This blog is my attempt to share information with faculty, introducing new apps, websites, or other snippets of information that may be of use to faculty. I am also using it to keep track of projects I'm working on that might be good to reference in the future.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Free Wiki for Teachers

Wiki's are a tool that allows everyone to edit and post comments on a web page/site. There is a lot of potential collaboration uses for it.

Wikispaces.com is offering teachers a free wiki's from their "Plus" program. Normally it costs $50/year - which means no advertising and no usage limits. Check it out at:
http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers100K

Phone - Voicemail doesn't pick up

If voicemail does not pick up, reset “forward no answer/busy” to voicemail:
1) Push the "infinity" button
2) Enter access code: 358
3) Choose "voicemail" from the screen menu

Voice Mail Forwarding

I know Jon talked about it at our last staff meeting, but remember to not use the Do Not Disturb feature on the phones, or you will not get emergency notifications. Here is a clip/reminder from a previous email Jon sent out.
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If you do not want your phone to ring, do not use the “Do Not Disturb” button. This will prevent your phone from receiving an emergency notification. Instead, use the “Forward” button to transfer all incoming calls to voicemail.

To do this:
1) Press the “Forward” button (upper right side)
2) Choose “Voice Mail” from the LCD screen
3) The “Forward” button will have a red indicator light.

To turn off forwarding:
1) Press the “Forward” button
2) Press the “Speaker” button (above the number 1)

Please note: I have reprogrammed the “Do Not Disturb” button on your phones to do the exact same thing as the “Forward” button in case you press it by mistake.

Later, we can assign some other function to this button and change the label on the face plate.
If you do need the “Do Not Disturb” function for some reason, let me know and I’ll tell you how to set it.
Please see me if you have any questions.

Jon Toda

Email Autoresponder

When you are going out of town, or won't be able to access your email for awhile, please remember to set an email autoresponder so that people will know you are not checking your email.

Jon has set up everything you need (with instructions) at:

http://seaburyhall.org/tech/facultyresources.html


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

FlashMyBrain.com - Online Flash Card

Here is a web site that Makalani bought to my attention: FlashMyBrain.com

She has purchased a license so please ask her about this program if you find it interesting/useful.
She is having students use it to create flashcards and study. It sound very good and seems like it will keep their attention.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kukulu Kaiaulu 2.0 - KS-Oahu EdTech Conference

The Kukulu Kaiaulu 2.0 conference was June9-10 at the Blaisdell Center.
If you can go next year, you should. Lehn organized this year's trip and it was amazing.
The facilities were nice, the food was almost as good as Gus', but most importantly the speakers were really good, especially the Keynote speakers who were national renowned.

Their web site is: http://blogs.ksbe.edu/edtechconference

The theme was Web 2.0, which is what some people are calling the transition of the web from just a place you can read information from, to a place where you can read AND write information to build connectivity between users.

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The first General Session Speaker was Will Richardson (http://weblogg-ed.com/).
He has a great blog/website you should check out at weblogg-ed.com.
He also has another page you might want to check out:
http://willrichardson.wikispaces.com/

I'm sure it's alot of the stuff you already heard, but here goes anyway.....

He basically talked about how teachers can(and should) use emerging technologies to 1) Connect with their students and 2) to get their students more involved in the learning process. He thinks we really need to show them how to learn and find information and not just memorize facts for memorization sake. If students are vested in the learning process they will learn more....sort of along the lines of the book Lou gave us to read, "Mindsets".

He talked about the students taking ownership in what they were learning. He talked about teachers using technology to stay more connected with students and generating interest in their students.

He gave a lot of web sites, but here are a few I think you'll find of interest:
* http://www.ted.com - this is the site for the videos that Joe showed during one of the leap days. A lot of educators or people talking about education. Some good videos to watch.
* http://www.fanfiction.net/ - this is a site for writers. Basically people write stories to add books or chapters to their favorite stories. If you look at http://www.fanfiction.net/book/Odyssey/ , it is basically a bunch of related stories based off of the Odyssey and a good majority of students who posted their work for a class project. It gets the students published and the theory is they'll do a better job because their peers can read and review it (from around the world and not just from their class).
* http://ocw.mit.edu - this web site is free lecture notes, exams, and videos from MIT, taken from courses that they have offered. So you can 'take' a course at MIT that the lectures and notes are on-line for or you can get ideas for your class also. There is over 1800 courses online.

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The first breakout session I attended was called Personal Learning Networks, by David Warlick. Despite technical difficulties with the internet, the talk was good.
His website is DavidWarlick.com

A Personal Learning Environment is your connections to help you learn how to better do your job, and increase your understanding of how use technology to make you more effective. It dealt with ways to stay connected with people in your field to increase your knowledge.

To learn more about this session click below for his:
- Outline notes
- Personal Learning Network Strategies

He also talked about social networking and there is a good wikispace page just for teachers on the topic: http://socialnetworking4teachers.wikispaces.com/

Here are some web videos by Will Richardson on Personal Learning Networks: http://www.plpnetwork.com/videos.html

Here is a video web stream of a later Session of Personal Learning Networks by David, and put live online by Will Richardson.
Live Video streamed by Ustream


Broadcast powered by Ustream.TV

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Next session: Sprout Builder Widgets

This is a local company that started out as a web site to collect on-line donations. They realized the schools and non-profits they worked with were missing tools to build a creative and fun interface. They decided to build their own product and started another business just for this program they call SproutBuilder. It is currently a free program.

It is a web site that you can use to build flash content for your class web page. It is hosted on their web site. You can do videos, quizes, polls, etc. It is a pretty neat tool, and I'll probably teach it for a week or two in my Computer Graphics class as well as Beginning Programming class.

View their presentation (as flash content from their web site):
http://sproutbuilder.com/blog/2008/06/08/edtechconference
It has 'clickable' links in it.
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Next Session: Social Media Survival Guide
This presentation was about a bunch of various web sites and their uses. I'm working my way through the list and will share any good ideas with you, such as the jott.com web site I already talked about.

Here is their slideshow:

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Next Session: General Session 2 - David Warlick
http://landmark-project.com/

Here is the video of the second morning General session:
Video clips hosted by Ustream
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How to start your own blog

A blog lets you easily get information out to your students and allows them to post comments about what you wrote. For instance you could publish a students poem and classmates could come in and comment on the poem, telling them one thing they like or dislike about the writing.

Two places you can create a blog that is safe for students would be blogger.com and edublogs.org - both seem to be ad free. You have a 100MB limit, but I don't think that will be a problem for most of us.

Another good web site for blogging is wordpress.com

At this web site is a quick little overview of what a blog can be: http://www.blogger.com/tour_start.g

If you use blogger.com you'll need a Google account. You can easily create one and then use the Google Reader application to keep notified of when comments are made to your blog so you can go and check it out.

Edublogs.org is a nice site and it is designed specifically for educators. This may be a better place to start off initially, but it doesn't have as many features as blogger.com. Both are really good places to start.

Click here to go to Edublogs.org (make sure to type in the correct address, or you'll be sent to other companies who offer blogging, but it's not as good)

Click here to go to Blogger.com (also know as blogspot.com, so don't be confused when your web site is called blogspot.com, blogger.com is the content creator site and blogspot is the content publishing site.)

Click here to go to Wordpress.com

Friday, June 13, 2008

Check email in Web Browser

Watch this video to see how you can check your email via the web.

Normally you just go to SeaburyHall.org and on the left side you will see a link for WebMail.
Your username must include the "@seaburyhall.org"

You can use this web client to check your email from anywhere, on any computer, as long as you have web access and a browser.

I created this tutorial video with Freez Screen Video Capture. Not sure if I like it, but let me know what you think of the video quality, and if it made sense.


video

Jott - Voice to Text web site


Jott.com is a neat web site that allows you to call a number with your cell phone and send a text message anywhere. You can send yourself a quick reminder email just by placing a call with your phone. You are limited to 30 seconds, but it is surprisingly good at converting text.

You must use your cell phone when you sign up for an account, do not use the school's phone number. You could also use a home phone, but you must have one main phone number associated with the site. It uses caller ID to identify who you are, so you'll need to set up each phone number separately if you want more than just your cell phone.

If you set up Jon's or my email address into Jott, you could send us quick little emails when you are on the road or do not have access to your laptop at the moment.

Go to Jott.com and sign up.