USN Lower School Technology!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Week 2.0!

Into the second week in our new lab, I'm going to take a little movie of Ms. Anitra's 3rd graders working on Type to Learn 3 to share here. The 4th graders are also diving into TTL3, toward our implementation of this year's Keyboarding for Kids program in a couple of weeks. Here's the little 3rd grade movie:

The Kinder and 1st gradekins are working in Boowa and Kwala, the wee folk logging onto the website for the very first time, after a little demo of how a mouse works, the introduction of some new terms (mouse, icon, desktop, and my favorite--Maximize!) and the 1st graders for the most part returning to the site and running through the four activities of Lesson 37 before digging deeper.

2nd graders are delving into Type to Learn, Jr., a very gentle introduction into the way they should begin to learn to type.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

FlipVideo Hits Classrooms!

Watch for more video from our Lower School, after Technology Director Kathy Wieczerza put one FlipVideo camera device in the hands of each grade level, K-4 during our final day of start-of-the-year teacher inservice on Tuesday. These handy little devices record internet-ready video at the touch of a button, store 30 minutes of video instantly uploadable to one's computer via the flip-out USB plug, and host the imaging software on the device, so there's no software to load on your computer, PC or Mac. Best of all, they can be bought for about 90 dollars at Costco and other local outlets, a much better price than the 139 dollars they retail for at the company's website.

If you're a teacher, the fine folks at FlipVideo offer a 10 dollar rebate per unit on purchases of 3 or more at a time. Wow.

USN Outdoor Education teacher Cynthia Lee took a Flip on a summer Kindergarten trip to Wyoming and recorded some funny footage at Yellowstone Park. It's hosted on TeacherTube, a sort of a YouTube for educators and students...

Here it is:

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Welcome to our 2007-8 School Year!

Hi, ya'll,

I hope your summer was the most fantastically wonderful family time you can remember, and I'm very excited to be back where I can help your children make some personal sense of the learning tools available through technology. I begin this year by taking the "Technology" out of my official job title. I guess I'll still be designated "Lower School Technology Coordinator" but I'm going to start introducing myself as "Learning Tools Facilitator" (or some version of that) because that is how I am approaching the upcoming school year.

I spent much of the summer planning a one week workshop for 12 of our faculty and staff ("Web 2.0 for Us"), and in the course of that planning and the workshop's subsequent explorations, I experienced an epiphany. I believe that if we don't take steps to enable our childrens' learning with the amazing collaborative tools now available on the internet, we will be doing them vast disservice. The internet (I am also training myself not to capitalize the "I" since it is such an integral part of our world not that it should not be capitalized, imho) is now a grand discussion, and we do not have to teach every child the same things, and certainly not in the same way, beyond some very basic foundations. My work is both about the tools to help them master the foundations and about the tools to go beyond, into life-long learning, into the grand discussion.

The other major professsional endeavor this summer, for me, was my annual attendance at ISTE's NECC 2007 in Atlanta. I blogged thoroughly about that experience, and you can read about it at my personal website, should you be interested in details. Check out the summer workshop's wiki, too, for a wealth of teacher-created resources about the 'Read/Write Web."

Stay tuned.