Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Learning from each other...

We are so lucky to have the chance to share resources, everyday I get the chance to learn something new from another teacher. The wonderful technology blogs, the shares on diigo, delicious and twitter, and the products that my classmates post in our discussion boards are the ways I stay on top of my game.  It doesn't matter it someone is new to the graduate program or has been in it for a while, everyone has something valuable to give to each other.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Starfall: Teaching Through Song and Games (Guest Blogger!)

This is a guest blog post from my epal Genesis in Guatemala. Her blog is fabulous and I have been following her for a few years now. We have yet to skype, but this was a good solution since she is always on her computer in the middle of the night.

I never intended for my kids to start school so early, but when my oldest, Dorian, was 2.5 years old, he was fascinated with the computer. I did a little searching to find some kid-friendly sites and Starfall.com was one of the first that I came across and Dorian loved it!
It didn’t take him long to master the mouse movements necessary to play his favorite songs and I would let him play on the laptop while I worked on my desktop in the mornings. His baby brother, Dante, would climb up beside him and hum along to the songs. Pretty soon, both of them could belt out most of the tunes on the alphabet section of the site.
When Dorian was 3, he really wanted to learn to read. He would offer to read the bedtime story, then say, in a rather angry tone, “Oh, right, I can’t, because I can’t READ yet!” Obviously, he was ready!
I started with teaching him the letter sounds . . . but it turned out he already knew most of them, thanks to Starfall. What he lacked was the knowledge to put the sounds together so he could actually read a sentence. It was pretty easy to teach him to read, because he already had the basics down, just from playing online! He’s already well on his way to a Grade One reading level (he’s 5) and his brother Dante (4) is close behind him, all thanks to their time on the computer.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Urgent Reply Needed .

 Ok, I put out the call to my epal forums for guest bloggers to participate on my blog. I was looking for teachers using technology in their classrooms to contribute.  I gave the email address for the blog post to appear, but it was supposed to go to draft.  I did check my blogger settings on this matter.  Since I had weekend troble with blogger,  I am assuming the the settings need to be reset because this is what came through.  Danielle is right that we have to be vigilant, even with the moderated epals site, because sometimes the crazies get through.


My Dear Friend,
My name is Reginald Cole, who is diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. To cut the long story short, I have few hours left to live, depending on my surgery which will take place soon. Although I am rich, but it doesn't matter anymore.
I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul and so with that reason I decided to give what I have to charity and I never had children. I want this to be one of the last good deed on earth. I now give you the authority to dispatch my last funds to any charity of your choice.
I have Nine million pounds in a financial institution. I want you to keep fifty percent of this amount for yourself and time, while you keep the other fifty percent to any charity of your choice. May God be with you as you carry out this task.I believe with this,
I can now be free to depart peacefully. You can then contact my lawyer who will assist you in getting the funds to you when I pass. He would give you more details. His name is Barr.Lawrence Walter, and his email address ( Barrlawwalter@aol.co.uk ) He would guide you through receiving the funds.
Lot of Love
Reginald Cole

Blogger having trouble this week

Both of my blogs disappeared this week. Thank you Ann for alerting me.  There was suspicious activity on my account, so the blogs become temporarily unavailable.   They do not give us this message though, they say they have been removed.  It is a good idea to back up your blogs by exporting them.  Since I have been blogging for many years, I almost had a heart attack when I saw that all my blogs were down.  It also helps it you change your password from time to time. 

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Techy Things Teachers Should Try: My Avatar Editor

Techy Things Teachers Should Try: My Avatar Editor: "My Avatar Editor is a free online site where you can create and edit avatars. Gender, height, size, hair and eye color, along with other ph..."

Everyone is coming along in class

Only mild technical difficulties last week- we did lose Brandy's Tooltime.  I think when she was sharing in wimba some of us received that error message about the archive and thought it was our own screen.  Uuughh!  I was impressed that Steve performed on the spot for us with a very interesting tooltime on Comic Life 2- I will be upgrading to that version for sure!  I am loving all the jings the class is creating and can't wait to share them with my grant team on our moodle. On another note, I am also enjoying working with Brian, our graduate assistant.  Just like old times!  It was the first night that I felt everyone had finally settled into a groove.  There were minimal technical difficulties, good participation from the group and the tooltimes and related discussions  were comprehensive and extremely helpful! Everyone has come so far in such a short time- I only hope that this summer will be a time of reflection on how to integrate these tools into  the normal school year.  I predict that when the computer lab sign-up sheets get posted, these teachers will hog as many spots as they can for their classes in the coming year.

Monday, May 9, 2011

How to use Yodio for easy Podcasting

Myriam was good enough to share this site with us and I found a helpful tutorial that shows us how to use the Yodio site.

Wondersay fun!

made on Wondersay - Animate text with style

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Tools!

Last week was much more fun for me, I love it when people in the class present new tools that I have not used yet. I am excited to try them out and see if they can work seamlessly into some of the curriculum my teachers have to meet. The problem with technology is that there is always a learning curve for teacher and students and this presents a problem; we only have so much time to teach our subjects. In light of that kind of problem, I am always on the lookout for the easiest and most creative tools than I can find to keep the students engaged.
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