USN Lower School Technology!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Smart Board in Use!

Hello. For those of you who have been hearing about the smartboard in the LS Technology for Learning lab, I have been exploring ways to use it and made a little .wmv movie of 1st graders labelling computer parts with a webpage I created using a small cgi script. The script allows for random placement of labels upon page refresh and it works like a charm. Now on to other ways to use this fantastic tool!


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

February update!

Hmmmmm... It's been a good long while since I updated here, partly because I don't get the sense that anyone's reading, partly because we've been so busy in the lab (and I've been so busy with preparing and teaching and writing and podcasting) that it just hasn't happened.

The 4th graders are doing fantastic work with their Aztec research. Meanwhile, the (probably not final--still making sure everyone's work is represented) 4th grade PowerPoint work with constellations is up and online at our website. this is a loooooooong PowerPoint but fun to watch. I am particularly proud of the way the 4th graders worked together in teams to create nearly all of these first PowerPoints.

3rd graders have been exercising cut/copy/paste muscles whilst creating their Master Artist reports. We've learned a good bit about search engines and how to maximize results to useful ones, and we've used Google's Images search many times. We'll be moving on to land and water learning resources and then to Asian country studies soon.

2nd graders are having an interesting diversion into the world of dog-sled mushing. Anyone who thinks that the "Last Great Race on Earth," the Iditarod Trail Race, is a negligible, marginalized sport has another think coming. Check out the resources in the Iditarod topic at the webliographer to see what I mean. I have a personal connection to this great event, having lived in Anchorage, Alaska for six years of my life and having performed numerous fund-raiser folk music concerts in my other life as vocalist/mandolinist/guitarist/songwriter for the Last Frontier Band. My band was for a year the official Iditarod Trail band, and I had the pleasure of meeting some of the great mushers personally. We may even get to chat live online with my podcasting friend Scott Slone, of the Alaska Podshow podcast, while the race is going on!

1st graders and Kindergarteners have been working their way through the marvelous online lessons of Boowa and Kwala, and we did some great Valentine's Day pictures in Drawing for Children, our freeware graphics program. Students are getting very good at mouse manipulation--clicking and dragging, highlighting, etc.--and Web browsing (using the embedded safe browser at