Thursday, December 2, 2010

Early Impressions of Moodle2

It has been a few weeks since I attended a distance learning conference in Durham, and several days since the eagerly awaited release of Moodle2. In that time I've tried to connect the info in the sparse notes I've taken and resources on the web with what I am seeing in Moodle 2.

I owe my early impressions to both the "tire-kicking" I've done in a few Moodle2 servers and my attendance in an excellent session on Moodle2 from Michelle at Remote-Learner and Martin Dougiamas's keynote at the NC3ADL conference. I'll limit my post to a few elements I think are "big deals," as well as a few areas I'll be watching before I get too excited.

The Big Deals:
  • Files - File Management in Moodle2 will be a big change. The ability to easily access files over different courses and the adding of repositories from external sites like Flickr and GoogleDocs will be game changers. The "file picker" is easy to use, but this will be a significant change from the current system and the way files operate.
  • Hubs- I love the idea of a moodle hub as a repository sharing courses. I hope this will not only create some opportunities for openness and collaboration but also might encourage more discussions about the elements of a good online course. Sharing quality course materials across institutions, colleges and departments seems like an idea whose time has come.
  • Conditional Activities & Completion Tracking- Completion Tracking might be the perfect tool for allowing students and instructors to track their progress in a course. Activities could be set for automatic marking or allow students to check when complete. Conditional Release is one of the additions Moodlers have anticipated most. The ability to allow an activity only when a condition has been met might change the ways many courses are currently setup. I did hear at least a few calls for caution in using this lest your course become a series of conditional releases creating a maze for your students to navigate.
Cautiously Awaiting Word on....
  • Backups - This is also a big deal. The file extension for Moodle2 backups is different and given some of the significant differences between the two versions, I wonder when (don't want to think "if") there will be a way to restore a Moodle 1.9 course backup into a Moodle 2 course.
  • Blogs and Wikis -I have never liked the blogs or wikis in 1.9. Maybe its because there have always been better tools provided outside the walls of Moodle. So I am interested to see more of how these will look in Moodle2. The new blog in Moodle2 allows comments, and they may be linked to create a “blog about it” scenario. For Bloggers already using an outside/external blogsite, content can be easily pulled down into the improved Moodle blog. The new wiki tool has supposedly been rebuilt, but I haven't yet explored or seen the differences.
  • Mobile Moodle - Although it is not a part of the new release of Moodle, Mobile Moodle was mentioned by Martin Dougiamas as a part of his conference keynote. I'll continue to be interested in the development of the official Mobile Moodle App and how it might create more anytime environments for learning in Moodle.
As with any release of a new version of any technology there is level of of uncertainty. I have heard more than once from several sources, "I'll probably wait until 2.1 or even 2.2". But I like what I see so far, and this version doesn't seem to be adding more but possibly making better what is already in Moodle.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Openness, Sherpas and ECI831 or Why I Follow So Many Canadians

"Open"courseware is not new. There are several institutions, including heavyweights like MIT that are offering up course materials available for anyone to take and use. There are materials on iTunes U and YouTube EDU but how many institutions or professors will allow noncredit students to attend class sessions and interact with the class?

For the second year in a row I'm taking the ECI831 course, and I didn't fail it the first time. I'm a member of Alec Couros' growing group of non-credit students/mentors. I participate in as many of the online sessions as I am able and interact with the students in the course through the blog posts and twitter. True there is no credit for the course, but I'll benefit from the resources, ideas and learning in the course even if the topics are familiar to me.

Not only do I enjoy the course, but I'm a big fan of Alec's efforts and work in open education. He's not the only person advocating for Open(ness) in Education, but he's likely one of few who will invite you to participate in his classes.

This kind of openness requires a shift from the traditional closed classroom with teacher delivering content model. As part of Alec's recent session he talked about the role of the sherpa guiding learners through landscapes filled with social media and networks, knowledge and media literacy. This is the role that must be embraced at least partially for openness in our schools to occur. It's a little scary being open and transparent in our practices. Being open puts us out there for other to judge and maybe criticize. But it also allows for support and connecting, and as uncomfortable as it may be to shift to the sherpa role, I suspect that is more of what's needed now.

For one, the world is more open, allowing us the potential to make new connections and learn in amazing ways. But it's also needed because both education and teachers have been under fire lately. Openness and transparency might allow schools to connect with communities and parents and show the kinds of learning experiences happening in their classrooms. As a parent with a young child in public school, I like openness in the classroom, not because I want my child in the open and not because I don't trust her teacher, but rather because I want to see the learning that takes place and applaud and support the efforts of her really fine teacher.

A little more openness in education, whether it's courses in universities or in elementary schools, might give all a chance to be a part of a bigger learning community.

Additional Links:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why I'll Keep Blogging

I used to be a lot of "pull" not a lot of "push" on the web. I was a little more "R" not a lot of "R/W." The Internet was a vehicle for finding info., and while I enjoyed the birth of web 2.0 sites, I didn't do a lot of sharing or publishing myself.

I could come up with a lot of reasons I didn't share; not enough time, not enough energy, and concern about privacy/sharing too much. But I'll admit mostly is was because I've never liked committing to the process of writing. I like brainstorming and writing, but don't like editing and revising much. Coming up with blog ideas is fun - writing it out in a way that makes sense - not so much. My wife, who is an editor by trade, can attest to all that I am saying.

Finally, there also was something a little unsettling about putting my ideas "out there." The ideas are now available for the learning, but also the critiquing and evaluating . . . globally. Sometimes it sounds a little far-fetched to say so, but I knew it was what the technology allowed- your ideas to be on display for anyone online. So really, for all those reasons, it was easier not to blog.

But all that changed when I went to work for Marlo Gaddis, head of instructional technology in Winston-Salem. Her department had a blog which all members of the team were invited to (expected to) contribute. So in May 2008 I became a blogger.

My first several posts were admittedly unspectacular. I posted early on because it was a requirement, but over time I found I enjoyed the process of publishing and sharing ideas. It became an important step for reflecting on my learning.

In August of 2008 I was pleased with my post on "The Hole in the Wall Project" and the one about my favorite tool at the time Zoomit. Then in March 2009 I got a comment on my blog from a teacher in Norway. And pretty soon I was jotting down ideas during the week of what might be my next blog post.

I remember the conversations about the posts with one of my colleagues, April, who was a gifted writer herself, and found I enjoyed our discussions about blogging. She mentioned the idea of creating a blog to cross post to that could serve as a collection of all my posts; a great idea for an online portfolio. After some consideration I took the additional step and created this blog for cross posting.

I can't say I've gotten a lot of comments on this blog, as most of the attention went to posts on the bigger district blog, but still it's been a worthwhile project. Still the highlights have been some of the comments and conversations from educators I respect who have taken a moment to comment on the posts. The process of blogging, publishing and connecting has benefited me a great deal.

In fact a few months ago, after proofing my latest post my wife casually remarked that my writing had improved (a little) since starting to blog. It was high praise coming from the editor who will often shake her head at my cavalier attitude towards conventions and grammar rules.

So now that I've moved into another job, there's no clear expectation in place for continuing to blog. But I think I still will. I've benefited from the reflection and writing process that goes into blogging, and I don't want that to end. I think I'll keep it up with a tip of the hat to my former boss who applied the gentle nudge that started the ball rolling. I think the blogging is less about the publishing and more about the learning and connections that are made.

So I'm going to try to keep it going.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What You Can Do with Creative Commons

In the past it seems the only time I've been asked to talk about copyright is when there was a danger someone might not be observing it. I've held many workshops where there is just a short time to remind participants not to post copyrighted material to their website, blog, wiki etc. . . And because the workshop wasn't solely about copyright and because copyright can be confusing, I've seldom had the time to fully answer questions or give what I feel are good alternatives. Therefore the quick message was a lot of "don't" and "can't" and not much of "can" or "do." And this is often the same message passed on to students.

But I think we can empower ourselves and our classrooms with some "can's" and "do's." A good alternative is Creative Commons (CC), which is a movement I've been a fan of for some time. To be clear, I am not a copyright expert or a lawyer, but from my perspective, the appeal of this option is that it seems relatively straight-forward. There there are some great posts and sites on how CC can be used by educators. Perhaps one of the best examples are the posts by the Clever Sheep who has created several resources for Creative Commons and education.

So here is my best take on using Creative Commons materials in your classrooms:
With CC, the creator can license work for reuse or noncommercial use. There are some guidelines, but much of the material is licensed for noncommercial use, so educators and students have the ability to use and reuse great media without the fear of copyright violation. There are a lot of sites with high quality media that are licensed with Creative Commons. I have listed a few of my favorites below.

CC Licensed Images:
CC Audio:
All CC Media:
One of the best options for students and teachers may still be creating your own media. Basically if you take the picture or create the music, you own the copyright. And this could be a great moment to discuss the licensing options and how it impacts a creative work. Maybe you and your students will license your work with Creative Commons license and add to the content being used and shared by educators.

You might find that Creative Commons is a way to have copyright discussions that don't just revolve around what you can't do.

Additional resources for CC in education:
Images used:

Monday, August 2, 2010

WSFCS Online Learning

Sometime in June, WSFCS Online Learning had it's 600th participant receive credit for an online technology course since October of last year. If I'd planned ahead I would have had confetti and balloons falling from the ceiling and a shopping spree for the lucky teacher.

Although I think 600 is a huge number, and we'll exceed 700 almost immediately in the new school year when courses again open for enrollment, I think the numbers are only important in that they show the growth and the prospects for the future.

The real story is the way our district has changed the ways we offer professional development to better meet the needs of our educators. Teacher's time is at a premium, and while I think it will always be important to offer face-to-face workshop in professional development, teachers appreciate having the option of taking some courses and some coursework online. Courses can be self-paced and participants can choose when to take the courses. This can be a important factor for teachers who need more time in workshops or educator's whose schedules don't always allow them to attend the workshop when scheduled at their schools. There is tremendous value in allowing educators in our district these choices.

So what does the future hold for WSFCS Online Learning? The site and course catalog has grown exponentially over the last year, and there will be more and more professional development in many different areas for interested educators. We'll continue working with the great folks in our instructional department to make sure all professional development has a place on our site, and we hope to build programs that help new teachers in our district. So we're growing and hope you'll take the time to experience online learning for yourself. You might find the time and ownership it affords you is exactly the ingredient you need in your professional development in the new school year.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"AwesomeHighlighter" is...well, awesome

We live in an exciting time for web-based tools. There is no shortage of great free options that can be used in the classroom. The challenge often exists when wading through all of them on the Internet and finding the right ones for your class. My latest recommendation for an addition to your "teacher toolbox" is "the awesome highlighter."
The awesomehighlighter can be used to highlight text on web pages and create a link to the highlighted page.

It's a great way to provide a little guidance or instructions for using a site (above) or maybe posting discussion questions on a website (below). After you have highlighted the site and posted discussion questions, you will be given a unique url that you can then share via email or on your website. It is easy to use and free without the need to set up an account. Although you may choose to create one in order to save highlighted pages.

I think the awesomehighlighter can be used in classrooms with interactive whiteboards, projectors or mounted flatscreens, but also by teachers who would like to add the awesomehiglighted link to their websites.
Awesomehighlighter, a cool little web tool worth adding to your collection.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Twitter & Foursquare-A Game Worth Playing?

My blog posts, for the most part, follow a predictable pattern. I blog about experiences in ed tech or maybe a new tool I've found that I feel deserves attention. I generally avoid topics that I think will create a stir, in part because I cross-post on my department's blog, but also because I don't like to publicly rain on parades. However, sometimes a lot can be learned from a discourse on a subject and maybe a good comment to a blog post will help me learn something.

So here goes . . . I don't like Foursquare, and I think it deters efforts to encourage educators to use Twitter.

I'm not a "foursquare expert," but I'll explain it as best I can. On Wikipedia, Foursquare is described as a location-based social networking website that allows users to "check in" at locations and earn points, badges, etc. . . . Foursquare can be integrated with Twitter so when a Foursquare user "checks in" the update is broadcast in Twitter.

In the past year I've spent some time talking about the ways I think Twitter can be a great tool for educators to build a PLN that will share ideas and resources related to learning and education. I've tried to dispel the notion that Twitter is for movie stars and narcissists who think the rest of the world cares what they are doing. Because I believe Twitter is a great tool for making connections and sharing ideas with other skilled, passionate educators from around the globe. Then along comes Foursquare which allows users to turn in location-based reporting into a game. Collecting badges and ousting others from their "foursquare Mayor" duties.

Now I'm not arguing there couldn't be educational value attached to Foursquare (on field trips, for example), and I know there is a need to learn technology ourselves so we can help guide students to make wise decisions using mobile technology. I won't even scratch the surface on some of the privacy issues that need to be considered with any location-based programs. And I don't have issues with geolocation games (who doesn't like games?).

I'm focused on Foursquare's impact on Twitter because my twitterstream will now occasionally include:

"John Doe just became Mayor of Best Buy"
"Jane Doe just unlocked her newbie badge"
"I'm at Chick-fil-a at Northgate Mall"

(Sigh) Now I know I could "unfollow" users of Foursquare and these updates would disappear. But a lot of these people often bring real value to my network. I respect and learn with many of these educators, and I don't want to lose that value. And I am not against some of the social aspects of Twitter. I really enjoy some of the support and water cooler banter that is on Twitter every day. So I'll tolerate the updates on where you ate lunch because I value you, your ideas and your commitment to education.

But for the new user, the skeptic, the teacher short on time who is still evaluating Twitter or the tech dept making decisions about whether Twitter is a website worth unblocking for teachers, I think Foursquare is a negative force. I think it adds to the notion that Twitter is just a social tool meant to report "What's happening?" I think while Foursquare helps Twitter become a more "social" tool, it harms the credibility of Twitter as a "learning" tool.

So Foursquare users am I uniformed? Not giving Foursquare a fair chance? Missing out?

Additional Reading:
Image Credits:
Both images used were licensed under CreativeCommons

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Promethean Planet for Storage

When Promethean Planet recently upgraded their site and released the news they would be giving users 1 GB (yup, 1 GB!!) of storage space, I immediately thought of all the teachers I've known who've dealt with issues regarding how best to store their Activboard flipcharts.

Our district offers each teacher space on district servers, but teachers who are heavy users and develop and save flipcharts all year long often eventually max out that space.
I've seen teachers who have carried around several color-coded flashdrives each filled with flipcharts or purchased external hard drives to hold all their flipcharts. Of course issues arise when you don't have the equipment on hand or the hardware is misplaced or fails.

The best solution now may be to keep Activboard files on the Promethean Planet. I've expressed my love for cloud computing in the past, and I'm pleased to see Promethean is providing this service for Promethean Planet members. With 1 GB of space for flipcharts teachers can purge those "My Documents" and flashdrives and use Planet not just as a place to search for resources, but also a place to store files as well. Kind of a one-stop shop for Promethean-related files.

Teachers always need to be aware of the information they put online, but the vast majority of the flipcharts I own don't contain any specific user information, so I'll enjoy having my flipcharts in one spot.

The one drawback I can see in my plan is that I am at the mercy of my Internet connection and Promethean Planet's site, but the lure of 1 GB of storage is enough to get my attention. And as teachers who use Promethean Planet plan and prepare for the next school year, I'll encourage them to look into this free storage option.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summertime Blogs

The summer can be a great time for reflection and planning for implementing new ideas for the upcoming school year. Teachers often use the summer months as the time to try out some new things and plan for how to integrate technology into their lessons. So as the school year begins to wind down for 2009-10, I'd like to suggest my Teacher's Top 3 Blogs for Summer Reading.

These are all blogs I've been following that I feel provide easy ways to incorporate technology into your classroom, whatever grade you teach.
  • I've mentioned Richard Byrne's before as a great blog to follow for reviews of tech tools and ways they can be used in the classroom. His blog posts are concise and often don't just discuss the tool but also ways it can be used for educators.
  • Kelly Tenkely's blog is another blog worth following. I think Kelly's Promethean Quick Tips should be required reading for teachers in our district who have activboards. But her audience is not just teachers with activboards. Her blog often highlights a site or tool that any classroom could use.
  • Vanessa Cassie's blog moved this year to . She offers several posts for the SMARTboard users, but like Kelly offers a lot of tips for people using any interactive whiteboard or even none at all.
Again all these blogs are short reads that yield a lot of valuable content and would be great sites for those who are just starting to following blogs. There are several others I feel could be added to the list, but it's the summer after all, so I'll keep the reading list brief. Just a little extra education for that much-deserved vacation. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

If You Build It....

Our district is currently changing website providers from Schoolcenter to Schoolwires. No small feat for a district our size. So much of my time lately has been spent in these efforts at schools and online providing help for teachers to move content and create with the new Schoolwires site.

In some of these work sessions, I've heard teachers voice what is a common concern at some of our schools.

"Why do I need to create a webpage? My students don't have Internet at home, and parents don't check it."

I've heard this response before when talking about blogs, wikis, voicethread, animoto, or almost any web2.0 tool. And when answering I try to channel my best voice from Field of Dreams.

"If you build it they will come."

It is true some of our communities do not have widespread Internet access, but I suspect if they feel the teachers are providing important information and showcasing their child's classroom many in fact will come and find a way to check the site. I've found students also find ways to get online and check classroom sites if they have a reason, especially if they think they'll see some of their own work. Indeed some of the best blogs and websites in our district belong to teachers whose students and class parents may or may not be able to get to it at home. But those teachers' sites look great, and I suspect people find ways to get to the sites.

And although it wasn't in Field of Dreams, I can almost guarantee that if you don't build it they will not come.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Making Connections

I was invited to Ms. Alexander's Science class last week. Her fifth grade class was being taught a science lesson involving energy and simple machines by a guest instructor at Carolina Biological in Burlington. All week her classes had the opportunity to watch and interact with this scientist via videoconference.

And as I watched the students ask and answer questions of Mike, as he performed experiments, created simple machines and quizzed the kids on the results, I thought of a memorable quote by Will Richardson.

"We as educators need to reconsider our roles in students' lives, to think of ourselves as connectors first and content experts second."

The quote appeared in Edutopia as well as on a picture on flickr by Dean Shareski (see below). I've used this quote for some time in presentations during technology integration sessions. The picture from flickr provides that visual for "teachers as connectors" I like to use. And I like that "technology" is not mentioned. Technology is a great vehicle for the connections, but it's still about the teachers and students.

Technology has the most potential in classrooms where teachers, like Ms. Alexander, embrace the idea of becoming a connector. And for technology to make the biggest impact, it needs to be used as a tool for transforming instruction not an "add-on" to the current instruction in the classroom. Ms. Alexander wasn't showing videoconferencing to her students, but instead allowing videoconferencing to show her class a guest instructor. And I think the important distinction to make is that she was utilizing technology to create an educational experience rather than just using technology.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Write On WSFCS Wiki Year 2

This month wrapped up the second installment of the Write On WSFCS wiki, a wiki webpage used to create a district writing project for elementary schools. I was pleased many of the teachers and classrooms involved last year were willing to take it on again this year, and despite the snow days elementary schools across the district did an awesome job taking turns writing and illustrating this year's story.

This has become one of my favorite projects over the last two years, and I hope the students and teachers enjoyed the project as much as I did.
My thanks to all the classes and teachers that participated. Please check out our story at

Monday, April 19, 2010

Need Some Earth Day 2010 Resources?

With Earth Day 2010 only a few days away, it's a great time to integrate a few Earth friendly activities into the day's lessons. Whether your school has planned a day of events or whether you'll be observing a little Earth Day in your classroom, it's nice to have some ideas and resources to pull for use in the class.

In years past I'd spend some time googling "Earth Day" to see what came up, but now I've found several educators and websites who have put together lists of great Earth Day resources.

Here is a list of a few sites that can connect you to some great ideas for Earth Day:

Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

NCTIES 2010: Why Tweet?

This is the first blog of what I'm sure will be several posts inspired by my time at the 2010 NCTIES conference in Raleigh. As I've reflected and read some of the recent blog posts from the great educators and presenters who attended the conference, I echo many of their thoughts. The conference is a whirlwind of new ideas and a brief chance to meet some of the really important figures in Edtech.
And I was pleased to have the opportunity to present a session at this year's conference. My session "Why Tweet?" was designed to make the case for why educators should use Twitter as a tool for creating a personal learning network (a phrase I heard repeated several times at many different sessions). My session grew from my realization that the Twitter workshop I've led in the past didn't always result in teachers who continued to use Twitter after the workshop. I always got good feedback and people enjoyed seeing the tool and hearing me talk about it, but they stopped short of using it for very long themselves. Why? I think maybe too much of the workshop was about "the tool" and not enough about "why use the tool."
So I traveled to Raleigh with a new approach. Show the tool, share how I've used it, and explain the ways I've seen it utilized to share great ideas, resources and make connections. Thinking that if the presentation made sense, participants might spend the time to set up the account and get started.
Early Friday morning I presented "Why Tweet?" and was pleased and honored to see some folks roll out of bed to hear me talk about Twitter for an hour. I also appreciated the support of some who already use Twitter, are already a part of my PLN and really didn't need a rationale of why they should useTwitter but still were there; it's always nice to see a few familiar faces in the crowd.
So while I was satisfied with the session, I was even more pleased to connect with some from the session on Twitter. I'm a believer in the power of the personal learning network, and it's changed the way I learn and access information. So much good results when learners network.
I've included the presentation below if you'd like to check it out.

Monday, March 1, 2010


One of my goals is to provide teachers with quality, usable technology tools for their classrooms. Most teachers want their tech resources to be easy to learn and use (no detailed handouts or pages of notes needed), they want the new tools to have a place in their own classrooms and subject areas, and they want the new tools to save them time.

Livebinders meets all those criteria and by organizing websites and webcontent. The setup is very clear. And if you have an idea of how you'd like to organize select websites around a subject, theme, class schedule, etc... you'll be binding websites together in no time.

Using it in the classroom:
  • If you have a projector, interactive whiteboard or flatscreen TV, Livebinders is a great way to present websites to your classes. In presentation mode the Livebinder is visually appealing and allows you to quickly jump from webpage to webpage without opening new browsers or tabs.
  • Your Livebinders can be used in centers on the classroom computers, allowing students to explore a topic or theme while staying on the websites chosen by the teacher.
  • Your binders can be linked to your webpage or embedded in a blog or wiki. This permits students to access the Livebinder from any connected computer. Livebinders are a great way to collect sites to support or enrich classroom instruction.
  • Finally, while a Livebinder can be set to "private," many of the livebinders are public and teachers can benefit from the broader community of educators using Livebinders - seeing and using websites other teachers have found.
Livebinders is a functional, easy-to-use addition to any teacher's tech toolbox. Check it out at and if you're interested in see a few examples first, check out my Livebinders on the SMART and Promethean resources below:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Best of" Edition: Great Examples of Animoto

Animoto is not new. It's been available for educators to use for years, and Evan wrote a blog post on Animoto back in 2008. So although I'll mention Animoto and how fantastic it is, and how it has so many uses in your classroom, I want this blog post to be about showcasing some fabulous teachers and how they've used Animoto. In this post I'm giving a little pat on the back to some folks who deserve it, and perhaps provide a little inspiration to anyone out there considering using Animoto.

I've been working with several elementary schools this year, and at many of the schools we've covered Animoto as one of our professional development sessions. These are just a few of the really impressive Animoto videos created by teachers at some of the schools I work with.
  • Observing Ocean Life by Ms. Johnson - what a great way to showcase student work.
  • Fifth Grade Field Trip by Mr. Plane - field trip video embedded in his blog is a unique way for students to reflect on the trip they just took or to prep the next group of students (check out the student comments on the blog).
  • Super Snowpeople by Ms. Larson - what better way to excite a kindergarten class studying snowmen than to show a quick video.
  • Winter Party 2009 by Ms. Edwards - this video is a great way to share and preserve the experience with parents and community.
  • 2009-2010 Speas Artwork by Ms. Laney- another great way to showcase student artwork for all to see.
  • Eshlemania at Sciworks by Ms. Eshleman - What student wouldn't be excited about going to Sciworks after seeing this video clip?
It's great to see some of the fantastic ways teachers use technology to support learning and the ways Animoto can be used in the classroom.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Many teachers I encounter in workshops have one desire for professional development,
"I want it to be easy to use, and I want to be able to remember how to use it after you're gone."

It's a tall order to fill sometimes. Effective use of some technology tools can take time and practice. However, it's nice when I can give them a resource that is both useful and easy to use. Photopeach is one of those resources.

PhotoPeach is a tool for creating online slideshows and basic quizzes without a lot of hassle; think web-based Photostory with a quiz feature.

There are really only two steps:
  • Upload and arrange your pictures.
  • Select background music from their catalog.
After the slideshow has been created you may choose to add multiple choice questions for each slide. That's it. I've heard some positive feedback from several teachers who work with a variety of subjects and ages groups.

Check out my basic Photopeach slideshow quiz below:

Where are we? on PhotoPeach

Photopeach could be a great addition to your tech resources, without investing a lot of time learning the program.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Call for Administrators at NCTIES

It's less than two months until the NCTIES 2010 conference in Raleigh, and I'm already looking forward to the event. I've been fortunate to attend and present at this statewide technology conference in past years. And there are several educators from around the state and speakers from around the country that I look forward to seeing. I've always left the conference with excitement and ideas about how technology can help educators and students. It's always a great experience.
That's why I'd love to see administrators from our district attend this conference. I think they would also be energized by the ideas they'll hear and the kinds of technology they will see. Administrators play such a key role as the head of their schools. The schools I've seen that seem to have the best technology integration have great teachers and tech facilitators, but they also have leadership that has a vision for technology and how it will be used in their school.
So I'm calling on the administrators (many of whom were in the Nothing But NETs Conference last summer) to look at attending at least some of the NCTIES conference this March in Raleigh and seeing some of the ways technology can impact our classrooms, teachers and students.