Podcasting

No iPod needed, but the lastest craze is audio broadcasting over the internet, or podcasting. If you make an mp3 recording and save it on your computer, you can set up a webpage that broadcasts it for those who want to get it. It can be downloaded by interested people and then put onto a portable mp3 player (hence, “podcasting”). My current favorite podcast is by some awesome techies who used to be on The Screensavers, a daily technology TV show. The show is gone, but Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton & Co. are back at it in a weekly podcast called This Week in Tech (TWiT). Check them out at thisweekintech.com

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If All Goes As Planned…

Our technology plan for the next 5 years, titled (appropriately) Heim 2010, is in place. In the first phase, next year we will be replacing classroom instructional computers. We have not replaced computers in a number of years, so this is the focus for next year. In addition to that, we will begin 2 other parts of the plan – mounting computer projectors in classrooms, and starting a video studio. Both of these initiatives have some awesome possibilities for learning, and we are looking forward to implementing them.

If all goes as planned, next year is year one of a 5-year plan that will see Heim Middle leading the way in technology integration!

Wireless…So Close, Yet So Far

Wireless acccess to the network from anywhere in the building is still spotty. If you are close enough to an access point, it is great. If you are not close enough, it is not so great. IT has made a committment to get the wireless overlay network totally fixed during next school year. When that happens, we will truly have an “anywhere, anytime” network in the school.

Staff Development Day

Thanks to an outstanding staff for a great day today. I feel one of my most important jobs is professional development. The more teachers feel comfortable integrating technology, the more it can benefit the learning process. I hope you found the day as beneficial as we hoped it to be.

Are we making a difference?

“…good pedagogy trumps good technology. Bolting technology onto the current industrial model of school, “integrating technology across the curriculum,” has the hidden danger of freezing an outdated curriculum in place longer than it deserves. We need a lot of bright people to spend a long time thinkng about what children should learn in order to make important contributions to our society.”
~Alan November

McLester, Susan. “Q&A with Alan November.” Technology & Learning April 2005 : 64.

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Continue reading Are we making a difference?

Which Printer?

Here is a question that comes up all the time. “I just printed – which printer will my stuff come out on?” At home, with one printer, the answer is simple. In school we are networked, which means you can print to just about any printer from any computer. So the question becomes, “which printer did you choose to print to?”

BTW, the answer is to look at the print dialog box before you click print – it tells which printer the computer is currently set to. 🙂

Welcome, SIGTC!

This entry is in anticipation of the SIGTC event on Tappedin this evening. I started this blog last year after NECC. Bernie Dodge’s session on Blogs and Wikis was the catalyst for me. I ended up with teacherhosting.com as the host as that was what the folks at NECC were using last year for the conference blog.

Like many I think the biggest challenge is finding the right voice, or angle, to create and keep up with a blog. My focus is to basically chronicle what we do in our school with technology. Its a small undertaking so far (combined with a hiatus from Nov. – Mar. when my daughter was born) but I’m starting to get into the swing, and really enjoy what there is to offer.

Now if only I can figure out how to change the RSS feeds that appear here…

So it took awhile…

You may notice a distinct lapse in entries (the last one being Oct. 24th). It may come as not suprise that our daughter, Anna, was born November 5th. Its been a whirlwind since then, and now its “back to business.” When she is old enough, she’ll probably be saying “Blogs – what old fashioned technology!”

Speaking of Anna, here she is…

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Making the Connection

Kids today are connected. When they go home, they do not pick up the phone anymore. They get on the computer and IM eachother. This way, they can have group conversations and keep up with more people and more events at once. If one friend IMs 4 of his buddies about going to the mall, each can ask mom or dad at the same time, and within 2-3 minutes, everyone knows who is going and what time they can go.

We have the same connected enviornment for our classrooms. By using the WITS Notes pages, students and parents can stay connected to what is going on in the classroom. When teachers post assignments and events to WITS, everyone who needs to see them does automatically.

There is no IM section in WITS, but if the need arises, that can be created as well…

The Internet has broken down the walls of the classroom forever.

Opportunities Abound

Friday was a really wild day – we had many teachers trying new technologies at the same time, and keeping up was tough, but fun. The day started with a straight forward class – Mrs. Downey came into the lab to use the textbook software, Intrigas y Avenduras. Because of our move to OS X, we had an updated version of the software that runs off the server. A few minor hitches, but otherwise it went just fine.

Mrs. Merlino came in next and wanted to use the new portable Interwrite tablets in class. These tablets allow the teacher to move around the class and write on the handheld tablet, with everything appearing on the projected image at the front of the room. We hooked up Mrs. Krieger at the same time with a tablet, and during the course of the next hour, they both found some awesome features of the tablets, and devised some neat ways to incorporate them into instruction.

A little while later, we needed to test out a Pocket PC handheld computer for the PE folks, so they will be able to do attendance on the handheld in the gym. It is important for them to be mobile and wireless, as their classes are all over the place at any given time. So far the testing has gone well for them.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trombley is ready to incorporate the SMARTBoard into his teaching, so we set him up with the portable SMARTBoard in his classroom. Look for him to be getting into its many uses over the next couple of weeks. His Friday afternoon mods 24-26 class got a brief taste of what is to come.

So…a wild day it was, but an awesome one at that.