Pick one new skill and give it a try

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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.

iTouch the Future…I Teach – Foreign Languages

This is the sixth post in a series I have been blogging about on using the iPod iTouch in the classroom. In response to Day 2 of Steve Dembo’s 30 Day’s to Being a Better Blogger I took a look at what brings most readers to Thumann Resources and it turns out it’s my posts on the iTouch and iPhone applications.

I was most interested in which of the posts brought the most visitors. At no surprise to me, iTouch the Future…I Teach – Music had the most hits of the first 5 posts in the series. Listed below are the remaining four posts listed in order from greatest number of hits to least.

iTouch the Future…I Teach – Myself

iTouch the Future…I Teach – Math

iTouch the Future…I Teach – Science

iTouch the Futureā€¦I Teach – Social Studies

Since August was the last time I posted anything about using iTouches in the classroom, I thought I might get back on track a bit with what brings many readers to my blog. I have been saving a few really fantastic sites to use in foreign language or ELL classes. Take a look.

The first app is The Talking Phrase Book. If you look at this application on the web, it will work, but it will not give you a link to any audio. If you look at it on your iTouch or iPhone, it will give you a link to play the audio once you select to convert the English to French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish. Just watch this video tutorial to see how easy it is to use this convenient application.

Next take a look at Ask A Word. This is an all-in-one Spellcheck – Thesaurus – Dictionary – Encyclopedia, that is simple to use. It’s worth giving it a try.

You may also want to take a look at the Mobile Translator. This site allows you to take any Spanish word or phrase and translate it into one of ten languages including Korean, Russian and German.

Lastly, please visit Tech Dictionary. I got a real kick out of this site. I think it should be used as a resource at Cyber Safety workshops for parents. Not only can you look up any technology term (I tried CSS, shell and XML) but you can dive deep into their databases of IM-Chat abbreviations and Emoticon symbol combinations. This is the most extensive list I have come across in a long time.

Some of my favorites as seen below:

SFLA = Stupid Four Letter Acronym

( <> .. <> ) = Alienated

As usual, you can see the notes I put together for this post in a published Google Doc.