More SmartBoard Ideas - Two Easy Lessons

I was asked back to an elementary school to continue our work with SmartBoards. The school has just recently received its second IWB, and is looking for ways to encourage timid teachers to jump right in.

I started with a refresher on how to set up the Board, and then introduced two lessons that could be easily adapted to almost any level. We started with Titanpad and the Smartboard and wrote some Halloween Haiku. The second lesson used a number of panorama sites to introduce a writing exercise. See my notes HERE.

Library Technician September Workshop

Using Databases in the library

I met with the 10 library-technicians to look at some of the technology tools they could share with staff and students. We spent quite a bit of time on the periodical databases, and looked at many of the features included with the EBSCO subscription. Notes from the session are HERE.

September 2011 September Teacher Librarian Mini-conference

Seth Godin spoke recently about teacher-librarians as "Sherpas" and we used that theme as our organizing metaphor for this year's RTLA kick off. We spent some time talking about how, like Sherpas, TLs support, encourage, know the lay of the land and generally make the knowledge expedition a success for the learner. We can't do the climbing for the student, but we can help the ascent be smarter!

We also spent time listening to the Colorado Teacher-Librarians as they built a case for the role they play in raising achievement (our Video Keynote) and then looked at some "lesson ready" ideas: working with "text-free" books to develop creative writing skills, and a number of tech tools that we can share with staff and students.

As usual, Ren from ULS brought a great selection of materials to peruse during the day.

Here's the link to all the conference materials that were presented.

Graphing Tablets in the Classroom

While many schools have been buying Smartboards, the cost of these devices has made them unattainable for some. The question I am often asked is "how can I get some of the same presentation benefits of a SB without the cost!" Aside from the Wiimote solution, I've been telling teachers to look at acquiring a graphing tablet.  I met recently with Math and Language teachers to investigate this solution

Using a projector, laptop and Wacom Bamboo tablet (any manufacturer will do), teachers are able to get some of the functionality of a SmartBoard at a fraction of the cost. The stylus that comes with the tablet allows for very natural writing and pointing motions and lets Math and Science teachers easily write and solve formulas on the screen. Language teachers are able to annotate, highlight and edit text with a minimum of fuss. Free software (like Sankoré) helps make this very affordable.

Here are my links and notes to the session I presented.