Sunday, February 17, 2008

Week 5 Thing 11

I love this list of Web 2.0 winners--for professional use as well as personal use! I already know and use sites like PeerTrainer, Pandora (cusomizable radio), Facebook and and Twitter. However, I had a great time exploring Picnik, Care2, and Cover Pop. I think I liked Cover Pop the best--the image was captivating on it's own, but when you mouse over a book, a full picture comes up along with the info for the book (according to Amazon), such as "Heat" in the attached image. I wish I could create one of these so that upon mouse over, the call number of the book would come up with the cover so students would be able to find it in our library. I might work on that...

School Library 2.0-Week 5 "Thing 10" - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more Online image generators are addicting! I spent hours searching Google for various image generators like Image Chef, FD Toys, and comic strip generator. I used this image for bookmarks on Valentine's Day and my students also became interested in creating their own. Besides being a fun tool for me, students could use these as a follow up to thematic units, create trading cards/bookmarks, etc. The possibilities are endless! However, one thing to be cautious of is that some of these images are not appropriate for elementary-age students. I would not want them adding text "tatoos" to themselves--online or in person!

My Mothership Called Me Home: Post-PETE&C 2008

I had a lot of time to reflect on PETE&C on the 7 hour drive back from Hershey on Tuesday (it's only a 3.5 hour drive when it's not blizzard-ing on the turnpike!), but it's taken me until today to synthesize it all. 2008 proved to be a different experience than '07. Last year, I went to PETE&C with the goal of taking in as much new information as I could--and I did. I came back slightly overwhelmed with new ideas, tools, and attempted to try them all during the past 12 months. My goals for '08 were to build a stronger network, grow as a professional and take more of an active role in the conference.

My online network came alive in Hershey last weekend. Meeting my Twitter contacts face to face was amazing. We would pass each other in the hallways and introduce ourselves by our Twitter names first. I was also lucky to spend time with those who contribute to my professional development and are role models for me, like having dinner with Joyce Valenza, hanging out with Jen Dorman, "wii-ing" with the DEN crew, debriefings with Steve Dembo (and his family!) and even got to have lunch with David Pogue. I learned so much even through our casual conversations!

I was also able to spend time with Chris Stengel, my Director of Technology and Justin Meyers, the Coordinator of Business Technology in Mt. Lebanon. It's refreshing to know that we share the same vision for our district--that students will develop as 21st century citizens and be smart, safe users of technology. Chris and I presented our Administrator 2.0 Academy was actually(which pretty intimidating to present at this conference) and 3 hours after we got home, Justin had created a Twitter-ish application for our in-network blogs after I told him how cool they were! They are so talented!

I do plan on using a few of the tools I learned about last weekend (like Blabberize, Skype and some digital storytelling apps) but I came back a better professional. I don't know why it insists on snowing every year so we miss the last day of sessions, but I'm already yearning for next year! I said it last year and I'll say it again... PETE&C is like my mothership calling me home!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Steve Dembo's Keynote at PETE&C

"If digital immigrant educators want to teach digital natives, they will have to change." --Marc Prensky

The dynamic Steve Dembo (this is a photo of us on the DEN "excursion" in the Bahamas this summer, not today in Hershey!) started the day with a quick poll: polleverywhere that takes polls using a cell phone. Unfortunately, the crazy Internet in the Hershey Lodge is sub-par (um, is this actually a technology conference?)... He also reminded us that digital natives grow up with these tools while many teachers are digital immigrants and talk tech "with an accent." He also gave some interesting statistics like 28% of children 12-17 have created their own blog.

Dembo also discussed how the movements of knowledge, tools and the expert work together for teachers to change in the flattening world, and touched on wikinomics (curriki--a site that encourages teachers to collaborate to write curriculum).

He also reminded us how cool networks like Twitter, Second Life and Ning are and how powerful those learning communities can be if used correctly. It should not be considered work--they are social, learning opportunities.Try hitchhikr to follow along with conferences to "keep up" when you can't be there in person.

Just like Steve said, I'm synthesizing, reflecting and sharing as I write this post (even though they are sketchy notes from while I listened to Steve) and hope that my students will be able to do this as well.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Copyright and Fair Use

Ok, I hang my head in shame because copyright is not something I know a whole lot about. I know it's in my job description, but I just can't seem to get a grip. I seem to put a lot under "fair use" and then not worry about it. That is the wrong thing to do! Here's what I learned (besides the fact that I'm most likely violating copyright without even knowing):

--Copyright gives protection for authors of original works.
--Anything you make is automatically copyrighted.
--Facts and public domain items are not copyrighted.
--You can register your own items for a nominal fee.
--Fair Use allows teachers and students the ability to use materials for educational purposes (not for recreation!). 4 points for fair use:
1. The purpose and character of use for education
2. Nature of the copyrighted work
3. Amount of work used
4. Effect of the use on the market place (Is it impacting finances for the author)

--Copyright Law for Teachers and Librarians (book) to find out what is classified as Fair Use?
--Creative Commons
--Digital Resources have 2 laws: (and this is where I start tuning out because I don't understand everything!)
Digital Millenium Copyright Act (gives rights to libraries for archival purposes)
TEACH Act (had to buy a copy/permission from the author to post & limited to class members only (password protected)

Can use images/video legally by:
-use online databases or another multimedia service (Discovery Ed Streaming)
-flickr (etc.) for creative commons licensing (for educational purposes)
-ask permission to the copyright holder
For free & available music:

The more I learn about copyright, the more questions I have. Can I use just a portion of a song? Is it 10% of a book you can copy? Can I place images of books on the website? I might try the book I just referenced so I can find the answers...

Skype Me

Erik Wittmer and Amy Musone's session on Skype proved to be a great introduction to Skype. They gave examples of how their students skype each other (or video conference/ make a free phone call) while providing live examples of their classes. Learning about others in their community, promotes technology curriculum, allows for engaging collaboration. Using "white board meeting," students can write/type to each other as well. The team worked with the book "Rules" to tie in to the curriculum. A presenter (the autistic support teacher) skyped both classes and students. One third grader even Skyped into our session to tell about benefits of Skype.

Up to six different connections can go on at one time. recording device so teachers can see what the kids recorded (for Mac)

Join the Skype PETEC wiki for teachers to add their user names and grade level and connect with other classes that are Skyping too.
Invite key: petec

Web 2.0 Tools Go Elementary

Collaboration and communication between (even the youngest of students) fosters learning from an interactive point of view. Blogging gives students the opportunity for reflection, writing for an audience and a published piece.
Journey North (tulip project)--can log/view when tulips start to bloom-follow them north

Wikispaces will create student accounts (Help+Teachers)
list user names and passwords (don't need email addresses)

Webkinz has opened a world of learning and virtual collaboration. (3 class pets and giving all students user names/passwords)

Eduwiki --to share resources (work smarter, not harder)

David Pogue, PETE&C Keynote

As a technology critic for the New York Times, David Pogue examined what might happen when "the digital generation grows up." A few things are going to change:
1. Technology--
-----Phone calls over the Internet, like how hopefully Skype will move to cell phones (T-Mobile already has one to replace their land line). Googl cellular (46645) for free directory assistance. Get movie showtimes by pressing "nameofmovie zipcode" (Shrek 15017)
----- Simulscribe--where you can read your voicemail
----- A la Carte TV- Shows will be archived and movies will be downloadable

2. Wireless Everywhere
-----Verizon has a cellular card where you can get online anywhere
-----iPhone (search YouTube for iPhone Shuffle)
-----wifi skype phone

Teachers need to be aware of these emerging technologies and be able to use them on a personal level before implementing them with students in order to to ensure best practice.

At lunch time, the PA DEN Leadership Council was lucky enough to have dinner with him at the Hershey Lodge. It was an honor to be able to connect to him on a personal level and tell him all about the DEN! Attached is a photo, a complete documentation of my red cheeks! : )

DEN Pre-Conference

This is not pretty and not insightful, but they are my notes from the sessions I attended at the pre-conference....I'll update more when I get home from Hershey.
Session 1: Digital Storytelling w/Jen Dorman

Slide Share—can now slidecast—takes original powerpoint and can merge with an audio file

Slide—create slide shows with thought bubbles

Bubble Share-- can add kid friendly themes

One True Media—can upload many types of media—text, audio, music

Slideroll—can upload right from Flickr (**Make a Flickr group**)
--download right to desktop

Google Presentations—can embed Google Docs

Dandelife—for students to tell their own life story

*** for embedding data charts

Mapping Tools:
Google Maps—for collaboration on creation & maintenance of maps—can layer media

Mapwing—build, share, explore virtual tours (can embed) *pretty safe content (can print comic strips) but students can save the their strip as a picture file and then add it to the web

Kerpoof—designed for use in schools (teacher section for lesson plans, etc.)

GMAIL… Enroll students by (for student email?)

Video: --artists put whole songs online for students to use (watch for inappropriate lyrics)

Photo Editing
FotoFlexer (beautification tools)

Image Manipulation:

-create and share 3D scenes on the web—create a room/space/people
(have to download an app to use)
-google search engine for 3D objects

-create storybooks and students add captions to pictures
-upload to flickr?

Scrapblog (can embed)
-students take pictures (on a field trip) and create a scrapbook

voicethread—create content in Kidspiration and have students comment

(can add subtitles in another language)

Session 2: Green Screen with Lance Rougeux
-layer 1 is the downloaded video
-video 2 is the shot video
--effects, keying, chroma key
Edit effects
Dropper, similarity
Blend is opacity

To get rid of the wall,
Back to effects
Crop effect

Kathy Schrock’s Video
Import streaming video into premier (on top layer)
Still image on layer 1
(have students take a picture looking at the

Msg id g0tygpxyr

Session 3: Google Earth—Julia Tebbets
Click “for teachers’ then “conference handouts”
Tour Plan
--For landmarks
--For habitats (highlight range of animal’s habitat) import
--Explorer path—add placemarks along the voyages
--Google sky—can click the sky and see what you would see in that spot on earth
--under layers, a weather layer
--students all upload placemarks, etc to the K drive --that folder will load into google earth
-make a new folder
have students close up their work folder (so they can make sure their placemarks are all in the folder)
--right click that folder and have students save to the server

--Can also right click and “save in “my places”

To edit something on the placemark, right click the folder, right click properties, add

**Call Lance to set up a generic school ID and password for Discovery Streaming

**Go to Julia’s website to get html codes for embedding

Session 4: 50 Ways—The Online Edition
-Taking from Alan Levine’s wiki--
Blabberize—for animal reports, mouth of a dollar bill,

-can create a “set” of content for students to search

-comic maker but can use audio


Saturday, February 2, 2008

DEN Virtual Conference

I spent my Saturday afternoon attending the Discovery Educator Network virtual conference. About 200 other teachers also joined in on the amazing conference. I learned so much while sitting on my couch!

Digital Storytelling session with Steve Dembo (My notes from the session!)
1. Using Discovery Streaming calendars for students to research biographies--includes videos, encyclopedia excerpts, photos, etc. Use Blabbarize to make photos "talk" with your voice and then embed it. (This would be so fun for the 3rd graders to use with their research on a famous American as a follow up to the wax museum! LOVE IT!! :) (Can use Zamzar to convert to a wmv and then import all.

2. Use ToonDo (a comic strip creator) to import your own images and place multiple strips together to make a book. The fifth grade might like to do this as an extension of their digital storytelling projects.

3. Map out events on a timeline with XTimeline and can attach photos, videos, etc.

4. VoiceThread (my favorite!) is another way to import photos and have students add their comments through text and voice.

5. Jumpcut--an easy online digital video editor. Students can work at home if needed.

6. Myplick--Combine with Discovery Streaming's audio database to turn presentations into music videos. Import powerpoint slides and add audio for appropriate transitions between slids. Can be embedded!

**The whole PowerPoint will be posted in the Discovery Educator Network archives. for all 50 Tools (and more!)

Lance Rougeux presented more 2.0 tools like moonk, using emoticons, and mosaickr.

Again, the Discovery Educator Network exceeded all my expectations! I love DEN!

Week 4 "Thing" 8 and 9

How did I ever live without RSS? Reading blogs is one easy component of professional development that is quick and free. Before I signed up for RSS feeds, checking blogs (I used to read over 50) for new content was time consuming and annoying. Using Bloglines makes the most of my time and now I am able to take 15 minutes (about once a week) to check in with all my favorite blogs. I've been able to get many lesson ideas, resources, links, etc. from the top educational technology leaders and librarians in the world.

As an extra bonus, my school district set up customizable employee portals (home pages) for every teacher so we can add widgets and find feeds that we can use for professional development or for instruction. It automatically opens whenever we log in to one of the district computers. It's been interesting to see teachers use this portal in a variety of ways. Most have embraced it and have tabs and tabs of widgets and feeds. I have pages for professional blogs, library blogs, world news, and local news. I'm definitely lucky to work in a district that is promoting this tool and giving teachers the opportunity to explore new technologies. I'm attaching a screen shot of my MTLSDHome page (it will maximize if you click on it) to show how I learn every day.