Thursday, December 23, 2010

Did I at least get an honorable mention?

I was on David Pogue's page today and noticed he had a new book for sale:
The World According to Twitter
By David Pogue and His 500,000 Followers
The wit and wisdom of the Twittersphere captured in a collection of hand-picked tweets.



Now,  I am tempted to buy this book just to see if he gave me credit for sucking him into the twittersphere.  Let me explain...
A few years ago, when I was "into" twitter, I noticed that my favorite tech guru was listed, but had no tweets.  He had many followers, but no tweets.  I emailed him, despite his page-long explanation of why he doesn't normally respond to emails, and asked him why he had not tweeted. Here is my email to him, which I have lovingly saved for 2 years:

On 12/5/08 6:58 AM, "michelle -----" wrote:

By now you know that twitter is like crack for some people, you have  a decent following and you haven't tweeted in a year.  I am just wondering why you stopped using it.  Was a fun toy that couldn't sustain itself, did you not find anyone interesting to follow? Just curious.  There are tons of people who throw up twitpics and the applications are  multiplying day by day.  I think there are a lot of annoying marketing people on there, but there are also some very funny people, i just dump the ones I don't like. I'm a bit of a twitch that way. throw your followers a bone, too lazy to correct this i am drying my hair at the same time.
His response:
I’m glad you wrote... I was just thinking about this last night...

I DON’T GET IT!

I need a Twitter teacher.

I’ve sent out tweets several times, and they just... disappear into the void. How do I know if anyone’s listening? Sometimes I pose a question ... nobody answers.

I once saw a guy with a Twitter program that runs in the corner of his Mac screen, so he doesn’t have to be logged into the Web site to do Twittering. What was that?

Can you help me?

Hope your hair dried
OK!


dp


My response:

I think that application is called twitterific, it is for the macs.  I have a
gadget on my blog so when I am workign there I can tweet from my blog and see
what is being posed by the people I am following.  You have a bunch of
followers already so THEY will see what you are tweeting every time you tweet,
you will see the people you are following.  A lot of twitterers talk to each
other, they put an @sign in front of the username they are addressing. then
when you are in your home page you can look to the right and check your @
messages first to see if anyone had something to say directly to you.

you can also DM each other if you are following each other.
Tweets can be general or specific, it depends on your style.  I will email
more later, go to get back to the class.

Michelle -----------
A short relationship followed with questions asked through twitter on DMs, but they were BORING, so I won't share them here. Since he dived back in, Dave has tweeted 3,500 times has 1,327,540 followers, has written at least five columns about the application, and has now written a book.  I think I deserve an honorable mention.






My most successful student...


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Friday, December 17, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

42 of 3123...

I finally got around to de-authorizing my computers in tunes, and reauthorizing two of them. I had only one computer left and was sure I had not de-authorized two machines I used in two different schools a while back.  I think it is  a shame we can only do this once a year, I mean, what does it cost Apple anyway?  the 42 of 3123 represents the fact that I finally turned on home sharing between my two macbooks.  Right now 3123 songs are making their way through space to live on my other laptop.  It is a beautiful thing. I will update later and tell you how long it took.  Here is a link telling you how to use home sharing in itunes.  Now I have to figure out how to share the  playlists and  the settings for each ipod and nano.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All she does is smile?

During a Skype session with my evil twin Sheila the students clustered around and wanted to extend their greetings.  They could see my face and Sheila's as we talked to each other.  Then, we lost connection. When we reestablished it, Sheila did not automatically turn her video; on  her avatar was showing instead.  One of the students stopped by my desk and watched for a few minutes and then scoffed, "All she does is smile?"  I could not stop laughing.
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Technology Invasion!

I was teaching a bunch of teachers how to use blogging with their students and a teacher mentioned the invasion of technology. WHAT A MIND BLOWER!   I am an integrationist, not an invader, but ultimately,  this is how the teachers view these changes to their curriculum.    I know where they are coming from, no one likes to be told to do something that is not of their own choosing and teachers have had to deal with NCLB and many more mandates for years.  They are fed up.  I have to walk on eggs sometimes because they are so adamantly opposed to technology.  Don't get me wrong, they act like they are interested, they do their best to "fit it in,"  but I can hear them the second my back is turned, complaining to each other about what they have to do now.   Technology upsets their pacing charts, it gets in the way of content during the learning curve process.  They make little digs about technology and I have to really try not to get upset and take it personally.  But I am the face of what they are hating and that is difficult.
I have to remind myself that there are things I do
not like to do either.  After all, I hate math, I really really hate it, and I try to act excited about it when I have to teach it, but lets face it, we all have different interests, and that is what makes us interesting to other people.  I respect the teachers I work with and pray that I keep understanding their pain as they try to change the way they teach to fit the interests of the generation we are teaching.  It IS hard, technology integration is unlike any other educational reform that has ever taken place.  It is constantly changing and shifting and is sometimes like working on quicksand.
You have to get it done and fast because the internet could go down, the moviemaker could freeze up again, the edublog logins will fail due to timing out.  It is stressful and uncomfortable for anyone who doesn't love and embrace technology.   For all the teachers forced to integrate technology, I feel for you. My hope is to be less of an invader and more of an organic presence over the year.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

What really happened to the Roanoke Colony

 This was a project that my son and his 7th grade friends worked on for a weekend.  They had to explain the disappearance of the Roanoke colony. They also had to explain the word Croatan carved into a post. They clearly had lots of fun.  It looked way better on the big screen with a disk. but you know how much resolution is lost when uploading to youtube.  Welcome any suggestions about boosting resolution.  Someone gave me handbreak, I have to figure out how to use it.
This is not a repeat post but rather an update as to my progress burning the project. Again, I do not have a superdrive but I WAS able to save as a disk image and burn that with an external drive. WOW it works, I read it in the forums as I mentioned in the earlier post, but I implemented it last night and burned copies for all my son's friends who took part. It would have been better if the kids had seen what I did for them so that they could do it, but they all have piano and babysitting and all those other things going on.
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Can You See Me Now?

One of my friends, who shall remain nameless, thinks that he is invisible when wearing his "Digital Camouflage jacket." Since I am a techie, I should not be able to see him. What do you think?  I think I can still see him, but I do need glasses you know.

PLN

Working hard on my PLN, I met a lot of very grr people at the NJEA convention this past week and I am connecting to them using Grouply, Ning, Thinkfinity Community, Linkedin and Delicious.  I have learned how to USE my network on Delicious instead of just treating it as a repository for my bookmarks. Adding my Delicious feed to my blog was easy but it is disappointing that I only get the last five bookmarks I added on this Blogger site.  I will start to post the feeds of the people in my network and this will give me a bit more of what I really want. I have taken charge of connecting to people outside of my personal Facebook and have started honing my Twitter friends into categories that match the different interests in my life.  While this takes lots of time, I am sure it will be rewarding and will help me stay on top of my game in my field of study.  My fingers hurt. Now I have to have a professional look over what I have done and get back to me with more direction. I have to wait for people to accept my friend requests on the various social platforms as well.
We have had lots of problems with the grouply, apparently only the group creator can send invites to our group, in the Ning platform we could all invite people into the group.  It could be an administrator setting that is off, but whatever the reason, it is not acting as user friendly.  I have 119 members to connect to in this group, but the never share anything.  I guess if it is a mandatory thing instead of a passion, you just don't get participation.
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My blog is getting some major updating, I have been tagging appropriately, so that I can split off some of my posts to specific blogs if I need to do so in future. Zemanta in Firefox has been helpful as it suggests tags I do not think about. You all know I just throw everything in here and sort later, so I am in the sorting process. I have added feeds of some of the blogs I follow in my personal life and in class on this site as well.

This Weekend's Work



I am very tired. The toughest part was letting the kids take total charge of their project.  I just manned the cameras and assisted with editing for like 15 hours.
Problems we encountered:

  1. Objects in park that did hindered our commitment to historical accuracy (such as cars, trash cans, and someone blasting "Eye of the Tiger").
  2. Wardrobe malfunctions and misinformation.
  3. The noise of the fire station horns every half hour, along with the church bells.
  4. One weird looking duck that kept distracting the actors.
  5. A table of donuts and coffee that distracted the crew AND actors.
  6. Not enough baby wipes to get off all that face paint.
  7. Taping over the opening sequence- having to copy another scene and reversing it in imovie.
  8. Not being able to match the sepia tone in the movie clips to the picture clips and having to use all black/white instead.
  9. Not being able to edit out the rope tied to the canoe, the canoe club, the outbuildings, the trash cans, the cars, or the barbeque pits in video clips. (We could only do this in still shots).
  10. Not having a super drive on my macbook to burn the DVD movie for best resolution.
  11. Not being able to get George's Mom's superdrive to work and having to upload all our beautiful work to the internet instead, at only 12 frames per second on youtube and 30 frames a second on iweb. ( I could just cry).
  12. Just found this tidbit in the forums and it is too late! "If you'd like to transfer a file to burn on another mac, go back to the project on your mac and use the Save As Disc Image command. This creates a virtual DVD that you can move to another computer and Copy to an actual DVD."


SO WHY WAS IT A GOOD WEEKEND? 
 I got to work with my son and his friends for this 7th grade project, they were extremely prepared with a script, a storyboard in mind, costumes and a boat.  They were creative, flexible and funny as all get out. While I am extremely tired, I am so glad I had the opportunity to assist them.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Who Follows Directions Anyway?

Do we read directions anymore?  Sometimes I do, and it is the thing I complain about to my son, "Always read the directions, honey."  If I followed my own advice,  I could have saved myself some time in last week's class. This week I had a new dilemma, after setting up edublogs for 25 students and having to go into their emails getting their logins, and then logging in to change their passwords to be the same as the other web 2.0 tools they use, I could scream.  Turns out I could have set the password if I had clicked on the advanced blog creation button and set the password from the very beginning.  I WAS looking for the manual but all they had were a bunch of pdfs, not even addressing the issue.  It seems that when I go looking for directions I never find them. When they are there, I may ignore them and play for a while instead, trying to figure out the solution.
 I have always liked to explore as opposed to going the way the arrows point in life, and there lies the crux of my problem.   My happiest days are the ones when I strayed off a path to see what else might be there. I do not ignore signs that point out danger, I am not that ridiculous, but I always like to play with tools as opposed to reading about them.
I do usually go to manuals when I cannot immediately discern the way to work something.  Since I started going blind as a bat, I am less inclined to read, except for pleasure (Can't live without my books).  I just can't be bothered to take out my glasses so I don't have to squint.  My days of "Dreamweaver for Dummies" is behind me, it better have  a video tutorial for me to follow or you will hear me complaining as I search for those stupid Progressives.  I can't make them work anyhow, the reading zone is too darn small.
I am willing to get a Kindle or ipad this Christmas just to be able to make the text bigger. Of course I will have to make friends with so many people so I can borrow the books they bought.  I read way too much to buy the books I read, I go to the library every week and stock up.   I am not really interested in free ebooks, they are books that I don't really want to read or I have read already.  Wow, I have really strayed off topic here, another thing I tell my students and kids not to do.   Back on topic, following directions.... Good or Bad?  Hmmmmm, ask me next week... meanwhile I have enclosed a helpful article about teaching students how to read directions.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Why are you raising your hand?

Mrs. V asked, "Why are you raising your hand? So the computer can see you?" She was using the Smart word randomizer feature to call up students to share their daily journal stories.  The students wanted to be picked,  and kept raising their hands. It was the funniest thing.    Apparently that paradigm shift has not yet occurred.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Smartboards need Smart Teachers

In the last week, after our training from Faisal, I was really struck by how well the mimeo worked.  I have heard of mimeos hiding in closets in some districts and I personally know some teachers that have Easyteach boards in their rooms that they never touch. Why?  They lack training.  It is not a good idea to spend money on technology and not FULLY train teachers how to use them.  I had no training when I received my Promethean board. It took a me a year to fully understand how to use all the features and I would have used it for more if I had been trained for a few full days.  The training has to involve not just the features, but the content area toolbars and resources.  Teachers need TIME to build or change resources.  Unfortunately, districts want the biggest bang for their bucks, so they choose increased technology over training.  If we had the chance to learn our craft, we would be more effective and could turnkey our knowledge with other teachers in our district during district professional development.  I am seeing a trend toward this area in some schools, simply because districts cannot afford to bring people in from outside.   It is not enough.
If there is a teacher in a school who knows what they are doing, we can use prep times to be in their rooms and learn from them as they use the technology.  Both can get professional development hours for this.  We started off in the field as simple observers in our fieldwork classes, and it is still a wonderful method of learning as we attempt to keep up with the latest innovations in education. Here is a district goal outlined by Alan November, senior partner at Educational Renaissance Planners in Evanston, Illinois:
Since this is the job I am performing right now, Technology Integrationist, I am more aware than ever of the lack of technology education our teachers have.  The little things like saving to a jump drive and printing in greyscale are big dilemmas to teachers who are now expected to provide interactive lessons using Smart boards.  I only hope that we move away from the drive-by trainings that don't provide the ongoing assistance teachers really need.  Only some of the teachers are comfortable with screencasts and webinars, a huge population of teachers need hands-on training that can be repeated as they need it. As I try to squeeze such trainings into lunch periods and preps, I get frustrated.  I feel like every other teacher feels when their students are just about to complete an objective and the bell rings.  I will be pushing for some substitute coverage so I can get more time with individual teachers.  Luckily I work in districts that have technology-rich goals, so I may actually get somewhere.  
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    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Parent Night for Talent 21 Grant

    It was a rewarding evening for the parents of the Talent 21 students in Woodbine, NJ.  They were able to use their child's new laptop and learn about the acceptable use policy, insurance options and the rationale for  the laptop rollout. Parent asked questions abou the use of laptops in their homes and in school.
     These students are the lucky few, they will have one-to- one computing for three years, across all subject areas.  One of the challenges they face is the learning curve to use the technology in a constructive way to learn content and share what they have learned with others.  Every day new challenges arise, new technologies are available, and they will keep pace with theses lightning changes.  This ability to adapt will serve them well in the future as they compete for jobs in a technology rich society.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Technology-enabled Substitutes

    Yesterday, The substitutes of one of the school districts I work for participated in professional development. They learned how to access the teacher's websites and to use the Smartboards. Technology-enabled substitutes will be able to carry on with lessons in the technology-enabled classrooms when the teachers are away. The laptops can still come out and the students do not have to complete worksheets all day long.
    The substitutes spent the morning in trainings and the afternoons with teachers in their rooms learning how technology is used in the classroom. This experience was the first of its kind that I ever witnessed. The principal also conducted a training session with the substitutes on how to be an effective substitute in the district. This planning for school-wide and student success is commendable. We will provide substitutes with a list of every teacher's website until the district website can be updated to include that information. They were also given directions for laptop basics and turning on projectors and smartboards.  An issue still outstanding is the ability to log into the teacher laptops.  A substitute username and password will have to be enabled on all machines and laptops that are connected to the smartboards. It would
    be helpful to create hotsheets for each room that is technology enabled for the subs with quick reference sheets for the programs the students may be using.  We should also create a substitute website that has information and training tutorials.  Since the technology-enabled substitutes will be called first to serve in those classrooms, it does provide incentive for them to learn on an ongoing basis.
    UPDATE!
    On a sad note, in another school, the susbstitutes  allowed students from another class to use the 6th grader's laptops.  Substitutes need to follow the plans we leave for them as teachers, they definetly shoud never allow students to tell them what they "usually" do, because the students "usually" lie  to substitutes.  When in doubt, check with another teacher nearby, call the office and just maintain that it is your responsibility to follow the teacher's plans.  As a teacher it is hard enough to miss a day with our class, it causes huge problems when susbtitutes deviate from our plans.  We spend time getting those plans ready and it is frustrating  when we come back to havoc. In this instance, the offending students tried to visit blocked sites, they changed the students backgrounds and settings and added items to their favorites.
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    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Upping the game

    After last week's incredible presentations, I have upped my game when giving internet resources to my teachers.  Instead of  looking for  Prepositional Phrases PowerPoints for one of my English teachers,  I was haunting Prezi and looking for  presentations that would make the most of the Smartboard. Most of the lessons in the Smart exchange are a bit young for the 8th graders so I was seeking other quick solutions.  Now I am off to investigate how the two programs can work together, can I upload an old PowerPoint to Prezi and then work with it?  I will update you when I get the answer. So far Prezi does not have a lot of grammar teaching resources on  their site, just those made by students, and I do want to be able to provide the best alternative to spending hours making Smart Notebook lessons.



    This was the best one I found so far. It appears that most of the grammar Prezi presentations were geared for English language Learners.  I will be sure to share them with my friends that teach Bi-Lingual and ESL students.

    Teacher Interview Questions

    As an offshoot of last week's discussion in my Intro to Ed. Tech class, I though I would share a helpful link with anyone out there still looking for a teaching job this year. You know that if we get the interview, and that is pretty hard these days, we have to make the most of that moment. You may have read about some of my worst job hunt moments last year in this blog, and I hope to help alleviate some of your fears.
    The Apple posted this article recently on how to answer the toughest interview questions effectively. There were some admirable answers, especially to the question, "What is your greatest weakness?"  We hate to have to answer that one!  It is impossible to do correctly without being self-serving and we want to be honest, but we can't because then we would appear weak.  If you like, please post YOUR toughest interview question in my comments section. If you would like to share YOUR worst interview moment, I can give you a link to be a guest blogger on this site.
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    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Hating life and PowerPoint right now

    PowerPoint fragged up on me three times today with my macbook making the most incredibly weird noises.  Having to employ the hard shutdown always makes me nervous.  I had to redo a few areas of our group presentation many times because it refused to SAVE! Even when it did the backup every few minutes, it still didn't have the changes.   Since my entire weekend has become this project, I could have done without this nonsense.  I still couldn't embed video, like I can do on  non- mac machines. I just couldn't find the feature on the PowerPoint for mac. I wanted to upload the whole thing to Issuu as a flipbook, but it wouldn't take the formatting.  I had to go to Plan B for the Web 2.0 component.

    I used slideshare instead.  I did not yet use the narration feature, because we have to narrate as a team.  I look forward to doing that on my own when we are done.  It would be too hard to do it with three of us in different places.  Slideshare has been a resource for my blog when I want to post a bunch of pictures from an event. As a presentation solution, I was thrilled with some of the free options it offered.  It has some great features and I wish I could change my tooltime to that tool.

    Can you read our Webspiration?
    The most illuminating thing that happened this weekend was having to work as a team.  Giving up control of even part a project has to be  the most challenging feeling ever, and one we have to remember stresses OUR students out as well.  I had to understand and implement what Brian's main ideas were from our  mindmapping in Webspiration.  I hope I stayed true to his ideas, if not, it is tooooooooo late.  I started working on what we had, then he added more and I had to match it all up again to make sure I didn't miss anything.  Note to self: Don't even start until it is all done. I have no idea if Roma finished our  Timeline activity Gant chart, our meeting this evening did not come about due to scheduling issues.  So now I have to rely on the email for communication until we can all talk again in Wimba.   Wimba as a crutch?  I am officially spoiled and hate having to go email everyone as they are not on Skype right now.

    I chose the peace sign because what is contained in the this Tagxedo
    just a "piece" of the whole IT picture. I know, very corny.
    Spending the entire weekend tracking down appropriate pictures, videos and articles to make the mindmap come to life was accompanied by the endless sneezing and snuffling of my nose.  Infection from all those school kids has finally set in, and I am tainted. At least now I have a comprehensive understanding of the history of Instructional Technology and a trash-can full of tissues.  I could have just read the textbook, but then I would have had no reason to yell at my family for asking me silly questions when everything was going wrong.

     I also made a Tagxedo to enhance the presentation and spent some time rearranging the Webspiration so it wasn't so busy, then Brian really fixed it and it looks nice now.  Too big to actually read the screen capture in a photo here, you will have to be content with my Tagxedo instead.  I was unable to do the things I REALLY wanted to do with this project.  I wanted a blinking eye between the  time eras, and I wanted to shoot words out of a cannon or a rocket as a transition as well.  I especially wanted a photo of Tompkins with the macs from the 80's to include, but I can't always get what I want. The transitions won't work well in a  web 2.0 sharing scenario unless I convert the entire thing to a movie.  This will not work for me because of the video clips I want to have in it.   The audience will be able to just move ahead after they watch what THEY want.  Oh, well, best laid plans...

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Transtechnical?

    lkjs/ldkjbladnblsfkkjnv

    Holt's Intro To Educational Technology: Waiting for Superman

    Holt's Intro To Educational Technology: Waiting for Superman: "There is a new documentary out in select theaters entitled 'Waiting for Superman'. It explores the inefficiencies of America's school syste..."

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Reflections on Wimba, Skype, and Project Management

    The Wimba Whiteboard or Eboard.
    This week I spent hours on Wimba and Skype, meeting with my team members and working on our History of IT project. It was an interesting experience. When I took online classes before, they were asynchonous and our group projects involved emails and posts, not live communication. After using Wimba for this, I do not know how I will be able to give it up at the end of our class. I will have to use something like Adobe Connect or Go to Meeting to get a similar experience. As I use Wimba more, I learn new things. I took the tutorials a while ago, so I was relieved when Brian showed us how to get the whiteboard feature back by pressing the eboard button.  I also learned about project management this week and gant charts. I've never heard of them before and apparently people have been using them forever. "What a concept!" Amy, my professor, was pushing us to use a free Web 2.0 tool. I found Tom's Planner, it looks very visual and you can share your chart online.  Another I found was Basecamp.   It will be interesting to see what my friend Adrienne, the quintessential project manager, writes in my comments. Anyway, my team member may choose a product that she is comfortable with over the ones I just mentioned. We will have to wait and see.
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    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Loving it!

    She gave me top status!
    This morning I walked into the teacher's room whom I had worked with last week.  She just started teaching again after having a baby and does not have a lot of technical experience.  She is by no means afraid of technology, but she has not had exposure. Nor did she attend any of the summer trainings.  She saw me and her face just started glowing, she had three new ideas for for technology integration that she wanted me to teach her how to implement.  An OnCourse teacher website, uploading word documents to the smart assessment tools and assessing her students with the PE clickers and having her students blog their daily journals, WHEW! She also shared her experiences of technological mishaps that happened when I was away from her room.  The most impressive thing she said was that she felt like she could be helping other teachers by the end of the year.  A teacher-learner becomes a teacher-leader!  I wish we could all have "students" like this; people who are just dying to know something and can't wait for you to give them that little nudge in the right direction.  I couldn't have been prouder than her mom when she told me how she had figured out some things for herself and shared them with her team.   The she showed me how she had "added" me to her class.  At the end of the day I was wrung out, trying to get her trained in everything she wanted to know, but it was so worth it!
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    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Mindmapping is supposed to be clear, isn't it?

    I was looking at the examples of the mindmapping exercises that previous Intro to IT classes had completed and there were many that were too busy for me to want to look at.  I recently had to get glasses so this is an issue for me personally, but it may not affect a younger generation.  I enjoy  the clean lines of Facebook  and find them preferable to the busyness of Myspace that my younger students frequent.
    This image is from the Worst PowerPoint Presentation
    I teach my students that when they create PowerPoints, that they should use images effectively and no more than 2 per page.  The type should be 30 points or more.  I was impressed with the inventiveness and creativity of many of the IT History projects, but there was just so much going on that the message of the history of IT was lost. It would have been helpful to  have the guidance of the presenter to take one through them.
    I started looking at various mindmaps on the web to see what I liked and what I disliked.  I loved this simple drawing of the life of William Shakespeare, but it was not interactive.  Another one I enjoyed was the ICT/Glow and Learning styles Mind map, again, it was not interactive.  I did eventually find a few that I thought were useful and interactive using free software called Freemind. This mindmap on Ubuntu was compelling, I liked the mouseover effects. It reminded me of  annotating The Heart of Darkness for our Litt. Reaseach class with Professor Honecker's class.  It will be interesting for me to see how busy our group project turns out...
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    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Apps for Special Education

    Wow, thank you Dustin, for sharing this information. We will make use of it. I am re-posting it on my blog so I do not lose it. I never know when a blog might go down, so anything I need to have, I tend to re-post. Plus, Dustin's blog was SO popular I just had  to post a link to it here.
    iPhone, iPad and iPod touch Apps for (Special) Education

    Halo and Geography Lessons?

    Link to website that bears this photo
    I have been living with Halo in my house this summer. My son and my husband play it all the time.  They can't wait for Halo Reach to come out.  Today my son got a geography lesson. The kid he was playing online with at 6:00 at night, our time, told him he had to go to school.  My son argued with him," It is six at night, you are going to school now?"
    They had a whole discussion of timelines and datelines, "What day and date is it in Australia anyway?"  So now my son is busy looking up timelines on the computer to track when this player will be home from school.  It will be 2 am and my son better NOT be online then. I may have to set my alarm clock to check to see if he sneaked out of bed. This gives me a tool I can use when teaching geography now.  For extra credit  homework: Get the time and date from three online players and try to figure out where they live using the international datelines. You may NOT ask them where they live (Poor playing behavior anyway).
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    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Watch it, you made the plist

    Ok,  after three hours with  Apple Support, it turns out that one of my Macbooks has more issues than the other.  The new one started working right after two hours of TLC by Titianna and Matthew. The older one, the one you all chipped in to buy me, needed another hour. Apparently, it wasn't just the  DNS server connection, but the library had plist issues and doc issues and more.  We were all over the preference files and in places on my Macbook that I should never need to go.   I hope it doesn't feel violated. Happily enough, now I can post from my favorite computer, in Safari instead of (insert cough here) Firefox(Apple needs to purchase Firefox BTW, that is my solemn recommendation).
    I know that my PC, which is a very nice four-year old Dell, was getting excited thinking I was actually going to use it  more frequently, but I had to break the news to it gently.  It needs an update, a bigger hard drive and a makeover that does not involve dust as its main outfit.  My graduate class is saved and as an extra bonus the Fantasy Football site my husband was having trouble with is now fixed as well.  If you ever have trouble with your Macbook loading Safari pages on Blogger, do  all this first.

    1. Empty the cache. Check it.
    2. Reset Safari. Check it.
    3. Unblock Pop-ups. Check it.
    4. Plug in the ethernet and see if it is a wireless problem. Check it.
    5. Install all updates. Check it.
    6. First verify and fix disk permissions. Check it.
    7. Reset the PRAM. Check it.
    8. Make a new administrative account and see if the page loads that way. Check it.
    9. Check DNS servers in Network.Check it.
    10. Check for Safari plist  stuff in home library preferences. Check it.


    I AM JUST KIDDING, CALL APPLE SUPPORT AFTER NUMBER 5 FAILS TO WORK.

    The Emergency Blogging Scenario has been implemented.

    Yep, there is a lot of strange things happening here.  
    The Emergency Blogging Scenario has been implemented.


    I am posting by email for the first time because blogger has apparently decided not to play nice with my macbooks. However, there is always a silver lining, I have my first guest blogger from Apple, Titianna.  She spent a hour or so with me,  and even posted on my blog.  I am now talking to some mythical, Apple guru named Matthew (Senior advisor) who may or may not be able to help me.  I have discovered that I can post in emergency situations- not like any of you are going to send  911 to me if I post an SOS here. I can post hyperlinks and SOME pictures by email.  Okay, so these are features I always knew existed, but I never had the need to check em' out.   Why do I need to do that?Read my earlier posts about my graduate class, Intro to Instructional Technology. 
    So, that is the continuing saga of my blog life.  I CAN post and make different features come to life through the power of my email.  Since I have been hating email lately, and those of you who read my Facebook know what I am talking about, it is nice to know that email is good for something today. Here is my hyperlink to the support page from Apple, apparently my DNS server keeps getting lost. It keeps looking for the old server.

    trying to blog

    ;oyhoghkhlj;jpjllh mickichele.blogspot.com

    Yet another day at apple (Guest Blogger Titianna)

    Today was a great day here @ apple support. Michelle is a sweet wonderful person that called in to us because she was having issues with Blogger and blogging on here.
    Well, we did some troubleshooting (the basics, check the internet connection, run software updates etc.)
    Michelle was probably one of the funniest and nicest people I've gotten today. She's really made my day.
    She actually knows most of what you're supposed to do anyway for Safari. She emptied the cache, and cookies and reset safari and everything. Which is a lot more than most people can do on their own. We're not quite done yet. But by the end we will have this fixed! :-3
    Until then. Enjoy Kirby-robics
    To the right! (>^_^)>
    To the left! <(^_^<)
    Touch the sky! ^(^_^)^
    Touch your toes! v(^_^)v
    HUZZAH! Get a kiss! <(^3^)>
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    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Apps for Special Education

    iPhone, iPad and iPod touch Apps for (Special) Education

    I've got trouble, trouble, trouble...

    What are the odds that when I HAVE to blog, that I cannot get on my posting area without dusting off the old PC.  Both macbooks refuse to load the page. I can view the blog, can't do a thing to it.  It is funny that now I have to blog for my graduate class and I can't just relax and  blather on the way I usually do.  One of my favorite, successful bloggers  just dumped all her ads so she could say what she wanted without some advertiser telling her she curses too much. Now, I would never curse on my blog, because I am a teacher, but that does not mean that I never read blogs that involve a curse word here or there; in her case it would be at least once a sentence. It took a lot of thought for me to decide which blog to use for the class, I have several, based on my different interest and some that I use just for serious work. but I didn't want to choose one of the work ones, because that is like, you know, work.  I enjoy blogging for myself usually and don't enjoy the work blogs as  much.
    First Majors Class,  They had blogs donated by  Stockton's Literature
    Department.  They posted their assignments, pictures and videos of the
    projects they completed in our class to share with their familes.  
    Their blogs became mini- digital portfolios of their writing process.
    Since I now have to blog I am wondering if this is how my students feel. It is an eye-opener, because I normally just talk about whatever I am interested in at the moment and now I feel like I may actually have to talk about my intro class a little bit. I will also have to care a bit more about spelling and grammar. Most of the time I just fix mistakes when I happen to catch them; which in the case of this particular blog of mine, can take months, or even years.
    Now I know that people will actually READ it, specific people, and not just my beloved random readers, do I have to be interesting?   NOPE! It is my blog. As a teacher having my students blog, I may have to ease up on the restrictions just a tiny smidgen.  A few years ago I tried an editing day once a month with my seventh-graders, where we went back over our blogs and one other blog  and made corrections or suggestions for corrections. This was a great idea that I had forgotten about. I will suggest this to the teachers I will be training this year.
    UPDATE:  If I had actually read the assignment, I would have known that I was supposed to  post a relevant link and picture per post.  I apologize if I forgot to put the appropriate caption under to picture to bring attention to the relevance. I am actually excited that we get to blog for this class inspite of my earlier questions. It may the one area in which I get a decent grade if i read the instructions carefully. The link I will share today will be to an article I wrote about blogging in the middle school classroom. Since I saw so many new blogs this week, I just thought I would share my experiences.  I would also like to share an amazing blog by Ben, a student.  He has  links to other amazing blogs, also by students. You can see the types of projects that are post-able to blogs.

    Sunday, August 8, 2010

    I Don't Feel Different

    The pension system in this country is whacked. I wanted to continue paying into my old pension at my new job, but guess what? Now that I have moved from pubic education to higher education, I have a new pension plan. according to my financial advisor, "You are different now."
    I just did this a year ago when I moved from a charter school to a public school. Instead of letting me just keep paying into the PERS plan, I had to roll over to TPAF. Now that I am in Higher Education, I am something else entirely. I am not touching my TPAF for the moment, in case I go back to public school next year, but I just hate monitoring all these different accounts. I forget what is which half the time between the actual pension, the 403b and the credit union. Let me point out what nobody else is saying, NONE of the accounts are doing me ay good because the stocks and bonds markets are performing so poorly and NJ hasn't contributed their share in years. I am actually losing money!

    I may do better by burying my pennies in a mason jar behind my sister's house. I would never bury it on my property, that would be too easy for the government to find and tax. They will never look for my money at her house, right?