Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I was so excited when I opened my email to find this sitting in my inbox. What a great honor! I was looking forward to attending LaCUE in December, but now I'm even more anxious for the first week in December to get here. Wish me luck and let's keep our fingers crossed.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
As I was making sure I had all my assessments (sigh) and lesson plans ready for the coming week, I checked our Kidblogs and realized that six students were ready to be published. I pushed the publish button and then tweeted about our blogs. Of course I got five replies that said they needed a password to comment. Oh dear, I had forgotten to change the settings to allow anyone with the link to post a comment. (I still have to approve the comment before it appears on the student's blog which I like. Safety first.) Well, I quickly remedied that situation and posted to Twitter that all was now working. Then I got a tweet that me reminded me to use the hashtag #comments4kids when I tweeted about my kids' blog to reach an even wider audience. This hashtag was started by William Chamberlain and you can read more about it here. So I sent out another tweet including the #comments4kids this time around.
I was commenting on the blogs of students of Greta Sandler from Argentina (@gret) when my Tweetdeck starting going crazy chirping Mentions. All of the mentions were RTs (retweets) of my #comments4kids tweet - Anyone up to commenting on the blogs of some 4th graders? I decided to check out what was going on at my kids' blogs. How do I love Twitter? Let me count the ways - 70 comments as I am writing this. 70 comments in less than an hour. I LOVE TWITTER.
Thank you to all of the great members of my Twitter PLN. You have done a great thing. I just hope I can sleep tonight because I am so excited for tomorrow to come.
Monday, August 9, 2010
1. Try New Things - I am beginning my 35th year of teaching. Wow, even to me the sounds like a long time. But even after all of these years I love being a teacher. I like being the innovative teacher who tries to integrate technology into every lesson. This one should be easy because I have spent the summer learning new ways to use new tools with my students.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
#echat Social Media Worlde
This was created from 1/3 of the Social Media #edchat transcript from 8/3. I wanted to see if we could find any patterns within the language we were using. Is it me, or did Wordle create an image that looks a lot like the Twitter fail whale? —@rpetersmauri
I hit 2,000 followers today on Twitter.
This one was created at Glotxt.com using "NeonLights"
Check out the ways you can perk up your projects.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I kept seeing this being tweeted for about a week now and finally had time today to click on the link and read the article. Every teacher needs to read the post "Top 20 Websites No Teacher Should Start the 2010-2011Year Without" by Samantha Smoke. She has written about tools that every teacher should know about and be adding to their toolbox.
I know that using Web 2.0 tools can seem overwhelming, but I encourage every teacher to try out one new tool each month this school year. Remember that you don't have to be an expert with the tool to begin using it. Just play around with one at a time and have fun. A strategy I use is I use the tool a little bit and then introduce it to my fourth graders and challenge them to learn more about it. I give them time in class to demonstrate their expertise and we all benefit.
Let's start 2010-2011 off on the right foot by learning together.
Monday, July 5, 2010
I am finally recovered from a very eventful week in Denver. I went to Denver early to spend some quality time with members of my personal learning network (PLN). We had a great time at the cabin and in Estes Park. I wrote about that part of the trip here. I also attended my first EduBloggerCon on the Saturday before ISTE10 officially began. Read my reflections on EBC10 here. I even got to attend the TEDxDenverEd event and I won an Eno board. Read all about that experience here.
I have spent much of the last couple of days reading others' blog posts, reviewing session materials that are being tweeted out, and just chatting with my PLN (old and new) on Twitter. I was so mentally drained when I arrived home that I slept until 11:00 my first day home. I haven't done that in ages. Also during this time I've been trying to get my ISTE reflections solidified. So here they are -
What Did I Learn?
I am an innovative educator. I use many tools, not just for the sake of using tools, but because they help my students create, collaborate, and connect.
I have created quite an online presence. I was looking forward to meeting members of my PLN and I thought I would have to find them. I didn't think that they would be looking for me. When Peggy George come up to me and said she was so glad to finally meet me face to face I was floored. Kim Caise did the same thing, and so did so many people I know online. It was great to hear someone say, "Oh I follow you on Twitter", as I introduced myself to them.
I can't do it all. I struck a nice balance this year between attending sessions, looking at the vendors' exhibits, and spending time in the Bloggers' Cafe. I got to attend some great TweetUps and vendor parties, and I even had some alone time. Yes, there are things I wish I had done, but overall I'm happy with the things I got to do.
I learned that reaching out to newbies was fun and easy to do. I had written a challenge on the ISTE Ning before going to Denver about helping newbies connect. I also wrote about the challenge on my blog. I was successful in meeting my own challenge and hope that others did the same thing. It was great to get to know these newbies on a more personal level - Tami Thompson, John Shoemaker, Dorie Glynn, Karen McMillian, Tim Nielsen, and Donna Dennis. Hope their first ISTE was memorable.
What Are My ISTE10 Take-Aways?
I found that this year it wasn't so much about cool tools for me (except the iPad) as it was about reflecting on my use of those tools in my classroom. Jeff Utecht made me reflect on the projects I have my students do. He took us through a 15 minute engaging project that hit all levels of Bloom. Thanks, Jeff, for a great session.
I learned that it is important to do some training for parents. I plan to schedule a session at the beginning of the coming school year to help parents learn about online safety, creating a digital footprint, and "crap" detection. As a teacher and a teacher trainer I have covered these topics, but I never reached out to the parents. It is important for them to learn about these topics as well.
Having connections to a PLN is very important for helping me stay current and continue my learning. Members of my PLN are the people I will turn to first when I want to work on collaborative projects in my classroom. I am glad that I was able to make so many new connections at ISTE10 this year and I am looking forward to the next school year with renewed energy.
I know as the days continue to pass by I will think of more things I learned while at ISTE10 but these are the ones that are foremost in my mind at this time. Attending this conference was worth every cent I spent to attend.
Photo credit: Melanie Holtsman http://www.flickr.com/photos/holtsman/4737542378/in/pool-1324634@N24/
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Have you ever watched a TED video and wished you could attend one of their events? Well I have many times and I was one of the lucky people who received an invitation to attend TEDxDenverEd. TEDx events are locally organized independent events that follow the TED format. I had to fill out an online application and then wait anxiously to see if I'd get invited. When my invitation hit my inbox, I could hardly contain my excitement. A while later the speakers were added to the website and I started reading up on those I did not know. I exchanged tweets with Dafna Michaelson and Brian Crosby and told them I couldn't wait to meet them in person at the event.
I called John Shoemaker (@showee) and arranged to meet him for a late brunch at his hotel. John didn't find out until about two days ago that he would be attending ISTE10 from his school district. He and I have developed a relationship on Twitter and we definitely wanted to meet each other face-to-face. We had a great visit and realized that we were attending a lot of the same events while in Denver.
Brenda Smith talked me into attending the opening ceremony. I'm really glad I went because the skit by Mario Armstrong was great. He talked about battling the "Locked Net Monster", "Dollar and Cent-atur", "Medi-Orge", and "Abominable No-Man". I also managed to get one of the ISTE metal water bottles.
Next, I spent some time in the Bloggers' Cafe and watched the opening keynote from here. Pretty sad to watch that unfold, but I won't dwell on it. Other bloggers are having a field day with it, but I don't want to go there. I'll just say it was very sad to witness the feeding frenzy.
My next activity took me over to the Hyatt Regency to attend the Glogster Ambassador meeting. Jim Dachos greeted all of us and handed us a Glogster bag full of goodies to help spread the word. I saw John Shoemaker, Ann Leaness, Patti Duncan, and Traci Blazosky at this gathering. I love Glogster.edu and feel very comfortable telling others about this great tool.
Finally I attended a TweetUp at the Hard Rock Cafe. We were packed into the bar area like sardines but it was fun. Had wonderful conversations and enjoying meeting people from all over. Headed back to Pearl Street tried but happy after a long day.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
After three wonderful days in Estes Park with members of my PLN, I headed into Denver to attend EduBloggerCon. Last year I missed the EBC in Washington D.C. because I attended the Discovery Day of School event at the Discovery headquarters in Silver Springs, Maryland. Unfortunately Discovery and EduBloggerCon are scheduled for the Saturday before ISTE starts on Sunday, so that means I will have to make a choice to attend one or the other.
EBC was the first unconference I have ever attended. An unconference is planned the morning of the event and consists of conversations instead of presentations. Here you will find the pictures of those who attended and the schedule that was created of the event. My biggest take aways from this event are
students need lessons on "crap" detection
we need to present sessions on digital citizenship to parents
should how we assess tech literacy be standardized (?)
I have some thinking to do.
By the way, I made the picture this year. Woohoo!
Friday, June 25, 2010
I have spent the last couple of days relaxing in a cabin in Estes Park, CO before heading into Denver to attend EduBloggerCon and ISTE10. Thanks to Beth Still (who organized this whole thing), I am enjoying the company of Paul R. Woods and his wife, Diane, Scott Floyd, Mike Gras, and Randy Rogers who all hail from Texas. Also Steven Anderson (NC), Mary Beth Hertz (PA), Cory Plough (NV), Brenda Smith (NE), Michelle Baldwin (NE), Jason Schrange (NY), Richard Bryne (ME) and of course Beth are all here with me. It has been an incredible experience. The activities have included fishing (not my thing), hiking, sightseeing, eating, drinking and impromptu TweetUps with this incredible group. Steve Johnson stopped by for our Mexican feast last night and Kyle Pace joined us via Skype. This is the power of a PLN and Twitter at its finest.
Personal learning networks (PLN) and Twitter are hard to explain to some educators who have never had this type of experience. My 2009 New Year's resolution was to build my PLN and understand how to use Twitter for professional development. I started on the Ning network and then joined Twitter in February of that year. My goal was to get to know some educators online and then hopefully meet some of them face to face when I attended NECC in Washington D.C. Beth was one of the first people to reach out to me because she had taken a similar journey after attending NECC in San Antonio in 2008. Sue Waters (from Australia) encouraged each step of my process and I used her resource to help build my PLN. Incredibly I did get to spend time with both of them in Washington plus dozens of others I'd met online.
My PLN has continued to expand over this current year and now I'm here in Colorado enjoying quality time with some of them. I am eagerly awaiting the start of ISTE10 where I will get to meet even more "online friends" face to face. Many of my PLN who can not be in Denver are looking to me to keep them updated on all the great events of the conference which I will do through Twitter updates. I have set a goal for myself while at ISTE10 to help make other "newbies" feel welcome and to get them started on the road to developing their PLN.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I have never met Jen Wagner face to face and I am sad about that. I have participated in many of her projects over the years and responded to her various surveys she has posted when she is presenting at various conferences around the country. We have been in many a chat room together as we virtually attended conference sessions. Jen was one of the first members of my PLN (personal learning network) and I cherish her friendship. One of these days we will get to meet face to face, but until then I look for her online presence everywhere I go.
I saw a comment on Twitter that sent me to Jen's newest post. This is a must read for all of us who will be attending ISTE10 this week. This is great advice from a great friend.
As I start packing for my exciting week in Denver and saw a lot of nervous tweets from newbies attending ISTE10 and a great question popped into my overwhelmed brain: What can I do to help the newbies? Well as I was drinking my coffee and thinking back over my previous ISTE (formerly NECC) conferences I remember what a difference feeling connected made to my conference experience, so I put out a challenge on the ISTE Ning.
I posted the link on Twitter and had it retweeted by several members of my PLN including one newbie I can't wait to meet in Denver.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Last year in Washington D.C. I arrived at EduBloggerCon right at the very end of the event. I was coming from the Discovery Headquarters in Silver Springs, Maryland where I had attended Discovery Day of School. I'm glad I got to attend the Discovery event, but I was sad to have missed EBC09. Well, this year I plan on being at EBC10 for the whole day and learning the ropes of this experience from my personal learning network PLN buddy Beth Still. I can't wait to see what happens at this "unconference" and to meet more members of my PLN face to face.
I want to be in the picture this year!
I set up a an account on Posterous a long time ago and only used it a few times. Well today I was directed back by another user's tweet and decided to try it again. I've added a few autopost accounts and am seeing how that works.
If you can send an email with an attachment, you can use Posterous for your blogging platform. Easy peasy. I'm attaching a photo that will also be added to my Flickr account. I think I will start using this service regularly.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Well I did it. I signed up to present on Wednesday, June 30 at the unconference known as ISTE Unplugged. I am both excited and nervous at the same time. I figure I'll rally some of my PLN members around me for moral support and I'll be fine. (Sue Waters you better be close by.) I figure with the topic I chose and how I like to share my experiences it should go well. Wish me luck.
I'd like to extend an invitation to anyone who is interested to Skype with me while I am at the Bloggers' Cafe. Too many people think they shouldn't go there if they don't blog. Nothing could be further from the truth. They really should call this area PLN Plaza. Everyone who hangs out in this area of the convention center is more than willing to engage in conversation with anyone who is there. I will spend several hours in the Bloggers' Cafe each day and would love to let you experience it first hand. If you are interested add plnaugle to your Skype contacts and let me know through a tweet or an email that you would like to connect. I will do all I can to make you feel a part of the experience.
Today I filled out a survey put out by ISTE asking what excites me about ISTE10. I found that an easy question to answer. I am excited about meeting the members of my PLN (personal learning network) face to face. I was fairly new to Twitter last year when I went to Washington, D.C. to attend NECC, but I was warmly welcomed into the Blogger Cafe by the likes of @bethstill, @suewaters, @jutecht, @rmbyrne, @paulawhite, @paulrwood, @dobrien917, @angelamaiers and many others. I went to a TweetUp and attended a baseball game with my new friends. I had great conservations with @coolcatteacher, @stevehargadon, @teach42, @mcarls, and other wonderful educators. I had such a great experience that I decided there and then that I would definitely attend ISTE10.
I've been lucky enough to attend NECC04 in New Orleans, NECC08 in San Antonio, and NECC09 in Washington D.C. Each of these trips was funded by my school. Funds were written into our School Improvement Plan to allow for this. Unfortunately those funds are not available this year, but I decided to foot my own trip to ISTE10. Why you might ask? Is the $1,500 worth it? My answer is absolutely YES.
I am prepping for my trip by adding an ISTE10 column to Tweetdeck, tweeting with my PLN, establishing a presence on the ISTE Ning, ordering my Twitter Tshirt, organizing my conference planner, and signing up for activites like TweetUps. I have started adding places of interest to my ISTE10 Google map and I downloaded the Bump app to my iPhone so I'll be ready to exchange contact info with everyone. Okay what have I forgotten?
Can you tell that I am excited to get to ISTE10? If you are attending I hope I get to connect with you. If you are not attending in person, be on the lookout for all of the tweets on Twitter which will tell you how to attend virtually. Look for the backchannels that I'm sure will be set up for some of the sessions.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Yesterday I attended Spotlight on the Gulf webinar featuring Philippe Cousteau. According to Steve Dembo there were a record number of attendees. Actually I attended the second session which was offered to people who live in the areas that are most affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. I received an email from Discovery saying that due to such a large number of people registered for the event that the second one was being offered.
Philippe is a passionate environmentalist and listening to him explain the impact of the oil spill was heart breaking. Unfortunately at this time there are more questions then answers about what impact this will have on our environment. He included pictures and videos that he had taken on his tour of the affected area.
I live in the New Orleans area and am already feeling the affects that this spill is having on our area. It saddens me to think of how long it will take to get Louisiana’s wetlands cleaned up.
The webinar and related extension activities can be found here.
Photo credit: http://animalplanettalent.com/media/uploads/headshots/large/philippe-cousteau_.jpg
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Tonight I attended a webinar which had Steve Hargadon hosting Sir Ken Robinson discussing his book The Element. Since I knew yesterday that I would be attending this session, I downloaded Sir Ken's book onto my laptop Kindle and read about a third of it before I went to bed last night. (Stayed up too late.) While the session was not without a few tech issues, I was amazed that the Elluminate platform performed so well with over 500 attendees. The audience felt like a gathering of my personal learning network (PLN). It was a hoot to watch everyone place their star on the interactive whiteboard map to show their location. The world was well represented.
I feel quite comfortable using Elluminate, since I use it almost every Saturday morning, when I attend the Classrom 2.0 Live sessions. I have become a pretty good multitasker - listening, watching the chat, typing into the chat room, opening links, and posting links for everyone to view. But let me tell you, with over 500 people the chat was flying by faster then I could read it. I didn't get to make too many comments or post any links. I'll enjoy revisiting this archived session after it is posted at LearnCentral.org. I've also enjoyed adding to the discussion on the Book Discussions Ning that Steve started. I look forward to being able to finish reading Sir Ken's The Element.
I was always a passionate educator, but when technology integration became a buzz word that I wanted to learn about, I found my true "element". I love being a 21st century teacher. I should be retired since I've been doing this for 34 years. Well, actually I did retire, but I also returned to work. I am so excited to create lesson plans that are full of technology integration. I spend much of my free time guiding my own professional development through Twitter, Nings, blogs, and webinars. I want to learn something new everyday that I can use in my classroom. My fourth graders also add to my technology learning. When something doesn't seem to work quite right, I turn to them first before calling for tech support. They have solved the problem on many occasions.
I am grateful that I discovered my passion is to truly be a lifelong learner and to try and ignite that fire in every student I teach. What is your passion? Have you discovered your element?
Sunday, March 28, 2010
(To properly watch this Prezi that was created by Ryan McCallum, click on the gray triangle. After it finishes loading, click on the "More" button, and then click on fullscreen.)
One of the members of my personal learning network (PLN) shared the link to this Prezi with me. I think Ryan McCallum's Prezi is a wonderful reminder to educators everywhere that our students need to be engaged or they could be enraged. Why not share this with members of your PLN?