Category Archives: Web 2.0

A Roundup of Space-Related Links

I’m sure you have more than enough Olympics news and links to last you through the month, but there has also been an amazing amount of space-related news these past few weeks.  The 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.  The Mars Curiosity Rover landing.  Now the Perseid meteor shower this weekend.  Some news about our old friend Voyager leaving the solar system.

I’ve been reading Brian Floca’s Moonshot to my kids.  It’s a GA Picture Book nominee and ties in well with all this news.  Plus it’s a perfect read aloud for any age level.  Even the teachers who have stuck around to listen find it interesting.  Here’s a link to Brian Floca’s website.

A few years ago (on the 40th anniversary of the Apolo 11 landing) this mind-blowing site was created: WeChoosetheMoon.org.  It’s a recreation of the entire mission from launch to landing with real audio, photos, videos and other goodies.

NASA’s site is, of course, the perfect place to catch up on what’s been going on with Curiosity and to go back and watch highlights from their video gallery.  Exciting stuff!

And if you are not familiar with him yet, you need to introduce yourself to the link-happy Larry Ferlazzo, a high school ELL teacher in California who seemingly spends 30 hours a day collecting and sharing the best links on, well, anything and everything including the best sites to learn more about the Mars Rover Curiosity.

Now I gotta go get ready to stay up tonight for the Perseid show

Jim Randolph

Partee Elementay

Snellville, GA

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Infographics

By now you’ve probably seen an infographic or two – they are popping up everywhere. Infographics are an interesting way to display statistics for the media center, whether to administrators or to teachers and students. I also think this has tremendous potential in the classroom as a meaningful way for students to represent information. However, they are not easy to create for those of us who are not graphic designers. That’s where Piktochartcomes in handy!

I’ve played around with and it’s easy enough to use that I’ve recommended it to one of my teachers that is willing to try new web tools with her students. After creating an account, Piktochart provides 5 templates to choose from. (Think making a brochure with Publisher.) Our plan is to have kids use piktochart to represent each time period in American Lit. Last year she said her students had trouble connecting one time period to the next, so we’ll be sure to include that as a requirement in the infographic (i.e. What were the people in this time period reacting to from the previous time period?)  We’ll print them and use them in the classroom as a refresher before tests.

I’ll try to remember to update this post after we complete the project. In the meantime, I wish everyone the best for a happy and productive school year!

~Holly Frilot, CHHS Media Center

Power Searching with Google

Dan Russell has a very cool title: Senior Research Scientist, Google Inc.

He’s also a clear-spoken and affable guide to the ins and outs of really searching with Google.

If you want to sharpen your Google-searching skills there’s a short, free course going on right now over here: http://www.powersearchingwithgoogle.com/course.

I admit, I use Google enough that I didn’t learn too much from the first two classes.  But I did learn a few tings and found the course design well done (which has given me some ideas for future online learning I may do with students and teachers).

The third class gets into more advanced stuff and I did learn more there.  I happily got an A on my midtem this morning.

Apparently if you take the midterm and final you will get a certificate emailed to you so you can show off your new found skills.

Here’s a news article from Mashable on the course: http://mashable.com/2012/07/09/google-search-classes/

Go for it!  And share the course with other students and educators you think may benefit.

Thanks,

Jim Randolph

Partee Elementary

Snellville, GA

Senior Presentation Tools

Over the past two years I have worked with the Senior Language Arts teacher to change the “Senior Memory Book Project” into a digital “Senior Portfolio.” Different teachers have varations of the requirements, but basically it includes selections from personal writings they have completed over the year, thoughtful answers to cumulative questions, and illustrations of some kind (pictures, videos, etc.).

Talking about presentations tools with students is one of my favorite things to do. We’ve been working with Prezi, Popplet, SlideRocket, and Mixbook. All of these tools offer something a little different, but they also allow a student to share a link with a teacher. This is important for us, since many teachers want to have something they can refer back to when grading without having to deal with knowing student log-ins and passwords. However, I do warn students to be careful with the personal information they post, as most of the “free” tools are public.

If you know of any other free, student-friendly presentation tools, please comment!

Holly Frilot

www.chhsmediacenter.com

Skype author visit

Gail Giles, a YA author that has appeal to guys, girls, high and low level readers, Skyped into Collins Hill HS a few weeks ago. I was a nervous wreck, anticipating the many things that could go wrong when you combine teenagers, technology, and the first attempt at something new. However, it was a resounding success! Gail Giles was witty and fun, and our students did a wonderful job asking questions and keeping the conversation going. If you want to see the highlights, see our short video here. If you want more details, keep reading…

Amy Golemme, my co-media specialist, and I brainstormed authors that would have mass appeal. Gail Giles was our first thought, so I took a shot in the dark and emailed her. She emailed back quickly and we got the details planned out – one test session a few days before, then 2 sessions during our 2nd and 3rd periods. We decided to use the media center to keep it cozy and inviting, rather than a larger space like the commons area or theater. I made signs for the hallways and classrooms and the media center. I went into all the 9th and 10th grade LA classes to promote it. Students that wanted to participate had to read at least one of her books, answer a few questions, and write a few questions they’d like to ask her. For those students, I gave them a pass out of class during 2nd or 3rd period and they were our VIPs. I also invited two language arts classes per session and any media specialists from the around the county that could come.

In Gwinnett, we aren’t allowed to use Skype, but we do have an alternative – Polycom and the Blue Jeans network. We use those tools and the author uses Skype. Kevin Tomlinson from the county was excellent technical support for us and helped put my technology fears to rest. On the day of the event, we set up about 80 chairs in the media center, created VIP seats, put out a breakfast spread, set up the technology, and hoped for the best! Gail came on, introduced herself, and then we had the students come up to the computer to ask questions. We had a webcam and external mic hooked up to my laptop. The students asked good questions, and Gail was entertaining, funny, and informative. When I polled the students after the event, they all said they had a positive experience and many expressed interest in doing it again. One student even turned in a top ten list of authors she’d like to Skype with!

If you have any questions or want templates for signs, the handout students filled out, or any other details, don’t hestitate to email me at holly_frilot@gwinnett.k12.ga.us or call at 770.682.4126. It was a lot of work, but a great experience for us and for the students.

Holly Frilot, Collins Hill High School