Showing posts from May, 2010

Two opportunities to get Googled! GTA in London, Google Geo Teachers Institute

Here's a quick post for those interested in drinking some Google Kool-aid this summer.  For the few readers that I see from other countries, you might be interested in attending the next Google Teacher Academy in...London!  I loved GTA Washington D.C., but London would have been amazing (and a slightly more expensive plane ride).  For those who are unfamiliar with GTA, it's a free 2-day (one full/planned, one half/free form) workshop where you'll be inundated wtih lessons, experiences, and enthusiasm surrounding all things Google that can be related to education.  The application process (due June 17th) is fairly painless - a few qusetions and a short one-minute video.  I'm not sure how competitive London will be, but previous GTA's have accepted about 1 in every 5 or 6.  Even if you can't make it, or are not accepted, Google makes nearly all of the materials available on their website, and these are open to anyone. 

Another opportunity is the first ever Googl…

Invasion of the Document Cameras - Epson DC-10 Quick Review

OK, I'm a bit late to the document camera bandwagon, but after seeing how excited our teachers got when they learned that they could scan documents for inking on their Tablets, I thought it might be a good time to see if we could cut out the middle machine (office copier/scanner) and investigate the usage of what many ed-tech professionals call the "tool of the century".  Thanks to our friends at CDW, I was able to demo an Epson DC-10s document camera for potential purchase by our faculty.  The price points of the DC-10 and its even less expensive cousin, DC-06 (approximately $399 and $299 respectively) were very attractive, and from pictures and video, the portability of both looked very appealing.

Quick Take: Epson DC-10s Document Camera
What I liked:  price point, simple and easy to use, image quality (for the price)

What I would have liked:  ability to annotate on image, better operation of zoom/pan, more elegant interface

ETHS Summer Tech'10 Professional Development Workshops - Integrating Technology

Yesterday, we sent out an invitation and link to a Google Form (live sample - please do not use this to apply) for our series of technology professional development workshops this summer.

Within minutes, we had several 25+ teachers sign up for multiple trainings, so I think this helps to answer my question of when is the best time for teacher training.  I'm looking forward to developing most of the materials for these 2-3 hour experiences.  I plan on using a similar template to that of the Google Teacher Academy resources, for I particularly enjoyed being able to view a presentation in progress on my own screen, and I didn't need to worry if I missed something as nearly all of the resources would be linked through the site.  I'm looking forward to help reshape how we incorporate technology in education at ETHS, and this summer (my first official one as Tech Staff Developer), I'm excited to be working with a large number of dedicated teachers, all willing to come in fo…

Funding for Enhancing Education Through Technology ( #EETT) - Fund #edtech at $500m

I'm aware of how fortunate I am to have the position of Technology Staff Developer.  I've written a bit about how this has been the dream job for me this past year, and how I'm looking forward to continue improving and helping ETHS become a leader in successfully integrating technology with its schoolwide goals.  I'll be the first to advocate for the need of a full time technology integration specialist in every school or at least in every school district.  Obviously, funding is important, so I'm joining other Ed-Tech professionals in "Tweet for EdTech" today, with the hopes of securing additional monetary support for EETT.  I want to reiterate a point made in my AEP video: it's not just about getting the tools, but rather funding the training that is needed to successfully use these tools.  A SmartBoard will only be as "smart" as its user(s).

Getting listed in Technorati: 7X7P26Y7RZVV

So, we're discussing blogging in our Teaching with Technology class (I'm the TA), and I was reminded of how Technorati was a leading search engine for blogs.  Much to my dismay, Chanatown was nowhere to be found, so I promptly joined, submitted a blog claim, and that's why you're reading a post with a serial number thing in the title.  Stay tuned for a more relevant post...

Blogs, Podcasts, and Twitter, O My. Teaching with Technology

Today's topic in Teaching with Technology (a course I'm currently a TA in at NU) involved blogging, podcasting, and twittering.  After a discussion of each broadcast media, students were off and running gathering examples of each medium for a particular topic.

Blogging:  Ah, the grand-daddy of broadcast media.  Arguably, the platform that gave everyone an instant voice and audience, blogging is an easy media form to translate to the classroom.  Students can start a blog (Wordpress, Blogger, or Edublogs - probably the better choice for educators) on any of the the aforementioned platforms, and teachers, parents, and community members can stay caught up wtih all of the happenings in the classroom, directly from the minds of the students and/or teacher. 

Podcasting:  This one's interesting because I think a lot of teachers mention "podcast", but are actually referring to any multimedia recording project.  This can intimidate some teachers from engaging in a simple m…

Teacher Video Challenge: Classrooms in the Digital Age

Image is organizing a contest for videos to be submitted for possible viewing by the Association of Educational Publishers.  Although it would certainly be nice to win a Flip Video Camera, I'm almost just as excited to imagine my submission being played on the big screen at a major conference. 

It's an exciting time for classroom technology, and I think the publishing community is on the verge of something huge.  Digital textbooks are just around the corner now that the hardware (read: iPad and its soon to be released counterparts) is finally here.  I'm not advocating for a complete shift away from paper textbooks, but I truly think that digital textbooks (full versions, and not just online companions) can make a dramatic impact on student motivation and engagement in the classroom.  View and listen in on my entry below:

Reflections from Tech Forum (Chicago, IL) - 4/23/10

It was about this time last year when I attended my first educational technology conference, Tech Forum.  I clearly remember bringing my new netbook (good ol' Samsung NC-10), taking notes, and just thinking "Gosh, I'm going to love this job."  One year later, my first as a Technology Staff Developer at Evanston Township High School (ETHS), and I'm back for Tech Forum, excited to wrap up a successful first year and begin plans for year 2, and more importantly how to best position ETHS as a leader in technology integration in education. 
From the keynote, I was reminded of the importance of asking the questions,
What do your students need to know in a decade?
What are we doing to help them get there?
I think that these questions provide an excellent foundation for many a curriculum discussion.  For our upcoming Technology Demonstration Classroom summer project, I'd like to open up with these questions to make sure we provide the appropriate framework for where te…