Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gina Teaches My Sister Wordle

Yesterday, I brought my 13 year old sister Christina into class with me. In an effort to make use of a good opportunity for someone to teach what they have learned, I recruited Gina to choose what she wanted to teach AND teach it. I think choosing was the hardest part.

Gina did a great job teaching and taught me and Jamie Lynn a few things we had forgotten along the way. In every experience these is always something to learn. I had no expectation to learn the big lessons that I learned yesterday.

1.) The hardest part of teaching is finding a means to motivate. I think the easiest solution is to be enthusiastic-- make it known that you LOVE what you have to share. As far as I can tell, this is the only way to motivate unless you know something about your students. Which leads me to my second point...

2.) Be attentive. Paying attention to everything your students reveal about themselves can help make their experience relevant to their lives-- yet another means for motivating. Knowing your students will also help you gauge what kind of direction you should provide.

3.) Direction and instruction ARE different. Direction means developing goals and providing the tools necessary for your students to discover resources and paths to achieve them.
--Instruction is a step by step process with little room for creativity and lots of room for error. With that said, limit instruction and INCREASE DIRECTION!

The last and (I hope to be the most lasting) lesson I have learned is that learning can happen from any source and so can teaching-- age and experience are merely secondary factors in regards to learning exchanges.

Thank you Gina and Christina for the lesson, and of course, Jamie Lynn your presence made it that much more fun.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

You can lead 'em to water, but you can't stop 'em from peein' in it-- Barry Gartman

Here's proof that y'all didn't pee in the drinking water-- below is a compilation of the best resources that I have found by fishing through the EDM pool of knowledge. You might explore a few and add it to your PLE (personal learning environment).


Resources from Mrs. McGeady Helps elementary teachers integrate technology into the classroom.

Five Card Story gives you five random pictures that serve as prompts for student created storylines.

Smories is a movie database of stories that have been created by Five Card Draw prompts.

Brainstorm online-- it's not as easy as it could be, but you can embed it, edit it, and print it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Glogster: Check it OUT!

Imagine what you could do with this production tool. Say goodbye to trifold English reports, Science projects, and History displays and say HELLO to glogger. Here is one that I created as an example from my trip to Colorado earlier this summer.

Be sure to also check out Glogster EDU where you can see great examples of students work!

Sara's Findings on SMARTboards

Sara Hendrix wrote a post about SMARTboards that like the rest of EDM310, summarized the posts that Dr. Strange linked you to: Why Smart Boards Are a Dumb Initiative and Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards. However, she discovered a GREAT site for teachers who want to learn the positives of SMARTboards and how you can use them called Teachers Love SMARTboards and linked us to a blog post about SMARTboards and the Tips-and-Tricks Phenomenon. Here she, and later I, watched a slideshow with all kinds of "Tip-and Tricks" as shown below.

I am still not wholly convinced that SMARTboards are the best investment for our education tax dollars, but since so many of the classrooms that we will be teaching in are going to have them... I am thrilled to have this slideshow filled with all sorts of information and inspiration. Check it out!

A Great Kick Off for Creating Your PLN!

How to get started with your PLN:

Leave comments on teachers, and students blogs. If you find them particularly interesting look them up, read what they have to say, and contact them using these sites:

Twitter, RSS Feeds, Blogging, Podcasts, Classmates, Teachers, Email, Youtube, Delicious, Evernote, Glogster, and Skype

Never be afraid to google a topic, which may lead you to a site, classroom, or person that you can add to your PLN.

Watch this Youtube video made by a 7th grader in Wendy Drexler's class. She calls her has a PLE (Personal Learning Environment), which not only encompasses the people in her PLN, but also research and production resources.

*I recommend watching it in full screen so you don't miss out on the details!

Here are some great resources for finding teachers to follow...


Larry Ferlazzo EduBlog

Beth Still EduBlog

Connected Teachers on Google Docs

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Instructions for Assignment 6 Number 2

Disregard the email that I sent about the podcast assignment. These are the instructions that have been confirmed by Dr. Strange. Because the media world is leaning towards youtube, versus iTunes podcasts (very debate-able, Dr. Strange wants you to create a collaborative movie on one of the topics listed in the Spreadsheet that he shared with you. Sign up, you MUST do this with at least one partner-- It can be informative, debate format, interview format, etc. As long as it is collaborative, you are in the clear. You can even create your movies separately, combine them into one production and publish to your blog (If you do this, keep in mind that they should sound like ONE project with ONE goal).

The assignment IS DUE BY SUNDAY JUNE 20, however, this date is very flexible so do not panic. Find a partner, get together when you can-- brainstorm your topic, develop a script/storyline, produce, and publish. Remember, the purpose of this assignment is to give you further practice with producing and publishing movies. Be creative with your topic and production style, and be excited about the opportunity to learn! I promise it will help you feel less overwhelmed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stephen Teaches Response Summary Image Link

A link to the written instructions that will get you through the first part of this video can be found by clicking here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Assignment 5

I will learn more about the expectations of Assignment Five found on page 11 of your instruction manual and add the information to this post. For now, here is an example of one way you can make a video. Dillon Rogers from EDM 310 Fall of 2009 made a video for Kaia, whom you will learn about this semester as well.

I know I have left this link in several of my comments on your blog posts, but for those of you I didn't get to-- here is a link to Eric Whitacre's Choir Blog where he explains how his ensemble unfolded. Check it out! It is inspiring to say the least.

Jamie Lynn and I are going to have a debate about the usefulness of online classes. I am going to create a form to see what yall think about it! Be sure to check back here to help us gather your input!

If you have problems with Timetoast when you embed your code, visit this link. THis can also be found by going to the class blog, looking in the archives for April 2010. It should read "Timetoast has a bug"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gina's Summary Response

To learn how to put a full response summary on your blog, go to my blog post titled, "Stephen Teaches Response Summary Image Link".

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Setting the Bar

Your fellow EDM classmate, Martha Yim, really set the bar high with her google presentation. By looking ahead and exploring the tools that y'all created accounts for on the first day, she was able to overlay audio and video into her presentation about the Kennedy Space Center by combining a Screentoast with her google presentation document. To watch her outstanding example of a presentation click on the screenshot as shown below.

Martha Yim's Google Presentation on the Kennedy Space Center

I happen to know that Martha is very approachable, and has all kinds of knowledge ready to be pried from her finger mind. So explore her blog, get new ideas, and ask her how she produces what you find. Even more importantly, ask her what she's up to next! The suspense is killing me!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Presentation, C4C, C4T, and Questionnaire

For an example of a presentation you can look at my presentation which is far from flawless, but might help give you an idea of what is expected. Dr. Strange outlines what he expects from y'all in your instruction manual at the top of page six. The video link is HERE as well.

Just as stated in your instruction manual on page 8, you are expected to, "3. Comments4Classmates starts. You will find in your Google Docs your first C4C assignment. These will continue through the end of the term. You will be assigned two classmates. Comment on their post due on the PREVIOUS assignment date. In other words, this assignment will cover the Blog Post on Did You Know?, Mr. Needleman, Vicki Davis and Sir Ken Robinson. In the unfortunate event that the person to whom you are assigned has not done their post on time, just email and include the name of your fellow student and No Post for ..." This is due every Wednesday and Sunday, just as the new assignments are started.

Your C4T is due each Wednesday. To find out which classmate/ teacher you are assigned, check your google docs. Dr. Strange has shared your assignment with you to view as a spreadsheet.

Instructional videos about your questionnaire are located on page 8 as well. For help on your questionnaire, I found this LINK most helpful.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Second Day of Classes

Wordle Difficulty? Click here for screen capture instructions, or you can copy the embed code after you publish your Wordle to a Public Gallery.

Want to access staff blogs more easily?
1.) Log in to your blogger account
2.) Go to View Blog (for your EDM blog)
3.) In the upper right hand corner, select "customize"
4.) Look for "Add a gadget", select and a new window will appear
5.) Scroll through the list of gadgets and select "Link List"
6.) In the Title Bar, type "Important Links"
7.) add the URL's to which ever blogs you wish to have access to from your own blog
8.) Finally, submit your form and move your new Important Links gadget where ever you want it to appear in your blog

See Below for Tutorial-- I recommend pressing play, minimizing the screen, and following the audio instructions as you go. Or resizing your windows so you can see both simultaneously.

Youtube Video for bigger version

Alt= and Title= tags for the deaf and blind

Written Instructions
Video Instructions

I found these videos by
1.) going to EDM 310 Class Blog
2.) looking under the right hand column under Essential Links to Valuable Resources
3.) clicking EDM 310 Fall 2009.
4.) scrolling down to find "Instructional Videos by John H. Strange" in the right column
5.) In this list you will see "Blogger Lesson 2 alt= and title= and more" (link below)
6.) Above the Instr. Vid. Section you will see "Class Syllabus and Materials" and in that column you will find written instructions (below) called: "Accessibility for the Blind: Alt and Title Modifiers"

Barry Gartman and a few others asked how to check to see if your Alt= and Title tags were working, here are the instructions I shared with him.

To check to see that your Alt or Title Tags are present on all your images:

1.) Go to (link found on page 4 of the Instruction Manual)
2.) Type in the name of your Blog URL under "Enter a web site address"
-- You can also paste your HTML code for the picture and it will check it as well
3.) A new window will appear that looks similar to your Blog Page, only this one has symbols all over it.
4.) Hold your mouse over each of the symbols to see what each of them means if you are curious, but the main one to look out for looks like this

This means that there is no alt tag present
5.) If this appears you need to add an ALT tag to the image by following the instructions listed in the video link or written instructions link above.
Thank you Barry for bringing this question to my attention.

I just wanted to add a little reflective message for the day... Many of y'all exemplified incredible leadership and learner skills today. Your patience was astounding, and your perseverance was immeasurable. With that said, do not get discouraged by the frustrations that some of you felt today-- as you get used to Google and blogger... your EDM 310 experience will become easier (still thought and time demanding, but easier nonetheless). Keep up the great work, ask your peers, Google your questions, and contact us if you need any other help. The whole staff is ready and eager to learn how we can get y'all excited about what your about to embark on-- we can do that best by y'all helping us to see the discrepancies in what we are delivering so far-- so bring on your observations and concerns!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Instructions for Purchasing Foliotek

This video will be available for a limited time, but if you forget how to purchase, just go to USA Online and select Foliotek Help in the left column, or follow these written instructions.

Purchasing Foliotek:

1.) Go to
2.) Select USA Online, located in the bottom right corner of the window.
3.) Select ePortfolio, located in the center of the top of the window.
4.) After clicking ePortfolio, a new page will appear the allows you to purchase or extend your license. Select okay.
5.) Fill out your billing information and PRESTO! You're done.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First Day of Classes Summer 2010

Class has almost started and we have already discovered something new about Delicious. You can sync your bookmarks by adding he google chrome or firefox extension.

If you have an apple, ask your fellow student Martha! She used to be a project manager at Apple in Silicon Valley, California.

Don't have firefox? You can consult your instruction manual, or click here to download it.

This class is NOT as intimidating as it may seem. What makes this class so unique and worth while is that it allows you to meet teachers around the world. You also get to follow the educational development of students within classroom world wide!

We encourage you to follow tangents. You are rewarded for your discoveries. One thing can and will lead to another-- follow it. Report on it. Use the tools you will learn about to produce something about it. This is truly a class for experiential learning. So EXPERIENCE it.

One thing that you can count on me doing is taking notes and recording thoughts that race through my mind throughout the class meetings. You should do the same in your own posts! You have a required amount, but you are welcome to add as many relevant posts as you would like.

Bring your laptop to class and check your gmail EVERYDAY. Once you learn how to effectively use igoogle (which is one of your projects), keeping up with the classwork will be much easier. I promise.

For your URL type in your last name, first name, EDM310 with NO SPACES example


Screenshots for Macs = Command+Shift+3 for the whole screen and Command+Shift+4 for part of the screen

Screenshot for PC's= alt+prnt scrn, save it, then open it up in paint or word processor... for more in depth instructions on PC's search print screen on my blog found in the upper left hand corner


If you double click the video, it will open a bigger and more clear video in a new window. If that doesn't work follow this link: HTML Code Video