Monday, June 18, 2007

Hello, my name is Susan, and I'm a Wi-fi-holic.

Hi, Susan.

It's been twenty-four hours since my last connection. I am staying with my parents in the northern regions of Michigan, and going through withdrawal. You see, despite their cable internet connection that is, at times, faster than my own (Comcastic my hinie), it will not allow me to connect my new Palm (did I mention my new Palm? I have a new Palm!) to the internet. Which means that I cannot have the internet at my fingertips anywhere but their computer.

Which is driving me crazy.

When did this happen? I knew I was addicted to e-mail, (tell me you aren't, and I'll buy you a beverage of choice at the next conference we attend together if you can prove it) but I had no idea I was addicted to wi-fi. I literally am finding myself daydreaming about using my Palm to search the internet for what I need (shut up - I told you I was a geek).

So here's my point; if I feel this way after twenty-four hours, what are we doing to our students? Many of them have phones that allow them instant access to information. Some have laptops, some have Palms themselves. When we take these away in the classroom, how many of our students feel the same way I do? And if that's true, then how can they possibly be expected to pay attention to a "normal" lesson? I can hardly take my mind off of my Wi-Fi-less-ness, and I've only been offline for twenty-four hours (and have access to a computer).

I am DEFINATELY changing the way I teach next year. What about you?

All I know is it is going to be a LONG week up North.

Technorati Tags:
Random, Education, Beyond Podcasting

Monday, June 11, 2007

Plans for Summer

My students have been talking about what they plan to do on their summer vacations, so I thought that I'd share mine.
Summer 2007
  1. Sleep. I don't do enough of that during the school year.
  2. Family. Enough said.
  3. Tennis. I am helping with some camps this year, so I thought I'd throw that in here.
  4. Laptops and Lattes (or possibly other beverages that start with "L"). I'm very excited about this one. A colleague of mine came up with the idea, and I love it. We are going to get together on Wednesdays and discuss ways of integrating techology into our classrooms. We are going to discuss Web 2.0 stuff, Moodle, podcasting, Gizmoz, and much, much more. I am SO excited about it!
  5. MAHETC. That would be the Mid-Atlantic Handheld and Emerging Technologies Conference in Salisbury, Maryland. I will be one of the many presenters there, along with the likes of Tony Vincent. It is going to be so great!
  6. (Real) Mobile Technology. As I am preparing my mobile classroom, I am trying to come up with ideas on how I can still integrate technology without having the classroom as my crutch. Right now, I have closets filled with stuff I've purchased - microphones, headphones, wires, etc, but I also haven't used it as much as I should. Now I need to reorganize myself and create more opportunities for technology while not having them in my closet for emergency I-have-five-minutes-left-let's-do-a-podcast integration. :)
  7. Psychology. Now that I am switching gears, I would like to re-vamp the old curriculum and do more online-type stuff. Any suggestions for good online resources for psych? Let me know.
  8. Presentations. I am drafting a new version of "Beyond Podcasting", which I am going to do at MAHETC. I am also creating a few new ones, such as "Classroom 2.0", "My Top-Ten Web 2.0: The Stuff I Can't Live Without", "Blogging 101" (unveiling at MAHETC), "Get a (Second) Life", and "Emerging Technologies: Why This Stuff Isn't Going To Go Away". Most of my presentations are about an hour long, but I can adapt them into workshops as well. Again, if you'd like to have me speak at your school/district/conference, please email me here.
  9. Second Life. Yes, I dink around on there, but I really am doing a great amount of PD on there as well. I have met quite a few people that I consider to be good friends, and we have some great discussions on there. And yes, I want to come up with ways to use SL in my curriculum.
  10. Reading. I read a lot of blogs, and I read a lot of magazines, but not a lot of books/e-books. While one of my projects for sure is to read the last Harry Potter (shut up - you know you want to read it, too), I want to read more about emerging technologies in the classroom. Please email me if you have any great suggestions.

Well, that's about it. I will blog throughout the whole summer, so please come, read, and comment. I find that I am much more passionate about PD (and teaching) in July than I am right now (again, I don't sleep), so you will probably see my postings increase around that time.

Have a great summer!

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Random, MAHETC 2007, Summer

Friday, June 1, 2007

Gizmoz - one of THE coolest things in a long time...

Thanks to Jane Nicholls for the heads-up on this cool new application.

First, watch this video clip:

Okay, now let's talk about this for a minute!
1.) Yes, that really is my son (sort of). It was cropped from a picture I took of him when he was around 16 months old.
2.) Take a picture of each of your students. Make sure they aren't smiling (it's easier to animate when they aren't). Each day, your warm-up exercise (vocab activity, homework assignment, etc) is announced by a new student.
3.) You can VOIP and Skype with this too, thus putting a face (sort of) with a name.

I'm sure there are more, but I can't think right now.

So, what do you think? Do you like it? What uses can you see for it? Let me know!

I'm off to make another Gizmo head...I mean, grade. Yes, that's right. Grade final papers. ;)

Technorati Tags:
Beyond Podcasting, Education, Education of the Future, Random