Global Sharing

Lucy Gray sent this to me on the ISED listserv. I feel it is appropriate to post here.

Please consider joining a Ning community on global education:

At the National Educational Computing Conference to be held in Atlanta, Georgia this June, fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Julene Reed and I will be hosting a workshop on global collaboration. I plan on utilizing a
variety of tools and resources throughout this hands-on class, including Ning, a service that allows one to establish a custom social networking site. I am hoping to seed this site with people and content in preparation
for this workshop, and I would like to invite any ISEDer to jump in and participate.

Teacher Tube and NextVista

You Tube is wonderful, but you can see as much junk as you can pearls. Check out Teacher Tube and include some of the videos. In fact, you can add to the library with a class project or a video of a topic you are passionate about. NextVista is another video sharing site for schools. These videos are vetted for so teachers can be assured the content is appropriate and accurate. They have 3 different types of video: LightBulbs (Introductions to topics by students and teachers. These are another avenue for exploring a wide variety of topics), Global Views (Descriptions of life and activities in schools and communities around the world, made by and for teenagers), and Seeing Service (Profiles of those who make life better for others. These are to remind us that there are good people all around us).

Confucius Institute

I listend to Alan November’s Podcast last week. He interviewed Dr. Yang Zhao from Michigan State University regarding online learning, global workforce, one to one learning, 21st Century Skills, game theory and much more. I found it incredibley interesting and would encourage anyone who is interested in these topics to give it a lesson. I think these are topics as it relates to technology and how we reshape our school.

Of particular interest to me was the Confucius Institute that is available from Michigan State and it appears other institutions to help with the demand for instruction in Mandarin. Check it out How with this impact learning?

FlashStacks is a new tool for Durham Academy Middle School Students. The software was written by Robert Kindman and Joel Nackman who are now Upper School students.

Presently, there are no stacks are in the Middle School’s partition on the server, so when you “Open Stacks” on FlashStacks, none will appear (until middle schoolers start making stacks of their own)

You can also find detailed background on the program, help, and cool javascript lightboxes at

For the middle school, I can see two forms of deployment that might make the process smooth and successful (what we want).

1) Presenting the program to all students and teachers in middle school during an assembly – this assures, obviously, maximum exposure. There are problems with doing this… , minor technical difficulties that seem to somehow be present in almost every sort of presentation of this nature can cause a negative outlook on the program (bad), although this shouldn’t stop anyone from presenting in an assembly if that’s deemed to be the best solution.

2) Having specific teachers integrate FlashStacks into their test review. For instance, if Mrs. Brown has a test on China coming up, instead of (or in addition to) a paper review sheet, she could have her classes¬† (or just one) review using FlashStacks. (I see an nice extra credit opportunity for the student that’s willing to publish the stack).

“FlashStacks is a virtual flashcard maker designed by DA students for DA students. FlashStacks allows students to create “stacks” of flashcards for upcoming tests, quizzes or exams. With the press of a button, students can upload their stacks to a server for safekeeping. Once on the server, not only can students retrieve their own stacks for further studying, but they can also browse and study with a library of stacks created by other students. FlashStacks strives to build a community of peers with one focus in mind: to study (and maybe even have a little fun doing so).”

10 Questions for Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia

Time magazine gave readers a chance to ask him 10 questions. I thought his answers were relevant to our use of Wikipedia here at school.

“How can I persuade my teachers to allow me to use Wikipedia as a legitimate research source?” Kaitlyn G, Medina OH asked. Jimmy’s answer may surprise many but here it is: ” I would agree with you teachers that that isn’t the right way to use Wikipedia. The site is a wonderful starting point for research. But it is only a starting point because there’s always the chance that there;s something wrong, and you should check your sources if you are writing a paper.”

I was really glad to see him express this since I feel that Wikipedia is a great resource to use but should not be the only source used nor should it be used instead of our online subscriptions.

Tech Happenings in 528 Techland.

We are fast approaching the end of my first year in the Middle School. I thought I would showcase some of the projects we have worked on and when possible, link you to our efforts.

Ms. Liszka’s class has down several projects that required the students to use various tools in their digital learning. Early in the year teams created iMovies in Spanish that they storyboarded and shot on campus. They spent time editing the movie in iMovie creating just the correct narration or soundtrack to accompany the story. For a different project, students used iPhoto to create slideshows for speeches. Recently students determined the best tool to use to make a multimedia presentation for a famous celebrity. This past month students composed menus in Spanish for restaurants. Each project has moved the students closer to meeting the digital skills necessary in the Middle School.

Students in grades 6, 7, and 8 have been podcasting. Podcasting involves writing a script on a topic that they have researched in class. Once the research is done and a script is approved, students begin to record it in Garageband using Logitech USB Headsets. Students have collaborated together in order to create their digital recordings. Of course they did need to learn to work together in the process which we know is a skill that they will need very much in the flattened world we are educating them for now. You are able to listen to these podcasts either on your computer or by clicking on the Subscribe button through iTunes. Check them out.

Blogging has started with 6th grade Language Arts using Class Blogmeister. This is a free tool provided by David Warlick of the Landmark Project. Check out Mrs. Williamson’s and Mrs. Williams’ Classroom blogs.

Of course the DAILE Moodle has been used by many students to blend their learning environment to include not only a classroom experience but also an interactive online component.  This tool has many components that comprise the best of what online learning can bring to a classroom. Even though our students pass through our doors for instruction each day, they are more plugged in then any generation has ever been. In addition, there are more tools then ever before which they must master as they progress through their educational experience.

This is only a sampling of some of what takes place in the labs on campus. I am proud of the projects we have done and the overall growth in the digital learning taking place in the Middle School.

YouTube Download Tool/Website

There are some great videos on YouTube or even Google Video that can be used in the classroom. A web-based solution that allows you to download a YouTube video to use in your classroom is available from Simply copy and paste the URL from the video and select the format you want. The web site will do the rest. A software solution for a Macintosh is TubeSock.

For more information, see Around the Corner MGuhlin’s Wiki.