Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day . . .

Finally, time to breathe! This blog was intended to be a place to chart my progress and learning as a teacher as well an online filing cabinet of sorts. I can only say that this has been the hardest learning curve so far. I'm not always sure who is actually learning from whom - that position seems to change on a minute-2-minute basis.

I will say this - that in the New Year it is imperative that I find a balance . . .

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

IATEFL Conference - Milan

IATEFL Conference - Milan, Italy November 26-28, 2007

Learning Technologies: Bridging the Gap between Technology and Pedagogy

My first cyber-session! Cristina and I presented at the Milan conference. You are thinking how wonderful it was for us to travel to Italy to present. What a great opportunity to drink expresso and eat biscotti! Well, it wasn't quite like that. Cristina was in Manchester (England) and I was here in Lisbon (Portugal) webcasting from my classroom after school. (LOL) However, it was a great experience and everything worked smoothly aside from the fact that I couldn't connect my camera so we went to Plan B and just uploaded a photo of the two of us. The audience asked a bunch of questions (always a good sign) and I felt great! Thank you Cristina for doing all the legwork (well actually finger work - hahaha) for finding this opportunity for us. Cristina, you are the guru!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Made by Andrea Micheloni

I came across this site which makes these incredible posters! I just loved it and thought that I would advertise it! hahahah

Monday, November 19, 2007

Blogging in their own words . . .

Listen to what some student bloggers have to say . . .

Sunday, October 14, 2007


November hosts another Activity Day here at school. I am collecting some ideas for possible activities that the kids can create.

This is a link for making Christmas cards: http://desktoppub.about.com/od/cards/tp/Digital-Card-3D-Santa.htm?nl=1

Link for making Christmas cards with a pop-up tree: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Christmas-Tree-Pop-up-Card

Link for making Christmas cards with a pop-up angel: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-an-Angel-Pop-up-Card

Link from HP for making cards and other projects: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/acCategory?lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&extcat=cards&

Link for making bookmarks: http://www.janbrett.com/bookmarks/bookmarks.htm

More bookmarks: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/kids/bookmarkfactory/

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another toy - my new wiki

Before I forget (hahaha), this is the URL to my new wiki:


Creating a blog in Blogger.com

We have spent a lot of time setting up blogs for Years 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 here at the school. While the kids somehow think this is their personal space to promote their videos, it's actually their online "process journals" and is required as part of their coursework!

Here is the video that the students viewed - It's short and sweet!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Extraordinary OR Exploitation? You be the judge. . .

A new reality show lets 40 kids create their own desert society — will they succeed?

thinking outside the box . . .

According to Theo Jansen, Kinetic Sculptor, "the walls between art and engineering exist only in our own minds."

It's time to "think outside the box" and imagine the unimaginable!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Social Bookmarking - It's Del.icio.us

Saving a link to your "Favorites" is OUT!
Social Bookmarking is IN! See how easy it is.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What goes around, comes around . . .

I'm a big fan of libraries. Anyone can go into any library and spend hours browsing - you only need to become a member if you wish to take the material home (for FREE). The object of a library is to bring information to the public (I wholly applaud this system).

I am also a big fan of open-source internet tools (FREE online tools). When someone suggests using a password to access websites and blogs - I bristle. After all, they are then suggesting that we "limit" knowledge/information/learning. Education then becomes an elitist activity available primarily to those who can "afford" it.

I am pleased to know that many top-shelf universities share my view of learning and think that it should be available to EVERYONE - whether they attend the institution or not - and are now offering free online courses for interested parties (this is right up my alley). ;-)

Many universities already provide online classes (e-learning/distance learning/blended learning) for degree programs. Isn't it just a given that non-matriculated cyber-students should be able to pursue an interest in an organized way using these resources? Afterall it doesn't "cost" the university a cent since the courses are already online! The Open University in the UK is a great example. They have a new program called Open Learn that allows one to access courses and resources online for FREE.

Yes, for free. Are they crazy? Why would they do that? It makes perfect sense. The courses were initally uploaded for e-learning students who ARE paying students of the Open University and in the process of earning a degree. Cyber-students are welcome to use these resources but don't earn a degree unless they matriculate. It's as simple as that. In addition, it's great advertising for the Open University. Everybody wins!

According to Yahoo! finance, other well-known universities are also offering open-source learning for all interested parties. In an article entitled Fabulous Freebies by Erin Burt (Wednesday, August 1, 2007),

Colleges and universities worldwide are posting
course materials on the Internet, including the Massachusetts Institute of
, Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Law School. You won't get
credit toward a degree, but you can pursue an interest or sharpen your

Hooray, keep a look-out for my upcoming FREE online courses held in Knowplace.

Remember, the more you give, the more you receive.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Food for thought . . .

"Imagine a school with children that can read or write, but with teachers who cannot, and you have a metaphor of the Information Age in which we live." Peter Cochrane

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Slam Poetry? Slam Dunk!

According to Wikipedia, "Slam poetry is performance poetry, a form of spoken word performed at a competitive poetry event, called a "slam", at which poets perform their own poems (or, in rare cases, those of others) that are "judged" on a numeric scale by randomly picked members of the audience." (For more info on slam poetry and slam poets click here.)

Slam poetry encompasses a very broad range of voices, styles, cultural traditions and approaches to writing and performance.

Taylor Mali is a slam poet. For more information about this former teacher check out his website: http://www.taylormali.com

Taylor Mali tells it like it is! He makes a difference! What about you?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Web 2.0 - What is it?

According to Wikipedia, Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2003[1] and popularized by the first Web 2.0 conference in 2004[2] , refers to a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — which facilitate collaboration and sharing between users. O'Reilly Media titled a series of conferences around the phrase, and it has since become widely adopted.

Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to Web technical specifications, but to changes in the ways software developers and end-users use the web as a platform. According to Tim O'Reilly, "Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform." [3]

As used by its supporters, the phrase "Web 2.0" can also refer to one or more of the following:

  • the transition of web-sites from isolated information silos to sources of content and functionality, thus becoming computing platforms serving web applications to end-users
  • a social phenomenon embracing an approach to generating and distributing Web content itself, characterized by open communication, decentralization of authority, freedom to share and re-use, and "the market as a conversation"
  • a pronounced distinction between functionality and web technology, enabling significantly easier creation of new business models and processes by using readily available intuitive modular elements[6]
  • enhanced organization and categorization of content, emphasizing deep linking

Check out this link for another great video HERE. This explains the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0:

Where to begin?

Information Technology (IT) is a bit like having spent too much time trying to find just the right outfit to go out in and then rushing to get to the theater only to get caught in a lot of traffic and finally sitting down to watch the movie (that you've waited all week to see) after it has already started.

So it's time to settle in with your computer (a bowl of popcorn at hand) and begin. The bits you've missed so far will soon become evident . . .