Friday, December 11, 2009


My students just finished up making short podcasts on an energy source using iTalk yesterday. Originally I had wanted them to be able to go back and edit their recordings and add in sound effects and pictures, but with the limited amount of time we had I think the iTalk application worked out really well. It was very easy for the kids to use and they really enjoyed being able to record themselves. As you might expect, it went really smoothly with my small classes, but got a little stressful with the larger ones when I ended up trying to download several recordings at the last minute.

There were a couple of really cute podcasts I got, including one where they decided it was ok if the windmills killed some birds because you could just take them home and cook them for Christmas dinner. You gotta love the creativity! I think they could have been even better if we had done this project after the talked about persuasive writing in their Language Arts classes. There is a lot of potential for interdisciplinary projects with the technology if we can find a way to make the timing work.

On another note, I am excited to get a chance to test out one of the Activslates today in class. It was incredibly easy to configure and get set up, but might take a little time to gt used to using. Hope it goes well!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bring on 2010!

Well, for the last 4 months I have listened to my coworkers discuss what is working on the technology and what they would do differently in the future and I must admit I am just chomping at the bit to get my chance.... and that chance is only about a month away. Pierce and I are going to be working with the iTouches and the MacBooks and NetBooks next semester. I am a little nervous about handing this technolgy over to the kids. I tend to be a bit of a control freak when it comes to doing something a certain way in the classroom... but I am also pretty excited about them being able to research in the room! In some ways it will make my life much easier, in other ways much more complicated!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Making Progress

We had a few technical issues with our netbook computers and needed to have them reimaged which was accomplished so they are back in working order. Over the last couple of weeks I have been in contact with the ESL Newcomer teacher at Landrum MS who is doing some remarkable things with her newly arrived ESL students using iPods. She was able to show me some great sources for videos as well as some of her student's projects which are really amazing. i have also been in contact with my teacher friend who assisted with podcasts in Australia last year. I'm hoping in the second semester we can set up some podcasts so we can hear some from her students and she can let her students hear some of ours.
I have been giving the Journalism students their student email accounts and we have begun using them to access a class Wiki. They are excited about the possibilities and wanted to add their classmates as their friends immediately. This is still a work in progress and after one initial glitch in accessing the site, it has been going smoothly. As we move towards final exams, we will be using the netbooks to finish up projects.
I have been researching applications for my Broadcast, Journalism and Electronic Experiences and have found several that are going to blend in very well with my class activities. The Electronic Experiences classes are especially anxious to get to use the iTouches.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I am in the process of having my students take their CBQ tests online using the netbooks. This will save a lot of time and give them practice with real life.

My frustration is that I have spent 2 hours of class time getting each student their username and password. Then we go through the lengthy process of inializing the GMail account.

I am at the finish line of getting this completed and we are close to taking CBQ's online..

I know even though it took me a good chunck of time up front it will be worth it in the long run.