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 www.ustream.tv, 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.

Friday, November 21, 2008

LiveWeb Add-in for PowerPoint

Today I found this great add-in for use with PowerPoint and have include the description of how it works below. I have installed it and found having the ability to skip hyperlinks is a great tool. Here is the quote from the page.
"Use LiveWeb to insert web pages into a PowerPoint slide and refresh the pages real-time during slide show. Display web pages without ever leaving the confines of your PowerPoint slide show. No coding required. LiveWeb works with documents off your local drive too. You can specify relative paths. LiveWeb will also look for files in the presentation folder if the files have local drive information and cannot be located at the location specified by the user during slideshow. LiveWeb encapsulates the need to insert a web browser control manually and write code to update the web pages within the control during the slide show."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Langwitches Blog

Found this awesome blog called Langwitche's, The Magic of Learning through Technology. Silvia Tolisano, the person responsible for the blog, is using much of the technology we are as well as a bunch of new stuff we have not explored yet. She has entries listing the 50 ways to use a projector in the classroom as well as podcasting, Twitter and a ton of other useful information. Check it out. Also I did have great success stitching photos together thanks to David.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Technology Tool Series

Hello all. I've been a little swamped lately with grad school, but I'm almost done formulating the course proposals for our Teacher Center Series. We'll call it the Technology Tool Series. Logo is forthcoming. Anywho, I'll share the document with you when its finsihed, so you can change/comment/critique it before I send it to Shannon. We'll have to decide who'd be interested in teaching which course, as well.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Photo Stiching

It escapes me at the moment, but someone on our last TTL day (who may or may not have been actually talking to me) mentioned photo stitching. I tried out that option on the software that came with our cameras, and it was actually very easy and worked pretty well. Just open the software, go to the "tools" menu, then select "stitch photos." I'll put one up here as soon as I can.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

March 20th Technology Day

Here are the questions and discussion we had during our TTL Day!

Differentiated Instruction based on Expertise Level for the March Professional Development Day:
  • Beginner/ Intermediate

  • Awareness of tools available/ hands-on Activities

Offerings of courses:

  • wireless labs

  • projectors

  • document cameras

  • laptops

  • Google Docs

  • Wikispaces

  • Blogger

  • Basic Skills

We should allow people into our classrooms to see it in action, before March!!

We need to create a survey for the staff to complete to find areas of interest.

We discussed getting the TTL names out so that everyone knows who we are as well as David starting the Teacher Center Technology Series!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Some stuff...

Here are a few books that I have recently read, or am currently reading that I highly recommend.

Free Lunch (Johnston) – a book which chronicles the waste of hundreds of billions of taxpayers dollars (...depressing).

Energy Victory (Zubrin) – a comprehensive plan for breaking the “oil monopoly’s” power while bringing jobs and dignity to the masses (...encouraging).

Lee-The last Years (Flood) – A narrative of Robert E Lee’s life after Appomattox. Lee became the President of a college: Washington College became Washington and Lee. He did amazing things to heal the wounds of war from this position (brilliant and well written).

Other-than-that... Time flys! Our jobs become more important/demanding every day, and I continue to be impressed with the talent of our staff in their efforts to prepare our studednts.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Only semi-related to anything...

It's National Metric Week! This is the week that contains the tenth day of the tenth month -- 10/10 -- to honor the simplicity and whimsy of the metric system. The way I see it, we're supposed to be mavericks (can I even use that word with dignity anymore?) of technology and heralds of the future of education, right? Seems to me, then, that the metric system is the wave of the future, so get on your surfboard. Need ideas on how to metric-ify any class? Check out the links below!

Metric Week Activities

www.metric.org -- the United States Metric Association. Are you a member? Not to judge...but if you're not, you're just not cool. You get a newsletter and all sorts of dork....er...cool things.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New Screen Capture Software

Hey folks I recently came across a new image and video capture program that allows you to copy everything you do on your screen. It is called Jing!! I have not been able to load it on my computer a school but it is working well at home. I will let you know when it becomes available for the TTL laptops. YEE Haaaaa!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

"Word Cloud" Generator

Here is a new program called Wordle which generates “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends. I created the one above by entering the URL of this blog and tweaking the color, font and layout. I am thinking of ways to use it in class and would love to here what others have to say.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Useful Web Application

The Clustermap application is great for blogs and wikis. It gives students (and you) an idea of who out there is viewing your website. I refer to it when I warn the kids to use only first names on the blog so "Samir from Islamabad" can't hack into their personal information. I'm sure that there are others out there but this is the one I and a few others use.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nettleton's Work Station

Here it is! I used an easy-pro cart. It's a little small and there are a lot of wires. I have to move it out of the way when I'm not using it. This projector might be a little smaller than the one I'll be getting so I may have to change it a bit. I'll have to use a separate cart when I get the document camera. I have not ever posted to a blog before but this was pretty easy to figure out!

Friday, September 19, 2008

I ran the ethernet cable above my drop ceiling to a station centrally located in my room. I had Drew make me a shelf for a desk that I had to give me two levels of storage. An extension cord is duck taped to the floor from the front of the room to a power strip in front of this station. Ta daaa!

Syracuse a la carte!

Here it is! Not glamorous, I know, but it works. I teach in three different classrooms, so I get to move my setup around. I have a longer VGA cord (about 5m) that I use to put my projector on a student desk or on my cart, and just point it at the screen. I put my laptop on the front desk. I've ordered another set of speakers so I don't have so much to move, and to get a little better sound quality. The other picture shows how I usually have to set up the projector. I have 23 students, so I run out of desks doing it this way, but its the only way that I can get it to work.

Wiech's Technology Palace

Here it is folks the desk that makes technology possible. I have a lot of room to the left of my desk which is where I expect to place my document camera. The desk allows me to centralize my technology while the remote mouse gives me freedom to move about the room. My speakers, not as nice as Chad's, produce more than enough sound and definitely enhance any visuals or videos that I use in class.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

DeVoe Workstation

Well here is my setup that I've had for the past 3 years. I'm a little nervous about my room being redesigned for next year because I love this. The picture was taken from a student's view at my "L" shaped tables. The projector sits in front of my laptop and projects to the white side wall. I have a hole in my table that allows for a cable plug into my stereo system for audio. I never have to worry about cords or students sticking their hands in the projector stream and no extra money was required for a screen or mounting bracket. Next year I plan to project onto a whiteboard. Anyone have luck with that?
So much technology!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Video Reactions

What did you see that interested, intrigued, or provoked you?

What implications do you see for teaching and learning?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Prime Issues

What will today's students need to know and be able to do when they hit their prime, say in the year 2038?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Groton TTLs

This is a place for discussion and learning by Technology Teacher Leaders in Groton.

Here are some guiding questions for use of technology to enhance learning:

1. What do you want students to know and be able to do? How will technology enhance this?
2. What will students need to know and be able to do with the technology so they can meet the established learning outcomes?
3. How will you assess student learning and use of the technology?
4. How are students actively engaged, constructing meaning, sharing their thinking, and reflecting on what they are learning both during the process and at the end?