Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Non-fiction Resources ... paper or plastic (www.)

I have had a number of conversations with teachers and administrators on whether or not purchasing non-fiction paper source is worthwhile. We have heard of a number of schools that have stopped putting money into non-fiction resource.

Here is my belief.

Division I and II need paper source.

Division III need a lot of training on how to search the internet properly, how to use data bases and how to cite sources.

Division IV should be able to find almost all non-fiction resources on-line and in paper sources such as periodicals. Again, division IV needs help on how to research properly.

What do you think?

What does your school do?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How do I start Web 2.0?

I was asked the other day where to begin. I take every opportunity possible to talk to my staff about web 2.0 and get them using it. So when the question came, I had 100 answers. I quickly came back to blogging. I believe blogging is the beginning and one can learn so much form there.

"So, how do I start blogging?" - Random staff member.

I gave the following list of questions and instructions.
1. What do you want to blog about.
Choose a hobby or a professional topic or theme OR blog with your class.
a. Professional Blog --- Use Blogger or Wordpress
b. Class Blog --- Use ClassBlogmeister

2. Then I was asked what to blog about.
Answer: The best way is to write about interests or current topics.
Then, try to post pictures and videos in your blog entries.
Then, try making some image generation and hyperlinks in your blog entries.
*** All the while, read other blogs. Get a reader and begin blogging about
what you read or use things you read in your blog. ***

This is what I said.

What are the other opinions out there?

Better blogs?
Better way to start?
Wikis vs. Blogs?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

MacklinStaff » STF PD Day May 5

MacklinStaff » STF PD Day May 5

So I presented with Donna Desroche at the Tri-west STF PD day in North Battleford.  Our presentation, as laid out on the wiki, was on using a content management site like Drupal in a school.  The presentation was supposed to have Owen Odonovan presenting as well but Owen was unable to make it.

The presentation went great.  Donna explained both what you need on the technical end and how to take the most basic Drupal site and get it ready for school use.  Donna described how to set up colours and skins, user accounts, modules and blocks. 

I was then in charge of discussing how Macklin School trained and uses the newe Drupal school site.  I explained the different things I tried at our school.  The most successful being the one-on-one.  I also explained our failures, mostly trying too much too fast.  You can see all of the material I have used and tried on the wiki link at the top of this article.

I also learned that Google docs has  a great publishing option that formats quite nicely into Drupal.  I received a quick demo but I will have to play with it.  More on that in postings to come.

All in all it was a good presentation.  Nothing is better that learning something new when you are the presenter.

ps.  I was supposed to present the same presentation alone for the second session.  No one showed up so I got in on Donna's Social bookmarking presentation.

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

MacklinStaff » April 25 PD Day

MacklinStaff » April 25 PD Day

On April 25 I put on a full PD day for our school.  I had three items on my agenda: Digital Citizenship presentation, Digital Story Telling Workshop and finally time to work on, perfect or learn for the first time about our new school website.  Here is how it went.

1. Digital Citizenship Presentation
This started out horribly with major technical problems. (No wireless, speakers not working, wireless working then laptop freezes, etc.)  In the scramble fix it time we conversated about what digital citizenship is and how it pertains to our personal and professional life.  Throughout the rest of the presentation a lot of great conversations happened.  A few points that came out of it were; 1. Facebook is too abused and therefore has no place in the school. 2. It is easy to catch older students doing something wrong if you know a few tricks.  3. There are great programs out there to make life easier and safer for parents, teachers and students alike. alert

2. Digital Storytelling
Based on what Bready School did, I split my staff into five groups and each group had to retell a story using one of five programs. (Voicethread, Kerpoof, Comiqs, Slideshare, Tuxpaint) This went great since I told my staff that these would stay private.  Each group learned a Web 2.0 application and had some fun, staff morale!  These turned out to be VERY entertaining.

3. School Web Site
Most of my staff had already created their pages off of our school website.  A few more learned how to get their pages going as well.  I also had a number of staff members confident enough that they were helping others.  This was GREAT!!!  We did not have much time for this but it did get us to almost 100% teacher pages.  We still have a couple of teachers that have not started their pages but by next school year, we will have 100% of the teachers maintaining their own websites.

All in all, the day was a huge success.  I realized that for the most part my staff is either computer savvy or willing to learn and therefore we can move forward with our use of the new web 2.0.  Coming out of this day I also have a new crop of attendees coming to my Wednesday TechTips workshops.
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