Monday, May 7, 2012

SMART Notebook 11 - New Release

Just downloaded the newest version of SMART Notebook 11!  Looking forward to learning about the new features.  I love the fact you can learn on line by watching the videos.  I am looking forward to working with widgets with the Notebook.

ipad app coming soon follow  on twitter.  More on the notebook app for iPad being released soon 

I plan on working with a few of my special education teachers this month and review the new features.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Learning about Google Drive and thinking about Google

Earlier this week when I logged into Google I noticed Docs was replaced with Google Drive/Docs that was announced last week. Google Drive  is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond. 

Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. In my personal, google account, I can can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+. I am interested in testing out some of the new features with students this month with our school 's google apps.

Yesterday, at a Integrity by CELT session, I had the change to see Jaime Casap  a  Senior Education Evangelist on the Google Apps for Education Team at Google, Inc.  In his role, he evangelizes the power of technology and the use of Google tools to help students build the skills needed to succeed, close the digital divide, and help level the education playing field.  His presentation "The Future of Technology in Education" His presentation was informative and inspiring.  I tweeted out many of his quotes during his session.

The big question:  How is the technology helping us in schools build the skills we need
- we all agree technology can be useful, we need to utilize it
Great teachers, expectations, motivating factors, and content are still the keys
- technology just enables this
He was very concerned about the fear we have about technologies in our schools
- when my kids were born I taught them how to cross the street. I didn’t try to ban cars.
- how are we teaching our kids to cross the digital street?
- we need to teach our kids how not only to be digital citizens but to be digital leaders

I continue to be so impressed with Google, their support of education and teachers and their view of aligning education with jobs of the future.  So much to think about!

Edcamp Boston Reflection

EdCamp Boston 2012
On Saturday, April 28th I attended my first UnConference. I followed the first EdCamp via twitter #edcampbos last year and it was great to see firsthand the active learning that took place at the Microsoft NERD center; a beautiful open facility overlooking the
Charles River with lots of meeting space and breakout rooms.  So many of the great educators that I follow on twitter organized the day and presented on various topics.

So what is an EdCamp / UnConference? It's a group of like-minded people that get together at a specific location and time with the intent to learn and share.  Yes, this day took place on a Saturday and several hundred educators showed up to learn on beautiful Saturday in Cambridge.   There are no official speakers, the conference starts in the morning with anyone who wants to present a workshop writing their proposal onto a giant sticky note and placing it on a large wall with a schedule.

After everyone who wants to present has posted their workshop proposal, conference volunteers copy the schedule on a communal online Google Spreadsheet. (Click here for the completed schedule for EdCamp Boston 2012.) Participants can then walk in and out of any workshops they desire. Participants are encouraged to “Vote with your feet!”. “If a workshop doesn’t match what you’re seeking, walk out and find one that does!”

I was thrilled to run into a few former graduates students and see them participating in this learning model.   A special thanks to everyone that organized the conference and shared out their expertise.  I will continue to connect with all of you on twitter #edchat to expand my own learning in order to continue to bring creativity into my school and classes.