Saturday, July 31, 2010

Leadership Day 2010 call to action be part of this!

I almost missed this call to post something for Leadership Day 2010! Almost, but thanks to my twitter feed I saw the call and stopped the work I was doing for my online class to blog. THIS IS IMPORTANT!

Last winter several superintendents in our county got together with the technology coordinators and asked several questions. With all the shrinking budgets is there a way we can collaborate and help each other out? Is there a way we can collaborate on professional development? What kinds of professional development can we provide our administrators as they are evaluating the use of technology in a classroom? Can we archive professional development and make it available across time and space?

Finally, the choice was to collaborate and design a summer professional workshop for any administrator involved in evaluating staff in our county, presented by local teachers who are already demonstrating the NETS-S standards in their classrooms. The cost for the day will end up as a meal and snack cost, the cost of the teachers preparing for the day, and the cost for the local school systems to have all their administrators attend this workshop day as part of the getting ready for school. As a bonus, the group will provide 2 follow-up days where the administrators will come back and reflect on their evaluations in classrooms, get additional training and most importantly talk with others who are doing similar evaluations.

Gregg Smith, David Saltmarsh, Susan Austin, Maryanne Minard, Marilyn Woodside, Sherry Knowles, and Cheryl Oakes all have volunteered to make presentations during the day. Several others, Donna Seiron, Chuck Mclaughin, Joe Schwartzman provided support and brainstorming throughout the entire process and during the day their help will be invaluable. This is all happening through the wisdom of this crowd, we have a vision, the superintendents had a purpose and now it will all come together- August 17, 2010.

You can follow the outline of the day, the links and resources and we plan to ustream the event.
Link for the August 17th PD this is a work in progress!
Check back August 17, 2010 for the Ustream!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Getting ready for....

cross-posted at

This past week while preparing for a trip to Quebec City I used several tools to check out our options for travel. I imagine that my students could use these same tools to discover a place of their choice to investigate as a possible place of travel or interest.

A great place to begin for young children K-5 is with Quintura. It is an online visual search engine which gave me the following options in a cloud when I entered Quebec City: tourism, visit, around the world, province, Canada, Quebec, area. I then selected tourism and was prompted to the Official Tourism site and found something for our first evening, Les Grands Feux Loto-Qu├ębec - Pyrotechnic Competition .

A search for all kinds and all ages Google Wonder Wheel. You can find the Wonder Wheel when you click on the more options at a Google Search. I popped in Quebec City and a wheel of choices popped up with options for photos, hotels, restaurants and once drilling down from there I found L’Astral, the revolving restaurant on top of Quebec City.

Safe Search, powered by Google, is another good search for the K-5 age group. A search of Quebec City brought up a list without images with Wikipedia at the top of the list, which could start up the conversation about open source and the work of the crowd creating information through Wikipedia.

Finally, Sweet Search , where every site recommended has been reviewed by the Sweet Search team! This is a web search engine for emerging researchers, our students. This search brought up some great travel guides and then on the side of the page, some tidbits of the day, and the one that caught my eye was, how Hiram Bingham Discovers Lost Inca City of Machu Picchu.

I hope  readers find something new in this list of researching tools that you can try out personally while you are on break and then bring this back to your classroom for your students. Anytime we can experience these tools, we are better able to share a ‘search’ experience with our students. For those of you in the southern hemisphere who are already back to school, please share any new search engines you are using. Pick something and have a great search today.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Edubloggercon East 2010

Just the best day with great thinkers, movers and shakers.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Columbus Ave,Boston,United States

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer friends

Summer is best spent in the water when it is 80 degrees F. Alice, Henri and Cheryl!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Technology, Tools and Toothbrushes

Technology, Tools and Toothbrushes?

 Permanent link I’ve always used a manual toothbrush. I purchased battery operated toothbrushes for my sons when I thought they were old enough. It wasn’t until our son, the dental student, bought me an Oral B sonic toothbrush for my birthday, that I really tried one. This toothbrush is the perfect tool for a techie. The toothbrush tells me if I brush too hard (it slows down and stops), it has a wireless device with a timer and indicates which quadrant of the mouth to be brushing, and then a smiley face when I pass the 2 minutes mark. I love that smiley face!

A variety of oral hygiene measures have been used since before recorded history. This has been verified by various excavations done all over the world, in which chewsticks, tree twigs, bird feathers, animal bones and porcupine quills were recovered. The first toothbrush recorded in history was made in 3000 B.C., a twig with a frayed end called a chewstick.

Old Toothbrush

The first successful electric toothbrush, the Broxodent, was conceived in Switzerland in 1954 by Dr. Philippe-Guy Woog. Woog's electric toothbrushes were originally manufactured in Switzerland (later in France) for Broxo S.A. The first clinical study showing its superiority over manual brushing was published by Pr. Arthur Jean Held in Geneva in 1956.

 The question I had as I reflected upon this use of technology, this tool, “Why did it take so long for me to move to an electronic toothbrush?” Normally, I am willing to try new technologies, I am usually a first adopter. Did my dentist or hygienist ever promote one over the other? Not that I remember? Did my circle of friends extol the efficiency and benefits of using an electric toothbrush? Am I only willing to try techie tools when it suits me? 
This environmental fact alone,  will help my decision making in the future. The environmental impact of toothbrushes in the USA alone is staggering.While each brush is a small source of pollution, toothbrushes make up 50 million pounds of plastics discarded in landfill per year (in the USA alone).   The fact that my son, a dental student, gave this as a gift will keep me using this and learning.
 As I think on this, I will use my transition to an electronic toothbrush as an example when I continue with my professional development workshops for staff and when working with students. We do things a certain way because we have always done it that way. We change when we have compelling reasons to change. Usually our networks, mentors, teachers, students, family and friends provide opportunities for us to allow change. Remind me to tell you about my iRobot, Wally, and what a difference he has made in our lives.

Oral B

Stay tuned, Cheryl is going back into a resource room at her High School in Wells, Maine this fall. Late in the 1990’s she left the field of special education to be a computer lab teacher and then a Collaborative Content Coach for Technology in the Wells Ogunquit Schools K-12. Now she believes it is time to move back to her roots and work with challenged and independent learners as they develop skills to open the doors to global, communication and media rich lives. Watch for blog posts about Universal Design for Learning, CAST, Virtual Toolkits for Learning, Internet Etiquette  and more.

 Cross-posted at