Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On August 24, 2010 an exciting day was provided to New York area educators. Back-To-School Day of Discovery at Cablevision's Headquarters in Bethpage, NY was a partnership between Discovery Education, Cablevision Power to Learn, The Science Channel HD, and MSG Varsity. Steve Dembo was the keynote. Several of the NY DEN Leadership Council were on hand and/or presented.
During the day's festivities, I presented two sessions Fly with Your Students – Discovery Education and Google Earth. You may be interested in the following resources created for the event:
It was such a pleasure to connect the dots with so many interested educators. Considering this event was held in the summer I am impressed with the turn out. As always a learned a great deal from listening to Steve Dembo (@teach42). I had listened to him present on the same topic before but every time you walk away with something new. I love that no two Dembo presentations are exactly the same. I strive to be a snowflake educator. It will be one of my goals this year. To as the actress Mo'Nique said last night "be a work of art" not a "piece of work". I hope to help the staff that I work with to use Google Earth to engage learners more this year.
I am grateful for my interactions with the DEN. Thank you for helping me to grow my PLN. I look forward to all the new tools I have to bring to my work in a few weeks.
Special thank you to the kind participant who took some photos of me presenting. Usually the members of the New York DEN Leadership Council take turns photographing each other during presentations for the archive. Unfortunately those NYDENLC members present were all involved in activities today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Unconference Format

Just attended a really cool event planned at #DENLC10.  It was termed an "unconference".  Instead of top down... here this is today's agenda the participants tossed out ideas.  Individual passions uncovered today's mutual passions and discussions.  It was an incredible experience to be a part of.  Last night people threw out ideas.  Someone's comment sparked my own thought "How can I better utilize inexpensive MP3 players in the classroom?".  I decided to stand up and be counted and offer the suggestion to the group.  There were a few nods and so it was.  Then today we broke up into several sessions and discussed our topics.  I enjoyed all three topics that I was a part of today.  But I am so impressed by the communal knowledge that came for from today's exercise.  We created a google doc where we all collected information regarding the use of mp3 players in the classroom.  The amount of resources and ideas that were brought about I am just so impressed by.  Thank you to all those who participated in RL and virtually!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ISTE is Around the Corner

The ISTE conference is just around the corner.  How fast the year seems to have gone by!  Do you notice that while you are living through the school year it seems to take forever to get to June? And yet, somehow once about April arrives summer vacation appears very quickly.  Now is conference season, crunch time for end of the year projects, standardized tests, end of the year celebrations and so much more.  Thank goodness for Bejeweled to provide me with an outlet to relax.

But one of my other activities these days, while relaxing behind my computer, in the evenings is exploring the ISTE Ning. I have enjoyed my leisurely exploration of the conversations and resources that are taking place there.  How nice to grow my PLN from the comfort of my living room!  People are sharing interesting websites, events to attend, tips for technology integration, and more.  Everyone is wonderful about providing support to those on the boards.

Which brought me to wonder, what are you looking forward to most when ISTE 2010 is in full swing?  Are you thinking more about attending the sessions to develop your skills? Are you thinking about using your skills to have discussions with your peers? Are you planning on collecting new resources to implement in September? What is your goal with the conference (live or virtual)? I would love to hear your opinion. Please feel free to share your focus for the event.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Yes, I Googled

There recently was a movie which had a character shyly admit, “Yes, I googled!”  Why be embarrassed!?  I think you should be embarrassed if you don’t take the time to Google yourself every now and then.  I did so this evening.  I am glad I did. 

I never noticed this picture on the Internet before.  It came up on Google.  I love the caption which appears with it.  Apparently Discovery Education posted “Educators from across the NYC Tri-State Area visited Discovery’s NYC office to get digitally fit. DEN New York Leadership Council member Jeannine Shields presented a great lesson plan utilizing Discovery Education’s Assignment Builder loaded with over a dozen powerful health videos for students to access. They loved the bags full of DVD’s and Educator Toolkits from the Discovery Health Channel!” on Flickr.  This was from an event last year.  I appreciate the positive statements written as the caption.

But finding this lovely post reminds me just how important it is to periodically run your name through a search engine.  You can’t always control what is written.  People may have negative or positive comments to make.  Everyone has an opinion.  But isn’t it better to know what is being said.  Of course it is nicer when it is positive such as the comments written by Discovery for the gallery. 

Thanks, Discovery!  But knowledge is power as they say.  More power to you.  Now get out there and search for yourself.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Enthusiasm Goes a Long Way

Today, I had some great conversations with my colleagues.   I love hearing the enthusiasm that has taken over our building when it comes to using technology for instruction.  A teacher recently left me a note and sent me an email describing how her SMART Board, interactive white board, was not working. "It is impossible to teach without it!" Impossible? Hardly.  Better with the use of a SMART Board? Absolutely.

Another teacher came to me to discuss the possibilities of putting digital cameras in the hands of her students.  Of course.  We have the technology.  Let's use the technology!

Yet another teacher is proud of herself that she invested in a flashdrive and is ready to begin creating interactive lessons for her students.  Her enthusiasm despite some previous apprehension is contagious.

And then of course, the wonderful discussion I had today with administration.  Having individuals see the power behind the use of technology is just an amazing transformation.  This leadership hopefully will help inspire others in the building to embrace the power behind these tools.  The ability to bring the best learning experiences to our students without much effort (now at the click of a mouse) and a little planning is changing the face of our building.

I am thrilled to be a part of this contagious enthusiasm that is swirling and spiraling throughout the building.  Thank you to all those I work with who take the time and effort to seek me out to plan and develop enriching experiences for our students. It is a pleasure.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year and New Technologies

Every year it seems the industry discovers newer, more wonderful devices than the previous year.  Tonight being New Year's Eve had me thinking about what we can expect during 2010.  Who would have thought we would have many of the items we can't live without a few years ago.  Computers and technology are all around us.  I noticed tonight while watching Carson Daly host the New York City ball dropping festivities... the count down was a plasma display on a jumbotron.  When they celebrated New Year's Eve a hundred years ago was this concept ever imagined? Even just 10 years ago would we have envisioned watching a multicolored digital display synced to the very moment when 12:00:00 occurs? 

I look forward to the year ahead.  Technology has helped us with so much.  In the field of instructional technology it is amazing what can be accomplished with some imagination and some IT.  I can't wait to see what "it" items will come out on the market this year.  And the impact those new technologies will have on our instructional practices.  Are you ready for the new decade at hand?