Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy New Year Tech Tip

Tired of telling others that you can't open a document they sent you? Especially when it has to do with their new upgrade to Microsoft Vista and Microsoft Word 2007? Now all you need to do is go the the website below, follow the directions and ZamZar will convert their document into something you can read.

Zamzar also, allows you to convert YouTube movies so you can play them from your laptop and not have to wait for the stream to slowly download at school.

Good luck,

Friday, December 19, 2008

What about Google?

Google has been in the outreach to educator mode since 2007, by training 50 educators per session using the train the trainer model. Each training session, called a Google Teacher Academy, is offered for 50 educators and now over 250 educators have been Google trained. Educators must apply by answering a few questions, with a limited number of characters in the response and a 60 second video explaining how they provide "Motivation and Learning" OR "Classroom Innovation". By training educators with Google tools and then asking them to pay it forward with other educators Google is able to spread their tools and ideas around the globe. Currently, the Google Academy has only been held in the USA, but during the last Academy, educators were accepted from outside the USA.

You may all know Google by the Google browser on the Internet, but did you know that Google is also a popular email option, calendar option, blog option, office suite option and more!
You need to know and understand 3 things about Google:
1. Google has free applications online which are part of the ReadWriteWeb, also known as Web 2.0 tools.
2. Google can afford to keep these applications free to consumers by the advertising you see on their search pages.
3. Google is on the cutting edge with various applications and a sense of an all in one suite. Everyone knows Google, oh you mean the search with the cool graphics, gmail, yes! There is even more if you dig deep on the Google Applications pages.

On November 18, 2008, I was one of 50 educators accepted to attend Google Teachers' academy in NYC. I was thrilled to be accepted and represent my school district and my State. I was also pleased to be in the company of Alice Barr, of Yarmouth High School and Sarah Sutter of Wiscassett High School. Once we arrived in NYC we were joined by another Maine educator, Kern Kelley of Nokomis Middle School, who now is a Google Trainer, along with his full time job at Nokomis Middle School. Mainers should be proud that our state is well represented with educators who are using web tools in innovative and collaborative ways.

As part of our acceptance in the Google Teachers Academy, each educator follows a plan to pay it forward and offer training to others not only locally but in some form of a collaborative project.

One activity that I am excited about is a community project to be offered at Wells Public Library in two sessions during January and February 2009. The activity Google goes Viral! is a presentation, for all levels of experience, with some hands on offerings during class. There will be a followup class after the first session in order that people may try out the different Google applications during the week and then come back to the followup session to learn some more about using the different Google applications.

You will leave the session, Google going Viral! with knowledge about :

* creating a gmail account
* calendar sharing
* creating a google document for sharing
* Website for personal use as well as sharing

Stay tuned throughout the year for more Google information!

Resources: Kern Kelley

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Primary Documents and Where to Find them!

This was cross-posted at 12/2/08
How many of you have used the Library of Congress Collections for your curriculum, content and most importantly your students?

If you have never used the online collections here is the perfect time to begin. No matter what your content area you will find something that you can use. Plus, by introducing your students to the wealth of materials they have available to them, you will be opening their eyes to a place where they can research their own primary sources when the time comes.

The Library of Congress opened their online Internet doors in 1991. I have visited the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, but I have not used the primary sources in any of my classes, nor have I had an opportunity to share this resource with my students. So, to make up for that I am sharing this important resource with teachers.
The LOC, as it is affectionately referred to, has designed a great jumping off spot for teachers. The spot is called the Learning Page and on that page there are menus to use a timeline, lesson plans , features and activities, collection connections, community center and my FAVORITE, professional development. Why is professional development my favorite? Because LOC provides the handouts for you to host your own through a video conference or with something as self serve where you choose a topic and go through the steps yourself or in a group at your school. I chose CREATIVE PORTRAITS:
Using Art and Artifacts to Deepen Historical Understanding
There is something called the facilitators framework,complete with handouts and the primary sources you are looking at and how much time you will need to deliver the workshop.

Thanks to the Library of Congress for all their good information, please share this with your students and staff. Take time right now and go on a Library of Congress tour!

Now to put this idea into practice! I am looking for a librarian to team up with on this venture and offer this workshop afterschool, any topic and any school day. Contact me on twitter cheryloakes50 .

Monday, December 01, 2008

Library of Congress, Primary Sources

Screenshots of Library of Congress Online

Sunday, November 23, 2008

FREE for educators!

If you have always wanted an interactive whiteboard in your classroom here is a way you can try this out for FREE for a year. The beauty of this is that there is a plug-in that allows you to set this up in your moodle page for ubiquitous use by your students! The offer is from Elluminate, an online tool you can use with multiple people, audio and video tools along with the whiteboard. Give it a try, or if you would like a demonstration please watch your email for an invitation to a training.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back from Google Teacher Academy! NYC 2008

The Maine Connection at Google Teacher's Academy in New York City, November 2008. 
Okay, this was just a phenomenal event. More to come.
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