Friday, November 28, 2008

Proactive Goals

Now that I've survived Thanksgiving dinner and a brief Black Friday trip, I began thinking about getting back to work on Monday. As I thought about it, maybe now would be a great time to refocus for the month of December to end the year on a high note.

After the Christmas holidays and celebrations everyone seems to have some New Year's resolutions, so I thought, why not make some 'mini goals' now that I can try to measure at the end of the month. Come January 1st we'll see how I did.

1. Make it into 4 more classes to work with students and teachers (I'm thinking 2 new teachers at both schools I help out with on a weekly basis).

2. Establish one more "Global Connection" with an area teacher and a teacher from another country or state to work on a project.

3. Connect with our Podcasting Project teachers and support/encourage them to make a meaningful podcast before the holidays.

4. Build on our Voicethread Ning group and get at least one Christmas Voicethread to share with others. Either with adults, or ideally to help get a teacher to create one with their students for parents.

5. RELAX. Enjoy my family, get better with pictures (use Flickr more) and video. Get ready to Ustream Christmas, but to also find a great place to house videos (Google Video, YouTube, ..... taking suggestions).

OK, I've got five good goals to try to reach in really three weeks. It will be a fast month, but hopefully at the end I'll be a better tech integrator for all of my districts come 2009.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cellphones in the Classroom with Rick Weinberg

NYSCATE 2008 was a great experience and there were many great keynotes, 1 hour workshops and of course, plenty of see at the vendors. I guess I did not win a Wii, nor did I even win a raffle for anything!?!? Carls Law.

However, we were given a Bean...but, I haven't used mine yet!

My favorite part was Rick Weinberg's presentation on "Cellphones in the Classroom". I have waited for this one since the RFP's came out.

Even with the internet going out minutes before his presentation and for the first 15-20 minutes, Rick did a great job audibling and creating conversation among the participants, then going back to his Model Lesson on Resveratrol.
The video is below, and also has been embedded onto this wiki.

You can find all of his resources at his NYSCATE wiki.

Here are some of Rick's Web based resources to use with cellphones:

Get instant poll results for free for up to 30 participants.

Record your voice and send it as text to cellphones or to e-mail accounts.

Give people a place to send voice and text messages about your topic. It is a dropbox to get information from your students or your participants.

Rick really likes this about going through a progression of sending a text, then an e-mail, then a phone call until the message goes through to all of the people you are looking to reach.

Send ChaCha a question and have a live person search for a result and get back to you with an careful with those late night trivia questions (that can be addicting) because now you only get 20 texts for free.

I use this as well as some of my other colleagues to update sites like Plurk, Facebook and Twitter with one text being sent to multiple sources.

Great job Rick and thanks for all you've done opening our eyes to the use of cellphones in education.