I feel like I'm kind of in limbo until I find out from an upcoming needs assessment who's doing what and where people are in using technology. So I've had some extra time the past few days to check out twitter and look for extra resources. One I found yesterday was called Learn.ly, which then I saw as 121writing, and last night came out with an update called Kazeina.com. It's a voice recording tool that works with google docs; you can open up a document (ideally shared with you by a student) and record comments as you read through/grade the paper. What I liked best about it was that it's engrained within gdocs, so it's not "another" place to go to and more hoops to jump through.
I talked with one English teacher yesterday who wasn't interested, so I thought maybe I was wrong about it. But then today I mentioned it to someone else and she was super excited. I need to remember that one person doesn't speak for them all.
I was asked to keep a "To-Do" list of all of the stuff I'm doing on a daily basis (I'm still struggling with how I want to keep track of requests and how I spend my time) and today figured out the bookmarking process so if I continue to add to this document throughout the year I can bookmark each particular week. That came in handy later this afternoon when someone asked me how to use hyperlinks within a word doc. He wanted to be able to include definitions for words within a document if students clicked on the word. We talked about maybe linking to something like the definition in dictionary.com, but he decided he wanted more control over what the definition was. What we decided to do was to define the words at the end of the paper, bookmark them, and link to the bookmarks within the paper. I got a handshake and a "good job" over that solution. Thank goodness I'd played with bookmarks earlier in the day!
It's been super duper hot around here this week, and there are several schools in the district without a/c. I actually taught at one of them for the past 12 years; I would totally dread going back to school in August because it was so uncomfortable. Feeling like a sweaty drippy mess all day isn't fun! Anyway, last night we received a call from the district saying that all of the schools would have a 2-hour early dismissal today to try and avoid some of the heat. Although we've been comfortable (actually, cold) here, it was nice to have a short day! The teachers had to stay our normal time, but I'm sure they all appreciate the extra time to get caught up. And tomorrow? I took the morning off to get my girl to the doctor, will be at school about an hour, then have an afternoon meaning. That'll be a weird day!
A question while I'm thinking of it. If you're reading this, do you know of an easy way to clear the clipboard on a computer? We've had some issues with kids copying something before class then pasting it during an online quiz. Teachers were wondering if we could try and avoid that issue by dumping the clipboard. I searched and found a program-type thing you could use, but it wasn't a quick fix. And I'm all about the quick fix!