A shout out a long time in coming!

I became familiar with Bob Sprankle and his work through Room 208. Listening and reading what he and his students were up to transformed my thinking. Wow! That really was in 2005? I continue to listen to the Seedlings @ Bit By Bit  podcast where Bob is joined by Alice Barr and Cheryl Oakes. Congratulations on 100 shows! Bob is now an Elementary Technology Integrator in Wells, Maine. Though I have never met Bob I'm always interested in what he is up to. His latest focus is working with parents and technology TechTime at Wells Elementary School. I hadn't seen this video he posted and thought you might enjoy it. Technology the size of a building now fits in your pocket!

You should also check out Bob's Lab Lessons for K-4th grade and Link of the Week.
Thanks Bob (Alice and Cheryl too!)!


And the Winner Is...!

The Edublog Awards are in their 7th year. Congratulations to everyone. Now it's time to dust off Google Reader and update my reading selections! What fun... Happy Reading!


Brain Food

I was excited to find out that Leo Laporte interviewed Kevin Kelly. I've listened to Leo for years on his nationally syndicated radio talk show at The Tech Guy Labs and now on his TWiT (This Week in Tech) Netcast Network. I first heard about Kevin Kelly starting with Whole Earth Catalog and The Well with Stewart Brand, and then read Wired magazine when he was executive director and now Cool Tools.

The interview can be heard on TWiT Live Special 49:
Now of course I had to read the book What Technology Wants. I've downloaded  it from Audible.com and started reading it. I'd love to hear your thoughts.


A Hug From Me to Diigo, Dropbox, Evernote, and Picasa

This week was a technologically challenging week for me.  My computer has been in the shop, and its future is looking bleak.  Although I haven’t been singing songs of good cheer with this news, I haven’t fallen apart either despite the fact that it has become evident that a large part of my life centers around my computer. 
Why you ask am I able to maintain reasonable composure during this time of "crisis"? Simple. I'm in the cloud and have been using some lifesaving web 2.0 tools.  Diigo, Dropbox, Evernote, and Picasa, here's a big hug from me to you.
Diigo is a social bookmarking tool.  It is where I keep track of all of my favorite websites, easily highlight and store select info of importance, join communities with similar interests, etc.  This video explains more.
Diigo for educators is also available.  Although I used to be a Delicious fan, Diigo has won me over.  Delicious accounts can be migrated over into Diigo.
See Kacey’s post about the fine qualities of Dropbox.  Since she made her post, DropitTOme made a debut.  It makes receiving files from others to Dropbox possible. (For example, students could submit assignments to my Dropbox using DropiTOme.) 

Evernote is also a useful way of organizing, storing, and sharing images, documents, links, etc.  You can watch a video explaining it here.  I am still debating it, but I think that Diigo alone meets most of my needs. 

There are a lot of ways to store pictures online.  I like
Picasa because of its integration with blogger amongst other reasons.  Thank you Picasa for keeping those fun fall pictures safe during time of uncertainty!
Not only did these sites help me under a time of duress, but they consistently aid me on a daily basis when I move from my PC to various computers on campus.  There is also an iphone/ipad app for Diigo, Dropbox, and Evernote which makes info accessible from virtually anywhere 24/7. 
With all of this said, please don’t test my “good nature” with a crazy practical joke like hiding my iphone.   I can only hold so long under such pressure.


Jing Offers an Alternative Way to Provide Feedback Plus More

Jing is a screen sharing tool that has become useful in my life.  I began using the free version over a year ago in my online classes and recently purchased the pro version.  It's as easy as ABC to use.   Nine year old, "Little Gecko," quickly captures screen images and posts them to her blog.  Here's a Jing video she created while drawing on Kerpoof.

This term, I provided my online students with feedback about their papers using Jing.  I highlighted areas within an individual paper that I wanted to discuss.  Then, I discussed away while recording in Jing.  I think there is a lot of potential here as an alternative way to provide feedback to student writing!  Here's an example demonstrating ways of giving feedback using Jing

The free version of Jing is probably adequate for most educators.  I like the fact that the Pro version allows me to quickly save my videos as MP4s.  I also like the ability to switch back and forth between the computer screen view and video mode that the Pro version offers.  Screenr and Screencast-o-Matic are two other free screen sharing tools that are alternatives to Jing.
 I'd love to hear your ideas.  How can Jing be used for educational purposes?
Happy screen sharing!


Bloom's Taxonomy Interacts with Tech

Here are some new twists to conceptualizing Bloom's Taxonomy.  This first link contains hyperlinks and is interactive with suggestions for web 2.0 tools at each level.  A few of the tools are new to me.  They promise to provide countless hours of excitement to those of us with this interest.  Look for future posts that highlight some of them.  If you give one of these a whirl and find it successful in an educational setting, please let us know. 
In addition, Joshua Coupal has an interesting Prezi on Bloom's Taxonomy, the revised model, and possible applications using digital technology.
For more links on this topic, visit Larry Ferlazzo's page dedicated to Bloom's Taxonomy.       
Happy interacting!


Highrise: Out My Window Interactive Documentary

The largest reason for creating this post is that this site is really cool! Since my daughter currently has an interest in architecture, I keep my eyes open for related sites. Highrise: Out My Window caught my attention. It is an interactive documentary that is fun to control by dragging the mouse to see 360ยบ snapshot views into 13 highrise homes and cultures in various locations around the world. It is relevant to my TCE courses and our discussion on promoting multiculturalism. The videos are in various languages with English subtitles. You can watch the trailer here, but it really is more exciting to experience it first-hand at Highrise: Out My Window.

Happy viewing!


Blogging Around ESOL

I've already expressed that I'm in love with TED Talks.  So, I was elated to discover ESOL TED Talks, a blog by Douglas Evans that contains embedded TED Talks and lessons for intermediate to advanced English langauge learners.

I made this discovery on Larry Ferlazzo's Website of the Day which I follow regularly.  Larry has more suggestions for ESOL and TED Talks on his The Best Teacher Resources for "TED Talks" (and Similar Presentations) page.

While I'm at it, here are a few more ESOL blogs I enjoy following:  English Raven by Jason Renshaw and Nik Peachey's blog.  I am pleased that Nik recently began posting again.  The networks page shows other sites and blogs of interest that I will continue to add to over time.

Happy blog reading!

Related Posts:
TED Talks: Worth the Time


Prezi, Meet Jing. Jing, Meet Prezi.

Prezi is a creative alternative to PowerPoint.  Jing is a screen sharing tool.    In the example below, I first made a Prezi, and then I recorded myself manipulating it with Jing.  I have been using Jing in my online classes for over a year now with some positive results.  Although this was my first attempt at a Prezi presentation, I see huge potential in its educational uses! 

Keep your eyes open for upcoming posts that will individually highlight Prezi and Jing

Update: If you want to find out more info on how to use Jing, read my post here where I was a guest blogger on the Teacher Challenge. 
Happy viewing!

2010 K-12 Online Conference Links

The 2010 K-12 Online Conference ended with the closing keynote by David Warlick. The webinars are accessible and can be viewed at anytime here.

Since I have used VoiceThread multiple times in my classes, I was drawn to Chrissy Hellyer's below presentation Record, Reflect, and Share: Using VoiceThread as a Digital Portfolio. She gives some practical tips, discusses how it can be used for student led conferences, and provides student examples.

Additional resources related to Chrissy Hellyer's presentation are located on this link.

I also enjoyed watching middle school student Nicolas Gutkowski's presentation about his 5th grade wiki called Learning On My Own.

These webinars and many others are accessible on the 2010 k-12 Online Conference schedule page.

Happy viewing!


Mix It Up With Animoto

Tech: Animoto is a fun video making site that I've experimented with for the past year. I was excited last month when I discovered they now have free accounts for educators! This free unlimited account offers full length videos and student accounts.

You can view some examples of how it can be used in education in this link to case studies.

Here's an Animoto that I created with pictures from one of my adventures in Peru.

Admittedly, it took me longer to figure out how to make my first video than it took my nine year old on her first try. It really is as simple as uploading pictures and/or short videos, adding Animoto's music, and adding text. Animoto also has a selection of pictures and videos that can be used.

Met Ed (applications):  Here are some possible uses for Animoto:
  •  Partners complete a scavenger hunt and take pictures related to a theme or content area. (Theme example: pictures of fall) They then turn these pictures into Animoto videos, embed them on the class website, and give mini presentations.
  • Students create "book trailers" by highlighting the plot of a book.
  • Students take pictures of the steps in a scientific experiment and turn them into an Animoto video.
  • Students give presentations about their videos and/or write about them.
  • Etc



Want a taste of the shifting shapes and sounds of wondrous words viewed in motion?  The below video offers just this.  It is also a great tie-in to the TCE course I am teaching this term which explores grammar and standard English. 

Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography - Language from Matthew Rogers on Vimeo.

I made this discovery on Open Culture, a blog I enjoy reading.  Happy viewing!


Understanding Creative Commons

Copyright. Does the word conjure feelings of warmth and happiness? Here's an informative presentation from the K-12 Online Conference by Rod Lucier entitled Creative Commons: What Every Educator Needs to Know. Perhaps watching it won't leave you with the warm fuzzies, but hopefully you will walk away with an overview of Creative Commons and copyright.

This video inspired us to create a creative commons license for When Tech Met Ed.

There are more informative and applicable videos like this in the K-12 online conference that is currently underway. Here is the schedule. Links to presentations from week one are already accessible.

Happy viewing!

Changing Education Paradigms: Sir Ken Robinson

I saw the below video clip of Sir Ken Robinson in various RSS feeds I subscribe to and finally took the time to listen to it. Wow, it's interesting stuff! Not only do I love the RSA Animate (which reminds me of an exciting time one of my artistic students drew a picture of a scene in the book on the board as we listened to a difficult passage from the book), but it has some interesting concepts worth pondering.

Here's a link to a post on Open Culture by Dan Colman that has additional information and related links about digital technology worth exploring.  If you are not familiar with RSA, I suggest browsing their site.  

Happy thinking!

Playing With Words

Want a fun way to work with words? Try Wordle and Tagxedo to create exciting word splashes.

 Here are some ways we've used Wordle and Tagxedo.
  • Transform word walls
  • Use concepts and words from a "big idea"
  • Run sections of text and student papers
  • Compare student papers
  • Post creations to class blogs or post around the room
I selected our blog!


TEDx Redmond: It Doesn't Get Much Better!

Last week, my TCE classes explored the importance of setting high expectations for our students. This is also a topic Kacey and I have discussed as well. Do we give students enough responsibility and trust? Do we give them the necessary tools and empower them to take learning in their own hands? Do we allow them to have a voice? What would happen if we did more of these things? Perhaps TEDx Redmond offers us a glimpse of the possibilities.

Watch some of the excellent TEDx Redmond video clips of children and young adults talking with passion. Bob Sprankle has made them easily accessible on his blog Bit by Bit.

Watch this video of Perry Chen entitled For the Love of Movies! It will be obvious why I chose to highlight it.

I also recommend Cayle Diefenbach's talk Preserving Heritage.

TEDx Redmond was initiated by Adora Svitak. You can listen to her interview podcast on Seedlings show 94. Check out the line-up of TEDxRedmond speakers.

Happy viewing!


DropBox Saves the Day

Tech: Lately I've been overwhelmed with trying to keep documents in order and updated when I use multiple devices (home computer, school computer, iPad, iPhone etc.).

I was introduced to DropBox and life has become so much easier and a bonus? My information is backed up in the "cloud". Check out LifeHacker for a wonderful explanation of DropBox Dropbox Syncs and Backs Up Files Between Computers Instantaneously.


Combining Language and Pictures with Pic Lits

Tech:  I never cease to be amazed at the power of a single picture. I am not only referring to aesthetics or ability to evoke strong emotion, but also to its simple, yet effective use in education. In ESOL, we frequently refer to the need to integrate visuals for ELLs. Really, the ways we can do this are unlimited. Pic Lits is one such way that tech is delivering to ed.

Here's an example that I made within a few minutes using the "freestyle" mode.

PicLit from PicLits.com

I created the following using the "drag-n-drop" method. I can imagine using this second approach with a whole class in vocabulary development. As a follow-up activity students could then take the words and use them in sentences. I like that in this mode if you click on the arrow, it offers various word forms.

PicLit from PicLits.com

Met Ed (applications):  Free writing, vocabulary building, parts of speech, dictionary and thesaurus skills, poetry, etc. These are all possible applications for Pic Lits. The site has other suggested uses as well.   It also seems possible to extend this concept by having the teacher or students take pictures related to a unit or a particular lesson. Words could be added to the pictures in any language and even combined in a multimedia project such as animoto.


Ted Talks: Worth the Time

TED Talks are amazing!  Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) has talks, TEDx conferences, communities, and much more.  I find myself visiting the site at least weekly and have a RSS feed set up on my itunes.
Here are some of my favorites.  (I may not endorse all of the ideas presented, but will step out and say they promote thinking.)
  • In What Adults Can Learn from Kids, "Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach."
  •  The Danger of a Single Story discusses how "our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding."
Here's Jeff Utecht's talk on Community Trumps Content.
Here are some recent TED talks I've enjoyed.

Happy viewing!


Two Ongoing Online Conferences

Although I highly recommend joining professional organizations, such as TESOL, there are many free online conferences and webinars available.  Here are two suggestions to get you started.

Join the K12 Online Conference site, the free "conference that never ends."  It has a similar appearance to classroom 2.0, highlighted in a previous post.  The K-12 Online 2010 conference will begin Monday, Oct 11 and continue for two weeks.  There will be a wide variety of presentations from around the world.  The conference can be accessed on the conference blog and the conference ningWatch video teasers!

Keep your eyes open for free webinars from Pearson Longman if you are interested in topics that are specific to ESOL.  Here are some of their upcoming webinars with open registration.  Topics include vocabulary acquisition and authentic reading experiences.

Feel free to share if you have any favorite sites that offer free webinars or online conferences.

Happy learning!


Classroom 2.0 Professional Development Site

Classroom 2.0 is a must explore site!  I recommend signing up for it.  If you don't wish to, at least browse this ning site created by Steve Hargadon.  I recently joined it and am still exploring everything it has to offer.  Here's an overview of some of the aspects I like.

Webinars:  This is my favorite aspect.  The site offers free live webinars delivered via Elluminate.  (If you register for the site, the weekly schedule gets delivered to your email.)  If you can't participate in a live webinar, you can watch a recorded version at your leisure in Archives and Resources.  I particularly like this section because it contains a list of links mentioned during the presentation.  The webinars I have listened to so far have all been top-notch.
They currently have a Featured Teachers series that I have been enjoying.  I recently listened to featured teacher, Zoe Branigan, and particularly enjoyed her discussion of the need to make technology available to ELLs in relationship to social justice.  She looks at both sides of the coin of tech use in the classroom and demonstrates many coooperative applications of it. (These recorded webinars are available for free on itunes as well.)
Groups:  You can join a special interest group, post questions and participate, or browse discussions.  There are many topics available. You could even create your own group.  ESL and Technology is a group that I recently joined.   


Accessing Podcasts for Professional Development

Tech:  Listening to podcasts is a great way to sneak in professional development within your day.  First, identify what you want to view.  Next, you can use your computer to consume it if possible or download it to a mp3 device for your on-the-go listening pleasure.  Here's a video to get you started.

Podcasting in Plain English from leelefever on Vimeo.

Met Ed
I am a newbie at listening to podcasts for professional development.  About three years ago, I had one of my classes create podcasts, but until this summer I never realized how many quality podcasts are availabe for professional development purposes.  I have only been listening to them in this manner for about three weeks now. So far, I find it extremely beneficial and exciting.

Future posts will highlight favorite podcast and webcast episodes.  For now, here are some suggestions to get started:
  • So far, Seedlings is my personal favorite.  It also highlights a variety of tech topics which are relevant to the classroom.  A big plus is that it offers links to most of the web 2.0 tools that are discussed within each episode via Bob Sprankle's blog called Bit by Bit.
  • TED is a must see!  There are many dynamic speakers on this site.
  • EdTechTalk has a variety of topics related to both tech and ed.   
  • Edutopia offers some interesting vodcasts
  • Colorin Colorado! is a site I send my TCE students to view webcasts on ESOL and bilingual ed. issues.  
  • Reading Rockets is a related site with some broader literacy videos and podcasts. 


RSS + Reader: Bringing Info to You

Tech  Looking for an efficient way for new information from your favorite sites to come to you instead of you going to them?  RSS + a reader helps simplify life. 

Here's a snapshot of some of the education and technology blogs and podcasts I subscribe to using these tools.

Here are some tutorials to help you get started.

I use google reader, but there are other possibilities.

Met Ed (Applications)

Professional Development: See some of our recommendations in Networks and on the side of the blog. Most of these contain RSS feeds.  Viewing these feeds allows us to stay abreast topics in education, see examples of how technology is currently being implemented in classrooms, etc.

Job Searches: It may also serve a useful purpose if you are job searching. NAFSA career center uses RSS. I also noticed that some local school districts have this feature.

Get started by subscribing to When Tech Met Ed.

Look for the icon.


And the Story Begins

This particular story begins with two teachers from different backgrounds meeting and exchanging ideas about tech and ed:  Our names are Cheridy Aduviri and Kacey Kintscher.  Here's a brief overview of where our journey intersected and the formation of this blog began.
Kacey was my daughter's elementary teacher.  I noted some interesting, positive things happening in terms of my daughter's critical thinking skills and asked to volunteer in the class.  Kacey was gracious and opened the doors of her classroom.  Many problem solving, critical thinking, and networking ideas from an ESOL technology class that I teach at the university level were evident.  It turned out that this was not a coincidence.  She takes many concepts from her research in technology and education and applies them to her classroom in ways that have a positive impact on her students.