USN Lower School Technology!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Week Before Fall Break!

It's been a good, solid week here in the computer lab, with my big project being gettin' the 72 Keyboarding for Kids textbooks for 4th graders purchased up to par, editing the instructions and the parent letter to be sent home with each one, and labeling each one appropriately in an effort to reduce the number of replacement textbooks we'll have to buy for students in 4th grade next year. All done, the books went home yesterday. I gather that the typing practice homework will not start showing up until next week, but I'm cheered that quite a few 4th graders have made it a point to let me know they've logged in successfully from their home computers.

I'm very serious about what I say in the letter. Do not by any stretch of the imagination make this assignment a new point of conflict or stress in your homes. It's supposed to be good practice, first and foremost, and if a few lessons get missed I'm okay with that (though Ms. Marler may not be!) :).

I took a brief jaunt in to history with K and 1st graders this week, sharing how 'way back in 1999 the wonderful website began by releasing a single online chapter of the book, "Around the World in 12 Songs with Boowa and Kwala," and I set them onto exploring the marvelous online offerings that have been built by this creative husband and wife team and their creative staff since then. There are hours of safe, kind, gentle learning experiences at the site--not a whit of sarcasm or meanness to be had; and I'm proud to have helped contribute to the fact that there are now (as of this writing) 7551 schools around the world using the resources to help children play and learn on the computer. Funny, when I logged in with the Kindergarteners this morning, there were 7550 schools. We're proud to have been school number 1 in their baby steps to success and service.

2nd and 3rd graders either began or continued their journey into touch-typing with Type to Learn 3, and as I've mentioned I'm resolved to stay with it, with them, for a good bit before moving onto other skills and other programs and online resources. It's that important.

Next week, I'll be away in New Orleans for the Internet2 fall meeting, where I've been invited to speak on a panel about Virtual Environments. There's complete info about that at the News site for the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach. Stellar sub Ellen Hicks will be here on Tuesday and Wednesday, then we're off to Fall Break! That said, you probably won't hear from me here next week. If you're missing the stream of consciousness feel free to google my name :)

Cheers, and thanks again for sharing your wonderful children with me!

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