Election Day 2008

My students in grades 4 through 8 lined up outside the Jefferson Building computer classroom to vote for President and 3 ballot referendums today. Outside, students politicked while inside, 8th graders served as election workers and poll watchers.

For those of you following the techie side of things, we used SurveyGizmo to create the ballot, which we embedded onto our Cardinals’ Nest Wiki space. We were able to compile results in real time using SurveyGizmos’ reporting tools. Mr. Hartranft is happy to report no computer glitches (whew!).

Thanks to Mrs. Harkins for coordinating this important civics lesson!

Hispanic Heritage Month Gallery Update

We figured out how to add audio to our Cardinals’ Nest web space (actually, it’s a wiki..a web 2.0 tool ), and are pleased to add student voices to the Hispanic Heritage Galleries. Thanks to CES Spanish teacher Marta Bou, the students are recording a greeting en español. Take a look (and a listen!!!) to the 5th grade gallery and the 6th grade gallery. We have a bit more recording to do, so keep checking back in….

Tener un buen día, amigos!

6th Grade Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

My 6th graders, with guidance of Mrs. Myers, researched prominent Americans with Hispanic roots and wrote a brief biographies based on their research.

During my 6th computer class, Mary Beth S. helped to process the text files to publish on on our “electronic bulletin board”…. you can read these biographies on this page of the Cardinals’ Nest web space.

More to come: The 6th grade recorded their voices to produce an audio companion to the text on the Cardinals Nest gallery. We’re trying to figure out the best way to accomplish this. Also, look for a similar gallery on the 5th grade page.

Q & A: What is Web 2.0?

More than a few people have asked me this question in one form or another, and for a variety of reasons, so I thought it merits an answer here in the blog.

Here’s a pretty good entry from Wikipedia:

Web 2.0 is a term describing changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and its hosted services, such as social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies. Read more >> (source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0 , accessed 6 October 2008)

OK, but what does “Web 2.0” have to do with teaching and learning?
Quick Answer: communications, collaboration, sharing

Tell me more…How is CES using Web 2.0 applications to enhance/extend learning at CES?

This CES Tech Journal newsletter is actually a blog published using Google Blogger. Did you know that you can subscribe to articles posted on the CESTJ? Click on the subscribe button and choose how you wish to receive the articles using your RSS reader.

We’re publishing student-produced multimedia on the Cardinals’ Nest, which uses a collaborative publishing tool called a wiki. Not much on the Cardinals’ Nest yet, but be sure to check back during the year for more student-produced video, webcasts, images. Think of the Cardinals’ Nest as the Tech Department’s bulletin board….except we can post slide shows, sound and video!

Another promising Web 2.o technology is the social networking tool Ning. The families in Mrs. Beaudoin’s preschool Bugs class have created their own Ning to share photos, communicate with each other, post calendar items, and more. You must be a member of the Bug’s Ning (approved by the Ning administrator) to view any of the content, so there are safeguards in place.

What can I do to understand these technologies better?
From my experience, and in talking with parents and teachers within and outside the CES community, the best way to understand these technologies is to jump in and test the waters, so to speak. Be prudent about your content, practice good Internet safety, and consider how you can apply these tools to add value to your extended network.

Your comments are welcome.