Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Maine's 10-Year Laptop Project Huge Success

Evan Glidden, foreground, and Taylor St. Hilaire, both 13, use a laptop computer to work on a project in the hallway at Auburn Middle School, photo is one of three images in the article:http://ht.ly/56jSM 

Ten years ago, in 2001, Maine legislators approved funding to put laptops into the hands of all 7th and 8th graders and all teachers 7th through 12th grade. Local taxes helped to continue the program for students in the high school grades. Both students and educators 10 years later report the expenditure reaped significant educational benefits. For more information on this state-initiated laptop project, check this article: Ten Years After Laptops Come to Maine Schools, Legislators Say Technology Levels the Playing Field. Note also the article finds that New Hampshire which did not fund such an initiative has seen a reverse effect. What's your response to the article?

Photo from the article at: http://ht.ly/56jSM

Monday, May 30, 2011

One of the Best Web 2.0 Tools: Evernote

Image from macthemes.net
Want to take notes, capture pictures, do some writing, and be able to access all of your saved work from any computer. You don't need a portable drive. You can save it all with Evernote. In fact, this blog post was  saved in Evernote, and I just copied and pasted it here. Evernote is fast becoming my favorite Web 2.0 tool.

Wondering how to use Evernotes, check "10 Evernote Tips for School: Education Series" and also "10 Tips for Using Evernote."

Here's more information "The Many Purposes of Evernote."

Evernote. also works on your smartphone. Can't go wrong! Can access anything you save from just about anywhere on the Net. If you have not tried Evernote., try it today.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Digital Technologies and Cell Phones in Schools

Video: Digital Technology in the Classroom : Watch the Video!

The scale tilts. More and more educators call for cell phones in schools. Recently, the National Education Association endorsed their use; see the article Get Smart!

 10 Proven  Strategies to Break the Ban and Build Opportunities for Student Learning with Cell Phones enumerates practical and pedagogical reasons for cellphone inclusion.

Though digital technologies like laptops find their way into schools, there's still plenty of bans on cellphones. But what about the schools where laptops and desktops are scarce? How can cellphones close the digital divide?

After checking these sources, what's your position on digital technologies and cellphones in schools? Are the arguments in these sources one-sided?

50 Sites in 60 Seconds

50 Sites in 60 seconds is a not-to-be-missed slide presentation of excellent websites to use for integrating technology tools into your teaching. Go through the slide presentation, and note which sites you know and which you want to check out. There's plenty here to keep you busy and to give you excellent ideas for sprucing up your teaching. With the summer coming, it's an excellent time to play, explore and think about what new tools you want to integrate into your teaching and how you might use them to spark student engagement and learning. Enjoy, and let us know what you find. Post a comment.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reluctant to Use Twitter: Don't Be

While poking around a biology teacher's blog, Stacy Baker's blog, I found this great Prezi on how and why teachers should get on the Twitter bandwagon: Using Twitter in the Classroom. Check out the presentation. Let us know what you think. Why shouldn't teachers join Twitter? Why should they? How can Twitter open windows of opportunity? Why is Twitter one of the best free professional development opportunities available to teachers? What tips can you offer teachers for getting over the learning curve of using this incredible tool?

Assuming you now have a Twitter account and are looking for educators to follow, check this twitter list: "All nominees in the 2010 Edublog Awards category for Best Individual Tweeter! These tweeters have been around for a while, and regulary post on Twitter.

Looking for literary authors to follow on Twitter, check this resource: Literary Tweets: 100+ of the Best Authors on Twitter

Here's a cute video to entertain you about using Twitter:

Nancy White & Suzy - An Intro to Twitter from CommunityMatters on Vimeo.

Back to this blog a few days later....Just found this posting about how a high school social studies department is using Twitter: Developing a department Twitter feed. Increasingly,Twitter is making its way into the educational setting for both teacher professional development and for integration into the classroom, though teachers are more likely to use the school-safe site Edmondo for microblogging.

Twiiter logo from: Image from: jhuskisson.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Top 100 Tools for Learning and Best of the Web

Okay, what are some of the top rated tools for learning? Each year, lists come out, and one such list is published by Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies. Its 2011 Top 100 Tools for Learning gives top billing to Twitter, third year in a row.  YouTube comes in second followed by Google docs and Skype. Skim the list. Which tools are your favorites? Which have you been meaning to try? Which are ones you have not considered, but pique your interest?

Other online lists of top winners include The Best of the Web, which offers links to find educational online websites across grade levels and subject areas. Check it out. Let us know what you like. There's plenty to explore, given most of the links go to gateway sites, listing a host of resources.

Image from: jeffreyhill.typepad.com

Tablets Yes, E-Books Maybe

The article Tablets Yes, E-Books Maybe in today's Inside Higher Education reviews the status of tablets and e-books for college learning and includes student response to the possibilities. Data from large-scale student surveys show mixed reaction, but most students believe tablets hold the potential to revolutionize the way they learn. Check the article as well as the comments posted at the end, and also use the links in the article to access additional information. Then weigh in on your opinion about tablets and e-books and their place in higher education. How soon do you think tablets and e-books will replace paper textbooks, if at all? What changes do you think will occur in higher education for students in the future?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kids Love Blogging

Interested in seeing examples of how elementary school students use blogging, how their blogging meets curricular standards, and learning more about this blogging project created by a California teacher, check out these resources:

Garrison Elementary Students Create Digital Blog Portfolio

Kids Like Blog Site

This second link will take you to a page to learn about the teacher, the program, the curricular standards, as well as a link to Examples, which has links to two students blogs created with Blogger. One student's blog, The Blog of Hooverneb showcases both writing and drawings. Another student's blog, Official Blog of a Soccer Star is written by a student who writes: "There are many jobs in the world, but there is one that really catches my eye. I want to be a WRITER!"

Another exciting site to check out is one with links to find class blog sites maintained by elementary school classes.  Check this page Fellow Bloggers to learn about teachers using KidBlog with their students. You can access the class blogs and even write comments on the kids' blogs.

Photo Credit by the teacher, Jon Schwartz, Garrison Elementary School Students

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