Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Learning about Podcasting

This week I'm doing a presentation on podcasting. I've created a set of resources for this. I've also got some demo pocasts available at this feed.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Read, Write, Think

This morning at the College School we spent quite a bit of time looking at useful Read, Write, Think tools. This site is always being updated so regular visits will always yield some new, useful items.

Character Trading Cards -- 3rd and up
This would work for comparing two characters in a book. This could be used for capturing information about any character in a book and could be a way to capture insights that might not be identified in more traditional writing tasks.

Get the Reel Scoop: Comparing Books to Movies-- K - 8 max
Although this is listed for grades 3-5, the variety of worksheets and plans can be adapted to support classroom discussions or reports for grades K-8.

How Does My Garden Grow? Writing in Science Field Journals
-- K-2 recommended, could use up to 4th with adaptations
This lesson plan supports the traditional seed-growing activity by providing organizers for science journals. There are good links, including a video of a plant that did grow successfully.

Letter Generator -- 2 - 4
This interactive tool provides a scaffold for students to create letters online. Finished products can only be printed but there is a selection of different stationary. Students must finish the letter in one sitting.

Developing Reading Plans to Support Independent Reading
-- 4 -8 depending on scaffolding
This plan uses the online graphic map to help students and teachers develop reading plans to be used to helps kids choose new books by detecting patterns in what they have enjoyed in the past.

Word Sorts for Beginning and Struggling Readers -- pre- and early struggling readers
This plan includes a variety of on- and off-line activities including a Flash activity for reinforcing word attack skills.

Stapleless Book -- any grade

This tool was deemed NOT GOOD by the reviewers, especially for the early reader/writers who might find this most useful. Even though there are lots of templates to create the book, you can't insert your own pictures. It doesn't print the pictures so students have to deal with words before pictures making it less useful for young students.

There is a Stapleless Book Planning Sheet that might be helpful to use offline.

Notetaker - 2 - 8
This online tool helps kids organize ideas into a formal outline of 5 levels. Includes a tutorial and can be saved for further work by cutting and pasting from the preview or printed.

Guess What's in the Bag activity - K - 2
This lesson plan supports the development of descriptive vocabulary.

Poetry Resources from Read,Write, Think
Finally, here's a quick list of poetry resources.
Shape Poem -- limited because of the limited number of shapes 1-3
Diamante Poems - very good -- any age
Acrostic Poems -- good -- 3rd and up
Letter Poem -- weak -- don't bother with this one.

Monday, February 06, 2006

EDC Feature Articles: Tech-Savvy students Influence Teacher Choices in the Classroom

EDC Feature Articles: Tech-Savvy students Influence Teacher Choices in the Classroom explains how the most tech-savvy students drive the way teachers teach, as well as the content of the curriculum. They are also positively influencing other students. This comes from a survey of teachers.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Why Rubrics?

I came across this quote in an article from COSN. It's actually from Reinventing Government by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler.

What gets measured, gets done.
If you don't measure results, you can't tell success from failure.
If you can't recognize failure, you can't correct it.
If you can't see success, you can't reward it.
If you can't see success, you can't learn from it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Gcast Podcast

Here's something new. I can create account at Then I just call a toll-free number and record my message. Bingo! No software, no hosting and my podcast is all online! Check this out: psine's Podcast: "Dec 14, 2005 Phone call"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

More great terms

Continuing from my last post, here's a new one: GoogleWashing.
Prevent Googlewashing From Harming You

Besides that, buried in the article is a quote from a "relevance data analyst for MSN Search." That's got to be high up on the example jobs that are new for the 21st century!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Fun Phrases for the Week

This week I've come across two new memes that should show up more often.

Architectural Inversion --

Mental Multitasking Wetware --

These are both just fun to think about!

Sunset from Flickr

Originally uploaded by karo.lina.
Here's another photo I liked from flickr. And I added it to my blog by searching at flickr and then clicking "blog this" right above the picture.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Low Tide via Flickr

Low Tide
Originally uploaded by Ally123.
Here's a new site (well, new to me) that I'm exploring today. The site is flickr which allows anyone to post photos. The interesting and new thing about this site is that it also allows "social tagging" so that anyone can tag anyone else's photos. In fact, the photo I'm blogging about right now was found by using the "random photo" tool developed by some other flickr user. I have my blog entered in flickr and I can post it on my own site.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

What Wiki should I use?

I'm adding this to my blog today because I've gotten the question three times in the past two days so it seemed like a good time to summarize things.

The first part of the question usually is "Where can I set up a wiki so my students and I can try this out?" My experience has led me to two places where you can do this for free: and Both are free and give you enough room to get a decent sized project going. Both have recently upgraded their offerings as they now also support commercial clients. Another interesting one is WikiSpaces, although I have not tried this one. The other free wiki space that gets a lot of coverage is JotSpot. I've only gotten a site and dabbled a bit, but it is less straightforward and less wiki-like for my tastes.

The second part of the question usually is "We'd like to host our own wikis here. What software should we use?" Over the past year OET has tried out a few different pieces of software. Our criteria included easy editing, representative of the common wiki conventions, relatively simple to install and maintain, and free.

At this point, we are using PMWiki on our IIS server. This also requires Perl and we are using the free version of ActivePerl.

The definitive answer to all of this is really the definition of wiki at Wikipedia. This will also lead you to the WikiBook project and the Wiki Science: How to Start a Wiki book. The beauty of this, of course, is that since these are wikis, the community keeps them up-to-date!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

My First Podcast

I wanted to try out creating and publishing a podcast. I've put the MP3 file on my own server space. And this link should launch the words of wisdom.... Well, you be the judge.