resources that may have less restrictive copyright protection.

Have a great weekend,

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

1)    KidsClick!: Image Search Tools
http://www.kidsclick.org/psearch.html

2)    The NYPL Picture Collection Online
http://digital.nypl.org/mmpco/

3)    UNESCO’s Photobank
http://photobank.unesco.org/exec/index.htm

4) The Gateway to Astronaut Photography
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/clickmap/

4)    Digital Collections and Programs: Library Functions (Library of Congress)
http://www.loc.gov/library/libarch-digital.html

5) TASI:: Techinical Advisory Service for Images
http://www.tasi.ac.uk/index.html

This section on finding and using digital images (http://www.tasi.ac.uk/advice/using/finding.html) looks particularly comprehensive and helpful.

5)    YouTube -  K12 Education
http://www.youtube.com/group/K12

6)    HubbleSOURCE: MPEG Video Clips
http://hubblesource.stsci.edu/sources/video/clips/

7)    The Open Video Project
http://www.open-video.org/

8)    Video Classroom
http://videoclassroom.org/

9)    American Field Guide
http://www.pbs.org/americanfieldguide/index.html#

10)     NARA on Google Video
http://video.google.com/nara.html

Subscribe to the Friday 5 at: http://groups.google.com/group/friday5/


Global Warming Student Speakout - Top 50 Ideas

This list of 50 ideas to stop global warming is the culmination of a joint project between  Google and Global SchoolNet. Using Google Docs and Spreadsheets, students from around the world brainstormed ideas and the best were selected for the Google for Educators web site. An ad featuring one of the ideas will also be published in USA Today. My sixth grade students participated in this project, and we learned a great deal about our environment while figuring out how to use spreadsheets collaboratively!

read more | digg story


ITM # 3 : Living in 3D

Link: Infinite Thinking Machine.

The newest video blog entry of the Infinite Thinking Machine is posted. While I am a contributor to this site, the video production end is left to WestEd and producer Chris Walsh. The videos or, as Chris labels them, internet t.v shows, are posted in the  iTunes Music Store. If you get a chance, take a look and leave a rating and review! Also, take time to leave some feedback or ideas in the comments section of the ITM blog!


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 http://www.google.com/educators/globalwarming.html .


Wikispaces for teachers

Link: Wikispaces for teachers.

I'm new to the world of wikis (other than Wikipedia), but I'm liking what I am seeing. A wiki is essentially an online document in which group members can edit content. David Warlick set up one for a panel preso I participated in at NECC, and attendees were invited to take notes within the wikis. The five presenters collaborated on our presentation using this wiki even though we were located all over the country.

More recently, fellow ADEs recommended Wikispaces to me. I used this during a few staff development with a local charter high school and now I'm recommending it my own colleagues. I didn't realize, until I stumbled upon the blog for Wikispaces today, that the creators are giving away 100,000 adfree wikis to
educators. See the graphic below and spread the word!

tags technorati :

Global Education .Mac Group

I'm interested in continuing the conversation about global awareness, and I've taken the liberty of starting a .Mac group on this topic. I've never really taken advantage of .Mac groups before, so this provides an opportunity to explore this tool as well.

My goal is to provide an inclusive forum for ADEs, informal external partners, and other interested educators to discuss and share anything related to global education. Many ADEs who attended this year's institute consulted outside resources in preparation for the trip; this forum may be a way to include these groups. I see this .Mac group as a vehicle for sharing resources, collaborating on projects, and for possibly garnering feedback on our various curriculum projects. I am sure there are other ideas that we can come up with regarding how to best utilize this resource.

If you'd like to join this group, please send me an email at elemenous@mac.com or lgray@ucls.uchicago.edu, and I'll send you an invitation with instructions on how to join. Feel free to pass this on to other people that may be interested as well. Participants do not need an active .Mac account to join, only a .Mac ID.

tags technorati :

NECC 2006: Show Me The Tools

I'm in a workshop right now that is conducted by the founders og GlobalSchoolNet.Yvonne Marie Andrés, Erica Rogers, and Al Rogers will be giving a spotlight session later today on their internet projects registry. This registry has search capabilities that are really useful. You can search by curriculum fit, use of technology, types of collaboration, keywords, project dates. Additionally, you can look at current, future and archived projects.

There are two types of membership. Contributing Membership helps keep their services free and provides some added benefits such as a newsletter. There is also a free membership because the founders believe their content should be free. This looks like a fabulous service, and of course people have to make a living, but I appreciate that they make membership reasonable and give access to all. It reminds me of some of the issues Bernie Dodge has supporting QuestGarden.

I'm wondering if I can incorporate Global SchoolNet into the project I did with Chapin School this year. During the third quarter, Steve Bergen and I partnered our students to research 21st century vocabulary and build collaborative web pages. Our students exchanged written communications, audio files, and digital pictures during the course of this project. The Chapin Kids built their web pages using HTML (no WYSIWYG editor) and my kids gave them feedback and created some banners in Photoshop.

We are trying to look at some cool online tools, but unfortunately, the network is not cooperating!


tags technorati :


Explore Shakespeare with Google

Link: Explore Shakespeare with Google.

Here's a new site from Google that has contains many Shakespearian texts. I'm assuming that Google can publish these in their Book section because these works are in the public domain. This site also have links to other ways to explore Shakespeare, including via Google Earth. The link for Google Earth just leads to that homepage, but here is an old post in the Google Earth blog that contains placemarks for places quoted in Shakespeare. You can download this file and open it in Google Earth to take a virtual tour! How motivating to kids is that!?!

I hope other pages containing multiple resources are developed by Google!


Kettle Moraine School District

I will be presenting a remix of my Wisconsin Ed Leadership preso to teachers and administrators in the Kettle Moraine School District on June 13th.

Here are some related resources:

Workshop handout:  Download Handout Here

My Blog: http://lucygray.org

My Web Site: http://homepage.mac.com/lucygray1/

Workshop Blog: http://tales-from-wales.blogspot.com/
To join this blog, workshop participants should send me an email at lgray@ucls.uchicago.edu.

Bloglines: http://www.bloglines.com/
It is recommended that participants create a Bloglines account if they do not have one yet.

Here's  the main preso:  Download kmsd.pdf

And finally, here is the RSS preso:

Download rsspreso.pdf


Cathy Janovjak's Web Page

Link: Home.

I run an after school program using the GenYES model. I've enjoyed it because it gives me the opportunity to get to know students better and I like the bond we've developed as a group. I also like how we are able to explore technology on a more informal basis. After all, an after school program is supposed to be fun, first and foremost!

Part of the philosophy of this program is that teachers and students work together on technology based projects. To be perfectly honest, we've had limited success with this; teachers' schedules sometimes prevent them from investing time with us. A few teachers have really been generous with their time and effort, and the above link is the result of one such collaboration. Music teacher Cathy Janovjak met regularly with Jeremy, one of my sixth grade students, to develop a set of web pages. Today, they basically finished this project after months of hard work and Cathy was pleased as punch. She decided on this project initially because she wanted to be supportive of Jeremy, one of her chamber music students. During the course of working with him, Cathy also came to realize how useful her web pages could be to her music program, too. She had initially been ambivalent about web pages, but as she delved into the project, she became convinced of the value of a web site. Take a look around the site..Jeremy and Cathy posted pictures, helpful info regarding music stores and teachers, and copies of practice compositions authored by Ms. Janovjak.

I am so proud of both Cathy and Jeremy. Jeremy is an extraordinary student and techie. This year, he has grown so much and I've particularly enjoyed seeing his sense of humor become more apparent. I've also appreciated how Cathy has visited our class almost every Friday, always ready to work. This success of this project gives me faith that we can facilitate more of these collaborations.

By the way, Jeremy used RapidWeaver to design this web site. He did a lot of additional coding in HTML and made the cute musical favicon in Photoshop, I think.


Google Earth and Earthquakes

After attending NSBA's Technology Leadership Network Executive Briefing, I was inspired to try an Excel spreadsheet/graphing activity in my class. David Warlick discussed the changing face of information literacy, and he demonstrated a compelling activity during his talk. Essentially, he found seismic activity data from the United States Geological Survey web site for a specific date, imported this data into Excel, and created a scatter chart. The resulting image clearly defined earthquake activity along fault lines, and a cluster of earthquakes particularly stood out. David led us in a discussion of what we were viewing, and we soon realized that we were looking at earthquakes that caused the tragic tsunamis of 2004.  I think David also had a map overlay for this, but I am cannot recall some details accurately and I can't find details of this activity on his web site. The rough directions I gave to my students can be found here. Students plotted the longitude and latitude of earthquakes for a particular day of their own choosing. They also had to select enter the longitude and latitude of the most significant earthquake that day in Google Earth to find out where it took place. They added a placemark to indicate the spot, and they also saved an image of this to insert into their Excel workbook.

During the course of my exploration of Google Earth, I visited a couple of sites that are probably well known to most tech savvy people. Upon a recommendation from another ADE, I found lots of helpful information at the Google Earth Community web site. Here you can download KML files to use with Google Earth.  Under the National Geographic Content heading, I found some animal ones that were very cool and I also liked one entitled Planet Earth DV - Habitats - Caves listed under Education. It's an interesting use of images, text, and links to take participants on a digital field trip. Unfortunately, I couldn't access the video content that is linked to in this overlay as it's only available to people in the UK.

Also, while trying to figure out where I was trying to go with this project, I spent a lot of time on the USGS web site. Their earthquake center is particularly amazing. I love how they use RSS; you can actually subscribe to a feed of recent earthquake activity. And best of all, they have produced Google Earth KML files so you can see points indicating recent earthquake activity right in Google Earth. These files also have links to further information. For RSS and KML files, follow this link. I also noticed earthquake summary posters that look fascinating. There is so much to explore in the USGS web site. I'm not even a scientist and I found it so intriguing that I just had to blog about it!