Saturday, February 28, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/01/2009

  • Using Skype in the Classroom
    Desktop Voice and Videoconferencing Software in Education

    Discover how to communicate and collaborate with friends, colleagues, resource experts, and other classrooms using Skype.
    Skype is a program that allows users to communication with voice, videoconferencing, or chat for free between computers.
    Create a Skype account, add contacts, and conduct free audio and video conferences between computers.
    Explore creative ways to use this tool to enhance teaching and learning.

    Tags: skype, classroom, teachers, global, education, learning, digitalcitizenship

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 02/28/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

A lazy man's change

The other day I was looking at my stuff in Diigo, and saw that links can automatically be placed on your blog. Being a lazy person fighting writer's block, I figured what the heck. I will run this for the time being and see how it goes. So far some good links.

I will still post my exciting takes on life and cooking and other things here. Writing one in my head as I type this one.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 02/27/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 02/26/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

4th FIRST post

The build season for FIRST Robotics ended last week, the robots were shipped out on Tuesday the 17th. Both teams seem to be in good shape. The challenge was interesting and I can’t wait until the competition to see how it goes. Sometimes I am confident other times, not so much. Any time there is competition I have the same feelings.

The last week of work was brutal for all involved. My wife dropped Eric off on Saturday Morning, I picked him up Sunday for him to shower, change clothes and have a nap. Dropped him back off around 6 pm, picked him up sometime Monday for a shower and new clothes, and then finally picked him up around noon on Tuesday.

It was fun to see the final changes to the robots and some of the unforeseen problems get fixed quickly. This really showed cooperation between students, and problem solving skills in action. There were few committee meetings as discussed in an earlier post.

Watching the six-week process take place, from being given the problem, to making robots to solve the problem was fascinating. I learned more about my son in that short time than I have in a while. He is becoming a leader, and a “let’s get it done” kind of guy. Needs to think things through a bit more, but he does them.

Other son decided that this was a bit intense for him, so he will not be joining next year.

Take the time and go to an event near you, or find the web cast of the events, you will be amazed by the work of these students

Monday, February 9, 2009

SIG Related Blogs

I have been working on a list of blogs which are related to the various SIGs in ISTE. Many of these have been found on other blogs and lists, or from my finding stuff, if you would please add to the list or tell me if on is not good, or in the wrong place, that would be good. Remember I am looking for blogs. Thanks

SIG 1-1
1-to-1 Computing: SIG1to1 works to advance the thoughtful proliferation of 1-to-1 mobile computing devices for every student in K-16 education. Share 1-to-1 initiatives, concerns, and best practices with the topic's most passionate supporters.
Yes Tech

SIG admin Administrators: SIGAdmin provides a venue for principals and other educational leaders to explore factors that influence a positive return on technology investment, and to share best practices for planning, managing, and assessing related educational resources.
The Principal’s Page
Practical Theory
Monarch Grove Principal’s Blog
The Superintendent’s Blog

SIGCT Computing Teachers: SIGCT seeks to advance the practice of teaching computing and computer science in PK–12 education both broad knowledge and skills needed by all students and various aspects of the discipline for those wishing more in-depth study.
A difference
Computer Science Teacher
The Strength of Weak Ties
Monkey See Monkey Build

SIGde Digital Equity: SIGDE seeks to improve access to technology tools and provide opportunities for all 21st century learners. Share proven digital equity strategies with educators, researchers, and educational reform leaders worldwide.

Sighc Handheld Computing: SIGHC supports educational uses of handheld, wireless, and mobile computing devices. Collaborate with a broad cross-section of members, including teachers, tech coordinators, teacher educators, researchers, and industry leaders.

Sigilt Innovative Learning Technologies: SIGILT provides a venue for pioneering educators to explore promising new learning technologies and innovative practices. Learn how to implement and sustain innovation in classrooms and schools.
Milobo’s Musings
Future Education Tech
A Whole New Diane

Sigivc Interactive Video Conferencing: SIGIVC supports educators in the use of interactive videoconferencing and related virtual learning technologies. Share best practices on planning for, implementing, and managing IVC in the classroom.

Sigms Media Specialists: SIGMS recognizes that library media specialists often serve as school and district technology leaders and supports this role with professional development and policy activities in a variety of venues.
Rambling Libarian
Free Range Librarian
A Library By Any Other Name
Dog Eared Book Blog
Northside Elementary Library
Picture Book of the Day
Kidlitosphere Central

Setsig Special Education Technology: SETSIG sponsors workshops, trainings, and other activities for educators interested in assistive and instructional applications of technology for disabled and gifted students.
Gifted Exchange
Strategies for Gifted Learners
Linking Special Ed and the Main Stream World

Sigtc Technology Coordinators: SIGTC addresses current legislation and advancements in this rapidly changing field. Venues for identifying problems and solutions include an active online forum and face-to-face meetings.

Sigte Teacher Educators: SIGTE serves professors and other professionals focused on teacher education with a peer-reviewed journal and other venues that address pre- and inservice training, certification issues, research in computer education, and appropriate training materials.
Open Thinking & Digital Pedagogy

Sigtel Telelearning: SIGTel supports educators involved with computer-based communications and distance learning models through an online bulletin and other venues for sharing research, international connections, special projects, and training opportunities.
Teach 42

Friday, February 6, 2009


Copyright is always a topic a sort of zone out on when it is the topic of conversation, so what I know of it is mainly hearsay and mythology. I figure if I really have a question I can always talk to the Liberian. What else do you use them for? Ran across this post from Wes Fryer on Moving at the speed of creativity featuring this clip from the Colbert Report.

Doing some other research, I found only one case brought to trial regarding "file sharing", all others were settled out of court, but the trial case went to the Defendant, actually the judge called it a mistrial, but....

This fall I went to a presentation by the director of the Rod Serling video festival , and under questioning, he claimed that copyright really is not enforced with student work, he claims to have talked to a lawyer from Disney, well known copyright protectors, and they say they would not sue for student work, as long as no money is being made.

Then there is music, where can we go from here? Let's start with folk music. Generally speaking, some folk music re-cycles similar tunes and changes the words around. One example off the top of my head, is the song "Stewball" also known as "Skewball". Doing some quick research, it was written in Europe and came to the US in various forms, including a work gang version, but another origian is the song "Go From My Window" an Elizabethan song, but most of us know the tune from John Lennon's "Happy X-mas war is over". Heck even "campfire songs" have different lyrics in different parts of the country. The song "Taurus" by Spirit, written well before Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" has the same guitar line as the into as "Stairway". Where and when do we worry about copyright, George Harrison had to pay for "My Sweet Lord" sounding too much like "He's so Fine"

And now we look at sampling of music for Hip-Hop, some have sued, others have not. Where do we draw the lines.

Don't want to get to far off subject here, but could talk music all day long. BTW one of the strangest similar songs is Andy Gibb's "Shadow Dancing" and the Rolling Stone's "Miss You", which replaced "Shadow Dancing" on the charts as #1, in my opinion, are the same tune.

Any way, in the "re-mix" culture, where do we draw the line? I post pictures on the web with Creative Commons Licence, and have had some requests to use the photos, many artists post their music on sharing sites to build up a fan base, we make music mixes for others, and have been doing so for a long time.

One last music tidbit. Did you know you could sing "Amazing Grace", "House of the Rising Sun" and "Gilligan's Island Theme" to the same tune? Always fun to sing any of these to Gilligan's Island.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dang budget

It is difficult to whine about budget cuts when people are losing their jobs. But I will.

It is the charge of my department to determine the budget needs for the district and plan for these needs five years in advance (you try to predict where technology is going in the next 5 years!)
After about 3 or 4 years at this job, I had it figured out, all the computers were on a 5-6 year replacement schedule, and we were able to bring in new technologies to the classrooms at a steady rate.

I had a set budget amount for several years, we could take about half of it for repalcements and the other half for "new stuff" This was working well. Generally if you could not get the equipment you asked for one year, you could get it the next. One of the nice things about a set budget amount is that the buying power goes up as the cost of technology goes down.
Two years ago my budget was cut in half. We were in good shape last year and managed to get most of what we wanted. This year, however we are in a bit of a bind. We are falling behind in our computer replacement, and there is a need for more SmartBoards and mobile computer labs. The SmartBoards would be great to get into the classrooms. We have had great success getiting these up and running over time, and the mounted smartboards (600 series) has really created a demand.

What is a poor boy to do?