Saturday, October 23, 2010

Beyond Search

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to review Google search with some NJ educators from Wood Ridge and West Morris school districts. We had a blast using some of the more abstract Google search options and search labs such as Google Sets, Google Trends, and Google Squared. We also played around with making our own search stories, created summer reading libraries using Google Books, and created Customized Search Engines.
In my opinion, Google Squared and Google Sets are 2 highly underused tools in the classroom. I love sets for brainstorming and I love the fact that you can create your own Google Square and print it as a hand out. For more info about Google Squared and Sets click here.
Click here to access the special site I made for all things Google Search.

Photo credit:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Waiting for....TSETC 2011!

This past Saturday I returned to New Milford High School to present at TSETC.
I haven't stepped foot in the high school in 13 years. On Saturday, it looked the same as it always did, but there was definitely a change in the undercurrent of the school. There was a new energy and it was not because of new technology (SmartBoards, ipads, Kindles, and such); it was the educators and administrators who gave up time with their families after a long week of school to take part in a conference and for many, it was their first taste of what a conference like TSETC can do to alter one's teaching craft.

It was fun to see all of my Twitter friends face to face, but what was even more overwhelming is that I witnessed teachers who taught me so many years ago, still working to become better teachers- the true definition of a life-long learner. It was surreal to sit next to my journalism teacher from my Junior year, Mrs. DePoto, in an iPad session.

In my session, I shared with Mr. Tusa, a veteran and beloved educator at NMHS, some tools to integrate technology into his classroom using insert linkFree Web 2.0 tools.

After all, these were the teachers who taught me so many years ago, teachers who challenged me and teachers who I have great respect for, teachers who made me want to teach. Ironically, Mr. Tusa came up to me afterward and thanked me for all of the resources.

I don't deserve the thanks, he does. After all his years of teaching he still strives to learn and to improve his craft.

In the light of recent education media, TSETC is a testament that we don't need super heroes to improve education. We need teachers, students and parents to work together. I have two daughters, and I take full responsibility for their learning, hoping along the way that they have exceptional teachers, like the ones I met at TSETC this past weekend.

I know that next year TSETC will be even bigger and better. I also think it would be great to invite parents to attend and to perhaps have students and teachers co-present a few sessions.

This is part of the Tri-State Education Technology Conference (TSETC) Blogger Café Contest sponsored by edSocialMedia. TSETC is brought to you by Schoology.