Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tech Tuesday for 1/18

Hello everyone! I hope this post find you doing well. I have a whole bunch of great posts to share with you and some interesting conferences you might want to put on your calendar. I'll start with the conferences first.

MACUL (Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning)

This the state's educational technology conference. If you are a teacher/tech person, this is the place to be. If you want to know more about using tech in the classroom, this is the place to be. You can download the brochure here for more information. The conference takes place at Cobo Center in Detroit this year and takes place on Thursday and Friday March 17 & 18. Here is how the pricing works:

I think this is a great chance for teacher interested in adding more technology into the classroom to get some hands-on experience with teachers who regularly use tech in their own classes.

There is an added bonus to come and see me present as well. (Shameless plug) I'll be presenting on Thursday (Knocking Down Walls: Connecting Students with Blogging) and Friday (Personal Learning Networks (PLNs): Connecting Teachers Worldwide. Take a look at the brochure and you will see many gret presentations by teachers that use them every day. I would love to see at least one person from each building attend this conference so we can move forward as a district with technology integration across the board.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I will be happy to answer them.

Edcamp Detroit

Last May, a bunch of teachers organized an event called #edcampPhilly. The event was an unconference. The cool thing about an unconference is that all of the sessions are run by the people who show up. The schedule is loose to allow people to talk about whatever they want. #edcampPhilly was a huge success and edcamps started to appear all over the country. I attended one in New York City and Kansas City to see how they worked and meet some friends that I've been working with online for a few months. After seeing how they operated, I'm proud to announce that #edcampDetroit is open for registration! After tons of planning and organziation, we have a location (Wayne State University's College of Education), a date (Saturday May 7), Sponsors (Click the link to see. More are being added every day) and a price (Free!).

I have spent a ton of time this past year attending conferences and learning many great things. Despite some of the awesome sessions I attended, I always seemed to learn the most from talking and sharing with other teachers around me. The purpose of an edcampis to connect the teachers directly. Teachers have so many great ideas and practices, but they are not often given a chance to share them with others in their own school. Edcamp is a way to bring these teachers with great ideas together from all over to help the students in the classroom.

I would love to see a strong showing from my District at this event. I think I teach in one of the best districts in the country and would love to show everyone the amazign things that our teachers do each and every day. This conference is not a tech conference! This conference is about sharing ideas that work. Best practices for teaching various subject matter. Administrations isues could be addressed. There are countless topics and many conversations that can be had because we all work so hard at our jobs and it would be just greedy not to share with other teachers eager to learn.

We are limited in space (250 Max), so please click here to register. Space is filling up and will get jammed after we spread the word in March at MACUL, so sign up sooner than later. Maybe our district would even give us conference or workshop hours for attending (cough cough hint hint). Please pass this conferecne along to any other teachers you might now. A ton of work goes into putting on a free conference and I would love to share it with some of the best teachers I know. Thanks in advance.

Here is a video #edcampPhilly put together that does a nice job explaining #edcamp.

Let's Crate!

Do you ever want to share large files with students or other teachers, but you can't get them on email because they are so big? Well, Let's Crate solves that problem. This site is a very simple to use and could save a teacher time in the long run. Often, some files are too big to upload to the school site or students request the power point used in class. Instead of emailing a student here an there, Let's Crate allows you to upload the power point (50MB Max) and it gives you a link you can share with anyone you want.

I plan to use this for some of the Notebook software I use when giving notes in class. Now, I can just use Let's Crate to share all of the big files and post the links on the website. This is also great because the school's servers will not be burdened with excess work that will slow them down for everyone. You will want to give this site a try if you have many large files you want to share with students or other teachers in the district. It is worth checking out.

History Pin is an exciting photo based site that allows users to upload pictures to a map and provide details in the picture. Pictures are uploaded from all over the world. Older pictures can be viewed overlapped with what the areas look like today. I envision a very fin project where students take pictures of their community and post them on the site then view what the various areas looked like many years ago. It is a great way to connect students to local history in way beyond just looking at pictures in a textbook. Here is a video from History Pin that explains the site in more detail.

Times Machine

This could be such a fun tool in class. Times Machine is a full collection of the New York Times dating back to 1851. Students can research any date they want and share their findings with the class. Important events in history could be discussed by reading the newspaper itself. Students could research events that happened on their birthday and compare them with others. Classes could review the difference in print ads from various decades and create their own. There are so many possibilities for this site in the classroom it would be a waste not to take a look around.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has compiled the largest collection of animal sounds and videos online. This can be a great site to share with students who are researching various animals for a class project or it can be used by classroom teachers to spice up their lessons with actual animals sounds and video. This is a wonderful site that teachers can have fun with and students can learn from. 
Here are a few examples:

These are just a few of the many great videos and sounds collected by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Take a minute a see what types of video and sounds you could use for your classroom.

I hope you find these links helpful to you and your students. There are tons  of great resources out there and I will keep looking for them and sharing them with all of you. If there is anything in particular that you are looking for, please send me an email and I will see what I can find.

Give it a try!

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