Thank you to everyone who has been following my modest little blog and making use of my resources. I'll continue to post information about exciting new technology tools as I encounter them, but I'm planning on taking a break for the next couple of months. I know, I know... you probably think that I'm taking a break from my blog to enjoy my summer vacation, and I am. But I'm also finishing up my last semester of graduate school (hooray thesis!), prepping for two brand-new classes that I'll be teaching in the fall (Honors English I and English IV), building a classroom website for at least one of those classes, and attending various workshops and professional development activities. Of course, I'll also be spending some of that time with my family and friends. I hope everyone enjoys their upcoming months, and I look forward to adding more posts soon!
P.S. If you are interested, you can view my new classroom website for English IV (Multicultural Literature) here:
pilgreenenglishiv.weebly.com (Expect frequent changes in the upcoming months.)
Until recently, I had only heard of Jaycut, but now I can say without hesitation that it is a truly impressive online tool. It rivals--possibly even triumphs over--Movie Maker. It's very easy to use, and sidesteps most of the problems that my students have with Movie Maker by hosting the videos online. Typically, my students' biggest problem is remembering to save their pictures and audio files in the right location so that they can access them later. For example, if students upload images directly from a flash drive, the images will be replaced by red X's the moment that the flash drive is removed. This alone had cost several of my students hours of work. With Jaycut, on the other hand, this isn't an issue. I also love that I can access my video project from any computer connected to the internet, and Jaycut even generates embed code for me, so I can put videos on my webpage without having to upload to Youtube first.
Professional Development on Facebook? Why haven't I heard about this sooner? What a great way to make professional development accessible! Recently, I found an online book club sponsored by the Michigan Reading Association. During the month of May, they will be discussing the book Readicide by Kelly Gallagher. Facebook users are invited to "attend" the event, where they can post their reactions to the book, network with other educators, and read posts from the book's author. I have been posting my own responses to the first couple of chapters, and I look forward to reading the posts of others. I hope that this book club is successful enough to encourage the MRA to continue hosting this online professional development forum.
EarthCam offers a plethora of live streaming webcams from locations around the globe. View live footage, aerial photographs, and panoramic views from several national locations, including Ground Zero, Wrigley Field, or Times Square. Or, go international with webcams from Mexico, Japan, Russia, or even Iceland! This would be great for a descriptive writing prompt, a study in setting, or a cross-curricular project to accompany a social studies lesson. For a list of webcams in the United States and abroad, visit:http://www.earthcam.com/network/
Dr. Jessica Pilgreen, Ed.D.