New Resources Portaportal for Your Use

Have you been in need of a list of resources to use in your classroom, or have had a parent request websites that students can practice skills at home? I have made a PortaPortal for just that use. Categories are broken down into subjects and SOL numbers and are arranged for quick browsing. If you see a broken link or know of a great resource to upload, just let me know! The address is

Free Interactive Websites for K-2

TaxsonKristy Taxson, “new kid on the block” in our Instructional Technology Department, AKA Promethean guru/expert, has developed a list of a plethora of interactive websites for Kindergarten through Second grade on her blog at If you are in one of my two buildings where Kristy and I team together, feel free to pull her aside for a run through of the sites.

Another Fabulous Web 2.0 Find — Web 2.0 for the Classroom Wiki

wiki for the classroomWeb 2.0 applications and sites have plenty of great things for classroom teachers, but at times do you wish you could get some help on how to use the program(s)? Would you like to have an easy-to-use site where they’re separated by categories?

Sherri Miller, neighboring ITRT in Gloucester County, and soon-to-be Virginia Tech graduate (I will get there–SOME day!), has a Wiki Web 2.0 for the Classroom, complete with video how-to’s, examples, and links to multiple applications–some that I have not heard of, and plan to explore this great resource myself. Explanations are simple, straight-forward, and easy to follow. From the comfort of your own home, why not sit down tonight and find something that you can use? If you see something that you like, let me know, and we can plan some lessons together to make your SOL scores “pop” and “sparkle!”

How Does Technology Influence Student Learning?

As my eyeballs are cross eyed from mind numbing work, my fingers ache (type five minutes, wait five, type five, ad infinitum), and my eyes wander outside wanting to goof off, I took a break from typing to contemplate my thesis project. I was contemplating how schools across from Virginia are getting rid of ITRT’s and the impact that we make on test scores, I came across this article from ISTE’s magazine:

Evidence is mounting to support technology advocates’ claims that 21st-century information and communication tools as well as more traditional computer-assisted instructional applications can positively influence student learning processes and outcomes. The Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET) has gathered compelling research and evaluation findings to answer frequently asked questions about how technology influences student achievement and academic performance in relation to three primary curricular goals..:

To finish reading the article, click here.

In the words of the famous Christmas poem, “Yes, Virginia, there are ITRT’s making a difference.”

For My ITRT Colleagues: How in the World Do you Get into Classrooms?!?

It's A Wonderful Life linkIf you are an ITRT (TRT in Portsmouth), sometimes you know the feeling of the struggle of getting invited into a classroom. There are those faithful that become your returning customers, but there are many who seem impossible to get invited into their rooms to help plan and coteach lessons. In fact, not to step on toes, many of my peers (and I) will say, “It’s like they forget we’re teachers and not technology repair guys!” When I spoke at the state leadership conference, many in the room were TRTs. When I asked how many have a hard time getting into classrooms, almost all raised their hands (I thought they were going to break their arms!). I didn’t know I wasn’t alone! Are you struggling for ideas on how to hear those MAGICAL words, “Could we schedule a time TO PLAN A LESSON?” Never fear! Ideas are here!

Al, a colleague, commented that he’s following a discussion on Classroom 2.0 and the discussion is full and ripe of ideas on how to converse with teachers on using technology as a resource and being invited to help plan lessons. Good luck in your endeavors!