Wednesday, January 21, 2009 Gets a Face Lift

America not only got a new president yesterday, but a new Whitehouse website complete with slideshows, a blog and facts about American presidencies. The blog explains the three main priorities of the website as Communication, Transparency and Participation. This is an open invitation for citizens to voice their opinion and ideas to President Obama and his cabinet.
Be sure to check-out Whitehouse 101 which includes some fun trivia about our presidents.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Students Voice Their Opinion about the Inauguration

Visit VoiceThread and search for "inauguration09". You will find some VoiceThreads which have been created by students allowing them to share their discussions about Obama's inauguration. For those of you who are new to VoiceThread, this is an online, digital story-teller with the ability of adding voice, text and "doodles". The best feature of VoiceThread is it's ability to share and collaborate with users around the world. I can think of no better use of VoiceThread than this opportunity for students to share their thoughts with the world!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Word Clouds

The New York Times has a very clever interactive time line of all American presidents' inauguration speeches. The most-used words appear as the largest. The largest of all are highlighted. Click on a word to see it in context in the president's speech. It's quite interesting to see what words stood out for each president.
Any predictions for Obama's big words? I'm putting my money on HOPE, CHANGE, WE and YOU.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Classrooms for the Future comes to New Hope

It's been quite awhile since I've posted in my blog...but for good reason! As the CFF coach for our high school, my time is now split between library media specialist and the CFF position. As our school gets ready to roll out 2 MacBook labs, I've been busy gathering resources, attending professional development workshops and preparing teachers for what is to come. On January 15, we had our first "Out-of-the Box" Apple training with Paul Tarantiles. Paul truly got us excited about how we can use this technology! Social networking, multimedia creations, immediate access to educational tools - soon our kids will be using all these great things in their classrooms.
Of course, many of these tools may be new to us, but are certainly not new to our students. A recent MacArthur study found that "learning today is becoming increasingly peer-based and networked, and this is important to consider as we begin to re-imagine education in the 21st century". It found that although students are very adept at socializing and navigating online and with digital tools, they have not successfully used all those tools in their learning. That's where we educators come in. We can learn from them so that they can better learn from us.