USN Lower School Technology!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

NetDay SpeakUp Survey!

Hey, parents and friends,

An email blast is going out today to encourage everyone--students, teachers, and parents--to visit the NetDay SpeakUp website to complete a 10-15 minute survey. This will be imMENSEly helpful for us in a number of ways. The best part about this survey, besides our contributing to the national information database, is that our own school's data will be available to us to help us understand where we are (in the minds of our constituents) and plan where we need to go with our technological designs. Click the banner below to go take the survey. Our zip code is "37212" and our "secret word" is "tigers".

I'm guiding every K-4 child through the survey (very little guidance, very much emphasis on truthfulness and thoughtfulness) this week in the technology lab. Here's a picture of some 4th grade students hard at work!
Ms. Hunt's 4th graders complete the SpeakUp survey

With grades K-2, we will be chatting at the rug and compiling answers by raised hand, then I'll do the data entry from my tally sheet. Though our goal is to have the survey submitted by 15% of our school's population in each category, I am hoping we have far more substantial participation. Thank you in advance for taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to participate!!!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Atlanta NAEYC!

After driving down from school after my last class Thursday (don't know I'll ever make that decision again--it was hard! Even with a good book listen, Stephen King's Cell) I'm finally getting into the swing in Atlanta in a session by George Forman, Community Nursery School, Lexington, MA. It's an interesting session in the Tech Resource room where I'll be doing my presentation a little later today. George is advocating a text-based presentation for video clips (over the creation of linear video) using a combination of Microsoft Word and Quicktime Pro to create text documents with hyperlinks that open brief clips of video.

Extensis Portfolio is a file organization software that he highly recommends, though I just checked that online (blogging this during the session) and it's a $199.99 piece of software. Perhaps some good file management habits with folders and filenames would do the trick, too. There's always Picassa!

More later!

Here's more from the second session. Diane from blank slate Board Books just served up an interesting session on ways to create classroom books from templates available at her company's website. I'm walking from the session with a CD that I'll share with our teachers, and I'll include the website in the teacher resources on the webliographer.

Then the presentation was Lynn Hartle, University of Central Florida Distance Learning guru, who shared some rich resources for anyone interested in doing that themselves. That would be me, and that would be me hoping to enrich the professional development and earning income potential of all my colleagues. A very shareshare experience.


I'm sitting in Gail Lovely's session with all kinds of littlekid websites. Look for some new sites at K1-GoHere! soon! This woman is the real deal when it comes to seeking out and sharing great websites for teachers and students.

My own session went great. Though I started out like a Nervous Nelly, I settled down and got the job done, finishing with an entertaining Skype video interchange with's creator and producer, Jason Barnard. Seems he's finalized the European contract for the Boowa and Kwala Show (working title?) and is now off into the development process for that. The best part was the instantaneous verification of Premium@School accounts for all 20 or so teachers present. Woo. Woo! I'm off to find a burger and early to bed for a full day of sessions an a venture out to the exhibitor floor tomorrrow!


The Next Day:

Saturday I slept late (for me, 'til 8) then I was down to the conference center by 10 or so, to spend 2 1/2 hours on the exhibitor floor. I'm so glad I did, discovering a number of products that can help our youngest children in the classroom, from furniture to software to some amazing science resources from Steve Spangler Science. Just wait 'til you hear from your child about the "insta-snow." Yeah. I bought some. Stay tuned.

I popped my head into several sessions after lunch, but the pervasive tone was clearly "we're outta here," and they were sparsely attended and not very pertinent to my work or those of our colleagues. I made the closing session, an extraordinarily inspirational (I cried) address and songs by Raffi, and managed to get him to sign a copy of his new CD for the library. His new book, Child Honoring, is a must-purchase for the library. Wow. Here's a pic from the signing part. I'll cherish this picture. This man is a magic one: The forward in his book is by the Dalai Lama, for goodness sakes!

A funny story: I mentioned to him that I saw him perform 11 years ago with my little girl, who's now a junior in high school, and told him that I was tempted to go onstage for a hug when the 40 women went up to dance with him (click on the pic below for that) and lined up for hugs before leaving the stage. What did he do? He signed our CD "To USN Teachers," posed for this pic-- taken by the wonderful lady in line behind me--and then he turned and hugged me. I've been hugged by Raffi! Yay!!!!