Friday, August 31, 2007

Calls From the Classroom

We had just flown through the plans for the semester- I had so many web 2.0 tools to tell my students about. Blogging, podcasting, wikis (showed them the great video below) and Skyping with the webcam. My students were lining up to leave the technology lab on their first technology class since returning to school. We heard the now familiar noise over my sound system - my students pointed to the invitaion displayed on the SMARTBoard: ACCEPT or DECLINE the call. I hesitated- I had never seen this before. They yelled ACCEPT IT-ACCEPT IT!! Then I saw it was a friend in my educator's network - from Australia. We are in South Carolina - a 14 hour time difference. Simon talked to the students and they were thrilled. After they left, Simon told me that my video was not working - the students did not even know (and still don't-shhh) that he did not see all of their excited waving and smiling.

I worked on the mystery of no video on my end- no luck. The next day a different class had just finished a video email on our Logitech webcam that we sent to their homeroom teacher when Skype notified me that I had a caller on the web. I switched over to Skype and once again Simon from Australia talked to a group of excited elementary students. Still no video on my end. How was it working when we just made a video email and not now??

Techies probably know the ending.....Later that day, I was on to something entirely different when I stumbled on a valuable bit of info: Make sure you have only one application for your camera running at a time. Yes - I can now Skype successfully. A note has been going home this week to 2nd-3rd grade parents..."Send an email to me to be on my list" and you too can receive Calls from the Classroom! Students can't wait - me too!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Learn Keyboarding at Home

At GHES we use Type to Learn and Type to Learn,Jr keyboarding programs. You can have fun keyboarding at home and learn proper finger positions. Go to Dance Mat Typing. Begin at Level 1 and build your skills through Level 4. In technology class we are learning how to use the site - remember- no peeking at your keyboard:)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Podcasts and KidPix

What do podcasts and Kidpix 4 Deluxe have in common? They are two technologies that help our students learn in all subjects while having fun. There are two ways you can help!

Podcasts are great ways to boost reading and writing skills. Students will create podcasts or webcasts - audio and video "shows" that will be posted on the internet. Parents will even be able to subscribe to their shows. These shows can be heard/seen on your computer, an MP3 player, an ipod, or even burned to a CD. We have what it takes to make basic webcasts in our room - and we want to do even MORE! With help from donations to this project, we will create our podcasts outside of our lab - we can create anywhere.
DonorsChoose is a special not-for-profit web site where "teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund." On behalf of GHES technology lab, I have submitted two proposals for your consideration. One for creating podcasts/webcasts, and the other is for KidPix 4.

KidPix 4 is a versatile software that is great for all subjects. Read more about what we can do with this excellent program in our technology lab! Ask your student about KidPix projects!

Please help get the word out about DonorsChoose - a great way to know exactly where your donations go and how they help your child learn.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007