Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Personal Powerful Moments

  • David Jake's session on Saturday was worth the price of admission.
  • Designing a digital video with Barb and Sue.
  • Richard Harlin's open source classroom was a mind stretcher
  • Meeting Brian C. Smith and his wife Wendy ~ he has been to Hammondsport, where I grew up, and we know some of the same folks.
  • Great conversation with Stephen, a college professor from Nazerath
  • figuring out Twitter and Ning
  • podcasting to my students from a cellphone using evoca and then posting it on Blackboard.
  • Will Richardson's focus session and being involved in the live UStream TV show.
  • being able to stand on stage with Jean, Dodie, Michelle, and Diane to receive the ePal award.
  • Getting to know Tim DiScipio, co founder of ePals. Thanks for lunch.
  • Working with Rob, the video editing guru.
  • Sitting alone in the back of the Lilac Ballroom watching Marco Torres. I was absolutely blown away by his students work and found myself shedding a tear when he spoke about his own children.
  • Playing the Riverside Convention Center's Steinway & Sons Grand Piano after hours ~ unbelievably crisp tone.
  • Spending time with Jean and having some great conversations.
  • Being able to talk with David Jakes and Will Richardson just before the final Keynote.
  • Some quality time spent with my Uncle Jim and Aunt Bobbie, thanks for the room.
  • Randomly meeting Deb Stephens, a Broome Tioga BOCES employee that works with Macs and digital videos.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

"First the Brain then the Face"

Saturday, November 17, 2007 will hardly be a day I will forget anytime too soon. There I was in the cathedral like lobby of the Riverside Convention Center at 6:50 a.m. feelin' like a kid that woke up early on Christmas morning waiting for his folks to join him. There were a few workers setting up for the NYSCATE Conference but for the most part it was like a ghost town, large building, few people.

Being the good student I am, I found a strategic seat that allowed me to see what was going on and who was showing up. I pulled out the Mac and started fumbling with Twitter when a recognizable face appeared in the lobby. "Are you David Jakes by any chance?" I asked somewhat reluctantly. Sure enough he was and had a seat next to me and we began a conversation.

Several weeks before, when I knew I was going to be attending his workshop I began to read through his blog where I had the chance to meet his "brain" and this meeting allowed me to meet his "face."

David's workshop was simply amazing. The experience reminded me of the first time I saw the Grand Canyon; humbling and wordless. You never forget the Grand Canyon after you see it, you are never truly able to wrap your words around it's magnitude and power. At this point, I look forward to taking a few days to process this and continue to move forward. I am so thankful for the learning opportunity and will be wrapping my head and words around the magnitude and power of the Read/Write Web.

Thanks David Jakes!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Times They Are a-Changin'

What else do we need to say that Bob didn't in 1964?

The Times They Are a-Changin'
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.
~ Bob Dylan

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Will My Students Be Able to Blog?

In the midst of preparing for a New York State Social Studies Test we have had a chance to send out a few emails to our new friends in Thunder Bay, Canada and France. The students seem incredibly interested in using the ePals program and are very eager to get their first reply.

Also, I have been diligently preparing for my yearly Individualized Performance Review, commonly known as the IPR Project. The premise behind this district initiative is to engage tenured teachers in the opportunity for professional growth where we as educators have an option in what we would like to focus on for the year.

This year I am going to focus on student blogging. I have been gathering my resources and trying to come up with a constructive plan that will allow for the greatest success possible. At this point, I am trying to get District approval for the Project. If this happens I will then need to gather support from the parents to allow their children to participate.

There has been a great deal of work involved to get to this point. I have gathered and read through several research articles, read through Will Richardson's Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other Powerful Webtools for Classrooms, used Susan Pedro's parent letter as an outline for writing my letter to the parents, read through numerous blogs and wikis, and put a plan together "on paper" that I presented to the administration.

In a couple of days I will find out if I will be able to move forward with this exciting project. Wish me luck!

Research Summary - November 5, 2007

Marked Documents

Distance Education Trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration
Yoany Beldarrain. Distance Education. Melbourne: Aug 2006. Vol. 27, Iss. 2; p. 139 (15 pages)
Linda Wells. Reading Today. Newark: Aug/Sep 2006. Vol. 24, Iss. 1; p. 40 (1 page)
How To...Blog!
Linda Lindroth. Teaching Pre K - 8. Norwalk: Aug/Sep 2006. Vol. 37, Iss. 1; p. 25 (1 page)
Blogs and Blogging, Part II
Annette Lamb, Larry Johnson. School Library Media Activities Monthly. Baltimore: May 2006. Vol. 22, Iss. 9; p. 40 (5 pages)
'Blogs' Catching On as Tool for Instruction
Rhea R Borja. Education Week. Bethesda: Dec 14, 2005. Vol. 25, Iss. 15; p. 1 (2 pages)
educational blogging
Laurel A Clyde. Teacher Librarian. Seattle: Feb 2005. Vol. 32, Iss. 3; p. 43 (3 pages)
Using weblogs in the classroom
Greg Weiler. English Journal (High school edition). Urbana: May 2003. Vol. 92, Iss. 5; p. 73