Monday, November 28, 2005


The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The SEED

After reading Judith Warner's article, Kids Gone Wild in today's New York Times, a few thoughts came to mind. Or as I've called this in the past the...NOT MY CHILD SYNDROME.

#1) Disciplined parents are not always the best disciplinarians. They carry past past bagagge.
#2) Unfortunately, parents believe that the schools will handle the issue of discipline. But only on the condition that they're not "too hard" on their beloved children.
#3) From what I've seen, it appears as though children are more disrespectful to their parents than other adults (at least mine are).

Just the other day a friend said to me, "I do not want ANYONE REPRIMANDING my child!" She was out of sorts because a nanny type told her kids to behave. Would I care? Nope. But this forced her to promptly leave a Thanksgiving Day gathering. So I asked her, "What was your daughter doing?" "Just being a kid." She said. So you know what that means right?
Apparently, both of the kids were running and playing in an apartment with neighbors below who had to deal with the constant come on. Where is the justice for the kids? They have a right to play! Now comes the OUTSIDE FORCE to reign in her kids. Thank God!

Warner then asks the question, "Are children ruder now than in the past? NO! Do parents care?" Well..."if the kid is rude, you're almost guaranteed to meet a rude parent."

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Back To The Drawing Board is hard to figure out sometimes. I should make a tee-shirt and have this as the slogan.

Believe me, I know from experience. Just last week, I had 2 students lose all of their work (pictures, graphics and sound) after nearly completing their Anchor Chat Session. This was after they saved their work repeatedly. It may be because they're using a laptop...don't know.

The goal is for the students to sit in front of a camera and record themselves as though they were anchors on the news. We use the Visual Communicator software from Serious Magic which is a pretty slick way of having students use backgrounds and a teleprompter to record the news in and around the school. It would probably make more sense if we had a "real" studio with edit bays and real cameras; but we work with what we have for now since the course is in year two.

But waking up today to an email from my student who lost his work, KILLS ME. It tells me that he's been stressed about wanting to finish his package. And yet I have no answers for him; just like a teacher wanting to have an answer for everything.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


From Paperless To Even More Paper

With a full holiday weekend to get ready to go back to school (a positive spin) I've decided to organize the mounds of papers building up around my desk and at my feet. Three quarters are from my kid's school and the rest are articles and other items I'd like to read but never get around to.

What's really amazing is that with all of this ONLINE yada going on, how is it that SOOO much paper is being wasted? I see it at school and here at home. Here's a classic story of paper waste, my daughter is into writing "Santa" (you know the big guy with lots of dough?) and she uses countless pages for her list which has this teenie weenie picture on it. Now, some would say "That's OK...that's what kids do." While others would say it's my fault for allowing the waste. But at least at the end of yesterday two things remained constant 1) Fighting with my son that there is a Santa Claus (he loves to taunt my daughter who's a believer) and 2) The same pile of papers I'm looking at now. They both seem to NEVER go away.

My New Year's resolution is certainly in the making.


There's Something For Everyone

The BBC wins my vote for the BEST educational and interactive features for everyone.'s just like ONE big shopping mall of great stuff.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Giving Thanks Today

The role parents play in the lives of their children is what I'm grateful for today.

It's no surprise that my mom has decided to join a monastery. She's also written me several letters recently about her spiritual experiences. So while today is a little difficult for me, I'm finding my mom is on an amazing journey of self-exploration. I don't know why she's choosing now to put on her explorer's cap; but who am I to judge.

On another note, I'm in the process of preparing a hands-on workshop for parents for our school's first ever, TECHNIGHT. I'm thrilled because it will give me an opportunity to share the Wonders of the Web and connect what parents need to know about the online world.

Being in schools, we rarely get a chance to interact with parents on a level of interaction. This is not to negate the importance of parent conferences and back-to-school nights. But there's something special about conducting an educational, technology seminar for parents to actually learn and come away with tools to use.

I'd be VERY grateful if readers could provide me with suggestions on what they think parents should know about "technology in education". Are there sites out there that every parent should know about? My research is through my eyes and I gladly welcome your input and ideas.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


RSS Uncovered

I'm listening and watching a VERY cool screencast presentation by Dean Shareski explaining Why You Need RSS. It's sooo comprehensive if you're shaky when explaining RSS...I certainly am. And now I know that I'm NOT USING RSS to the fullest.

But the screencast is awesome because it's a podcast with some visuals to boot. I love this stuff!

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Facebook and Myspace...What's Next?

From what I've been told, college students have outgrown the Myspace arena and have their own community at Facebook. This is probably common knowledge. But when I asked a senior at my school, "what are you going to do in college once you leave myspace?" She, very matter of factly, stated "they use Facebook in college Mrs. Bowllan." I had never heard of it...that's nothing new though. But I pretended to know very well and to not to look like a total loser.

But my questions are, Are these sites a right of passage or a platform for our young adults to communicate in? What's wrong with the spoken word? Doesn't anyone want to be heard anymore?

I guess if adults are using blogs to share their ideas, thoughts and experiences, the debate with these "spaces" and "faces" popping up is a no brainer. Young people want to be heard by whatever and whom ever will listen to them or read them. (so to speak)

see article-85% of college students use Facebook

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Answers To Open Source

Len McGeary provides some cost effective solutions on, Web content filtering, Spam Filtering, and PDF Creation/Editing at the Mohonk "Blog".

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


The Latest WebCraze

I hate to be so suspicious. But when a student is so engaged in a monitor during free periods, I have to wonder. So I gingerly approach, and gently tap the shoulder, and whisper "Hey...What ya workin on?" You know, the TECH POLICE role we play both at home and school? Well today, after I wiped the egg off of my face, I realized you cannot pre-judge what teens are using the Internet for. We've developed such a paranoia when it comes to online usage and these young people are whistling dixie.

Anyway, this particular student was frantic, trying to figure out this WEB SUDOKU. Heh??? Never heard of it until today and now I'm frantically trying to figure out, not only what the name means, but the puzzle available.

I might add, I am working on this after school hours.

Monday, November 14, 2005


More Tools From K. Schrock

With all the online tools in the air. This site comes via (DCannell) who ALWAYS has very useful links to share with educators. The Icing on the Cake Online Tools for Classroom Use by Kathy Schrock (

It's a, "take your time" perusal through some great and updated links to share with educators.


Web Evaluation

I'm still awed by the closing speech delivered by Alan November at the Mohonk Conference. I know, I know enough already.

But it's rare to have someone touch on just about every topic important to making and growing a great school. For example, the Web Evaluation piece is HUGE for students to master and should not be taught in isolation. There's lots to do...

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Things Have To Work

While I LOVE Anne's response to an email inquiry on "problems faced with integrating technology" whereby she states very accurately that, "The largest problem that we face in technology implementations is our outmoded paradigm of education. Traditional models of education are built around the teacher being the expert and the one that dispenses knowledge to students." I would also like to add (and shout from the rooftops) that, THINGS HAVE TO WORK. More and more I'm finding very frustrated teachers and technologists on the verge of breakdowns because the infrastructure is not up to par.

So consider yourself lucky if you have up-to-date technology that works ALL THE TIME. The one way to lose momentum with teachers and kill a program is to have slow internet access and different versions of Microsoft Office on every computer.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Answers Are Starting To Cometh

There's so much out there for educators to use to integrate technology into curriculum. It's actually overwhelming, as one participant in my workshop pointed out to me at breakfast before leaving Mohonk yesterday.

The toolkit idea is one that can help organize what you want to use. So, here's another tool to add, Teachers Toolkit. (via DCannell)

Friday, November 11, 2005


A Picture Op With Keynoter Alan November

 Posted by Picasa


When Your Eyes Open UP

It was amazing this morning. I finish breakfast, walk into the main parlor of the Mohonk Mountain House and who do I hear? Will Richardson skyping our Keynoter, Alan November. He (Will) gave me a "shout-out". It was a WOW moment because today is my one year anniversary since I started blogging after meeting Will at last year's Conference. Now I have a goal for this year which is to learn how to Skype.

I've read posts by Will about Skyping; but this has some great potential for curriculum integration as Alan noted.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


The Parlor Room - Post Presentation

Posted by Picasa Ignore the date. This was part of the Online Toolkit presentation. More to come later.


Mohonk In The Afternoon

 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


A Sneak Peak

Artsedge, Mathworld and David Warlick's Citation Machine are some links in the toolkit. Enjoy

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


The Battle Is On!

See my SLJ posting for The Upcoming Battle Over Books info.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Tool #1

Here's TOOL#1 for my upcoming 4-hour Hands-on workshop for the Managers of Technology Conference in Mohonk, NY. I'm providing attendees with An Oline Toolkit for Technologists, Teachers, and Librarians.

And since the planning for this is taking some time to prepare, I feel a little teaser in order. So here's...Tool#1: Free Online Lesson Plans @"ARTSEDGE — the National Arts and Education Network — supports the placement of the arts at the center of the curriculum and advocates creative use of technology to enhance the K-12 educational experience."'re probably saying, "so what? That's a no brainer. Lesson plans? That's what I came to this conference for?" No...there's more and I promise that one of the tools I've prepared for the toolkit will be of value. You can tell I have some pre-conference jitters.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Lucky For Us There's NPR

Our Broadcast and Film students will be viewing the movie Good Night and Good Luck (directed by George Clooney).

There's a great NPR link I'm using to prep them on the history of Broadcast Journalism and Edward R. Murrow's role in its birth.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

All Rights Reserved ©2004-2006 Copyright Amy Bowllan Site Meter