Thursday, July 26, 2007

Technology & Learnings: For Web 2.0 newbies, here is a visual tour of key tools for educators.

If you are not terribly familiar with some of the Internet tools labeled Web 2.0, here a concise guide to give you some background on these tools:

The Web 2.0 Visual Glossary

Techlearning > > The Web 2.0 Visual Glossary > June 15, 2007

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hear what you're missing-sound added to Google Earth

The creation of Google Earth first wowed us with it's amazing ability to zoom in on any part of the world so we could get a better look.  Whether you're teaching setting in a novel that takes place in Paris, or sharing the different topographies with elementary students, Google Earth helped us take our students around the world--visually.  Now, through a partnership with Wild Sanctuary, we can also hear the natural sounds of landscapes both familiar and foreign to our ears.  Even better--if you do not have Google Earth, you can also access this feature on a limited basis via Google Maps.

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Learning from the best

It's been so exciting to read about the NECC conference, sessions, and exhibit hall. I can't wait to spend some time trying to better understand it all. Luckily for us in South Dakota, we don't have to go to a national event in another state to hear about the latest in technology integration. First there was relative newcomer to the educational technology keynote scene Will Richardson at the TIE conference in Rapid City, sharing his look at how Web 2.0 is changing our lives, and then about a month ago, David Warlick returned to our state to continue sharing his excellent and practical tools for teachers at the Laptop Institute in Mitchell. To find out more about the Landmark Project, visit the links below. And don't miss Warlick's article in TechLearning titled, A Day in the Life of Web 2.0 (you can also listen to the podcast).

Thursday, July 5, 2007

NECC 2007 - Keynote

NECC 2007 - Keynote

Click the link directly above to view the entry in the TIE Lead blog...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

NECC 2007 - Staggeringly Good Things Integrating Media and Google Earth

More and more teachers are becoming familiar with the wonders of Google Earth. Hall Davidson of Discovery presented tips on extending the capabilities of Google earth:
Staggeringly Good Things Integrating Media and Google Earth

Nearly everyone works with the standard version of Google Earth, mostly because Google Earth Pro costs $400 a year. What many don't know is that Google Earth Pro is available !!FREE!! to educators by contacting Debra Kettmann at and asking for an educator application (I have already gone through the process and have been using Pro for about a year).

Hall demonstrated how to place image overlays and add video or audio to placemarks within Google. His extensive handout (37 pages) provides much of what you need to try these features. He also highlighted Google Lit Trips, a website that highlights areas of the earth featured in great literary works like Candide, The Grapes of Wrath, The Odyssey, etc. Each lit trip provides information about the literary work, embedded right in the Google Earth placemark (if you are interested, Google Lit Trips welcomes more teachers to add to this content).

Some of the placemark files he used to demonstrate these extended features can be found at:
Media Matters: DEN Goes to NECC '07

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NECC 2007 - Integrating Real-World Data in Classrooms

Greg Bartus of CIESE (Center for Innovation in Engeneering and Science Education) presented resources and ideas for integrating real world data in classroom learning.
CIESE: Integrating Real-World Data in Classrooms
He also shared a catalog of collabroative projects their supported schools participate in:
CIESE - Curriculum: K-12 CIESE Online Classroom Projects

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NECC 2007 - Shedding Light on Web 2.0

Many educators are quite familiar with Kathy Schrock. She did a session titled Shedding Light on Web 2.0 which I did not attend but I find the resources very useful. Her presentation slides can be found at
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NECC 2007 - Sowing the Seeds for a More Creative Society

Mitchel Resnick of MIT
Sowing the Seeds for a More Creative Society
is part of a project called Lifelong Kindergarten where they develop new technologies that "in the spirit of the blocks and fingerpaint of kindergarten, expand the range of what people can design, create, and learn." Virtually all educators that students need to think and act creatively, yet as students work through the educational system they move farther from the creative spiral process of imagine-->create-->play-->share-->reflect-->imagine...
One piece of software (FREE!!) they developed is Scratch,
a graphical environment for creative programming. The website also hosts shared projects that others download, then enhance and share again. He also shared other LEGO/Mindstorms projects they are working on.

My notes on the session can be found at
LS Notes: Sowing the Seeds for a More Creative Society

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NECC 2007 - How Virtual Worlds Help Real Students: The River City MUVE

Chris Dede of Harvard University and his colleagues presented a session on the importance of using MUVE (Multiple User Virtual Environments) to immerse participants in rich digital environments.
NECC 2007
How Virtual Worlds Help Real Students: The River City MUVE
Dede points out that as more and more jobs get automated by machines and computers, two areas important for people to add to work is expert decision making and complex communications. In the pursuit of emphasizing 21st century skills, many educators focus on the ability of problem solving. Dede believes the ability of problem finding may be even more important. He also reiterates the importance of the ability to make meaning out of complexity and the ability of comprehension by a team, not just individuals. In their MUVE project, River City, students travel through a 19th century virtual city to determine why people are getting sick. They investigate on multiple levels within the game, set hypotheses, and collect data. They find that students are highly engaged and they improve their biological knowledge at double the rate of non-MUVE students.

eSchool News shares some video clips from this session.

My notes on this session can be found at
LS Notes: How Virtual Worlds Help Real Students: The River City MUVE

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NECC 2007 - Visual Learning: An Accelerant

Cheryl Lemke of the Metiri Group presented a very thought provoking session on the importance for educators to focus on Visual Learning.
Visual Learning: An Accelerant
Education is highly oriented to teaching to the text world, but schools also need to educate students on the "grammar" of visual literacy. Cheryl presents specifics on how the brain works with evidence of increased learning potential with the visual stimulus. She also provides examples of manipulated news media and the importance of students' to discern that manipulation. She describes how schools need to produce expressive and inventive thinkers. Cheryl's presentation can be found at:

My notes on this session of the conference can be found at:
LS Notes: Visual Learning: An Accelerant

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