Thursday, January 26, 2006

When good technology goes bad...

Did you ever have just ONE OF THOSE DAYS when nothing works?

How do you keep it all together when you have fifty 4th graders waiting to hear Tall Tales from a coupla Southern gents and no can do?

What do you say to fifty kindergarteners who are waiting, fidgeting and staring at you while painful audio feedback at the remote site makes your eyes water and your fillings hurt? (THIS, by the way was all before 11:00am)

I haven't even mentioned the teachers yet with patience that would rival Mother Theresa -

At what point do you give up and say- "Game over- ain't gonna work?"

NEVER! Because you know you'll MAKE it work even at 128k and the audio is FINE!

NEVER! Because you've now memorized all 3 IP numbers and you can redial faster than the speed-dial when you are dropped for the umpteenth time!

NEVER! Because you know all YOU had to get excited over in elementary school was the "DING" when your teacher let you advance to the next frame on the filmstrip that was accompanied by a tape recorded narrator!

NEVER! Because you KNOW there are 100 GOOD days when 100 students experience SUCCESSFUL, FLAWLESS connections that expand their world! Connections that promote collaboration, acceptance, diversity and global learning.

THANK YOU Kim, Deb, Lynette & Diane for sticking it out with me and the cursed technology today! Your patience and support are exemplary!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Kid on the blog-block! (Say THAT fast 3x)

I NEVER thought anyone other than me could utter these words:

"Nothing makes me happier when I am no longer needed in a school".

Meet Andrea Israeli- a fellow VC Blogger from Queens NY! I'm adding a link to her blog for your added videoconference resource pleasure!

Check it out! Let her ideas inspire you and ***MAYBE*** we could dream up a project between Queens and Kenosha???

  • Got Videoconferencing? Qeens NY

  • Monday, January 23, 2006

    Students from 6 KUSD schools meet US figure skater Megan Oster!

    Kenosha's own Megan Oster- nationally ranked US figure skater met with students from Durkee, Grewenow, McKinly MS, Prairie Lane, Roosevelt and Vernon.

    Questions were fast and furious! Students wanted to know everything from how old was Megan when she started skating to how does she attend school on the internet! The Kenosha News covered the event in the Saturday, 1/21 edition.

    Thanks to Ms. Dawson, Ms. Wolke, Ms. Krueger, Ms. Ishmael, Ms. Epping, Mr. Bruno, Ms. Sheard, Ms. Knapp AND Ms. Salani for your enthusiasm and participation!

    Friday, January 13, 2006

    "Where the Red Fern Grows" Book club & modern coon hunts!

    Prairie Lane 4th grade teacher Dianne Epping and Grewenow 4th grade teacher Marci Wolke have joined forces with our friend in Georgia, Beau Sherman to create an amazing videoconference exchange!

    Students are reading the novel, "Where the Red Fern Grows"- a story about a loving threesome that ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. It is there that they set out to be the finest coon hunting team in the valley.

    With the help of library media specialists Phil Bruno and Regina Baker, students will then discuss the book in a videoconference.

    Enter Beau Sherman- a modern day ringtail (racoon) hunter and dog breeder from Georgia! Beau will meet with the kids and talk about everything from redbone coonhound dogs and sycamore trees to present day hunts and competitions. We'll even get to meet one of Beau's pups!

    Following the book discussion connection, students will meet with Beau two more times and meet AKC Coondog judge Mr. Jimmy Philips and join a few southern gentlemen who are Tall Tale Champions!

    Experiences such as these add deeper, richer meaning and understanding to "just" reading a novel.

    Great project everyone!

    Friday, January 06, 2006

    2006 Leadership in Technology Winners- OUR VERY OWN...

    KUSD kindergarten teachers Lynette Powers (Southport) and Kim Frost (Somers) have been selected as the 2006 Wisconsin State Reading Association's Leadership in Technology winners!

    Their students meet via videoconference on a regular basis to share curriculum projects with their assigned buddies.

    This year they've exchanged projects such as "All About Me", "Animal Riddles" and "Monsters". There are more connections scheduled, culminating with a face-to-face meeting in May! It's amazing to watch the progress of these students. From camera-shy to mini Oprah Winfreys in less than a year's time!

    Congratulations Lynette and Kim! You are truly educators with desire and vision and THAT is what it takes to be leaders!

    Wednesday, January 04, 2006

    Tech Tip Tuesday & Wired Wednesday...

    Behold the mighty power of the blog!

    Keystone buddy (as well as good friend) Scott Merrick (University School- Nashville, Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach and general renaissance man) has announced new blog and podcast plans. The concept is already way-cool and will only get better as more people tune-in. Although this content isn't directly EVC related, it is a superior example of ever-evolving technology communication.

    Here's how Scott's idea came about:

    "During the academic school years 2003-2005 the tech coordinators at my school created weekly computer tips cards for the teachers, printed and delivered them already singly-perforated for hanging on a ring, on a hook, on their computer monitors. Many are still hanging there. I just started thinking about how valuable these are and how they are just prime content for an audio cast, then I got to work on the concept and started recording."

    See for yourself how this idea translated to Scott's newest blog,
  • Tech Tip Tuesday

  • Future shows will feature teachers and other TCs reading the cards, and every one is linked in the shownotes page so they can be printed by anyone, anywhere or just referenced on the computer. The first one contains 6 tips for regular maintenance, the 2nd a detailed description of how to defrag your PC.

    Check out the TTT link, use a tip or two, and maybe it will inspire you to envision how one of YOUR ideas/projects can enter the realm of podcasting and blogland!

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