May 21, 2010

ETLO PLN Reflections

Reflect on how your personal learning network has changed and grown during the course of this workshop. Discuss your plans for how you plan to continue to grow your learning network and how you hope to contribute to the professional learning of your administrative colleagues.
During this workshop, I improved my use of Twitter, reconnected with class members that I knew through other online networks such as SETDA, Plurk, Facebook, and Twitter.  However, I was disappointed that there was little information and resources about Professional Learning Networks.

The contents of this workshop are very similar to the course on Web 2.0 for school administrators.   I already know how to use the tools in both course, but expected to see more of a focus on articles, examples, and best practices for PLN/PLCs.  I would recommend updating this course to have more of that focus and to make it a follow up course to the Web 2.0 Administrator's course.

Reflect on the current policies in place regarding social networking in your school or district. How has this workshop shaped your opinions about the potential of these tools to facilitate learning and collaboration? What are the challenges you face regarding incorporating these tools and allowing teachers and students to network virtually? Describe how you plan to address these challenges in the coming school year.

Working at the State Education Agency means that we provide service and support to district level personnel and on a limited basis, school-level administrators.  Since we do not provide direct service to students and our agency does not receive E-Rate funds, the requirements of  CIPA do not apply to our day to day interactions with school districts. However, when setting up a communications wiki for my Region, I had to PBWorks instead of Ning because of filtering with school districts.  This actually turned out pretty good, due the the new price structure of NING. 

Access to Web 2.0 tools is a equity issue across our states.  I am currently working with E-Rate and Virtual Public School on filtering issues, CIPA, FERPA, and Internet Safety/Digital Citizenship so that we can provide guidance and strategies for addressing the concerns of Technology Directors administrators, and local school boards.  Our state has partnered with the University of North Carolina to offer a certification course for technology directors.  (  Part of the course content will address equity of access and policy issues related to Web 2.0.

Parents are also important stakeholders in the discussions regarding how and when to incorporate social networking tools into the classroom. Describe how you plan to educate parents about the concept of a personal learning network and share your initial strategies and ideas for how you might involve parents in the discussions regarding how to safely and effectively incorporate networking tools into the school community.

If I were a school administrator or school superintendent, I would work with my communications staff and move all newsletters to blogs. These would be hosted on a site like Edublogs or Sharpschool. If it were hosted locally, I would use Word Press.  Principals and staff would be required to post regularly with a weekly post being the ideal. I would also encourage student blogging or podcasting for two reasons: 1) As a communication tool about the school or school district and 2) students do better work when they write for an external audience.   

Apr 16, 2010

Feb 27, 2010

iTunes Production hints

iTunesU Production Hints

Begin with the end in mind

Adults Learn Differently

Production Team

Develop concept
Write the "Script" and develop a story board
Produce the content

Choosing the Right Medium

For production

Use video for demonstrations
Use audio for concepts
Use documents for reference documents

iTunes U file formats are

Video - Mp4
Audio - Acc
Documents - PDF

The iTunes application will import files from other formats and convert them.

Basic Tool Set

Using Power Point or Keynote to create video podcasts for iTunes U
  • Create short segments
    • 8-10 minutes long
    • 1 concept
    • chunk content into digestible bytes ;-)
  • Record audio for each short presentation.

Power Point & Microsoft Resources

  1. PPt 2003
  2. PPT 2007
  3. PPt 2007 - convert to movie
  4. PPt 2007 compatible media files -
  5. Using Movie Maker (Office 2003 -
  6. Using PhotoStory
Keynote Resources
    1. Keynote

GoToMeeting & GoToWebinar production Tips
      1. Subscribe to GoToMeeting podcasts in iTunes (free)
      2. Tips for capturing webinars
      3. Have screen action (move the mouse, etc) to start the screen recording when the audio recording begins
      4. Use a pre-recorded presentation rather than a live presentation - the boo boos can be edited out
      5. Develop supplementary materials
      6. Break the content into short segments
      7. Use the breaks between the movie segments for discussion.
      8. After the webinar provide answers to discussion questions as a companion to the webinar.
      9. Post presentations and support materials on NC WISE and iTunes U.

Follow Up Questionnaire

(Google Form)

May 29, 2008

Minor Tune-Up for Windows XP

  1. Go to Start -> All Programs
    • Find Programs that you no longer use and click to Uninstall if that option is available
    • Remove any Anti-Virus and Spyware removal programs.
  2. Go to Start -> Control Panel->Add or Remove Programs
    • In the list of programs that appears, locate any Programs that you no longer use
    • Click on the Program to reveal the Remove button
    • Click Remove
    • Be sure to remove any Anti-virus and Spyware removal programs
    • If the Program has been corrupted, the removal process may not be successful. (That's okay)
  3. Follow this link to the AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0 download page.
    • Download and install AVG
    • In the program settings, perform an update to get protection from the latest anti-virus
    • After the AVG program downloads, be sure to update it and then run it
    • Do not attemt to heal, but quarantine or delete any virus detected
  4. Follow this link to the Lavasoft Adaware Free Edition download page.
    • Download and install Adaware
    • Perform a program update.
    • Run Adaware
    • Quarantine and delete spyware found by Adaware
  5. Go to Start ->Accessories->System Tools -> Disk Clean Up (Click thumbnails for full size image)
    • When Disk Clean Up starts, select your computer's main hard drive (default is C) and click okay
    • It may take a while for your computer to find all the files that can potentially be deleted.
    • You may want to take a break from the computer and let it run the Clean-up program unsupervised.
    • When the Clean Up program has found the files for deletion, a window will open with a list of files selected for clean-up
      • A brief description will apprear when each item in the list is selecte
      • This is the list generated:
        • Downloaded Program Files - Safe to delete
        • Temporary Internet Files - Safe to delete
        • Offline Webpages - Safe to Keep but may be deleted
        • Mirosoft Office Temprary files - Safe to delete
        • Office Setup Files - Do not delete
        • Recycle Bin - Safe to delete
        • Temporary files - safe to delete
        • WebClient/Publisher Temporary Files - Safe to delete
        • Compress old files - Safe to delete
        • Catalog files for hte Content Indexer - Leave as the default is set. More on this topic later.
      • After reviewing the files and making selections as to save or remove click Okay. The process will remove temporary files and other usless files, increasing free space. The the size of removed files is large, this may take a bit of extra time.
  6. Go to Start -> Accessories - System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter
      • Click the Defragment button
      • This is also an opportunity to leave the computer and let the Defrag program work. It may take a very long time and could be something done at bed time and allow the program to work while you sleep.
  7. Empty the Recyle Bin
  8. Do a full shut down and restart

Apr 17, 2008

How could a "web cell phone" help you in your work?

A web cell phone (WCP) enables me to send and receive email even when I am in areas where I do not have access to a wired network. My cell phone also allows me to access my work calendar and contacts information. I can use my phone to call, email or text a contact in the address book that syncs with my work computer.

I can use my WCP to browse the web for research, to gather information, or to check the weather. With Google's mobile applications, I can even use my phone as a GPS device using their mobile Maps application. I can also access my Gmail, Documents, and other Google applications with a mobile browser. Using mobile versions of "Office" applications, I can access, create or edit documents and spreadsheets and then email them to a contact in my phone. I have an application that interfaces with GTalk, Yahoo, AOL, and MSN chat applications, either individually or all in the same window. Another application allows me to subscribe and wirelessly sync podcasts so that I can listen to them while on the road.

With a good connection and software, I can do almost anything related to my work using my WCP.

Google Tools Step by Step


These steps are only suggestions. It is fine to go "out of order."

Step One

You should either download this document by clicking on File, located just under the title of this document and opening it with your word processing program or keep this document open in a separate window or tab. This will enable you to follow the instructions by clicking the active links in this document without navigating away from this page.

Step Two

If you have a Google email account or Gmail, you have access to many tools. (Note from Google: If you already use Gmail, Web History or any Google service that requires a sign-in, you already have a Google Account and can sign in now to save your iGoogle page.)

If you do not have a Gmail account, go to the Google Gmail sign up page.

Step Three

After getting your Gmail acount set up, go to the Google home page ( and click Sign In, located at the top right of the web page then select iGoogle.

Step Four

To get started, click the little boxes next to your interests and then choose a theme .
A theme includes the page colors and an image for the top of the page. You can have more than one page and each page can have a different theme.

Step Five

Personalize your page by:
  1. Dropping and dragging stuff around on the page.
    • Stuff is what is on your page.
    • Each block of "stuff" has a title bar at the top that allows you to minimize or expand or Delete (X)
  2. Delete things you don't like.
  3. Add Stuff
    • Click the link "Add Stuff" located above the page content on the right.
  4. Change a the theme.
    • Click the Select Theme link located next to the Add Stuff link.
  5. Add another Tab.
    • Click the Add a Tab link located at the top left, just to the right of the initial tab.
  1. Add Stuff to your new Tab
  2. Give your self a hand or a pat on the back.

Step Six

Click the Gmail link located above the theme image on the left side of the page to open Gmail.

Aug 27, 2007

Do I need an iPod?

Originally uploaded by Weedah
Many folks (mostly my age or older) think that you must have an iPod before enjoying podcasts. This is a picture of the many mobile devices that will play podcasts. Of course the computer is another way to listen to podcasts, it's just not mobile.