Monday, September 24, 2007

One Laptop project offers machines to U.S. customers

As production of the One Laptop Per Child machines gets under way, the nonprofit will on Nov. 12 offer U.S. customers two laptops for $399, one for themselves and another for a child in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, and Rwanda. Denmark education professor Jan Soelberg said the early model he tried was a bit slow and buggy, but had the capabilities of any other modern laptop. BusinessWeek (9/24)

PowerPoint as an Effective Student Presentation Tool

PowerPoint has proven to be an engaging student presentation tool. However, is it also distracting? What's the best way to use it for student presentations? The article from Education World,"What's the Point of PowerPoint?", answers those questions and offers suggestions for its use in the classroom. It even includes a detailed lesson plan and rubric!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Google Offers Free Presentation Tool

By signing up for a Google account, one can have access to Google Docs, an online word processor and spreadsheet developer. Why use these? The files can then be shared with anyone, and they are always available online. Suppose you are working on a report, and you need some help. With Google Docs, you can share the document with a friend and get his/her opinion.
Now Google is offering a free presentation tool that works very much like PowerPoint. Again, the presentation will always be available to you online and can be shared. This is a nice alternative if you do not have PowerPoint. To read the article from MSNBC, click

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Is User Education Pointless?

TechnicallySpeaking@TIE: Is User Education Pointless?

Please click on the link above to view the blog posting on TechnicallySpeaking@TIE.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Generation YES

Generation YES has wonderful technology integration ideas for teachers. Students work with teachers to bring effective technology into the classrooms and libraries. The resulting collaboration provides the students with project-based learning and teachers with on-site, sustainable professional development. It is suitable for
Elementary, Middle, and High School.

Check out this blog article for an interactive graphic called a Voki - your students will love it!
Voki! A fun way to introduce yourself
Keeping Students Engaged On Many Levels - Fantasy Sports Leagues Teach Math

Assessing Preschools

Some states are creating an awareness of the preschools in their states. With a concern that some children begin school "behind," these states are proactive rather than reactive. Some critics argue that the state will not stop and begin placing unfair expectations on the preschool teachers - requiring them to get children to the level they need to be to enter school. I prefer to think of it as an assessment tool for parents when it comes to choosing preschools. As a parent, I would prefer to send my child to the preschool in which their graduates were doing well in kindergarten. There are pros and cons, but for now, I think it's a step in the right direction.

To read the article, "States Move Toward Closer Scrutiny of Preschools" from Education Week go to

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Make Your Life Less Hectic

We all know that teachers do not just teach; the job description goes far beyond that. Most teachers also take on extracurricular duties, from coaching the golf team to organizing the concession stand. It seems the time spent to arrange the necessary meetings and distributing information takes more time than a teacher has. Simplify your life: use a wiki. By creating a wiki, you can post schedules, eliminate the need for some meetings, and keep everyone informed.

For example, you are the staff sponsor for the school newspaper. Topics must be discussed, deadlines must be met, and finally, the paper must be published. Put some responsibility on the students. Create a wiki space where you can post deadlines. Award editing privileges to your editors. Now they can post the deadlines and any other information. Invite the other newspaper staffers to a discussion on possible topics to be covered.

The wiki is a good place to put football schedules, including the time the bus leaves. With the information on the internet, the parents can check out the information, rather than calling the school or the student. Include extra-curricular guidelines, coach's expectations, and maybe a weekly summary of the competitions.

Maintaining the communication line between students and coaches over the summer can be difficult. Use the wiki to post summer camp information. What camp will your band be attending? How long will the basketball team be gone? If you are a band or vocal instructor who gives lessons over the summer, use the wiki to post your schedule. Now the students and parents can check the wiki.

These are only a few uses for the wiki; the possibilities are endless. Even more satisfying is that the wiki is so easy to use. For more information on wikis go to:

Monday, September 3, 2007