Archive for February, 2009

Brain Research, Multiple Intelligences and Technology

Posted on February 23, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

(by Fran Mauney)

When planning lessons and teaching students, I constantly ask myself how these plans will impact student learning.  I study the standards and write them in student friendly terms. I post the “easy to understand” standards on the board and ask an essential question about the lesson. We practice reading the words, then we body map the words (adding motions to help us remember the meaning). This solidifies exactly what we are expected to learn. I create a web and plan activities that  involve the multiple intelligences when designing lessons and I provide time for Reflection at the end of the lesson using Marzano strategies.  So often teachers only recognize the Word Smart or Math Smart students and neglect the other students who are strong in the other intelligences: Nature, Music, Drama, Body, People, and Personal.  I challenge teachers to evaluate their students by examining all the intelligences.  Technology provides students the opportunity to excel in all the intelligences.   Watch students’ eyes light up when you tell them they will create a T-shirt Research project, or record a podcast or comment about a virtual field trip using Voice Thread. It is time for teachers to utilize technology tools that motivate students and enhance learning based on the learning standards. You don’t have to do this alone.  There are many resources available at your fingertips.  Begin by asking colleagues at your school for ideas. Be willing to share ideas with other teachers at your school, district and state.  As educators, we should work together as a team and share our students’ successes with each other. Communicate using blogs and wikis and lead in-services at your grade level meetings, faculty meetings and local conferences.  Teachers are eager to help, if you’ll simply ask.  Here is an excellent model I found while researching this topic: Baltimore City Schools.

I am a member of an incredible list serve that sends me valuable research daily.  I was trained using the Highly Effective Teaching Model and incorporate all the components of that model when I teach. Ask to join their forum and you’ll receive a wealth of valuable information each day.

Here are some excellent resources to help you plan lessons that will meet your students’ needs.  Edutopia: Project Based Learning, Technology Integration, Social and Emotional Learning

Brain Fitness Activiites

4th Grade Nature/Science/Technology Project

Brain Research and Learning

Design a Classroom of the Future

Good luck with your planning and collaboration.  I’d love to hear your success stories and share them with others!

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Window’s Live Writer…a new tool I found today.

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: General |

(by Cathy Arnold)

A couple of coworkers and myself were working today on a digital imaging presentation. My part of the presentation will be to talk to the group about resizing images. Of course to increase my knowledge, I googled it! One of my finds was “Windows Live Photo Gallery”. Being a Microsoft product I felt somewhat confident it would be a safe download so off I went to learn more. While at the site I viewed two short video clips on the product’s ease of use from Alexa age 7 and Kylie age 4 1/2 (which are both worth viewing if for no other reason to verify the fact that it’s okay to ask for help from your four year old grandson or granddaughter!) I’m sold…so I start the download. While downloading this product it asked me to check which of the Live products I would like to download. Besides the Photo Gallery, I also downloaded Window’s Live Writer. This is a tool to help you with your blog writing. Since I was reminded that it was 1configure my turn to blog…I thought “why not try it?” In fact, I am writing this blog through Live Writer right now.

When I first started using the program it asked me to configure the program for use with my blog.

Next, it asked me what blog service I used and if I wanted to create a blog if I did not have one. I went through the rest of the process of setting up the blog.

4blogservice

Once finished, a new window appeared so that I could start creating my blog post. It was very user friendly. I would however recommend that the user check the blog after writing to make sure that it appears the way the writer intended.

After I’m finished writing, I am planning to click “Publish” at the top of the screen. If you are reading this right now…then “it worked!” This is a good little tool.  I would recommend this for those of you that would like to start blogging but need something easy to use.

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Free is Always Good

Posted on February 9, 2009. Filed under: EdTech, Elementary School, General, High School, Media Specialists, Middle School, Teachers |

by Tim Van Heule
Coordinator of Distance Learning

It is February, and the economy is still looking really rough. Budget cuts, job losses, etc. are common place across the nation. I am not an economist, but I know how the economic downturn has taken its toll on education.

Every summer for the past three years, the Greenville County Schools Instructional Technology Staff in South Carolina has hosted the Upstate Technology Conference. I have attended every conference, one as a participant, and two as a member of the staff. It is great to see how this conference continues to grow each year. I am hoping that this year is no exception.

“You get what you pay for” is a common cliche, often leading you to believe that if it is free, the quality probably reflects the price. Our conference is free, there are no registration fees at all, participants are only responsible for any meals and lodging; lunch is available on site at a competitive price.

This year’s conference will be Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25. We will also have a pre-conference on Tuesday, June 23. Currently, we are accepting proposals for presentations; this year’s presentations will no doubt be as superb as those in the past. General participant registration is open as well.

In the past we have had some of the best keynote speakers available worldwide, Annette Lamb, Ewan McIntosh, and David Jakes. This year is no exception, we are proud to have Chris Craft as our sole keynote speaker for UTC09. I have known Chris Craft since 2007 when Tim Cushman and I attended his sessions at the SC ETV Technology Workshop for Educators. Both of us were so impressed that we have asked, begged, and pleaded for him to present at UTC each year – we have been fortunate that he has always agreed when available. To have Chris as our Keynote Speaker this year really means a lot to all of us in Greenville County.

We look forward to seeing you at UTC09! Please continue to read our blog or check the UTC website for updates. Questions can be directed to our office, techconf@greenville.k12.sc.us.

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