31 day comment challenge reflections

How are our online conversations part of our own learning? I’ve been loosely participating in the 31 Day Comment Challenge, (which is an effort to focus on improving blog comments through various activities.)   It’s been a little bit of a learning curve for me to figure out how to use coComment, which is the tool we are using, but by joining the 31 day challenge group, and then backtracking to blog post’s other participants have been commenting on, I’ve discovered a number of bloggers I had never […]

A ubiquitous tool–pros and cons

 Skype seems to be the tool of choice for creating more global connections for educators.   It’s excellent for quickly contacting experts in other school districts, for joining in workshops as a guest speaker, for coordinating plans between presenters who live in different cities, and for coordinating global education projects, etc. But some school districts have concerns about the software on the network.  (including mine).    We know many of the educational benefits of Skype–we have used Skype to skype in an author for a virtual author […]

Managing information

 Lee Wilson has an interesting post on managing information overload that has spurred my thinking of late.   The premise is that we no longer really have to “save” and “store” information, magazines, etc., because we can look things up easily when we need them if we have good information search strategies. As I’ve been weeding our library the last few weeks prior to our upcoming renovation, thinking about this post has made me a little more ruthless in what I discard, in the realization that […]

More resources for promoting responsible use of networking

In keeping with the conversations (Karl Fisch, Wes Fryer, Doug Johnson, myself, and others) going on around the blogosphere about filtering, access, and social networking in schools, I wanted to share this excellent toolkit from YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) entitled “Teens and Social Networking in School and Public Libraries.” The toolkit has ideas appropriate for librarians or technology staff on productive uses of social networking, how to share these tools with parents, etc., and is a great example of a proactive and positive approach.  In addition, […]

What can we do going forward?

  I’ve been following a number of posts the last couple of weeks about internet filtering and the erratic application of it in schools, and the frustrations of teachers just wanting to share fascinating new ways of learning with their students. Karl Fisch did an excellent job of pulling some of those threads together in his post, “More Thoughts on Filtering.”   I’ve been really thinking about this issue and how we can all develop better practices regarding internet filters, and what that might look like. […]

Twittering your way down the information highway

 I mentioned Twitter during some staff development sessions on Thursday, and found myself struggling to explain how powerful a tool it can be. Teach42 has an outstanding post on Twitter that illustrates it far better than I could, so I’m pointing to his post here. (although I’m adding to it) If you haven’t used Twitter before, it can be a very helpful “networking” tool and place to gather ideas.   And it’s easy to build a network there–find one person, see who they are linking to, and […]

Like schoolkids

I feel like a giddy schoolgirl this morning–just having so much fun interacting with other educators around the world who are also giddy about what they are doing. While most of us in the U.S. were sleeping, Jeff Utecht of Thinking Stick in Shanghai was testing out a new site called WizIq (a new site that is a virtual classroom, with chat, sharing, etc.) and holding a skypechat to discuss it.   Then as I was just getting up, my Skype started ringing, and Chris Betcher(in Australia) was […]

Google docs now adds “presentations”

   Google is everywhere, and  has just added a new, awaited feature to their Google docs services — Google presentations. Imagine Powerpoint “lite” but with the added element of collaboration, and you get the idea.    Imagine how your workflow or that of students is improved if you can collaborate on your presentations ONLINE, simultaneously, instead of via email. Another interesting feature, just like other Google Docs items, is that you can publish the finished product and Google sends you a link to share it with […]

Will this be THE device?

When I first saw the iPhone, I was so excited, because I started thinking that this will be the device(or one close to it) that will be the portable device for our students for classroom use. Today’s release of some new Apple products, including the iPod Touch (basically an iPhone without the phone part, or an iPod with internet) makes me think that day is one day closer.  I recently watched a fascinating interview that Robert Scoble did with computer science professor Eliot Soloway, which […]

Getting into the game

Microsoft announced their release next week of a new suite of software services, meant to compete with web software like Google Docs, etc. offer.   If I am understanding it correctly, some tools will be free(like a photo sharing tool which sounds similar to Picasa from Google), and some will be ones that Microsoft charges for.   One of the downsides I see already for schools is that it sounds as though the tools have to be downloaded to the users’ computer. One of the beauty of […]