Monday, April 7, 2008

Updates - April 7

We have a new podcast space for saving student and teacher made podcasts. This is on the K drive. It is NOT backed-up every night like the H drive. I will put folders there with teachers names upon request. If you are interested in learning about podcasts, check out the Technology Department website for classes. If you want me to come to your classroom to make a podcast of your students, just schedule a date with me for that. Remember, we can do podcasts up to about 20 minutes and video podcasts under 10 minutes (about 5-8 minutes works well). I use an ipod, digital video camera, and a mac G5 for editing and uploading the podcasts.

If you are interested in easy access to your student's work, get them to save it to the student shared folder. Inside that folder there is a folder with each teacher's name. The students can save there and then you can open and edit, grade, print, or save to your HD. The students have an icon on their desktop that says "Student Saved Folder." You have an icon on your (staff) desktop that says "Staff Shared Folder." The student shared folder is inside that one. A few teachers have been using this for a couple of years and find it easy to use. If you find your folder gets full, let me know and we may be able to switch around the memory levels.

Besides the wonderful possibilities of Google Documents, there are many other applications. The best way to start is to get a free google email account. At school we use for our blog images. The google login is the same for all of these, so the one gmail account opens a lot of possibilities. There is a calendar (that can be shared), Google Earth, and I love iGoogle! I also use Google alerts. It sends me an email with a link to anything on the web that I tag as my Google alert. You can have more than one alert and tailor make them for you. With grown sons and one being a journalist, I get emails of stories, college soccer games, and other interesting trivia. There are Google: groups, talk, translate (translates webpages or sentences into a choice of languages), toolbar, video, desktop, pack, maps, mobile, and many more.

If you want access to a data projector for your classroom, ask Ms. White, Ms. Hicks, Ms. Clauss, Ms. Farmer, or Ms. Garcia. They have carts that can be used. There is also the student laptop cart in the library that can be checked-out. It is easy to use. Most schools have waiting lists for using this cart.

Another way to bring your classroom into the 21st century is using the school wiki. I've set up project pages for 4th and 5th grade and will add other grade levels upon request. This is another easy way for students to share work (beside google documents) and it doesn't require an email. If you are working on a curriculum topic and want to share your class work with another class, let me know and we can tailor make your wiki page. The wiki allows students and teachers to edit work and share at the same time. We can set up a grade level project or a school to school project. We can set up some simple after bus workshops for credit and help you create exactly what you need. Let me know if you want me to meet with your grade level and we can plan for 4th quarter or next year.

This keeps you updated with wsfcs - read it, bookmark it! :-)