Friday, December 19, 2008

My Bookmarks and Annotations 12/19/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


My coworkers gave me a Chumby today for Christmas.

Here is my virtual Chumby on the news channel

I like my coworkers :)

Enough Already with Duncan - Educate Yourself!

This blog post is not meant to be cry of rallying support for Arne Duncan. It is meant to be an educational primer on who he is.

I put this together because I can no longer see respected people (people that I respect) put together blogs posts like these, that do nothing to help their readers, yet put out an opinion for others to follow:

At least some are giving "Equal Time"

Since others are not willing to do what we require (or inspire) our students to do - here goes:

Basic Research on Arne Duncan

Here is the CPS site for Mr. Duncan where you can actually see that he does have experience running a school district, even if he isn't a teacher. He also lists his email address. So if you have a concern or a question ask him.

Here is the link to the Catalyst Chicago article on Mr. Duncan. In case you are not aware, "Catalyst Chicago is an independent newsmagazine created in 1990 to document, analyze and support school-improvement efforts in the Chicago Public Schools."

If you go to and search for "Duncan" you will get back a lot of information regarding Duncan, his policies, and what he has (or has not) gotten done.

You might also try this at the Chicago Tribune or The Suntimes - both of which are not as Educentric.

Or even give Time or Edutopia (the Edutopia article also links to this video of an interview with him from 2007). Try this video on YouTube as well - listen to him speak, look him in the eyes, hear his views and his story.

Please do your research and don't just assume that because a Bush Aide or Secretary Spellings think that Arne Duncan is a good fit doesn't mean that he is not.

If people that typically oppose you supporting you is a bad thing then Obama is doomed to fail. Even Palin said "I'm proud of Barack Obama. I pray for him, his family, the new administration. I look forward to the good things that are in store for this nation." Get ready to move to Canada because Palin said something good about Obama...give me a break.

Take your time, learn, research, then form an opinion. I haven't made one yet regarding Duncan. However, I know many people have without doing their research.

My Bookmarks and Annotations 12/18/2008

  • Online social networking
    is now so deeply embedded in the
    lifestyles of tweens and teens that
    it rivals television for their attention,
    according to a new study
    from Grunwald Associates LLC
    conducted in cooperation with
    the National School Boards
    Nine- to 17-year-olds report
    spending almost as much time
    using social networking services
    and Web sites as they spend
    watching television. Among teens,
    that amounts to about 9 hours a
    week on social networking activities,
    compared to about 10 hours
    a week watching TV.
    Students are hardly passive
    couch potatoes online. Beyond
    basic communications, many students
    engage in highly creative
    activities on social networking
    sites — and a sizeable proportion
    of them are adventurous nonconformists
    who set the pace for their

    tags: NSBA, social_network, web2.0

  • New York Public Library joins Flickr Commons
    Posted by Cory Doctorow, December 16, 2008 10:27 PM | permalink
    The New York Public Library has joined the Flickr Commons, uploading an initial contribution of 1300 images from its photographic collections. Next, the NYPL is promising even more material!

    tags: flickr

  • MPEG Streamclip is a powerful high-quality video converter, player, editor for MPEG, QuickTime, transport streams, iPod. And now it is a DivX editor and encoding machine, and even a movie downloader.

    You can use MPEG Streamclip to: open and play most movie formats including MPEG files or transport streams; edit them with Cut, Copy, Paste, and Trim; set In/Out points and convert them into muxed or demuxed files, or export them to QuickTime, AVI, DV and MPEG-4 files with more than professional quality, so you can easily import them in a DVD authoring tool, and use them with many other applications or devices.
    Supported input formats: MPEG, VOB, PS, M2P, MOD,VRO, DAT, MOV, DV, AVI, MP4, TS, M2T, MMV, REC, VID, AUD, AVR, VDR, PVR, TP0, M2V, M1V, MPV, AIFF, M1A, MP2, MPA, AC3, ...

    tags: freeware, software, windows, converter

  • Much like Lolcats, some ├╝berteens are up in the Internet, stealing your ... well, whatever they want. If you envision these kids as harmless nerds who hole themselves up in their rooms clicking away their adolescence, check out this list, which details the costly and frightening toll their computer “games” have exacted throughout recent history.

    tags: hackers, hacker, teenage

  • Depending on which feature you use, Google Maps offers a satellite view or a street-level view of tons of locations around the world. You can look up landmarks like the Pyramids of Egypt or the Great Wall of China, as well as more personal places, like your ex’s house. But for all of the places that Google Maps allows you to see, there are plenty of places that are off-limits. Whether it’s due to government restrictions, personal-privacy lawsuits or mistakes, Google Maps has slapped a "Prohibited" sign on the following 51 places.

    tags: google, censorship, maps, googleearth, googlemaps

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Post 12/17/2008

  • Safety, education, and empowerment on YouTube
    12/11/2008 12:01:00 AM
    (Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

    We've always been committed to providing you the tools to have the best possible YouTube experience. Educating parents, teens, and families on how to stay safe on our site is a critical part of that commitment, so we can't think of a more appropriate place to introduce our new Abuse and Safety Center than at the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) conference in Washington, D.C., today.

    tags: empowerment, safety, youtube, google

  • Seven years of reform experiments—some show promise, few taken to scale, modest gains in performance by Sarah Karp and John Myers December 15, 2008

    tags: catalyst, Duncan, Sec_Ed

  • I don’t really give details about the sites I’m listing here because they’re all very similar — the music and sounds here are royalty-free and it’s just an easy matter of searching and downloading them. Of course, credit should be given to the source when they’re used in online projects. I’ve also tried avoiding sites that have obvious content not appropriate for classroom use, but something might have slipped by me.

    I also don’t believe that any of the sites here require any software download or registration.

    Here are my choices for The Best Places To Get Royalty-Free Music & Sound Effects:

    tags: Royallty_Free_Music

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Post 12/11/2008

  • When Baby Jesus disappeared last year from a Nativity scene on the lawn of the Wellington, Fla., community center, village officials didn't follow a star to locate him.

    A GPS device mounted inside the life-size ceramic figurine led sheriff's deputies to a nearby apartment, where it was found face down on the carpet. An 18-year-old woman was arrested in the theft.

    tags: GPS, Inventive_Tech

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Anatomy of a Mis-Sent Email

The funniest thing that has happened to me all week (Click on the Image to Read)

Visualizing Text

I just finished up preparing for a presentation at Stevenson High School that I will be doing this coming Friday. I posted it to Google Docs and you can see it here:

I find it really interested that I am getting a kick out of visual learning, because I have not always been the best at learning visually. I have always had a knack at pulling from text, not images. Yet I am having a blast figuring out ways to go the other way with this.

I am interested in any feedback you might have on this slide deck.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Post 12/09/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Post 12/06/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Post 12/05/2008

  • One of the biggest challenges school districts face is determining the level of tech support they need to adequately manage their computers and networks-and how much they can afford. Of course, from a Total Cost of Ownership perspective, if a school district does not provide adequate tech support, the district will pay the price somewhere: in a reduction of teacher productivity when teacher have to solve their own computer problems, in the need for additional staff training when teachers decide they can't rely on the network to be up, in the cost of wasted time and labor when administrative functions can't be managed reliably on the district's network.

    From 1983-1991, IBM Corp. and Digital Equipment Corp. worked with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a formula for calculating the number of staff needed to support a distributed computing environment. This effort, known as Project Athena, came up with this formula:

    tags: TCO, technologyplanning, Technology_Department, technology_staffing

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Post 12/04/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Post 12/02/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Better Google Searches

Thanks to Scott Weidig for getting me looking into this more!

Happy Cyber Monday!
I recently ran across a couple of resources to help your searching power when using Google. These tips will help you find better information faster!
I also found a handout to keep handy or to share with colleagues or students.
The best tip I have learned recently is to type in the answer instead of the question.
You want to know how tall Mt. Everest is.
Don't type in "How tall is Mt. Everest?"
Do Type "Mt. Everest is * tall"
The "*" acts as a wildcard and Google looks for the missing information.
There are a lot of other great ways to search better and the resources below will help you out.
Here is how to use Google to find information you never knew you could:
These two videos are helpful as well.
Also check these Google pages for more tips:

Happy Searching!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Post 11/25/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Post 11/22/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Post 11/21/2008

  • Free resource for making and embedding photo books online

    tags: flickr, photos

  • Allowing people to interact with each other and the information in a focused way affords participants the opportunity to learn more and focus more on the content. Instead of sitting passively, succumbing to the temptation to take mental meanders, participating in a backchannel brings a collaborative element that actually increases mental attentiveness.

    tags: backchannels, education

  • Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.

    tags: photos, google, Images, history, archive, resources, search, hosted

  • Elaine Krajenke Ellison

    B.A. Mathematics
    Michigan State University 1967
    M.A. Mathematics Education University of Colorado 1971
    Ed.S. Administration
    Central Michigan University 1985

    Welcome to my home page! I am very pleased that I can share my mathematical quilts with you. Hopefully, after viewing the quilts, you will have a new way of looking at what my quilts are trying to communicate: a love of mathematics and quilting. I am a retired high school teacher of mathematics. Most of my career I taught at West Lafayette High School, West Lafayette, Indiana. I also taught a mathematics methods course for future high school teachers at Purdue. My classroom has changed since I retired. I now work mostly with quilters and pre-service teachers. I encourage the future teachers to try using quilts in their classroom. Quilts serve as a visual introduction to mathematical concepts that allows students to explore mathematics as they gain geometric insights. My quilts will engage the viewer in mathematical visualization, helping to further the role of problem solving. I have done workshops around the world. My talks include the London Science Museum, other science groups, art museums, various quilt groups, school groups, and mathematical groups. Along with co-author Dr.Diana Venters, I have written: Mathematical Quilts and More Mathematical Quilts. To find hands-on activities. and patterns for many of the quilts here, consult the above two books.

    Some quilts are for sale - please contact Elaine at for more information and prices.

    tags: math, quilts, projectbasedlearning

  • What is Swivel?
    Swivel's mission is to make data useful.

    * Explore and compare data, graphs and maps.
    * Share insights via email, blog or data downloads.
    * Upload the data you care about.

    If you're curious about data, Swivel is the place for you.

    Looks like a nice resource for visualizing data. Demonstrated by Annette Lamb at IETC 2008 in Springfield IL.

    tags: data, web2.0, statistics, visualization, graphs, tools, analysis, research

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Here are some links for the IETC conference

Conference Website
Thursday Handouts
Friday Handouts

Friday, November 14, 2008

Post 11/14/2008

  • By recognizing that the Golden Rule is fundamental to all world religions, the Charter for Compassion can inspire people to think differently about religion. This Charter is being created in a collaborative project by people from all over the world. It will be completed in 2009. Use this site to offer language you'd like to see included. Or inspire others by sharing your own story of compassion.

    tags: TED, compassion, charter

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Embedding Flickr Photos using Pictobrowser

Want a photo gallery almost anywhere on your site? Like this

There has been some questions lately about photo galleries on our teacher's website pages. We are going to be adding some more internal gallery abilities on our website this year.

However, when the site was designed we had planned on leveraging the free tools out there through sites like flickr and youtube to distribute photos and video. Pictures and video are both resource hogs that we would prefer not to pay to host if someone out there is giving us the space and tools for free.

Here is the first installment in getting this done. Here is a document (pdf - let me know if you want the original word document to modify) that explains how to create a flickr account and use a free service from pictobrowser to create an embed code to place a photo gallery from flickr on your site.

The best part of this type of tool is that you can put it anywhere you can use html code!

In other words you can use it in blogs, email, wiki's or anywhere else you can put in html code.

Please try this out and give me any feedback to improve the directions.

Here are the directions

Post 11/13/2008

  • How does it work?
    For a long period of time, we have been training our system to recognize texts that characterize the different types. The system, typealyzer, can now by itself find features that distinguishes one type from another. When all features, words and sentences, are combined typealyzer is able to guess which type its is most likely to be written by using statistical analysis.

    How can a computer know who I am?
    It doesn´t. But with a good amount of text it can make a pretty good guess. In addition, we all have different roles in different situations. By studying how people write, we can get an glimpse of what is on the mind of the person and what is characteristic of the person - or, as in the case of a blog - what is typical of the role/persona used when writing that blog. A person can have several blogs - and often have different roles for the various blogs - perhaps as a way to live out more sides of themselves.

    What’s the technology you use?
    Probability theory, statistics and a naive bayesian classifier.

    My blog is a ISTP - The Mechanics
    The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generelly prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

    tags: blogging, textanalysis, typealyzer

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, November 03, 2008

So What Happened Last Week?

Question - Ok Hank - You had these grand plans about posting during sessions at T+L - What happened?

Answer - No reliable WiFi access!

Question - What about at night at the hotel?

Answer - I actually work while at these things! Between meeting with staff (we had 19 people out there in Seattle), taking care of work related issues back home, and trying to let my wife and kids know that I was still alive I chose not to make time for blogging.

Here is the deal...

The T+L conference organizers asked in advance if people would blog for them. I volunteered. Problem is, there was no WiFi in any of the presentation rooms and it was really weak in the large meeting rooms.

If you want me to blog I need my tools. When I blog I cross reference what presenters are saying, link to interesting outside sources, and write directly online.

None of this is possible without the Internet.

I plead to you technology conference organizers everywhere - please prepare for and offer adequate WiFi so the world can participate in our event!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

At the NSBA T+L Conference in Seattle

We arrived in Seattle yesterday and got a chance to walk around the city. It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed the views.

I like the venue for the conference this year - the layout seems compact in comparison to the sprawling layout of Nashville last year. I have my day planned and will be live blogging from the sessions I attend.

Here is today's schedule (all times are PST):
7:30am Breakfast Speaker on 1-1 Computing Room 4C2
9:15am Keynote Room 6ABC
11:15 Vendor Floor
12:30 Showcase Luncheon Room 4C3-4
2:15 CTO Forum Room 4C2
4:15 Vendor Floor
5:00 Meet up with Group
5:30 Dinner @ the Space Needle
7:30 Meet up with others

Friday, October 24, 2008

Post 10/24/2008

  • New findings on the social nature of the brain reveal the need for principals to fashion a school culture of warmth and trust.

    tags: DLC

  • New findings on the social nature of the brain reveal the need for principals to fashion a school culture of warmth and trust.

    tags: DLC

    • Psychologists have known for a century that people do their best when they experience both high motivation and manageable stress; when people are undermotivated or overstressed, their performance suffers.
    • during inspired moments of learning, students experience a potent mix of attention, interest, and good feelings
      • Teachers did their best job and felt most satisfied when they perceived that the school head

        • Led flexibly rather than sticking to needless rules.

        • Let them teach in their own way, holding them accountable for the results.

        • Set challenging but realistic goals for excellence.

        • Valued their efforts, recognizing a job well done.
    • headteachers, data analysis found, could best create such a climate when they were firm but fair and had a “people first, task second” attitude, addressing teachers' personal needs as well as their collective goals.
    • Six Common Leadership Styles

      Visionary. Inspires by articulating a heartfelt, shared goal; routinely gives performance feedback and suggestions for improvement in terms of that goal.

      Coaching. Takes people aside for a talk to learn their personal aspirations; routinely gives feedback in those terms and stretches assignments to move toward those goals.

      Democratic. Knows when to listen and ask for input; gets buy-in and draws on what others know to make better decisions.

      Affiliative. Realizes that having fun together is not a waste of time, but builds emotional capital and harmony.

      Pacesetting. Leads by hard-driving example and expects others to meet the same pace and high performance standards; tends to give Fs, not As.

      Commanding. Gives orders and demands immediate compliance; tends to be coercive.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Post 10/23/2008

  • Works Made for Hire under the 1976 Copyright Act

    Under the 1976 Copyright Act as amended (title 17 of the United States Code), a work is protected by copyright from the time it is created in a fixed form. In other words, when a work is written down or otherwise set into tangible form, the copyright immediately becomes the property of the author who created it. Only the author or those deriving their rights from the author can rightfully claim copyright.

    Although the general rule is that the person who creates a work is the author of that work, there is an exception to that principle: the copyright law defines a category of works called “works made for hire.” If a work is “made for hire,” the employer, and not the employee, is considered the author. The employer may be a firm, an organization, or an individual.

    To understand the complex concept of a work made for hire, it is necessary to refer not only to the statutory definition but also to its interpretation in cases decided by courts.

    tags: copyright

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day: Poverty

How appropriate that today would be Blog Action Day and Focus on Poverty. Based on a recommendation by Dennis Richards I just finished reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. The book itself is a biography of Dr. Paul Farmer and his lifelong crusade to cure the world of illness by setting the example in the world's most diseased locales in the wost conditions (Haiti, Peru, Russia) but it is really a cry out against those that are blessed that are turning their eyes away from the poor. After reading it I believe that what Dr. Farmer is trying to point out is that poverty is the root of the cause of what ills the world - not just sickness.

So what is the connection here to my edtech blog? Simply this - our world is now open to the eyes of our students. Technology makes it possible to with a couple of clicks able to read about poverty, TB, or AIDS which is faster access to print resources than we have ever had. It also allows us to make it more powerful through images or video. It even allows us to find great organizations that our kids can help support like

More importantly we need our kids to learn how to use the tools around them to act as change agents to make their world a better place.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Post 10/09/2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Post 10/08/2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Post 10/04/2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Ebb and Flow

This is now my 4th year out of the classroom. This is significant to me because I remember thinking back in my 4th year of teaching that I was finally catching on. I was able to focus more on my students than my teaching. I automatically was able to do menial tasks and certain challenges from when I first started teaching became second nature.

I am not there yet in this role.

This transition has been harder for me. Some of it comes from changing districts in the middle of it. I am sure that if I had remained as a Tech Coordinator at Conant I would have it down by now. However, there is one thing that I am beginning to keenly understand.

The ebb and flow of Instructional Technology training and support.

July through September is nuts. There is so much happening that every misstep or problem seems disastrous - that you won't recover or get on track. School starts and teachers and students settle in and you are able to get back into a flow. The tech team begins to get over the mountain of help requests - they start to be closed faster than they come in. The focus changes from deployment of technology to teaching students and teachers how to use it. Hopefully in that process we help our teachers to teach more effectively and challenge our students to learn.

This week we had Charlene Chausis in to work with our staff development team. I finally felt like we were taking that step and beginning to move forward with what is really important in educational technology - Education (thanks for the help Charlene!).

Soon the ebb will take us into the planning process for next year's technology. Next week the focus will be on goal setting for my team. I really expect that this will help us greatly.

Here is to knowing that I am still learning...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Post 10/02/2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Post 09/30/2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Post 09/26/2008

  • tags: no_tag

    • Quick Start. When you want to learn, you just jump in and start messing around.
    • Fact Finder. Before she starts a task, she needs to know all about it.
    • Implementors—like Thomas Edison, for example—need physical objects to work with
    • ollow Thrus. They set up orderly systems
  • tags: no_tag

    • self-efficacy—her belief that she could succeed at specific tasks and life in general.

Monday, September 22, 2008

One Week Later - A Question of Reliability

We are a week after the flood and everything is back to normal at our schools. The same can't be said for all of our families, some of which are still homeless or have been greatly impacted by the local flooding.

Last week was an interesting test for us. Over the past year we had fiber optics installed for our data network and we have been transitioning off of our T1 lines. Currently some of our systems are on fiber, some are on T1, and some ride between them.

Last week's flood put an important box of equipment (somewhere between us and AT&T) underwater and behind police barricades. We lost part of our network for 48 hours. Here is what I learned.

1. The more dependable your network becomes the more people rely on it.

  • 2 years ago network outages were common here. People counted on the network going down at times. Over the past year we have been down for no more than 10 minutes at a time and but one instance was a planned occurrence (that one was AT&T's fault). Nobody counts on it going down anymore and most everyone is unhappy when it does.
2. Give people a tool to communicate with and they will use it. Take it away and you cripple them.
  • Last year we added Blackberries to our communication structure. Part of their infrastructure was using the T1 that went out. Without the Blackberries providing email we went through a communication interruption. It was difficult to quickly get a hold of anyone, plus many people didn't have each other's phone numbers because they always email each other. We have to fix that one
3. Break the network hear from everyone - fix it and nobody calls.
  • Ok this may be whining, but here goes anyway. How many people called to thank us when we hacked stuff together to get the blackberries working 24 hours into the outage - nobody. How many people were outraged that it didn't work right and they were inconvinienced - lots. Yeah, I am whining.
Lesson learned - our disater management needs some work.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Post 09/16/2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

AUP's, Unions, and Stuff that has to do with them...

Interesting afternoon...

This was sent out by the Teacher's Union today and was routed to me by several teachers and was titled “MTA Warning”

“Don’t put too much faith in this technological terror that has been created. . .” (accompanied by a picture of Darth Vader)

A reminder. . .
The use of computers that are associated with the District 207 server/laptops does not guarantee personal security in regards to your computer activity and emails. Avoid the use of the school PC’s to convey personal or highly sensitive information to other people. Your emails can be monitored and read, if the need presents itself. Also, the use of a “Blind Copy” does not guarantee any camouflage either.

If you have to convey personal information in regards to MTA or personal business, it is best to keep it out of the District’s system. Either, contact your building reps personally or use the district email to set up a meeting/conversation, but do not divulge anything of a sensitive nature on the District email.

Also, as of now, anything you place on the Website (outside of the classroom blog) can be accessible to anyone who visits the Website. Be careful of what you place on it in regards to personal information and professional/pedagogical use.

Your MTA

I had already been working on my inaugural letter regarding the newly approved (in February of last year) AUP. So this is what I sent out:
Good Afternoon,

In light of the information provided to you by the MTA, I wanted to follow up with some information regarding the District's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). As you all know, there is a lot more technology floating around the district this year. I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone of how the District's AUP applies to staff and students. The policy is available at this link:

The main ideas behind the AUP are summarized as:

The primary purpose of the District 207 electronic communications network (D207net) and technologies which attach to it is to support and enhance learning and teaching that prepares students for success in an information society. Users have no expectation of privacy in their use of D207net. D207 has the right to access, review, copy, delete, or disclose, as allowed by law, any digitally recorded information stored in, or passed through D207net, regardless of the initial intentions of the user. D207 has the right and responsibility to monitor the use of D207net by its users including tracking of internet, network, hardware, and software use. Employees should be aware that any digitally recorded information, even that of personal nature, can be subject to disclosure under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. Users assume responsibility for understanding the policy and guidelines as a condition of using the network. Staff members are accountable to teach and use the network responsibly. Use of the network that is inconsistent with this policy may result in loss of access as well as other disciplinary or legal action.

In everyday English here is what that means:

1. Everything that passes across out network has the possibility of intentionally or unintentionally being recorded and retained forever.
2. Anything that is on our network is subject to the Freedom of Information Act and other laws that could result in this information being searched and becoming public - nothing you do electronically, on the website or otherwise, should ever be considered private in nature
3. Never do, write, or say anything electronically within the school walls or on a piece of school technology that you wouldn't want published on the front page of a newspaper.
4. You are responsible for anything that happens to your account when logged into a computer, even if you are not in front of it, so remember to log off.
5. Don't store any student records or information on your laptop, jumpdrive, or on anything that can be lost - use SIS to record all of this information.
These are common rules in all schools, and most workplaces, across the United States. Even Microsoft has such policies - they sum it up this way: "Be Smart".

Have a great weekend,


From my perspective, this is all actually a really good thing. From what I understand of the legality of these matters, the union just wholeheartedly supported the intentions of the AUP and let the membership know that they should abide by it. I hope everyone heeds their leadership’s advice. Either way, the combination of the Union’s letter and my email leaves no doubt that all teachers should be following the rules outlined in the AUP.

I understand that some teachers think that this is all there so that the administration can “catch” someone, but really we all hope that these types of policies are never needed. I am hoping that next year the Union and I can sit down together and put together a document together that goes out.

Finally Quieting Down and Gearing up

Well I have been away from blogging for a while. We had a crazy summer around here and everyone is back in place. I am setting a goal to offer more to the professional community this year (more details on how later - still piecing this together).

I have been in a reflective mood over the last few days. It has been 14 months since I moved into this new role and I am trying to assess my impact on 207. I came here to work with a large organization to impact change. I'm not quite sure yet if it is all coming together perfectly or if it is tenuously held together with paperclips and bubblegum. I guess only time will answer that one.

There have been a lot of people involved in moving this mountain and we are much further ahead in infrastructure, hardware, software, staffing, and planning. I feel like we are ready for the hardest part - using all of that to impact how learning occurs in the classroom.

We will be working as a technology staff along with teachers over the next few weeks to prepare for the ways that we can use technology to infuse postmodern methodologies of instruction into our classrooms - and perhaps even uncover emerging methodologies.

What do you feel is the most important thing to keep in mind as we embark on this journey?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Post 08/05/2008

  • Yahoo BOSS allows developers to create their own customized search apps based on Yahoo’s search engine, and the Google App Engine is a platform for hosting apps. Vik Singh, the engineer who leads the Yahoo Boss project (and a former Google engineer) created a simple Question-Answering Service, where you put in a question, and it tries to come up with the answer based on the top 50 results from Yahoo. (So, if you ask, “Who invented the light bulb?,” it looks for the most popular dates in the top 50 results and returns: “Thomas Edison”).

    tags: search, google, Yahoo!, q&a

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Hall Davidson - Cellphones in Schools

Kinda live blogging Hall's presentation - trying to "catch the gist"

"High School Girls Can do More with a Phone in a Bag than you can Ever Imagine"

Parents are going to start requiring that their kids carry cellphones in schools because parents want to track monitor stalk tether etc... their kids

Schools are losing the debate about whether or not a kid can carry a cellphone

Cellphones are turning over quickly and they are changing.

Nokia is largest manufacturer of digital cameras and media players

US is 3-4 years behind the tech world in cellphone use

Third world countries use cellphones - even Cuba

The Taliban forbids cellphones and so does a High School near you.

Hall demonstrates a live video feed from Qik with the help of Steve Dembo


Send in lesson plans via video
Announcements - video messages that anyone can see

Pre and post assignments with your kids

Cellphones will all have video soon. We should start thinking about how we will use this in education.

Showing sample videos

Just showed how to send a Jott to Twitter - It didn't work the first time - tried a second time.

How about using Jott to document interventions for RTI - use Jott to send an email to yourself

You can use your cellphone to translate text

Hall asked the audience to use G-cast to record the answer to a question and poll the audience on a question

Text Hall a story in six words - he posted his cell number (I won't here)

Demonstrates Poll Everywhere - asks why would you want to buy a classroom response system when most kids already have a cellphone

Schools need to develop a cellphone acceptable use policy

Hall uses Poll Everywhere to gather short answer feedback real-time about a cellphone acceptable use policy

Cutting Edge Cellphone Stuff

Use the cellphone as a "bar code scanner" to gather information from a code on the side of an item (I remember hearing about this in Japan existing already)
A cellphone that "reads" the items that you put in front of it developed by Kuzweil
Put your medical record on your cellphone
A phone that monitors bad breath :)
Medical reference
Video Projector (showed a video of a cellphone with a projector built in)
Google 466453
Food info 34381 - text it big mac for an example
Google Calendar

Hall Asks - How will we move new media into education?

One time cable was once new media and look what it has given us.

Old media is becoming new media with mobile web presences - take the weather channel for example.

Our non working hours have been ruined by cellphones - why shouldn't it happen for the kids? Send them a quiz on their cellphone!

This isn't going away find some way to embrace it.

30% of I-phone users are watching videos on their phones.

Hall demonstrated using 2 I-phones used as a keyboard.

His presentation will be at under his name later today

End of Live Blog

Monday, June 30, 2008

New Website Changes - By Request at NECC

Several of my colleagues at NECC have been asking how the website is coming.

I thought I would just blog an update...

The tools are coming together better than we ever imagined. Teachers will have 8 tools to add information to their website.

Each of these buttons opens a form based interface that allows teachers to input specific information very quickly.

This is a sample of the teacher's page where their information is populated.

Here is the cool part:

We are also building a personalized page where information from all of a student's classrooms and activities is collated in one place. 1 stop shopping for students and parents.

You can see the student page graphical design here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Digital Story

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Should I Know Web 2.0 Presentation Results

After a lot of planning yesterday's presentation went real well. I got some great feedback from the participant's evaluations, and have several things to adapt, but it went well.

I still want to add podcasting resources, more on google groups, make mention to second live and VLE's, and some other things I left out. It is amazing how fast 8 hours can go.

It was great to be in front of a class again. I really miss that everyday.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Digital Storytelling Resources as a Zoho Notebook

Following up on my Web 2.0 presentation using Zoho Notebook I have collated together a collection of my favorite Digital Storytelling resources in a new notebook for a presentation later this week.

The challenge of this presentation is that I am running it in 2 labs at the same time.

So here is the plan:

  • Intro about the power of storytelling and follow it up with the added advantages that telling it digitally does.
  • Demo the basics of how photostory works
  • Individuals work on their own story for about an hour.
  • Quick Q&A - share successes.
  • More playtime
  • Close by letting people circulate and show off their work in progress.

What do you think? Is there anything I am missing?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Should I Know Web 2.0? Presentation using Zoho Notebook

I am working on a presentation on Web 2.0 Tools and how to use them in education.

I am trying something new and using Zoho notebook as the presentation tool. I have really liked how easy it is to insert video and webpages directly into the pages. Once I got more comfortable with the UI and where to click I was able to put stuff together quite quickly. Of course I am borrowing and stealing from across the web.

You can see the presentation here

I am open for suggestions or stuff I missed. I am going to start one on digital storytelling next.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Today's TED Talk

I took a moment this morning to start my day off with a TED talk (Based on Ewan McIntosh's recommendation). I watched this presentation by Seyi Oyesola that talks about solving problems with high level healthcare and surgery in Africa. He is using inovative technologies to create solutions to impact change in a difficult setting.

This isn't so different from what is going on in education right now.

The quote the Ewan focused on in his blog was:

We the willing have been doing so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing
This may have been the case (and still is - in some places) when it comes to educational technology. It has been for many years in the district I am in now. My question is - if you could do anything with nothing, what are your responsibilities to your students once you have everything you need? I believe that your responsibilities change. That my responsibilities change.

My favorite quote by Dr. Oyesola was this one:

There are no prizes offered to those that point out the problems.

So I will take his advice and follow his lead, by continuing to solve difficult problems with passion.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Post 05/10/2008

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Live Blog AZTEA keynote Tim Tyson

Live Blogged-please forgive mistakes or typos

Making our way through dignitaries.

Arizona Superintendent of Schools sees laptops in the hands of every kid in the coming years. However, he says that he never sees paper books going away.

Tim Tyson - former principal of Mabry Middle School

He is using Screenflow for Mac to record the presentation (Camtasia for Macs)

Discussing his new presentation style based on web 2.0 tools. Starting with a demo of Poll Everywhere which allows you poll the audience via text. It gives real time reporting of answers. Audience pretty impressed by the technology.

Reviewing history of changing education printing press, telegraph, audio recording, video recording, broadcasting. we are now going through a new shift thanks to the internet. we have instant global engagement. Media used to be controlled. Controlled for content, quality, and financial gain. Down smart mobs benefit from the knowledge of the whole.

mentions this post

The internet is like a middle School student - it is in its adolescence, Coming next is collective action. Wikipedia for example. References and mentions net neutrality.

Individual people Can attract others to collective action. Which than impacts media. this changes distribution models. Communication no longer limited by geography.

Problem is that students have no technical role models. Therefore they are creating inferior products. We need to teach them.

Multitasking VS. Continuous partial attention. Multitasking-equal attention to each thing going on VS. favoring tasks that pop up. we are cramming 30 hrs into a 24 hour day.

what students are doing now online is not improving their skills and it is not meaningful. They are not making contributions to knowledge. we need to understand by design. Education isn't about Content and grades.

To prepare students for tomorrow we need to create a positive connection to learning. We have beaten the fun out of learning.

When we talk about technology we focus too much on economic Sustainability. we need to Use technology to charge flee way we teach students to contribute. kids love technology because it connects them to their friends.

Wikipedia One hundred million hours of human thought and contribution. In the last fifty years we have watched two hundred billion hours of tv. This is wasted time-no cognitive investment. If we used commercial time during to watching we gain back cognitive surplus equal to the wikipedia project.

We need to design instruction to take advantage of the cognitive surplus. Are we going to ban the tools, such as cellphones, that will help this charge or ban them?

Broadcast is dead. Online media distribution is the future. Completely interactive online media content is coming. We need to actively engage our students. Are you giving your best to your students? Don't Say you don't have time to get it done. Donate your cognitive surplus to learning and making a difference.

End live blog

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Post 05/01/2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Post 04/29/2008

  • There are hundreds of articles on Twitter all over the web, so I am not going to waste your time or mine on how to use twitter or the importance of it. All I can say is Twitter is the best thing that has been around in terms of marketing and networking.

    At the end of this post, I have compiled some of the best guides and posts for you on Twitter.

    tags: twitter, unmissable

  • Games in Education video created by Mark Wagner and Michael Guerena of the Orange County (CA) Department of Education's Educational Technology group. Nice overview of the issues and has the proper experts involved in the discussion.

    tags: games, videogames, education, learning

Monday, April 28, 2008

David Thornburg 4/25 Presentation Follow-up

Some Technologies Referenced by David Thornburg

Cisco’s Telepresence

Jeff Han’s Multi Touch Display

Johnny Lee – Wii Hack

Some others that he didn’t show that are way cool:


Robots that are self aware:

If you want to go back in the time machine – here is a similar presentation to David’s by Nicholas Negroponte done in 1984 about what technologies would be coming. Some people thought he was off base then – and a lot of this came true.

With a lot of technology – it isn’t if – it is when…

As Dr. Thornburg said – “It is creativity that is holding us back, not technology”

Roundtable Discussion with David Thornburg and Chris Dede

Last Friday, after the district institute, we had a round table discussion with Chris Dede and David Thornburg.

Here are the highlights:

Topics Discussed in the Roundtable Discussion:

Games and Education:

There can be real power in the engagement level of kids playing games. However, the transition from using them as a form of entertainment to that of an instructional tool has not been successful. Referenced several projects:

River City:

NASA’s MMO Proposal:

Lucas Learning:

Additional Resources:

Gaming helps students hone 21st-century skills:

Video – Video Games in Education

Marc Prensky Videogame & Education References:

Cellphones and Learning:

Should we be looking for ways to have students leverage the computing power of the technology they are carrying with them? There are some teachers in the US doing this already.

Referenced: as a website where real lessons are posted. There are also additional resources on this page and great links.

Open Source Software:

Allows schools to leverage the cost of software to their advantage. Good discussion of this topic is available here: Make sure to check out open office


The power of technology in education in the future may be directly related to assessment. Technology may give us the ability to gather lots of data about students’ performance in authentic settings and allow us to analyze it. Would allow for more formative assessment leading to better models of differentiated instruction.

Where do you go to learn about technology in education?

Websites to visit:


· Classroom 2.0 Ning

· TechLearning

· Commoncraft Howto Videos

· Edtechnot:

People to read or follow their blogs:

Seymour Papert:

David Warlick:

Will Richardson:

Vicki Davis:

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach:

Assistive Technologies:

An area that is growing rapidly – but something that requires a lot of creativity.

Referenced:One2OneMate: and E-Blocks:

High Tech High Schools: Is there a high school that is integrating all of this? Here is one:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reflection Interface

Trip My Presentation

I was trying something new with VoiceThread (well new to me anyway).

I tried to uploaded my presentation on increasing student achievement through online communication. I was hoping my PLN might be interesting in viewing it and providing some feedback. For some reason I can't get this presentation to work on VT. I have the piece of it up that discusses student journaling.

So instead, embedded here is my presentation with my voice comments over the top. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. A pdf of the presentation is posted as well.