June 26, 2012

Day 2 of #ISTE12 was all about Twitter Connections and Fun!

Yes, I did learn an ISTE12 lot yesterday (more about that later), but there were two great personal threads running through Monday: meeting up with some of my Twitter buddies, and having just a little bit of fun!

Came upon Colette Cassinelli @ccassinelli demonstrating the use of tech in YA reading (Great presentation!).
Met Donna from Vermont @dsmacdonald and paused to reconnect with The Daring Librarian @gwynethjones! (Reminder to self: chin down when taking a photo)

Half-way into her Media Playground presentation, I realized this was Joquetta, @accordingtoJo!

Fellow Hawaii colleagues Molokai librarian Diane @dmokuau and Maui librarian Shannon @shannon_alueta flank library goddess Joyce @joycevalenza, at the SIGMS social.

Met Marie @sraslim and reconnected with 
incoming CSLA President Jane @jane_librarian.
Just had to get a photo with the lovely Mighty Little Librarian @librarian_tiff at the social!


Too-good-not-to-share plug: I'm really looking forward to Hollywood Squares Live on Wednesday at 1:15, featuring Joyce, Gwyneth, Tiff, Joquetta, and other media megastars!
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And two bits of fun caught on camera ...

Seeing double: happened upon ISTE clothes models (and ISTE Board members) 
Kecia @keciaray and Dr. Kari @karistubbs, larger than life, and F-2-F.
How much do I love Google? ... ummmm, a LOT!
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Looking forward to more learning today! Such a great ISTE12 conference so far ...

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@mauilibrarian2

June 25, 2012

Takeaways from the Global Education Summit #ISTE12 Session

The Global Education Summit session I attended yesterday was so interesting!

Led by Lucy Gray, the presentations were for the most part pecha kucha  (pronounced “pa-chok'-cha”) style, 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide. I had presented in this style myself, so I know the constraints of the method. It's not easy to condense material this way. Everyone did a fantastic job!

There are several programs I definitely want to know more about:

•Bob Barboza from Super School University spoke about the island kids will help build, as part of the Cabo Verde Tenth Island Project, and KidsTalk Radio will be the vehicle for conversation about the island.

•Jennifer Correiro talked about her experience with Taking It Global, and read so beautifully "Yellow Bird" by spoken word artist Andrea Gibson.

Ann Murtschin of western Australia enthused about several global projects in which she's been involved over the years.

Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis talked about the wildly popular Flat Classroom Project.
 
•Sharon Brown-Peters of the American International School of Mozambique discussed "Popping the Bubble", outlining 10 things she learned about global projects.

•Karen Yager, Dean of Studies at Knox Grammar School in Australia mentioned using Minecraft in the classroom, and also about participating in the International da vinci Decathlon and WeWrite, books for kids by kids.

One program that really caught my fancy was Penpalnews.com, a start-up company that arranges pen pal exchanges structured around current events.

Michael Bernstein of Penpalnews.com
I'm particularly interested in their new project coming up in September, Penpal News Red/Blue, an exchange between pen pals in red and blue states "to make this election year a teachable moment". I think our U. S. History teacher Ms. Middleton and perhaps our Speech and Debate teacher Ms. Sefton might be interested in this project for our students!

Monday was a fantastic day for learning about global connections!

. . . And yes, the weather in San Diego is absolutely gorgeous!

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@mauilibrarian2

June 24, 2012

Loving the ISTE12 Mobile App, With One Exception

Just downloaded the ISTE12 mobile app and I am loving it!


One thing, though, that I hope the developers will consider for next year. It would be fantastic to be able to "Add Own Event" to the app. I was disappointed to find that the information I had put in my conference planner via my laptop didn't transfer.

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I'm really looking forward to learning about new tech tools and meeting my Twitter PLN peeps!

Willing be blogging at least once per day and will be tweeting as well. Stay tuned!

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@mauilibrarian2

June 13, 2012

Four Videos for Learning about China's History -- in a Class Period

Here are four videos that will give your high school students a nice intro to China's history, in a class period.

Three are ready to watch and one is a two-part series, ready to order:



Legacy: The Origins of Civilization - China -- The Mandate of Heaven
(50 min.)




China: Power and the People - BBC

(60 min.)




Explore: China
by Charles Annenberg Weingarten and the Explore Team



China: Geography and History of the North and the South - New Dimension Media (26 minutes each)
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@mauilibrarian2

June 12, 2012

Two clever videos worth watching: "BYOD in the 21st Century" and "To Tweet or Not to Tweet", by lalande

Benjamin Room posted "BYOD in the 21st Century" in the Practical Technologies for the Classroom Facebook group and I just had to share!

Schools exploring BYOD will find this video clever and informative!




Producer Dr. Marc-Andre Lalande, is so creative! The video is the latest in his Pedagogical Quickies YouTube series. I just subscribed to his channel: lalendema.

Here's another great video in the series, about Twitter in Education: "To Tweet or not to Tweet".




I just followed him on Twitter: @malalande.


And here are two more of his videos to check out:
Want Can Fun Need - What We Want to Learn and Why
Schoolisyzation - "Force-fitting"

Dr. Lalande promises a Pedagogical Quickie every two months. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

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@mauilibrarian2

All My Tweets -- A New (to me) Way to Archive Tweets

  

Since I wrote How to Create a Searchable, Permanent COMPLETE Archive of Your Tweets using TwimeMachine & Evernote I've discovered


which puts all tweets (up to 3,200) on one page.

As with TwimeMachine, I simply copy and paste the live tweets into my shared Evernote document.

The tweets are bulleted, a nice feature that makes things a little easier on the eyes.

Another nice feature is that you don't have to sign in. It's a simple search engine. How cool is that?
I manage three Twitter accounts (mauilibrarian2 for my own PLN, castlelibrary2 for our faculty, and castlelibrary for our students), so this is a great time saver for me!

Going a step further, I've gathered all three accounts into our Twitter LibGuide. This gives one-stop access to our students and faculty who want to keep up with the latest developments, but who don't tweet. (This is the link I recommend they bookmark.)

I really like this method of keeping track of Twittered ideas for our school community, and for my PLN. :)

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@mauilibrarian2

June 09, 2012

Considering OpenClass to Manage Your Classes? Check out these Resources (and the P.S.)


Pearson Promo/Intro to OpenClass


Just discovered Pearson's OpenClass, a learning management system with social and collaboration tools.  It's new and in beta and there doesn't seem to be too much in the news about it, other than its launching at EDUCAUSE in October, 2011.

OpenClass is totally free and integrates with Google Apps For Education which we have at our school, so the system is definitely worth a look for our institution!

Here are some articles announcing the launching of OpenClass.

Pearson's Announcement launching OpenClass in October, 2011. "First full-featured learning environment that's free, easy to use and scalable."

Pearson Debuts Free LMS with Google Apps Integration | Campus Technology

Pearson Llc + Google Expands LMS Business With “OpenClass” System | WiredAcademic

Pearson and Google Jump Into Learning Management With a New, Free System | Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The mastermind behind OpenClass is software engineer Adrian Sannier, who works for Pearson. Read about how he Wants to Put Learning-Management Software in the Cloud.



Adrian Sannier - Photo by Ida von Hanno Bast


If you're ready to try OpenClass, check out these tutorials:
Getting Started gives an overall view of the Help Knowledge Base.

These are direct links to some of the sections within the Base:
How to Use OpenClass Help

How to Create a Course

Course Gradebook

Course Tools

Threaded Discussions

Social Tools
Also check out the OpenClass Mobile app, downloadable at CNET Download.com.

Upcoming plans for OpenClass? An Educational Idea Exchange,
"which will make it easy to find and share the latest education methodologies, content, and curriculum. Get access to and integration with world class content from publishers and individuals alike. With the Idea Exchange, anyone can publish content to a global marketplace that includes ratings and reviews." (OpenClass website)
Pearson seems to be very responsive to questions and concerns of its customers. See The OpenClass Community Forum for an ongoing discussion on how OpenClass can be improved to meet customer needs. And take a look at the employees. I like that they respond personally to each question. No, not open source as the name might imply, but definitely a great model of openness!

Is your institution experimenting OpenClass? What do you think of it?

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@mauilibrarian2

P. S. Update just before posting:

I just read about United Opt Out National's boycott of Pearson. It does put a different light on things, doesn't it? Or does it?

I would love to hear your opinion.


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June 04, 2012

How Two of our Freshmen Use Their iPad2s in the Classroom

Farm5 Flickr image

A few of our students own and use iPads for school.  How are they using them? I asked two of our Freshmen to share their experiences thus far with their iPads.

This is how my conversation with Jasmine and Ridge (interviewed separately) went:

How long have you had your iPad2?
J: I got my iPad at the end of 8th grade.
R: A year.
Why did you get an iPad and how has your perspective changed now that you've had it for a while?
J: I had wanted one to use for flash cards, quick notes, and the calendar. Now that I've had the iPad for a year, I learned about Twitter and Flipboard so I'm using those two apps regularly to keep up with updates and news. ... I'm interested in math, technology, and education, but I've also come to realize that I need a little balance in my life so I added Temple Run and Fruit Ninja to my iPad desktop. ... I didn't know about Facetime and Skype - I will use those to contact friends and family. ... Also, I like to borrow books from the public library that I can download to my iPad.
R: At first I used my iPad for lifestyle use - games, movies, email - for fun. Now I use it for school. These are some of the school apps I have on my iPad now:

For Spanish class - translator - SayHi - .99 - I like that you can talk it into it. I usually use it to look up the meaning of a word.

For English class - ereader - iBooks - free - The Color of Water - I didn't find that there were limitations for annotations.

For English class - dictionary - Dictionary.com - free - I like it because it's easy to use. It's the iPad version of the website.
How did you go about learning about what was on your iPad? Would you consider the iPad intuitive?
J: I read the Quick Manual online. That took about 5 minutes. And I set up my password right away. I went through the settings - it was easy to do. Then I downloaded apps. I went to the App Store and looked for specific subject apps.

R: My brother had an iPad, so I kinda knew what it was about. Also, I already had an iPhone, which is similar. Everything is pretty straightforward on the iPad.
Do you take notes on the iPad? What app do you use? (This question led to a demonstration by both).
J: I like using Evernote to take notes in every class.


Quick Evernote demo
R: I use Notability to take notes. I picked it out right away. I looked at the top 10 apps for Productivity in the App Store and chose Notability. I like the magnifying feature a lot.


Quick Notability demo

Ridge decided to get a stylus to use with Notability. His choice? Bamboo. "It's a nice weight and length. It's a little expensive, but worth it." Ridge keeps the stylus separately in his backpack and doesn't find that he needs to keep it with his iPad.

Do you have any advice for others considering purchasing an iPad?
J: I would definitely recommend it for flash card apps. ... At first, I uploaded bunches of apps, then I realized that I didn't use a lot of them. Now I have a few that I use regularly.

R: I would recommend the iPad because it will lighten your load. I now have a small backpack, I don't lose any papers, and I have my work neatly organized.
Both Jasmine and Ridge are very happy with their iPads. Ridge concludes:
"I'm hooked on it. Life is so much easier for me now."
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@mauilibrarian2




Teacher Tip Using Evernote: Skitch as a Teaching Tool

This is my first try at sending a Google Reader find to my blog.

Very simple!

I'm happy that it's a tip from a teacher!

Skitch as a Teaching Tool:

Bio:

Steve Lai teaches French as a second language to 6-10 year old students at Richmond Christian School. In addition to his day job, he teaches children how to play the guitar. Steve shares how he uses Skitch in the classroom to create colorful, interactive visuals that help students learn.

A different way to teach French

I love the simplicity of Skitch — using it with my students takes only a matter of seconds, and there are unlimited possibilities. 
Skitch has allowed me to teach French in an engaging and interactive way that resonates with my young students.
  1. I snap pictures or take a screenshot of anything that visually displays a word or category of words, like clothing, colors, and diagrams of the body.
  2. I hook up my iPad to a projector.
  3. I use Skitch to annotate the image. My students are able to chime in and respond to what’s happening on the screen; for example, I’ll color in a pair of pants, then draw an arrow and prompt the students to name the color. Or, I’ll ask a student to come up and color another part of the image. I sometimes take pictures of (willing) faculty members and call on students to draw silly clothes or hairstyles on them. Skitch makes learning more fun, and turns it into a group activity that’s very engaging.
Skitch makes technology accessible. My students are really excited about using iPads, and Skitch gives them a fun and easy way to interact with them. They are amazingly proficient, and Skitch is so intuitive that they can go home and play around with it on their own almost immediately.
Skitch makes it easy to share. I can share all of the images we create in the classroom on my blog, so parents can see what their child has accomplished. Skitch then becomes not only a great teaching tool, but a great communication tool that can be used to keep parents updated with what’s going on in my classroom.
Skitch for illustrating motion. For French language instruction, my school uses the Accelerated Integrated Method which pairs words with actions in way that’s similar to sign language. Skitch is great for helping kids practice and learn the movements. To do this, I take a picture of myself posing in the correct position, then use arrows and text to describe the motion.
Skitch on the go. I work in a school where I switch classrooms throughout the day, and I have a cart of materials that I take with me between each class. With Skitch on my iPad, I can just snap photos so I don’t have to lug around a bunch of coloring books or other papers on my cart. All I need is my iPad and an HDMI cord/adapter!

Skitch for showing complex chords to my guitar students

In addition to teaching French, I’m also an avid guitar player and give lessons to students on the weekends and evenings. Before Skitch, I used to take pictures of my fingers’ positions for different chords and then just list them in order for my students to help them memorize the placement. Now I use Skitch to quickly label and share — it’s so much easier to keep track of what chord I’m trying to show them. I simply snap a photo of my fingers in the correct position, use Skitch’s text or drawing tool to label it, and share it via email. Marking up chords in Skitch is a cinch and it really helps students visualize where they need to place their fingers to get the right sound.
Do you use Skitch as a teaching tool? Leave your tips in the comments below!