Techie Tuesday: K-12 Online Conference 2009

Have you ever wished you could attend a particular conference or workshop only to be short time and money? There are numerous conferences with backchannels to allow you to attend on your own schedule via Ning, Twitter, Wiki, video, or website.

This week is part of the K12 Online Conference 2009. The theme, Bridging the Divide, might be termed perfect as they invite participation around the world.  As with most large conferences this one started with a pre-conference keynote.  This is followed with two week’s of over fifty presentations.  The K12 Online Conference is much more than a backchannel for an existing conference.  It is an entire conference held online.

You can attend the K12 Online Conference via live events online.  What if you missed one of the scheduled events?  That is the great part!  You can watch the video or read through their ning-blog-wiki.

The K12 Online conference will also continue to host live events twice monthly during 2010 through K-12 Online Echo webcasts on EdTechTalk.  Go to their site now and check it out!

What other educational online events do you enjoy?

Techie Tuesday: A- Z Resources

While digging through some old files, I came across an old PowerPoint, ABC Teacher Resource Websites.  Of course it was fun going through the old resources, but it also got me to thinking about all the numerous websites currently available.

I sent out a few tweets, dug through my Diigo files, and the result is a current A – Z of Awesome Resources!  @melching5 also sent an awesome link to numerous resources!

Would you like to add to the links?  Visit my wiki page to continue building this list of resources!

A – Assignaday, Animoto, Alltop, Audacity H – Hulu, Hotmail, Headerbar O – Open Source V – Voicethread
B – Blogger, Blabberize I – iPhone/Touch
P – Posterous, Podomatic W – Wikispaces
C – Cozi, Calendar J – Jing, Jog the Web Q – Quia X – Xtranormal
D – Diigo, Delicious, Doink K – Kerpoof R – RSS Y – You Tube, Yaca Paca, Yahoo
E – Edu 2.0, Edublogs, Evernote, Elluminate L – LessonWriter, Linkedin S – Slideshare Z – ZDNet, Zoho,
F – Flickr M – My Note It, Mixbook, Moonk T – Twitter, Trailfire, TeacherTube
G – Glogster, GOOGLE N – Netvibes, Ning U – UStream

Techie Tuesday: What’s your Inspiration?

webInspiration Software has been around for several years, but have you been inspired to check it out?  For this week’s Techie Tuesday we will look at Inspiration and how it can be used in the classroom.

According to their company website, Inspiration is an essential tool to visualize, think, organize, and learn.  What makes this software special?  With the explosion of web 2.0 sites, there are numerous free online graphic organizers such as and Mindmeister.

If you simply want to create semantic maps/webs, one of the free online organizers would probable fit your need.  If you want more, keep reading for highlights on Inspiration Software.

outlineOne nice component of Inspiration is how you can create a graphic organizer and with one click it can be changed into a formal outline.  Students can create a web with shapes and/or clip art filled with information.  Then it is transformed into an outline using the hierarchy of the web.  These graphic organizers include concept maps, webs, and idea maps.  The outline can be built upon using other components such as a dictionary.

Other key components include the following:

  • Video and sound integration
  • Templates
  • Curriculum Packets

To get a varieties of class integration possibilities, I asked my fellow teachers for ways to integrate Inspiration in their classroom.  Of course bribing them with a free copy of Inspiration always helps them respond quickly:)  Here is a list of ideas to integrate Inspiration into your classroom:

  • Draft and Revise writing assignments
  • Research
  • Visually explain math concepts and problems
  • Planning (project, web site,etc)
  • Semantic web of a Country
  • Transform the semantic web to an outline
  • Use the audio part for students to review
  • Concept mapping
  • Brainstorming
  • Story maps
  • Character analysis
  • Book reports
  • Creating storyboards for PowerPoint presentations
  • Defining new terms
  • Assist teachers in planning lessons or units
  • Plot Summaries
  • Historical Cause and Effect
  • Cycles (recycle, weather, etc.)
  • Developing a course or workshop
  • Lab Procedures
  • Show relationships
  • In foreign language classes create an organizer that shows the English word on one side and the foreign language word equivalent on the other side with pictures as hints.
  • When studying a poem, in the center concept list the name of the poem and the connecting lines contain phrases from the poem. The sub-concept explains the words in the phrase and the literary technique used such as personification.
  • Faculty/district – responsibilities of committees

So are your Inspired?  What other software or sites for graphic organization are your favorite?

Techie Tuesday: Flying with Eagle


This week’s Techie Tuesday focuses on a new online assessment tool provided for Louisiana teachers.

Louisiana, the Pelican state, has created an EAGLE:  Enhanced Assessment Grade Level Expectations.  This program provides immediate feedback to teachers of their student’s knowledge of designated GLE’s.

Don’t worry, we are still the Pelican state!

Basically a teacher logs into the Eagle system, creates a test, and distributes it to his/her students.  All test items are aligned to GLE’s and teachers can use the Eagles pre-made tests or create one using the item bank.

Creating your own test from scratch takes four easy steps.  After you fill out a test overview:  select the area of content (ELA or Math), grade level, and test name, you select “assemble test”.

  • Select your Content Standard, Comprehensive Curriculum, or Passages (ELA only).
  • Pick a standard/unit, GLE, and items that correspond.
  • Click “add to test”.
  • Repeat this process to add additional items.

So, you don’t have time to create a test from scratch?  EAGLE has you covered.  Just go to the “Edit Test” tab and click “pre-made.”  Select the subject area and grade level and this opens a list of pre-made tests including one for each Comprehensive Curriculum unit.

Tests can be pre scheduled giving teachers the option to set class and individual goals, time limits, and calculator options.  Scores are immediate for multiple choice, short constructive response, and interactive items.

You can analyze your student’s performance using any of the six progress reports.

  • Content Standard
  • GLE’s
  • Test and Content Standard
  • Test and Question Type
  • Test Questions
  • Instructional Need by GLE

Are you ready to get started?  Each Louisiana Parish has trained personnel.  Contact your Region TLTC or parish school board office.

If you aren’t from Louisiana, do you have a similar program you would like to share?

Techie Tuesday: Feeling Bloggy?

blogA Blog, web log, has a variety of purposes in education. Why don’t all educators blog? Probably one of three reasons:  they don’t feel “tech savy” enough, aren’t aware of the various uses, or think it will be time consuming.

Blogs are one of the easiest ways for an educator to interact with students, parents, and the community.  You are able to post information, keep an online journal, disperse information, and share.

Are you still asking yourself, “What is a blog”?  Visit this video, Blogs in Plain English,  before proceeding further.

So, what about the need for technology skills?  If you are able to send an email, you are able to blog.  Free sites such as edublogs and blogger have made it easy!  For either, you basically create an account, activate the account via email, and sign in.  For those with technology phobias, edublogs has you covered with a quick post option right when you log in.  Simply type and publish.

Are you not sure of how to use a blog?  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Share materials and resources
Create a class website
Hold online discussions
Start a book club
Invite guest student posters
Set-up student blogs
Establish a newsletter via blog posts
Create an administrator blog for your thoughts and invite guest posters
Personal webpage on your favorite topics

Check out other blogs for ideas.  Do you need even more ideas? Check these out.

Now, how about time consumption?  If you focus on your thoughts and not the coolest theme or pictures to add to posts, then it only takes as long as it would to send a detailed email.  Some of the best blogs are the simplest in form.

Are you feeling bloggy?