Weekly Top 5 Great Finds

Get Googled!

A few great resources have come across my desk in the last few weeks:

Fantastic Online PD Opportunity

Powerful Learning Practice is a fantastic, job-embedded professional development program developed by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson. Until this year, they have been focusing mostly on US educators (working through entire school districts), but next year they will open a Global Educator Cohort made up of individuals from schools around the globe. I’m sure this will be a fantastic way to meet international colleagues on the leading edge of educational technology.

Social Media in Action in Bangkok

The last few weeks of unrest in Thailand have demonstrated the power of social media like Twitter and blogs right here in our home city. Check out some great examples and resources describing the ways people around the city utilized social media to stay informed and build community:

Great End of Year Project Idea

24 hours in my life in 24 pictures: An easy-to-do, fun photography and blogging project, created by Julie Lavoie, a French-Canadian artist and DJ living in Bangkok, Thailand. She is interested in the secret life of cities, and photographs them to expose their stories.

Web 3.0

Wondering what the future of technology will look like? Check out this fantastic documentary created by a recent NYU grad.

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

End of Year Tech Updates

A few essential tech updates for the end of the year:

Backing-up PantherNet Courses:
Please do not forget to make a back-up of your courses if you would like them to be available to you after the course ends (on the last day of school). Remember that courses are linked to PowerSchool and will end automatically on the last day of school. Instructions for how to back up are here.

Backing-up Your Files:
It’s always a good idea to back up your files (on your computer and on the network) before you leave for summer holidays. ISB has a great deal on 500GB external harddrives (the small ones, about 3.5”) for only THB 3,210 – drop by EdTech or let me know if you’d like one and we’ll put in an order for you! They are delivered directly to the school – couldn’t be easier.

Cleaning up the Shared Server:
Ed Tech will be clearing out our shared servers this summer. If you have ANY folders you would like to keep on the shared server, please add it to the Google Doc (all ISB teachers have access). Any folders NOT listed on that document will be deleted over the summer. Please note, we will not be deleting personal teacher folders (for ex: my kimc folder)

Laptop Insurance:
If you are planning to take your school laptop on a holiday outside of Thailand, then you must visit Khun Nutt in EdTech and sign the relevant insurance form.

Weekly: Top 5 Great Finds!

Developing Our Middle School Writers

Are you having your students use their blogs as a platform for their personal writing? Looking to connect with other middle school student writers? You may want to check out The Clem. Even if you don’t ask your students to post their writing, you may want to head over and simply leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting our blog site. My students would appreciate it you would leave a comment on their stories. The students are eighth graders who are working at improving their writing skills. We hope you enjoy their stories. To leave a comment click the word comment(s) just below the title of the story. Please include the city and/or state where you live.

SuperPower: Visualizing the Internet

Watch the Internet spread around the world in this interactive map created by the BBC.

internet2008

Google Earth Updates: Explore the Oceans!

New Ocean Showcase

Our new Ocean Showcase lets you explore the deep seas without getting wet, using the Google Earth plugin. These interactive tours take you on a journey through theExplore the Ocean layer in Google Earth, as well as some of the most popular dive spots, surf spots, and shipwrecks around the world. You can also tour underwater terrain, research discoveries, and the Great Lakes. Read more and take the plunge today!

Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book

Another fantastic resource from Terry Freedman, you’ll find:

  • 87 projects.
  • 10 further resources.
  • 52 applications.
  • 94 contributors.
  • The benefits of using Web 2.0 applications.
  • The challenges of using Web 2.0 applications.
  • How the folk who ran these projects handled the issues…
  • … And what they recommend you do if you run them.
  • What were the learning outcomes?
  • And did I mention that this is free?!

An Open Letter to Educators

A little controversial, but well worth the watch, this university student shares his thoughts on our current educational system.

Technology Introduction for Families New to ISB

Over the past few weeks, we have been doing our best to introduce both new parents and students to all of the tech tools we use here at ISB.

For Parents:

Last week, Jeff and I led a Parent Technology Coffee Morning (an informal parent technology training held every first Wednesday of the month in one of the MPB rooms, usually at 7:30 or 8:30) focused on introducing new parents to tech at ISB.

We basically went through every tool listed on our student portal page and covered the most frequently asked parent technology questions:

  • Changing passwords for PowerSchool & managing online updates
  • Keeping up with student assignments via PantherNet (and the fact that only students have passwords for their PantherNet accounts)
  • Keeping in touch with what’s new in classrooms via the Inside.ISB blogs
  • Keeping in touch with what students are learning via the student blogs.ISB
  • How to access the new Google Apps accounts we have for all students and why this is such a powerful tool for our school

We had over 30 ES & MS parents in attendance and we’ll most likely run this session again at least one more time this year since many of the parents were not new and simply wanted an update on what’s available and happening at ISB.

For Students:

I’ve also done 2 similar trainings for all of our new MS students (though not all students were released from class for both sessions). Thanks to James for the idea!

These new students should now be comfortable with:

  • Using PantherNet as an online classroom (how to access information)
  • Logging in to Google Apps for e-mail and Google Docs
  • Basic blog posting (we created blogs and set up categories today)
  • Navigating through PowerSchool to keep up with grades
  • Finding community information on Inside.ISB

For Families and Teachers:

Our wonderful counselors and I have also created a standard letter home for all new students with a clear listing of all new ISB accounts (and their related passwords). Most seem to keep this paper at home, but if they’re having trouble accessing any of their accounts here at school, you might want to ask them to bring it in.

Hopefully this will help both our students and parents feel more comfortable with the many tools we use here at ISB!

Weekly: Top 5 Great Finds!

TED Talks Comes to Bangkok!

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Our event is called TEDxBKK, where x=independently organized TED event. At our TEDxBKK event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will be combined to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

Check out the list of speakers! You might see a familiar ISB name!

TEDxBKK 2010 will be held on February 13, 2010. Limited seats are available for sign up. If you wish to apply, please visit our ATTEND page.

10 Technologies That Will Rock 2010

Now that the aughts are behind us, we can start the new decade with a bang. So many new technologies are ready to make a big impact this year. Some of them will be brand new, but many have been gestating and are now ready to hatch. If there is any theme here it is the mobile Web. As I think through the top ten technologies that will rock 2010, more than half of them are mobile. But those technologies are tied to advances in the overall Web as well.

CoSN Report: Leadership for Web 2.0 in Education: Promises and Reality

Web 2.0 tools can provide highly interactive and participatory environments that establish communities, open a myriad of communication channels, and ensure each individual and group a voice. In fact, there is a growing body of evidence that the collaboration inherent in the participatory nature of Web 2.0 tools can be leveraged to deepen student learning through authentic, real-world learning.

This report documents the beliefs, perspectives, and practices of educational administrators which help or hinder effective use of Web 2.0 in K-12 education.  The study collected data from nearly 1,200 school administrators on the role of Web 2.0 in American schools and was made possible by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The 3 Facebook Settings Every User Should Check Now

In December, Facebook made a series of bold and controversial changes regarding the nature of its users’ privacy on the social networking site. The company once known for protecting privacy to the point of exclusivity (it began its days as a network for college kids only – no one else even had access), now seemingly wants to compete with more open social networks like the microblogging media darling Twitter.

FrontLine: Digital Nation

Within a single generation, digital media and the World Wide Web have transformed virtually every aspect of modern culture, from the way we learn and work to the ways in which we socialize and even conduct war. But is the technology moving faster than we can adapt to it? And is our 24/7 wired world causing us to lose as much as we’ve gained?

In Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier, FRONTLINE presents an in-depth exploration of what it means to be human in a 21st-century digital world. Continuing a line of investigation she began with the 2008 FRONTLINE report Growing Up Online, award-winning producer Rachel Dretzin embarks on a journey to understand the implications of living in a world consumed by technology and the impact that this constant connectivity may have on future generations. “I’m amazed at the things my kids are able to do online, but I’m also a little bit panicked when I realize that no one seems to know where all this technology is taking us, or its long-term effects,” says Dretzin.

picture-2

MS Tech Updates

PantherNet Google Single-In on

We’ve now integrated PantherNet and Google into one system! This means that once a student is logged into PantherNet, they are also logged into Google Apps. Now there’s only one address to remember https://panthernet.isb.ac.th.  Once there, students can login with their school username and password and along with their PantherNet courses they will see along the right hand side this nice little box.

gappssignin
Click on one of links and it will automatically log you in to your school Google Account.

Exciting News from VoiceThread: Advanced Language Support

VoiceThread now supports the use of non-Latin scripts in text comments. This has been one of our most requested features for some time now, and we’re excited to finally release it.

What does it mean?

It means that whenever a text comment contains a non-latin character, it no longer matters whether the person viewing the comment has the correct fonts installed. If they don’t, we’ll perform some technical magic in the background and make sure they see the text comment in the language that you intended, without any additional work on their part.

The beta release of this feature applies only to text comments, and if all goes well, we’ll apply it to other text fields very soon. Because of the technical complexity of fonts and the way that different computers handle them, we can’t give direct technical support for this feature. If you have any questions or feedback please go here.

Google Earth News from the Google Earth Sightseer

Winter Olympic Venues in Google Earth

The Google Earth team is pretty excited about the upcoming Winter Olympics! In December we added 3D buildings for a number of venues in the Vancouver area. We recently published the remaining buildings, including the Whistler Olympic Park and Whistler Sliding Centre. There are over fifty buildings in total, all of them developed using Google SketchUp. Want to (virtually) experience what it feels like to stare down the ski jump? Fire-up Google Earth and steer your 3D mouse to Vancouver and Whistler!

Haiti Imagery in Google Earth

When the devastating M 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on January 14th, we worked hard with our imagery partnerGeoEye to acquire, process and publish their latest satellite imagery. To the general public this imagery illustrates the scale of destruction and to disaster response teams, it is an invaluable source to aid their efforts. To view this imagery, download the KML file here and open it in Google Earth. It is also viewable via the ‘Historical Imagery’ feature. We’ll continue to update this layer as we acquire more data. Stay up to date at the Google Lat Long Blog.

Importing Flip Video to MovieMaker

We have 4 Flip cameras in the Main Library, which are very simple to use for recording. However, if you plan to edit the video using MovieMaker, you will need to convert the video file before importing into MM because the Flip records in .mp4 format, but MovieMaker will only import .avi files.

To convert from .mp4 to .avi, Rob has installed a converter software on all Flip cameras in the ML, which you can easily drag off the camera and onto your computer, then convert, the import into MovieMaker.

However, if you have files already on your computer you need to convert, you can easily download the software here.

Weekly: Top 5 Great Finds!

Check out these interesting articles, websites and videos that came across my desk(top) this week:

Explore our changing climate in Google Earth

Today we’re launching a new series of narrated Google Earth tours all about climate change as part of Google’s effort to make climate information accessible leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. This series brings together scientific geo-data about our world under a changing climate — in a manner that can be explored interactively. The data includes temperature and precipitation projections and the rising risks to food security, water stress, coastal zones, health, and much more.

You can view the first released tour, Confronting Climate Change, narrated by Al Gore that takes you through some of the worst impacts expected due to our changing climate, and points us towards the upcoming tours introducing the range of solutions for confronting it.

5 K-12 Technology Trends for 2010 (THE Journal)

With technology evolving at the speed of light, and everyone looking to benefit from the latest, greatest hardware and software, keeping up can be challenging for educators, administrators, and school districts themselves. To help, THE Journal spoke with a handful of technology experts and came up with a short list of top tech trends you’ll want to watch in the new year.

Head over to the full article for all the trends.

How the iPhone Could Reboot Education (Wired Magazine)

How do you educate a generation of students eternally distracted by the internet, cellphones and video games? Easy. You enable them by handing out free iPhones — and then integrating the gadget into your curriculum.

That’s the idea Abilene Christian University has to refresh classroom learning. Located in Texas, the private university just finished its first year of a pilot program, in which 1,000 freshman students had the choice between a free iPhone or an iPod Touch.

The initiative’s goal was to explore how the always-connected iPhone might revolutionize the classroom experience with a dash of digital interactivity. Think web apps to turn in homework, look up campus maps, watch lecture podcasts and check class schedules and grades. For classroom participation, there’s even polling software for Abilene students to digitally raise their hand.

The verdict? It’s working quite well. 2,100 Abilene students, or 48 percent of the population, are now equipped with a free iPhone. Fully 97 percent of the faculty population has iPhones, too. The iPhone is aiding Abilene in giving students the information they need — when they want it, wherever they want it, said Bill Rankin, a professor of medieval studies who helped plan the initiative.

Are They Really Ready to Work?

In collaboration, The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and The Society for Human Resource Management conducted an in-depth study of the corporate perspective on the readiness of new entrants into the U.S. workforce by level of educational attainment. The study includes results from both an in-depth survey conducted during April and May 2006 and interviews with a sampling of a dozen HR and other senior executives.

In addition, a workforce readiness report card is included which provides a summary of the basic knowledge and applied skills that are either “deficient” or “excellent” in those areas that employer respondents rate as “very important”.

The decade according to 9-year-olds

The decade according to 9-year-olds from allison louie-garcia on Vimeo.

ISB Central From Home

We know how much teachers appreciate our isbcentral page that only works here at school, so we have created a site for both staff and students to use to access all our web tools in one spot from outside of school (or inside if you choose).

studentisbacth

At this student page, you can access:

  • PantherNet
  • Student E-Mail
  • Google Docs
  • Student Blogs
  • PowerSchool
  • Google Calendar
  • ISB’s YouTube Channel
  • ISB’s Facebook Alumni Page
  • ISB’s Twitter account
  • ISB website
  • Main Library resources
  • ES Library resources
  • Each Inside.ISB blog for all 3 divisions

You might want to bookmark it for even easier access: https://www.student.isb.ac.th/

Backing Up PantherNet Courses

With the end of the semester approaching, it is critical that all teachers back up their PantherNet courses – especially if you plan on using any of the elements of that course in the next semester.

It’s very simple to back-up your course, please follow the directions in this video tutorial (thanks to Dennis!) and save to your computer.

Please note: If you would like to retain the work (assignments, forum discussions, etc) that your students have completed this quarter you do want to keep the “User Data” button clicked (which is not how Dennis backs up the course in this tutorial).

Once we return to school in January, you will only see next quarter/semester’s courses in PantherNet. At that time, you can restore the previous quarter’s course using the back-up you create now.

If you’re not sure, just back-up everything. Especially with tech, it’s always good to follow the “better safe, than sorry” rule.

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