Monday, May 28, 2007

File Conversion

Zamzar supposedly will convert many different file types, including video. I haven't tried it yet, but I read about it on someone's twitter. They converted two word docs to pdfs on the site and it worked perfectly. How convenient is that?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

If Class Were Like a Chat

This video is meant to show how inefficient online chat is. It's pretty funny.

Pay Attention

This slide show is a harangue about technology infusion. The tone is kind of self-righteous and therefore annoying, but there are some good points such as about using cell phones in instruction. My favorite line: "It's not attention deficit, I'm just not listening!"

Monday, May 21, 2007

Music Podcast

Click here to get your own player.

Steve Gwynne, a VESL teacher in San Diego, did a workshop for a few fellow teachers on using Audacity to make sound files. They each answered the question "What kind of music do you like?" and played a short music clip. He made their files into a podcast for his students, and added a quiz.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Heard about this site today from the Webheads. It's an online brainstorming site, where you can create diagrams, link them together any way you want, and share the process with other users. I don't have any other users to try it out with on this Sunday afternoon, and anyway I'm supposed to be going to the grocery store right now or there will be no dinner. But email me if you want to try it.

If Class Were Like a Chat

I found this video on the Webheads Convergence. It shows how teaching would be if the classroom were run like a chat room. It's pretty funny.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Webheads Convergence

The Webheads in Action Online Convergence is almost over, happening May 18-20! There were keynotes, blogs, chats, etc. They are using a lot of different tools for communication, including Twitter, Learning Times, Tapped In and Knowplace. So even just going to their site and signing up for the various tools they are using is an education in itself. I hate to say it, but there were some that I already had accounts for but had totally forgotten. Just too many things to cram into the old brain.

This morning I attended part of a presentation on Personal Learning with Web 2.0 that used and audio stream, and Yugma to show the slides. I also tried to attend a session in Second Life, but I think I was too late. I'm not doing too well at converting GMT to PDT! It seems there is so much happening in Second Life and education these days, I would like to get on top of it, but there's a steeper learning curve than for a lot of other things, and I haven't managed to make the time yet. I was happy that I found the Webheads hut where they hang out, even though most people were gone already.

Did anyone else catch part of the convergence? Leave a comment and let me know what you participated in and how it was.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Some Reflections on TIMAC

We just finished up the third year of the OTAN Technology Integration Mentor Academy. It was a great two days, with presentation by cohort 3 on Thursday, and cohort 2, the second year people who are finished now, on Friday. It worked out really well having 7 minute presentations, much easier to sit through 15 in a row, and the information was more succinct too.

So much has come out of this experience. It really feels like we are beginning to have some effect on the field. There are more and more tech presentations at conferences like CCAE, and many of them are by TIMAC participants or mentors. They are also networking with each other more, and even beginning to do workshops at each others' sites.

Leila Rosemberg said one of the outcomes of TIMAC for her was being showered with admiration and appreciation. It made me laugh, but it's so important, too. The teachers who have come to TIMAC have experienced a lot of benefits that come from being seen as a leader. They didn't start out thinking of themselves that way, but through technology mentoring they have affected their programs and their administrators notice.

Another observation someone made is that "there is an alarming acceleration in the number of things I know nothing about." I loved that line too, and I can relate!

Overall, there were some wonderful applications of technology, such as podcasting and creating of student orientation videos and powerpoints. It seemed that there were quite a lot of powerpoint projects, which was a little frustrating. But I always need to be reminded of where our teachers are, overall. They are not tech-friendly, for the most part, and sometimes very resistant. So powerpoint is a good place to start for them.

The other thing is the number of creating teaching strategies you can implement with powerpoint. Using sound and video, one teacher got the script of her video to scroll in ppt in time with the video - pretty good!

And I felt that the participants are being good advocates for both their students and their mentees. Branka should be very proud of her work in putting this together, and I am too!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More on Maps

Larry Ferlazzo pointed out that there are a number of mapping sites, including Google Maps, (Click on My Maps)which has some nice examples of projects, like a historical guide to Route 66. Here is a student project by one of his ESOL high school students.

Other map sites he recommends to his students are Microsoft Virtual Earth, Continento, Wayfaring, QuickMaps, Click2Map,

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I got an email from a person in Dublin who has created a mapping site, like TinyMap, where you can create your own map, save it online, link to it, and also easily embed it in your blog or anywhere else online. The site is called Useamap. I made a map of where OTAN is. Unfortunately, the satellite photo is old, so there is only a vacant lot where our offices now stand, but hopefully that won't be the case for your school or community! Our building is quite new.

This could be a nice activity for anything that involves mapping, distances, math, community information, etc. You can also add notes, directions, comments and photos (although I couldn't get the photos to work.)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Blogs and Podcasts at CCAE

Branka Marceta gave a wonderful workshop at the California Council on Adult Education conference on blogs and podcasts in adult ed. She asked people to call GabCast on their cell phones before the workshop started, and then played the resulting podcasts at the end. You can click on an example on the blog she set up for the workshop.

She also added a video of the evening activity, which included feeding giraffes at the Fresno zoo!

Friday, May 04, 2007

TIMAC Videoconference

Last week the third annual TIMAC videoconference was held, including about 15 people at 6 sites. None of the schools have access to videoconferencing equipment yet, but several are considering purchases. I'm really hoping that by next year there will be at least two schools that can do a collaborative project with students using videoconferencing.

Again this year we visited Ano Nuevo State Park where they have a webcam on the beach to observe the elephant seals. It's fun for the participants, and one thought about how it might fit into adult education is community awareness. For example, the teacher from Fresno, Susan Guzzetta, said that a lot of their students have never been outside of the central valley, so here would be their chance to see the beach, and some of the state parks - the next best thing to being there.

CCAE Conference in Fresno

The first day of the California Council on Adult Education was today. I was at the TIMAC (Technology Integration Mentor Academy) panel, and all panelists did a great job. We really are creating a community of practice, as Branka said, or at least a corps of ed tech professionals in adult education. Stories from Tulare, San Gabriel and Fresno confirmed that technology integration is a collaborative effort. Having a supportive administrator is crucial, and so is having a good relationship with the tech support guys. I want to make a video about the Pixley project. Tom Elwood told a great story about this tiny farming town south of Tulare, very poor, very low education levels in general, where a grant from AT&T, secured by a community organization, is providing wireless for the whole town, and laptops to the parents of any sixth grader in Pixley, if the complete a computer class. What a great story! The parents are gratuating and receiving their laptops in a couple of weeks.