Sunday, May 31, 2009

Websites I found interesting (weekly)

  • End-of-School Countdown Widgets

    tags: endofschool, auntlee, widgets

  • It's the Summer Zombie Workout - a sing and dance-along that's intended to be fun and *use up energy*.
    The song encourages kids to "Buff Up To Rough Up the Undead."
    Today's kids are used to bashing zombies and bad guys in video games; this song encourages kids to use their summer vacation to work on their real-life hand-to-eye coordination skills, because the only way to stop zombies is to throw stuff at them. Tennis, soccer, golf, and baseball are recommended to hone skills for this. No school-age kid I've ever known would find this
    scary (I mean, there's a *Dracula *character on Sesame Street) -- let me know if you think it *would *be too scary.
    You can download the lyrics and suggested choreography in a .pdf file -- the idea is to repeat the song faster every time until it's impossible to keep up the choreography, and everyone's exhausted.

    tags: zombie, workout, auntlee

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, May 29, 2009

DENny Awards

Note I have added a new award to the side bar. I received an award from Discovery Educators Network. It was the Golden Sponge Award. I understand a colleague made this up and nominated me because I like to soak up new technology tools and enjoy helping other educators get their "feet wet."

If your school doesn't subscribe to Discovery Education digital stream, it should. If it does, you must get involved and become a STAR Discovery Educator. There are great resources available for subscribers.
Check out

SAVE THE DATE: I am part of the planning team for a big Day of Discovery event in West TN, September 26th. I will keep you posted as more detail emerge. All educators from West TN, Arkansas and Mississppi will be invited.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Doodle: Easy Scheduling

Doodle: Easy Scheduling

Shared via AddThis
This worked great when we were trying to get our Tech folks connected with our Admin group for a curriculum meeting. It is a great tool for seeing when various folks are available for a meeting.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ed Gadget from Google

A Post from my GCT-PLN:
"Don't know if you spotted these yet, but Google Spreadsheets now boast
some great new Ed Gadgets for Word Search, Flash Cards and Word Study!
They are about halfway down under the Gadgets window. Blog post
available here:

Thanks again Google for making even more fantastic tools available to

I am off to work on my Multiplication Facts flashcards :-)"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - download YouTube videos

Thank you DetURL!. I was updating a presentation for a conference this summer and wanted to embed a video from You Tube. Now the last time I went into a school early this month...You Tube was blocked. So i tried this new tip that I had read about. Now, I don't know how it works, but DetURL! has developed a hack so that all you have to do is insert the letters pwn into th URL and you will be able to download your favorite YouTube in MP4 and Flash Video formats. Thanks, deturl, whoever you are! You were a lifesaver tonight!

Here's the link to a favorite JibJab video of mine:

I wanted to make that video my own? All I had to do is insert the letters pwn, before and after the www. and the magic began.....

The screen changed (See Screenshot) and magically I will had my choice of formats, even Quicktime for Apple users! Yeah, Deturl, again!

Of course, I still might have to use my previous go to favorites: Converttube or Zamzar. You never know what website will be blocked, too slow or down for maintenence. Today, Deturl folks, you are amazing!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Map the Fallen

Again From my PLN and my Walden professor, Kevin Jarrett: "Map the Fallen: Google Earth mashup of the 5,700+ American & Coalition
members who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan:"

One of the Google Engineers-Sean, San Francisco, CA, writes: "This Memorial Day I would like to share with you a personal project of mine that uses Google Earth to honor the more than 5,700 American and Coalition servicemen and women that have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have created a map for Google Earth that will connect you with each of their stories—you can see photos, learn about how they died, visit memorial websites with comments from friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died."
From the sidebar: Click here to download map: You *must* have Google Earth 5.0 installed to view this project

Mac Users: The original release of Earth 5.0 (5.0.11337.1968) crashes when loading this map. Please download and install the latest version (5.0.11733.9347).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Awards Maker

End of Year = Awards
I just returned to one of my ol' faithfuls, My Award Maker. Printing out award certificates has never been easier! Just download, fill out & print.100% Free. No registration required!

You can use it for the fun classroom awards where to make sure everyone gets one.

Great categories for various occasions!

Suggestion for implementation in the classroom: Ask each child to write on a sheet of paper one thing they thing the have accomplished or one thing that they do best. Let them make their own awards. OR make one to put away to a special male in their life for next month's Father's Day gift.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gail Braddock_GCT reflection


Professional Development Activities

Workshop: HOT (Hooked on Technology sessions) for MAIS-TEC Memphis Association of Independent Schools

Event: Calendar for MAIS-TEC HOT sessions

Date of Event: January 20 – March 5, 2009

Number of participants: 25


Presenters will use Google Doc- Forms to propose sessions. Scheduling will take place by using Google Calendar which will be embedded in a Google Site. Which will have directions to various schools using Google maps.Presents will make a Google form available to evaluate each session. This will help the committee tally attendance and effectiveness of each session. At least 30 sessions will be offered over the 8 weeks that have been set aside for professional development focusing on technology by the Memphis Association of Independent Schools (27 member schools) Area educators will be pedagogically be using Google tools without really knowing. This will help spread the Google message by modeling use of Google tools in the everyday world of education. They will be eager to know how to use these tools in their schools.

Site: (ex. Feb 09) Presenters will use Google Doc- Forms to propose sessions. Scheduling will take place by using Google Calendar which will be embedded in a Google Site. Which will have directions to various schools using Google maps.Presents will make a Google form available to evaluate each session. This will help the committee tally attendance and effectiveness of each session. At least 30 sessions will be offered over the 8 weeks that have been set aside for professional development focusing on technology by the Memphis Association of Independent Schools (27 member schools) Area educators will be pedagogically be using Google tools without really knowing.

Impact was over 500 tech users during those 9 weeks

Workshop: HOT sessions (see above)

Event: Hooked on Technology

Date of Events: Jan 16, Jan 26, Feb 2, Feb 24, 2009

Number of participants: 50


Google for Educators (as part of the Activity#2 HOT sessions) Using the Google Tools that I have learned, I will showcase Google docs presentation, and include iGoogle, calendar, blogger. Then the session on February 24 will focus on Google Earth

Train the trainers model for a hands on workshop

Blog: Wings to Fly

Number of viewers: Unlimited


Started and am maintaining a blog entitled "Wings to Fly" for all the teachers and tech coordinators in my school system and other educators in the area who learn about it through my PLN and Google workshop attendees. The content will include a wide range of effective strategies and practical classroom resources for digital tools.


The first thing that I tackled after attended Google Academy was to revamp out MAIS-TEC HOT sessions, by providing more outline resources. I received a big thank you from the teachers in the 27 area independent schools for putting out a Google Calendar on a Google site. They learned how to use the Google calendar to register and remind attendees about the workshops.

I was the January speaker at Memphis Association of Independent Schools Technology Consortium meeting. Kicking off session that I lead on Google Tools for teachers, Google Earth and Managing your PLN. Also I starting telling that group to pass the work that I had an ed tech blog to follow.

As a result of increasing my exposure as a Google-trained teacher in the West Tennessee area. I was approached about presenting to the Shelby County Public School System: Google in Education session to all the GCC in Shelby County Schools Hands on session resources were placed on

5/5/2009 30 attendees but impact immeasurable because these are the technology trainers for Shelby County school district is the fourth largest school system in Tennessee with a population of over 48,000 students. They were so eager to learn that this turned out to be a 3 hour session!

Impact of these activities on teachers and students

The technology educators that I stood before at each workshop, felt like they had someone telling the "inside tips" about how to use Google tools effectively. Every time I reinforced to them that my goal was to help each one of them take away "one thing" that they could implement immediately. At the end of each session, every attendee might have felt a bit overwhelmed, but they meet that goal. I felt like a Google evangelist.

Challenges I faced

I did not really face any major challenge while presenting the workshops
or creating
the blog. I one Google Earth session, not all the teachers had the newest version of GE. She was very dissatisfied even though I had sent her email reminders via Google Calendar to come with the latest version. She was embarrassed when I handed her one of the prepared computers from the school's cart.

At one school, I some of the resources were blocked on their network. It was a blessing that I had uploaded my documents to Google Docs and could use the presentation tools there. By the way. we could not collaborate via Google presentations that was blocked. What a disappointment!

Impact on my personal growth

Attending the GTA was just the beginning of a journey. I have definately expanded my PLN. I am know more as a resource for professional development. I had a inviation to train trainers in May and have 2 more opportunitis in July. All the while, I struggle to keep up and be in the know with the constantly changing Google tools. Thank goodness, I have other Google educator on the look out with implementation of the new tools and their posting to our Google Group.

I know that I will continue to be more enthusiastic to share with my expanded PLN. I have found so much strength in those relationships.

You much know that after over 30 years in education, I just got my Master's in Tech Education in March '07. I "retired" from my previous job in May '08. Then started a new job with a new school system in August '09. I tried three times to become a GCT. This experience has afforded to to have more credibility with my new school system and more confidence in the tools I have "under my belt." I know I am not an expert, by any means, but I find new excitement as a life-long learner. I graduated in the 1970's, but really "get" what it takes to be a 21st century learner!

Ideas for the future

I would like see a "Google Academy" in the Memphis, TN area. Teachers and university faculty are eager to learn these valuable tools.

I also hope that my blog continues to impact teachers. I haven't gotten much feedback about it, but I will continue to promote it.

Because of limited time at school and home, I haven't had the time, but I want to move some of my training documents to Google Sites. Also, I want my school to start using Google Apps for Education!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Google Academy Applications being accepted

Application now open for GTA Boulder. August 5th, 2009.
Apply by MIDNIGHT, July 3rd, 2009.

I love the network that I have built all over the world by being a Google Certified teacher. I tried 3 times. You can do it! I know you are busy now, but get out that digital camera or Flip camera and take the pictures. You can be creative later.

Here is the Google Academy down-low:

The GCT Application: here

The best advice for me came from Kevin Jarrett, my Walden U professor. I'll be your cheerleader!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

EekoWorld-Environmental Education

EekoWorld (Environmental Education for Kids Online) features an engaging and interactive format that invites children to explore, experiment, and collaborate as they learn about conservation and the environment. The primary goals of EekoWorld are the following:
  • Introduce children to the basic elements of ecosystems
  • Foster an increased awareness of pollution producers
  • Display the effects of pollution on plants and animals, as well as the land, air and water
  • Examine both local and global conservation acts
  • Encourage collaboration and community efforts to improve the environment
Check out the Teacher's Guide and Family Guide.
Create and care for your own EekoCreature, then explore EekoHouse for conservation ideas!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Financial Literacy-Home Building

With the Housing Crises, it is important to educator our students about financial literacy. Here is a source for PC users that are looking for integrated curriculum

Building Homes of Our Own is a free, interactive teaching tool for middle and high school classrooms developed by the National Association of Home Builders. Challenge students with this innovative simulation that presents a macro view of the entire home-building process, from site selection to final sale. Students collect information, solve problems and make choices as they build a 3-D home against a budget. Then they review credit applications and sell to the buyer of their choice.

Plus: An accompanying teacher’s guide provides additional activities, exercises and projects. A cross-indexed, content-standards listing ties activities and gameplay to specific national standards. View sample lessons for math, science, technology, social studies and English.
Click Here to View Sample Lessons

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

MapSkip Makes the Connection

After reading the blog of one of the members of my local PLN where she talked about using MapSkip, I jetted over to take a look myself.

" is the brainchild of Kazumi Atsuta and Thomas Sturm and was launched in August 2007.

The purpose of is to create a weave of stories about the places in our lives. Users are invited to create a free account and to mark up places in Google Maps with their own stories and photos. Users can browse each other's stories and can rate and discuss them.

MapSkip is free to use and free of ads. We have strong feelings about sites that bother their users, and MapSkip strives to be different. MapSkip will never run ad banners, however we may feature sponsored stories (which will be marked accordingly) at some point in the future. "

A teacher may set up special Teacher accounts to manage student accounts through the teacher's email account.

This website will give students a great sense of community. They could use it for personal narratives, digital storytelling about places they have visited or family stories. Connecting a story with the visual through maps and photos certainly help to make a significant literacy connection.

Thanks, Melissa for steering me to a worthy resource!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Emints Resource website

Recently two Google Certified teachers, Cindy Lane and
Stephanie Madlinger, have posted on a google group about This is a great resource for all educators.

"What is an eMINTS teacher?" The acronym stands for "enhancing
Missouri's Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies". This two
year program began as a state grant through the University of Missouri
Columbia in 1999. Throught this grant teachers receivedn classroom technology equipment computers, printers, a digital camera & scanner. The technology, along with
the 250 hours of in-depth, face-to-face professional development give
the participating teachers tools & resources to create & provide
inquiry-based lessons, many including higher level thinking skills.

Once you become an eMINTS teacher you not only receive the technology
& professional development, but you also receive a variety of support
systems, including access to the discussion list of the several
thousand eMINTS teachers. Everyone, trained or
not, has access to the eTHEMES website
& WebQuests that have been compiled & written by eMINTS teachers. Wonderful resources for
any teacher.

Thanks for this great resource from my PLN

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mini READ Poster from ALA

Just saw a tweet from a Twitter monarchlibrary. Check this out! I see a writing reflection possibility, "My favorite book in elementary school was...." The reward for a polished paragraph would be to take a Photo Booth pic on a Macbook and publish this for display.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Greens

PBS has another great project.

The GREENS is a site for kids from WGBH about sustainability and green living.

From the website.....We think there's nothing more urgent than instilling an environmental ethic in the next generation. This web site is a terrific way to start that important work, and that's why we recommend every family meet the Greens.

The GREENS is a different kind of project because we've started online. It's not a TV show, at least not yet.

With The GREENS, we get kids thinking about the world and their place in it. The GREENS project is upbeat and optimistic. We encourage kids to make informed choices and meaningful changes. Through the animated episodic adventures, a blog, kids' mail, and regular updates, we explore green living, sustainability, ecology, environmental care, and social equity. We nudge kids to research, to challenge, to discover, and to take action whereever and whenever they can. Green Business named us as one of the "Ten Best Environmental Sites on the Web."

This project came to WGBH by way of the TED Community and a wish granted to the photographer Edward Burtynsky. You can download their theme song, Buddy icons and more....

Friday, May 1, 2009

An Almanac of Things for Learning

From a fellow GCT:
No matter what the educational climate, teachers and teens can weave 21st Century innovation into the curriculum and still achieve rigorous educational standards. Rethink and explore by "tooling up" and incorporating one innovation every other week into your learning cycle. By June, your creative collaboration, critical thinking and solution forecasting will have a new set of tools to help you weather any "brain" storm.

About the lesson ideas: Each of the 40 links reveals a short introduction or "how to" video and a lesson idea for creative fuel. Explore, learn and then twist these suggestions to meet your own curriculum or projects. from the website