Smackdown at #EBC11

These are the sites that attendees shared at EdubloggerCon ISTE 2011. Each participant had two minutes to share the tool. I have to admit, many of these tools were new to me, so I am looking forward to jumping in.

Web 2.0 Smackdown

  32. iPad garageband and a paper guitar (use velcro)

Utilizing Appointment Slots in Google Calendar

During the first of four days of Google sessions at Google Days in Minot, ND this week, the Gmail team announced a new feature in Google Calendar. This new feature would allow people to view available time slots that you have set up on your calendar. They are able to select that time slot and it will be both reserved on their calendar for you and will conveniently appear on your own Google Calendar as well.

For step-by-step directions, visit

Source: http://

It was finally on Thursday, during the 3-hour working session at the end of the day that I finally got a chance to sit down with some of the attendees and work with this new feature.  Using Appointment Slots was relatively easy. The directions at took us through the steps to develop the schedules for each of the labs.

We used Appointment Slots at #gdminot to set up Calendars for teachers to sign up for the different computer labs in the building. So, we actually needed to make a unique calendar for each of the labs, yet we wanted to have all the calendars showing together when we embedded it on the Google Site. The issue that we ran into was that Google Sites  wouldn’t allow us to embed multiple calendars.

How to embed multiple Google Calendars:

  1. Click to the right of your calendar, click the drop down menu and click calendar settings
  2. Click the link for Customize the color, size and other options
  3. scroll down to the bottom of the page and on the left select all the calendars you want to include
  4. Scroll back up and click the update HTML button
  5. Cope the code to your clipboard
  6. Open your Google Site and go to the page you want to embed the calendar on.
  7. Click edit
  8. Click the Insert menu and scroll down to More Gadgets
  9. Click on the Featured gadgets and select the “Embed Gadget”
  10. Click the “select” button
  11. Paste the HTML code in the blank box
  12. Change your width to 800
  13. Change the height to 600
  14. Click the checkbox that will include the scrollbar
  15. Click OK
  16. Save your page to view changes.
I know this seems like a few too many steps, but it was worth it to see all the calendars in one place. Give it a try!

#ELD11 Harnessing Social Networks in Your Classrooms

I was honored to be asked to speak at the inaugural Emerging Learning Design conference on June 3. When I first spoke with AJ Kelton about it, we decided together that speaking about how middle and high school students are using social networks in their classrooms would be a suitable topic. The assumption was that current college students most likely viewed social networks, like Facebook, differently than those having used these types of sites since adolescence. The plan was to present Harnessing Social Networks in Your Classrooms.

There were some additional resources that the folks that attended the session and I spoke about:

Social Media: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Twitter Goes to College

The Effect of Twitter on College Students Engagement and Grades

50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom

Twitter Chats and Hashtags:

Directory of #highered tweetups, hashtags & twitter chats


Cybraryman’s Educational Twitter Hashtags

I really enjoyed the conversation that proceeded my presentation. The attendees spoke about honest concerns like friending students, time spent on computers and filtering. I wish we had more than the 55 minutes allotted, but there were so many other wonderful presentations to attend and only so much time to go around.

Incentives to Keep Students Reading This Summer

Image Source

The following is a list of reading incentive programs for students. My daughters partcipated in these last summer and earned free books, prizes and even cash. Please share this list with other educators and parents and encourage children to continue reading over the summer break.

Double-Dog Dare

  1. Read 10 books—any ones you like!
  2. List the books on this form
  3. Bring your completed form to a Borders, Borders Express, or Waldenbooks store and choose your FREE BOOK

TD Bank – Summer Reading Program

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Read 10 books this summer
  2. Write down the names of the books they’ve read in the Summer Reading Form
  3. Print and take the form to your nearest TD Bank to get $10
  4. $10 will be deposited into a new or existing Young Saver Account

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading – Imagination’s Destination

The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is here to help you on your way, encouraging you to read books of your own choosing and earn a FREE book, simply by following these three easy steps:

  1. Read any eight books this summer and record them in this Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Imagination’s Destination Journal. Be sure to let us know to whom you would recommend each book, and why.
  2. Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 24th and September 6th, 2011.
  3. Choose your FREE reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal.

BOOK IT – Summer Break Reading Challenge

This summer BOOK IT invites kids across the country to participate in the Summer Break Reading Challenge Sweepstakes. From June 15 – August 15, kids who were in grades k-6 during the 2010-2011 school year and who meet the challenge of reading five books, will be eligible for a chance to win a prize package.