Friday, January 28, 2011

EDM 310 Students Please Read!

Dear students, I know you have been assigned to leave a comment on this blog. Unfortunately I rarely post to it. If you would like to find newer posts to comment on you should try:

At the Teacher's Desk


Education Debate

Sorry about the inconvenience, I just don't use this forum that often.

Wm Chamberlain  

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Was That?

Does this make SNL relevant again?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week 1 Reflections Jr. High

The first weeks of school are always difficult, but this last week seemed to be even harder than normal. For reasons out of my control I didn't have much time to get mentally prepared for this school year and I have felt extremely lost so far. Here are a few things I need to work on:

1) I need to continue using my planning time for planning classes and thinking about students. I know this sounds obvious, but I spend a lot of time "helping" others with their technology and sometimes it takes up too much of my time.

2) I suck at "hurry up and wait". Not sure what I can do about this except smile more.

3) Team teaching is not something to enter into lightly, especially if there is no opportunity to plan with the teacher you will be working with. I am taking lead this week, the other teacher is actually the expert in the field. I should know a lot more about how well this is going to work very soon.

4) I was very active in trying to develop relationships with my students, especially the new students. I need to keep this up. When I am with the students I need to be actively engaged with them.

5) It is really nice to have a group of students that have been with me for several years. There was no awkward time when we were trying to get to know each other. It was one thing that really helped me keep from stressing out last week.

Next week's goal:

I am teaching math for the first time in about 8 years. I want very much to make the time I teach (this is the co-teaching class) a learning experience for all the students. I am going to find real world situations where using angles is important.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reflections on My First Week of Teaching EDUC 210 Technology for Teachers

I am requiring my EDUC 210 students to write a reflection from each weeks readings and class discussion. Obviously I need to model this as well. Here is the top three things I learned from the first class:

1. I talked way too much. I need to allow time for conversations to develop, and not to dominate the group time. While it is true that I have a lot of experience (and a lot of opinions) this class is not about me. I can't get to know my students if I don't let them talk.

2. Developing a one hour a day class is much different than developing a one night a week class. I need to better anticipate difficulties my students may have. For example, when a student at school has a problem in class. We can find the solution the next day. When I have a similar problem with the night class, that student will have to wait a week for help unless we can sort it out through a call or email.

3. A group of pre-service teachers can really get me excited. Who doesn't want to talk shop with people so excited about what they want to do?

I am really excited for the next class. Now that I have the first one down and I feel much better prepared for the next one, I am ready to jump back in and share and learn together.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quinci's First Day

Here is Quinci talking about her first day at school. I'm glad she decided she wants to go back!

Around the World Multiplication

This video shows students playing "Around the World" with multiplication. This is a flash card drill game where students compete to travel around the circle. To start the game two students race to answer the multiplication (or any other kind of flash card) problem. The winner moves to the next student around the circle and race them. When the winner loses they sit in the new winner's seat. The game continues going around the circle until one student ends up at the seat they started at. The students seemed to really enjoy the game.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Documents To Go for the iPad

Documents To Go Premium is an iPad/iTouch/iPhone app that promises the ability to import and export office documents. The $15 price tag kept me from buying this app until now because I was sure I could find a cheaper way to do what I wanted, import/export Gdocs.

I am moving all my documents from Microsoft Office because I want an easily accessible cloud based repository for my work. Since I want my iPad to be my main carrying machine while I am at school and home I want it to work well with Gdocs.

The splash page is very pretty and gives a quick idea about the types of files it will work with.

The start page is pretty sparse and easy to navigate. It shows files you can go to and recent files that you have opened. Easy for quickly finding the doc you were working on before.

You can set up Documents To Go to sync with several online sites including GDocs,, Dropbox, and iDisk. I set up Dropbox and it created a folder inside my Dropbox folder for it.

Then I set up my GDocs account. Both were very easy to set up. Next I decided to try and open a few documents I already made. I had no problem opening a xml document. I could even open up a Google Presentation. I did come up with a big problem though, none of my word processing docs would open up. The only thing I could think of was maybe there was a problem with my settings in Gdocs. Sure enough when I switched back from the new version of Gdocs (which allows simultaneous editing) it started to work again. This is a hassle, but since I don't have many instances where I need simultaneous editing I can live with it.

Documents To Go also allows you to open documents in a desktop file created when I synced my iPad to my Macbook. I assume it will do the same thing with a pc as well.

I also downloaded a syncable app for my Mac that allows me to sync over wifi without having to doc which is a big perk.

You can also create MS Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents from the app. Creating a Word doc is pretty easy and functional as well although I haven't had time to see if the formatting holds up when saved and opened by MS Word or through GDocs. I'm not a spreadsheet guy so my need for and use of the Excel doc creator will be extremely limited. The Powerpoint doc creator is very basic with only a few templates. You can also send an email with attachments.

The program allows me to save into the Documents To Go folder, Dropbox, and most importantly for me GDocs!

While I am sure I will find a lot of different quirks and problems (such as an annoying Coco error with some of the docs in my Gdoc collection) I think that this program will be very functional for me. I won't know for a few months if the money was well spent. Tomorrow Google could allow the iPad to have native access to GDocs and the need for this app would almost disappear. As of now, it seems to be the best (only?) option I have to upload, download, create, and save GDocs from my iPad.

Special thanks to Peter McAsh, @pmcash, for inspiring this post.