Tuesday, July 31, 2007


What could be better than a social networking site that combines technology and literature? It's a librarian's dream come true. GoodReads does just that--After creating a general profile, just type in the title of a book and add it to a "bookshelf." Give the book a rating, a review, or a recommendation to a friend. All "friends" can access your bookshelves to see what you are currently reading and vice versa. You can create your own shelf (children's books, biographies, chick lit, etc.) to organize your own online library. I've found some unlikely favorites through my friends and hopefully influenced others with fiction and professional development tools along the way.

Salute to Seuss

For all of those Dr. Seuss fans out there, I thought I would post this project Krisitin Hokanson sent out on the Keystones ListServ. This technology integrated project is targeted to PreK-6th grade students and teachers. Classes can create a blog, wiki, bubble share, power point, etc. as a book review about one of the Dr. Seuss books. These projects will be posted on the S2S wiki for all to see. It could be used as an introduction to wikis, a finale to be investigated on Dr. Seuss day, or just a database of projects for teachers to pick and choose to use. To sign up, follow the directions on the wiki. All projects will be accepted...After all, "A person's a person no matter how small." (From Horton Hears a Who)

Sunday, July 29, 2007


One of my favorite 2.0 apps that we discussed at the Discovery National Institute is Twitter. Twitter is a micro-blogging site that is similar to Instant Messaging, but yet so much better. I am able to follow the "tweets" of Will Richardson, David Warlick and fellow Discovery Educator Network techies as they update websites, provide links, and can respond to personal questions. I feel "in the know" when I am one of the first to see a new tool reviewed by Will Richardson (see www.myskitch.com for a program he recommended a few hours ago!) A few days ago, I asked my fellow twitters about one educational blog they would recommend for educators to follow. Within ten minutes, I had 8 or 9 resources I would not have known about otherwise. (List to be posted soon!) Check out http://twitter.com/home and follow bbelardi. It's a "twiffic" time!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cruise Control

After five days on the Carnival ship, Sensation, in the Bahamas and among the most gorgeous and clear green water, I left with abundant ideas and tools to use this year in the "Cybrary." My Team and I created a webquest on Lewis and Clark (Amazing Race style) incorporating United Streaming video clips and assignment builders. One clever group spoofed "The Dating Game" where a diamond meets 3 suave rocks! Jen Dorman and I also created a video on the "mini bed" we found in our stateroom! Joe Brennan gave us tricks and tips on Digital Storytelling from the American Film Institute. The "Door Scene" proved to be another success...Paralleling literary techniques with creating videos puts a new spin on term papers! I can't wait to have the fifth graders create 60 second movie trailers for books they are reading. I also thought about having students create Public Service Announcements once a month for illustrating playground safety, character education, Safety Week tips, Handwashing tips....and all those other topics that come up every year. Maybe this year students will actually listen.... :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pre DNI:Cocoa Beach

After a two hour flight delay, some "misplaced" luggage, and a long wait for our room to be ready, Jen Dorman and I arrived at the 4 Points Sheraton in Cocoa Beach. It is the home to Florida's biggest surf shop with hundreds and hudreds of bright colored surf boards, boogie boards, and a lot of gadgets for these boards that I did not even recognize... We ate at The Shark Pit (yes, with a REAL shark tank) and then took a walk along the beach to the boardwalk. Jen encouraged me to sign up for the microblog, Twitter, so you can follow the DEN all week.

I'm really looking forward to the Discovery National Institute. The DEN team is always full of energetic and enlightening speakers...I always leave an event with an idea ready to be incorporated the next day. I can't wait to see what 5 days will be like!