Thursday, February 19, 2009

Teachers Love SmartBoards!

Our SmartBoard classes are among the most popular we offer on the Eighth Floor. Every semester, classes fill with long waiting lists. SmartBoards are just one of those kinds of tools that everyone can use. We have SmartBoards in two of our classrooms, and I find myself walking over to them when I want to REALLY show or discuss something on the screen. This is much better than making everyone's eyes jiggle when I shake the mouse pointer at whatever I think is so important. So, in order to get better at using the SmartBoard when I am teaching, I've been taking the SmartBoard classes we offer - I know, you guys think Scott and I already know everything, don't you. I'm gonna come clean, we don't. Well, actually, Scott might . . . I DON'T. The classes are fantastic and the teachers are fantastic!! Pam Burgess and Shaun Beard teach the bulk of our Smart classes.

Okay, so why am I tell you all this? SmartBoards are a deep and wide tool. Once you get a taste of what is possible, it's almost like you can't get enough! Sometimes, when you want more information on something, it can be hard to find a solid resource with a lot (not a little) for just about everyone. Earlier this week in the What About Blogs? class, Deana McCloud from Pryor shared a blog with us, and now I am going to share it with you. I poked around for a bit - it's cool. :-D - called, Teachers Love SmartBoards!

It looks like the author posts about once a week - so not so overwhelming that you can't digest the ideas he shares. If you know how, I recommend subscribing, - if not, at least save it to your favorites and visit it about once a week. If you decide that you think it is a worthwhile resource, share it with others!
If you have a Smart resources that you just love, PLEASE share it with us!
Just Sharin'
Lee Anne

Monday, February 16, 2009

What About Blogs? - February 2009

What About Blogs?
Welcome to the Eighth Floor class about blogging in education. As a collaborative and constructive tool, blogs have found their place in education. As educators, we are using them as learning tools not only for our students, but also for ourselves. Our objectives for this short workshop are to become familiar with blogs as a Web 2.0 tool, explore uses for your classroom or professional development, and set up a practice blog of your own.

Blogs in Plain English

Lee LeFever of the Common Craft Show

So What’s a Blog?
Let the 6 & 7 year olds from Room 9 at Nelson Central School educate you about what they think a blog is and why they love using them!

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Blog in the Classroom

Education Professional Development Blogs
Weblogg-ed - A blog by Will Richardson
Moving at the Speed of Creativity - A blog by Wesley Fryer
Blog of Proximal Development - a blog by Konrad Glogowski
Blogs about Educational Blogging - a wiki by Support

Classroom/Student Blogs
Arthus - NewlyAncient (high school student blog)
AP Calculus AB (An interactive log for students and parents in my AP Calculus class. This ongoing dialogue is as rich as YOU make it. Visit often and post your comments freely.)
The Good Habits Blog (blog for students and teachers)
Mrs Cassidy's Classroom Blog (elementary)
Blogical Minds (This is a blog created to explore what happens when 5th graders blog and converse about literacies in class and beyond)

Google Search for Blogs

Check out the following education/safety focused postings and articles:
MySpace Education
Change Agency
Blogs, Fair Use, and Paying to Play

Blogging Tips and Tricks:
Web Blog Basics Blogs - Anatomy
Blogs for Learning
Evaluating Blogging
Blogging Best Practices Top 10 Blog Writing Tips
Use of Blogs in an Online College Classroom

Let’s Talk About Blogs
  • How is a blog different from a website?

  • How is blogging different from other types of writing or online communication?

  • Why do you think you or your students might be attracted to this as a form of expression?

  • How might you use a blog in your classroom or for your professional development?

  • What obstacles might you face using blogs with your students?

  • The first step to being a good blogger is to be a good blog ____________?


Since this is a class about blogging, we thought you might want to do a little, well, blogging. So, what are some advantages to using blogs? What are some disadvantages? What can you do to minimize the disadvantages? ___________________________________________________________

Add your comment to this post. Take a minute to think about the above questions. (Or share something else, if you choose, like an idea your already have for using blogs) Click on the "comments" link below and then type your answer. You can comment as "anonymous or other." Be sure to include your name somewhere so we know who you are. Read others’ comments and feel free to comment on their comments!

Lee Anne