Headed out to NECC 08

The Riverwalk in San AntonioSo much has happened in this corner of the ed tech world this past week.

On Wednesday, June 25, we welcomed 50 new talented educators into the Google Certified Teachers group. It has been great hearing about their experiences in Mountainview, CA and the knowledge and enthusiasm they bring to our group.

On Friday, June 27, I welcomed 24 New Jersey educators into the Center’s 21st Century Learning Initiative. Teachers from Chatham, Hamilton, Spring Lake and Camden school districts met at our Center on Rutgers’ Busch campus to discuss what we need to prepare ourselves to teach students in the 21st Century. I introduced the teachers to Twitter and Diigo and asked that they spend the next month immersing themselves in developing a personal and professional learning network and giving some thought as to what they would like to gain from their networks as an individual.

We meet again at the end of July.

Today, as I finished my Flipcharts for NECC, I watched the UStreams and backchannel chats of EduBloggerCon in San Antonio. I also procrastinated and it’s now almost 11pm and I have still not packed.

Tommorow – Texas and NECC 08!

Gearing up for the beginning of a journey…

On Friday, June 27, teachers from four districts across New Jersey will gather at the Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education at Rutgers University to begin the first year of a new initiative I am pleased to be working on. These educators will spend the day getting to know each other and begin immersing themselves in online professional learning networks.

I’ve outlined the day as follows:

  • Topic 1: Why do we teach what we teach?
    • Grade levels
    • Subject areas
    • Areas of interests
  • Topic 2: Focus on the learning not on the tools
    • What skills do you need as an educator?
    • What skills do you need as an individual?
    • What skills will our students need to be successful in higher education and ultimately their careers?
  • Topic 3: Developing your professional learning network
    • Who do you want in your network? Why?
    • What will you offer to educators in your network?
    • What tool(s) do you want to use to develop your network?

I’ve collected some resources I’d like to share with the group:

Council of 21 Concludes its Year-long Study: Preparing Schools and School Systems for the 21st Century

You Tube – Did You Know 2.0 Video

Dangerously Irrelevant: Key Question

21st Century Learning: 9 Principles for Implementation

I’m very much looking forward to meeting everyone and participating in the discussion among this group of educators. Before we reconvene on July 28, participants will have a chance to communicate with each other via Twitter, Diigo and any other form of online networking they choose including Nings, wikis and blogs to define their vision for 21st Century Learning.

What’s New with iTunes U

This past Friday I attended the end of the year monthly meeting for NJECC. Members are asked to bring guests with them to present success stories of technology integration from the school year. We saw some great projects spanning the WII Fit to Scratch to Tablet PCs to the folks I brought from North Plainfield School District who spoke about their iPod and Podcasting initiative.

I Tweeted some new links while I was there. But what I couldn’t summarize in 140 characters or less was what Dave Marra from Apple demonstrated for us.

Among some other amazing tips and tricks Dave shared, he took us through a tour of iTunes U. I admit that I wasn’t as familiar with it’s offerings as I thought I was because I couldn’t wait to get home to starting searching around.

When you get the chance, take a look at these areas in iTunes U to see if there’s anything you’d like to subscribe to and remember – it’s all free.

·         Under the Categories section on the left, you’ll find a link for “Teaching and Education”
Within this category you will find so many wonderful things to view and listen to as an educator.

1.    Teaching and Learning – UMBC’s Hybrid Teaching Workshop

2.     Educational Policy from Stanford University

3.     Duke’s Digital Initiative

4.     Tech-Ease: Classroom Tech Help includes video podcasts on Inspiration, Wikis, Blackboard, podcasting as well as many others.

·         Under the Categories section, you’ll find links for Science, Mathematics, History and Fine Arts as well as other areas of interest. Check them out too.

·         iTunes U is SEARCHABLE!! Try it. I typed “Twitter” in the search box and got back 50 related podcasts.

·         Scroll down to the bottom left and you’ll find a link for the “Beyond Campus” category. Take the time to check these out. Here’s a few.

1.     Little Kids Rock – nonprofit organization that provides it’s curriculum and musical instruments to schools in need. They have guitar and drum lessons posted in podcast format as well as other videocasts.

2.    The New York Public Library – provides literature podcasts from the author visits as well as a business series on credit management and marketing.  They even have a teen program called “Turn It Up @ The Library” which you can subscribe to.

3.     American Public Media – offers a podcasts on the 2008 Election Issues

Take some time to explore and sync some these podcasts to your iPod or MP3 player. Have fun.


iTouch The Future…I Teach-Science

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get to my third post on the iTouch. June has been a crazy month of professional development, getting ready for NECC and playing with new toys.

On to the focus of the post – science. As I did with my post on iTouch music sites and iTouch math sites, I’ve published a Google Doc with the websites I tried on the iTouch. Not all of them were worth posting here either because of the layout, appropriateness in the educational setting, or because I just couldn’t access them, but you might want to see them, so you can through this Doc.

I tried to divide the sites into categories as I had with the math sites, but there would have been too many categories, so I’m going to list some converters and some miscellaneous.

There were several great science converter sites for the iTouch/iPhone.

iConvert – has 26 categories including torque, density, and clothing sizes. (I’ve never been able to convert US shoe sizes to European shoe sizes and now I can!)

Comoki Converter (only viewable on the iTouch/iPhone) – This one is AWESOME! It’s divided by categories (angle area, energy, temperature, time, length, speed, pressure, power, volume, weight ) You could spend hours here.  BTW – Thanks @Riptide_Furse for the suggestion.

Temperature Conversions

Culinary Calculator – weight converter


There were a couple of dictionaries for the iTouch.

There was a also a fantastic site that would be helpful for students working with the Periodic Table of Elements.

As I mentioned in my iTouch post on math sites, you’d probably start to see me repeat some of the websites. But that’s just because as educators, we are creative in how we use our resources. This time, I’ve used iFlipr to create a set of flipcards to review an insects unit my preschool-aged daughter is studying in school. You’ll see she doesn’t need much guidance from me on how to use the technology – or how to identify the insects.

Again, iFlipr comes with decks you can download, or you can make your own. Any suggestions for decks to create? Right now this site is free, but I’m thinking it won’t be for long. Already, one of my favorites, Mogopop, seems to have vanished from the internet. So you never know what’s going to happen.

Next time – iTouch the Future…I Teach – Social Studies