Monday, November 18, 2013

My new project

What I really enjoy about my new job is the ability to take time to help people out and do all kinds of stuff. A lot of time it's getting kids on the network with their devices (bleh) or helping teachers out with little technical stuff, but yesterday a colleague approached me with my first big project planning idea.

She's a biology teacher and would like to have the kids research a scientist (she wants them to realize that these people were "real" people) and create a class timeline for them to put all of their scientists on.

My goal: Find a way for them to collaborate on an online timeline.

Here are the choices I've found so far:
1.  Softschools.com - It's a really basic, boring option. Not a fan.
2. Xtimeline.com - This one looks pretty good and is pretty easy to set up. This may be my winner. Collaboration is iffy.
3. Capzles.com - I posted a query to google+ and someone suggested this. It's a really easy to use website but doesn't put dates or descriptions; it's pretty media based. Still in the running.
4. Tiki-toki.com - I've played with this a little but need to come back to it
5. Chronozoom.com - Again, a suggestion from Google+. I don't think this fits the project, but it's a super cool website. It's a huge timeline that covers from the beginning of the universe until today; it's prepopulated with descriptions and videos and you get to zoom around until you find the time you want. Very neat. I forwarded this to some of the science and social studies teachers here in the building.

This last one is my winner for now, especially considering that the teacher would like to have students collaborate on the timeline.  It was sent to me by someone on Google+, and it uses information from a google spreadsheet to create the timeline... talk about a great way to have students collaborate!  I want to play with it some more, but it's one that I'll definitely forward on as an option. It's called Timeline JS.

If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to send them on!

Adult-onset ADD

I don't remember having problems as a kid paying attention in class. Of course, my memory stinks for a lot of things (but the weird random stuff stays with me) and I always had a book with me to read when I was bored so I doubt I ever just did sit and listen, but...

I think I've developed ADD over the past few years. I can no longer sit and listen, as evidenced by the last two school days that I spent at workshops or any time I sit in the car while not driving. I feel like I always have to be reading something or googling something or just checking the weather (or twitter).

It definitely shows up this year with my new job. I have a lot of time during the day to work on a variety of projects; right now I have 5 things on my to-do list. Here they are (in no particular order):
1. Create a Schoology course for flipped learning
2. Find timelines for a teacher to use with her students in class
3. Explore INFOhio 
4. Find a 3x3 systems activity for next week for a math teacher
5. Start contacting teachers about their results from a survey they took after our PD day

You'd think that I would tackle one, get it done, and move on. And yet I think I've hit all of those today (with the exception of #3 because it intimidates me a bit) plus some. 

I've started the Schoology course, played with timelines (here are the ones I've tagged), emailed the math teacher about the systems stuff, and emailed two sets of teachers about their survey results. But I've also helped a girl access our VDI on her tablet, found some resources for a teacher who is trying to decide what type of device to buy for her kids for Christmas, and done some extra digging to help myself prepare to work with some of the afore-mentioned teachers on their survey queries (using google docs comments on student writing). I also found some materials for a possible Schoology course on Digital Citizenship and added a blog to my feedly reader which I've been neglecting for several weeks now. 

And yet when my husband asks me what I did each day I can't think of anything to tell him. 


Monday, November 4, 2013

It's here!

Tomorrow's the big day!

I think I'm ready. But I don't suppose that I have a choice right now anyway.

Because I can't just talk off the top of my head (in front of non-teenagers, anyway), I put together a couple of google presentations as a guide.



It's times like this when I tell myself it'll all be over in less than 24 hours.