Saturday, September 29, 2007

Go to Maine ASCD

Have you been to the Maine ASCD site? There is a wealth of resources and up-to-date information there. It is about time that I send in my dues for a membership! :)

For starters, check these out:

Cyber Resources for Maine Educators

Maine ASCD Weblog

Friday, September 28, 2007

21st Century High School MacBook Resources

I just found a site at Deer Isle - Stonington Schools that has a great compilation of information on the new MLTI initiative in Maine high schools.

21st Century High School Teacher Tools and Resources at the Deer Isle-Stonington School

Check out also the MacBook Resources in Resources for Maine Teachers

Do we have others that we could add to the list? Or perhaps suggestions for the DIS site?

Regional MLTI Meeting at UMaine Farmington

I'm at the Western Maine Regional Meeting for the high school 21st Century Skills initiative.

Play by play. . . .stream of consciousness review of the session:

Bette Manchester of MLTI starts off the day, giving an overview of the project, which is followed by introductions.

• The group is introduced to Noteshare, given a short lesson . . . and then Ruben Puentedura does an overview of the the agenda.

• Viewed "Did You Know?"

• Puentedura points: The world has changed. The jobs are different. Deep media skills are needed. Students need the intellectual tools to succeed. The world IS globalized today . . already . . . isn't something that is going just happen in the future.

• Doug Snow, Maine Apple Projector Manager, gives a short introduction to Apple OS X and the applications that are on the MLTI MacBook. How to add applications to dock. Globalization has happened. Chat being used daily in many schools. Introduces and demonstrates iChat. Question and discussion on acceptable uses and how AUPs are written. PhotoBooth demonstrated. Address Book demonstrated . . .how to import address files from other programs. Demonstrates Numbers, a new spreadsheet app in iWork. Intro and demonstrates Pages . . . which is in iWork. Help menu is available.

Noteshare as spiral-bound notebook metaphor. Word Processor included . . .sections, pages, entries. Audio, quicktime movies, website links and embedded, and much more. Wow! Can share notebooks over local networks and over internet.

• Break

The Roadmap. Transformation, Technology, and Education ~ Ruben R. Peuntedura

• Bette Manchester gives history of MLTI: First Five Years. Using computer and writing process makes a difference in student writing skills. Focus on Math . . . literacy . . .and digital literacy. Skowhegan an example of digital literacy. MLTI not a technology project . . . instead a teaching and learning project . . .leadership team important. . .crucial . . . technology supports the learning. Grand effort for what is happening in Maine high schools. Literacy is going to be a focus . . . a.k.a. Literacy Across the Curriculum.

• Lunch . . . quick trip to Reny's

• Ruben Puentedura introduces StudyWiz. Overview. A tool for collaboration. (aside: See also blogs, wikis, Ning, Google Tools for Educators and Moodle).

• Grouped as principals in one room. . . . teachers and techies in other room. Discussion on how to use tools and building capacity. Question: What is the role of the lead teacher? What is the process? Technical questions . . where do technical people get support/help? Importance of principal and building leadership team.


Sir Ken Robinson and Creativity.

Richard Florida and the Rise of the Creative Class

Final Word: Have fun with the machines. Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


According to Wikipedia, 71% of the earth's surface is ocean. Do you suppose that is accurate . . . or do I need to check another source?

Maine certainly has a close connection with the Atlantic Ocean.

Question: How do we share and investigate the salt-water connections with our kids?

One Example: Bill Caddigan, Telstar Regional Middle School science teacher, was able to connect to his students in a very novel way last Spring through his Teacher at Sea adventure.

What other examples can we add here?

More Resources:

Ocean Resources

Oceanography Resources

Maine Teacher at Sea

Oceanography Search Using Custom Content-Specific Engine

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

School Culture

Every Wednesday morning at Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico, Maine, is "late-arrival" teacher workshop time. This is a valuable time when everyone is fresh to work on ways to improve the school. One session a month is devoted to a literacy initiative with the Western Maine Educational Collaborative, as previously posted. Today was focused on school culture. MVMS has an enthusiastic committee called the MVMS Improvement Committee (formerly the Student Climate and Culture group). Not only have they created some areas to focus on each month, but they provide hands-on training for staff during the professional development time. In other words, there are some strong capacity-building activities that promote implementation, not just words alone.

Today we worked on team-building, cooperative learning activities and conflict resolution skills in small groups that could be used with students during flex-time. Congratulations to the team for excellent leadership. :) Good stuff that I'm sure will make a difference! You see. . . there is a double function here . . . teachers working as a team in order to promote teamwork with students.

Lindsay MacMillan, teacher at MVMS, created a Noteshare notebook called Flex Time with many great ideas. Here is the Web Notebook version. MVMS Librarian, Amy Ryder, added the library resources available to teachers and students.

Process Skills Resources
Student Aspirations: Eight Conditions

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

FOSSED Attendee/Presenter now writing about education in Maine!

by David Trask

Deborah White of the Asa Adams School in Orono, Maine is now a columnist with the Bangor Daily News! She has been asked to write about issues and trends in education and how they apply to all of us. Not only that, Deb is also FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) user! Deb has been using FOSS in her own classroom for a couple years now. She wrote an excellent column on Software Freedom Day. Check out her below.

Deborah White, Bangor Daily News Columnist

Customized Search Engine

Ever want a search engine that will only search the sites you are interested in? No problem . . . just create a Google Custom Search Engine.

The search engine below was created to search just the following sites to gather content specific listings for teachers:

• eThemes
• K12 Station
• 42eXplore
• Resources for Maine Teachers
• Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators

Check it out. For example, try doing a search for "simple machines." Note that the results are from the five sites listed above.

See any advantages?

Taming Email

Ever feel overwhelmed with the proliferation of email and other demands? Check this video out from Google Central. Merlin Mann of 43 Folders shares his observations and strategies on the issue.

How do you tame email?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Telstar eMINTS Groups

I just returned from Bethel where year 2 of the 1st eMINTS group has started up with our first gathering at the Crescent Park School. This group is made up of 15 diverse educators who are enthusiastic and most definitely life-long learners. I love the mix of levels and perspectives as it tends to keep us all more honest. Here's this evening's agenda. In creating web pages we stuck with free, open source Nvu . . . much to my delight. There is a "portable" version as well, which can be operated off a flash drive. Nifty. Find Nvu tutorials here.

We came up with a schedule that we could all live with for the school year and finished the evening with a little Chinese cuisine. It's a pleasure working with this delightful group of people. I'm looking forward to Telstar's 2nd group which will be starting year 1 of eMINTS Custom soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Twenty-First Century Skills

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” ~ Alvin Toffler
Twenty-First Century Skills seems to be all the buzz these days . . . but is anything really changing?

Maine Launches Statewide 21st Century Skills' Education Initiative
Twenty-First Century Skills Resources