Friday, May 30, 2008

Congratulations Donna!

Our fearless techno-leader, Donna D. has just convocated with her Masters Degree in Education. Best wishes Donna, and congratulations for graduating from one of the coolest masters programs anywhere with one of the coolest advisers.
(Picture credit thanks to Dr. R. Schwier).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Success! We had our best videoconference ever!

Today we videoconferenced with our epals from Waterloo, Illinois. (We had tried to do it last Thursday, but the internet flaked out too many times. Seems lots of us had that problem that day.)

What also made it wonderful was that we could do it from the "comfort" of our own classroom. Wireless is WONDERFUL. We used Skype and projected the screen using a data projector. (No smart board for us....GARY! where are you when we need you!)

Mr. Theobald was the "quiz master" and Waterloo students asked us geography questions.

We conferenced for half an hour. Our sound wasn't great, but if people spoke clearly we could hear them.

The only downer...our epals start summer holidays this Friday. NOT FAIR.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Now if we could show this to all kids...

This is a fabulous video about internet safety and privacy.

I ask the question: at what age or grade level would this video be appropriate?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

This is sometimes how I feel when I read too many Ed Tech blog posts

Some days if I hear buzz terms like "21st century skills" I think of this famous movie clip

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Podcast Central

...hello....this is patriciaellencone aka "Ms. Cone" reporting live from the computer lab at Hafford Central School.

I've given some creative writing / performing assignments to go with our study of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Many of my students are creating podcasts using Audacity. I have no idea (much) how all of this will turn out, but right now the kids are having a blast (so am I if the truth be told).

I've created a notebook with some podcasting links from where we can download sound effects and music loops.

...We'd like to have any tips that anyone out there can pass on about the use of Audacity. We'll pass any one that we learn.

Keep posted...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Observing the Obvious

I've taught Google Docs to my grade 7/8 computer class as an introduction to word processing. I've been requiring my grade 5/6 class to use the slide show to finish an assignment in Social Studies.

Guess which class is more motivated not only to use it, but to explore it's uses?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Google Docs Presentation, Create a Graph and Social Studies

Google Docs adventure continued....

I've assigned my Grade 5 and 6 (Grade Six content) a "mini" research project. Using (mostly) the CIA Factbook (I know, I know, but it works well for this assignment) students collect data on an assigned country in the Atlantic Region. I've given them an identical data sheet for Canada. They are then to create a Google Docs presentation comparing the data from their country and Canada. We've looked at GNP per capita, population, birth rate, poverty rate etc. etc. Basically, I want them to compare statistics to know whether their country is richer or poorer than Canada.

Next, we are graphing some of the data: Using Create a Graph.

This is an online program that creates graphs and charts from which the students can download the images in .jpg form (and others) and/or print the data. My students are inserting their .jpg graphs into the appropriate pages of their presentations.

The adventure continues.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Google Docs? The experiment continues.

I'm having my grade 5 and 6 class use the presentation tools in Google Docs with which to present their Social Studies research data. So far, it seems to be working well except for the day the internet was down. They are loving doing something new, and I'm liking being able to have a collaborative link to their ongoing work.

If anyone has any useful information regarding Google Docs, let me know.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Are there cyborg teachers?

From my university days, I recall that the definition of a cyborg was a "seamless melding of human and machine" (or something like that). I'm wondering if frequent (one day or more a week) bloggers are in fact, cyborgs; their brains are seamlessly connected to a computer or cell phone and they can write up endless blog posts?

I've noticed how few blog posts even our most frequent bloggers make compared to some bloggers I have on my reader...

Maybe they really ARE out there....(gulp).....