Saturday, October 31, 2009

ALEX and ACCESS - My Comments On

Alex and access logos
Because all of you are required by the State of Alabama to review these two programs, and because what you write is often similar to what others write, I may just comment "Noted and Posted". At other times something you write may trigger another reaction. but if I only say "Noted and Posted," don't worry. It saves me a lot of time on a topic that I am weary of.

Mediacom Working Again

Light No Mediacom Image

Mysteriously, without human intervention, Mediacom is working again. Skype me this afternoon if you wish. Breaking for lunch until 1:15. Back after that until 5:30 or 6:00.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Technology Disruption

No Mediacom Image

Mediacom decided to take a vacation at 10:30 this morning. I have had no telephone (land line) service or high speed internet access since then. And it is still out and the technician now will not be here until Monday. So Skype, podcasts, and items requiring large file uploads will be delayed. Sorry.

I do have G3 access through my Verizon Mi-Fi. But I have a 5g a month limit and then it gets expensive.

Hurry Mediacom!

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

International Singing Contest with Room 10

And the Winner Is
We had a great time when we Skyped Room 10 yesterday. Everybody was excited, including me! I forgot to start recording the session until after the members of TT4 had introduced themselves on Skype. The video that I did capture is filled with lots of questions, answers, waving hands, and laughter. As I wrote to Mrs. Lavakula, "What a Blast!"

One of the wonderful things that happened during our Skype session with Room 10 yesterday was the International Singing Contest! Watch it to see who wins - Room 10 or EDM 310. It takes less than 10 minutes to see it all.

Podcasts Are Beginning To Be Available Today

Podcasts are now becoming available on the EDM 310 Podcasts Blog and on iTunes.

We also have our first videocast, Ms. Kimber's Puppet Interviews which is available on YouTube. I am not sure when it will be available on iTunes. It may remain only on YouTube. I'll keep you posted.

I must point out that this video was made with Windows Movie Maker 6.0. It is delightful!

Windows 7 Now Available

Interested in Windows 7? You certainly should be if you have Windows Vista, unless you are satisfied with it. Students can get a great price ($29.99) by clicking HERE and then clicking BUY (you won't have to buy if you don't want to). Thanks Stephen Burrough (TT11) for this link.

If you have XP, expect some problems. You have to backup everything and then reinstall everything, including applications from their original discs.

Surprised about a note on Windows from a Strange Mac fan? Check out this The Teeter Totter Mac vs. PC ad (click the Teeter Totter ad instead of the one that starts playing automatically), especially if you have XP.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Amazing Things Are Happening

Composite photo of frame from Miller video and Capp's picture
If you have not read Anthony Capp's post Believing, Inventing and Implementing Technological Pedagogies , do so. It is now a requirement for this course. Add it to the required blogs posts for November 1. And read the exchange of comments that have been posted by Jim Fawcett, Anthony, Dr. Miller, me and others that may be added after this post is posted. Contribute your thoughts there as well, if you wish.

This is just another example of how the world and education have changed. Are you ready for this world? I know that many of your are still hesitant, and are perhaps hopeful that I am wrong and that you will not have to embrace the new era and be a different kind of teacher than you had intended or hoped to be. But it is here, like it or not.

I celebrate the new opportunities that we have and find this interchange remarkable and profoundly moving when we think about what real learning can be!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 10

Week 10
We discussed Google Earth and in the Wednesday night class we started working on Google Earth Tours. But Google Earth was uncooperative in a lab setting in Fairhope. As Mr. McClung advised, sometimes you have to scrap what was planned and change directions. So the Google Earth Project is cancelled. I urge you to try it on your own. I think it will work much better out of a lab setting. But as far as the class is concerned, the project is cancelled.

In the TT classes we covered the Layout changes necessary for your Professional Blog. I hope to have a movie that covers this published this weekend.

Bring your Professional Blog content (and a professional looking picture of yourself) to class next Tuesday or Wednesday (except the 4:00 class which needs to have that by Thursday).

Tuesday at 4:00 we will be Skyping Room 10. All are welcome. Do join us for this exciting event!

Wednesday night at 7:00 Mr. McClung will be visiting via Skype. All are welcome to that session in Fairhope as well.

And Coming Soon - a Skype visit from Mr. Chamberlain. More details to follow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Reminder from Mr. Chamberlain

Mr. C's current Twitter avitar
Anthony Capps reminded you that you are leaving an intellectual trail with your blogs. I demonstrated in class how easy it is to find that trail with a simple Google search. Now Mr. Chamberlain has written a most important post for At The Teacher's Desk which takes Anthony's warning one step further by reminding all of us that the trail we are leaving includes all digital materials that we post everywhere on the net. Read his very important post It Is Imperative We Help Our Students Create A Positive Digital Portfolio.

How Is Your PLN Coming Along? And Twitter?

Twitter logo
Don't forget you should be developing your PLN and mastering the effective way (the "Strange way") of using Twitter. This new post by Mr. Chamberlain entitled Teachers Need to Become Social Networking Experts will be very useful in your efforts to build and appreciate your PLN and Twitter!

Week 9

Week 9
In week 9 we discussed the Professional Blog assignment, completed teams for Project 11, and reviewed several new features in Google Docs (Documents) including translations and block indent features.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Storytelling by Anne-Marie Holmwood

This is a delightful example of another way of presenting or telling a story.

Please leave comments for Anne-Marie on her blog post The Story.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Margaret Comments on Room 10 Blogs


Click Margaret's picture to see her movie for Room 10.

hi Room 10,

I like your moovie's. i made one for you.

Hello Room 10,

My granddaughter Margaret is at the beach with us for our annual family reunion which we call CoJo (Connie John). She watched the animations of Saadiya, Evan, Daley and Gloria. She is 9 years old and in the 4th grade. She had never made a movie before. She tells me they don't use computers much in her school but she wanted to make a movie.

Click to see Margaret's movie for Room 10.

John Strange

Looking For A Great Teaching Job?

Students in Room 18 Pt England School

Room 18
Pt England School
Auckland, N.Z.

Pt. England School is adding another section for students now in Room 18. Click on the picture to see is an ad the students in Room 18 made for the vacancy created by their teacher taking maternity leave. Now another section for these students will be added.

A fantastic opportunity at an exceptional school! The opening won't last long!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Learn More About Presentation Possibilities for Project 11

Image on Alec Couros' Blog

Amy Perry, a student in Dr. Alec Couros' Social Media EC&I 831 class at the University of Regina has prepared a list of movies used to demonstrate different approaches to story telling. Her list is on her post Digital Storytelling.

These will be useful if you are exploring different presentation techniques.

A longer list is available on Dr. Couros' blog post: 90+ Videos for Tech & Media Literacy.

The Benefits of Using Blogs in Classrooms

Image of wordle
While reading blogs last night (of students in a graduate course on Social Media taught by Alec Couros (@courosa) at the University of Regina) I realized that several of them might benefit from a short demonstration of the power of blogs. So I put this collection together for all who might be interested in why blogs and blogging are so important, I think, to all teachers and students. When I have a bit more time I will elaborate on this in my Dr. John Strange's Strange Thoughts.

I would love to have your reactions after you watch and look at this series of blogs. Leave comments!

The whole exercise should take about 30 minutes to do.

The Power of Blogs and Commenting on Blogs:

Read and listen to this exchange with Room 10 at Pt. England School, Auckland, New Zealand to understand the power of blogs:

1. I had my students comment on kids blogs as a result of Mr. William Chamberlain (@wmchamberlain also see #comments4kids) and the wonderful teachers who join him At The Teachers Desk". Many of my students visited Room 10 and left comments there.
This is the Thank You that the third graders (yes, 3rd graders!) sent to me and my students: Thank You Dr. Strange! Read my post which contains a thank you from the teacher. Then click on either the picture or the link provided and you will go to Room 10's blog. Read the post there and watch the wonderful movie Room 10 sent me. I was crying by the end of it!

2. I also got an email from Ms. Dorothy Burt (@dorothyjburt) which provided me with some very important information about Room 10, Pt. England School, and the kids who go there: An Email From Dorothy Burt.

3. I have now replied to Room 10. In my reply you will find the students in Room 10 are now known to many, including the President of the University of South Alabama. Watch My Reply to Room 10.

Not convinced about the power of blogs?

Well, watch this exchange of blogs and comments:

A blog by a three year old (her father is the medium through which she posts):
Dear Kaia

Mr. Chamberlain on his blog titled Dear Kaia: Voicethread and Video

Kaia's Father Muses: Intrepid Teacher: Singing Hearts

I could add many more wonderful examples. Here are two additional links to stir your interest:

Point England School, Auckland, New Zealand. Kids can often show you the way!

Pt. England School Never Ceases to Amaze Me!

Finally, look at this post of Anthony Capps, one of my students this fall: You Are Creating Your Intellectual Trail - And It Can Be Googled!.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Room 10 Asked 4 Questions - Here's My Reply

Movie Reply to Room 10

Click on My Picture To Watch My Reply to Room 10

If you have difficulty playing the movie, select a smaller size.
You can see Room 10's movie to me by visiting their web site Room 10, Pt. England School, Auckland, N.Z.
I have some very important information about Room 10 on my earlier post Room 10 If You're Not Convinced About the Power of Blogging.... I urge you to read it as well. And also read my post Pt. England School Never Ceases to AMAZE Me!

Sample Professional Blogs By Students

Image of Michelle Kennedy's Professional Blog
Here are some sample Professional Blogs (Project 4) done by students. Do not concern yourself with the way in which they used Blogger. Instead, concern yourself with the content - as an example. Yours will be different, because you are a different person. But these will give you ideas, as well as the attitudes, aptitudes, approaches and skills that I list on Dr. John Strange's Professional Blog .

Kimberly White
Kathleen Scrivner
Courtney Rose
Michelle Kennedy
Helen Ramsay
Megan Green
John Dunlop
Angel Jackson
Amber DeVore

Theses are just examples. Not necessarily the best - just examples. If you are interested in seeing more, go to the Spring 2009 Class Blog and you will find links to all of my classes' Professional Blogs.

Week 8

Week Eight Wordle

In Week 8 ...
1. We completed our midterm reflections. If you were absent on Tuesday or Wednesday night, I must have a written medical excuse AND you must complete the midterm reflection which you will find in your Google docs. Open the Midterm Reflection... document and follow the instructions contained therein.
2. We discussed the revised syllabus which will be used for the remainder of the course. Well, I may still have a few more changes. You know me!
3. If you are not yet adding links and pictures to all of your blog posts, you should be!
4. If you are not commenting on other students' blogs (at least 2 per week), you should be. That is now a requirement.
5. We discussed briefly your Professional Blog (Project 4). You must review my example (available under Important Links on the Class Blog).
6. I urged you not to fall behind in any of your work, especially your blog posts. Some people are very far behind and will find it difficult to complete this project.
7. We spent a great deal of time discussing Project 11. You should be ready to provide me with your topic, your team, and the presentation method you will use at the start of class tomorrow!
8. You must have Skype installed and working (audio and video) by the end of this week. Don't forget to Skype me and to use it with your fellow students, especially the members of your Project 11 team.
9. I have added to the class blog better instructions on adding links, images, and alt and title modifiers to your blog posts. If you still have trouble, Skype me (or call or email).
10. I briefly discussed my ideas about converting EDM 310 into a "web enhanced" (the University's term, not mine) course next semester. We are definitely going to try some aspects of this. Your comments and suggestions are encouraged.

Can't Find A Picture For Your Post?

Then try a Wordle. Go to Jonathan Feinberg's Wordle site. Use your text for your post for the text. Or repeat certain key words. The number of times they are repeated determines their size. Don't forget to complete the alt modifier and the title modifier for the Wordle. You should use this form for the title modifier: title="Source: Jonathan Feinberg"

I will do a movie this week on how to do Wordle

Project 11 - New Topics Added

Project Eleven Wordle
As I read your blog posts this weekend I found many excellent ideas for additional Project 11 topics. And I saw that you were beginning to digest the various presentation techniques that you could use. Be sure to think about your desired topic and to form your group.

If you have any other suggestions, email me!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pictures and Links on Blogs

Detail of Red Bridge in Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

All assigned blog posts must, after today, contain a picture and a link. In addition, all pictures must meet the accessibility guidelines.

If you have questions about how to do this, see the handout and the video that covers adding images and links to blogs.

Week Seven

Wordle of Week 7 Text

In Week Seven:
We completed podcasts.
We took a look at Google docs, reviewed the major tools within docs, and tried out the new language translation tool.
We looked at using Delicious in ways that allow exchange of bookmarks among users. For more information on Delicious, watch these short videos: Delicious in the Classroom and Social Bookmarking in Plain English
I discussed wikis and thoroughly demonstrated how to join and make use of the class wiki on Technological Literacy
I demonstrated how you can set A Google Alert.
That's Week Seven in a nutshell!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pt England School Never Ceases to AMAZE Me!

Students in Room 18 Pt England School

Room 18
Pt England School
Auckland, N.Z.

When a temporary vacancy came about because the teacher of Room 18 at Pt England School took maternity leave, the kids in Room 18 developed a video advertising the position. To take a look at the video just click the picture. It is a wonderful example of what all kids should be doing, and all schools as well!