Sunday, June 30, 2013

So Inspiring - RIP Dr. Rita Pierson

I only recently discovered Dr. Rita Pierson as the link to her inspirational TED talk made the rounds on Twitter. I have watched her talk several times and know it is one I will continue to revisit and share with others. What a great message! As we mourn her passing, let's remember to celebrate her life by truly living her message -
"Every child deserves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best they can possibly be." 

Read messages left by some of the TED community on their blog in loving memory of Dr. Rita Pierson.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Newbie/Social Butterfly Lounge Calendar for ISTE13

I am so excited to be attending ISTE13 in San Antonio this year. This will be my seventh ISTE, but I clearly remember my very first one. As a newbie, I wish I had known about having a PLN (personal learning network) back in 2004, when I attended for the first time in my home town of New Orleans. I didn't attend again until 2008 and still didn't have a PLN, so I enjoyed it, but again wished I could have had a better way to network with others.

Things were different when I attended in 2009 in Washington, D.C. My PLN (lead by @bethstill) made that ISTE experience so much more rewarding. Every year since then I have made an effort to help newbies in any way that I can. 

This year at ISTE I plan to volunteer much of my time in the Newbie/Social Butterfly Lounge which will be located in the West Registration Lobby. Please look for me and I'll help you in any way that I can. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Love This Google Doc Extension

If you're like me and use Chrome as your browser and Google Docs with your students, you're going to love the Chrome extension Read&Write for Google Docs. You simply go to the Chrome Web Store and search for Read&Write. Click on the Add to Chrome button and after a few prompts you have to respond to it will be added. When you open a Google Doc you will see a new addition to the toolbar. 

Now all of your students have access UDL features such as a text-to-speech tool, a dictionary and image dictionary, a fact finder, and a translator while working within a Google Doc. 

My favorite feature is the Vocabulary builder (the last icon on the toolbar). I tried it out and created a vocablary list. What I really love is that a student can add notes to the last column and the vocabulary list can be saved, printed, or copy and pasted into a new Google Doc. (I noticed the date, which is automatically added, is in the European format. I created this list on June 8, 2013.)

Check out all of the assistance the Read&Write extension offers our students by watching this YouTube video

(Click here to watch if you are unable to view it. )

If you would like to learn more about Google Tools to use in your classroom check the blog post 10 Creative Ways to Use Google Tools to Maximize Learning. This is where I learned about this awesome extension. 

So what do you think? How could you use this with your students?