Random Thoughts

My 25% PD

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It has been a couple weeks since I’ve posed my PD entry. The weeks around Spring Break are always hectic. This week is conferences which has given me some free time to get back into the swing of my goal of 525 minutes of PD a week.

This week I accrued about 400 minutes of PD time. Helped by 2 one hour bus rides where I listened to The Search by John Battelle. A recommendation from Doug Johnson a couple months ago.

Other PD this week:

Netvibes : I wrote about this a week ago, but have really enjoyed this site. I have now moved all my bloglines feeds over to my netvibes account. I now have easy access to all my e-mail accounts, my del.icio.us account, my writely account, and box.net account. Netvibes even now has a tabbing feature so I have a tab of feeds to follow the Mariners, a tab for world news, etc. All this information in one place. I now can read up to 100 sites without leaving my netvibes home page. I can see this becoming a great tool for students.

Techcrunch.com has become another favorite site. Keeping me up to date on all web 2.0 happenings. A couple good finds this week from techcrunch are feedostyle and tunefeed.

Feedostyle: Turn RSS feeds into javascripts that you can put on your blog or web page. Still in beta with a couple bugs, but looks promising. Very easy to use.

Tunefeed: Haven’t played with this one yet, but could be a great way to add different podcasts to your site for students to listen to.

Kto8.com: “The goal of K to the 8th Power is to provide an easy-to-use platform for developing computer literacy and applied technology skills. School lab directors and classroom teachers can use this curriculum to develop computer literate and technology savvy students while at the same time reinforcing National and State academic standards. This powerful combination assists the lab director and classroom teacher with practical computer lab activities and exercises that reinforce not only what is being taught in the classroom, but also what is being tested and measured annually.” As my school works through creating a scope and sequence this site is going to come in handy!

Jumpcut: Christopher Harris (Infomancy) keeps going on about jumpcut a new video editing program on the web. I’m just reading now, hopefully I’ll get to take it for a test run soon.

Doug Johnson: A great discussion started this week by Doug and his friend George.

David Warlick: David started two new wikis this week (Flat Classrooms and New Stories) along with a great conversation about flat classrooms.

utechtips.com: A blog that I run that gives news and tech tips for teachers moved to its own domain this past week, so I spent time learning more .php scripting. I’m to the point now where I can really screw things up! Also, started using a mailing list program to keep track of subscribers to the weekly newsletter that highlights the blog. I want to use RSS, but educators (for the most part) are not there yet.

30boxes.com: Started an account with 30boxes just two days before Google released its calendar. I’m looking for someway to keep track of where we’ll be this summer and allow friends and family to know where we’ll be for the 5 weeks were back in the States. Now if I can find a way to sync it with my Palm T5 I’d be set.

Thornburg: Ed tech stalled by ‘fear’: A great article from eSchool News and David Thornburg. How true is this:

eSN: In closing, what do you think is the most important message to leave educators with?

THORNBURG: I would like to see these people … with a renewed sense of enthusiasm, a rekindled sense of joy. Educators today are being treated like they would be treated in a kennel. You’ve got this situation of the No Child Left Behind Act, which is perceived to be a hammer that is bashing teachers down. Whether that’s true or not, the perception is the reality for people who are under the gun. As a result, a lot of the joy has been removed from people’s lives–administrators especially. They’re just the walking wounded. They need the opportunity to explore new ideas, and go back with a positive vision of the future and with enough resources.

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.

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