I’m gonna be in pictures…

WOW…I just finished a class in Second Life.  Riptide, one of the DEN in SL leaders, gave a class on using the camera and taking pictures in Second Life.  So now I need to practice.  My skills are still pretty aweful.  Not that Ripide didn’t try…I’m just am a slow learner.  So we learned to pan and zoom and take pictures wih special effects. So I took one of myself doing a backflip in slow-mo…Take a look.



DE Streaming Teacher Tools Follow-Up

This post is primarily for those who will attend the DE Streaming Teacher Tools session today.  If you’ve read my blog at all, you know that from time to time I get fabulous information to share through my Personal Learning Network (PLN).  I found an absolute gem while preparing for the inservice and wanted to make sure I posted it for you.  The technique is an advanced use of the tools we will go over today, so I doubt we’ll get to it, but if you are interested in trying it, you’ll be able to. 

OK, so what is the technique?  Using Web 2.0 tools to create additional content to embed in your quizzes, assignments, and prompts. This means any content you find/create using Animoto, Teachertube, Slideshare, Dipity, Voki, Voicethread, Bubbl.us and many other tools can be a part of your assignment.  Here’s the tutorial that I found for you in the DEN (Discovery Educator Network).  If you want to try the to recreate the sample, use this file: the-letter-c   and then search DE Streaming for The Letter C song.  Let me know if you try it or if you run into trouble…

Mid Year Check-Up

My thanks to Christine Southard who shared this mid-year check-up via plurk.  Christine is a fellow DEN Star in my Personal Learning Network (PLN).  For those of you who don’t know, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. I maintained my membership in the CEC while I worked in educational diagnostics when I lived in New York. 

The CEC maitains a blog for first year teachers, and while I would like to direct this post to the many new teachers that I am working with, the information is truly applicable to all.  Their recent post “Your Mid-year Check-Up” includes some questions that you might want to consider.  Now is certainly a great time to assess the physical, academic, and social environments in your classroom.  It is also a good time to take stock of how you are coping with what life looks like right now.  Sometimes we need to make changes mid-year to avoid burnout.

David Warlick in SL

Okay so in my never-ending quest to learn more about edtech, I have begun to investigate Second Life.  It’s funny how I find learning this new application really overwhelming.  When I was beginning to look into MUVEs over a year ago, I was so overwhelmed by Second Life that I took up residence in Kaneva.  I’ve got my own apartment over there and a little coffe shop that I’m working on furnishing.  I realized that life in Kaneva would be short lived when all of the edtech people had no idea where Kaneva was or even that it existed.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a great place to start. 

So over the summer, I took advantage of the opportunity to have help in getting acclimated to SL.  The DEN has a presence in SL and offered a session on it while I was at the National Institute.  Still overwhelmed and a little frustrated I realized that I still wasn’t ready.  But I had to get there.  The Office of Science is thinking about SL and asking questions.  Someone in Instructional Technology needs to be able to help if they intend to take the school division into SL.  So I’m trying.

I’ve been joining the DEN for professional development in SL on Wednesday for the last few weeks.  I’ve learned a lot, but I am also learning about SL.  Folks are always helpful and I pick up a new skill every time.  Last week I actually was in a snowball fight!  So I was feeling brave tonite and I actually decided to go to a discussion on ISTE Island.  I got an email from my supervisor, Karen Streeter, with all of the details last week.  Warlick was going to be talking about Personal Learning Networks.  Funny ’cause that was the topic last week at the DEN session. 

I was listening and learning and the all of a sudden David Warlick was talking to me in front of all of those people asking me how my network was helping me…I couldn’t type fast enough…I hadn’t set up voice chat because I intended to fly under the radar.  I was ever so glad that the webnazi (he’s a great guy) had unblocked plurk today, so I was actually able to be connected.  I told them about the website that I got from Alice Mercer.  I didn’t remember the name of the site, but I was able to say I posted it on my blog.

Ok so What did I learn?  Tons…things like:

  •  I need to revisit building my PLN – but I knew that from last week. 
  • Got a great idea for a class I would LOVE to teach for TEACH Academy 2, but I’m not sure our folks would be ready for it.  Kinda a mix between INTRO to Web 2.0 and Advanced Blogging.  Teaching teachers about the power of RSS and helping them to start finding alternate forms of professional development.  I want to call it something like “Professional Development 2.0 – Learning to work the web”
  • I learned new things about SL – how to clap, sit and nod.  Learned about notecards.  Don’t know how to take the info out of SL yet though.  Learned how to see the archived chat. It’s cool how the hyperlinks work when you are in the right view… Learned to take pictures – learned how slow my connection was…Then I had to learn how to get back to the DEN, because I’ve never left there before.  I was in luck that one of the DEN in SL leaders was in world – she got me back to where I belonged. 

Don’t laugh at my pictures.  It’s the best that I could do. 

Presentation screen behind meWarlick talking about PLNsMY first pix in SLWarlick facilitationg a discussion in SL




Technology is Awesome…

When I did training on United Streaming earlier this year, I mentioned the DEN and recommended that folks check it out.  The DEN (Discovery Educator’s Network) is a community of educators who use digital media among other things as they integrate technology into their practice.  The DEN sponsors an annual national institute to provide additional professional development and networking opportunities for a limited number of DEN STAR members.  I am fortunate to be one of the 100 people selected this year.   I will be attending the institute this summer and hope to bring back lots of information for everyone!

Since I was notified of my acceptance, I have been reading the blogs and discussion boards at the DEN more often. (Surprised?) On my visit today, I stopped by Matt Monjan’s blog and found out about this commercial for Discovery. 

Ok.  So they are absolutely cute, and Matt’s post inspired me.  So I wrote this little ditty for you all:

It’s so obvious
For anyone to see
I’m a geeky girl
I love technology

I love Ms. Streeter (my boss); she’s very good to me
Boom de yada, Boom de yada, Boom de yada

I love my flip cam
I love Avatars
I love VoiceThreads
My blogging’s come real far

I love Web 2.0; something’s always new you know
Boom de yada, Boom de yada, Boom de yada

I love del.icio.us
And portaportal too
All my teachers should know
I love harassing you!

I really love my job even when it’s frustrating…
Boom de yada, Boom de yada, Boom de yada
Boom de yada, Boom de yada, Boom de yada
Boom de yada, Boom de yada, Boom de yada

I got to thinking that this might make a great meme about our jobs…and if I were going to tag some folks on my team I would choose Christine, Brian, and Deloris