Monday, April 28, 2008

NETA Reflections

Although I didn't get to attend many sessions at NETA, I did pick up on quite a bit of buzz and networking. Sounds like all the sessions went well!

There were some new technology implementations to help support the conference this year. I felt they were very well received and will help people see a use in their environments.
Future Technology - When I first accepted a position on the NETA board I was excited about the possibility to contribute some of my time and talent. At our last board retreat I suggested we might investigate having a supporting website for the actual conference itself. Something that would be a place that those who were unable to attend could participate and those that were there and unable to attend certain sessions could get the information they needed. We have steadily been outgrowing our facilities and even with a change in venue, we will be capped in the number of attendees we are able to support on site. There are a couple of models that we could use to have a truly integrated online supplement for the conference next year. One that I am thinking of is I would love to entertain your ideas and other sites you have used to participate in something like this. Some of my initial ideas are below.
  • NETA Dashboard
  • News and Announcements
  • Keynote and featured speaker podcasts (Already Here!)
  • User Groups: Tech Coordinators, Apple, PC
  • Twitter, Flickr, and other Web 2.0ish sites to showcase for K12 use
  • General Session Information: Video/Audio/Agenda/Handouts/Links/Resources
  • Live chats
  • Workshop Resources
My session: I'm Feeling Lucky - Searching with Google - Link to Presentation
One of my revered colleagues, Graci Gillming, was unable to present this session and so asked me to fill in. It was a fun session with LOTS of people. The room host indicated there were 200+ people in a room more suitable for about 100. It thought it was an important session as we dive deeper in to what it means to be information literate. One of the keynoters, Bernajean Porter, indicated that information will soon double every 72 hours! It's these skills we need to hone to find relevant and accurate information to support our causes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Web 2.0 Digital Dashboards

We all know there is no one silver bullet when it comes to suggesting a technology to support a learning endeavor. We mix and match and use the latest/best tools, the tools our colleagues or students have access to, and the ones they are familiar with and will use. It sometimes gets to be quite a chore keeping track of all of different sites we created to support the specified endeavor. Tweets, Google Discussion Groups, Calendars, Social bookmarks, blogs, Project management, etc., etc.

There are a couple of tools that help keep these all together in one, easy to use location - digital dashboards for our online learning environment.

Personal Disclaimer - I have only used iGoogle on a regular basis so am not familiar with all the ins and outs of each service. If you have real life experience with any of these, please comment.

Netvibes Real World Example - Advocates for Digital Citizenship, Safety, and Success

? of the day: Would any of these fit into your classroom learning environment?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Photos and Video to Flickr with MMS

I recently found out via @TeachaKidd on twitter that Flickr is now allowing the posting of video. As I read her blog post, and viewed the video, I realized how simple it is to upload media from your phone to Flickr. To use the video feature, you do need a "Pro" account and that will run you $25/year. But, you can also upload pictures from your phone via MMS, or Multimedia Messaging System (basically sending pictures or video via text messaging.)

Well, as I investigated this some more, I realized that Flickr gives you a unique email address to send the pictures you would like to post to the site. So, you can either email a picture or use the email address and send the picture via MMS on your phone. I tried it. Very slick!

Wouldn't students be excited if you asked them to use their phone to take and upload pictures to your Flickr account?

Picture was taken this evening and uploaded to Flickr: Our backyard - SNOW IN APRIL! ughhhh!

Google Workshop

Today we are working with Central Nebraska educators. We created Google Groups, and worked with Google Reader. We also worked with creating our own blogs on Blogger. Afternoon consisted of working with Picasa and Sketchup.

I would also like to share a little diversion we like to do in the afternoon. We have each participant share one technology they like to use in the classroom. Here are the results:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Mac OS X Preview - Cool FREE features

Macworld Article: Preview’s hidden powers

In the past, you had to purchase Adobe Acrobat Pro to do some of the features OS X Preview does now for free! A couple of the features you may find useful:
  • Annotate - Leave comments, markup using ovals and rectangles, and create links within the document or to Internet sites.
  • Delete or Rearrange pages - You can now remove or change the order of your PDF pages within Preview.
  • Merge PDFs - Take two or more PDFs and merge them into one document.

The article also lists other neat features of Preview that have to do with images. Check it out!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mad Libs

Growing up I used to love to do Mad Libs. Those creations where you come up with different parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, and such and create funny stories. There are several online versions of these and I wanted to share. Not only are they just plain fun, they also teach parts of speech, creativity, collaboration and sharing.

Try one out!
Embeded Mad Lib Online Widget