What is your favorite EdTech blog?

Some great blogs people suggested when I asked on Twitter and Facebook:

I also have some that I use in my WordPress workshop. You can find them here:

Please share others!

Blogs to Try – Searching

“I have climbed the highest mountains, I have run through the fields… But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” – Bono

Ever feel this way when you are looking for something on the Internet? And then when you want to find a blog that is relevant to your classroom? That can seem like a daunting task. 

Blog Search Engines and Directories 

 

Also, if you use Google Reader (refer to Tuesday’s post), click on “Add Subscription” and enter a keyword or words to find relevant material.
Good luck and have fun!

iPod/Handhelds – iTunes

Boy: Woof! You sure gotta climb a lot of steps to get to this Capitol Building here in Washington. But I wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is?

I’m just a bill.
Yes, I’m only a bill.
And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It’s a long, long wait
While I’m sitting in committee,
But I know I’ll be a law someday
At least I hope and pray that I will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.

I’m Just a Bill – School House Rock Video

Music and media can have a profound impact on student learning. As evidence, Schoolhouse Rock TV has compiled a host of songs for grammar, science, money, math, government and computers. You will find a rich set of media to choose from whether it be from the Library of Congress, Thinkfinity, or your own CD collection.

As you start your classroom collection of digital music and media, you will need a good tool to manage all of the files. With a huge market share, you may want to consider installing iTunes to manage your collection. iTunes is a free download for both Macintosh and Windows users.

As you can see from the screen shot below, iTunes will organize your music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, playlists and more. At the heart of your collection is your library. You can also access the iTunes store which allows you to purchase/rent media and also subscribe to podcasts. Playlists allow you to create “mixes” with just the music you want to hear. 

Once you have your media organized in iTunes, you can either use this as your medium to showcase and use it in your classroom or you can plug in your iPod and have a mobile library you can carry in your pocket! More on that later…

Enjoy!

Blogs

I think blogs are about the most important communication tool of our time. There is much research to support this claim but what I really want to tell you is you should be blogging. You should be reading blogs for professional growth and personal pleasure. You should be commenting on others blogs. And lastly, you should have your own blog. We are ALL educators. You have experiences and opinions that matter.You have knowledge stored up in that gray matter – share it!

We are currently starting a new project at ESU 10 to support blogging on a whole new level. In the past we have provided a web presence for every teacher using Manila. We are refocusing our efforts and will be installing and implementing WordPress mu. A rough mission statement I created for the project:

Every educator should have access to easy to use, reliable and well supported technology infrastructures to support 21st century classroom communications. This project will yield a system of technology, support and training, established by ESU 10 staff and partners, to provide educators the opportunity to have a modern web presence.

Along these same lines, I ran across an article from Merlin Mann. The article is “What Makes for a Good Blog?” Check it out. I think you’ll enjoy it. In the article, Merlin mentions a great blog directory if you are looking for a good place to start finding great content.

Enjoy!

Internet Filters

I just had to post this email I received to get your response. I would love to respond but as I learned from the keynote at NECC, the wisdom of the crowds is greater than the individual. What do you think so I can respond with wisdom and understanding?

Has anyone read the recent article in Network administrator. I
usually throw most magazines (junk mail) away but this front page
caught my eye. It describes how students are getting around filters.
Particularly 8e6.

Google 8e6 and you will be shocked.

Check this out.
http://www.peacefire.org/bypass/8e6.shtml

To which a coworker responded…

If you want to read that article you will have to read it
from home though as it is classified as a “Web-based Proxies/Anonymizer”
site and will be blocked at schools.

I have left off names to protect the innocent! The the thoughts flow…

NECC 2008

NECC 2008 for me was about self-directed professional development and how teachers manage their learning of new technologies and classroom integration. ISTE’s publication of the new NETS for Teachers provides a framework for teachers as they transition their classroom into a digital age learning environment.

NETS for Teachers Web Link: http://tinyurl.com/2ud5ky

There are many opportunities for teachers to stay abreast of new trends and classroom integration. Here is a list of several options teachers may have in staying connected. This is by no means a comprehensive list and should be used only as a starting point. Start with one and when you are comfortable, add another resource to your repertoire.

  • Local Technology Coach – Start with your local building technology support and find out what opportunities your local district and/or regional support center can provide.
  • Blogs – There are teachers out there just like you who are writing about those issues affecting you, your grade level and particular curriculum. Ex: http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/
  • Social Networks such as Ning – These can be a great place to lurk and/or post questions to topics of interest to you. Ex: http://www.classroom20.com/
  • Online Classes , Conferences and Workshops – A great way to learn at your own pace. Ex: http://k12onlineconference.org/
  • Webinars – Another way to enhance your knowledge with out spending too much time, money, or travel. Ex: http://www.iste.org/webinars/

Googlin at ESU 10

Google Workshop at ESU 10 today. We have been having fun with Groups, Gmail, and a bunch of other tools. We will be using Maps and Earth today.

Okay… That’s it for now!

NETA Reflections

Although I didn’t get to attend many sessions at NETA, I did pick up on quite a bit of buzz and networking. Sounds like all the sessions went well!

There were some new technology implementations to help support the conference this year. I felt they were very well received and will help people see a use in their environments.

Future Technology – When I first accepted a position on the NETA board I was excited about the possibility to contribute some of my time and talent. At our last board retreat I suggested we might investigate having a supporting website for the actual conference itself. Something that would be a place that those who were unable to attend could participate and those that were there and unable to attend certain sessions could get the information they needed. We have steadily been outgrowing our facilities and even with a change in venue, we will be capped in the number of attendees we are able to support on site. There are a couple of models that we could use to have a truly integrated online supplement for the conference next year. One that I am thinking of is http://k12onlineconference.org/ I would love to entertain your ideas and other sites you have used to participate in something like this. Some of my initial ideas are below.

  • NETA Dashboard
  • News and Announcements
  • Keynote and featured speaker podcasts (Already Here!)
  • User Groups: Tech Coordinators, Apple, PC
  • Twitter, Flickr, and other Web 2.0ish sites to showcase for K12 use
  • General Session Information: Video/Audio/Agenda/Handouts/Links/Resources
  • Live chats
  • Workshop Resources

My session: I’m Feeling Lucky – Searching with GoogleLink to Presentation
One of my revered colleagues, Graci Gillming, was unable to present this session and so asked me to fill in. It was a fun session with LOTS of people. The room host indicated there were 200+ people in a room more suitable for about 100. It thought it was an important session as we dive deeper in to what it means to be information literate. One of the keynoters, Bernajean Porter, indicated that information will soon double every 72 hours! It’s these skills we need to hone to find relevant and accurate information to support our causes.

Photos and Video to Flickr with MMS


I recently found out via @TeachaKidd on twitter that Flickr is now allowing the posting of video. As I read her blog post, and viewed the video, I realized how simple it is to upload media from your phone to Flickr. To use the video feature, you do need a “Pro” account and that will run you $25/year. But, you can also upload pictures from your phone via MMS, or Multimedia Messaging System (basically sending pictures or video via text messaging.)

Well, as I investigated this some more, I realized that Flickr gives you a unique email address to send the pictures you would like to post to the site. So, you can either email a picture or use the email address and send the picture via MMS on your phone. I tried it. Very slick!

Wouldn’t students be excited if you asked them to use their phone to take and upload pictures to your Flickr account?

Picture was taken this evening and uploaded to Flickr: Our backyard – SNOW IN APRIL! ughhhh!

EduBlogs New Feature

I just received a message from edublogs that they have a new feature aimed at teachers that want to give their students blogs. It’s the ability to create student blogs from the dashboard of your own blog right in edublogs.org. You can create up to 15 new accounts at at time (you can always add more later) and also make yourself an administrator of each of the blogs you create! This looks like it will be a great tool for teachers. Check it out.