Learning from a 10 year old

I love finding new things – this time I found a new thing on the wiki designed by one of my friend/colleague’s daughters, Elise. She is ten years old and a little while ago, decided she would create her own wiki. My friend says, “She’s working on it all the time” and that he’s really not sure what it is all about but he is really proud of her and her efforts and yesterday he had the opportunity to share her wiki with me. She is using Wetpaint, the one wiki program I haven’t investigated very much, though I know it is usually listed as the third in the trio of wikis, PBwiki, Wikispaces and Wetpaint. I know that educators have special opportunities with PBwiki and Wikispaces but at first glance, I didn’t see anything obvious for educators with Wetpaint – perhaps an option appears when you are going through the registration process.

When investigating Elise’s wiki, I learned about a new “quick poll” tool that she uses to survey her visitors’ interests. The tool is, Vizu and it offers users the opportunity to, “Add an interactive poll to a web page or blog post in seconds. Customize the look to match your site.” Vizu also has a “Power Poll” feature which allows one to, “Make polling a feature of your site or blog. Automatically rotate numerous, professional looking polls. Add your own polls.” I am thinking about many ways this little tool (or one like it as I am sure there are many) could be used in the classroom… opinions on current events, favorite character polls, what do you think will happen next, what do you think the outcome of this experiment will be… I think I’m going to spend my Friday Five exploring Vizu, putting one up on my wiki as a practice, and dreaming a little about where quick/informal polls would fit well into my curriculum.

With that, I am off to work more on the PowerPoint game project, I achieved success with VBA at least on the PC side of PowerPoint so that is encouraging!  Maybe next week I’ll be luck enough to be able to say I am finished with the project!? (I probably shouldn’t write that but I am going to dream anyway!)  I hope you have a great day and weekend.

ps – I’ll ask Elise if I can share her wiki with you and will post a link if she says yes.

Spelling Saturday

This morning on GMA there was a 15 second spot on a school zone in Nevada (if I heard correctly) where someone painting “School 15MPH” on the street of a school zone as “Scool 15MPH.” (I have not yet found the picture, if you do, please send the link my way, I’m going to continue looking. At several technology conferences I have attended, some seem to say everything is at our fingertips so we need to teach process over content. At least we still need to learn to spell. As our school works on there/their/they’re and its v. it’s I found a group (TEAL: The Typo Eradication Advancement League) who has a mission to fix the misspellings and typos around the country. I love it. The hotel in Kansas City was not overly receptive when I mentioned their typo on their sign in the parking lot and that was the only time I ever mentioned something like that. (If you would like to see a video clip about TEAL, check here.)

TEAL is posting their adventures to a blog and in their blogroll, they have a list of seven blogs dedicated to spelling and grammar – what great resources and examples of abuses of the English language. My pet peeve is usually hearing people say “oriented” as “orientated.” There just isn’t a second “t.” One of my favorite spelling-related moments in the classroom came a couple of years ago when one student asked, “How do you spell ‘orientated?'” I responded, “You can’t.” A great spelling discussion ensued.

I know this post is a little late (I generally post on Fridays for The Friday Five) but tis week I spent the “Five’s” time on a brochure for an upcoming TG Staff Tech conference we will offer this summer and how appropriate for this post, I spent yesterday fixing a typo on the brochure only to decide there was a grammatical error so I recycled all 75 color copies and will have them reprinted for Tuesday

Happy spelling and happy weekend!

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach’s TechForum Keynote

I know – collaborate, share, we learn from each other, the expertise comes in pooling our brains and sharing our stories, the sage on the stage is old-school. Sometimes I really enjoy old school. I like taking time out to listen to, not just read, the ideas and approaches of others in the technology-leadership arena. It was fun to take an hour and listen to Sheryl share her thoughts on Schools for the 21st Century. In fact, her presentation is available through the TechForum Ustream site – it is definitely worth the time.

Normally the “Five” Would Be Here…

But we don’t have school this Friday so I’m taking a little break, but not a total break and the Friday Five will return next week.

Earlier this week, I was catching up on my blog reading this week and found these two videos, the video on PowerPoint was highlighted by Wes Fryer on his blog, Moving at the Speed of Creativity and unfortunately, I cannot remember exactly who posted the global education video. The PowerPoint video is funny – the other, a preview for “Two Million Minutes,” is a bit scary, but both offer something to think about and I thought they were worth sharing (and together they take just over 5 minutes). I really need to see the “Two Million Minutes” documentary – fascinating issues to discuss!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wendy