Sunday, April 8, 2007

Dizzy with Excitement & Skype

Happy Easter! In honor of the Easter eggs I didn't get to color this year, today is a pretty pink text day. :-)

It has happened again! Fred Roemer, the teacher whose website was the subject of my March 26th entry, has posted a response on my blog. Without sounding too geeky or pathetic, I have to say this blog is one of the coolest educational tools that has ever found its way into my life. It becomes more meaningful by the minute and I just love the quality of discussions we've been having. Roemer's response is very thoughtful and he cleared up some of the confusion between a log (his primary purpose) and a blog.

As for the Jeff Utecht communication, I'm impressed. I think we have all found something useful and I noticed that Richard even responded to one of his posts, keeping the dialogue alive. Very cool.

I nearly missed Roemer's post, which leads me to a few tech questions:

First, is there any way to be notified of new posts to your blog other than to scroll through old posts? You all know this is my first attempt with blogs, so I probably sound ridiculously amateur and I apologize. I know the RSS feed subscribes you to other blogs, but can you include your own?

Next, how are these people finding out that I posted blogs about their sites? Are they searching for their name? I'm curious.


On to today's inspiration: http://learningismessy.com/blog/?p=196
Usually when I say inspiration, what I mean is that the article inspired me to write. Today's site did so much more...it inspired me as a human being. This is a MUST SEE!!!

Mr. Crosby and his fourth graders use the web cam communication program Skype to include a very important member of their class. Celest has luekemia and must stay at home for school. In an attempt to bring the class to her, Mr. Crosby and his students use Skype to include her in some of the day's activities. Celest is improving her writing skills as well as knowledge of technology all while interacting with a class she never knew would reach out with such compassion. When you click on the link, be sure to click on the picture and watch the video. It is 5 minutes of sheer inspiration. In my mind it is the perfect link for Easter.

The class also has a blog that you can access here. Most of the class consists of second language learners, but that only seems to motivate them more to write meaningful entries. Ann, you will note that Crosby's class is part of a 1:1 laptop initiative. Perhaps you can get some more information.

Enjoy the day.

4 comments:

Ann V. said...

Laine-

Nice pink text! How exciting for you to get another "authentic response to your blog!" I'm not sure about your "tech" questions as blogging is new for me too, but will be very interested to see the answers.

I had just finished posting on Richard's blog about visual literacy and had finished with "a picture is worth a thousand words." I read your post and clicked on the link to the learningismessy site to find the title, "If a picture is worth a thousand words..." Very eerie. And they are using a 1:1 laptop program? What a touching story and a fabulous use of technology!

I love the title of their blog. Learning is messy. It means that students aren't going to be sitting quietly in their desks, and that things are going to break and need to be fixed, and that a little confetti on the floor (we made cascarones last week) does not foreshadow the end of the world as we know it! I think if more of us got past the "messiness" inherent in trying new things and shaking up the status quo, we'd see more "celestial" things happening in the classroom!

Ann

Richard Wells said...

Hi Laine. I figured out how to set your blog to email you when you get a new comment. You have to sign on and then click to the right of "Manage" where there is a link to "Settings." Then click on "Comments." At the bottm you can select to receive emails when you receive new comments.

Thanks for thinking of this...I hadn't even considered that I'd receive comments to older entries.

N Winton said...

Hi Laine,
You can indeed add your own blog to your RSS reader. You can also do this for any comments.

There is also a really useful tool called cocomment (cocomment.com) that allows you to follow all the comments you leave...

With regards to how people are finding they have been mentioned on your blog, if you have a feature called 'trackback' switched on for your blog (and you have enabled email notifications) you will be told when you have been cited by another blogger...

So, it's not really that we are googling for our own names... although there is a certain amount of fun involved in that!

And finally... with regards to the conversations with pupils, they are not always going on where we think they are as I recently wrote about (http://nwinton.wordpress.com/2007/04/01/the-real-conversation-is-taking-place-but-where/)

I look forward to reading you in the future!

PS: Can you check your Blog settings. It is (of course) your option, but at the moment I can only post using my Google ID but this will not allow me to let you know where my main Blog is!

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