Let’s get this right!

The power of the internet is hard to understand sometimes.

Working with students at King George on Wednesday, they were determined to achieve perfection. As we were shooting segments for their news broadcast, they kept wanting to redo scenes over and over again. I finally had to tell them we only have so much time and they would have to settle for something less than perfection.

Why were they so concerned about the quality of their work? Are they simply perfectionists? Are they this way about all their work?

I think knowing they will have a larger audience makes all the difference. A website called fanfiction illustrates this point well.

Why worry about work that only one person will see, when you can share you work with thousands?

This is what the King George students were essentially telling me.… Read the rest

Stumble….a cool way to find new stuff

I’ve been using FireFox for a few weeks now and I have to say I’m hooked. I’ll be mentioning it at my session “a few of my favourite things” at the Moose Jaw Teachers’ Convention at the end of the month.

FireFox is an excellent browser for many reasons. One of my favourite features is extensions. These are small add-in programs that can do many things from the obsure and useless to the very customizable and useful. One I just installed is called Stumble upon.

You choose your interests and then instead of a search engine, it will take you to sites that match your category. You decide whether you like it or not and that information is stored for you. So instead of mindlessly wandering, click stumble and you’d be amazed at what you find. Here are couple of examples of what I found today.

A photo essay on time….family photos over almost 30 years. Very interesting.

Satellite images
….choose from several satellites and get live shots of your location. Tremendous teaching applications. Understanding day and night, etc….

Singing horses…a little flash movie where you can control a four part quartet.… Read the rest

Project Edge

An interesting experiment is underway. Two high school students are essentially leading an eJournalism project covering the 2005 Teachers’ Convention. Project Edge features 15 students from 5 schools ranging from grade 6-12. We have done similar projects here in Moose Jaw. Full Coverage was part of the 2003 Convention.

The difference with this project is that students are running the show. They are organizing, training and in charge. Myself and another teacher are the support teachers but are working really hard at removing ourselves from the process. I always have trouble keeping my hands off but I’m learning to let it go. As my colleague discovered this morning during a training session, these kids really don’t need us here.

Hopefully we can just stay out of their way!… Read the rest

Visual Communicator

One of the great products I had a chance to look at at FETC was a product called Visual Communicator.

My involvement with video has me examining many tools and this one has some very special applications and possibilities. It isn’t a video editor as such but a program that will create some very professional presentations. Using green screen technology, it can do amazing things. I am hoping our schools that are currently doing video broadcasts, can really benefit from this program.

Here’s a really silly example of what it can do.
Watch video

I found a pretty good deal at Tiger Direct for less than $200.… Read the rest

FETC

I had the priviledge of attending FETC in Orlando Florida at the end of January. A conference of over 12,000, it featured some excellent sessions, workshops and exhibits. Seeing the latest and greatest in educational technology is not only cool but constantly challenges us as educators to examine how students can learn more and what technologies will provide the best learning experience.

Overall, education certainly has some huge questions to ask.

Willard Daggett, claims Rip Van Winkle would feel more comfortable in most schools today than he would anywhere else. That’s pretty sad but probably true. We need to be very proactive and move out of our comfort zone.… Read the rest