Friday, July 24, 2009

Create Video Playlists and Embed Them Anywhere | Embedr

What a great resource. When I first saw Embedr, I thought this would be great, teachers could create a playlist of videos and share them with their students. The playlist can be embeded on the teacher's webpage, blog, wiki, BlackBoard or any other site. So far I have used it with Teacher Tube and Youtube videos and have had no problems.

Here is a playlist I have started.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A break from the web!

Last week I went on vacation with the family. We spent 5 days at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Camp Resort in Natural Bridge Virginia. We had a great time, great weather and ate a lot of great food.

We took our laptops, because we had a free wifi connection. I figured I could stay connected and keep up with everything. However the connection at the campsite was slow or non-existent so the laptops stayed in the bag (except for movie night with the projector). 5 days of no RSS feeds, no Facebook, and no Twitter. The only thing I used my BlackBerry for was to take pictures, check the time and to find directions to a store. It was a nice break.

This vacation made me realize how important it is to step away from work and let things go. You gotta keep some balance in your life. I enjoyed the break from the web, but I have enjoyed coming back and catching up with everything I missed.

Picture taken by me at Natural Bridge, Va.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Re-Thinking my Teaching

As the new school year approaches (the summer is flying by way too fast) I am starting to gear up for my class. As a full time Instructional Tech Specialist, I do not have to teach a class, but I do enjoy keeping the connection with the students. I think it helps having this connection when I work with teachers integrating technology into their classrooms. However; one thing that I have noticed is when I talk about some of the things I do with technology in my class one of the comments I always hear from teacher is; "It's easy for you, you have the "AP" kids. You can get them to do those sorts of things. It is a lot different when you are working with the "regular" students." With that in mind I told the curriculum administrator last year it was time to move out of AP and I wanted to teach the "regular" students. I got my wish.

So this year I will be teaching a College Prep US History class. I am looking forward to the challenges that it will bring. There are some definite adjustments I am going to have to make and the biggest one is changing from a year long 45 minute class to a semester long 97 minute class. With this change however comes the opportunity to do some different things. I want to create a classroom with the students of today in mind.

My goals this year
1. Create a classroom without walls.
2. Empower the students in their learning.
3. Integrate the philosophy of 21st Century Learning
4. Incorporate the ideas and the web 2.0 tools I have learned from my PLN.

I'm not yet sure how I am going to meet these goals. This is really going to be a paradigm shift for me. I am going to have to walk what I have been talking as an ITS. It should be interesting.

Stay tuned and come along for the ride.