Interesting Poll

I was up early this morning trying to catch up…you know getting things done before the real day begins?  Anyway, I was doing some professional reading (I’m so behind) and I came across an interesting poll.  The question of the week at Tech and Learning is:

 When is the best grade to introduce tech into the elementary classroom?

Answer choices are:

  • K if not PreK. The sooner the better.
  • 1st-3rd grade. Before then it’s just playtime.
  • 4-6 grade, to intro info literacy.

68% of the respondents said “K”.  I would tend to agree.  Technology in our society is truly ubiquitous at this point.  We might as well get them started thinking about technology in the correct way to begin with.  Much the same as many other academic skills. What do you think?

21Things Post #10


Social Bookmarking would benefit a number of teachers in my school.  I am thinking specifically of working together to build a list of bookmarks that would be somewhat like a Portaportal.  I have created a portaportal for both  schools, but I am the only one building them.  This limits the viability and growth potential of the list.  I did not really think of introducing “web based” bookmarking to many teachers.  I have mentioned it to one of the math specialists and a reading specialist.  I think a better tactic might be to hold an inservice for the staff – one of my schools is ready for it -  and introduce the concept.  I know several would embrace the idea for their own personal productivity, but all would embrace the idea of creating a communal group of bookmarks of teaching resources.

I actually think a workshop on social bookmarking might make a great Tech Tuesday session.  It’s quick and the application to personal productivity is immediately visible.  It would also work well as part of a Web 2.0 for personal productivity exploration workshop.

21Things post #7

This challeng is to find two blogs to follow and share a bit about them.  The first blog I will share is Alice Mercer’s blog.  Reflections on Teaching is just that…her reflections on what she sees in the world of education, what she does in her computer lab, anything that she feels tells a story about where education is or is going.  I’ve been using a widget in my iGoogle page to follow her… I’ll be adding her blog to my blogroll shortly.

reflections on teaching

21Things Post #6

its elementary

I subscribe to It’s Elementary – it’s a podcast on the EdTechTalk website. Alice Mercer a fellow Den Star who is a great Computer Lab Teacher is one of the moderators…I follow Alice – her blogs, tweets, plurks, slideshare – so this seemed to be a natural fit for me. They used to publish twice a month, but they seem to be publishing once a month now.

The Gradebook Debacle

I usually try to be more positive about division wide projects even if I don’t agree with the way they are carried off.  Unfortunately there is no way to put a positive spin on the what the teachers in my schools have had to endure with the gradebook this first nine weeks.  It’s been so bad, that I have been scheduled to do additional inservicing in BOTH buildings.  In preparations for next week’s inservices, I have been creating a timeline of events, things that both the teachers and I have had to make adjustments for over the last 6 weeks.  I felt the need to document this transitional period  for them to validate what I know has been a really bad experience for most.

I’m using TimeRime for this timeline.  It’s a free web2.0 aplication that I have known about for a while, but have never gotten around to exploring…seemed to be the right tool this time.

21Things Post #4


I have been looking ino use of microblogging for my own professional development over the past year or so.  I first heard about using microbloggin for educational purposes back in 2007 when a colleague returned from the ITRT summer camp all jazzed up about using Twitter.  I couldn’t see use for the application at the time.  I have since begun to understand the utility of microblogging for professional development.  My PLN is connected through these platforms in various ways.  I have learned to use PLURK for connecting with educational technologists all over the world.  I have difficulty using Twitter in the same way.  I find the arrangement of the messages difficult to sift through.  I know there are ways to organize and search the messages, but I haven’t got that far in…

Digital Voice Recorders in Foreign Language

This is a VETC09 session. Live Blogging…

Sharon McGlone, TRT at Booker T in Norfolk, is presenting.

Things that help:

  • TRT gives overview to students
  • TRT creates samples when planning with the teacher
  • TRT co-teaches
  • students practiced in diads
  • Rubrics given to students before they were assessed
  • Teacher training is key
  • refer to podcasts as “audio files” to increase teacher comfort
  • Students in groups worked best
  • be careful about identifying students when putting their projects on the web
  • sometimes you may need to use a file converter depending on your intended application

Using recordings to improve student oral language – Oral assessments every 4 weeks

Students were able to listen to themselves and classmates while creating their projects once files were posted on the web.  Students self selected conversational topics.

Students work is posted on the web as part of a student portfolio and for comparison of student fluency.  After students learned to record themselves – they did extensions.  Research a topic and then record themselves talking about it.  Students got excited.  Shy students were more apt to participate.  Additional project extensions include creating a slideshow (PPT, moviemaker, photo story) and using the student audio files with pictures.  Students can make wordles out of their speeches out of their topics.  Students wanted to reread or recreate their readings to help with the timing when using the file for projects.

Teachers were able to create files for students to listen to and practice and put them on the web.  Files are posted on their websites (linked from NPS site  Teachers can show students how to download the files to MP3 players (PPS kids could practice this in class if the teacher has borrowed the class set of MP3 players from OITMS).

Students could peer review each others work…