Friday, November 10, 2006

Leaf/Tree Identification Sites

Hi, Beth. I found the following leaf/tree identification sites on the Internet. I hope one of them suits your needs!

Project Cam

I wanted you all to know about another technology/service that is available to you for free, and that you might be interested in exploring for your China unit. It's called Project Cam. Developed by Cable in the Classroom, Project Cam is an online environment with video, chat and file sharing capabilities. It allows educators, students, and experts to make live connections to other learners and experts via webcams and high-speed internet. Here's a blurb about a project that a school from Columbus did with a school in China.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Google Earth Article

Here is a link to a Google Earth article from Edutopia that I thought was interesting:

It will give you a nice overview of the possibilities for classroom use.

My co-worker, Peggy, said she would be happy to connect with us some time via iSight/iChat to show you all the fabulous ways you can use Google Earth to enhance your curriculum.

Just something to think about....

Oh...and here's a pic of China I "took" from Google Earth....and one of Beijing

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

You're Now Co-Authors!

Hi! I am experimenting with something. I just invited each of you to be co-authors of this blog. This means that you can contribute entries to the blog (in addition to contributing comments like Brelle did yesterday). thought is that if you find information that in any way relates to what we’re doing, or if you just want to spout off at the mouth about something, you can now post an entry.

If you want to, go ahead and share your blog with parents, friends, co-workers, etc., and see what happens. It’s out there for the world to see, which means, in theory, that anyone can be a part of and contribute to this learning experience. How cool is that!? :-)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Initial Planning Meeting Re-cap

The purpose of our meeting yesterday was for me to get to know you a little better. Here are some tidbits about each of you that stand out in my mind:
  • Sarah -- I'm intrigued by your experience teaching in Brooklyn. I'm sure you learned a lot there and have brought your rich experiences to Columbus Academy. You mentioned that you don't know a whole lot about technology, and I just want to assure you that you don't need to. All that's needed is a willingness to jump in a try.
  • Marilyn -- I love what you said about enjoying watching your students evolve. You must be a great observer, and this is a wonderful skill to have as a teacher. When you're integrating technology, often what is needed is this ability to step back, pause, breathe, and observe how your students interact with the tools you have given them.
  • Elaine -- I can tell that you have fun with your students! I enjoyed hearing about your love of watching your students as they process their world. I appreciate that you want this technology integration experience to be focused on the students.
  • Brelle -- I called my co-worker this morning to tell her about your "Letter M" iMovie project using the iSite camera. Thank you for that idea! I'm filing it away for future use! I get the feeling that you are game for just about anything relating to educational technology, and I'm looking forward to showing you lots of interesting tools. (P.S. I want to taste your famous apple pie!)
  • Beth -- I connected with what you said about how students are in their element in science. It's lends itself to concrete, hands-on activities that kids really tune in to. You have given me several technologies to research (probes, microscopes, leaf-id resources). I will do that over the next several weeks. Hopefully, we'll get you set up with what you want.
Here's a re-cap of what we discussed and where we're headed. If I have left anything out or missed the boat, please let me know:
  • You will be doing a big unit on China over the next couple of months and would like to integrate technology throughout in ways that are appropriate and meaningful for the children, and manageable for you.
  • Your principal mentioned his vision for technology integration. In short, he is interested in having you all use the laptops to present information to you students (computer hooked to projector) and having your students use the laptops in small stations.
  • While we have not yet decided on a specific lesson or activity in which you will use technology, we did talk about technologies you would believe would complement the two models of instruction your principal suggested. Based on this discussion, we decided that in our next meeting on November 20th, I will:
    • show you how to use a SMARTboard;
    • introduce you to several online bookmark manager sites, and then show you how to sign up for an account and start populating it with Web resources;
    • facilitate a discussion about next steps in your professional development.
There were some miscellaneous topics/questions that came up that I will list below. I just want to keep them on our radar:
  • SMARTboard grant -- did a little research on this, and here's what I found.
  • Science probes and microscopes compatible with Mac's -- I will be researching this for Beth.
  • Leaf identification sites that are simple and easy to use and read -- I will also be researching this for Beth.
  • Bloglines -- This is the RSS aggregator that will keep track of all the blogs you are subscribed to. This was just something I wanted you all to know about. You can sign up for it if you want to. Beware, will make you OBSESSED with blogs!!!
  • Brelle (I think) mentioned it would be a neat thing if you all made some sort of presentation to the staff about your experience in this project. Just something to think about.
  • Your principal mentioned using LOGO to teach math. This may be something I discuss further with him.
  • Your principal also mentioned using Tom Snyder software. I will do a little digging to see if there is something from this company you might be interested in integrating.
  • I believe it was Marylin who mentioned she was interested in iMovie. We can explore this technology, too.
So...have I left anything out? Let me know. Our next meeting will be

Monday, November 20th
3:30-5:00 p.m.