Monday, November 24, 2008

Geeky Tech Christmas Gifts for Your Kids or Yourself!

Don't know what to get the kids in your life for Christmas this year? Well it turns out that little people get the biggest thrill out of getting geeky gifts - particularly gifts you do stuff with. So, if you're stuck on what to get your niece, nephew, friend, or even your own little person- or yourself, take a look at this hyper-linked gift suggestions.

The geeky tech gifts are organized from the least to the most expensive, and give you 17 gift ideas for tweens and teens.

Monday, November 17, 2008

21st Century Technology Leadership

Today we met with our western Wisconsin technology leaders at CESA #4 to share, collaborate, and gleen from each others technology districts' iniatives. John Pederson, from WiscNet, was also a guest speaker to share his state leadership perspective on networked learning, current technology trends in 21st learning environments, and educators to avidly watch and listen to over the course of this next year through their blogs and wikis. (Please review my "Blogs I love to read" list to tap into the educators mentioned from John's presentation.)

Our tech leaders also shared numerous resources of inspiring videos, creative learning tools and gadgets they would like to use with their students, and intersting insights of technology iniatives relating to online and blended learning environments. Here are the resources that were shared that you will find quite interesting:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reflecting on Equity & Access For All Students

Good Evening Everyone!

I had the most wonderful and thought provoking conversation with my 13 year old son after school today- yes- this is correct- he is 13 years old and he does have an educated thought - more than just raging hormones:-) He is so excited that they are finally infusing a pod casting element in their Literature unit. (I am very lucky Mrs. Wisco has already taken my podcasting class- so I am sure there will be great success! (snicker- snicker:-) The problem is- my son attends a private school and the technology is limited, but he- yes the 13 year old son, advises the teacher to use the free software tool of Audacity. Jake, my son, also realizes that even this program may tap the RAM within these ancient computers, and he continues to give me a dissertation on the minimum specs Audacity requires to run this program effectively and efficiently. (Like I did not know this- but I love it when all the "preaching" shows through our sons and daughters and showcases they were really listening the whole time!) Any way....... he continues to state his case in regards to the limited analog mic headsets that this teacher has access to (5) and that she may be able to pay for (3) more out of her meager budget. Jake continues to brainstorm out loud and to try to solve this "technical setback" but forges through all the possibilities. WOW!

All I can say is this young lad is determined - no matter what- to make this project work and to find a solution by verbally problem solving all the cost effective strategies and resources around him. I ultimately voiced that I would purchase so many mic analog headsets and donate them to the school. Jake stated, "No- there has got to be a way that we can let others know how important this project is to us as students, even though the school can not find the money, or maybe a local company could donate them to our school to support our efforts."

I think I have the very next Democratic politician in my house. He is adamant to find a positive and cost effective solution- I am so proud as a parent right now! I am going to sit back and watch his actions, listen to his persuasive words, and see how the local community will support his educational technology initiative and his student leadership. I can possibly see him writing an editorial in our local newspaper- this will be his choice- but perhaps I may guide him if he asks. As a last effort he even mentioned "a call out to Mom's Twitter community, since she knows so many techy educators that care."

I will keep you posted,

Naomi and her digital native son Jake

Saturday, November 8, 2008

UW-L ME-PD Learning Community Conference

The Power of Story: What We Learn from Each Other
The 2008 November Conference I am attending is focused on "The Power of Story: What We Learn from Each Other." The theme is inspired by the belief that personal and educational transformation begins with being genuinely connected to one's own story. Stories enable us to understand ourselves and others; they power us to make changes, to build bridges, and to transform our lives and the lives of others.

Keynote speaker:
Firoozeh Dumas "Creating Global Students What Educators Can Do

Presenters: Chloris Lowe, Sara Slayton, Brian Schultz, Pat Markos, and Rob Dixon.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

T&L Tech Forum Conference Highlights

I did not get the opportunity to attend physically the T&L Northeast Tech Forum but have access to share the main two keynote audio podcast addresses from David Warlick and Kathy Schrock through TechLearning. They are audio podcasts archived in an .mp3 format.

Keynote Address by Kathy Schrock
Here is Kathy Schrock's audio podcast address on Web 2.0 Tools and Second Life for staff development and a robust professional development environment. Kathy has done great job making real-life teaching and learning connections to support all teachers in their k-12 environments. Great job Kathy- I enjoyed your "off-the-cuff" humor as well- you Rock!

Keynote Address by David Warlick

As always, David Warlick engaged his listeners with his southern drawl and vast knowledge of the ed-tech field. The room was packed with technology integration leaders as David began the address with his latest tech discovery: SearchMe, a search tool that allows you to copy and paste copy into your blog or wiki page students can then stream through and see what you post. David said he always begins a speech with something new, which segued into his fascinating discussion of why it is imperative that all educators keep searching and learning. Keynote audio podcast