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Technology Bits Bytes & Nibbles

Nearly 500-60second Recap videos covering more than 100 books
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 02:03 PM PDT

Over the last 18 months, Jenny and her fearless little production team have cranked out nearly 500-60second Recap videos covering more than 100 books. And the requests for new 60second Recap titles keep coming from teachers, students, and parents – from just about every continent on earth. We love making the Recaps, and we know you love watching them – with over 5 Million views!
“Eat your lima beans,” Mom used to say.
And now that you’re out on your own, honestly, are lima beans a staple of your culinary repertoire?
There, in a lima bean, lies the problem confronting the great works of literature. We’re all forced to read them in school so we can get good grades so we can go to a good college so we can get a good job so we can forget all about that literature they used to force us to read so we could get good grades.
60second Recap® aims to break this cycle of canonical irrelevance. We want to help teens (yes, teens of all ages!) engage with literature. We want to help them see it not as some chore to be endured, but as — dare we say it? — the gift of a lifetime. How? Through the language of our time — the language of video. Video that’s focused, engaging, informative … and short enough to hold just about anyone’s attention.
Smirk if you must. Consider this yet another mile-marker on civilization’s road to perdition. But here’s the fact: You won’t get non-readers to read by forcing them to read more. You’ll get them to read by opening their eyes to the marvels awaiting them between the covers of that homework assignment.
With 60second Recap®, teens finally have an alternative to the boring, text-based study guides that have burdened them for generations. And — who knows? — maybe that’s just what they’ll need to begin a love affair with literature, one that will last a lifetime.
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  1. 60 Second Recap -Wow Great resource
  2. 60 Second Recap, Very Cool!
  3. Opinion: Children need both digital and print books

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How technology is enhancing lessons on the Civil War
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 11:52 AM PDT

150 Years Later: Primary Sources, Technology Bring Civil War to Life
Many schools are using technology and the Internet to incorporate primary documents and photographs into their teachings on the Civil War. Educators say the resources offer a way for students to better understand the causes of the conflict. “It gives students a different perspective. It’s not just this guy living in our time telling us about the war. This is a photograph, a diary entry, a map that one of General Sherman’s soldiers drew,” teacher Carole L. Parsons said. Education Week/Curriculum Matters blog
Read the full story in the The News-Times (Danbury, Conn.)

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  1. Check Out These Good Civil War Resources
  2. Center for Civil War Photos has 3D pictures and much more
  3. In pictures: Faces of US Civil War

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Educators disappointed with Cisco’s killing of the flip camera
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 11:47 AM PDT

Cisco Systems Inc., one of the titans of the technology industry, on April 12 said it is killing the Flip Video, the most popular video camera in the U.S., just two years after it bought the startup company that created it.
It appears to be a case of a large company proving to be a poor custodian of a small one, even one that makes a hit product. Cisco never meaningfully integrated the Flip Video into its main business of making computer networking gear.
Read More
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  2. Ideas for using FLIP cameras in your classroom
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RICH Lesson Plans using the Google Apps
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 10:08 AM PDT

Google Apps are being used in schools more an more, I suspect it is related to the fact that they are FREE. But alsoe becasue they are pretty darn good. At this point, I use iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) and Google Docs. I do have MS Office on my computer but can’t remember the last time it was opened. I am due for a new laptop this summer at work and I will not have MS Office put on that new one. I just don’t need it.
Check out all the lesson plans at intl/en/edu/lesson_plans.html. I am sure it will give you some ideas about how you could also make the jump to cloud apps. You can search by Product, subject and grade level. This is a very rich resource.
I am using Google Apps in my pre-service Tech class this semester a great deal. I was inspired by a book, Retool Your School: The Educator’s Essential Guide to Google’s Free Power Apps.Available in print and eBook format. I have both and love the copy in iBooks on my iPad.
“Retool Your School begins with an inspirational and achievable story that illustrates how Google Applications and good leadership transformed a school facing closure to one that in just one year is seen as a model of success. The book then dives into step-by-step directions on how to use multiple applications, detailing the benefits they provide to many aspects of education and school management. More than 40 lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high school will help you get started while the books many ideas and supplemental resources show how to implement these tools to transform communication, collaboration, and creativity in your school and classroom. Don’t miss the special chapter on how to bring Google Applications Education Edition directly to your school or district.”
Related posts:
  1. Better LESSON: Find lesson plans, classroom materials & instructional resources from high-performing teachers
  2. A Guide to Google Apps for Education
  3. New York Times Lesson Plans & Resources for Teachers

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The Ultimate Web2.0 Smackdown at Tech Forum, Boston
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 07:51 AM PDT

Lisa Thumann, Dan Callahan, Joanne Najarian presented at the Tech Forum Boston their session, “**Ultimate Web 2.0 Smackdown**” and were joined by several educators including Karen Janowski and Valerie Beck as we spent no more than 3 minutes demonstrating each of the following tools:
Sites they smacked down:
  1. http:/
  5. htm
  8. http://www.facesoflearning. net/
  16. http://udltechtoolkit.
  17. 6interactives/
  23. SearchStories
  26. bookmarklets
Added via Twitter
  2. dropbox/
  3. http://cooltoolsforschools.
There are some I know about and use on the list and quite a few I have never explored, so I am looking forward to looking into these new resources. I sure wish I could have been there for the live presentation! But thanks so much to Lisa for sharing the list. I will share my thoughts about site I explore in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
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  2. Internet Smackdown of Resources
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N.C. 1:1 laptop program is a model, test scores jump 70%
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 07:32 AM PDT

A North Carolina school district is in its third year of a one-to-one laptop program that officials say has led to higher test scores and a lower dropout rate. Educators say the Digital Conversion program, which has been expanded from high school down through fourth grade, has changed the way they approach instruction. Administrators say the program —which is seen as a national model – is well worth the cost, which is estimated at $200 per student each year. WSOC-TV (Charlotte, N.C.)
MOORESVILLE, N.C. — One North Carolina Board of Education member said Monday that Mooresville Graded School District is doing what all districts should be doing — heavily integrating technology in the classroom.
Watch the video and read the full story: CLICK HERE
Check out their **Technology and Digital Conversation** page of their school district website, you will find lots of information about the programs as well as links to student project examples.

And there is even a PBS video about the school.

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.
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  2. School adopts 1-to-1 laptop program for third-graders
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