Wednesday, June 18, 2008

iTunes U

iTunesU has even more resources than previously imagined. If only we had more time to explore them! Here are a few from today that I highly recommend:

TechEase - Classroom Tech Help
from the University of South Florida

Beyond Campus - KQED - Quest

Also- I learned that you can "tear-off" the last breadcrumbs tab to save as a shortcut to get back inside of iTunesU quickly and easily.

Great resources!


Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow - Today

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Professional Development Meme

OK- I've been tagged twice (Michelle Bourgeouis and Josh Allen) on the same professional development meme, so I had better accept the challenge!

Here it is:

Summer can be a great time for professional development. It is an opportunity to learn more about a topic, read a particular work or the works of a particular author, beef up an existing unit of instruction, advance one’s technical skills, work on that advanced degree or certification, pick up a new hobby, and finish many of the other items on our ever-growing To Do Lists. Let’s make Summer 2008 a time when we actually get to accomplish a few of those things and enjoy the thrill of marking them off our lists.

The Rules
  1. Pick 3 professional development goals and commit to achieving them this summer.
  2. For the purposes of this activity the end of summer will be Labor Day (09/01/08).
  3. Post the above directions along with your 3 goals on your blog.
  4. Title your post Professional Development Meme and link back/trackback to
  5. Use the following tag/ keyword/ category on your post: pdmeme.
  6. Tag 8 others to participate in the meme.
  7. Achieve your goals and “develop professionally.”
  8. Commit to sharing your results on your blog during early or mid-September.

My Goals
1. I need an extreme makeover!
(A web-presence-makeover, that is!) My website needs a major overhaul, the OPS 24-7 Learning site needs to be revamped, my blogs need to be organized, cleaned-up, and possibly consolidated, and I need to learn how to use tools to connect all of the above. Someone (including myself!) should be able to USE the web-based resources that I've posted online, instead of getting LOST in them!
2. Publish or Perish?
For years I've been hoping to write something to satisfy my author's urge. While I get to create presentations and write on the web, I have a personal goal of someday being published. I'm not sure exactly what this will look like in fruition, but this summer I am going to START a writing project with the ultimate goal of being published in print.
3. Letting Go...
This one isn't as concrete, but I am giving myself permission to fail. Yes, that's right, I have a fear of failure. As I talk with teachers about letting go of the power in the classroom and not always knowing all the answers, I have to remind myself of that as well. It is OK to blog about something and be proven wrong. It is all right to create a pd model for the staff that not everyone agrees with or submit a proposal that isn't accepted. It is acceptable to be brave and say what I think a little more. Because it is in these failures, that we will find our biggest successes.
(Right?) :)

OK- There are my three summer pd goals. Now, to pass on the challenge... I tag... the participants in my 21st Century Learning class. For many, their first blogging efforts, this may be a good example of the far-reaching power of the blogosphere. If not, it might just be a good way to check on our goals and get something done professionally this summer!


Thinkature looks like a potentially great collaboration tool.

Check it out and see what you think!

Monday, June 9, 2008


An example of many of the elements of project-based learning, collaboration, and 21st century skills that we know are essential for our students today. Even better is the fact that this teacher put this entire project together in iWeb... a tool we all already know and love. Give yourself a little tour and see how parts of this project could be adapted to work in your classroom.

Learning from Other Professions

As a perfect summary to a large portion of our discussion this week, The SMART Board Lessons Podcast latest podcast episode focuses on connections--- connections between education and the outside world, connections between educators in professional relationships, and connections between teachers and students to foster a more productive learning environment. In addition, Ben and Joan focus another another much-needed quality of successful 21st century learning environments... the ability to take some time for self and reconnect with your personal life. (Tammy has a great blog post emphasizing the need for this along with empathy and social relationships among staff on her class blog.) So listen in to Episode 128: Learning From Other Professions and enjoy. And when you've had a chance to relax and reenergize, don't forget to download some of 's past episodes as well. Cheers!


You've heard us say that we want learning to happen 24/7 for our students. You've heard us say that the learning shouldn't be confined to the classroom walls. And you've heard us say that learning shouldn't stop when the bell rings.

Our 21st Century Learning graduate class has ended, but I hope that for you, too, the learning will continue. Please continue to follow this blog not only to reference and remember the week, but also to continue to grow in your professional journey.

I leave you with a quote I heard on the radio this morning originally attributed to Walt Disney.
"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional."

Friday, June 6, 2008

More tools to try on your own time

Way more tools than we have time for!


Self- Evaluation

In your opinion, what are the most important skills for 21st Century learning? What are the most important technology skills to infuse into your learning environment? (Feel free to cite the NETS*S and/or the P21 Framework)

Tell some ways, via digital tools, you have learned to:
• Create/Innovate
• Communicate/Collaborate
• Problem-Solve/Critically Think, etc…

Changes you can implement TODAY in your teaching (as a result of this class) (don’t necessarily have to be technology-related)

Assess yourself and your learning journey this week. Did you…?
• Create more than you consumed?
• Contribute to a collective/shared body of knowledge?
• Participate in digital dialogue?
• Use self-directed or discovery learning? (find some answers on your own)
Please try to give specific examples of all of the above.

Finally, did you “Think Different”?
Or, how has your thinking changed (if at all) as a result of taking this course?

Survey-creators, data-collectors, poll tools...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Some sites for NETS*S #1: Creativity and Innovation

Brain Rules

This book sounds incredibly interesting AND directly related to what we have talked about this week. I can't wait to order it and read it. In the meantime, the presentation and accompanying information on this blog post are really great, too!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Google Earth for Educators

Download and install GoogleEarth at:

Then visit some the many tutorials, educational resources, and classroom ideas for Google Earth listed on my Delicious Links:

RSS Aggregators

Google Reader:

Monday, June 2, 2008

21st Century Learning... a new Doane class begins at O'Neill!

A new week-long graduate course to make us 'uncomfortable' and push us to 'Think Different.'

Join in on the conversations here!