If I Could Tell A Museum Director What I Need, I Would Say…

On March 23, I, along with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Jamestown/Yorktown Foundation, and the Mariner’s Museum, will be presenting at the Virginia Museum Director’s Conference. I will be sharing with them what a classroom teacher experiences during a regular day as well as giving the directors a mental picture of what kind of resources would be useful to a teacher.

This is your chance to speak up! Do you wish for a website with lesson plans already prepared? Would you like to see pdf files of activities that you could run off to hand out? What kinds of things frustrate you that you don’t have? Are your field trip funds depleted and would like for them to prepare some type of virtual tour of their buildings? Please let me know what you would like for me to share by leaving a comment. I appreciate it!

My Perfect ITRT/TRT World

I looked over the shoulder of my colleague and heard her whimper, “No one ever responds to my blog/library Ning!” and she then looked at us (TRTs) with those sad puppy dog eyes. Even Tammy Worcester has talked about this same phenomenon. That got me to thinking, “What is a ITRT’s/TRT’s Perfect World? Here’s my Top Ten List:

(10) I hear laughing in the midst of stress (laughter makes the worst of stress go lower!). Thanks Dr. Stuckwisch for the guest speaker today!

(9) “I explored [name program] and found the coolest thing!” Thanks Mrs. Collins!

(8) “Put me in your calendar for [specific time] so we can plan a tech. integration unit for [SOL #].” It’s so neat when I hear this; so much better than, “Come on out anytime you want to.” Grrrr! Thanks, Ms. Brewster, S. Webb, Hawkins, Ruben, Diddle, Moulton, Bradshaw, JT Third grade team, and Mr. Haugen!

(7) I have an ongoing conversation going (translation: comments) on this blog. Read Tammy’s post here. Thanks Mrs. Barth, Froehlich, Meents, and Mr. Fisher!!!

(6) I have more requests to assist in classrooms/planning sessions than I have time. This really is something that puts a TRT on a “high!”

(5) The Gradebook Missing Grades Report is empty.

(4) Being psyched and “pumped” from teaching that day.

(3) I have a teacher that faces their fear of technology head-on and doesn’t give up. Thanks, Mrs. Rhodes and Mrs. Collins (and the 2nd grade team for tackling Gradebook!)

(2) I meet someone who meets overwhelming stress with a smile and upbeat spirit. Thanks, Mrs. Westbrook, for always being an encourager!

(1) …When I hear a teacher say, “Wow! Look how much I’ve learned!” Thanks, Mrs. Hawkins, Patgorski, and Miss Webb!

Do you want to make my day? The first teacher from JT and OB who has not responded to my blog before, or for a very long time, and responds to a post gets a free lunch from me.

Make YouTube a “Theatre” Experience

I’m an audiophile. My former neighbor, also a Brian, had my same affliction. We’d say things like, “Wow! Did you hear that surround sound, dude?!?” Meanwhile, our wives would roll their eyes, sigh, and give those “BOYS!” look. Experience that same “wow” feel with a trick to use with YouTube URL’s.

Anytime that I have bought new sound systems, I always take a harpsichord CD and a pipe organ CD with me to play. When you put the harpsichord CD in, you can tell the high range quality of the speakers by if you “feel” the strings being plucked, and if you put in a pipe organ CD, you can test the woofer capabilities by listening to the 32′ stops of a pipe organ (the pedal/bass).

To make YouTube “come alive,” there’s a little secret. Type in &fmt=18 after the URL link (why those number/letters, I have NO clue), and you’ll tell a difference. Try it here:
“Trumpet Voluntary” on the Grand Calvary Organ, Charlotte, NC:
==>No stereo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8jCud-aA3Q
==>Stereo added with &fmt=18: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8jCud-aA3Q&fmt=18

Handel’s Harp Concerto in B flat:
No stereo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfcHAGAJPEU
==>Stereo added: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfcHAGAJPEU&&fmt=18

What Are You Here For, Mr. TRT?

As a masters student in the ITMA program at V.Tech., I am spending a lot of my time working on this, and the opportunity for professional growth and training is quite rewarding and enriching. If you are wondering where I’m headed with this, I thought of two recent comments directed my way that ties in with an assignment due next week.

“I don’t know what to ask you,” and “I don’t know how your presence in the room can affect SOL scores.”

Feedback is always good and cause for regrouping. When I was writing today and reviewed TRT (Technology Resource Teacher) requirements, I thought, “A ha! A good way to answer these questions!” From the VDOE:

–“Effective support that focuses on curriculum and technology integration is the primary goal of technology support staffing. The challenge is to provide adequate training and support to bring teachers at every point…from technophobia to technomania…”
–“The [TRT] is a valuable asset in creating, implementing, and directing a global vision for integrating technology into the schools.”
–“The TRT is specified as a teacher…”
–“…are available throughout the school day for planning and implementation of integration activities…”
–“…are intended to serve as resources to classroom teachers…”
–“Their primary purpose is to train teachers to use technology in an effective manner…”
–“…actively engaged in curriculum development and lesson planning. They use their credibility as a classroom teacher and their knowledge of teaching strategies to help design lessons and plan projects with the teachers.”

Voila! For more reading, the pdf form of the paper is here: itrthandbook

Argh! The Website is Blocked AGAIN! I Need a YouTube Video!

zamzar.jpg I was reading Technology in the Education Arena and found a useful posting. Have wanted to show a You Tube video at school (educaitonally sound, of course) and can’t show it? Worry no more! There’s a process where the video can be burned (please check copyright rules first, please!) and thus shown.

Julia Colby writes, “You enter the URL of the YouTube video, choose the format to convert to, enter your e-mail address, and click on convert. EASY. You will receive an e-mail message stating it is complete and a link on where you can access the converted movie file and download.” She uses Zamar which she considers an easy process. Other things mentioned are a tutorial . Check her website out at the above link.

Atomic Learning: Your Own Personal Technology Tutor

atomic-learning-logo.jpg“Can’t remember how to add hyperlinks to PowerPoint? How do I get animation in my PowerPoints? How can I put a border around my Word document?” Do you wish you could have your personal technology trainer at your convenience? You can with Atomic Learning. This is an online tutorial video website provided free to all PPS employees and gr. 4-12 students. I can’t give you the password here online, but can give you the password in person. Interested? Please see me for the password and examples of this powerful website. IT EVEN HAS VIDEOS FOR THE PROMETHEAN BOARDS!

CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT BLOGS, WIKIS, AND RSS MEAN? After signing on to Atomic Learning, search for “Web 2.0” to be caught up on the latest tutorials about this new phenomenon!

The Blogs are Coming! The Blogs are Coming!

An educator never stops learning or growing professionally. Sometimes, this is fun and adventurous, and sometimes this is a stretch! My colleagues have been showing me the great possibilities of blogging (Deloris and Ruth–you ROCK!). Are you interested in having one for your class? Check Debbie’s blog for examples of how a blog is used for instruction.

The I.T. department is going to announce in a couple of weeks of how you, a classroom teacher, can apply to get your own blog for your classroom. Also, Ruth is planning future workshops to train interested personnel.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading about effective strategies and found this post on Cool Cat Teachers that discusses effective strategies for blogging. Enjoy!

Internet Safety

faux-paw.jpg Each school has received a book for teachers to share with students on Internet safety, part of the Virginia Board of Education initiative that all schools are doing. The book,”Faux Paw’s Adventures in the Internet” is available for check out at the school library.

The curriculum for Internet Safety can be accessed by typing in internetsafety in the address bar (have to be on a school based computer–not at home). To access the curriculum, click the curriculum tab on the right side; to access resources, click on Elementary and go to the grade level that you teach.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions! Many thanks to our great Ruth, TRT at Brighton and Victory, who shared this information at http://www.ppsblogs.net/ruthokoye/2007/09/30/internet-safety/