Pick one new skill and give it a try

images.inmagine.com/img/image100/10086/10086059.jpg
Source:images.inmagine.com/img/image100/10086/10086059.jpg

Late this past Tuesday I was asked if I would put together a presentation for a group of high school teachers. The high school administration is working on making better use of the hardware and infrastructure already set in the building and they have set up a professional day with some 90 minute workshops on how to integrate web resources into the content areas as a way of renewing the buildings interest in matching the students needs. To kick off the day, the technology coordinator asked me to make a presentation to the 150 or so high school teachers that would “get them excited” about using technology.

If you’ve met me, follow me on Twitter or read my blog, you know it doesn’t take much to excite me about technology. This stuff is my passion. So I immediately recognized that what might be really engaging for me as a member of this audience on a Friday morning at 8am, might bore the heck out of a high school biology teacher who has no interest in technology whatsoever. Thanks invance for your continued support and assistance.

This I found a bit unnerving.

The other issue I was having was that I found out about this presentation Tuesday afternoon and was due in another district on both Wednesday and Thursday. So there wasn’t much time to prep anything. I mostly planned my slide show in my head and wrote notes at red lights while driving. And then finally, Thursday evening, was able to put my presentation together.

I’d like to share it with you. I wish it were later in the day so that I would be able to invite my PLN to join a backchannel and present with me, but I realize that 8am is very early. I may try to set something up on UStream if I get the chance once I am there. I will definitely be on Twitter, looking for moral support as I have to say that this is the largest group I have presented to.

Did I mention that this is the first district I ever taught in?? No, I guess I didn’t happen to mention that.

As Liz Davis I had great fun asking session attendees to dance with us at Educon2.1, I decided to play some music while everyone is settling down. I don’t quite have the nerve to ask 150 people to get up and dance.

I will introduce the video Pay Attention and then use this slide show to lead my discussion. If I’m not able to record it using UStream, I’ll have my iPod Classic with me so that I can record it that way as I’d like to go back and hear it myself. I’m very curious to see what improvements I can make on this particular presentation having had so little time to prepare.

The Google Learning Institute Comes to Rutgers University

gli

Search, learn, share – the GLI has made it to the East Coast!!!

Brought to you by the producers of the Google Teacher Academy, the Google Learning Institute (GLI) introduces participants to innovative ways Google tools can be used in education. A full day of fast-paced presentations and hands-on activities includes experience with advanced search techniques, collaborative web-based applications, and inspirational instructional strategies. Google Certified Teachers share ways they’ve implemented tools such as Google Docs, Google EarthGoogle Sites, and… even more. Participants who complete the event are given access to the Google Learning Network (GLN), an online community focused on supporting educators as they learn more about the power of Google to drive student learning.

uw-stsig

The CMSCE at Rutgers University is partnering with CUE to host this event for NJ educators.

Scholarships to this professional development event are available from such companies as Keyboard Consultants and Impact Technologies. Just submit this quick application after registering for course # 032609a and you’ll be notified by March 1, 2009 whether you have been awarded one of the available scholarships. (Please contact me directly if you have any questions or you are interested in sponsoring a NJ educator, school or district at this special event.

 

Update to this post made on 1/29/09: A second Google Learning Institute will be held at the Busch Campus Center at Rutgers University on May 28, 2009. You can register for this event by going to http://cmsce.rutgers.edu.

SAT Video Contest – It’s Not Too Late to Submit

brainyflixlogoIt’s not too late to urge your students to submit their videos to the nationwide contest that the MIT Alumni Association is sponsoring.  Students compete to produce fun, creative videos teaching SAT vocabulary.  They’re looking for short videos no longer than 2 min.
Once the videos have been submitted, they’ll allow viewers to vote on the videos, and they’ll award $600 in prize money to the video that receives the most number of votes.  $200 of the prize will go directly to the winner(s) and $400 to the class or school club chosen by that person(s).  To further encourage participation, they’ll give away 1 free iTunes song for every 5 videos a contestant submits or refers (up to the first 1,000 video submissions).

MIT began accepting video submissions January 1, but there is still plenty of time to submit your video(s)

You can sign up to receive an email reminder at http://www.BrainyFlix.com.

Other important dates are shown below:

– Video submission opens: 1/1/2009
– Video submission ends: 2/23/2009
– Voting opens: 3/1/2009
– Voting ends: 3/14/2009
– Winners announced: 3/20/2009
For more information, please visit http://www.BrainyFlix.com/main/contest_rules.
For any inquiries that aren’t answered there, contact Jack Yu at admin@brainyflix.com.
Good luck and feel free to leave a comment here with a link to your students’ video(s)!

Project 10 to the 100th

www.flickr.com/photos/81035653@N00/2242177289
http://www.flickr.com/photos/81035653@N00/2242177289

“New studies are reinforcing the simple wisdom that beyond a certain very basic level of material wealth, the only thing that increases individual happiness over time is helping other people.”

Project 10100

Project 10100 is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. Google asks that if you have an idea that you believe would help somebody, to submit it to them. They are committing $10 million to fund up to five of the final ideas.

To submit your idea, complete this form and upload your 30 second video using YouTube or Google Video.

You can submit as many entries as you want.

Ideas must be submitted by individuals, not organizations.

Submit your idea focused on one of the following 8 categories (Pay attention to #8):

1. Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?

2. Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?

3. Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?

4. Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?

5. Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?

6. Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?

7. Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?

8. Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don’t fit into any category at all.

On January 27, 2009, the public (THAT’S YOU) will select twenty semi-finalists from 100 of the project submissions. An advisory board will then choose up to five final ideas for funding and implementation.

What will the Advisory Board look for in your idea?

Reach: How many people would this idea affect?
Depth: How deeply are people impacted? How urgent is the need?
Attainability: Can this idea be implemented within a year or two?
Efficiency: How simple and cost-effective is your idea?
Longevity: How long will the idea’s impact last?

What will your idea be? How can you use this with your students to make the connection between their lives and their community, their country, or even the planet?

There’s about 20 days left. Click here to read more about Project 10 to the 100th.

My Web 2.0 Whirlwind Needs to Pick Up Some Momentum

Back in April I wrote a post the day before I was teaching a small group of educators about Web 2.0 applications. I was undecided as to whether I should completely abandon the eBoard I had been using as a resource in my workshops.  I decided rather than tackling that huge project, I would post the ten tools I was going to be sharing during the workshop that day and asked for your feedback.

During the workshop, I Tweeted out each tool as we went over it. Many of the people in my PLN were so generous as to share their experiences with the tools in their classrooms. I also asked the participants to help create a Google Doc and shared the URL on Twitter so that I could further include my PLN in the day.

Well, it’s time to get some momentum going as I prepare for not only tomorrow’s Web 2.0 workshop,  but as I beef up my Google Site for my sessions at the upcoming Google Teacher Academy on September 24 in Chicago and for one of the sessions I am facilitating on October 14 for NJAET’s Annual Conference titled 21 “Must See” Web 2.0 Websites for Educators.

Here is the Google Doc we will use during the workshop. I’m still working on the wiki pages. It took me longer than I thought it would. There are some blanks in the table and I’d like to add some graphics. (It’s a bit of a sore spot with my husband and my kids right now.) But since everything is always a work in progress, please let me know if you think I missed anything.

Thanks in advance for your help. And BTW – that day in April was the day I first met Christy Tvarok who ran full speed ahead with creating her own blog and bringing her school into the 21st Century – many of you have had the pleasure of meeting Christy F2F or on Twitter. Heather Johnson was also with us.  Heather is one of the Center’s consultants.  She is knowlegeable, energetic, and a National Board Certified Teacher, and this past year she has spent some time with me and her new PLN, learning the tools necessary to take good teaching and learning to the next level. I applaud her thirst for technology literacy! And finally, that same day I met Megan Smith who ultimately joined the Center’s 21st Century Learning Initiative along with 23 other NJ educators. Megan is emmersed in Diigo, Twitter and many other tools gearing up for the 2008-2009 school year.

iTouch the Future…I Teach – Social Studies

ThumannResources - Google Sites
ThumannResources - Google Sites

You don’t have 20 years of teaching experience if you’ve been teaching the same lesson the same way for 20 years. You have to revisit and revise every time you teach a lesson because there is ALWAYS room for improvement.

I’ve decided that one of the things that I can do to improve the professional development that I offer is to move some of my resources from my old eBoards to my new wiki. As I’m doing this I’m adding some of my presentations to SlideShare and of course editing and updating many of them as well.

On August 13, I’ll be teaching my iPods in Education workshop again. This is one of my favorite sessions. I always look forward to sharing all that you can do with the iPod and I have had a great time blogging about all the resource that are available to educators and students that have access to iPod Touches.

There are a few resources I’d like to share for Social Studies, including some for the upcoming Presidential Election. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you’ve found any others.

iCandidate Poll

This is a set of 20 questions that you answer to determine which of our two Presidential Candidates is a better match for your political opnions based on your answers.

iPodia

This site is Wikipedia for the iPhone / iTouch. iPodia does promise a new version is coming out soon, but I did not have a problem with the current version. Everything that you see on Wikipedia on the regular-sized monitor looks very nice and is readable on their mobile site.

Speedymarks.com offers some interactive quizzes for the iTouch. Pictured to the right is the quiz for the location of the United States. The user can select whether they be given 2, 3 or 4 choices to respond to the red highlighted area.

This same website also provides a Country Quiz. The user has a half dozen or so regions to choose from before they have to respond to questions specific to that region.

Once again, I’ve published the Google Doc that I used to gather the Social Studies resources for this post. Don’t forget you can also view my wiki on iPods in Education at http://sites.google.com/site/thumannresources/ or click on the Google Sites button under my picture on the right side of your monitor.

Del.icio.us Gets a Facelift

The New and Improved Del.icio.us
The New and Improved Del.icio.us

Was I excited when I saw that Del.icio.us, one of my favorite social bookmarking tools, had undergone a major overhaul.  Besides the aesthetic changes, they also have added some new AMAZING features.

I’ve outlined some of my favorite new features for you below. If you are a current Del.icio.us user, you have to take a look for yourself to really appreciate the improvements. If you don’t currently use social bookmarking, please watch this video from the folks at CommonCraft to see how this Web 2.0 tool will be  beneficial for you.

The improvements that immediately caught my attention were:

You can now search a Bundle!! – I use Bundles in my professional development workshops, but I was frustrated that they were not searchable, so this is something that I was really hoping for.

They’ve changed the way the number of times something is tagged is noted. It’s now very obvious how many times something has been tagged. See the screen shot below.

Really know the people in your Network. See their Top 10 Tags in their sidebar and if you’re confused by their funky username – assign them a nickname.

Check out the video from the Delicious Blog Flickr Photo Stream and make sure to note that Delicious has officially changed it’s domain.

And to read about what’s new from Del.icio.us themselves, just visit their website resource at http://delicious.com/help/whatsnew.

What’s your favorite part of the new-and-improved Del.icio.us?