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Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting Smarter With My SMART Board

I'm trying to make friends with my interactive whiteboard, since to date I have not found it to be particularly user-friendly and I obviously have to work on making overtures. These are sites I've been tapping for tips:

And my newest, picked up at a Pete&C workshop by Larry Kling:

I've conquered "The Magic Tunnel" -- now I'm working on the magnifying glass.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ICT Magic


I just stumbled upon this ICT Magic site, at It looks interesting, so I plan to explore it later when I'm not already in the midst of following another search trail for the lesson plan I'm writing.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Educational Innovations Changing How We Learn

I was just reading "The Year in Education: Seven Innovations Changing the Way the World Learns" via the Google Currents app. The original source of the article is The "Social Media in the Classroom" section and the paragraph on "Twitter as a Collaborative Education Platform" particularly caught my eye. The latter suggested educators use "Grassroots hashtags like #edchat and #edtech" to call attention to their blogs about best practices.

The last of the 7 innovations is "The Library Revolution", listing the ways that libraries are changing due to digital content. It highlights Drexel's "Library Learning Terrace" and Cushing Academy going all digital, with no printed books. The librarians teach how to research with all digital resources. That sounds much like what we are doing at Chambersburg Area School District with our use of LibGuides:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Free Online "Thinking Tools" for the Classroom

I'm working my way through my Intel guide to using the Intel(R) Teach [Thinking With Technology] Program, and I'm being reminded of how many resources are made available free on the Web at . There's a Seeing Reason tool at, a Showing Evidence tool at www.intelcom/education/showingevidence, and a Visual Ranking tool at To use them with a class, you'll need to register in the teacher workspace area, so you can do behind-the-scenes setup of the scenario that will suit your class. There are a lot of project examples and unit plans offered for each tool, to guide one in thinking about how they could be adapted to an individual classroom.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm currently reading Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century by Henry Jenkins [et al.], one of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning.

We hear so much about digital natives, and the fact that today's young people have grown up with the Internet, but research is proving a fact that school librarians have known for some time: that young people may spend a lot of time online, but that does not mean they have the knowledge of how to find the best resources, know how to reflect and upon what they have found, or how to cope with the ethics of the social environment they find online.

Our current push with our library curriculum involves writing Internet safety and cyber bullying lessons for the full spectrum of our K-12 public school educational offerings, so I picked up the digital book (free at the time I downloaded it from Amazon) with the idea that it would offer insights into teaching children how to use social media in ways that would not infringe upon their privacy and would teach proper social media interaction (i.e., not using it to spread meanness, rumor, innuendo). So far, however, the report is dealing with the issue of equality of access to digital media, and the inequities of children's educations if they do not have access to a computer and the Internet.

The next section of the report deals with the so-called "transparency" problem, involving assessing the quality of information that is found online. This is the kind of teaching we librarians do in school, trying to teach how to read the Web site to determine its purpose, and whether it is commercial or non-commercial, and why they might be trying to sway the reader's thoughts. Advertising on the Web is not as obvious as it is in the TV commercials that interrupt the entertaining parts of the television programming.

Then there's the question of ethics, especially when cut-and-paste is such an easy way to throw together a report. Ethics also enters into the use of social media. It is easy to lie about oneself when posting to MySpace or Facebook, or in chat rooms. We need to make students understand the importance of ethical conduct online as well as in their offline real lives.