Friday, September 28, 2007

Class 1 (online assignments)

The online portion for this momth is to practice the new tools covered in class, implement with students, assess and post about it in the class blog.

Please post a respose on the following topics before our next class.

1. Your experience with the Senteo remotes (Note scheduled reviwed in class)
Note: I will update my PBwiki site for class on the Senteo(click here)
2. Using the multimedia cart and document Camera
Other options (SmartBaord setup and Primary School for demo on 10/24)
3. K12Online Conference - Review the speakers and KeyNote on October 8th
4. Practice your classroom Blog, School Center and/or takePBwiki tour and create an account.
Other options Voicethread or RockYou.
5. Sign up for Subscriptions recommended in class.
6. Use igoogle/google reader to subscribe to blogs. Here is a screencast in YouTube on igoogle.
7. Download Skype at home so we can im and cha. Maybe on a Wednesday evening around 7:00 if that works for people. Or post to the blog. (Try to post weekly to keep the conversation going or try skype to im and chat - 10/3, 10/10 and 10/17)

I will be check the blog, make sure you comment!


Sheryl said...

We look forward to your participation in the K12Online Conference!

21st Century Collaborative

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Hi Mary,
Derek has informed me that we cannot use the Ken-a-vision camera because we do not have the right USB port (need USB 2 and we have 1.1???) on our classroom computer. Unfortunately, without a laptop, the camera is just going to sit there...
I also asked him about longer cords so that we can actually connect the In-Focus machines to our computer. He said he has a few, but they are available on a first-come, first- served basis.

Mary Marotta said...

Hi Sarah -
Thanks for the update on the camera not working in the USB port. I will let Karen know and she can discuss with Derek. Maybe a different camera is needed. I will see what the vendor has to has as well.

JBeardmore said...

Hello all,

After Peggy's first go with the clickers, I tried it. I attempted a listening comprehension activity that was already online, but our bandwith couldn't handle the whole class accessing it at the same time. So, I thought the clickers would be a nice modification, allowing kids to work at their own pace, while only using one computer. Unfortunately, toggling between the two windows wasn't as easy as I had thought, and I would have to actually splice and embed the sound files into senteo...a bit beyond my tech abilities at this point, but with a few hours and help...maybe.
As a backup, because I had reservations about the activity, I just did a straight multiple choice, question, by question, and it worked well. A few kids loved it, most liked it, a few were not sure. As Peggy said, it's a hook. I would like to use it with practice National Exams. It's Kay's turn now, and then the clickers are off to English!

Mary Marotta said...

Nice job Jessica. Remember, when using a new tool, keep it simple the first few times. I am glad to see you are all sharing the equipment and learning. Have you made any progress with your online textbook? I am anxious to the the features.
If you get a chance you may want to explore VoiceThread a place to caputre voices.

Michelle said...

I am trying to figure out the document camera, I want to try it with my small group for a word study lesson next week.. I hope all goes well. OUr group is also mtg next week to look at the smartboard.

Michelle said...

Ohhh I have a laptop just have to get a new cord this weekend to use the camera.

nkromer said...

It is taking a bit of time to gather equipment, see what is captable with my computer and go from there. I have downloaded programs onto my school computer although Derek told me about USB2 port and that the documentcam will not work very well with it. I also don't have a cart within my department so I have to ask others to borrow equipment. I am in a few different spaces as well so if I want to do something in a class I have to download everything on another teachers computer.
I have made a test for the clickers and I hopefully will be able to try them out next week. My goal i to try the equipment out in the classes I teach with small group so that I can master the programs and then try it with the larger classes.

Mary Marotta said...

Additional training on SmartBoards and Senteo class.

"Valley Academy provides training on the SMART Board interactive We now have 4 Valley Academy locations! Worcester, Revere, Chicopee, and Plymouth Massachusetts, and we will even come to you!

Click on the link below for information and sign up today."

Valley Academy Newsletter

Peggy P said...

Jessica summed up the clicker use nicely. I think I'm getting lost in the blog and can't find my previous comment.

Technology this week has been frustrating. As Sarah said, the cameras don't work right now. Meanwhile, I spent an afternoon trying to get it to work before I found out from Sarah that they don't work with our computers. I think we could all benefit technology updates -- what is currently available, what works and what doesn't and who we should go to for help.

Last week I was on a clicker high -- this week back down to reality. The important lesson for me is that you have to use what works well, works for you and your personal teaching style and works given our facility limitations.

Sarah said...

Hi All-
I was at a meeting earlier this week with a woman that told us that she spent about $180 for a device that adapts to her laptop and essentially turns it into a "notebook"/"tablet" (what's the difference??) For those of you that already own laptops, this seems to be a pretty cheap way to go!
Karen Martin is going to get the information from her to share with us.

Mary Marotta said...

Hi Sarah -
There are several devices on the market that let you plug a device into a USB port such as a wacom tablet and you then coordinate with the laptop or pc screen. I have used with a graphics class but it was somewhat cumbersome. I have heard of some new notebook device but in my opinion are not nearly as powerful or convenient as a regular tablet. I will try to get the information from Karen on the device.

Technology can be frustrating and I will relay your concerns and hopefully we can address.

We had a PD day of Friday with the entire district. Our centeral office administration did a PowerPoint presentation and had a panel of 16 teachers use the clickers (similar to a Jeopardy game). It was great to see the technology modeled at the district level.

Please check the blog regularly to determine if there are problems or issues (like the usb device for the document cameras) in order to reduce any levels of frustration.

- Mary
PS - What a beautiful day, 85 degrees!

mathgeeksrule said...

Hi Mary,
Yes!!! I figured out how to post a comment again. Have downloaded all software and am nervously designing a smartboard skill introduction for next week. Wish me luck!

Mary Marotta said...

Keep practicing on posting comments and give us an update on your smartboard session! Remember this class is all about taking risks and sharing them!

Mike said...

I was really excited about using the smart board but unfortunately delay in the set up prevented me from doing so.
I did try using the Document camera and could see many uses for it. Unfortunately, I was unable to make the picture big enough. Has anyone else tried it? Any solutions?

I did work on my web page and helped my other colleagues. I was able to put a password protection on my picture page so that only parents and students in my class could view the pictures. Really seems to be working out well.

Sara K said...

Derek helped me hook up the document camera to my classroom computer. While he was working out the bugs, I was trying to teach a reading group. Derek pointed the camera at the reading group and we all ended up on the computer screen. The whole class had to come over and check it out. I was pretty funny, but let's just say that reading groups were over for a while. It was just a bit distracting.

Martha Cheesman said...

HI Mary,
I used the Senteo clickers to run some practice SAT questions. I went very basic, having students read and answer the questions using a paper copy and entering the responses using the clicker after. It helped us see the % of students who got each question right and told me what types of questions students were struggling with. Kids seemed to like it.
As for me, I see its potential, but I would have to be assured of very regular access to the technology before I invested the time to create activities for it. It seems that it might be a very useful tool for MCAS and SAT practice as well as other more fun things.

Steve A said...


Today (Thurs. Oct. 18), I was able to use all kinds of technology, in an educationally appropriate way, in my 6th grade sound class. We have been working for the last few classes to compose a "timbre" or found sound piece of music. Today we "professionally" recorded their performance into my laptop. Then, using a projector we edited the performance, using Audacity, finalized the audio file, changed it into an mp3 file, uploaded it to my website (yes we were connected to the internet), and linked it to a picture of a pear. The kids were able to walk through the entire process or recording, editing, and publishing live! Tomorrow I will be taking a picture of their invented musical score to add to the webpage. It was wonderful to watch the kids get involved in the process, make great musical decisions and connections. You can see/hear their piece at the 6th sound button on my web page..... (

I would leave a clickable link but I do not know how.

Steve A said...


I just discovered how to turn off many of those annoying automatic functions in microsoft word.

Go to the tools menu and
autocorrect Options or
auto correct

A box pops up that lets you turn off automatic stuff. Just uncheck the function you do not want the program to do automatically!!!

Steve A said...

Hello again, I just watched the the Design Matters segment of the K-12 conference. I was impressed with how well it was presented and how it touched many of the thought and ideas of our class.
How many of us actually look at our it conducive to how students receive, react and manipulate information?
The helpful hints about visual projects were wonderful. It was great to hear that all students, when given a chance to try new things will try to incorporate everything, every gimmick, whether or not it fits or makes sense. It reminds me of when I introduce the kids to garageband in my rap unit. Once we have recorded ideas I let them experiment with the effects. We often get bizarre songs. Now I let other classes listen and peer review. I write down all the comments (both poistive and negative), then share them with the class. Ultimately we edit and the kids begin to understand the need to step back, get opinions, and do things with a purpose. Sometimes it means things are changed and sometimes they don't because that it the emotion they wanted to create.
This would be a great video to watch even if only for the techno tips.

Christa P said...

Christa P said...
I was looking forward to using the smartboard, however it was not hooked up and we could not figure out how to do it. I have been working on my school center website over the last few weeks. I am feeling pretty good about how it is coming together. We also spent a little while exploring with the document camera.

October 24, 2007 5:28 AM

Mike said...

Well, We finally have it up and running. Today I took my class to try it out and it seemed to work well. We hooked up to some sites on my web page that the children could practice counting money skills. Also, Sara and I found some really good sites that have SMART board lessons. We will be taking short videos of our classes in the next two weeks.
The children were VERY receptive to the way that this short lesson went. I could see the benefits of having one of these in every room. I definately think that the projector needs to be mounted on the ceiling. It was hard for the students to see what they were touching on the screen. Finally we used a soft tipped pointer so that they could see what they were doing....

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