photo boston julie and me

Julie Von Essen and I attended the Building Learning Communities conference (BLC 2010) this summer. We pooled our notes together, using Google Docs (What an amazing tool!) and I am finally able to share them with you. Believe me, I need more time to digest and process all the information that was presented. There is just so much to learn and reflect on.

Between the two of us, we attended over 20 sessions. With so much information to share, I found it necessary to organize our notes in the following way:

  • Keynote Speakers
  • Communications
  • Digital Identities
  • PLNs and Professional Development
  • Save Tech Dollars
  • Whiteboards
  • Give It Some Thought

To access these sections quickly, simply type them into the search bar to the left of your screen. (If you copy them, be sure to delete the bullet point before you select “go”).

Both Julie and I highly recommend this conference. This summer it will be held July 24-29 in Boston.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go, but I know I will be following much of it through my PLN.

Keynote Speakers

Note: For short bios of each keynote speaker, you can go to

 Keynote: Dr. Michael Wesch

Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Digital Ethnography, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KSwesch_full

What an interesting speaker! For one of his investigations, he studied a non-literate population in Papua New Guinea to see the impact writing would have them. More recently, he has led his university students in studies exploring human uses of digital technology. He has won several prestigious awards and received a standing ovation at the conference!
Here are some of his ideas:

We are in the information age; we find, sort, evaluate, critique, create.
Communication, thoughtfulness, and empathy are interrelated.
A good education takes us from meaning-seekers to meaning-makers.
When media changes, relationships change.

See video: Web 2.0 The Machine Is Using Us”  at

Examples of how we are participating on the web:

1. Viralvideochart – rating videos from YouTube, Google Video

2. Technorati – Real-time search for user-generated media (including weblogs)

3. USA Today  Ad Meter- tracks the responses of a panel of viewers to ads and ranks them from best to worst

4. New commerce is now happening because of the web:

●      Zilock-online rentals

●      Swaptree = swapping your stuff

●      Whipcar – renting peoples’ cars

●      Prosper – money lending

To see contrasting publicity/propoganda on the web, see:

Dove – rainforest video at
Dove- True Colors video at
See also the remix of Dove and Axe (same company)

Maxine Green coined the phrase “the capacity to invent”. We need visions of what the world could be and should be.

Watch this:  A Vision of Students Today” at
People to follow: Shawn Ahmet – Reinventing how NGO’s work
                                   Eric Whitacre – Opensource projects
                                  Open Street Map – free wiki world map

Engage real problems

●      start here – not with technology

●      start with a problem you don’t know the answer to

●      do the research with students

●      harness the relevant tools
Diigo – like Delicious – to share links
See: An Anthropological Introduction to You Tube

Keynote: Richard Halkett
Director of Strategy and Research, Global Educ., Cisco, London


There is a:

1.       Need for cultural understanding

2.       Need for personal understanding of one’s identity and purpose. How do we prepare students for jobs that do not yet exist?

3.       Need to change the way we do things

Which changes are important; how to we determine this?

  • Change “the script”- We need to re-engineer the learning process to move activities around. Reorder the learning steps. Students should engage in learning, collaborate.
  • The role of the teacher and student must change. How to do this?

1.       Peer Learning and the Cascade method- any person knowledgeable in any topic becomes the teacher.

2.       Sharing Scarce Resources-coventry UK has a program where Spanish teachers use video to teach language

3.       Project-Based Learning

4.       Organizing Learning Differently-Luminere, Brasil

5.       Co-Creating Content—“Show and Share” by Cisco

6.       Team-based/ Authentic based Learning

In executing curriculum teacher must:

○    Plan for peer assessment

○    Establish global partnerships

○    Build interdisciplinary links

○    Develop global learning projects

Keynote: Rahaf Harfoush
New Media Expert; Member of President Obama’s Social Media Team; Geneva  Books: Growing Up Digital, Yes, We Did



What was learned from the presidential campaign:

1.       Power of strategy in an integrated media campaign

2.       Online organizing equals offline action- get people’s attention online and then move them into the community

3.       Consistent Branding and Design-Need a clear message, clear symbol

4.       Iterations-Start with one step and then branch out (try and learn)

Funds raised: Obama–$750m,  McCain–$360m

How can this knowledge gained from the campaign affect education? We must:

1.       Redefine engagement and create new engagement opportunities.

Obama had profiles on 17 different social networks!

“wikinomics”- check on web. Focus on high engagement users. Wikibooks-open source for free educational books. Check this as they have free lesson plans.

2.       Convert Low end Users

Hyper segmented -use personal characteristics and group students. You must value all student contributions. Ask high end users to do something, nudge low users.

Idea for teacher: User Facebook to have online hours for students to ask questions.

Facilitate existing behavior-Use phone applications to practice skilsl, prepare for SAT, etc.

3.       Incent the right Actions–Obama’s team devised an activity index. Those most actively involved in working for the campaign were awarded. with homework. The more active you are, the more you contribute on line, you are rated higher and receive prizes. This is a cooperative site between teachers and students.

4.       Personalize the Mission–Had personalized fundraising web pages. “I am raising $ to help Obama win for a personal reason, for____(ex. Better education for my son). This was put on Facebook. Donors were given choices about where to donate their $, then later they received a thank-you note. money for school projects

5.       Empower Co-Innovation

Obama campaign had “Find an event Near you”. Volunteers did some service projects wearing Obama T-shiirts. Called ObamaWorks.

Book recommended: Misfits by R. Harfoush

What does this all mean?

Groups and networks have a Global impact, a new educational model emerges, and institutions are unprepared for it!

In the past, higher education

●      Full time students

●      Residential

●      Age specific

●      Homogeneous

●      Front Loaded

By 2020, there will be more than 200,000,000 university students. Right now there are 100,000,000. Today 30 million are without access to education. Online models will flourish.

Think of Wikibooks:

●       open-source community for free educational books

●       anyone can edit them

●       38,000 pages of material
However, that is NOW CHANGING! The number of non-traditional students will grow. Growth in population will demand change. We cannot build schools fast enough to meet population needs.

Tech is changing

1.       The way we think

●      Instant gratification

●      Rich multimedia experience

  • Relationship with Information

Try Wikipedia navigation game- choose one entry point and an exit point, and race to see who can link the two ideas faster). ex: Canada, Donald Duck

The new literacy-Tech ability is not genius. Students need practice, techniques, have skills refined. We can now access info from anywhere, so what should our tests be testing?

We must teach students

1.       to leverage online communities

2.       how to critically evaluate information

3.       To understand messaging

4.       To triangle the truth-listen to different perspectives and make your own conclusions

5.       Digital citizenship-we need to contribute to the web, not just be users and consumers
Future growth will favor the non-traditional students
Challenges for Educators:

1.       Learn with your students

2.       Become a facilitator

3.       Bring an experienced perspective—ex. To recognize and combat cyberbullying

Keynote: Dr. Mitchel Resnick

Lego Papert Professor of Learning Research; Academic Head, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, Co-Director, Center for Future Civic Media, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA

Literacy = reading and writing
Literacy in computers= reading and CREATING (not just consuming information)

SCRATCH is a free piece of software, used to create animations and share them. People can see it, comment on it, make their own version of it. Kids build on the work of others, or “remix.” MIT released SCRATCH three years ago. It teaches kids to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Kids learn also that when someone else chooses your project to remix, it’s an honor!  The community can be your inspiration as well as your critics. The language in SCRATCH can be changed, so this is an opportunity for GLOBAL sharing! Right now, there are 60,000 new Scratch projects per day!
Transmedia= from written to animated to tv series
Computational thinking= ideas related to computers, logical
For older kids, there’s Lego WeDo. This is used for robotic competitions. This now works together with SCRATCH.
Online community for teacher: SCRATCHED. Educators share ideas with one another on projects, lessons, support for students.
Next year there will be a new version of SCRATCH called 2.0.
SCRATCH Summer workshop at MIT: Aug 11-14.

Leadership From The Ground Up

Adora Svitak, Education Technology and Literacy Advocate, Teacher, Speaker and Author, Redmond, WA


This 12-year old child prodigy impressed everyone at the conference! At seven, Adora Svitak published her first book, Flying Fingers; recently, she co-authored a second book, Dancing Fingers, with her older sister Adrianna. She advocates literacy and lifelong learning around the world.

I highly recommend that you listen to this young woman. This video was done at another conference, but the topic at BLC 2010 was similar. to see examples of students tutoring peers.


Podcasting for Beginners

Jim Wenzloff, Learning Mentor, November Learning, Fort Gratiot, MI
Itunes store – podcasts!  Go to the K-12 category. These podcasts are all free.
Find the podcast “Read it, Write it, Say it”
Use a microphone with a recorder. USB – Kids take it home to interview grandma or a neighbor. Work with audio in Audacity (free, for Windows and Mac).
Toolbar – “effect” go down to “normalize.” This fixes the sound of various tracks (augments or reduces).
When you save, always put the Audacity file into a folder. It makes 2 saved copies, and you need to keep both.
File – Import Audio
Envelope tool: to bend the sound.
Background music – you can bend it to play behind the talking. Look on Wiki for resources for music. There’s a lot of music that’s free, not copyrighted.
Last step: File – Export as Mp3. This way you can share it on the web, or save it on any music player.

To put the podcast online, send it attached to an email to
To see it, go to You need to have an account. Open Myposterous to see it.
How does Posterous know where to put it? It recognizes the email it’s sent from.
RSS= “really simple sindication
Click on the red square, copy the URL, which ends in rss.xml
Go to Itunes, then to itunes store, look over to the right “Submit a Podcast.”
You need to have an account.
Paste in the URL. Answer a few questions about the podcast. Click Submit. You will get in email 7 days later that will link you directly to the podcast. It’s an email from itunes.
Podcasts should be under 10 minutes. Best are 2-3 minutes, or even 60 seconds.
Comments for students on the podcasts (hashtags) When you leave a comment, always sign your city with your name, so kids know how far their work has gone!

If further interested, I have a CD that was passed out at this workshop.

Beyond Email: Communication with your Web Community
Jeff Utecht, Elem tech and learning coordinator, Bangkok
Twitter Hashtag: #blc10beyond mail

Bangkok has their own YouTube channel
Idea: Use videos to inform about the school and display student work.
An example of the power of the web: Students started a movement to stop the use of plastic bags in 7/11 stores. See

8 billion sms are sent daily. Consider sending news via sms to parents.
Pod casts for students-daily announcements can be put on itunes. Make mp3, Put on Moodle (need RSS) and then put on itunes.

Key things to remember when using tech in classroom:

1.       Less is more- the web was not made to scroll. The average person spends only 3-7 seconds before deciding to stay on the webpage or leave. Hyper links are key! They help people go places quickly.

2.       Frequency is key! You must keep webpage updated.

3.       Images, images, images!-speaker recommends that each school has a Flikr account for $25/yr.

Idea: On Moodle have a “HooHa Question of the Day” and a “HooHa answer for Yesterday”. Motivates students to visit your page daily.

Get parents involved by assigning research on web and have students write about it.

Facebook is a way for international students to keep in contact when they move around.



Just Point and Shoot: Using Video to Capture Learning

Kathy Cassidy, Grade One Teacher, Moose Jaw, SK


On their wiki, find “Forty-three Interesting Ways to Use Your Pocket Video Camera”

Kids’ comments say things like, “You can see how much you learned and how better you got.”

(Find Kathy Cassidy and Valerie Becker on Twitter to follow their threads)

Video – How to Make Maple Syrup – No kids’ faces were shown. The kids’ voices were over. They each had a part to say and a picture to contribute to the story. The camera always faced the table where they interacted with their pictures. Only hands were seen.

Another idea: Use JING. Capture the screen, and the student’s voice tells about the project.

Where to post videos:

●       Vimeo

●       YouTube

●       Bliptv

● – Use this one if YouTube is blocked in your school.

●       Post videos on the classroom blog

●       You can also embed video into Wikispaces

To upload a video:

●       Log into YouTube

●       Click on Upload

●       Find the video – click.

●       Wait for it to upload

●       Add info: Title, Description, Tags

●       Choose category

●       Save the changes

●       Now to put it somewhere else, click embed.

●       Copy the code that’s given to you in a box

●       DON”T include “related videos”

OR: go to see the video on YouTube called “How to Embed a Video”

For music use: This is from Creative Commons. Just be politely sure that you give credit at the end of your video to the author of the music.

Planning a video as a class or as a group: Give the kids a planning document including who holds the camera, who talks, props, where in the classroom will you record, etc)

●       What will we show?

●       How will we show it?

●       Who will do which part? (acting, speaking, camera, music, credits, editing)

Film a small group at a time

Editing: in Google Docs, see “Aviary” for editing. Or go to iMovie.

You can also record from the Smartboard.

Notebook – It records your voice, too.

Click on Record area:  Select the area to be on video so you don’t have the menu bar showing. When you release the click, it starts recording and you can see the seconds ticking by. You can have kids explain their learning. You hear only the voice, while you watch the explanation on the Smartboard.

You can also record directly from Skype, using E-cam. Pay $15, and you will have it always on that computer.

Animoto Video is a free website for educators. Use the Educators link (see wiki). On Animoto, you choose your pictures and music from the site. They put them to music and make it into a moving video — although you started with still photos. This is very engaging! When it’s done, they send you an “embed” code. This allows you to add text with the images.

●       Rock You is a site that puts your photos into a sort of Ppt.

●       Sketchcast records what you draw in real time. Visual only – no audio- Max 20 minutes. With Sketchcast, you need an account, so use the teacher’s account, name the pictures with the kids’ names. Sort of like a very simplified Kid Pix. Once it’s done, you get an “embed” code.

●       Smilebox is another drawing program.

●       Voicethread – It’s not animated, but voice over. You can write on the image as you speak.

Digital Identities

Google or You? Who Would You Rather Control Your Digital Identity?
Dean Shareski, Digital Learning Consultant, Canada

twitter:  @shareski  (You can find more research here).
Google is the new “BUSINESS CARD” Everything you do now ends up in your permanent record, so OVERLOAD GOOGLE with a good tail of good stuff. This is Reputation Management.” Nowadays, things are public by default and private only with effort!
Everyone has digital presence You can and should,control it. Check your presence on Internet by typing your name into Google or one of the following sites:

Digital Citizenship is a responsibility to collaborate.

The web is changing:

Web 1.0 is read only
Web 2.0 is read, write, share, collect, critique

Web 3.0 is tools to help people communicate and find meaning. It’s organized data that’s personalized, customized in the search and in the find. It’s a Human-Driven Data System.

There’s so much data, that there’s no way to manage this data! You need to be active in creating your own online communities. You must be proactive, look for people who encourage you and challenge you.

Danah Boyd is a social media researcher and writes about privacy issues.

Recommended actions:

1.      Go into Facebook settings and check to see if you have maximum privacy.

2.      Check to see if you appear in and

3.      Go to and choose what is private and what is public.

4.      Go to is where you put your name in quotes. Whenever your name is used, you will get an email.

Idea: If you have a website or a blog: Have a “They Said It” tab. Here, you can post things that others have said about you. That’s tooting your own horn, but it’s a way to put positive things out there on the web.

Presenter recommends that you need to buy a domain name, which is a permanent url. You should check to see if your name is available as a domain name.. To see if you can have a certain name for your domain, first check at, To register a domain, go to http://www. (costs $11 a year).

Check for article on internet safety.

Digital is different because it’s

●       easily copied

●       instantly shared

●       easily edited

●       viewable by millions

Recommendation of this presenter is that you SHOULD become “clickable.” You need advocacy, and to take control over your digital identity. Go to You can fill in whatever you want, and that’s what will appear when people Google you. Here, you take control and become your own advocate!

Now here’s a new thought! You rob students of recognition when you don’t post their successes online. Be intentional about your digital identity, and teach kids to be the same. It’s a one-page site, sort of like a portal page. I believe it’s free.

Remember that bringing your networks to a new job is one of your most marketable assets. Teachers are moving from being experts to being connectors.

Creating a Digital Footprint: What Educators Need to Know

David Jakes, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, Glenbrook South High School, Glenview, IL

●       Facebook – College Administrators and Employers use Facebook to look at you.

●       Webkinz – another social network

●       Poptropica – “

● – “

● – virtual worlds with registered accounts

See Mimi Ito’s Digital Youth Activity

All of the info on the web is accessible, and it’s all permanent. Everything you put online and all that anyone else says about you is there. Forever. Even websites that are no longer online can be seen by clicking on “CACHED.”

●       Personas on the MIT website. Type in your own name. It gathers all the info on you!

● – does the same

● – does the same

See David Jakes’ (this presenter’s) website:

Google Latitude – tracks where you are via your cell phone

See book: Edges by John Seely Brown.

“An edge is not a boundary, but where creativity happens.”

For kids, it’s important to help them have a voice and to create content that matters. (example: digital storytelling) Let the GOOD stuff that they’ve done, and which they are proud of, become part of their digital footprint!

PLNs and Professional Development

K12 Learning 2.0: Using the Tools to Learn about (More Than) the Tools
Shelley Paul, Asst. Director of IT, College Park, GA
twitter:   @lottascales

Provides a self-guided online course, which introduces emerging technology little by little. New course opens each 10 weeks. However, you can see the entire course if you go to “manage Wiki” and search by pages. Most recent course began on Sept 8th. Julie Von Essen is doing this course now, and I have done several of the lessons myself without signing up for the course. I found it very user friendly!

This course was inspired by Stephen Abrams, “43 things I might want to do this year.”

Course objectives:

●       survey of tools

●       exposure to shifts

●       models

Tacit objectives:

●       community

●       technological self-reliance

●       curiosity

●       risk-taking

Each week, there’s an assignment to do.

K-12 online conference:  People create presentations (15-20 minutes long) which are archived. You watch them in your free time.

See Creative Commons: Allows people to freely build upon the work of others.

There’s a tutorial for Flickr.
Presenter is presently working on a tutorial for Twitter. Contact her to see when it is finished.


Fluency 3.0

Angela Maiers, Independent Consultant, Des Moines, IA

Read book: Tribes, by Seth Godin.

This book can help teachers and students understand communities and interaction.

See also – Gary Hayes’ Social Media Counts (book?)

Counts in real time. Every second, stuff is added to the web. It’s human beings communicating in small passionate communities.

There’s so much data, that there’s no way to manage this data!

PLN = Personal Learning Network (Trend: “meta-data-analysis” = filtering information, which is the wisdom of the crowd.)

Web 1.0 is read only

Web 2.0 is read, write, share, collect, critique

Web 3.0 is tools to help people communicate and find meaning. It’s organized data that’s personalized, customized in the search and in the find. It’s a Human-Driven Data System.

Important: Your network demands your engagement. You will be defined by your effort and your contribution.

●       Pandora – create your own radio station, which plays only the kinds of music you like

●       Social Circle – Google profiles you, according to what you search

●       Delicious – bookmark and share your favorite sites . We have access to other people’s bookmarks (see Angela Maier’s bookmarks here)

●       Friend Feed = to see who the other authors of a site are

●       Klout – a social analytic system. These are influence trackers that define the author

●       Twine – Human traits entwined with data traits

●       Tweetreach

The “commodity” that people are after is other peoples’ attention.

See: Social Human Tags

Emergent by Design – “values in a strength-based society”

Twitter – Establishing Your Personal Learning Network

Lisa Thumann, Senior Specialist in Technology Education CMSCE, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ; Liz Davis, Director of Academic Technology, Belmont Hill School, Belmont, MA


Her slideshow can be seen at

Twitter is a powerful tool. Customer service complaints can go onto Twitter, reaching a wide audience.

Use #at&t or #verizon when you mention a company. The pound sign (#) or hashtag, makes it clickable within the tweet.

Use @__________ to identify someone’s account.

When you retweet someone, you also need to put @theirname, so they know they’ve been retweeted.  — Use this to search for hashtags.

Save Tech Dollars

Stretch your Technology Dollar: Did you say that was free?
Lisa Thumann, Senior specialist in tech education CMSCE, Rutgers Univ.


Have students respond on google forum. Copy text into Wordle.

Idea: Use student names to make a Wordle.

Idea: Copy student writing; put it into wordle so they can see if they are overusing words like “and” and “but”


Students don’t need email accounts to do this. Note: You cannot use the back button. Do not use the browser toolbar or you will lose all your work. Have students create cartoon and email it to you. Choose number of panels and background.


This is a search engine where every site has been rated for readability on the K-12 level and for credibility. is for classes K-8. Also, great for social studies. Use Evernote to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. Then find them all on any computer, phone or device you use. For free.


This is a digital poster where you can embed video, include photos

5. and

Building Guided Tours with Google Earth
Bill Seng, Science Teacher, Medford NJ

Slides from his presentation can be seen on
Also, you can download a project he had his high school students do at

Get direction, then take tour button
View “historical imagery” and use slide bar at the top to see changes.
Use layers.
Has a flight simulator in tools.
Try searching for the Mariana Trench. Use ocean tool. Could be used to show hot spots in Hawaii.
There is a gallery of tours. Had one for castles and palaces.
Advise: For a project, try to set up teams where 1 person is more tech savy.
Use google forms for students to answer surveys, etc. Then go to spreadsheet and later graph the results.
Export tour as kmz file (which is like a zip)
Google sketchup 7 is a free tool to make 3- D objects. Problem is that all students must have a google acct. Google can set up accts for a school. (Interesting: at his school all students grades 4-12 have their own gmail accts.)
How to save tour as a video—You can use to save it as a .sdf file. Max. 5 min. long. Other possible ways to save: use to save as a .mov file or screencasting
Steps to make project
In Google Earth, add a folder and name it. It goes to “my places”.
Pinpoint on the first spot on the man and name it. (You can change icon for pinpoint if desired). Drag it into your folder.
There is an icon on the tool bar of a camera to record. Red button will do video only; microphone for audio.
Rename the video to say “Click for ___’s tour”
Right click on folder. Save as a .kmz file. If email recipient doesn’t have Google Earth, use Screentoaster to embed it in a blog or wiki.

Connective Learning-an Introduction to Google tools in Education
Brian Mull, director of Innovation, November Learning go here to get all the info from this presentation!
The “Advanced Search” can actually teach you how to use key words.
If you’re looking for animations, you need to choose file type .swf.
To find data on a spreadsheet, choose .xls.
For educational sites: .edu
For government sites: .gov

Down arrow on left: More Search Tools – here you find Time Line and Wonder Wheel (a visual way of adding key words)Two words to always remember = EVEN MORE. That’s where you find all the Google products that are free.

You can create a search engine tool with just the sites you think are good – in any subject area.
Google Custom Search: Click on “Create Google Custom Search.”
Fill out the page, paste in the URLs in the box, list only one URL per line.
“Edit this Search Engine” : only the owner sees this. No one can change what you’ve put. They can add more sites, but not change yours.

Editing/Basics-Check box “do not show ads”
Sites: check on the middle button
How do kids get to this list of websites? It’s a very long URL, so send in a link OR use Paste links and rename (after the slash) to forward

Google Docs is really Word, Excel, Powerpoint all together, accessible on the web.
See Document: Alternatives to Ning
Google apps for education- the school applies for an application (students don’t need their own account, but will be assigned one.) For younger students, have the parents create the email account. Google Forms-(Similar to Survey Monkey) Create “new form” will take you from a spread sheet to graph format when you click “show summary of responses.” (To take a survey, you don’t need a Gmail account.)
Google Docs are available through Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari.
In class, use Google Maps. Google Earth freezes up the internet if there are lots of users at the same time.
Place pinpoints on Google Map to write a paragraph on the map. Click on “Become a Google power user.” to bookmark sites. Import existing bookmarks.

Mapping the Curriculum With Google Maps

Jim Wenzloff, Learning Mentor, November Leearning, Fort Gratiot, MI

Anything you create in Google Maps can be opened in Google Earth.

Step 1:  Get a Google account. Why? Because then the Google tools are available. This speaker believes that all students NEED a Google account. Idea: letter to parents asking them to open the Google account. Then parents have passwords and access, and worry less.

You can get a route, multiple destinations, walking routes, bike routes, where is the traffic. There’s a lot of neat stuff under “MORE.” Ex: bike routes in your area.

Click on Wikipedia based on where you are or what you are studying. Under MORE, click on PHOTOS. Students can add photos, which will be eventually added to the map!

(This is a search engine by location.) Real-time weather can also be incorporated.

You can also locate webcams on the earth to see what some places really look like.
For STREET VIEW, drag the man to the map. When the map turns blue, drop him there. Then you can look around 360 degrees.

You can also search Google for “odd shots” on Google maps. Careful: Not to show to kids!

Create your own map in “My Maps” This has a lot of school applications, such as Literature trips. Lots of books mention real places, which you can plot on a map. Ex: Underground RR.

Literature trip:
Go to Google Maps. On the second text typing box, click on little black down arrow. From there, go to User Created Maps. There you can search for rainforest maps, war maps, etc. Some are really good!

Another tool: See wiki:
Here, you can see a DIRECTORY of Google map content. There are 1400 tools (Google Gadgets). You just have to click “add it to maps.” The ones you choose will appear on your “My Maps” area from now on.   Try this one:  Dig A Hole Through The Earth . See also: Weather Overlays for clouds, temperature, weather.

JING: This is a free program.  See can capture the screen with it. JING will record up to 5 minutes of speech, together with the screen shots. It creates a Flash file, which can be saved.

To create a new map: use 3 main tools:  (these are buttons): hand, pin/globo, zig-zag.
Click on the pin, drop it where you want it, name it, describe it. You can change the pin to another icon. The pins can be categorized by color (red: history, yellow: weather, etc)

To add a photo, go to The image has to be on the internet to use it. Use Rich Text in the box so you can create hyperlinks.

For images for elementary school students, go to instead of Google images. These photos are filtered so there’s nothing inappropriate for young kids.

“EMBED”- You can hang your map onto another website. Be sure to paste the whole code/web address.

If kids have an email account on E-Pals, then they can register for a Google account, which is not G-mail. (They must be able to receive a registration e-mail, which can be through E-Pals instead of G-mail.)

For all kids to collaborate on one same map, have them write their description on Word, save on a Flash Drive, then come to the main (already logged-in) computer for teacher’s OK and to add it to the map.

Using the line tool (zig-zag button) you can draw a line onto a map. It keeps track of the distance drawn. You can shade an area, then write about that area. You can rearrange the boundaries of your chosen area. Use this for neighborhood maps, school map, battlegrounds, etc.

Tomorrow Today: Thriving in the EdTech Revolution

Seth Bowers, Director of Information and Instructional Technology, CCSD 62 Des Plaines, IL This is the link to his presentation (pdf) The last 2 slides are a list of about 75 tools that are easy to use  This is a British How to” website – recommended

21st Century Education and Technology Integration: No Cost & Low Cost Investments with Rich Results for Students

Michael Gorman, teacher, Southwest Allen County Schools, Fort Wayne, IN


See his blogs and wiki. He has lots of links to free web resources.

The Jason Project – Project-based learning
twurdy: to find the readability of websites
wordle and tagzedo
Meetmeatthecorner: Kids doing podcasts for other kids
Artsedge,  NASA,
JING : screen recording (audio and visual)
Go to  When there, download PDF (30-40 pages) for the Glogster manual.
Claymation: (animations made after first making figures out of clay)
Mouse Mischief: interactive with interactive mice


Student 2.0: Building and Drawing on the Power of the Collaborative, Visual Learner Using Interactive Whiteboard Lesson Design
Barbara Peskin, Instructional Technology, Concord

Visual spotlight- use this tool when you want to focus on only part of a photo. You can shed a spotlight on the selected area only.

Software for whiteboard: ACTIVINSPIRE.

Idea for teaching vocabulary: Make a table with 2 columns. Give the left column a black background and the right column a white background. In a text box, write the vocabulary word in white print and the definition in black print. Text appears when you slide the text box from one column to the other.

Idea: with layer tool put a photo behind. On top make a table for example, 3 X 3 to practice multiplication facts. If the child answers right, the boxes will disappear, exposing part of the photo. Get them all right, and the entire photo can be seen.

Give It Some Thought

What Can I Do Now? (Web 2.0 Pedagogy)
Darren Kuropatwa, Dept. Head Math, Daniel Mcintyre Collegiate Institute, Winnipeg
#wpblc19 for Twitter

Free ebook: How People Learn gives us insight as to how students learn

1.       Connect with students misconceptions which interfere with learning

2.       Students must be able to network; have dialogue. Real learning is a conversation

3.       Engage in meta-cognitive strategies (ex. find the mistake in a picture)

Teachers must:

1.       Create galleries of thought–novices need to know what experts think and what other novices think.

2.       Publish kids work.

3.       Create  authentic audiences.

Bloom’s taxonomy was redesigned in 2000 (top of the pyramid down as follows: create, evaluate, analyze, apply, understand, remember)

How to teach

1.       Use mind maps—create digital mind maps. Let kids take photos and publish on Flickr. Why Flikr? You can put hotspots where you move the mouse over and you can add a text box. When you put links on the Flickr tag, put an unusual tag name so you can see all the kids photos at once. To do this, click on top left “add note”.

2.       Have students write solution manuals—On Wikis you can:    1) contribute original content, or  2) edit preexisting content.

Idea: Have students solve problems and write how they do it. Then, the next week, have students go back to Wiki and correct it. Teachers can use the revision history to see student contributions. Check between the last time one person contributed and the first time another did. Idea: when having students make videos; limit them to 1 or 2 min.

3.       Find common errors—Make video in Smart Notepad. In YouTube, check annotations function. Kids can follow a link on the video to another video.

10 Ways to Become an Inspirational Teacher, Power Tools for Lifelong Learners

Howie Diblasi, Educational Technology Trainer and Speaker, Durango, CO

Research says family involvement is the #1 predictor of student success. See at Harvard (Perkins)
Kids naturally turn to their friends. We need to teach kids how to learn from each other. We should listen to the kids as they teach each other.

Question:  Do the right people have the right info at the right time? If so, there’s no delay in feedback. This means that the prep can become the homework and the WORK is done in class!