Monday, January 31, 2005


Need YOUR Help

I would like some input from my readers on the issue of educational games in the schools. Do you know of any schools using Games to Teach? Or has anyone used Educational Games in schools? At a conference back in November, the presenters used a software called SketchUp which was very intense but taught introductory architecture. Any input, opinions or feedback are appreciated.

Friday, January 28, 2005


Add Blogger To Your Business Cards

Eventually, (my hunch is) 0ur business cards will be replaced by blogger cards. I was reading through a New York Times on Andrew Sullivan. "This author, editor and blogger answered readers' questions about his review of two books on the use of torture by members of the American military." Look for more of this when meeting someone for the first time. I am sure we will also be seeing more people using the term "blogger" on their business cards. Here's how it will probably look.

Amy Bowllan
Director of Libra/Tech Programs, K-12
Kew-Forest Blogger


Great Minds Think Alike

Just last night I was lamenting over how honored I was to be In The Midst Of Greatness by having an impromptu chat with Chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar. Only to find that today she is the feature story off the New York City Gothamist website.
This was purely coincidental; but so well deserved for such a great role model.

Here's an excerpt from Rachel Kramer Bussel's interview:
"Susan Polgar, Chess Champion and Founder, Polgar Chess Center
Mention the name "Polgar" to any chess player, and you're bound to see a gleam of recognition, and perhaps envy, in their eye. Susan Polgar is the oldest of three Hungarian sisters (Judit and Sofia are both highly ranked players) who have revolutionized the world of chess, blazing a path for women as career players and upholding a level of talent and professionalism as the world looks to them as the female faces of the game. Susan, who holds the highly-esteemed title of Grandmaster, the first woman ever to do so, has taken her chess-playing prowess and notoriety and used it to promote and teach New Yorkers about the game with the Polgar Chess Center in Queens.
The 4-time Women's World Chess Champion got an early start, winning tournaments as early as age 4, and by age 15 was the highest ranking female chess player in the world (a title she still maintains). Her victories are quite staggering in stature and scope, ranging from Olympic wins to awards for Best Chess Column and Chess Educator of the Year. Whether you know what the Ruy Lopez is or not, her Center will have you, providing a welcoming, encouraging atmosphere for newcomers as well as more seasoned players, and by spreading the word about this centuries-old game, Polgar is helping infuse new life into it.
Why did you decide to open the Polgar Chess Center? What types of people attend and who else do you hope to attract to the Center?Owning a chess center was a childhood dream of mine. I love chess and from my 30 plus years of experience, I discovered that chess can help children of all ages do better in school as well as develop many important life skills. Research around the world has supported my belief. That is why my chess center serves as a training ground for countless children since 1997. It is like a community service. The club has members from the age of 4 to over 70."


Citing Sources Doesn't Have To Be Hard

Citation Maker

This Citation Machine is great for students working on research papers.
Citation Machine is an interactive Web tool designed to assist teachers and students in producing reference citations for crediting information from other people. You merely...
1) Click the type of resource you wish to cite,
2) Complete the Web form that appears with information from your resource, and
3) Click Make Citations to generate standard MLA & APA citations.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


In The Midst of Greatness - Polgar's Chess

Both of my children take chess classes at the introductory level. I also have always known that chess helps with learning. I'm not sure how I knew this. But some time, long ago, my dad put this theory in my head which is why I have my children taking classes today. Fortunately, the chess center where my children attend is home to the Chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar. Every week for a year I drop them off and pick them up. I say "hello" to Susan and proceed out to finish up things at school while my kids take lessons from two of the Polgar Center's fine instructors. Tonight (because it felt like 0 degrees out) I decided to change my routine (Gladwell's Book Blink says it best) and thank God I did. Susan Polgar sat with me and shared a philosophy that bypassed the freezing temperatures outside. Before I share her educational words of wisdom (a rare opportunity indeed), you should know some important information about how chess can improve one's academics: (The following excerpt is from the Polgar Website)In approximately 30 nations across the globe, including Brazil, China, Venezuela, Italy, Israel, Russia and Greece, etc., chess is incorporated into the country's scholastic curriculum. Chess can help develop critical thinking that can be used in other areas of a child's life, academics and social situations.
"Test scores improved by 17.3% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.6% for children participating in other forms of enriched activities".
The following are just some of the benefits of chess:
-Chess develops decision making, critical thinking, logical thinking,
evaluating, planning, problem solving, and perseverance skills.
-Chess improves concentration, memory, intuition and self-control
-Chess promotes independence, imagination and creativity
-Chess inspires self-motivation, self-esteem and self confidence

A mother of two, Polgar herself is extremely poised, humble and very passionate about young people learning chess. You would NEVER KNOW she's a 4-time Women’s World Champion and 5-Time Olympics Champion Grandmaster. Her center, right here in Queens is The Official Training Center of the Historic 2004 U.S. Women's Olympiad Medal Winning Team. And Susan's words to me were "chess teaches one life long learning skills on how to think, and it opens up the doors for people all over the world, regardless of their diversities to come together and think strategy of life." My words to her were, "do you have a blog?" Boy would she would have lots to share. So I did my own research and found a few chess bloggers one ironically has some information on Chess Moms Susan is one of them. Great day today...thanks Susan!


And The Winner Is?

The Internet! CNN has put together an excellent lesson plan for teachers to use on the Top 25 Innovations of our time. The broadcast of the show was on January 24th but this would be a great online research activity using the well thought out questions they provide.

(CNN) -- The world was different before the Internet.
Without the Internet, you would not be reading this. There would be no way to instantly find the name of the movie your favorite actor was in five years ago or how much it costs to fly to Aruba. Shopping required braving the elements and the crowds. Paying bills relied on the postal service.


Bye Bye Tri!

Now that students are using computers more it is only right that they use this medium for presenting their work. When I was in school five years ago (in my dreams) our book reports had construction paper as the cover and backing. And you were really cool if you tied the ends with ribbon and put glitter along the title of the project. But it seems like our students have been using those cumbersome trifold boards and probably can do more with powerpoint.
Today's New York Times PowerPoint Goes to the Fair By MARCIA BIEDERMAN article looks at past methods used by students to present science projects and uncovers the latest trend.

"Technology is rapidly changing the world of science, but it is only now starting to change the world of the science project, a ritual of the academic year. Now that computers are second nature to many students, some teachers are abandoning the traditional cardboard displays in favor of electronic files. Some are even creating PowerPoint templates to make it easier for students to produce a smart-looking showcase."

I would like to see students use varying methods to present their work but they should be taught how "NOT TO OVER-DUE SOMETHING." For example, my students KFbroadcastjournalism were asked to research news correspondents and create a powerpoint piece on their research. Some were very good but others had TOO many extra effects that took aways from their product. Let's teach the power of powerpoint so it's an effective tool and not gimicky.


Always Give Credit Where It Is Due...Even It's Hard To Keep Track Of (learning Vocabulary Can Be Fun) (4) Top 101 WebSites For Teachers (great site (3) led me to this Assorted Stuff site (2) Jenny D's site (1)

Sometimes a blogroll can put you in a maze, and back you up, and get you lost. the end of your hunt to educate others ALWAYS REMEMBER TO GIVE CREDIT for the information you find.


Meet Ms. Hall, One Of K-F's Innovative Math Teachers.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Integrating Math With Digital Information-The Hall's Way

Meet Ms. Hall...Adminstrators would pay to have a math teacher like the one we have at K-F. Not only is she innovative and smart, she is also a dynamic teacher. Just before the holiday break I videotaped her student presentations on the making and the history of kaleidescopes. Each presentation shared a math aspect plus very carefully researched information. Today, Ms. Hall was back in the tech lab and had her geometry class researching Euclid for a term research paper. She noted to the students how to cite sources and how to search the web; while imploring them to use both print and digital resources for the projects. She believes very firmly in exposing the students to a variety of math experiences while making sure they "FOLLOW HER DIRECTIONS."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Let's Not Forget

Today should be a day of remembrance, education and reflection. Today...January 25th, marks the very sad anniversary of the many Jewish lives lost during the Holocaust; but also note the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camps. While 60 years seems like a long time for our students I urge you to read the stories of the people who are still suffering from the horrific experience during this time of inhumanity as though it's today. Let's use this time to teach about our history and educate our young people to know that innocent lives, young lives...should never be lost because of bigotry, racism and hatred.

'Wall of Names' honors French Jews Of 76,000 sent to Nazi death camps, 2,500 lived

60th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, 2005

"At the Auschwitz concentration camp, evil found willing servants and innocent victims. For almost 5 years, Auschwitz was a factory for murder where more than a million lives were taken. It is a sobering reminder of the power of evil and the need for people to oppose evil wherever it exists. It is a reminder that when we find anti-Semitism, we must come together to fight it."


The Kew-Forest School's Drama Performance

Today's K-F Demo Day was a huge success thanks to students, faculty and especially Ms. Schust and Ms. Garcia who organized the event.


Emotions Do Matter While Grading Essays

Here's the next big thing coming out of Michigan...
Mich. to grade essays via computer Here's a blurb from the eSchoolNews article, "Essay tests soon could take a high-tech twist in Michigan classrooms: State education officials want to launch a pilot project this school year that would use a computer program to grade students' essay exams. "

I like the idea. However, I also know that there's a piece missing when it comes to grading and reading essays. Myself, I have graded thousands of essays and each one has the human element that only a teacher can foster and relay back to the student...the emotion, if you will. On the brighter side, if this Michigan method can help prevent the "copy and pasters" that's reason alone to buy the software. Personally, I would leave the grammatical critiques for the computers to make and the comments for the teacher to state upon grading papers. It's certainly something we should keep our eyes on and be open to.

Monday, January 24, 2005


Like I Was Saying...

The Hipteacher blog took me to the Beacon School Website which took me to the "free museums" in NYC for our students. Normally, this information is like finding a needle in a haystack but the beauty is "WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER." Blogs are the way to go.


Why I'm An Educational Blogger

Okay...I just get home and I am checking my bloglines (knowing there's going to be) great educational material. Then I'm thinking..."HOW AM I GOING TO POST ALL OF THIS GOOD STUFF for my fellow colleagues?" I guess what I'm realizing more and more is that these blogs really are a wealth of common interests sharing common ideas and links. I started with of course Will Richardson's blog who took me all the way to a Barbara Dieu' Brazilian Blog.
Then I traveled through her page, checking her furl and other web links. Next I met a Hip Teacher Next on the EduBlogRail, Dear-Teacher-To-Be from and Copyright and Plagiarism for Print, Video, Images, and Electronic Articles.

Why am I so..."oh myish?" Well , I know just 5 years ago I could never have received soooo MUCH information without jumping through hoops. The educational blogs also let me know that there are communities of people ALL OVER THE WORLD sharing information and appreciating where we are in the 21st century. Please take your time while you sift through these web sites. You will find yourself saying "Oh My! There's so much out there! Get me a Furl, bookmark or the good ol pen and paper. Now....I'm off to try and climb through this mountain of educational tools.


Information Literacy Begins in K

Maybe I missed this New York Times article on Measuring Literacy in a World Gone Digital
"In an earlier time, information came, really, from only one place: the university library," said Lorie Roth, the assistant vice chancellor of academic programs for the California State University system, one of seven school systems that worked with the testing company over the last two years to develop the test. "Now it is all part of one giant continuum, and often the student is the sole arbiter of what is good information, what is bad information and what all the shades are in between." But not everyone agrees that measuring information literacy can be done, even with a standardized test."

"But the public wants accountability. People want to ensure that colleges are actually preparing students for the future - the future being an information society." The technology test will cost colleges around $25 a student - discounted to $20 for institutions that sign up during the first testing period. Students will take the Web-based exam in classrooms or instruction labs, logging on with access codes purchased by their schools. Scores in the first round will be aggregated for each institution; the company aims to make scoring for individual students available in 2006."

I've written about this topic before (It's Easier That's Why) and (Are Schools Really Changing?) Information literacy should start at the kindergarten level and fostered throughout the grade levels so that by college time there's NO need for a formal assessment. How many college students are tested on the Dewey Decimal system? Information literacy is being debated because the students are able to access information "without the help of a teacher." They know already how to access... but I do agree with this quote from the Times..."Knowing where and how to find information, they agreed, was just the beginning. Interpreting, sorting, evaluating, manipulating and repackaging information in dozens of forms from thousands of sources - as well as having a fundamental understanding of the legal and ethical uses of digital materials - are also important components."

We have to start sooner (with ourselves learning what's out there) as a educators. That way we'll be better prepared to teach the 21st century student.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Current Events

I absolutely love this site. And it's not just because I am a newshound...check it out and see why. There is so much you can do with this as an educator. Compare and Contrast; Create Your Own Headline; Essay summary...What other teacher created assignments could be done with headlines from around the world? Let us know.


BBC and Higher Ed Blogs

Here are a few blurbs from today's BBC article on higher ed turning to blogs for education. I found it on the Scripting News blog page.

Academics give lessons on blogs (full article)

"Esther Maccallum-Stewart, a Sussex University historian is one of the pioneering British academic bloggers who are using the technology to teach and carry out research.

She is researching popular culture during World War I and had already started a personal blog when she found she was increasingly adding ideas and thoughts that were more academic.

Her students were also looking for a place which would give them access to resources, information and courses on demand."


Here's What's Happening With Phonics

Read through Joanne Jacobs blog posting on Messing with success.

"Third graders at a mostly black, mostly poor school in Rockford, Illinois aced the state reading tests, coming in second behind a school for gifted students, a few years after their school adopted scripted, teacher-directed instruction in phonics in the early grades. But fifth graders, who'd been taught under the "balanced literacy" method, were reading poorly, so the principal expanded the direct instruction program to all grades. The district relieved the principal of her instructional duties and ordered a return to "balanced literacy,"

Once students had a foundation to decode words, or sound them out as is done in phonics, teachers would move forward with other approaches. This came at the end of first grade or into second grade."

Can anyone else validate this style of learning? It's very much traditional in approach. My other question (for the experts) is "is this approach for all types of learners?" Would really love to discuss this further because of the many passionate people who think the constructivist approach is the only approach.

Saturday, January 22, 2005



Here I am posting about college professors not showing up for class and the AUDACITY they have! Well...I was just in a conversation with a colleague and hoping for Monday as a SnowDay :( Once I realized my last post was about all the time educators have off... it dawned on me that Monday is a great day to be in school. What was I thinking?


Time OFF is in the SUMMER!

Are college professors sooooo Wonderful that they can NOT SHOW UP for class? I ask because it was asked of me. I'm in the process of applying to higher ed and I also teach high school seniors and I would HATE to think that they (my students) would be subjected to negligence of attendance at the college level. I mean even in the work place...BOSSES call in sick! I guess it's the courteous thing to do.
What's going on with the Profs? Please comment. Maybe it's me but anyone in an educational outfit should be present for students. We have WAY too much time off during the year to NOT be in; even in an SNOW STORM!

Thursday, January 20, 2005


A MUST - EdTech

If you haven't already subscribed to EdTech, you should. Their articles are really informative and they ALWAYS have up to date information.


The Swearing In Of The President

If you want to teach about the Presidential inauguration, this activity from the Learning Network is for grades 3-5

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Learning Network

The Learning Network at the New York Times has wonderful current events activities for all grade levels.

Every Monday through Friday, News Snapshot features a newsworthy and provocative photo from The New York Times, along with the basic set of questions answered by journalists when relaying the news-- who, what, where, when, why and how.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Today and Tomorrow Teach Peace

Let's begin today with the understanding that our role as educators should begin with Peace. Don't let today or any other day pass without imparting that one word into our students and children in some way. Unfortunately, they are living in a world and times devoid of people fighting VISIBLY for peace. We are the people they see the most. As teachers, the more we resonate peace and incorporate the teachings of Dr. King...nations will heal and peace will prevail.

Have a great MLK day!

Saturday, January 15, 2005


Real learning can take place anywhere. Posted by Hello


That's my mom taking learning to the sky. Posted by Hello


If my mom can do it (and she is a professor) anyone can. She was brave enough to learn outside the class room. Posted by Hello


I loved typing on the Royal too! But I don't miss it.  Posted by Hello


Wake Up and Smell the Computer Keys

I can't get over how easy it is for educators to valiantly state "I won't use a computer." I have a dear friend who also prides herself on not going online or knowing ANYTHING about computers. I mean I don't walk around with a computer in my fanny-pack but I do understand that this digital medium is how our young people and their future grands will learn. OUR FUTURE PROFESSORS WON'T KNOW ABOUT THE ROYAL TYPEWRITER (unless they visit a museum).
I'm sorry for being the bearer of bad news. But as soon as professors (like the ones mentioned in this article from the New York Times Profs Who Don't (Won't) E-MailBy ABBY ELLIN

STEPHEN DIXON, professor of fiction, Johns Hopkins: ''I have to have an e-mail address -- the university insisted on it -- but I tell my students not to e-mail me. I don't use a computer either. Monitors hurt my eyes. I use a manual typewriter. I started as a newsman many years ago and I just feel comfortable with it. I don't like justified margins; it gives you the illusion of something being better than it is. I want to rewrite and retype until the work is as good as I like it.''
How can we expect students to learn what we want them to learn if we can't learn to use our hands to pick up the telephone? Email is that telephone for today's students. Actually, I would urge this prof to either get into what IM means or LOOSEN up and take a computer course.


Start With The Word School

I'm going to throw this one out to everyone because someone knows the right answer. We all know there are many theories about people and learning. But HOW DO CHILDREN LEARN BEST? My thoughts are similar to the ones mentioned in the following NYtimes article:
"If this kind of learning is what we have in mind then one answer to the big question is that schools don't teach the same way children learn. As in the gear-and-switch experiments, children seem to learn best when they can explore the world and interact with expert adults."

If this statement is true and we've considered the role of teachers in the classroom; as we oftentimes do. My firm belief is to begin with the word school and define what it means...sounds awkward I know. Wiki defines school: A school is any place designated for learning. If this is so, we need to encourage students to use all learning environments. For example, science teachers could conduct some classes in the park. Math teachers can take their students to a supermarket or go on a shopping spree. The humanities...boy...there are so many "schools" outside the classroom doors. We have to FIND WAYS TO PUT THE WORD COOL BACK IN the word SCHOOL. So students can come to class but not know what class they're going to go to. It's so much more exciting. School doesn't have to be a dull and boring, "I can't wait to get out" experience.

Friday, January 14, 2005


I have to Post Alfred's comments....He's Definitely Right ON!

Alfred said...
Teaching in the 21st century will be very slow to arrive. It will take at least another generation of teachers before all the possible changes will arrive.
The problem is INERTIA. We had math teachers at our school who would prepare all the sheets for the next year in the previous summer. Where is the flexibility? Where is the intereaction? Where is the computer technology? The blackboard is the icon of the classroom.
What have I done to break away from this monotony?
I used a video projector above my blackboard to present my lesson examples, and only used the blackboard for the finer enhancements. All my quizzes, tests, practice sheets and much of my homework was computer generated. My students could generate as many practice sheets as they needed. I had more time to actually teach my students, and devoted less of my time to the preparation drudgery.
And how did I do all this? It is all on the internet!
Go to and see for yourself.
Move into the 21st century!

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Digital Conferencing Anyone?

Please read, Educational Technology - Story of Digital Conferencing right in our own backyard.

"Teaching has taken on a whole new meaning these days at the Eastview Middle School in White Plains, New York. The classroom walls are seemingly becoming invisible as students are interacting with people from all over the world right from their classrooms." by Jody Howard-Kennedy


Ideas for Global Learning Projects

Computer-Using Educators (CUE) out of Alameda California has a great article by Linda Oaks called Integrating Technology in the Early Years (can't find her article online). In it she lists global learning projects for the K-2 grades.Flat Stanley Project
The Whale Page
Fairy Tale/Folk Tale Cyber Dictionary

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Here we are at a broadcast journalism class trip to CNBC in New Jersey. Thanks to Ms. Shah in the white sweater for a Great Time! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Teach IT With Pictures

Great minds truly think alike, even if they've never met. I've been shopping the idea to faculty members of using digital cameras as a learning tool since the summer. There are really many ways you can educate using pictures. After reading through my RSS and stumbling across The Future of Mathematics blog, I saw with my own eyes EXACTLY what I envisioned for pictures for learning link. Please check out his page. He's very informative.
Visit, Digital Camera link. MANY, MANY, MANY links


Schools Hold Their Future

Ever since the tsunami tragedy I've wondered endlessly about the school children in South Asia who were now uprooted from their normal every day lives. The New York Times today has a report on some students first day of school since the tsunami struck. There are also MUST SEE photographs in their multimedia section. Here's an excerpt from this very moving article By DAVID ROHDE.
Pupils Step Back Into a World of Books, Blackboards, and Hope

"Fatima, 15, fit all three categories: she nearly drowned when the tsunami devastated this town in eastern Sri Lanka; the black head scarf signaled that she was in mourning for her mother; and the waves had destroyed her school uniform, schoolbooks and most of her possessions."


Celebrate The Eid on January 21st

Being that our school is very ethnically diverse we really try to recognize the many cultural holidays our students celebrate. Coming up is the moslem holiday EID which is celebrated on January 21st. Here's a link you can share with your students called Celebrate Eid
"Eid is a Muslim celebration that lasts for three days at the end of Ramadan, which ends on the morning after the new moon is seen in the sky (Ramadan occurs in the ninth month of the lunar calendar). Children are told to watch for the new moon. This year, Eid is projected to begin on November 26th. During Eid-Ul-fitr Muslims exchange gifts and cards and pay visits to friends. The lyrics to this song reflect the information given to me by the families I sang for at an Eid celebration last year. I am indebted to them for teaching me about their culture, and as always, believe even a simple song can help bridge the differences between us."


Teaching about the Tsunami

Here's a lesson for lower school students you can use if you want to teach about the tsunami. Some teachers may be struggling with the aftermaths...

Tsunami Links:
1) Visit the following PBS link (view tsunami animation and woman survivor interview)
2) In your science notebooks:
a) How fast do tsunamis travel? Why do they slow down as they approach the shore?
b) What can trigger a tsunami?
c) Draw a picture of what a tsunami looks like out on the open ocean. (here is where students can take their imagination of the disaster and illustrate it) Encourage them to draw for this exercise.
d) What are ways to stay safe if a tsunami were to occur here?
e) Name some ways you could help raise money for the tsunami victims

lastly, remember the children.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Hola Espanol & Welcome Aboard

I'd like to welcome our Spanish Teacher to the blog world. She has her first post at
KFspanish and we look forward to some foreign language fun and information.

On another note, a funny incident today. One of our dynamic math teachers had class in the tech lab. She's extremely well organized and very thorough. I especially liked her directive to the online task... "Keep YOUR Eyes ON YOUR OWN MONITORS" It's certainly a sign of the times.

Sunday, January 09, 2005


Someone You Should Know

If you don't know him you should. Doug Johnson has an extensive website of Information Technology handouts, links, words of wisdom...I even bought his book called "Machines are the easy part: people are the hard part." A technology educator's bible. This book has such practical advice (with great illustrations from his son). Really, if you are a technology director or a teacher using digital information in the class room it's a MUST READ. One of my favorite mantras of his is "Technicians do not make policy. Technicians do not make policy. Technicians do not make policy. Policy and rules regarding technology use should come from educators, not technologists. Of course, smart educators will get lots of input from their techies before making policy." So says Doug...get the book it's great.


Here! Here! I'm with Ya All The Way

We have to figure out a way (as teachers) to stay ahead of the technological wave. It seems like everyday there are articles about technology and teachers NOT seeing eye to eye. CNN for students has an article on how "Schools lag behind much of society in using technology, but students are seeing benefits and clamoring for more access to computers, the government says."

"Education is the only business still debating the usefulness of technology," Paige said in the National Education Technology Plan, scheduled for release Friday. "Schools remain unchanged for the most part despite numerous reforms and increased investments in computers."

Nine in 10 children between age 5 and 17 use computers, and even higher numbers of online teenagers use the Internet for school-related work, according to the report sent to Congress. The largest group of new users of the Internet from 2000 to 2002 were kids age 2 to 5.

Yet students of almost any age are far ahead of their teachers in computer literacy, according to the report, which is based on comments from thousands of students, teachers, administrators and education groups. Students say they see this knowledge gap daily.

"I think that teachers should be required to go to a technology course," the report quotes one student as saying. Said a second student: "I think that students should have laptops to do everything in class. ... We should not have to carry heavy books all day long."

The New York Times also reveals yet another story on What's on TV? A View of Loved Ones From Afar BY JOSEPH BERGER which is about using videoconferencing to keep in touch. I'm a firm believer that we have to use as many ways that are available to reach our young people. They know where our strengths and weaknesses lie in the area of multimedia options.


North Star

I absolutely love this The North Star website. It has very practical ideas for teachers and an adorable poem and stories by Peter Reynolds called Brightest Stars about teachers. What I recommend you do is read this adorable tribute to teachers. Then try substituting the word blogger every time you see the word teacher and you'll see that bloggers and teachers are one in the same.


Educational Blogs

The educational blogging community is so great and growing! Wow, It's amazing to think that just last year, blogs weren't even a thought in my mind. My husband however (kept pushing me) was very well read on political and journalism blogs. Since then, I've learned a lot. My broadcast journalism students prior to November, never heard the word Blog. Now, when they come to class the first thing they do is log on to the class blog to read "what's in store for today." And with the tsunami on the minds of all of us, I've been researching sites for them to visit. I've also tried to keep teachers abreast on what to do for their students during these times of tragedy. WildBills' Blog has a link to eschool online news with very useful tsunami links for educators.

Save The Children for donations.

Saturday, January 08, 2005


Save The Children

Finally!!!!!!! I've been trying all day to just be able to sit and write. It's not that easy but at 11:47pm, I've finally had the opportunity. I'm starting to wonder if "instant messaging" is for me. It's hard to blog and answer IMs at the same time. I'm using the I'm Away post for that.
Anyway, one of my post tsunami goals (I told my students yesterday) is to keep the tsunami story in the news. What worries me is the thought that once it's out of the news people will (unintentionally) forget the story (myself included). My school is in the process of putting together a fundraiser for the victims. I've also heard some great stories of other schools working hard at helping raise money. Fundraisers are great but I think collecting $10 from each student is also effective. I think today's students should put up a blog and track how their donation progress is increasing. That way the students can use this as a "vocation for caring." Here are some links of schools helping the tsunami victims:

Tsunami Help Students

WJCC students and staff findings ways to help tsunami victims

Nearly 18 months ago, Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools students and staff came together to aid a community beset by one of the worst hurricanes ever to take aim at the Williamsburg area. Now WJCC Public Schools’ students and staff are banding together again to help another area devastated by a natural disaster.

Schools raise tsunami relief funds Local students work to help disaster victims By Ginger Pope Odessa American
Save The Children Website for Donations

Friday, January 07, 2005


Blogian Angel!

Any help is gladly appreciated.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


HTML For Dummies

I have had the darndest day with these blogrolls and html. I can't figure it out. But I'm trying. UUUGGHHH

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Counting to 100 can be Fun

My five year old could not count to 100 until yesterday. This online math game is a blast. See for yourself.


NYPL OFFERS Live Online Tutors

Live Homework HelpStudents in grades 4 - 12! Get help from real, live tutors via the Internet! Online tutors are now available for live homework help in math, science, social studies, English, and college prep.

I love the fact that the NYPL is constantly supplying support for online patrons to learn, learn, learn. They are really raising the bar and setting the tone for how all libraries should function in a digital age.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


words of blogwisdom

If you haven't heard yet, "blogevangelism" is a word I learned at a technology conference in Mohonk, NY. And now that blogging is front page, I've stumbled onto a page that gives a step by step on how to get your blog (for educators too) noticed.
Posted by Joe at How to Start a Blog: Part IV – The Art of Marketing Your Blog


Back To eSchool News

It took about 48 hours to get back into the routine. I'm still in "vacate" mode. I found some very informative tech articles from eSchoolNews:

Ray Schoerder from Educational Technology
The teacher-technology divide By SIMRIT KAUR Many teachers still seem clueless about integrating ICT into their
lessons. SIMRIT KAUR reports about Microsoft’s initiative to nurture innovative teachers through a groundbreaking conference in Singapore.

2005: the Blogging Backlash By Tom Hoffman "Here are a few negative trends in weblogging to look for in the year ahead."


The BBC Reports on Blogs

BBC report on Blogs

Monday, January 03, 2005


LIfe's Lessons Can Be Taught Through Tragedy

Signapore News
SINGAPORE : Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has urged schools and students to rally behind the national effort to help those affected by the tsunami catastrophe.

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Classes Tomorrow

Tomorrow begins the start of a New Year with new resolutions of course (do people still make those?). My main hope is that I'm able to organize my time better so I can finish reading the three ebooks I've checked out from the New York Public Library. This is becoming the story of my life.
Anyway, what I'll be working on with my broadcast journalism students (visit my other blog) is a LOOK BACK at how things have changed since we went on vacation. They'll also be working on a Newspapers Front Page exercise whereby I want them to compare and contrast the news from around the world in the wake of the aftermath of the tsunami tragedies.


The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library

After receiving three more new ebooks from the NYPL today I stumbled on the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library for people with disabilities. They also have a blog called NewsLion: Extra

"The Andrew Heiskell Library now has an online journal, also called a weblog or blog. NewsLion: Extra is our way to update you about new services and programs and let you know about good books to read. If you use a news reader or aggregator, you'll be able to subscribe to NewsLion: Extra and receive the updates automatically.

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