Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Voicethread is very similar to Fotobabble, yet I am far more intrigued than I was with Fotobabble. I wonder why this is the case...I’ll have to reinvestigate Fotobabble at some point. The free version of Voicethread looks pretty awesome. With a free account, you are entitled to three voicethreads at a time (up to 50 slides each), 3 minutes of comment by telephone, unlimited voice and text comments, and a webcam commenting up to 30 minutes! The voice annotation of the pictures were appealing, plus the ability to comment by several means, phone, typing, audio, or video kept me engaged. Voicethread could be used for a Westward Expansion journal, Explorer’s diary, field trip summary/highlights, or even as an alternative to whitebooks. I also love that you can draw on the videos!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Five education practices that should be replicated nationally

eSchool News recently polled their readers on what education practice they believed should be replicated nationwide. The top five practices were (Late Night style):

5. Monitoring networks to gauge application usage
Not exactly in the style of Big Brother, but more so to see what applications teachers and students are using most to make future purchasing decisions.

4. An extra day for teachers to plan and collaborate
Students would be on a four day schedule and teachers on a five day, with the fifth day dedicated to planning and collaborating with colleagues. I think there is a district in NJ that has something similar in place. It might be a half day once or twice a month for professional development. I'm wondering out loud if a four day week would be viable. Assuming an 180 day school year, a four day week for students would extend the school year through the summer (10 additional weeks to make up for the one day a week for collaboration). There were be less learning loss due to summer vacation, and the time to get back into learning mode/classroom systems would be decreased as well. Maybe a half day every week would accomplish the same.

3. SEED Math Program (Special Elementary Education for the Disadvantaged)

2. Reading as a high school graduation requirement
I would add effective communication skills to the graduation requirement

and the number one education practice that should be replicated nationwide...

1. Tablet computers and electronic interactive textbooks for students
Technology would certainly help districts go green, and would absolutely engage the students, but would it save money in the long run as proposed in the article? Obsolescence is always an issue when dealing with technology, whether it is purchased or leased. Cost of maintenance another. Would students bring their own technology? Would bringing their own create a digital divide? Can the district's infrastructure handle the number of users that result? Hmmm...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MindMeister & Fifth Grade Communication Skills

MindMeister is a free web 2.0 tool that allows users to create beautiful concept maps with text, icons, links, and images. It has historical playback, which records all the changes made to the map (infinite undos!) and collaboration capabilities. You can also access Mindmeister from anywhere- who doesn't love that?! A free account entitles you to create three mind maps. Sorry Web2.0BP classmates, I do not like Mind42. I created my concept map of fifth grade communication skills using MindMeister, which by the way, I love! I mapped our fifth grade writing projects, the type of writing, and the Web 2.0 tool used to complete the project.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 is a free web 2.0 tool that allows users to create a zooming, panning, interactive timeline of any event. With a free account, you can create up to 5 timelines, but the best bargain is a lifetime membership for just $75! Unlimited timelines, create groups, collaborate- might be very worth the investment. It would certainly beat setting up and maintaining 30 student accounts.
It was pretty easy to create a timeline. I made one on the cheer competitions that we have between my daughters' teams. I could see using this tool with elementary students for their biography, the colonization of America, Civil War, family tree, mapping a story's plot, and maybe even planning a project.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dvolver- Don't like it

Okay, that's a bit harsh, but Dvolver is unfortunately not a tool that I'll be using with elementary students any time soon. Dvolver is a free movie maker where users get to choose their setting, characters, background music and dialog. Sounds great, but the setting descriptions are a little PG-13, the characters are racy (I would even think twice about using it with high schoolers), and dialog is limited to 3 lines of text per character, 100 characters per line. I think it would be useful for quick videos to demonstrate a point, because you'll definitely keep the kids' attention, but having elementary school students use it would raise many questions.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wallwisher is a free Web 2.0 tool that allows users to create a wall and then post "stickies" to it. The stickies can consist of text, images, links, and even video. At first glance, its simplicity does not reveal its potential (I guess I couldn't relate to the wall subject). A Google search of Wallwisher brings you to Sean Banville's 105 classroom ideas for Wallwisher (did he come up with these all by himself?). Just a quick glance at his explanatory wall opens up all kinds of possibility in the elementary classroom!

Here are some of my ideas for elementary students: (I did not read Sean's 105 ideas, just a peek at his wall)

* Star Student creates a wall for their Star of the Week poster and during the week, classmates post stickies and comments to it
* Students do preliminary research for a project and post links and commentary to websites they find valuable
* Brainstorming
* Class Word Wall
* Compliment Wall

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Check out 7 Billion

7 Billion

I am so loving the iPad! Check out this cool app of the day!

Check out this application on the App Store:

Cover Art

7 Billion

National Geographic Society

Category: News

Updated: Oct 21, 2011

105 Ratings

iTunes for Mac and Windows
Please note that you have not been added to any email lists.
Copyright © 2011 Apple Inc. All rights reserved

- Cathy :)

Cathy Cheo-Isaacs
Technology Integration Specialist, Cedar Hill School

Pastry Chef
(908) 413-2469 cell

GO S.U.!!!

Sent from my iPad

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Web 2.0 and Information and Media Literacy- Perfect Together!

Our assignment was to create a mind map to illustrate our understand of how Web 2.0 tools can support information and media literacy. I referred to Route 21- The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and Kathy Schrock's Google Tools to Support Bloom's Revised Taxonomy for assistance. You can assess my understanding and the projects we complete below.

Each year, I try to update or introduce class projects when the projects are no longer fun for me to teach. Now that I'm familiar with the curriculum, the part I enjoy most is figuring out the logistics of pulling off a new project. Of course, sometimes we choose to scrap it as soon as we're done. Most of the time, teachers are open to change, but I do run into resistance too.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Journal of Course Experiences, KidPix Deluxe 4

Today I am continuing my journey towards my +30 step on the salary guide with KidPix Deluxe, another course offering through Fresno University PD.

While I currently use KP on many occasions in the classroom, i am looking forward to a thorough overview of the software. I think I'll be looking for online options as well since this year, my approach to technology is Web 2.0!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Journal of Course Experiences- Three Web Page Project

I intend to use Dreamweaver to create a website for keyboarding resources for fourth graders at my school. The website will provide links to practice exercises and online keyboarding activities. Additionally, the students' accomplishments will be acknowledged on the website.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dreamweaver Lesson Plan- Students

AS: How will we display your web 2.0 projects throughout the year?

Objectives: Students will use Dreamweaver to create an online anthology to describe and display their web-based projects throughout the year

Subject: Technology, Web Page Design


Creating the website:
Students will launch Dreamweaver CS3 from the Start Menu
Students will choose a webpage template from File> New
Students will name their site so it can be easily identified as their own
Students will create a page for each subject area and set page titles for each page created

Creating :
Students will develop their anthology website throughout the year as curriculum units are completed
Students will include static and linked images in their site

Updating the website

Students will open their anthology website to update it with links to their new work


Differentiation: Creating a class website

Students will create a class website that links to each student in the class' work

Students will update the class website as each project has been completed

Vocabulary: website, links, title, images

Materials: Dreamweaver CS3, URLs to online work

Evaluation: Teacher Observation


TEC.K-4.8.1 - All students will use computer applications to gather and organize information and to solve problems

TEC.K- A - Basic Computer Tools and Skills

TEC.K- A.1 - Use basic technology vocabulary.

TEC.K- A.3 - Input and access text and data, using appropriate keyboarding techniques or other input devices.

TEC.K- A.5 - Produce and interpret a simple graph or chart by entering and editing data on a prepared spreadsheet template.

TEC.K- A.7 - Create and maintain files and folders.

TEC.K- A.9 - Use basic computer icons.

TEC.K- B - Application of Productivity Tools

TEC.K-4. - Social Aspects

TEC.K- B.2.d - Personal security and safety issues

TEC.K-4. - Information Access and Research

TEC.K- B.7 - Locate specific information by searching a database.

TEC.K- B.8 - Recognize accuracy and/or bias of information.

TEC.K-4. - Problem Solving

TEC.K- B.9 - Solve problems individually and/or collaboratively using computer applications.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Journal of Course Experiences- Dreamweaver CS3, Day 360 (or so)

So I think I've established that it is a challenge for me to complete online and independent courses. I really need to be present and accountable because life gets in the way.

The exercises from the text thus far have been a good review of website design and a good introduction to Dreamweaver CS3. I am excited at the prospect of gaining new skills with this software.

Assets Panel- Maintains a listing of all the asset types (images, colors, links, movies, scripts, library items, and templates) within the current site

Spell check- SHIFT+F7

controls the line spacing

Property Inspector= Formatting Toolbar

Linking can be accomplished by browsing for the file, using Point to File or highlighting text and holding shift while pointing to a file in the asset box. Links can be made to html files, PDFs or zip files. Anchors can be created to link to specific areas on the page.

Point to File icon prevents linking to misspelled urls. Click, hold and drag to file in Files panel

Image maps can be creating by clicking on the whole image, and using the image map section of the image properties box. Hot spots can be square, round or polygonal. Alternate text must be provided for each hot spot.

Cascading Style Sheets

Finally, something I have no prior knowledge of. :)

CSS2- second recommendation of cascading style sheets containing about 120 properties.

Cascading- how the browsers interpret your style sheet

Rules consist of two parts- the selector (specific tag) and the declaration (how the specific tag should be displayed- property, value)

The easiest way to define a style sheet is in Page Properties.

Chapter 6 has to do with CSS, which I've never really understood. Looking forward to learning a lot and getting how to use it.

CSS- Cascading Style Sheets
Cascading refers to how browsers interpret your style sheet, i.e. which rules the browser follows when it encounters conflicting CSS information

You can use CSS to control basic formatting of a web page. In DW, use CSS formatting by editing the preferences.

Property Inspector- located at the bottom of the page
Page Properties controls: appearance, links, heading, title/encoding, tracing image, margins (amount of space to edge of browser, color-background, links- visited and unvisited, underline-/rollover

Types of Style Sheets:
Embedded- apply styles to a single page
External (linked)- most powerful, can format lots-o-pages
Inline- override style definition of a single element

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Professional Development at the Library of Congress

In these tight economic times, school districts are cutting or discontinuing reimbursement for educators to attend professional development workshops. The Library of Congress offers self-paced online modules for you to take and earn a certificate of completion. Each module is about an hour in length.