Thursday, November 30, 2006

The new Edutopia online-- way cool!

I learned about this resource from David Jakes' The Strength of Weak Ties blog.

Edutopia has a way cool new format that allows the reader to virtually "turn" the pages of the magazine, zoom in, display one or two pages at a time, search for text, print... you've got to see it and try it out:

Can online textbooks in a similar format be far behind?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Campaign Urges Online Youth To Type Smart, Post Wisely

From an email I received this morning:

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the primary law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service, has launched a campaign to encourage youth to practice safe, smart habits when posting information about themselves on social networking Web sites and blogs. As Chief Postal Inspector Lee Heath observes: "As the popularity and usage of online social networking sites continue to flourish, it is essential that we empower youth to be cautious, aware and intelligent about the information they post. "

The 2 SMRT 4U campaign, and its tagline, "Type Smart, Post Wisely," is a Postal Inspection Service-led effort designed to reinforce the U.S. Attorney General's Project Safe Childhood initiative to promote Internet safety. We hope it will help remind teens of the importance of navigating smartly and thinking before posting personal information online.

Resources: To learn more about 2 SMRT 4U campaign, visit additional information about Project Safe Childhood, visit

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Progams in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Welcome UT Students

Today we welcomed 18 doctoral students from the University of Toledo to MCISD. We learned about RSS, Blogging, and tried to learn about Podcasting until the computer refused to cooperate!

I hope you enjoyed today's session. Please subscribe to my blog with the Bloglines button found on the right side of this web page. And feel free to leave comments and suggestions and let me know when you've set up your own blog.

Friday, November 17, 2006

RSS Workshop Resources

RSS: The next killer app for education

Bloglines- A free online RSS feed aggregator

RSS Compendium - A comprehensive list of RSS feeds organized into various categories.

RSS: A quick start guide for educators, by Will Richardson - A MUST READ 11 page guide

Using Bloglines - An excellent tutorial from the betterdays blog by Preetam Rai of Singapore

Mathematics assessment generator

"The Michigan Mathematics Leadership Academy is a partnership between Michigan's regional Mathematics and Science Centers, Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and Michigan Department of Education. Our mission is to promote student understanding and skill in mathematics through professional development, curriculum rejuvenation, and professional networking.

MMLA works through the Mathematics and Science Centers to develop teams of knowledgable teachers and consultants who provide services across the state. We set annual goals for instructional improvement based on state and national priorities.

Given the importance of the new 3rd-8th grade MEAP assessments, MMLA compiled MEAP-like assessment items aligned to the Grade Level Content Expectations from several sources (Jackson County ISD, Mid-Michigan Consortium, Manistee ISD, MCTM, NAEP, TIMSS, and others). Math/Science Center teams then gathered from across the state to jury the items. Those items that were judged to be aligned and appropriate are included in this data base. Items will be updated as needed. MEAP released items will be added to this item bank each year. MMLA continues to invite submissions of new items from individuals and item writing groups."

You can create a customized math assessment based on Michigan grade level content expectations (GLCE). The website will generate PDF documents that include the Student Test, Teacher Test, Answer Key, and GLCE analysis.

Teachers that have CPS clickers can use the PDF to create a "Fast Grade" lesson very quickly.

What a great FREE resource!

The NEW Seven Wonders of the World

ABC News and USA Today have reported on the new seven wonders of the world. You can see pictures, videos, and read more about all of them at:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Palm handheld computer tips and tricks

The teachers I'm working with on implementing Palm Tungsten E2 handheld computers have created a tips and tricks notebook. They also log "fatal alerts" and hot synch error messages, and even when they've changed the batteries in the wireless keyboards. We've come up with quite a list in the last 2 weeks. This will help us determine which of the handhelds are most troublesome, and probably in need of a hard reset!

We discovered by accident that the wireless keyboards have an on/off switch that is dependent upon opening the keyboard up correctly. There is a very small, easily overlooked white line and the word "off" located on the left side of the keyboard above the number 1 key. When we slide the top part of the keyboard (the part where the handheld rests) over to the right, the keyboard magically comes to life! Up to that point we were replacing the batteries, and reopening the keyboard (the correct way) without even thinking about it. We'll save a fortune in batteries!

Several of the teachers will be attending the Michigan Handheld Computer Conference in Ann Arbor. I told them that next year they'll be able to present a session on all of the valuable tips and tricks they are learning.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Welcome workshop participants!

I hope you will find the information on my blog helpful. Please leave a comment for me if you find other helpful websites you'd like to share.

Please visit the MCISD website.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Blogging workshop links

New Educational Technologies: Blogs

I. Internet Safety
A. isafe
B. CyberSmart
C. NetSmartz

II. Blogging Tools

III. Exemplars
A. Guerilla Season
B. History 360
C. Cool Cat Teacher Blog
D. The Secret Life of Bees
E. Remote Access
F. weblogg-ed

IV. Blogs for Learning

These are links to the websites I presented in the blogging workshop at Monroe County ISD on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. If you find more links you'd like to share, please leave a comment with the URL.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Blogger tutorial for blogging newbies

Michigan State University's Blogs for Learning has several flash tutorials on various aspects of blogging.

If you're just getting started with Blogger, here's a brief tutorial on what you need to do to set up your Blogger account and blog.