Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Newsletter and others

Google Earth 6 is Out!

A new release of Google Earth is out with some new features!  They have made it easier to navigate, check out Street View in 3D, and you will also notice 3D trees in street view!  Download it here: http://www.google.com/earth/index.html

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thought I would share this one

I went home yesterday and my wife told me that I had to hear this article she just read.  She began to read the article that was published in her university's magazine publication and began to get watery eyes and her voice started to crack.  She proceeded to hand the magazine to me and told me to read the rest.  I did not get teary through the article which allows me to keep my toughness intact (although some of you may argue that I didn't have any to begin with), but I did start thinking about the applications to the teaching profession.  Let me know what you think.

Read the article here: http://www.masoncountynews.com/news/article/19753

You all are doing a wonderful job.  You truly care about the children and  you want what is best for them.   Let's make the greatest impact we can with the limited amount of time we have.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Geospatial Revolution

The Geospatial Revolution is an ongoing project through Penn State Public Broadcasting and other sources. The purpose of the project is to "expand public knowledge about the history, applications, related privacy and legal issues, and the potential future of location-based technologies." So far (only episode 1 has been released) it has been very interesting and informative to learn about these GPS receivers and the possibilities of what we could do in the future with this technology. There is a link to educational resources for 7-12th graders below.

Geospatial Revolution / Episode One from Penn State Public Broadcasting on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I came across this video from another TIS in the county and thought I would share it with you. Learning about the letter I military style!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jefferson Technology Academy

We have just about wrapped up the second technology academy at Jefferson!  It has been fun to see everyone and meet the new members to our staff for the upcoming school year.  The academy members have worked hard searching for new resources and creating new interactive content in their classrooms.  Check out the pictures below from the academy and make sure you ask them about the experience!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WCS Tech Academy

Heard a great session from Mark Moore this morning on 21st Century Education.  Hearing the oohs and ahhs through the crowd as he shows his idea of 21st Century lessons.  I enjoyed hearing him tell teachers that technology does NOT have to be used to have a 21st Century lesson in their classrooms.  It requires critical thinking skills and problems solving to be able to function in the world we live in.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Printliminator

I have a difficult time wasting things.  I take that back.  My wife will correct me if I don't mention that I can waste time with the best of them!  I am on my children to turn the water off while they brush their teeth and turn the lights off when they leave the room.  It kills me to dump food into the trash can after every meal my children refuse to eat. Which is why I am always eating the leftovers.  Don't even get me started on the food and waste that is thrown away in the schools!

I came across the Printliminator the other day and thought about how much paper and ink this handy little tool could save.  The Printliminator website provides a video to show you how to use it.  Best of all, you don't have to download anything!  All you do is drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks in your web browser and you are finished.

Once it is in your bookmarks, you just click on it when you want to print from a website that does not have a print option.  Then you can move you mouse around and notice that a red box shows up in different spots.  You click on the spots you want to eliminate from your printing.  If you eliminate something by mistake, you can click on the undo button to fix it.

I wish I could remember which blog I received this website from so that I could thank the person.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Compare and Contrast Castles

I came across this article in the USA Today about castles.  I have always enjoyed reading and viewing pictures of european castles.  This castle is in Arkansas and is called the Ozark Medieval Fortress.  They are currently building this castle and expect it to be finished in 2030!  Why so long?  They are building the castle using only medieval tools and procedures!   It is very interesting to see how they are using chisels, horses, and even a crane that a person has to walk on a mouse wheel to make it work.  There is always a curiosity with children when it comes to castles and I think this would be a great opportunity to take them on a virtual field trip of this site.  I think it would lead to some good discussion.

I remember my family taking a vacation to Nashville, TN one year and seeing this amazing castle with a huge wall around it.  Best of all, it was for sale!  This castle is located around Versailles, Kentucky. Construction started around 1969 and I don't think it was ever completed...until now.  It was left vacant for a long time, caught on fire, and was recently sold and renovated.  It is now called the Castle Post and is a "Luxury Tourist Inn".  I think it would be great to compare and contrast the differences between the two modern day(?) castles.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tips to speed up your PC

These things will help speed up your PC.  Try them out if needed.


The benefits of technology?

I came across this article from USA Today and it really made me analyze my use of technology. Even back in 2001 when I first started teaching in a special education classroom which I was not trained to do. Right out of college and thrown in to writing IEPs and attending those meetings to tell parents what I thought was in the best interest of their child was a scary endeavor for me. There was a ton of paper work and I made it a goal of mine (at the nudging of my wife) to not bring the work home with me. That does not mean that I was burning the midnight oil at school every night, but I did have to change the way I planned things out. I was just starting a family at that time and it was important to me to get home so I could spend time with my wife and daughter.

Now that I have a job that surrounds me with technology, I am having a hard time with the blurred line between work and family time. The portability of the technology out there has increased the amount of time spent on these devices. Now we can surf the internet and send and receive emails while going on a walk or pushing a child on a swing, but is that truly spending time with them?

I will be the first to say that technology is great and I love getting my hands on new devices, but when I am choosing to look at a cell phone while having a conversation with my children I am making the wrong choice! This article even mentions those of you who think you are wonderful multi-taskers. "And even though an always-on Blackberry mom may think she's a master of multitasking, children know better...Kids are totally attuned. They know...their parents are in la-la land."

It seems like I heard many times growing up that I needed to get my priorities straight. My parents wanted me to focus on more important things in life (God, school, family) instead of watching sporting events or playing video games. Those were my technology devices I used at that time to help me zone out and now I am zoning out in front of my Blackberry!

Technology can let parents work at home but distract from family time http://usat.me?38213924

Monday, April 12, 2010

West Virginia Coal Mining Article from Scholastic

With the tragic news of the 29 miners who lost their lives in the mining blast there is a news article for children from Scholastic News. At the end of the article is a cause and effect sheet about the events and article. They are located here: http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3754013
and the cause and effect worksheet is located here: http://tinyurl.com/y3tqnxt

Monday, March 1, 2010

Amazing new energy

I know this doesn't have to do with teaching with technology or anything like that, but I found this to be a very interesting video on the future of energy.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Great Reading Series Supplements

These are a collection of activities on the web that go along with your reading series.  All of the work to put these together was done by Kelly Tenkely.  She is Technology Integration Specialist in Colorado and has a great blog called ilearntechnology.com

Please enjoy these activities and check out her website!

Fifth Grade Activities:

Fourth Grade Activities:

Third Grade Activities:

Second Grade Activities:

First Grade Activities:

I Have Who Has Game:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Newsletters

I decided to try to include my newsletters on the blog from now on.  I hope that you all don't mind this method of doing things.  Please let me know if you would like for me to email the newsletter to you each month.  You will see the past newsletters from this school year by clicking the links below.  Thank you!

January 2010- http://issuu.com/stimmyjd/docs/january_2010 

December 2009- http://issuu.com/stimmyjd/docs/december-2009

November 2009- http://issuu.com/stimmyjd/docs/november-2009 

October 2009- http://issuu.com/stimmyjd/docs/october-2009 

September 2009- http://issuu.com/stimmyjd/docs/september-2009

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different? | Video on TED.com

"There's a flip side to everything," the saying goes, and in 2 minutes, Derek Sivers shows this is true in a few ways you might not expect. I really enjoy watching TED Talks. There are an assortment of people that present ideas on a variety of topics. Please watch below and write a comment on what you think.

Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different? | Video on TED.com

Sign up for a Free Classroom Technology Grant!

CDWG and Discovery Education have a grant/contest available for classroom teachers.  I pasted the info below.  I think you can enter to win once per day.  There really isn't much to it...so go give it a try!

"Think about how The 21st Century Classroom - interactive whiteboard, notebook computers, wireless cart, projector and document camera - could extend your teaching power.

ENTER NOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF THREE GRAND PRIZE PACKAGES including a 21st Century Classroom and a $5000 digital media grant from Discovery Education. Plus, over 20 additional technology prizes!"


Growing up Online

This is a very interesting video from PBS Frontline about kids use of technology in their everyday lives.  It really is amazing to think about all the different avenues of technology that they are channeling on a daily basis.  There are about 7 different video segments on the website and I embedded the first one below.  Please watch.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The New Apple ipad

A lot of hubbub has been going around about this new tablet that Apple was coming out with, but I am not so sure it is that different from things like the iphone and the ipod touch.  Although it does have a bigger screen and using it in the classroom would be better than using ipod touches.  For one thing, since the ipod touch costs between $299- $499 I really wouldn't mind paying $499 for the ipad in my classroom.  I think if would be a lot easier for the children to manipulate items and to view the content.

Anyway...it will be a while before we ever get one in our school, but in the meantime you can take a look at this video and find out more about the ipad.  Especially pay attention to the last part of the segment on ACU down in Texas.  I have a good friend down there that is part of the faculty.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Virtual Field Trips

I steal so much good stuff!  Field trips are hard to come by these days.  I remember going on field trips to the Campus Martius Museum, the Cook House, and even to Washington D.C. in sixth grade!  Kids don't get many of these experiences because of budget cuts and time requirements during the school day.  Although it is not the same as being there in person, many virtual field trips provide great visual aids for students.  I recently stole a few from a fellow blogger that I thought you might enjoy.

UPM- Forest Life-  This is one of the best virtual field trips I have seen!  It teaches the children about conservation practices while allowing them to explore nature on a walk through the forest.  Great, great, great site!   http://w3.upm-kymmene.com/upm/forestlife/index.html

Smithsonian- Of course anything that has to do with the Smithsonian is going to be great.  The children can virtually walk through the museum and look at the different exhibits.  You can even interact with some. http://www.mnh.si.edu/panoramas/#

PlanetInAction-     Use Google Earth to go on different adventures in the classroom through this website.  http://planetinaction.com/places.htm 

ARSights- I haven't tried this, but the website says that you can view 3D buildings on your desk  Yes, I mean beside your computer...not on your desktop in your computer!  Go to the website and watch the video explaining what you need to do.  You will need to download their software, print off a piece of paper so it knows where to postition the building, and you will need a webcam.  I really want to test this out!  http://www.arsights.com/index.php

Friday, January 22, 2010

Natural Disaster Links

With all the natural disasters that have been taking place recently I thought I would post a couple sites about them.

This site is from the University of Illinois Extension called Shake, Rattle, and Slide and it is full of information that is read to the student.  It also has many video clips and animations to better explain the processes.

Storm Chasers is a site that has beautiful pictures of storms.  It is all presented as an audio slideshow from one of the storm chasers.  I just love to watch and listen to storms so I really enjoyed this site!

These other two sites came from another blog that I follow.  I posted about this blog about a week ago and I really enjoy the sites that she comments about.  The two sites come from National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.  Please check them out!

Monday, January 11, 2010


I ran across this blog the other day and I knew I needed to share it.  It has a wealth of information on technology in the classroom from a Technology Integration Specialist in Colorado.  She is always updating the blog with new tools and websites for your classroom.

Definitely check it out.  Just click on the words above and it will take you to her page.

Blogging Newbie

I am hopeful that you will benefit from spending your time in front of the computer browsing this blog!  I will be posting here on a regular basis and trying to share some tech that I have learned along the way.  Most of what I share comes from the people I follow on Twitter or other blogs.  Please feel free to use whatever I post and tell other people about this blog!