Thursday, August 6, 2009

Registering for Teacher Center Course

The VoiceThread below gives you step by step instructions on how to register for the many courses being offered at the Lansing-Groton Teacher's Center this year.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What is Twitter?

My presentation at the Groton Technology day was on social networking with a section involving Twitter and another introducing Delicious. I have included the video to help everyone understand what Twitter is so sign up and follow me (earthscienceroc) and our students while joining in the conversation. Also check out the District's Delicious account by emailing me,, for the password. Thanks to everyone for a great day!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Check out It's a card that goes in any digi cam and wirelessly uploads your photos to picasa, webshots, etc. Good times!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Change of Course?

We might be headed in a direction other than that in which we want to head (I think that's grammatically terminal prepositions for me!). The two workshops I've done so far (though my sample size is only five people...) have indicated to me that we need to start off at a more basic level. We see a lot of these cool techie tricks as very exciting and useful. Many teachers, though, could perceive them as threatening to their current methods, too complicated, etc. We need to couch this entire tech day in more gentle, "non-threatening" language just like Chad said. I'm going to admit -- I'm more than a little bit frightened about what the general reaction to this 1/2 day of technology is going to be. We're going to have to be very careful, but at the same time, echo the sentiments of that loverly post by Andy. Arrggg... thoughts?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Posted by Andy Yale on his Del.ic.ious....

Original post here.

Someone in a community I belong to recently said, "Why should teachers change? We are asking them to work harder, do things in a new way, unlearn the old ways of doing things, and when they do all that we have asked we do what? Tell them thanks? I know we don't give them more money. Maybe if they are really lucky we ask them to help the others who just don't seem to get it. What a reward!

I face the same problems, some jump on board and others don't, and I have started asking myself why should they change?"

Why change?

Here's why-- you change for the same reason you went into teaching in the first place. You change because what you do for a living was never just a job- but more a mission. You change because you are willing to do whatever it takes to make a significant difference in the lives of the students you teach. You change because you care deeply about kids and you know that unless you personally own these new skills and literacies you will not be able to give them to your students.

Why change? You change because of all the people in the world- teachers understand the value of being a lifelong learner. You change because you know intuitively relationships matter and you are interested in leaving a legacy to your kids-- through what you do for other's kids. You change because you understand learning is dynamic and that to not change means to quit growing.

Why change? Because you made the decision when you first became a teacher to do something that was larger than life and more meaningful than money, recognition, and status. You became a teacher because of change-- the changes in the world you wanted to make one kid at a time. You change because you want to do what is right-- simply because it *is* the right thing to do and you understand the need to model for others so they can do what is right as well. You are use to hard work and long hours. You are use to commitment with little recognition. You know what you do has lasting results.

You change because the world has changed and you know that not challenging the status quo is the riskiest thing you can do at this point. You change because you love learning and you love children and you know they need you to lead the way in this fast paced changing world and to do that you have to find your own way first. That is why you and they should change.

Photo credit:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two (crazy) Ideas?

So in some of my conversations with fellow teachers, two things have come up:

1. Some teachers, through no fault of their own, simply don't have the basic computer skills necessary to go on to higher-level things like geotagging, blogging, wiki-ing, etc. Perhaps we need to offer some sort of "basic" seminar on our March conference day?

2. Some teachers are using PowerPoint, but have indicated to me that they don't feel that they're using it well. Maybe a "PowerPoint Techniques" workshop would be in order. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Cheap Shots? C' know you have a cheap shot or three for me...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

First TTL Workshop!

Today is the first TTL workshop in the Technology Tools Series! It's on Document Cameras and More, and will be presented in the bio lab in the high school, room 222. There's still time to sign up, so let your teacher-buddies know. Look for pictures of our crazy antics here, too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Final Teacher Center Courses

Hello all! Exciting stuff going on. I hope you're all enjoying your techno-enabled classrooms. Here are the final assignments (and vacancy!) for the TTL courses we are offering through the teacher center:

Wikispaces: Keith

Google Docs: Dave

Google Earth: Paul

Blogs: Chad

Document Cameras, etc: VACANT!

If you want to present, or have another idea (perhaps a course on laptop carts or moodle?), please let me know so I can set it up with Sharon. I'll post the dates for the current sessions when they're confirmed. Publicity for the sessions is forthcoming, and will take myriad, heretofore unspecified forms.

Friday, December 5, 2008

What Exciting Times

Oh, the many wonders of the era in which we live! Chad clued me in to a site called, and I've used it to great acclaim in my classroom. Using it, we've been able to stream videos to other classes as well as make embedable recordings that I've put on my website. Check out the videos I have so far here.

On another note, I've sent all the information off to Sharon about our TTL sessons, and I'll be confirming with the necessary parties just as soon as I can. Thanks!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Success with Technology

So I have had a huge success using technology in my classroom. My students were asked to create a trail map, choosing between a hiking, ATV, or snowshoe trail. They then used PowerPoint to add trail markings, parking lots, outhouses -- and some even added Sasquatch! Once the map was finished and saved as a jpeg, they added it to a brochure template in Publisher. Once this was complete their creativity took over and they created descriptions and added other creative details to their location.

New technology that I used consisted of the class wiki to post documents for them to retrieve, PowerPoint for something other than presentations, Publisher, the laptop cart and finally a Google Docs survey to give me feedback on the overall project. It was an awesome project that exceeded my expectations.

Technology Tools Series

Fellow Techno-people,

I need to know who'd be interested in presenting (or co-presenting!) one of our workshops. I envision each workshop being two sessions long, and each session being one hour. So far:

Wikis -- Keith
Google Earth -- Paul

Check out the proposals and see what you'd like to do. Thanks!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Hopefully everyone has realized that Internet Explorer is pretty much defunct. Here is a cool trick I learned at a NYSCATE session: Firefox has a wide variety of cool add-ons. Quicknote allows you to highlight text within a webpage and send it to a little side bar in a word processor format. Along with the highlighter add-on, students can sort through text online and save relevant text for constructed-response tasks.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Let me know what you think. Changes? Suggestions? Should some courses become more than one course?

I'll send them off to Shannon early next week.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NYSCATE Conference

WOW! Paul, Chad and I just returned from the NYSCATE Conference in Rochester. What a great conference. We had the opportunity to attend a lot of sessions that will help us move along in our technology quest. We got some great information on Google and all that it offers as well as information on other web 2.0 tools that will help us integrate more technology into the classroom. We also had a chance to visit the exhibition area and create a dream list of new technology that would be great to have in Groton. We even got to chat with Andy several times over the course of the 3 days. I can't wait until we get together again, so we can share with all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving.