Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taking Some Courses

I know that the students in your classrooms are not always the only ones who are starting a new semester. So many teachers that I know are taking courses either to get their first, second, or third Masters or to just keep themselves "up to date"! I give you all so much credit - teaching all day then taking a hopefully interesting course, and then studying and writing papers - oh my, oh my!!!

Let me see if I can make your life just a little easier. Well, really not me - I just deliver the message. David Warlick is the hero behind this wonderful Internet Tool called Citation Maker or as he calls his latest version Son of Citation Maker. All you have to do is click on the type of format that you want for your citation on the left and then choose the source (includes print and non-print options), complete the form, and poof the citation is ready for you to paste and copy.

I do not think of this as "cheating" at all! The important thing is not whether you remember where each comma and colon goes, it is the fact that you care enough to site your sources.

The Citation Machine can be found at http://citationmachine.net/ and again, we thank David Warlick for this wonderful Internet Tool.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Laminating For Free!

Good Morning Everyone,

For those of you who are back in school, I am hopeful you are off to the start of a great year.

I had to share with you this wonderful corporate contribution to teachers. Office Max is offering FREE , yes I said, Free, laminating for all teachers on Thursdays until September 13th. You have to bring things in on a Thursday and they will not cut them for you. However, you can bring as much as you like and they will laminate for free. Their laminating is very durable and you will not have anyone in your media center or your office looking at you for consuming so much laminating paper!
If you did not already know about this, you do have 3 more Thursdays to take advantage of it. Hats off to Office Max for their generosity!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Looking For A Bad Link?

One website that I have shown in my workshops for the past two years has received almost a standing ovation! This website allows you to look through an archive to retrieve sites that have given you that dreaded "Cannot Find Website" error message. Most of the time the retrieved site is fully functional and available for interaction.When you have typed a URL and receive the error message, copy the URL and paste it into the Way Back Machine found at http://www.archive.org/index.php . A list of dates when the URL was last active will appear. You may have to try several dates, but one of them should produce the website you were seeking.You have the website you were looking for thanks to your computer's good memory! Sometimes I wish my memory worked so well!

If you are preparing for the opening of the school year, I hope for you that the air of excitement you are feeling now stays with you throughout the school year!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Best Buy Teacher Awards

I wanted to make sure that I reminded the participants who have been in my workshops and tell the others who are reading this blog about the Best Buy Teacher Grants that you or your school may be eligible for receiving.
Applications must be completed and submitted online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 30, 2007. Awards will be announced on February 18, 2008. Schools must be located within 50 miles of a Best Buy store to be eligible.
There are three Award Levels:
  1. $2,000 Teach Awards will be given in recognition of up to 1,500 outstanding programs that engage students by creatively integrating interactive technology into the curriculum. The awards are in the form of Best Buy Gift Cards.
  2. $10,000 Teach Awards will be granted to up to 50 schools that display the greatest creativity in their programs/projects and the clearest vision of how to increase the school’s use of interactive technology if awarded $10,000 Teach Award. Teach Awards of $10,000 are NOT in addition to the $2,000 Teach Awards.
  3. Eight $100,000 National Teach Awards will be given to entire school districts. School district finalists will be selected from a pool of Teach Award-winning schools, and will receive a Request for Proposal (RFP) from Best Buy. Recipients will be selected on the basis of submitted proposals. National Teach Awards are in the form of a Best Buy spending account.

I must tell you that the applications and information about these awards are pretty well hidden on the Best Buy website. Go to this link: https://bestbuyteach.scholarshipamerica.org/ and within the information is a link to Register as an Applicant.

Who knows? You may stand to when enough money to purchase a laptop and a projector for your classroom, making one of my most pressing suggestion about "making sure they can see" possible.

It is a rainy Sunday in Cleveland. Hope your sunshine is coming from the fact that soon you will see a classroom full of smiling faces waiting for you to enrich their lives. I know you do that every day!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Introductory Blog

Well, you have to start somewhere, so here goes! My goal for this blog is to continue communicating with participants who have attended my workshops.

This year I will be in 36 cities in the United States and Canada presenting workshops for the Bureau of Education and Research. One is called Practical Strategies for Using Technology to Strengthen Classroom Instruction and Student Learning - Grades K-2 and the other one is The Best of the Best Websites -Grades K-6. You can check the BER website http://www.ber.org to see if I will be close to where you live. I have presented to many, many teachers, administrators, media specialists, and computer specialists over the last six years and I enjoy every moment of it. I continually learn from those who attend the workshop and have the greatest support from BER. What is most frustrating to me is that a few days after a presentation, I already have learned some new things that I would love to pass along to former participants. Now, I have figured out a way that I can - by blogging!

I will start by alerting you to some online collaborative projects that are already taking registrations. If you remember, I was quite passionate about how many benefits your students can gain from your joining an online collaborative project. The critera from all subject areas can be covered and your students will find that engaging in a project with students from all over the world will be motivating and exciting to them as learners. I believe Jennifer Wagner and Susan Silverman are two women who put so much into the projects that they coordinate. They amaze me. I hope you will check these out now as by the time I start presenting this year, these projects will be going "full speed ahead"!

Jennifer Wagner (Technospud Projects) is taking registrations now for:
Salute to Seuss http://salutetoseuss.wikispaces.com/ and for O.R.E.O (Our Really Exciting Online Project) http://www.technospudprojects.com/Projects/OREO2007/oreo2007home.htm
She will also have the one day Pumpkin Seed Count in October. Watch for that - but I will remind you on this blog.

Susan Silverman- http://comsewogue.k12.ny.us/~ssilverman/2000/index.htm is a Technology Specialist in Oswego, New York and has conducted many, many online projects of the highest quality. Look at Lucky Ladybugs http://kids-learn.org/ladybugs/ It is open to students in Grades K-5.

I hope you will consider signing up for one of these projects. I know your class will find themselves learning in a collaborative way!