Saturday, May 31, 2008

Discovery Educator Network

I am very excited to be a part of the Discovery Educator Network as a STAR member. I proudly display my badge on the left of this blog page!!

My goal over the summer is to continue to look to this network as place to share ideas, find resources, and seek out implementations of best practice for technology in education. There are meet-ups, online environments and even opportunities at conferences.

As a part of the STAR DEN, I dedicate to providing regular events to my staff and students utilizing not only the resources I already an aware of from DE, but also those I will be looking for this summer.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stay COOL this summer with Technology

I have been asked by a few parents for suggestions of sites and technology activities that could help pass the time, especially the rainy or unbearable hot days that are best spent in doors this summer. Of course, I suggested that they could also visit museums, take in a movie, or try their hand in bowling, aside from hanging out on the computer (was that a bad thing for me to say since I am a geek at heart?).

I comprised this for our last school newsletter of the year. Maybe there are some ideas that you could add, too. If so, give me a comment below.


-Practice Keyboarding
Check out this favorite “Dance Mat Typing” http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/

-Check out Discovery Streaming http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/ and search for favorite school topics, such as a country, an animal, or even math strategy and see what results you come up with. Then go to Discovery School's Puzzle Maker http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/ and create puzzle with words or concepts learned from the video.


Math Practice Galore
Check out “Math Fact CafĂ©” http://www.mathfactcafe.com/view/?t=P
To create and print out math fact worksheets
Or
“Cool Math for Kids” http://www.coolmath4kids.com/
Lots on interactive math topics and games

Take a tumble with Tumblebooks! http://www.tumblebooks.com/library/asp/home_tumblebooks.asp
Hundreds of choices of read-aloud and read-alone books.


Exercise your brain with BrainPop Jr. http://www.brainpopjr.com/
Educational movies, lessons, quizzes and fun activities

Search EnchantedLearning www.enchantedlearning.com for art activities, projects, printable books, coloring pages and more!

Bookmark the Lyon School Webpage http://ly.glenview34.org and visit the PE webpage for interactive activities, the Fine Arts page to browse the online Art portfolios and Lyon Students for links to more curriculum connected and online fun.

Please, with any online activity, guide your child in safe and educational use of the web. For Net safety tips, visit http://www.netsmartz.org/

Have a great summer!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lab to Laptops

Looking at "turning in" my computer lab computers for two additional carts of laptops. What do you think? Here is my thinking... thanks to FNO for some ideas!
Discussion item:
Replacing the computer lab with 2 additional carts of 20 laptops, giving staff access to 60 laptops housed on 3 carts.

The district is willing to exchange our 21 eMac’s from the computer lab for 2 additional carts of laptop computers. These would be mixed with our current laptops (existing laptops will have new replacement batteries installed over summer)

You will NOT be turning in any current desktops that are already in the classrooms. Whatever numbers you have now in your classrooms, those will remain.

Consider….

• Laptops return control to teachers in ways that make the classroom feel like it usually feels; laptops become part of the classroom
• A cart of laptops can be deployed across a room in many different ways, thereby maximizing the fit between the teacher's style and the way the lesson precedes.
• Laptops allow for easy movement within a classroom or across a school.
• Laptops also make possible the clustering and combining of enough units in each classroom to achieve something worth doing.
• Laptops are free to roam wherever students are learning. They require no special furniture. They can sit next to books and papers on a regular desk surface. They can fit on a lap. They can rest on a floor on a rug.
• When one teacher is finished with a technology rich lesson and has little need for the laptops, they are simply loaded into a cart and rolled down the hall to someone who is ready and eager to begin a unit. No need to sit around idle while non-computer tasks are taking place.
• With our technical experiences with wireless laptops in time and experience, we have become comfortable and enthusiastic seeing wireless as a practical and helpful addition to our classrooms

How does this affect the Tech Facilitator’s role:

• More integrated and collaborative role in TECH piece to your curriculum
• Technology Facilitator to be accessible to staff and more able to team with LRC director
• Technology Facilitator available by online reservation system to assist in the classroom or co-teach
• iChat or Walkie Talkies may be available to reach the Tech Facilitator for questions or assistance

Scheduling of Carts

• Each cart would “carry” it’s own schedule clipboard. Location of carts would be arranged throughout the building.
• Each cart location/wing would have a “tech teacher” who would oversee any immediate management/questions about the cart i.e. – making sure it is plugged in, on, and unlocked.
• Carts would be returned to the LRC for the weekend
• Scheduling of Tech Facilitator continues as it currently is


Current lab space in LRC can be utilized for

• Small group work
• PST meetings
• Overflow from LRC
• NWEA testing
• Standardized testing
• Conferences
• Whole Group instruction