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Thursday, July 24, 2008

This is an exciting summer for me - I call it my life-long learning summer! Not really going to get to the beach much with what I have in store for myself!
Let's see - I started out going to Chicago to my granddaughter's first birthday party! It was at "The Point" which is a lovely park on Lake Michigan.
Next there was the Building Learning Communities conference at the Newton Marriott. WOW! More about that later - it never has disappointed me yet!
Now I am preparing to go to Manchester New Hampshire for the Constructivist Consortium with Gary Stager et al. I'll make sure to tell you all about that later.
The grand finale will be the week before we go back to school. It will be a week at MIT! Cool, huh? I'll also talk more about that later. I really hadn't done much with my blogs last year. It was kind of a depressing year for various reasons. But I am feeling like myself again and my new focus on the Commonwealth Priority Schools will also be quite stimulating. I look forward to this challenge. This entry is just a quick synopsis of my summer. So - now I need to go and gather my photos and get some serious blogging done. See you soon!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

At my desk
This has to be THE COOLEST thing! I just discovered that it is possible to take a photo with my cell phone (which is how this picture of me got here) and then send it to my blog. Poof! In an instant there it is in my blog!! How awesome is that!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The MassCUE Conference this November was phenominal!

Deneen Frazier Brown put on quite a show. We "nerds" aren't used to being entertained like this. She acted out the parts of kids and the ways in which they use technology today. She made some very good points. Learning doesn't mean you have to be sitting at a desk in a classroom the way it worked for us baby-boomers. She made it very clear that schools need to change to fit the needs of today's students. After all, these kids have grown up with technology. It just doesn't make sense to take it all away when they go to school and sit them behind a desk.

On Wednesday night I was awarded a Pathfinder Award along with Beth Kennedy of Andover, Mary Marotta of Nashoba Regional and Walter McKenzie of Northborough and Southborough Schools. It was quite an honor to be receiving this award along with these distinguished collegues. The award is given to those who have greatly enhanced the field of educational technology.

On Thursday David Warlick spoke about the need to provide our students with a wide range of experiences. He explained that the future we are preparing our students for will be governed by information and the importance of helping them to discern information in many ways and from many sources. He explained how the information of the 21st century will be much richer than the "3Rs of the one-room school house."

The workshops were very good. They ranged from digital books to podcasting to how to use a Smartboard. There was something for everyone.

Will Richardson was a guest speaker. I missed his talk as I had heard him speak in July at Alan November's Conference. But I did have the pleasure of having lunch with him in the courtyard. It was fun to talk to him one on one like that.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Podcasts -
Here are some podcasts which you may find useful for your own edification or for use in your classroom. Click on the titles to be taken to the website. Enjoy!

Cast Browser
Cast Browser's "Daily Podcast Feed" presents and guides you through a new collection of podcasts every morning.

November Learning Communities – Podcast Gallery
Collection of podcasts from Alan November’s summer conferences.

Odeo – Ed Tech Coast to Coast
A regular podcast featuring Educational Technologists from throughout the country. Regular panelists include Will Richardson, Tim Lauer, Tim Wilson, and Steven Burt.

Snacks for the Brain
A bi-weekly 40-minute-to-an-hour podcast outlining the dedicated and interesting work done by members of the Vanderbilt University Center for Science Outreach and the scientists and students they serve, hosted by Scott Merrick and free of advertisement and hype! Features fresh podsafe music and a new technology tip in every tasty episode.

NECC 2006 – San Diego
NECC 2006 podcast was developed in cooperation with the International Society for Technology in Education and Apple Computer. Here you will find a range of podcasts from this year’s conference sessions and the general keynote.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bloglines -
Search for and subscribe to blogs of your choice. Publish your own blog like I did! Share it with friends and collegues.
Visit Bloglines by clicking the link on the sidebar.
You can subscribe to any blog, including this one, by clicking the "Subscribe to" button on the page.
Above all - explore, discove and have FUN!
It's FREE!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Alan November's Building Learning Communities 2006

I have been very busy this summer to say the least! After having gone out to SanDiego for the NECC Conference and painting an apartment, I also found the time to attend Alan's BLC. This was the second time I have attended one of his conferences and I must add that it is one of the best! What a nice way to rub elbows with some of the leading "gurus" today. I was very impressed with Will Richardson. I am here right now writing this blog because Will spoke about the Read/Write web. He explains how using blogs can provide an authentic audience. This makes sense to me having my Harvard background in reading and language. How much more authentic of an audience can the internet provide! Yes! We do need to teach students internet safety because as Will explains, kids are doing it anyway - so why not get on board and teach them the right way to do it and the safe way to write to a public audience. I highly recommend his book entitled, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms.

Speaking of podcasts, if you're in the area - Bob Trikakis from Apple will be speaking at my MassCUE Special Interest Group at Norrback School in Worcester, MA on September 26 3pm-5pm. Come and join us! Find out more about podcasting and how it can be used in the classroom. Find out more about out SIG at http://masscue.org/community/handheld.htm

NECC - SanDiego
What an awesome time we had in SanDiego!

The keynotes were superb!

I was bowled over by DeWitt Jones' keynote!
He's a photographer for National Geographic. What an inspirational speaker! - and his photos!!!! He brought tears to the eyes of many - including me as he focused on the POSSIBILITIES! He spoke right to my heart and soul. Last year I had produced a short video on the possibilities of using handheld (one-to-one) computing in the classroom. I ended it with "Oh! The Possibilities!" If you missed DeWitt's keynote you might want to check out his inspirational videos at http://www.business-marketing.com/store/dewitt.html

The next day Nicholas Negrapointe explained how every student in the world could have a laptop computer 24/7. Wouldn't that be nice! If you missed it check out this blog: http://123elearning.blogspot.com/2006/07/nicholas-great.html

I spent some time supporting Belmont Community School at the poster session for the HP Grant recipients. Two schools from Worcester (Belmont and Columbus Park) were presenting. I also had a chance to browse many of the other presenters and was impressed by what is going on in schools around the country.

The workshops I attended were high quality.

I also had some time to visit the SanDiego Zoo.

Compass Learning sponsored a dinner at SeaWorld which was "out of this world!"

Shamu posed for his photo. Thanks, Shamu!

Intel Training Update

I just began my online training course for version 2.0 of Teaching Thinking with Technology. I am preparing to teach my third group of participant teachers. It is advertised as a four hour training but think it will take me twice the time as I tend to get very involved. I can relate to my students who have taken this course when they run out of time to do the projects. Some people get very involved and excited. This program is so intense it is easy to get caught up in it.
I definitely like the changes that have been made to the curriculum. One of the most common requests of participants has been that they'd like to have been exposed to the Unit Plan earlier in the course. Well, they listened and now it is being introduced in the first Module. so far I really like what see.

Here are a couple photos of my most recent group of participants in the Intel workshop this summer

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Hello, My name is Debbie and this is my first blog. I'm sure it will be the first of many. I have many interests some of which are kayaking, handheld computer use in classrooms, traveling and more.