Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Boom De Ya Da

A couple of months ago I attended the Discovery Educator Network Midwest Regional Conference. Someone there shared the Boom De Ya Da Discovery Commercial (also known as "I Love the Mountains" Discovery Commercial). They also shared how classrooms were making their own Boom De Ya Da videos.
I thought this was a great project, so I decided to try it out with one of my grades. Fifth grade students wrote their own lyrics to the song. They were recorded singing their song. They then used a video camera to videotape themselves doing different actions that went along with their lyrics. Finally, they combined their song and their video using iMovie. This project was a collaboration of Music and Computer.
Here is the Discovery Commercial:

You may view their videos here:
Boom De Ya Da video

Friday, May 29, 2009


On Saturday, I am participating in the DEN (Discovery Educator Network) Geocaching Day. I have never Geocached before but I have heard a lot about it. I am excited to experience Geocaching. I am not sure how I feel about using it in the classroom, but I am looking forward to finding out more.
Have you done Geocaching with students? I would love some lesson ideas if you are willing to share.
Once I attend the DEN Geocaching Day, I will be sure to share my experiences with you.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Ed Revolution Response

I recently listened to the new podcast by Ben Grey, Andy Kohl, and Scott Meech called The Ed Revolution. These 3 guys are ed tech people in Northern Illinois. They have presented at a lot of functions. If you are anywhere any of these guys are presenting, I highly recommend you attend their session as it is very worth while. They are a wealth of information.

I thought is was a very good podcast. Especially because the first episode was on Internet Safety which is an interest of mine. As I was listening, a lot of things came to mind. Instead of commenting on their blog (which they do recommend in the podcast). I decided to listen again and develop this blog enjoy.

A few thoughts:
**When you have a parent presentation, how do you get parents to attend? Three years ago when I started in Skokie we had an Internet safety night and it was attended by 3 people, the social working, PTA president, and a mom who watches her child on the computer. This year, we offered a book club on the book Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teen by Nancy Willard. This is a really good book and I highly recommend it to both educators and parents of children who use the computer. No one was interested in being in the book group.
**A couple of years ago when I was in Northbrook (actually in Andy's district pre-Andy) we had Judy Freedman from Easing the Teasing that Scott talked about. Prior to her come we surveyed the 6th-8th graders on their computer loosing habit. She did a great job and the event was highly attended. She incorporated our results into her presentation. One of the great parts of her presentation was that she had someone who was cyberbullied come and speak about her experiences. This was eye opening to the parents. Once again, I thought how do we get parents who are not tech savvy and do not realize what their child is doing online to these meetings?
**In Skokie we have a mandatory class for 6th graders and new 7th and 8th graders on Tech Safety and Responsibility. In this class we discuss Internet Safety, Cyberbullying, Tech Responsibility, AUP, Online Communities, and Tech Safety.
**I teach K-8 and I am always shocked to hear about primary students who use the computer unsupervised. As the guys said, this is happening earlier and earlier in student's life. When we develop an Internet Safety Curriculum, will we need to develop curriculum on a sliding scale or a spiraling scale?
**I did a 45 minute breakout session at the Illinois Computing Educators in February on Internet Safety Resources. In this session I shared a varied of resources for elementary, intermediate, middle, and parent resources. I shared the info on a wiki. Feel free to check it out and use it in your curriculum planning.
**Ben recommended trying http://www.kickyoutube.com to download YouTube videos quickly and easily. Very cool! I also like the Mac application called Tube TV.
**Scott mentioned Simply Box. I haven't had the time to explore this, but it reminds me of FavThumbs. FavThumbs is a way to see your delicious links visually. I tried to link to it here, but I couldn't. I don't know if they got rid of the website, but it would definitely be something to check out if you can find it.
Another thing Scott mentioned was that Simply Box is free. I wonder how long it will be free. It seems to me that a lot of things that are free change and start charging for their free service. Most recently, Gcast. I just got an email that said April 1st, podcasting by phone will require a $99/year fee.

Alright, those are my thoughts. Feel free to respond in the comment section.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Seven Things

Currently going around the educational blog circles is a meme called "Seven Things". I was tagged by Ann Oro. I'm going to share seven things I wouldn't normally blog about.

1. I have been married to my husband for over three years. We "reconnected" on Jdate. He was roommates with a guy whose family is really good friends with my family. In fact, he had been to my house 2 times prior to us "reconnecting". My husband, Dan likes to say I stalked him, but I didn't!

2. For our wedding we made our own chuppah. Well, actually we didn't make our own. We sent squares to our wedding party and to close family and friends. A neighbor who quilts, quilted our chuppah for us. It was very meaningful to be married under something that our friends and family were part of.

3. I pay the bills for our household.

I have a beagle/basset mix that we adopted from a shelter. She has separation anxiety and is on doggy Prozac.

5. I love to cross stitch. I taught myself how to cross stitch when I was a senior in college. I was student teaching and not taking that many classes. I was bored. When my 4 year old niece was born I made her a crib quilt.

6. Over a year ago I broke my leg and had a rod put in it. I then got viral meningitis; most likely from a mosquito bite. (Although, now looking back I had many symptoms of West Nile Virus so it is possible I was misdiagnosed.)

7. My husband has never been to Disney World. I would like to take him to Disney sometime soon. Many people told me you should go to Disney before you have kids for a different experience.

Now I have to tag 7 people. I am not really good with the tagging part. I am going to tag 7 people who I would like to find more about.
7 People I am tagging:
Carol Broos
Judi Epcke
Ann Truger
Charlene Chausis
Lucy Gray
Vinnie Vrotny
Scott Meech

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I have a new favorite website. It is Wordle. From their website:
"Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends."

Here is a Wordle of Rod Blagojevich's Criminal Complaint:

Have you seen Wordle? How are you using it in the classroom?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I have been tagged

I just noticed the other day that I have been tagged by Ann Oro over at NJ Tech Teacher Musings. She created a Meme.
Even though I don't have many posts, I created a Wordle of my blog:
My reaction:
This is a very interesting activity to do. I was interested in doing it for my delicious feed. Here is what I found:
This would also be a good idea to share with students and have them create a Wordle of their work and/or famous. When the election was taking place, I saw Wordle with Barack Obama's speeches and John McCain's speeches. What a great idea!

Meme's Rules
1. Create a Wordle from your blog's RSS feed.
2. Blog it and describe your reaction. Any surprises?
3. Tag others to do the same.
4. Be sure to link back here and to where you were first tagged.

Tag - You're It
I would like to tag the following people. There is no need to do this if you are not interested.

Steve Dembo
Scott Meech
Judy Epcke
Carol Broos
Ryan Bretag

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Google Maps

Sorry it has been a while.
Yesterday, and then again today, I showed my Tech Safety and Responsibility classes Tracking Teresa put out by NetSmartz. Before the video we looking at Teresa's profile and circled what we thought was too much information.
After the video we talked about how easy it is to find someone using the Internet. I showed them Google Maps with both Satellite view and Street View. They were shocked how close you could get to your house. A couple of students even found sibling, cousins, and friends outside their house.
We also talked about how you could find information when you enter your phone number in Google. I mentioned as the video did how you could request your phone number not be listed. If they thought their number shouldn't be on Google they needed to tell their parents to request its removal though. We also talked about Reverse Lookup.
The students could not believe all they were able to find. For the last 15 minutes of class students used Google and Reverse Lookup to see what they could find about their address/phone number. I really feel this was a great lesson. I wish I could do this with all students. Students were able to see first hand why they shouldn't include any personal information of their profile(s).