Thursday, October 8, 2009

1st Grade Blogging

Lindsay Kohart, a first grade teacher, and I have started a blogging project with her class. We are using Classblogmeister for the blogging tool and Vocaroo for the tool of expression. Since her students were only in the beginning stages of being writers, we thought it would be easier for them to record their thoughts and then embed the code into the blogmeister article. So far, we've set Lindsay up with a blog account and created all the student accounts. She has also explored how to use Vocaroo on her own. Our next step will be to teach them how to use Vocaroo.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Goggle Calendar Migration Progress To Date...

My husband has become a fan of Google Calendar. We got him a new web enabled phone a few months ago and he's been spending some time exploring GC on his own. So far, his calendar is up and shared with me.

My calendar is created, but not filled in.

I created calendars for each of my son's, to keep track of their activities and all are shared with my husband.

The three school calendars are created with GC and I'm in the process of filling them in. I will be cross-checking them with the network-based web pages each week. Soon, I will try to endorse the use of the lab schedules on Google by sending teachers a screencast on how to register with Google and ask them to fill out a Google form to share their Gmail address with me. I can then share the technology schedules with them.

Things to do-

I need a web enabled phone. The stress of not being able to access my GC where ever I am is keeping me from moving forward with my personal calendar. I wanted to wait to replace my phone until next year after hearing rumors that the IPhone will be carried by Verizon, but now I'm not sure I can wait. I need one with a big enough screen to be able to see the calendar clearly.

Finish filling in the repeating events on the three school technology calendars.

Moving to Google Calendar

One of my life goals/school goals this school year is to migrate to Google Calendar. I'm hoping to use this blog to capture my steps and reflections in this huge process. In order to understand this change, here's a little history.

Since 2000, I've been a Palm Pilot girl. This was my link to home (paper calendar on the fridge with my/husband/son's schedules) and school (plan book). I had three mediums to sync, but I always knew I could look at my Palm and know exactly what I was supposed to do, when it was to happen and where.

During school hours, I have three technology schedules: Computer Lab, Laptop and Technology Support schedules. The first schedule is for teachers to use when they want to book time in the lab. The second is for reserving our cart of laptops for use in the classroom. The last is for teachers to schedule time to meet with me for planning/learning/co-teaching. I'd create these three schedules using MS Front Page at the beginning of the year and it was quite a project. Image creating a series of web pages, one page for each week of the school year, plus and index page. That's 41 web pages for year schedule, multiplied by 3 schedules. Teachers were only able to access these schedules from school since I "hosted" these pages on our server. Crazy, I know...but it was the procedure.

Then came the element of change....what I'm hoping will be my end-all-be-all. I learned about many of the Google Tools while completing my ed tech masters course over the last two years. When I saw how you can allow others to see and edit your calendar, how you can overlay multiple calendars, how you can access these calendars from any web browser...the light bulb went off, bells began to ring, I knew I was on to something. This would be perfect for my teachers to access for our schedules.

Fast forward to 2009...I know my Palm Pilot is going to be obsolete (if not already) since Palm is not making a PDA that is not also a phone. I'm getting tired of the routine of cross checking my plan book to PDA and then cross checking my PDA with the paper calendar on my fridge. Google calendar will cover it all.

As a creature of habit, this process is scaring me a little. I am determined to streamline, to accept change and to help others see the benefits. Feedback is always welcome!