Friday, December 18, 2009

Coming Soon, A Party to Remember

Crying, the Tango, vomit, Michael Jackson, a bird, and poor time telling.

Days have passed and I've decided that enough has been said. Except that through the whoooole day I kept on my headband style reindeer ears without a pinch or poke. I never broke out into a sweat although the temperature was a crisp 42. I never raised my voice except in request of "Encore! Encore!" for another round of Blitzen doing the Chinese Splits. My smile was not riddled by gritted teeth. It was a party to remember and one to cherished as well.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Move Over, Christmas Sweatshirt!

By next Christmas I might not believe that I spent an afternoon in December 2009 making this giant Santa Cookie. It is a sugar cookie with homemade cream cheese butter cream icing and red sugar sprinkles held in place with a thin brushing of light corn syrup. I can put these in the memory book next to the stuffed fabric ginger bread dolls, the fabric padded Christmas frames, the holiday sweatshirts, the felt stockings, the plaid ribbon bows and the baked salt dough ornaments.

A New Chapter

My daughter's new job, son's new job, son's new possible job, new household visitors, an ailing father, a crazy world ...a new year. I can hardly wait to see what this new year will bring. Out the best in me? The worst in me? Relief? Tension? Peace? Angst? Joy? All of the above? Whatever the outcome it is clear that next year at this time I'll have new stories to tell and memories to review. I just hope it includes many family gatherings, tennis matches, cups of coffee, board games, funny movies, and meaningful moments. Stay tuned!

Still not surprised!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Time to Breathe

It seems in education as in other businesses, I'm sure, there is never time to just step back, exhale, and admire your craft. Just as soon as you have mastered something and start to feel pleased with the outcome, WHOOSH! the expectation, technique or process changes. I like to feel progressive and with it. I really do! I just wish the pace could relax just a little. It seems things are dished out in the same method that a crazy parent throws a kid in deep water to learn to swim. It forces you to react quickly but can be quite exhausting with all the flailing and gasping. I wonder if the kids feel the same way. Each time we change a schedule, add new curriculum, increase an expectation, are they thinking, "Just slow down, let me breath, let me catch up, your never stopping!"? How in the world should that sentence be punctuated? It seems we are running a race and in the end who will be the winner?

Friday, November 27, 2009


In the words of Flo, "Surprise!"" Did you ever think that things seemed calm or even predictable? Just wait about an hour or two and that will surely change. So with that I ask myself, or tell myself, "Never be surprised!" Is this born of cynicism? No just the voice of experience. And perhaps I wouldn't want it any other way. Perhaps.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Parents' Eyes

Never think you have been alone in your journey. We have been with you every step of the way. Usually just watching but sometimes steering, just a little. When you crashed on the rocks we too crashed and when you sailed high we did as well. We hope for you a restful time of peace before being forced again to test the ever changing waters. Always remember a quiet cove is just around the corner.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Like a Bag of Bricks

I have been very aware of the enlargement tools for the computer screen for many years. Often at work when I can't read a number sequence, small print of listed ingredients, or when I need to enlarge a computer screen on my projector at work for students, I utilize this feature. Just Friday, I was teaching the students working on research for Science Fair in the Computer Lab, to use this enlargement tool instead on sliding forward the screen.(I was severely warned against this practice by the lab teacher who also does a Jim-dandy job of managing cafeteria and line behavior) They were very impressed by the enlargement process and were much more willing readers I might add. But did this hit home with me? NO! I didn't see that I should ever really use the enlarger but dah! Today while I was doing some Windows Update Installations and had to see small print, I enlarged and failed to turn back to 100% when finished. I just sat down to check my email,....Presto Chango! for the first time in months(years?) I can comfortably see. Yes, comfortably! If you are a young person this seem odd to you, I know. Those of us 50+ understand. Another benenfit of large print is that it cuts off the ad margin of Facebook and other sites! Well enough said. I am a happier, more relaxed person due to the 150% magnification of my screen.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Something Old, Something New

I'm always amazed at the lengths people will go just to cheat. It would be easier just to master the skill or fulfill the obligation as expected or required. This year alone I experienced the sign language cheaters, the paper grading cheaters, the take test for a friend cheaters, the copied from home ahead of time cheaters, the paper in the lap cheaters, and the so obvious that I'm cheating that I can't be cheating cheaters. I'm sure that I've forgotten one or two by now but you see my point? You plan, get in cahoots, hide things, develop a language...for crying out loud just spend 15 minutes preparing! Just read the assignment! Just put your effort into your work not your plan to be unprepared! If you hate to put out the effort just own up to it and fail! I hate the stunned look when I discreetly pick up the paper and whisper that I won't be able to take that grade. Never do I accuse, point the finger or use the dread word but it hangs in the air between us. They know that I know, and that is all that matters.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


As my daughter has begun her first week of substitute teaching it reminds me of my first teaching job. I remember that some kids showed up on the work day and started talking to me and I couldn't understand a single word they spoke. Little did I know that that was the least of my problems.

I remember leaving that class every day after rearranging my seating chart just one more time, thinking that I had to figure this job out! How to get them quiet, clean, fed, out to recess, in from recess, keep them awake, help them get along, what to do all day, what not to do! I sometime still wonder if they ever learned to read.

I would get on the freeway after a long, frustrating day and forget to get off at my exit. I would get up the next day and for some reason always feel hopeful that this day would be better somehow. Maybe it was. I know the other staff members had bets placed on the date I might resign but I had no intention. For some reason I just kept coming back and kept trying to figure out how to do this job. I had never had a job I couldn't do so I just kept at it.

They even let me come back the next year and somehow it seemed better. To start with I had a reading program, all new shiny and ready for use. I had some level of respect from my colleagues just because I came back. I didn't feel like I had been given the roll of kids with the stacked deck. I also had just a drop of experience that went a long way. In fact the second year I didn't change my seating chart every day, every week, not even every month. It didn't have to do with the seats just me.

So as I think of Becky, I hope even when she has a hard day that she still will have hope. Even when her feet ache, her heart aches, and her head aches that she takes on her next assignment with an optimistic hope. I know teaching isn't for everybody but there is nothing greater than a great day at school.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Effects of No TV

Well the TV in our TV room has sound but no picture. We watched the Cowboys game in our bedroom. The result was a loooong nap for James, and paper grading time for me. The Cowboys did have an amazing game thanks in part to my new favorite player, Myles Austin. After dinner we had coffee in the TV room to the sounds of the TV. It seemed to work almost, until something I heard caught my attention. When I turn to get the visual--no visual. It was just weird. And to think we needed the background noise of the TV to resume our coffee routine. As James then went out to spray an ant bed, he left me at the picture less TV. 2 minutes later when he came in he commented. "You're gone already?" I had moved to the computer. Now he and Jimmy are reading the owner's manual of our 12 year old big screen in hopes of a magical cure. I think by tomorrow at this time James might realize that this has opened a door to buy a new fancy, spancy TV with all the modern bells and whistles. Merry Christmas Family!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Not Sick, but Not Well

Should I have capitalized but? Who really cares with the exception of Becky and Laura? This has been a challenging week in every way. Last week I had a severe allergy related head cold. It was gone this week but left in its path a very tight, rough, screeching, case of laryngitis. I can't tell you how many times I've reassured people, no, I'm not sick or in pain just screechy! If that is true then, why by 2pm Tuesday when both the principal and vice came in for an extended walk through did I just want to cry and put my head down and say "Have you no decency?" It turned out that the review got rave reviews with my only shortcoming being no visible examples of exemplary work but that is beside the point. Who thinks that was a good idea? Ok to the point, if I wasn't sick why did I care? If I was sick, why wasn't I smart enough to know it? The rest of the week seemed to follow pattern with uncontrollable excitement stemming from the sex ed video and the current trend of throwing bottles of food coloring on the bus! If I were in my usual form this week would not have wounded me. In my lesser state, I met Friday with exhaustion. I even had an hour afternoon nap. I hate the idea of a nap. For others, have a nap. For me, no, no, no.(with the exception of the 7 minute pre-bedtime nap) Other signs that confuse me: being frankly honest with parents in conferences and on the phone, playing tennis, running like heck, but not being good enough, and for one small moment being irritated that key staff members failed to show up for student control during an unusual gathering!

So was I or am I sick? I'm not in pain, no fever or chills, no headache or body aches just a shortness of breath by the end of the day that comes from trying to talk when the body doesn't cooperate!

PS I emailed my friend and told her I'd be cheery by Monday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Words of Romance

About a month ago I heard the most romantic words I had ever witnessed. "I could never say no to a fella with a ponytail and a backward cap!" But this morning I came upon a close second. Walking through the halls of my work place very early this morning I overheard words that rang out the language of love, "Buckwheat is a nice enough looking guy, AND he does seem to know how to treat a woman..." Well what an endorsement! Surely Buckwheat is a match made in heaven! What is the point of this posting? Who knows? I just found all this interesting.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Okay, Here It Is

I admit it I'm a squiggle. Most of the time I'm proud to admit to being a squiggle but once in a while I find it embarassing or uncomfortable. I'm making strides to be less of a mess but still maintain my quirky squiggle personality.

Adjustment 1: Last summer I invented NSCU for emails and blog posting use. It meant no spell check used. I know how to spell. I know how to use spell check. I just don't like taking the time to use it. If you know me, you know what I mene. Don't you? LOL So this summer I decided when bloging to spell check and lose my NSCU. I became just how aware others are about typos when I got a couple emails from people correcting my on line newsletter. I thought they had a problem, a big problem, but actually it was I. I stand corrected and am trying to be more details driven in print.

Adjustment 2: I am making quite an effort at keeping my work environment tidy. I have developed a system of dealing with things quickly and in a routine fashion each day. I am also using tiny chunks of time to do things that I assumed would take more time. TaDa! Why do I care if my enviroment is tidy? I guess because I realize that people make a lot of decisions about others by the condition of their surroundings. I think I want them to say, "She is shockingly tidy and organized for a squiggle," instead of, "Just the mess I'd expect from a squiggle!"

I did have to set someone straight recently by admitting I was a squiggle and not consumed with details. I explained that if he were to keep pointing out my squiggly short comings that we wouldn't get near as much accomplished or have near as much fun. I ended by asking that he not point out my every imperfection but just grin and accept that in me. He grinned and seemed to get it!

I hate to admit that I lied about my squiggliness recently. I asked a person to please clean up a mess they had made in my area because I was a very neat person and required them to be neat as well. I then apologized for being untruthful but explained that I was really trying and could use all the help I could get. Again I was relieved to get such an understanding reception.

One thing that is helping me is to remember to set small goals, remember I don't have to get everything done this minute, and that it is this very lack of love for details that makes me uniquely ME!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Life as a Squiggle

Coming soon!

I Miss Blogging

You know there is just something nice about being heard. I realized that I have several friends that really don't listen. When someone tells me something I remember it and most of the details. At times people are shocked to find out that I remember some incidental thing they said ages ago. I have come to the conclusion that perhaps talking less is really better. A few years ago I decided to talk less. I know I've always been an attention seeker and wanted out of that role so I decided talking less would help. It did. I now see and hear more than ever AND people tell me secrets! Somehow I am now trustworthy enough to know secrets. Guess what? I'm good at keeping secrets and not telling. Someone once told me that a secret is power and it is true. Once you are allowed to start telling it the power starts fading away. Honestly, at times I have to try really really hard to care what some folks are talking about but I try to cultivate an interest because I care or do I just want to seem as I care? I hope I'm not like the person who always asks about my weekend but I know could care less and just doesn't know what else to say to me. Yuck! Let's find something real to discuss.

Now what was the point of this blog? Between stopping to take pies out of the oven and a pumpkin in I've lost my focus(if I really ever had one). Well anyway it does feel good to be heard and blogging fills that need even if no one is reading. Are you out there? Oh crud! How was your weekend?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Digital Citizenship Faux Pas?

I just wrote a blog response on my sister's blog that should have really been a blog post of its own on my blog! I will paste it below for your reading pleasure. Is it rude, or using poor manners to enter a blog response of great length on someone else's blog? There is a good question for Digital Citizenship Police? Is there an Emily Post of the computer world? If not there is a job for someone! Until then I'll just act ignorant(act?)

Anyway my sister bogged about the yahoo Article declaring the death of the Ipod when she just recently got won herself. She also wrote about the never ending race to keep up with technology. I'm sure we all know that feeling or we wouldn't be participating in this summer program. So here is my response to her posting:

Oh crud, I was just considering an Ipod myself. I have never before because I just love free FM radio and yes, I even love the DJ"s and advertisements. I like a variety of forms of music but do not like to learn the names of artists or the names of songs for that matter. I mainly like something that has a shoulder dancing beat, a catchy tune or some collection of words that I feel connected to somehow. I haven't really needed an Ipod but was considering it anyway. Recently I went on a short bus trip with a majority of seniors who were listening to their Ipods. I felt perhaps the time was right for me. I am cheap and terribly practical so I just kept thinking I'd get a multi-purpose tool with a built in music device when I got my next cell phone. So now I've decided for sure. I will not invest in a personal music downloading system now. I will wait and am anxious to see how much better it will be than an Ipod when I purchase my next 4G, 5G,or 6G cellphone, information system, camera, music device and toilet cleaner all in one!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Final Post 11.5

The strongest impact came from the opening video. I think others will agree from what I gleaned from their posts. The obvious shift from teacher to facilitator was so shocking to see and hear. It was like another big shake up is just around the corner and with it the fear of, "Will I be ready?" Like others I feel unprepared but this summer's work is another step in the right direction.

I found this summer's project to be quite manageable in amount of tasks and time required to complete each. The biggest disappointment was probably the lack of inter-blog communication. I tried to visit other blogs and leave comments on a somewhat regular basis but was left empty by the lack of responses or feedback from others. I did love the interaction with my sister and daughter. I suggested that perhaps the returning students be required to blog a new student every time they were blogging to keep them encouraged. I liked that the captains responded to posts and offered suggestions.

As with last year I loved the image generators and suspect I will use them in my class. I'm excited to prepare GoView lessons to hand over to our Tech teacher. I hope I use voicethread as uploads to my web page for announcements and such. I think it would be fun for the kids to prepare their own for open house or parent night. Same can be said for Animoto. I plan to show students the Animoto for their own uses, too.

Youtube and Teachertube are already resources that I use and will continue to use, but doubt I will actually upload anything unless I really impress myself! I don't plan to twitter unless someone tells me I have to, although I can see the point and purpose for Facebook but for my private use only.

I'm glad I know about Second Life and may even suggest students visit it at home but I'm not quite ready to use this instructionally. It is amazing to see that it is out there and that it functions so smoothly.

As for Digital Citizenship, it seems to be a constant concern. I think it will be interesting to see where it goes in my district and others, as well. I enjoyed Mr. Ribbles ideas and it helped me solidify some of my own ideas.

This summer has been just what I needed to add new technology to my repertoire. I can't wait to see what next year has in store.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Digital Citizenship #10,000

I don't know if you read Fooling With Words, but you should. The creator has such a way with words that it makes me feel like a 5th grade writer instead of teacher(not writing thank goodness). I'm not just saying that because she's my sister. But today when I responded to her blog I became aware of more of my own thoughts on Digital Citizenship so I copied my comment to her below.

I never find you to be boring. I loved the comparison of banned computer use to taking away the textbook. I agree that technology is a fundamental of education, not a privilege. Yes, I think this might be an avenue for more character education. Being who I am, I'm tempted to say that what you do online at home and school can be 2 different things! What is acceptable in one place is not acceptable in another. I noticed a sign at the post office store that said please hang up your cell phone when you are being served. Again, do we really need to be told or reminded of etiquette and good manners. Obviously, we do. There are so many things in education that I think we really shouldn't have to teach. Kids should know these things from home. Someone should have already taught them. But, no they have not. So just like Digital Conduct we will have to go ahead and teach what seems obvious and hope some of them will believe it matters.

So let's be sure to teach Digital Citizenship along with lessons on attentive listening, cooperative skills, hand washing, accepting no for an answer and using appropriate volume inside the classroom!

Keep on Creating, Just for Fun

Before I finish for the summer I decided to do a few more things, again. Yesterday I did the Bookr you see here in the side bar, that is cut off. When I moved it to the big column, still cut off. The frustrations of technology never completely disappear. I think I'll also do another lesson on GoView so I don't forget how easy and useful it is. I think it is one of the tools researched that I'll probably use. I just still haven't found a use for Second World, really. I could pull some strings that tie it to my curriculum but honestly I don't think I'll incorporate it. Which tools studied do you think you are most likely to use? Which least likely?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Second Life 4, Out of This World

Today I visited the Domed Planetarium in Second Life and was quite impressed. It was easy to navigate, quiet, and actually could be quite educational. Once teleported to the planetarium, I walked on a catwalk type fixture to a huge glass dome where when panned around could see the planets all revolving the sun and rotating, from Earth's point of view. From a monitor I could choose other numbered NASA shows. I think the next one I saw was a closeup of the surface of the moon. Again fun and interesting. When I pulled my view outside the planetarium it reminded me that I was in a planetarium not in space or on a space station. Very fun. It also gave clear rules when entering this showcase so there was no question of the proper digital citizenship. I will continue to investigate Second Life as time permits and ponder ways to use it as an educational tool with meaning.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Digital Citizenship 3, Bridging the Divide

Today I looked at the Digiteen Project for education of digital citizenship. I clicked on last years project and was delighted to find something new and different. The following partial list comes from the 5 steps of last years project:

4. Possible solutions to the problems that have emerged.
•Making more girl friendly Internet and computer games.
•Making yourselves and people of different ages aware of digital citizenship in order to help them access technology.
•When making donations also consider the charities that try to bridge the 'digital divide'.
5. Guideline(s) or rule(s) for teenager(s).
•Don't exclude anybody surrounding you from using digital technology.
•Break the digital divide and help people from different ages to access digital technology.
•Make sure that you don't spend too much time on digital technology.

I really liked the idea of helping others across the digital divide. It is stressed in both points 4 and 5 above. I know that as a staff we are constantly helping each other get across these technological gaps. I know that my dad needs help in some areas, young students in others. Today my sister told me that a boy working in the Apple Store showed her the bar to increase or decrease image size! We all have our own gaps and also bridges for someone else. It is important to take time to help or inspire others.

The program also stresses and teaches that there is a such thing as too much technology and that is an addiction. I think kids know this but probably need to be reminded.

I liked what I read and saw here. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Digital Citizenship 2

Digital Citizenship 2, takes a look at a 4 Phase Model of Teaching Digital Citizenship by Mike S. Ribble, The 4 phase model really incorporates more like 8 steps but is cyclical and easy to follow and understand. I do believe we must teach the objectives in his article but wonder how we actually get kids to feel and believe these ideas of citizenship. He suggests lesson ideas for each step but I still think kids might not buy into this self imposed regulation of technology. As for myself, every time I enter a new online setting I am keenly aware of the need to act right, in accordance with accepted behaviors. My biggest fear in Second Life was that someone was going to tell me to get lost, not speak with them, that I owed them money, or that I had broken some written or unwritten rule or law. I know we must do our part as educators to present the concepts, monitor compliance, and apply consequences. BUT in the world of ,”My mom couldn’t sign my folder because she was on Facebook all night,” I’m not sure the kids or their support system will reinforce these as we might hope.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Digital Citizens

Who thinks of these things? Librarians, for sure. Such detail people. In the world of Digital Citizenship, I started with the post by the Coolcat Teacher.
I loved her 4 square model including a quadrant for Literacy, Safety, Learning Strategies and Etiquette. Then ensued the debate about teaching credible sources or ignoring the topic. I liked the quote from David Warlick where he suggests, not starting your lesson at the whiteboard web page but with the Google search and going through the process you used to find good, reliable sources for class. I thought that would be a quick easy way to teach the process in an ongoing, practical style. I agree there is a need, for so many students take everything they read online as gospel. Keep tuned in for my growing thoughts, as I read more articles on the topic of Digital Citizenship

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Second Life, No, Third

I have ventured into Second Life. I went to the moon. The trip was much faster and smoother than I imagined. The first thing I noticed was that to leave the ship I had to buy a suit. Do you really have to pay real money? Then it ask me to touch something to get an HUD for viewing. It was very hard for me to move my arm. I finally got it by accident. I took a big step for mankind by initiating conversation with Silent Jules and should have realized that he wouldn't answer. Crystal did answer though. We said a few random things. I told her I was there for a class I was taking and she said, "Cool." I looked around but still felt unsure about obtaining inventory items and buying stuff. I can see I still have much to learn. It says you can also build your own slur, whatever that means. I'm not ready to give up just yet. As long as I'm not on the tennis courts, where I want to be I'll just keep peeking into Second Life. Oh yeah, I saw a girl who actually designed her own image with a wide rear. Now that is just too honest for me!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Quote to Share

I'm not a worldly or wordy person. I rarely remember anything or remember where I heard it or who said it, for that matter. I don't know when or where to place commas, colons, dashes and not the dreaded semicolon(should that be hyphenated?). But occasionally I hear something that strikes true and I want to remember it and so I will share the words I heard paraphrased, of course. Is their free will? Free will is the choice to move toward or away from your purpose. I like that. This came from the movie, The Answerman. Watch the trailer for the movie at the link below.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Things Learned From the Sickbed

Silence is noisy! The breathing of the nearby sleeping dog, the purr of the air conditioner, the hum of the fan, the clicking on of the pool pump, the distance whirring of cars. All of these disrupted my peace while sick. Surprisingly, I could never hear the TV in the other room.

My husband is an attentive caregiver. He can get drinks, medication, adjust the thermostat, suggest many things I would never want, all in the hopes of making me well. He can buy himself watermelons and plums in my absence. He can be satisfied with self made a lunch meat and homegrown tomato sandwich for dinner. He cannot although load the dishwasher, run a load of wash, or remember to take the dry cleaning. I found out that he is happy to drive into town and buy a grilled cheeses sandwich for me but not make one himself. So needless to say after 29 years of marriage he has had a lesson in grilled cheeses making and dish washer loading. He was an attentive student but I doubt he will put these new skills into practice.

My doctor is aging faster than I am. When we started going to Dougy Houser about 10 years ago he looked like he was 12. He is a man that keeps visible stress in his life to a minimum. He only works Monday -Thursday, accepts no new patients, never has more than he can handle in his waiting room, never hurries through a visit. Now from my standpoint this is a man who has carefully made decisions about how he wants to work and live. But for the first time I have noticed he has aged. He now looks the 40 that he probably is and admits he too takes lots of ibuprofen. Now I have to wonder...does he have teenage children? aging parents? I was happy to see a really snazzy jazzy sports car of some type in the lot and hope it is his passion.

It is nice to hear the phone ring even if you are too sick to talk. So if or when I'm sick again keep calling. It makes me feel good and keeps James busy.

marraige should be marriage. Did I know this? Geesh that is scary!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

2nd Life, Revisited

I was so thrilled to have 5 responses that I vowed to try 2nd Life again. I logged on, down loaded the program, and went through the 9 slide tutorial. I had a ball changing my avatar to try to make it really look like me. I was also getting pretty good at flying. Being techno shy I didn't talk to anyone although someone gave me a landmark that I discarded(whatever that means) By this time I had been on well over an hour. I used search to find something new but wasn't very good at this. I found somethings I thought might be good for school such as the recommended tornado and tsunami but when I click the button to take me there nothing happened. Should this happen quickly? Maybe I was impatient and should have waited longer. I will try again tomorrow. I must admit that I see that this could be entertaining possibly educational. Uncle. Uncle.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Second Life, One Too Many?

Second Life is really kooky. I can see the appeal but am not sure if I want to do this. I began my avatar and looking at the possible communities. I became aware that it is easy to join an international community so one could gain knowledge about foreign languages, ways of life, geography, .... I also saw topic related sites such as music, art, and business. My son told me some horror stories of people getting totally obsessed with their virtual worlds and spending all their time and money in their Second Life. I could see how this could easily happen. I got put off when my pop up blocker stopped me from down loading their program. When it ask if I trusted the site, the contents, I felt skeptical, unsure. It is kind of like scuba diving in a cave when you have never dived or cave explored before. I'm sure it will look more friendly in the light of day. Any words of encouragement out there?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Slidesharing, Let Me See...

Let me see if I have this correct. If I wanted to use someone's PowerPoint presentation that was create in something other than Microsoft PowerPoint I might need to translate it into the correct language so that it could be seen on my computer? And if this were the case I would use one of the slide sharing sites listed on this task? I really think that if this is the case I'd just make my own or do something else or get someone to do this for me if I thought this slide show was the end all. I think I get the concept. I realize the online tools exists out there. I could find and use them if need be. Is this enough? I hope so because I'm moving on to something more pertinent and fun.

Edit on GoView

I have made my 2nd GoView lesson, Using Microsoft 2007 to Create a Science Fair Graph. It was much smoother this time and I found and used the edit button. The edit allows you to add a title and to split and delete certain parts of your lesson. I got stuck on my production and couldn't get back to the graph design page and had about 30 seconds on DAH! time in my lesson. I used the split and delete button to easily remove this awkward silence from my lesson. I love this program!

Friday, July 3, 2009

What Now?

I finished summer school yesterday and find myself thinking, "What now?". What do I want to accomplish this summer? What skill do I want to acquire, what knowledge? Do I want to try something new or perfect something old like playing guitar or baking pies or sew or paint? I noticed in the Electric Coop magazine a holiday baking contest that must include peanuts in the recipe. I love a competition, I love eating, I love peanuts but think I have an allergy to them. In the name of a contest I could probably ingest a few here and there. I like the idea of the contest but hate the idea of having to read the rules! I also noticed an article on pies, the making of crusts, and recipes following. Perhaps this could be the summer of pies. Now remember the basic fear of staying home in the summer is that I might gain weight. I have learned how to cook for others without eating too much myself, but poor James might weigh 500 by the end of pie summer. Now moving away from food. I told Becky that I would like to try to learn something that was hard or difficult. It urges me to get out the college Algebra book. Most summers between baking cakes and practicing Mel Bay Book A and B, I work on Algebra problems. Maybe this summer I should set a goal. Maybe I should plan to finish the book. Maybe I should find technology sites to help me! Maybe I should leave the book in the drawer and do something else. I know you are thinking why not do volunteer work, help someone in need, take the focus off myself. There is the crazy plant lady who has a house completely surrounded by plants and various yard sundries. Perhaps an hour of my time each morning could her her win the battle of the plant invasions. Would she welcome my help? Would she shoot me if I entered her property? She might not welcome my help but all her neighbors with the "for sale" signs in their yards surely would. How about home improvement projects? Where would I begin? Door stops? Paint? Cleaning? Caulk removal and reapplication? Carpet cleaning or just replacement? Yard work? Honestly, I'm just not that into home things this summer. The law of home improvements says, "Stay away from home and you won't notice the things that need fixing so much!" One thing I must include is laughing and fun. I want my Sunday school girls to come over. I want to get together with girls I teach with so we can have fun away from school. I want to take time to play plenty of games. Now if you are going to respond with advice keep in mind that these are just rhetorical questions, just mind ponderings from morning coffee and that although I want your responses that no advice or direction is really needed.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Twitter Me Not

I have deleted my twitter account and found it to be ho-hum. It is almost like blogging without any response! Only some creepy people that I never knew wanted to be my twitter followers. What do they want? What are they looking for? Well they'll get nothing from me! I'm deleted, that will show them!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Easier Than I Dreamed

ViewGo is so easy. I know my first lesson is very rough but I'm just so amazed at the ease of the whole operation. I'm going to redo the lesson with more clarity and detail but in about 5 minutes, off the cuff, look what I did. Me, who know nuttin about nuttin! I can't wait to use it again!

This image has nuttin to do with the post other than this is what else I've been doing in my spare time. Thanks to Becky for painting the frame, Gay for an entertaining trip to Joann's, and James for saying it was pretty.

Creative Bursts

While monitoring the test my mind was racing. Of course I couldn't actually write anything down but my memory did a decent job. I decided I would create a Voki character to be the class mascot this year and he could introduce new learning objectives as well as special announcements such as projects, parties and field trips. I could update him on my web page as well. Just a fun way to use technology to grab student interest.

Monday, June 29, 2009

LauraAnn said...
I've been working on a ditty to send your way,
A token of mirth and good cheer;
But nothing rhymes with technology,
And I don't have a thesaurus near!

I'll have to close without a point,
But here's a thought about innovation:
These are pretty serious musings
For girls on their summer vacation!

June 29, 2009 11:11 AM

Dan In Real Life! JOY

What a joy! Yesterday evening I was browsing the thousands of Dish channels and happened on this movie Dan In Real Life. I had seen listings for it before but had never been interested. It was just the movie I was needing. Dan, a widowed father of the 3 daughters, college age, high school, and elementary age is spending the holidays with his family. Need I say more? He is an advice columnist. Check out the Ruthy the pig scene link above. Obviously this is going under movies and joys of the summer.

Dan In Real Life!http://

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Video Resources 2


The Time Team Video from Roanoke Island, North Carolina is really intriguing. I think I might like to show a few minutes of it each day when we are covering the disappearance of the early settlement in 5th grade American History ( if I teach it this year), It would also be good for scientific research and archeology, since I'm sure I'll be doing science. I looked at many rocketry, earthquake and volcano clips from various sources which the students and teacher equally enjoy. I use video clips of less than 3 minutes nearly everyday in class. I can introduce, review, reinforce or just astonish the students with video. I usually use United Streaming since it is most easily accessed from school. Again the resources are abounding!

Got Chipperness?

It has been brought to my attention that my posts are lacking the chipper quality I usually include. I would like to deny that, but now pointed out, I cannot. You know I added the Great Joys and Disappointments sections to my blog because the Library 2 tasks have just not been very fun lately. I feel that the Great Disappointments show that I'm trying things that I haven't before and consider that to be great even if I am left unfulfilled. It is great to try the egg salad even if you find it bland lacking need spice. I tried Spider Man 3 even though I found it juvenile and too simplistic. I think that I'm trying new things to be good even if I get disappointed in the result. I was even think of adding a section about books I'm reading, movies I've watched and fun facts that I've learned. Did you know that there are really flea circuses and the best fleas come from Russia? Did you know that the sun makes a very slow revolution around the perimeter of the Milky Way and has made this journey only 18 times in its lifetime? Huh, Huh?

I'm going to think more on the chipperness issue for I hate to disappoint my followers.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Law and Ethics of Borrowing Video 101

So let's see if I got the main idea here. Use as little of the video resource as you can, give credit to the creator, and hope like crazy that you don't get the take down notice. If I got a take down notice I would be really scared. I don't like brushes with the law in any area! Now that I'm totally gun shy let's see which resources I feel confident using.

An Ad That Caught My Eye

This morning on TV I heard a slogan I liked. It said, "We've put the NO in innovation." It turns out they were talking about good ol' Shredded Wheat. But that is the very way I sometime feel about technology. I just want to stop the wheels of technology from turning until I get caught up. No new programs, gadgets, or tools until I figure these out. I know that will never happen so I'll just keep rowing upstream without a paddle knowing that the picnic lunch is just a couple of impossible short strokes away.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cloud Computing Iapps

I'll have to stop by the Apple Store to play with an Ipod device because I don't have my own and I'm a reluctant borrower. I might add that I'm also a weak favor asker. But back to the subject. I enjoyed the video interview with the many computer experts on Cloud Computing. I think the only female interviewed did the best job of explaining that cloud computing means accessing applications from the "cloud" and only using you computer as a tool to access that program. I like that idea. It is easy to see that as the wave of the future, as explained in the video, when Internet is accessed much like other utilities. I'll update this task after I have my hands on experience. I know from viewing my sister's IPhone that I'd better bring my glasses because the application icons are very small.

twitter, two

I have just entered my 4th twitter comment and have made a great new game of it. I find trying to use just exactly the 140 characters per post is really a nice challenge. It lacks the score keeping and chicken noise of Fowl Words but it does served a purpose. I know it is not the purpose for which it was intended but I fail to see much of its true point. So for now just count me as, twitter me not!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Task 6 Twitter

Ok, I've twittered. Not impressed. I posted a few things, checked on the twitter of a local news anchor, and even invited my daughter and sister to my twitter. I guess I'll check back for their responses later. All in all I was not excited. Perhaps if I update my life with my phone! I'll try it tomorrow and see if that changes my mind. Something like...getting my oil changed or perhaps...sitting at a red light. Now that should be exciting.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Uploading to YouTube #3

I have now finished my educational short film for You Tube. I will attempt in a moment to follow the instruction given in the video. Knowing me, this will take all night and I'll finally give up but who knows? I may shock us all.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Uploading to YouTube #2

I working on an educational piece to upload to YouTube. I'm collecting pictures and photos and then I'll put it all together. I know you can hardly wait!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Uploading to YouTube?

I'm way in over my head here! I don't think I have anything that anyone in the whole world would want to see. Or how about one of my children? They would see I had posted something out there for the world to see. My youngest, now 23 still tells the world I was normal until I became a teacher. He might be further scarred to find out that I put a video on You Tube. You know, I just really don't want to but....I saw where it said to try an Animoto Video. I thought well I could make an Animoto Video about states of matter. Well the video is awful, would not only embarrass my kids but would humiliate myself! I am just tempted to read the instructions but skip the actual activity. I think the world will just be a better place without my input. I feel I just have nothing to contribute to YouTube. I have been under the weather this weekend, perhaps that is my problem. Maybe tomorrow in the light of a new day I will have a different feeling. Maybe.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Task 3, Skype

I am just getting started with Skype but want to make a few notes early on. Session 1 I just read about Skype. First impressions- I don't even know anybody living abroad(yet), is this the technology we use to do our live videoconferencing with the Fort worth Museum of Science and our sister school? Second impressions after reading on- Hmmmm, I could meet someone abroad such as another teacher living in a place we are studying. And yes this is probably the technology that lets live videoconferencing take place, although I have never had to set up the actual equipment. At this point I can see coordinating such an effort but can't I call the techies to execute it for me? Third impression- I loved this post.10 Disruptions that could transform your class by 2 cents worth
If you didn't read then please do. I love it when someone can make gadgetry and technology seem cost effective.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I really like the VoiceThread. I think it could incredibly useful in teaching although this link is just for fun. Hope you enjoy.

Cody's Birthday

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Task 2, Job 3 or 4, Who Knows? Video Threads

I loved the Video Threading it is so easy to use. I wonder though can it really do anything we can't do with a Smart Board? Is it that it allows outside comment? If so that is where I have my problem. I want to make such clever projects but I don't really want comments from outsiders. I also don't want my picture showing up in some place such as in Korea or whatever. I kept my voice thread project private but I do want to share only with my loved one. As for teaching applications the possibilities are endless. Has it dawned on anyone else that the day of the overhead and document camera is numbered? Dah, dah, dah, daaaaah! How easy to voice and doodle your way through lecture 1 and then hit replay for the rest of the day! No, that is just too easy. No more forgetting what you said to each class period.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Task 2, job 3, Glog

It's Glog, it's Glog, everyone wants some Glogggg! Hum? I liked all the graphic possibilites but could never figure out how to add text. I'm sure it is obvious but with my new reading glasses pressing behind my ears in an uncomfortable fashion I just couldn't zoom on the right spot to insert text. Am I just making it too hard? I still have to go back and check out the virtual classroom option. I can see this is a fun, easy way to manipulate visual information.

Task 2, Job 2, Wordsift

I put the same paragraph about the water cycle into Wordsift. The visual collage is much less impressive art-wise but much more detailed meaning-wise. It is quite handy the way that when you click on any of the words that it gives you the word web and word derivation. I also like the search results for each term. I liked the way the teacher in the demo used it to teach the Chavez lesson although I couldn't imagine myself using it quite that way. I was thinking something like:

Write paragraph, paste in Wordsift, create art, find information from 3 new sources, click on any word, print a word web from one sifted term.

I miss all the artistic options that I loved on Wordle, but I see that the purpose of the 2 sites are totally different.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Taks 2, Job 1 Wordle

Fun, fun, fun! Look what I made from a paragraph about the water cycle using Wordle. Nearly everyday in 5th grade science I ask my students to write to explain something, such as the water cycle. This reinforces sequence, vocabulary and concepts. How much more meaningful would this writing be if they thought they could take their paragraph to the computer lab and use this tool to create a work of art? I can see that this might even be a category in the annual art contest. I loved the omit right click option so I could get rid of words like "the." I can see this being used in every class, and even just for fun. Another bonus is that it is soooo easy to use that even a teacher like myself could teach it without extensive training.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Welcome Back: Video Response

If I'm to be the teacher who can facilitate all the activities of that student, I'm going to need a whole lot more training. I was amazed that he could find all the information he needed, do all the weeding and find credible sources because I find myself often overwhelmed by a sea of mega-data. This again proves that I need more training. Just last week I was looking for video footage of a teacher using the SRA Reading Mastery Program for 2nd grade. The outcome: a 2 hour search, waded through all sorts of useless junk and never really found quite what I wanted to see. I find I often chicken out by using the same old sites I always use. I guess I see some personal technology goals surfacing in this blog post.