Sunday, January 31, 2010

new tool in the classroom

This evening I wanted to talk about a cool tool that we used in the classroom this past week. I have been talking about for the past few months as a great tool for making quick videos with pictures. They gave you options for adding music and it worked out well. However, as is often the case, the free version has pretty much gone away and replaced with a for fee version. To be fair, there still is a free option, but they have limited the options available.
So, I have found a newer one that still is free called This one allows you to upload your pictures, add some music, and create your movie which you can embed into your web page. I am embedding one of the movies that was made for our upcoming heroes day. We are discussing how the Saints are heroes of our faith.

I like this new tool! Check it out if you have a chance.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A commercial with a punch

So, last night I am watching TV and as the action gets put on hold for a few minutes this commercial comes on:

Now, I have no loyalty or allegiance to Kaplan University (honestly, I know nothing about the university), but I think this is a great commercial. If it is their time, what can we as educators do to make it the best time of their lives?

P.S. - yes, if you recognize him, that is James Avery who is the college professor. He was Uncle Phil in The Prince of Bel Air (as well as about 150 other things).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Which Came First - tech or pedagogy?

Well, here it is-two posts in as many days. Exciting, I am going to do my best to keep this going. Time will tell!
I was going through my bag of conference info and found (what I think is) an interesting article in the FETC Show Journal (I couldn't find a digital copy of the journal) titled Which came first-The Technology or the Pedagogy? picture link
The article is about the conflict between the college of educations and the classrooms. The colleges say "We're doing a great job, but then students go out into schools and they don't have access to technology or don't see other teachers using technology so some of this prep goes to waste". The schools say "If colleges of education just better prepared new teachers in technology, we'd be all set, but they're not doing their job". Sound familiar? So which one is it, the chicken or the egg?
The story goes on to say that the plan can't be just using the technology, but it must be integrating it into the curriculum. Now there is a statement that has no conflict and no question! "To use technology well you have to know three things. You first have to know the content. It is hard to teach a subject if you don't know the subject! Second, you also need to know the pedagogy associated with that content - the best instructional strategies that will be effective. Finally you need to know the innovation or technology that you're going to then use." So, if the colleges are teaching these methods, and teaching them in this order, then isn't it up to us as teachers to make sure that we can integrate this pedagogy into the classroom and help our classroom students get the most out of all teaching practices?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Year, New Post

Well, if you are reading this, you can see that I haven't been blogging lately (if you can call almost a year lately). As I begin writing I am thinking I guess working with this blog has become my New Year's Resolution for 2010.
Picture link
And since I didn't have one before now, I guess it all works out! Let's see how long this resolution stays active!

I just came back from the FETC in Orlando where I spent two days listening to different people talk about using technology in the classrooms. I was involved with this so much that I had very little time to walk through the exhibit hall and see what were the latest new tools! In upcoming posts I will put down my notes from the different presentations that I went to and my overall thoughts from the days. For me the conferences are both exciting and a little sad. I love that I get to learn new things and see all the cool stuff that is going on in the field of education, but I am sad to see how much I still have to learn! There are some really cool things going on in classrooms all over the place! Hopefully we can all learn together!