Saturday, November 28, 2009

AT MODULE 5 Curriculum Connections

Digital Citizenship/Guidelines for Communicating in a Digitized World
There are so many aspects of the cyber world that people tend to forget rules of etiquette still apply, as well as being personally careful when online. Being careful online can be from the information that is retrieved (anybody can put anything on the web, does not mean it is factual—must evaluate websites) to one’s own personal information that is shared and how it is shared. Take for example, an employee who bashes a superior in an email (& sends to all by mistake—uh oh). Do you remember when the reigning Miss New Jersey found herself in an awkward and embarrassing situation as Facebook photos that she thought were on a private setting were leaked to the media. Certainly, it is something important to relate and teach our students.

--What one thing did you learn, and what will you do differently as a result?
In particular, through these modules, I was shown the advantages of even the smallest changes to computer hardware as well as various learning software when utilizing technology. As a result, I am more aware of simple accommodations that can be made within the learning environment. I will also be able to implement assistive strategies into the learning environment (especially the addition of more tactile methods) as well as recommend methods of support for my students.

--Do you plan to recommend this tutorial? If so, please elaborate.

I think this would make a wonderful in-service within my school. Groups could work together to achieve understanding together.

--Do you plan to read or recommend some of the Recommended Reading books or add them to your collection?

After viewing the recommended reading list, I plan to read The Alphabet War: A Story about Dyslexia and Becoming Naomi Leon. One book already apart of the district curriculum is the novel A Child Called "It." I read Deenie and found it to be a valuable story incorporating the frustration of a young adult. I would recommend Peeling the Onion by Wendy Orr. In this book, the main character is involved in a horrific car accident leaving her with a long recovery and the realization that she is unable to do many of the normal things in her life. The story captures the changes she endures, not only physically but also personally as challenges have a way of changing friendships and outlooks. As she heals, she must accept what has happened, find a new path for her life, and realize some people have difficulty dealing with her injuries. She despises the only conversation anyone will have with her pertains to her condition, the feeling people are always staring, and her “friends” just not understanding. It makes the reader wonder how they would handle this challenge and provide insight into a life altering experience.
(Orr, W. (1996). Peeling the onion. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers. YALSA 2010 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults )

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Part 1—Making a slight variation in order to incorporate a timely event that occurred in my school district. The mayor, along with police chief, moved around the municipal building in wheelchairs as part of the “accessibility tour,” organized by a disability advocate and the New Jersey metro chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The men found difficulties with the task, even though the building was compliant with all proper accommodations. As a result of the “tour,” the mayor would like to form a township advisory committee to improve mobility within the town. Full story:

Part 2-- Disabilities awareness quiz
In taking the disabilities awareness quiz, I did very well on the sections pertaining to correct language and recognizing the employment myths. In the personal interactions portion, what I deemed to be correct in order to not offend was actually inaccurate---for example, offering your left hand to a person who puts out their left hand or at what point to offer assistance. I liked the discussion elements provided by the activity that explains the reasoning behind the answers.

Part 3-- Positive and negative aspects observed on the sites.

There is an independent living center in the same town as my school district. Their mission and message is clear although their website could use some more readily available information in terms of education, information and support. As stated within the website, “The Alliance for Disabled in Action (ADA), Inc. is a private not-for-profit Center for Independent Living, located in Edison, New Jersey USA and serves the counties of Union, Middlesex and Somerset. A Center for Independent Living (CIL) is not a place where people with disabilities live; it is a dynamic membership organization run by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. The Alliance provides information & referral, peer support, advocacy and Independent Living Skill training to people with all disabilities of all ages to increase their independence in all aspects of integrated community life. We respond to their families, businesses, and governments to enable them to better meet the needs of people with disabilities. We educate and influence our community in pursuit of full inclusion”.

The local ATA community site was extremely informative. It fulfilled its goal while creating a manageable site. It was FULL of readily available information. For example, according to its site, specifically “TECHConnection, seeks to redefine human potential by making assistive technology devices a regular part of the lives of people with disabilities. It strives to accomplish this goal by providing easy access to the assistive technologies, related services, and information resources that enable people to achieve success, independence, productivity, and social interdependence according to their individual needs and interests”.

Part 4—5 websites relating to assistive technology that proved to be useful are:

Connecting the disability community to information and opportunities

Family guide to assistive technology prepared by PLUK, Parents, Let's Unite for Kids and in cooperation with The Federation for Children with Special Needs

The Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) is a growing national and international network of technology resource centers, community-based organizations, agencies, individuals, and companies.

Kids Together, Inc—Information and resources for children and adults with disabilities.

The Assistive Technology Training Online Project (ATTO) provides information on AT applications that help students with disabilities learn in elementary classrooms.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


• Write a review on the software packages
—all 3 had excellent informative websites with Kurzweil 3000 being the most informative and user friendly.


Company: Founded in 1982, Inspiration Software’s focus has been developing innovative technology to support visual thinking and learning.

Software: Minimum Windows 98/2000, all other versions compatible, 50 MB fully installed, Recommended Internet & Quicktime. Price ranges with options including single user to license.

Program: According to Inspiration systems website (2009), the program is an essential visual thinking and learning tool where students can plan, research and complete projects successfully. With the integrated Diagram and Outline Views, learners create graphic organizers and expand topics into writing. With multiple learning modes, students gain and retain a better understanding of concepts and demonstrate knowledge, improving their performance across the curriculum. Winner of the “Technology & Learning” Award, 2006.

Features: Concepts maps, webs, idea maps in order to visually plan, organize, research, comprehend and communicate more effectively,


Company/System: Interactive Solutions, Inc. (ISI), a subsidiary of Teltronics, Inc. since 1999. Must have working knowledge of Windows 2000 to properly use software. Expensive.

Program: iCommunicator is a software program that converts speech to text in real-time to provide persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have hearing loss to have effective communication in authentic environments.

Features: iCommunicator promotes independent communication for persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and encourages increased literacy by “translating” English in real time in a number of ways: Speech to Text, Speech/Text to Video Sign-Language, Speech/Text to Computer Generated Voice.

Also adjusts to meet the needs of each user by speed changes, adjustable voice & pitch, changeable background colors, easy navigation, autosave, adjust typeface, formulate questions and statements for immediate response in class, during meetings, or personal conversations, hot keys allow 21 prepared sentences to be spoken with computer-generated voice, and microphone control.

3. KURZWEIL 3000

Company/System: Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc., a Cambium Learning Technology Company, was founded in 1996, but the roots of the company extend back to 1976 and the introduction of the world's first reading system, the Kurzweil Reading Machine.
Software: Various editions to fulfill a range of needs—Options include portable USB (no software installation—highly mobile), lab pack (1 main/5 learner stations), network (any network computer can access), license (no software stored on school network but rather through a web approach, more access for students including at home). Moderate price.

Program: According to the website (2006), Kurzweil 3000 is the comprehensive reading, writing and learning software solution for any struggling reader, including individuals with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder or those who are English Language Learners.
Features: The system can be used in a variety of ways for various students. It provides visual & auditory feedback, highlighting text, annotations, editing, and voice notes.

• How can you implement assistive technology at your school or library?

There are many ways to implement assistive technology within a classroom or library. With just a little research and awareness, it can be done with relative ease.

First, by examining the accessibility features and utilities built right into Microsoft® Windows XP (Professional and Home versions), the computer can be made easier and more comfortable to use., For example, accessibility features and utilities such as captions, magnifiers, text to speech, alternative keyboard layout, narrator, and even an on screen keyboard to name a few can all be made available by simply just changing the default settings. Each classroom computer can be made more assistive by changing the settings (or at least being aware of them in order to be prepared—I personally was unaware of these accessibility features).

Second, through available software, teaching techniques can be modified to offer alternative means of learning. For example, by using more visuals and graphic organizer material can be presented in an alternative form. Furthermore, software that allows for practice as well as organization of the reading material will benefit ALL students.

Finally, the library should have adaptive equipment that an individual classroom would be unable to manage. Adaptive equipment that should be available would include larger keyboards, magnified screen, icommunicator, a Braille converter/ Braille embosser, stylus and participation in InfoEyes. Along with making adaptive equipment available within the library, there should be an effort to make various assistive technologies available for loan such as Braille and cassette books, playback equipment, and access to ebooks/audiobooks.

Friday, November 20, 2009


• Write a needs assessment and justification for hardware that would be suitable for use in your Library or Classroom. Include it in your school or district technology plan.

1) Identify a possible population with special needs (state why that's a good group to choose).

Students with learning disabilities (dyslexia and Central Auditory Processing Disorder) struggle with schoolwork regardless of their intellectual abilities. They require specialized learning modes in order to meet their potential, avoid self-esteem problems and behavioral difficulties. Furthermore, the school recently failed to meet the AYP (adequate yearly progress) for 2 consecutive years for special education students under the terms of No Child Left Behind. Moreover, many of these additions would help the student population as a whole.

2) Answer the questions on their behalf found on, keeping in mind use as it applies to your chosen library.
Why do you want to use technology?
Promote multisensory learning, allow visual transfer, utilization of type written exercises, provide organization, editing applications (including spell check), taped texts that provide for simultaneous reading and listening, organization
For what activities will you be using technology?
Complete assignments, increase understanding, self tutoring, drill & practice, alternate assessment, added mobility, organization, self editing for improved writing
How are you completing these activities now?
Without the use of technology—laborious and frustrating handwritten exercises, written planner, handheld dictionaries, classroom text as only option to content
Consider your daily routine. When and how often would you use technology throughout a typical day?
During class activities, homework, study hall time….at least 6-9 hours
What goals do you plan on achieving by using technology?
Increase understanding, successful completion of assessment, on time task completion, maintain independence, and increase overall achievement
Are these environments accessible for technology?
Lab can be created in library, classroom can house single computers, individual students with hand led devices will blend with the routine
Time saving, more focused

3) Go to the MS right tech site for appropriate tech tools.
According to
Technology Tools assist students by "leveling the playing field". Students with dyslexia are better able to compensate using technology tools while learning to spell, read, write, and communicate according to H. Lee Swanson, Ph.D. University of California - Riverside.
Helpful Technology tools:
Talking organizer, Spellchecker and dictionaries, screen readers, scanners, MP3 player, audio ebooks, typing tutorials, digital handheld organizers, word processing (laptops/Alpha smarts)

4) Decide which tools would be feasible and why (e.g., cost, availability, training needs, etc.).

Feasible tools available for loan and/or lab-classroom set up:
Neo/Dana (similar to laptop)
MP3 Player
Spell Checker
Large Screen
Large Keyboards
Update/more Computers

Justification: All items would not require training, would enhance the learning environment and increase student achievement. They are efficient, affordabile, portable, multi functional, meet the needs of a variety of students, and will created a varied learning environment.


• Browse through online sites like EnableMart and discover other types of assistive technology solutions. Write an entry in your journal or post to your blog about solutions that would be useful additions at your school or workplace.
EnableMart is filled to the brim with assistive technology. The most practical solution would be to create an accessible work station within the library. Useful additions at my school would be:
1. Supernova Reader/Magnifier which offers magnification, speech and Braille support, giving people with visual impairment the freedom to access Windows in the way that suits them best. This takes the place of the various software offered to enlarge the screen and/or provide screen reading.

2. Touch screen “replace” the standard computer mouse by allowing direct interaction with the screen with a finger, pen or other pointing device. These products can be used by individuals who have difficulty manipulating a mouse.
3. Large print keyboard/desktop magnifier

4. Learning software such as the visual software, Inspiration and writing help with ClaroRead Plus.

Discover how to implement simple accommodations in various situations. Write about three (3) such situations and how you might change the environment to assist your student or co-worker.
1. Allow students to type homework and outlines/students can record lectures to listen and transcribe later.

2. When student takes exams provided extended time, offer option to have questions verbally given, and exams can be delivered in student’s preferred modality (spoken, typed) rather than traditional pen/paper.

3. Provide textbooks on tape and enlarge print of all handout materials.

• Identify and comment, in your own words, about any of the websites referenced above that you found particularly helpful in developing your knowledge about assistive technology.
This site provides links to many adaptive computer products, broken down by category, as well as literature, programs, and funding sources.
The AT Basic Modules provide general assistive technology information on a variety of related uses for elementary students with disabilities. They include links to tutorials on the setup and use of several products as well as links to related resources. This was a GREAT SITE and very easy to navigate.
Provides information about many available assistive technologies.

• What are your thoughts about the different types of hardware. Comment on each on your blog or in your journal.
The various types of hardware have made a great impact on the lives of people afflicted with muscular or neurological disorders. The changes in hardware have provided many advantages in some cases a sense of independence. As the videos have shown, a computer can be manipulated with one’s head or feet, rather than the traditional (and sometimes uncooperative) mouse. With this, independence can be attained for individuals as they can operate the computer on their own. In addition, assistive technology allows students to interact in mainstream settings.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) link for teachers in order to provide assistance for learning disabled (LD) students was helpful as well as reassuring. Some of the strategies offered I already incorporate into my classroom activities for ALL my students; everyone can benefit from the various teaching methods I utilize. For example, I have my students read small passages, answer pointed questions, model outlines on a project screen to maintain on task behavior and HIGHLIGHT key information. In addition, the NCLD suggested incorporating various MULTISENSORY approaches as well as technology. I probably can incorporate more multisensory. I do outline maps but perhaps creating more physical elements would be beneficial. In addition, a LD student would require more structure to the lesson, step by step instructions, and more time to complete tasks.

If a student is blind, a Braille converter is needed for all text materials but many simple modifications can also be made within the classroom. Being that eyesight is only 1/5 of the way to obtain information, there is a multitude of other ways to demonstrate concepts. This would include incorporating tactile teaching methods such as texture, movement, and sound. Furthermore, to also incorporate mainstream students into the world of the blind student, labeling items of the classroom surroundings in Braille will allow other students an opportunity to experience their classmate’s reading style. Finally, student partnerships would also be very effective not only for a blind student but for all students in order to engage in peer problem solving—a more active learning approach.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Assistive Technology (AT) INTRODUCTION

As a teacher, I am presented with a large group of students with varying needs and must provide for each individual. Therefore, in terms of assistive technology (AT), I would like to know the various technological aids available that would allow my students to be more successful and how I can incorporate their AT needs into a mainstream classroom. In addition, I would like to know the modifications and adaptations available to accommodate my students. One size DOES NOT fit all when it comes to teaching & reaching students. The modifications that can be discovered will ultimately benefit the class in its entirety, not just those in need of AT.

For the habits of a life long learner, I live and breathe the notion. I presently have an end result (and after that is achieved, I will redefine and continue to another level), it is my quest and my quest only as I willingly accept the challenge (with just minor stressing out moments), I know I can do this-I am confident (but a little encouragement from my best friend is ALWAYS welcomed). As I continue my journey my “tools” increase as I have more in my arsenal now then as a young undergrad student and teacher. Furthermore, technology is slowly becoming my friend (although I am still somewhat behind the curve but I will catch up), and most important, I know how to play and I PLAY hard. I continue to encompass the habits of a lifelong learner. I read, listen, inquire, search, take classes to name just a few. There is so much I want to know and so much I want to do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


THANK YOU for a wonderful learning experience. I am more enriched as a result. Due to this program, I now have more tools for my toolbox and more innovative teaching techniques. I would absolutely participate in another discovery program. I would imagine CL2.0 must have some more tricks to share as the world of technology continues to grow. In addition, I see myself sharing this site with administration, as it would make a worthwhile in-service in a technologically innovative challenged school.

My favorite was the Image Generator. With every additional photo I upload to my computer, I search for new presentation designs. I really enjoy playing with my digital photos—I’m hooked!

To summarize my experience, just as my blog profile indicates…….


Monday, October 19, 2009


With the “digital generation,” they are certainly more mobile and prefer to access their information in a variety of ways. My students have expressed a desire for their text book to be online…certainly on par with the concept of the ebook. Besides despising carrying a heavy, oversized textbook, today’s students prefer and are comfortable with the online connection (unlike myself who does enjoy holding a book while I read, the screen just doesn’t do it for me). With an online version, perhaps more students would do their assignments…at least “I forgot my textbook” would be an excuse of the past.

In exploring ebooks, the British Library Online Gallery ( was amazing. Classic books can be viewed in its original form—amazing! I looked at sketches from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook, the first atlas of Europe, Mozart’s library, a Renaissance masterpiece…all PERFECT for the classroom. The pages of the book are turned with a simple click (or if shockwave plug is available, it can seem as though the operator is “turning” the pages with the icon), pages can be enlarged, and audio is included!
How cool is that?!?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


The podcast delivers in a story telling mode, especially when listening to debates and various education programs. In addition, with historical speeches, the audio becomes a powerful tool to share in class…and gives more to a lesson.

The Educational Podcast Network was an awesome educational tool. I never imagined the resources that could be gleaned within a podcast ranging from medieval to geography.
I listened to a podcast pertaining to Napoleon.

It was like having a guest professor. That is another aspect of a podcast; different viewpoints can be introduced to students. This does create a different learning experience for students.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I have used YouTube before to watch music videos more than anything else. Occasionally I have looked for a “how-to” video. But this was the first time actually investigating the site…and surprisingly, I have found A LOT more that is offered by the site. I liked how the home page displays videos being watched at that moment, featured videos and the most popular paired down by category. Searching videos is easy with the search bar making suggestions. Once a video is chosen for viewing, related videos are displayed on the side allowing old favorites and new discoveries to be made.

YouTube offers many educational features such as the “how-to” videos or a variety of shows including documentaries (professional as well as “other”). Full length episodes are offered or small video clips that can showcase a point of view, both being perfect for class. I was surprised to find PBS specials on empires and cultures that would be perfect for class (EXCEPT YOUTUBE IS BLOCKED in my district).

Beside the documentary videos (which is too long to imbed in a blog), I searched for some original creations and found the “Librarian Song.” The video fits the focus of this learning experience, as well as a different view of librarians. My best friend will get a kick out of this. Just a word to those who are anxious, fast forward the clip 1 minute, the song will start about then. Here's the link and enjoy the video. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009


The books I added were in preparation for a school project (all having to do with European history). None of my pleasure reading favs are included just yet. Adding books was easy—putting the title (and not even the whole title was necessary, click, and its added—tags can be added, even after the fact. The created library can be displayed numerous ways by just the click of the button...turns out I prefer style “A” which is cover (if available), title, author, date, tags, rating, comments, librarything “tools” –icons that provide site comparison/overall info on the book within the site such as how many people have the book in their library, how many comments were made about the book. There are also other viewing styles to choose. When I clicked on a book I added, I can see who else had added it, the book information, librarything recommendations based on the book itself for additional books just for me, plus member ratings & reviews of the book. Again, since my entire book collection is historical, not many reviews were made, but a few did include some. Overall, my books were not very popular book, with the exception of one. For a full experience, check out the book entitled Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought)—many reviews, ratings, as well as many who have the book within their library collection.

I Loved the Zeitgeist Overview which included top tags, largest libraries, most review books, most popular books, top rated (& lowest rated) authors…and the data continues providing book lovers with the power of community information

Monday, October 12, 2009


Well, it isn’t called “productivity” for nothing. What I liked about Zoho was the mobility without the saving tools (flash drive, CD, disk). I can jump from computer to computer without my flash drive. (and in my school, that is exactly what one does, there is nothing to call your own, survival is all about your ability to go from room to room and computer to computer with multiple people accessing and potentially causing damage). I don’t have to worry about ever forgetting the flash drive again (which has happen leading me to create “Plan B” on the spot for multiple classes as I had ZERO access to my PowerPoints, lesson plans, or worksheets with the flash drive sitting at my on personal computer AT HOME). Using Zoho for my lesson plans will also allow easier access for my administrators as well; plans have to be submitted anyway, so here they are ready for viewing (Not to mention, the collaboration feature that is inherent which may work quite nicely in the planning/writing department).

I published the outline I created using the writing features. The world can see it...or at least anyone with the URL. Check it out:

As wonderful as the Zoho tool was, there were limitations that I discovered. (The site calls itself a “work in progress” so, of course, I love that). Obviously, online access is necessary and there are some features of Word that were not available. Although, there is an offline feature, that might not always be a feasible option. However, the ability to import the documents you have already created is a very big positive.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I went onto the CL2.0 sandbox wiki and found it very easy to navigate. I made an addition to the page without any problem and even added a link. I was able to see the last time the page had been altered as date and time is stamped with the entry. The pages of the wiki were shown on the home page and all I had to do was click. No problem.
The link I added to the wiki was my 1st attempt at a webquest. Check it out--only part I didn't like was no space between my numbered directions.


In addition to the ideas I previously mention in regards to various ways to utilize a wiki (pathfinder, group projects, administratively), there are some great additional ideas I read about in the Shelly Cashman Series, Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom (2008). They include pseudo web site for students to create, facilitating group collaboration, repository for content, display projects whereas students can share reviews and commentary (p. 193). These are great ideas. Personally, I foresee the use of a wiki eliminating the issue of slackers within group work; the edits/work is all shown. My next group project with my students is going to center around a wiki. Wish me luck :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009


What I found interesting was the different ways wikis were used. I viewed collaborative student study pages, innovative staff use in order to keep track of procedures and assess needs, and a library using it to showcase books and conduct a book chat. Each of these examples show amazing creative use of the wiki tool—the endless possibilities. School & libraries can use wikis within pathfinders, student projects or administratively to keep everyone on the same page. I liked the comparative feature in addition to the fact that it records when updates take place and by who; it eliminates the need to sign off on the work that was done. It is simple to make changes when needed. Pretty cool.

As a side note, wikis, specifically Wikipedia, often come under attack due to its lack of accountability. Basically, anyone can edit or post information without any regard to credentials. This lack of accountability has led the wiki creators to create a new form of Wikipedia known as Citizendium, where authors must register their names/affiliations and subject matter experts serve as editors. This information was gleaned from the Shelly Cashman Series, Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom (2008, p. 194).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I found K12 Learning 2.0: Tools for 21st Century Teaching & Learning at and (e)Learning 2.0 & Beyond's all about what can/will be at -----Both an adaption of classroom learning 2.0.
K12 learning even had “23 things” while the other had a series of assignments and micro lessons.

After reading a few different articles, the perspective of library 2.0 seems to be more than just providing and utilizing technology. There is also an interactive element; a user center, community collaboration of services provided through multi-media.

To me, Library 2.0 represents a movement toward better service and interaction with patrons through use of various tools of technology.
For schools, it means innovation and change utilizing more student centered technological techniques. Even technologically disadvantage schools can still create a user-centered environment. By taking advantage of the numerous free web services available, schools (and libraries) can become Library 2.0. My school is slowly embracing that concept. Of course, that would mean dropping some firewalls to provide access to those sites….for example-- youtube. Do you know how much can be introduced into the classroom with youtube alone?!?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Technorati is CRAZY! The number of blogs was outstanding. Now, when I searched “School Library Learning 2.0” and “Classroom Learning 2.0” using the quotation marks—surprisingly there were no results for school library and only 2 results for classroom learning (and not even the blog itself—very strange) Of course, when the quotes were removed, then the results went wild! I looked at the top 100 most popular blogs, concentrating on the top 10. As I looked at them on a Saturday afternoon, what I noticed is with the exception of only 1, the top 10 blogs pertained to technology and all had posts within the last 8 hours.

There are so many advantages to tagging. According to the book entitled Library 2.0 and beyond, edited by Nancy Courtney (p. 94-99, 2007), the organizational scheme that emerges from tagging, known as folksonomy, showcases the “network effect” that not only economically demonstrates user patterns but also remains fluid, current, multifaceted, and empowering. Tags are great to organize, focus, and pinpoint a particular topic of interest but there is free range on the tag terms. The disadvantages, as described by Courtney, are low precision rates, susceptibility to unethical use, and lack of synonym control. Therefore, something “tagged” might not be exactly what one is looking for or not all results will be shown --- that can be frustrating. However, with the amount of information available, it wouldn’t be necessary to locate every relevant item of a particular tag. As noted by Lee of Headshift (2005), “the trade off between simplicity and precision makes sense."
Sounds good to me. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009


My bookmarks are everywhere. There is ZERO organization. Everytime I find something I want to remember, I book mark it, wherever I am at the time. So…..Some are at the computer in school, some on the laptop, and others on the family computer….to go to a single site and pull up everything is a time saver. Truth be told, I have even done searches to figure out the URL address to some of my favorite sites. But not only does delicious keep all bookmarks in one place, there is the added pleasure of finding more great sites that others use!

While using the SJlibraryLearning2 account, bookmarks are being added on a daily basis, I had found a great site entitled Top 10 Sites for Educators. Immediately, I check it out and bookmark it (albeit the traditional way-but that will change SOON). Due to delicious, I found a site I otherwise would have never found.

Libraries can take advantage of this site by creating bookmarks for particular topics, as well as introduce patrons to this useful tool. Users can add to the bookmarks as well.

Friday, September 25, 2009


This tool would be helpful in libraries as part of their pathfinders and within ibraries for particular projects of teachers. Rather than have students aimlessly search, with rollyo, they can search predetermined sites. Students still have to search but there is now more focused and safer for them. That’s why I created a search roll for my classes to use for their 3rd marking period Modern Europe projects. My next task would be to make one for their other outstanding projects.

While discovering rollyo, the sites are listed for the different “high rollers” or “most used,” but unless you have something to specifically search, the “play” falls short. Helpful tool nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Web winners:

Reading through the web awards made me realize how many tools are out there that I do not use, nor even knew about. It was an amazing list... no wonder there is internet addiction (see my post to giddy librarian).

I liked having the winners condensed so it was easy to click and check them all out.
I spent a lot of time with
I loved the tools offers for teachers but not so happy about seeing essays on there for students to help themselves to…but, sorry to say, I now have another place to look if I am feeling suspicious.

Ning was interesting. To be able to connect on a particular topic and learn/share ideas with others is certainly a great concept. I looked at classroom 2.0 as well as various educational innovative sites. It was very difficult to decide where to join. I think I am going with either classroom 2.0 or teachers 2.0. I noticed some of the groups were by invitation only and groups had the ability to moderate or even ban people from their network in order to keep high standards of the topic at hand.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Glad I finally started using my digital camera...otherwise I would have no pictures to play with. But you will have to bear with me, the only pictures I have are of my girls. This was FUN! The girls REALLY enjoyed seeing their faces on different frames from imagechef ( I had to kick the girls out of the room or I was never going to be able to stop. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

And with comic strip generator...there's a fun way to send messages to students

Thursday, September 10, 2009


After browsing the suggested sites, I would just like to say…….THERE ARE TOO MANY PLAYERS ON THE FIELD!!

Way too much was confusing for me, while the other sites I got lost in all they had to offer. I can see the positive in the sites overall, a focused search area but….right now, I am overwhelmed!

On a side note, I did enjoy looking at the blog winners...interesting.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


With RSS feeds, rather than scouring various sites multiple times a day, all web content is directed into 1 place. This is a real time saver. Personally, I do not know why I initially balked at using a feed. Everyday, after logging onto the computer, I check numerous sites for the recipe of the day, news updates, and other topics of interest. With RSS, all updates come to me.

This tool would work well in schools and libraries. Specifically, with RSS feeds, resources would not have to be continually updated and through Google Reader, a database of the specific subscribed feeds is created. This in turn can be search, limiting the “wide web” search to that of only subscribed feeds.

Pretty cool even if it does remind me of M.T. Anderson’s novel, The Feed.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Rather than chat about a specific tool, I wanted to address the Internet in a few different perspectives. With the new school year in full swing, a particular discussion with my students always emerges………….

In my 9th grade Social Studies classes, a discussion of copyright emerged (as it does every year when I tell my students they must included a works cited/reference page with all research papers/projects.) They inquired why they would need a reference page when they would be finding all their information on the Internet. It seems high school students do not realize that even websites are to be cited, as it is NOT THEIR WORDS (extra emphasis due my frustration as they were sooooo adamant with their beliefs). This of course led to the cautious reminder of the web in general. This reminder included they should evaluate websites as anyone can create WebPages, as well as be cautious with their own personal information they make public. That reminder earned me some eye rolling.

Although the Internet offers many innovative tools for teachers and students, it still is a powerful and persuasive device. Students should have more courses dealing with Internet safety as well as for utilizing the dynamic tools that it offers.


What great tools!! And fun, too! trading cards, magazine covers, motivational posters—I LOVE IT! Here comes the creativity issues again—I FREEZE! So much to create makes the mind go blank…but I can envision the endless possibilities—decorate my classroom, be the creative mom for invitations and photo gifts
Now, I know I probably should have made a “librarian trading card” but how can I resist with my girls hanging over…and plus, they are much cuter than me! Won’t Grandma & Grandpa just love it?? Check it out!

Monday, September 7, 2009


Interesting site…never really looked at it before…if you join a group, it’s more than just sharing pictures as ideas come out within the comments…
Plus through flickr, a pictorial how-to can be created such as the “how to bake a cheeseburger cupcakes” Check out the link … look at the finished product.

This was very cool—step by step instruction depicted in mini photos only. The outcome looks DELICIOUS!

I am seriously considering creating an account, now all I have to do is take more digital pictures…….

Classroom THING 4

Not only have I created this blog of technology discovery (leading me to, of course, classroom innovation), but I am now sharing it with my classmates as we learn together. GO CLASS - WE ROCK!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Creating the avatar was fun (choices, choices, choices—what to wear, accessories, backgrounds, oh my!)—This was something I didn’t know about…and low and behold, it exported—I surprised myself! And may I add—my avatar is a classy chick :)

Monday, August 31, 2009


Though at times I proceed with some trepidation with what I am unsure or unfamiliar with, I am a life long learner—more now than any other time in my life. I have been “bit” by the learning bug.

In my early educational career (high school & undergrad), I did well; I always liked school. But, was I really gleaning all that I could and truly learning? As an old adage indicates, much is wasted on the young. I believe that, as now, I see a difference in myself as a learner, as well as with the outcome. I am actively participating and benefiting from my learning. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?! After a long hiatus from formal learning (due to a few babies—but that is a learning experience in its own context), I now approach a new style of life long learning. The formal learning that I engage in creates a springboard to know and accomplish more.

What is the easiest? The idea of accepting responsibility for my own learning would be the easiest for me to promote. I already do it with a vengeance. Even when many told me perhaps I should wait until the kids were older to begin this venture, I went ahead of my own accord. I had already waited some time as it was just to have kids in order to get the career settled, how much longer should I wait? Besides furthering my formal education, I also partake in curriculum projects and voluntary staff development classes (the voluntary ones are more interesting than mandated ones as strange as that sounds).

What is the hardest? I believe there is a tie for that category. The idea of viewing problems as challenges and using technology to my advantage would be the hardest habits to break. Although I have made strides with both tendencies, they are still my most troublesome habits to break. In terms of technology, I am proud of the changes I have made within my professional and personal life such as utilizing a grading program, creating PowerPoint presentations, and finally using a digital camera just this year (I know, sad but true, I am single-handedly keeping film processing in business). But, I am still lagging behind in utilizing technology to its fullest advantage; I know there are many more tools available (perhaps flickr with my new digital camera?). In terms of viewing problems as challenges, I like to go into as I describe “freak out” mode when faced with new problems. Although I solve the problem and learn from it, I still have that moment of crisis before proceeding (my best friend will be happy when I hurdle that particular habit).

Nevertheless, I possess the habits of a lifelong learner.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Set up blog—not too bad—decisions, decisions---but this could work nicely, might need to tap into my creative side a little more (of course, after I find where I put the creativity! LOL!)