Thursday, March 31, 2011

Niles North: D219 Tech Conference

An Exploration of Digital Literacies ... that is the subtitle of the April 9, 2011 tech conference sponsored by District 219 and to be held at Niles North High School.

The array of speakers is impressive - David Warlick as keynote and well-known local presenters including New Trier's Spiro Bolos, plus Steve Dembo, Charlene Chausis, Scott Meech, Lucy Gray and Many others. Registration is $25 and MUST be completed by Friday (April 1, 2011). More information (with a complete list of sessions) is available on the D219 Tech Conference site.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Screencasting Tools

View the collection of Screencasting resources on this LibGuide created and presented by Linda Straube. Some preliminary pros and cons of each are noted as well as links to each tool and examples of its use at New Trier.

These screencasts can uploaded as a file on the site; or to Vimeo or other Video Channels such as Teacher Tube or YouTube. They can also be easily Tweeted or sent to Facebook. And, as the examples show, it is possible to embed the "video" into a libguide or blog like this one about Historical Fiction Books:

Many ideas for classroom use exist such as "flip the classroom": have your students watch a tutorial and then discuss/work with them the next day in the classroom. Or, experiment with screencasts with book reviews or as tutorials explaining a multi-step task or to share information with other teachers like this rough overview of our Sophomore Service Project:

View our examples and add your own ideas in the comment section of the Screencasting libguide.

TO DO: Consider downloading at least one of those options (takes no time at all) – especially for Screencast-o-matic and screenr -- and experimenting (you do not have to save what you create). If you do want to upload videos, you may find it easier to create a separate gmail and/or twitter account. These sites show short demos themselves and use of the tool is very intuitive, but see us if you have questions.

In a quick summary:
Camtasia -- available by license on select computers;
Jing -- more trial needed;
PowerPoint - using narration and showing a slide show may have value for your class -- it is complicated for our Tech Staff to convert and upload videos produced in this manner, however.
Screencast-o-matic - A personal favorite -- worth trying since it is easy to set-up and use.
Screenr - experiment with this, also. It is another favorite amongst educators.

NEXT AM EXCHANGE MEETING: Tuesday, April 5th – 7:30am in Jim Foster’s office. TOPIC: Twitter and tweet deck by Judy Gressel.

Later in the month (April 19th), Erika Eich will present on the top ten free ideas she saw at ICE. In the meantime, you may also want to subscribe to this month’s Teacher Challenge at EDUBLOG – it is all about free sites on the web. Or subscribe to RSS feed here:

As always, please let me or JudyG know if you have questions or a topic to suggest. In attendance: Raquelle Brennan, Andy Horne, Judy Gressel, and Linda Straube. Erika and Matt had conflicts.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NICE meeting on Ides of March

The NICE (Northern Illinois Computing Educators) meeting held this week included two informative speakers:
  • Maureen Miller, Learning Coordinator, Instructional Technology, District 112: she reviewed the North Shore School District's work to develop Power Standards and showed videos on Teaching in the 21st Century. Here is a link to her presentation and the Sir Ken Robinson video she showed.
  • And Rachel Gressel, Spanish Teacher, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, district 125 who gave an overview of using Technology in her classroom, including using Wordle, iPads, and Google Survey forms. Here is a link to her materials - Powerful Formative Assessment Weebly.
If you have not been attending the NICE meetings, try to do so -- the next one is in May at Maine South.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Discussion of NICE and ICE Conferences

We reconvened this morning and shared thoughts about the learning we had been doing at NICE (Northern Illinois Computing Educators) and ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) conferences.

Some key links:
NICE conference:
[JudyG also posted separately in more detail elsewhere on this blog]

ICE Conference info: and wiki link (files still being uploaded):

Linda and Judy attended a session on Differentiating Education.
Erika and Matt attended David Pogue's keynote and brought up several points of interest:

Growth of tools like face recognition, spatial recognition (iphoto); concerns about privacy and permanence of information on the Internet.
David Pogue's other visions for the future, including that Kindles may be gone in 5 years, although he feels there is value in the print book.
Erika referred to Pogue's comments about the idea that today's first and second graders will be growing up using iPhones and other devices and the impact that will have on teaching and learning.

We started a discussion of Apple products, including the new iPad and JudyG recommended reading:
Mashable : ipad2 buyers guide:
Generally, members of the group who had MacBooks said they were easier to use than laptop PC. We talked about how we might investigate getting more Mac products.

MobileMe: backup and syncing of all files to multiple devices including your phone was another convenient "in the cloud" resource we discussed.

JudyG referred to her post on the UnConference and raised the question of whether we would be willing to try something similar at New Trier.

REMINDER: NICE meeting RSVP for March 15 at Northfield campus -- do that here: ******

Our next AM Exchange meeting is Tuesday morning, March 22nd at 7:30am in Jim Foster’s office. The topic is creating videos with screencasting tools and Linda will lead that discussion. In April, Erika will talk about a session she attended on Top Ten Tech Apps.

In attendance: Erika Eich, Jim Foster, Andy Horne, Judy Gressel, Linda Straube and Matt Stuczynski.

Is there interest in generating an Unconference?

It seems to me that what we are all about in AM Exchange is grass-roots professional development. We already embrace the move away from expert-driven learning to self-authorized learning. We already know that their are expert voices among us at New Trier who are capable of differentiation in meeting the goals/needs of other teachers. And, we already sense that professional development for teachers is most powerful when it is more personal, social, and voluntary.

These are the concepts which drive the Unconference model. Read the thoughtful blog post
"Unconference: Revolutionary Professional Learning" from M.E. Steele-Pierce who describes how unconferencing works, why it matters and how to set it up so that professional development doesn't "stink".

Kindles in the Classroom

Interested in using Kindles in the classroom?  We are experimenting with that right now in a couple of classrooms at New Trier.  Want to learn more?  Join the the eBook Educators Group. The high school forum  discusses and shares information about how they are using or planning on using ereaders in the high school classroom. Register for March 8 Webinar at 6 pm. central time, and 7:00 PM EST. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Resources from the NICE Mini-Conference January, 2011

January 2011 Mini-Conference

Presenter Session & Resources:  

Briana Allan Share your Inspire-ation: a Promethean IWB Users Group 

Amanda Antell  & Jill Vanderveer Alpha Smart NEO's in the classroom 

David Chan Senior Studies and Google Sites

Steve Dembo   Stacey Edlavitch Favorite FREE Web Tools

Tricia Fuglestad Make Your School House Rock: creating movies for your curriculum


Ryan Goble Within' Technology, Without Technology

Michael Gorman & Jane Gorman 1. Whales In Lake Michigan? Sizing Up Sites.Seven Simple Steps
2. STEM to STEAM to STEAMIE: Turning up the Temperature! Fit PBL, 21st Century Skills, and Fine Arts into STEM education.
3. No Future Left Behind: Digital Natives/ Immigrants Learn, Transform, Create
Blog, Wiki, Documents: MJGormans_1.doc, MJGormans_2.doc

Judy Gressel Build Your Personal Learning Network withSocial Media Tools

Scott Meech Is there really an App for that?
The LLA to Personal Professional Development:a framework for learning with technology
Laura Montgomery Be a Global Communicator:Using Skype & Other Tools
Blogging with Books
The World of Wordle

Jacki Naughton STEM Inquiry & Research: A hybrid approach to student research Document: NaughtonSTEM Inquiry and Research.doc

Nick Nicholson Engaging 21st Century Learners w/ SMARTTechnology Solutions

Melissa Rosen Word: More Than A Word Processing Program

Jeff Shaw The One-iPad Classroom
Posterous (presentation available as PDF)
Full presentation w/movies, if using latest Safari
My "One-iPad Classroom" blog

Patricia Sievert Capture the Colorful Cosmos: using space images 

Bonnie Thurber National Poetry Month and other projects in the iCollaboratory 

Christina Wood, Amerigo Carnazzola & Christine Pfaffinger iPad in the science classroomPowerPoint  - Quick Reference Guide of Science APPs