Wednesday, August 19, 2009


So the heat is supposed to be turned down today - relief! Interesting parallel with the course, I think. We wait a long time for some nice warm days (remember January?), then we get an intense blast, a heat wave. Here we've been immersed just as intensely in our learning, piling one new thing on top of another, and doing some serious sweating at times. But relief is coming! After today, these modules will come in 3 hour sessions with a week in between them to explore as you see the need. Your blogs have often mentioned the pace of this week, and I agree with those of you who would like a bit more time to explore each new tool. Front loading the coursework this way does have this disadvantage.

So we'll slow down after Thursday. You'll be able to chase those things that interest you most in the "away" time. And you'll have these skills to help you:
- You all know how to reflect on your thinking in a way that invites conversation from classmates via your blogs. Will you invite others in by telling them about your blog when school starts? Might your kids blog before winter?
- You all know how to follow one another's blogs via RSS as well as having other bloggers' and news agencies send you current items of interest. Will you add feeds to your RSS reader as you bump into new sources of dynamic information?
- You all can store connections with great sites you find using Delicious, which makes these bookmarks available to you and to anyone you want to share them with at any computer. Do you see yourself bookmarking other sites between now and September as you surf in preparation for school's start? Can you even resist telling someone else about Delicious? (Favorites are sooooooooooo 20th Century.)
- You all have PortaPortal accounts for setting up quick webpages organized links that are easy to access by your students. Might this be the tool that launches your year with new students and their new laptops?
- By the end of the day, you'll all be using Google Docs to leave NeoOffice behind, to store your files on the Internet instead of one computer, and to work collaboratively with anyone you invite to join you. Things could get different real quick this year!

Remember how overwhelmed you've felt? There's relief in sight - or is it site?? :)


  1. After celebrating my birthday yesterday, my "site" is a little blurry today, and I can't blame it on chocolate!

    The fog is indeed lifting and I am looking forward to moving forward by linking my current handbook to the district website in multiple ways; portaportal? google docs? Decisions, decisions!

  2. There is so much that we have been introduced to in three days and it is very exciting. I know there are several things I will be using on a daily basis and I can't wait to use some of this stuff with my kids. Now I just need to take the next week to think and plan. I do think all this will help me stay more organized. The key for me will be trying not to "bite off more than I chew". I tend to want to do it all NOW. This class has been great and I am looking forward to today. Thanks

  3. I actually like the pace of the course...even though we are learning various tools we have time to practice and make decisions about what works for us. Even though I may not be able to actively use all the tools I think it is important for me to know about what is out there. The ones I am using I find them to be powerful and a benefit to my teaching.

  4. I agree with Sandy and Lynne when they say they now have to decide what to use and when-but I will be using these tools with my students. One thing I find myself thinking about though is how to narrow down which tools to use and to use them most efficiently. For example, I put a variety of news sources on my google reader page but they are also on my igoogle page. Don't really need them in both. Which would make the most sense? The same goes for a portaportal versus web page.
    Looking forward to google docs because I couldn't help kids with it last year.....

  5. Connie and Steve asked if we might blog with students before winter. I think I might. I have ideas rolling around my head about possibly sharing a class blog with the Memorial 6th grade READ 180 class.

    I have learned so many things in such a short time. My head was spinning when I left here yesterday, but I did show my husband how to set up an igoogle page.

  6. The course has been great to get my motivation back ie: keeping my PE blog up to date. Also learning some new tools allows me to streamline how I use the comp in my day to day activities. As far as google docs - nothing like it. I have been using it for 3yrs now. I'd be lost w/out it.

    Steve F

  7. Thanks for the encouraging words and focused questions, Steve. It is really amazing how much we've done in just three days and, while I appreciate the practice time to experiment with all of these technology tools, I do think having a week inbetween will suit me better because I am a person who needs a bit of time to process what I'm learning. Here's to day four!

  8. Overwhelmed is an understatement. I'll continue to muddle through. All these different tools in different places makes me wonder if a subject website for my students is the way to go? Have a Sr Coll site with different areas for each class where you post links, activities, homework ect...
    More to think about...

  9. Lots of new opportunities using these tools with the students at the high school now that each student will have a laptop.

  10. I was so looking forward to getting to work with the group on Google documents today, and learning other ideas about how different teachers might apply it in class. For my students, it's a great way to get them organized, and eliminates the "dog ate my homework" excuse, as they all will have laptops, and there is the ability to access wifi from many different places, so very little wiggle room. I found that the students that used Google documents in my class last year were ahead on many of their assignments, while students who were not using Google Docs handed in assignments over a week late . . . could have been the groupings, ut I think this is a great way to help students with various abilities get organized.

  11. Holly, what a great class member you are. Here you are commenting on the class when you couldn't be there. Thanks for being so invested, and the same goes for the rest of the group.