Thursday, September 27, 2007

The start of the school year and PLC's

Ok, we are officially one month into school. It has been a productive, yet different start than what I am use to.

We began MAP NWEA testing with our Second Graders. The scheduling of the lab componant was tricky. So many sections to fit into a two week window. Take that and all the other K and First grade classes wanting the lab or my assistance, and it makes for a tricky few weeks. All went well and we are back into full reservation of the technology resources at Lyon.

New to our District - Professional Learning Communities - A big push within the district this year. We have dedicated times and dates to collaboration, teaming, and presentations by The DuFours. If you are not familiar with them,
check this link .

Here is another link about School Improvement and PLC's

A bit about PLC's
from NCREL -

The term professional learning community describes a collegial group of administrators and school staff who are united in their commitment to student learning. They share a vision, work and learn collaboratively, visit and review other classrooms, and participate in decision making (Hord, 1997b). The benefits to the staff and students include a reduced isolation of teachers, better informed and committed teachers, and academic gains for students. Hord (1997b) notes, "As an organizational arrangement, the professional learning community is seen as a powerful staff-development approach and a potent strategy for school change and improvement."

This should be an interesting year! I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"At the crossroads of Internet culture and education"

I recently discovered a PBS Teachers resource and am impressed with what I have read so far. is a weblog that explores how new technology and Internet culture affect how educators teach and children learn. In reading the post, Senate Hearing on Online Safety: More Emphasis on Educating Kids from July 2007, I believe more now than ever that it our our responsibilities to teach our students to be safe, selective, and responsible cyber-citizens.
Senate Hearing on Online Safety

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Teaching responsibly...

Two thoughts...but are one in the same...

In a blog I recently read, the topic was how education is or is not changing in the face of a technologically changing world. This entry mentioned Illinois Senator Dan Kotowski's Internet Safety Education Act

Internet Safety Education Act

The summary of the Act is as follows:

"Creates the Internet Safety Education Act to inform and protect students from inappropriate or illegal communications and solicitation and to require school districts to provide education about Internet threats and risks. Creates the Internet Safety Education Alliance under the authority of the Office of the Attorney General. Amends the State Finance Act to create the Internet Safety Education Fund. Amends the School Code to mandate the provision by every public school of instruction and discussion on effective methods by which students may recognize and report inappropriate, illegal, or threatening communications on the Internet on or before the start of the 2008-2009 school year".

Another blog I read discussed (within a day or so of the above mentioned blog) the USA Today article about Michigan School District cracking down on Cell Phone and iPod use in school...automatice suspension if students are caught in posession. The blog,Learning in Hand
links to the article and provides point and counterpoint responses. The blog author suggests that it is the schools resposonsible to teach responsible use of these tools..."Forget about teaching ethics. Just ban utensils that could enable cheating. Perhaps this should include paper and pens, which are much more commonly used for cheating. Heck, ban the air supply so students can't possibly whisper answers to one another!" Can you tell which of my favorite tech guru's blog this is by that comment and what side he is on? :) :)

Either blog posting gets me thinking about teaching responsible, appropriate, and safe use of technology. Isn't that what technology in education should be all about?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

NECC 2007

This year, I had won grant money to attend the National Educational Computing Conference in Atlanta. But, do to a family situation, I needed to decline the money and take a pass at attending. I was honored to be able to attend and grateful that I had the opportunity, but in this situation, it was unfortunate timing.

In keeping up with the various blogs that I read, it has come to my attention that many if not all of the NECC sessions will be available in some way online. Blogger Steve Hargadon has posted a list of tags and feed for NECC 2007.

For me, this will be great to be able to experience the conference. Take a look and experience NECC 2007 virtually.

Who knows, maybe it will work out for me next year in San Antonio!

NECC Tags and Feeds

Also, thanks to Cool Cat Teacher Blog for the trick to embedding links within posts (as above and below!)

Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A Fair(y) Use Tale - Video on Copyright

Copyright is always an important topic to discuss and share with staff to make sure the law is understood in an educational setting. It is important to make sure that our students understand it as well and know what the consequences are to the mis-use of copyrighted materials.

The Center for Internet and Society from Standford Law School is an excellent resource.

I came across a video on YouTube and followed it back to it's place of origin...The CIS (Center for Internet and Society). It is a video explaining copyright using characters from Disney. Words are spliced and edited together to explain copyright.

From the website...
Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University created this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles delivered through the words of the very folks we can thank for nearly endless copyright terms.

The video can be streamed, downloaded or viewed in YouTube. As in all my posts, the title of this post is the link to the site of this CIS.

Take a look...the 10 minutes or so are worth it!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Technology in Education Symposium for National-Louis University

Yesterday, I was a part of a Technology in Education Symposium for National-Louis University. I received my M.Ed in 2004 in the TIE program. It was and still is an engaging and worthwhile program. The title link will take you to the NLU site for this program if you are interested in learning more in the Technology in Education program NLU offers.

I presented with two other graduates from this program who are champions for the technology in education cause. The three of us shared integrated technology activites and how they are related to curriculum standards as well as the technology standards. I sat in awe listening to my co-presenters. This symposium was organized by a professor who also is my former advisor for the TIE program. What a great event.

What I appreciated most about this time was not only was I a presenter, I was an active participant, too. I learned from questions and comments from the audience, made a few networking connections and met some really nice people.

We all attended the symposium with the same goal; to seek out opportunities to integrate technology into the curriculum for student engagement and enrichment.

I believe that goal was met...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Today's Lunch N' Learn

We are looking at Software for our Lunch and Learn today!!
Looking at the NETS Profiles for K-2 student, using developmentally appropriate multimedia resources (e.g., interactive books, educational software, elementary multimedia encyclopedias) to support learning is a key componant to a 21st technology literate student. Lyon has the opportunity to preview 6 software titles that can be used to support Reading, Math, and the Social Studies curriculums.

Look at how these titles may be best utlized in our learning environment.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Apple Learning Interchange

I have recently begun searching the Apple Learning Interchange as a resource for technology integrated ideas. This is a set of free resources for educators to find media and ideas for classroom activities produced by their peers, by Apple, and by Apple content affiliates like NASA, The Smithsonian, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Click the title link and see what this resource has to offer. You can search by tool, age group, curriculum, and application. If you register as a free member, you can upload your own work, share with others, bookmark your favorite projects and collaborate in an online environment. I have posted two projects (Search_Primary K-3) from Lyon in which our students are engaged in blogging during a Social Studies unit and another using iPods in the music classroom.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Logs not Blogs - Teacher2Teacher

Tumblr... Tumblr allows the user to create a log that makes it easier, faster, and more fun to post and share stuff you find or create!

Check out the my log at or click the title above in the title.

Podcasting "commercial"

I am becoming more interested in podcasting. A blog that I read by Tony Vincent - Learning in Hand - introduced his readers to this "commerical for podcasting". As Tony says on his blog "Remember, you don't need an iPod to listen to podcasts. You can listen right in your browser, iTunes, or other portable player. The video, Uncle Seth - You Don't Need an iPod, (posted on YouTube in September 2006) makes that point very clear with a catchy song."

Click on the title of this post to check this video out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More on the Lunch and Learn March 15

This week's L & L has three different postings - this one and the next two below. Check them out.

Today we will talk about the recent ILTCE Conference and share some information. There will also be a sharing time of another resource recently discovered. Lyon has a trial subscription to Grolier's Animal Encyclopedia and this will be shared with the
L & L group.

For more L& L, check out the other posts. See you Thursday.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

3/8 ~ What is Flickr and

I have created a social bookmarking page at the following address

Although it says "social", I am taking advantage of this bookmarking site to share links to activities, resources, lesson plans, and informative articles in the area of technology in education. Each time I visit a site, read an article or learn about a new student resource, I post to my account. Then, anyone who has saved this link as a feed or as a bookmark, the page is updated and I am sharing "globally" my bookmarks. I hope you find this useful.

Flickr is a photo sharing site. I created a Lyon Photo of the Week group in which I post a different picture each week. You can access this library from the Lyon home page.

Here is a webpage all about flickr for you to learn more.

Lunch and Learn 3/15 - ILTCE Sharing

This is an early post for next week's L & L so that is why it may seem to be "out of order" from the other postings. I was on a blogging roll tonight. :)

For today's Lunch and Learn, we will be sharing our experiences from the ILTCE Conference. Several of our teachers attended the on Thursday. I attended a total of three days. By sharing and collaborating at this month's L&L, it will be as if we all attended the conference. If you did not attend this year, save that thought in the back of your mind to maybe consider it next year!

After our sharing, for those that want to, we can have some work time to look at sites or software that may have been mentioned in the conference presentations.

Oh yes, I am providing two GU after school class opportunities. One is on Comic Life in the Curriculum and the other on iPhoto, iTunes, and Garageband in the classroom. Ask me more about it...check the intranet GU link for registration & dates, too.

Here are some links for this month.
This is the blog that has been created where attendees and conference committee members are "talking"
This is the site where you can see the title of a workshop and then view what the presenters provided in websites, handouts and pdf’s.
This is the link for the conference home page.
This is the website for the Northern Illinois Computing Educators.
"The Northern Illinois Computing Educators Chapter of the Illinois Computing Educators (NICE) provides support to computing professionals involved in education in northern Cook County, Chicago and parts of surrounding counties. NICE encourages the development, growth and use of technology in all facets of the educational process, and extends an invitation to educators to band together to further this process."

Monday, February 05, 2007

Lunch and Learn - 2/08/07

Well, we missed last month and I must seemed as if the flu bug of all sorts had gotton to my entire family. Thanks for understanding when I had to cancel. We can talk about how we are going to make it up.

(A blogging admission... I cannot for the life of me, figure out in this version of blogger, how to activate links within posts. Any of the links you see below, please copy and paste them in your address bar to access the page. I will keep trying to figure this out...the blogger help does not seem to be helping at all!)

As for today, I would like to share with you three resources. One is a weblink that I came across again just recently. I had used this a few years back with a Multi-Aged classroom data collection project. I ran across it again when the building Reading Specialist asked me a question about it. It seems that our Psychologist, Dr. Rehfeldt (who happens to partake in these Lunch and Learns) shared it during an awesome class on data collection for district staff members. I would like to see our students again use this tool to organize and make visual "sense" of data collected. Some examples could be classroom favorite sports teams, lunch food preferences, favorite school subjects, favorite holidays, favorite movies and much more! I will be honest, I had to look back in the classroom folder to see how the MA team integrated this tool. Actually, one of those teachers ( Hello, Miss Aronow) has been seen at our Lunch and Learns, too! Here is the link

I would like to share two software titles that the district has purchased.
The first is Stationary Studio. Are you frustrated with the student use of Word at our grade level? Well, this software will take your word processing worries away. Stationary Studio is an introductory word processor with all of the basics and none of the confusion! You can create customized stationery with appropriate writing line styles, layouts and fonts (including dotted fonts) for students’ handwritten activities. We are going to look at the "quick tour" from this website.

Lastly, there is Comic Life... yup, it is just that a comic creating software title.
There are many links to how this can be used in the classroom. My best guess is that your creativity as a teacher will stand out when finding ways to integrate into your curriculum. I am posting the following links for you to see some examples of how Comic Life can and is being used in the classroom curriculum. I have some ideas but they are racing right now in my head...when I organize all of them, we can talk.

From Essential Teacher -

From Education World -

From -

From Lewis Elementary -

From Country Meadows School - (thanks, Judi!)

So, how do these resources meet the NETS for Students?

Here are my thoughts
Profile 2 - . Use a variety of media and technology resources for directed and independent learning activities

Profile 8 - Create developmentally appropriate multimedia products with support from teachers, family members, or student partners

Profile 9 - Use technology resources (e.g., puzzles, logical thinking programs, writing tools, digital cameras, drawing tools) for problem solving, communication, and illustration of thoughts, ideas, and stories.