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Technology News You Can Use! Issue 4

Teacher Websites You may remember in October we started teacher websites for all certified staff. While the overall response was positive, I know that some people were thinking no one would look at the sites. Keep in mind we started this well after the start of the school year. How do we measure success? One: Our teacher sites are being visited by people all over the world. Check out the map that shows where our visitors come from. Most visitors are from the USA, but we are picking up more out of country visitors by the month.

Two: After only one full month, it would appear that over 200 people a DAY are visiting the sites. The chart below shows how many views we had in November, 2009. Notice November 20th: over 1,250 views.

2nd Quarter, 2009 I must say, there are some remarkable websites being built by our teachers. I can’t list everyone that has a nice site, but there are a couple you might want to look at for some ideas. Jim Scott Melissa Padelford Melanie Watson

Melissa Preston Penny Bearden Cindi Nardiello

November 13th Professional Development All of us met on Friday, November 13th for a professional development. The technology subject was 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Web 2.0. We talked about uses of Wordle, Google Forms, video downloading, Etherpad, Blogs and wikis. I am happy to report that even one of our administrators is now a regular user of Google Forms. The forms are being used to collect data from staff for a variety of purposes. Carol Threewit used the Google forms as a means of having students assess each other while PowerPoint presentations were being made. Ms. Lahti’s sixth grades are using Wordle to create title slides for their PowerPoints on diseases. If you are using any of these tools now, please drop me a note and let me know what you use them for.

No matter how you look at it, the web sites are getting visitors. Teachers tell me that parents talk about the sites. I know kids visit the sites, because they tell me all about it. These numbers will only go up as our community gets used to having useful content available.

The Netbooks! Both campuses have ordered netbooks and carts for use with students. The netbooks are in and being configured right now by Joe Friel and Gina Campbell. We expect them to be up and

Nadaburg Unified School District, Wittmann, Arizona

Technology News You Can Use! Issue 4 running by the time you get back from Winter Break. Netbooks are smaller than a regular laptop and only weigh about two pounds. I tested the netbooks extensively before the decision was made to purchase. My experiences tell me that netbooks can be used for nearly anything a full sized computer can be used for. The netbook screen is smaller, as is the keyboard. However, I had all of the following open at one time and they were all working just fine: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and MovieMaker. I could not tell any difference except I had to adapt to the smaller keyboard. The computer itself worked just fine. Training will be required before you will be able to check out the netbooks for classroom use. Some schools I have seen have had trouble with laptops not being cared for properly when used by kids. With a few pointers about using the netbooks in class, we can avoid those problems and get a long useful life out of these nifty computers!

2nd Quarter, 2009 One of the video cameras we purchased is called “Flip Video� cameras. These incredible cameras are not much larger than a large pack of gum, yet record 30 minutes of video and are very simple to use, especially when downloading the video into the computer. Once downloaded, you can zip the video right into MovieMaker to start making movies. Again, training will be offered on all equipment.

After School Classes Podcasting, Blogging and Digital Storytelling classes were offered to teachers in August and September. More classes will be offered between January and March. Be sure to listen for the announcements. Jennie Freiwald, 7/8th grade science, presented to the Desert Oasis parents on Thursday, December 9th. To report on science activity, she had her students make a movie showing exactly what they do in science every day. The video was very well done and the parents were most impressed. Just wait until she gets hold of our newer, smaller video cameras!

Student Assessment

Other Equipment Each campus has gotten (or will by the time we get back from break) video cameras and digital still cameras. Properly used, these have the potential to add a lot to your classes. Equipment will be checked out of the computer labs as needed.

Students were tested for computer literacy, just as all staff have been, at the beginning of this year. The pre-test assessment is offered to schools for free SimpleK12, a company that specialized in online professional development for teachers. Student blog entries about the test were illuminating. Most agreed, they have a lot to learn. Technology instruction from now until the end of the year will be designed to raise those scores!

Nadaburg Unified School District, Wittmann, Arizona

Technology Newsletter 4  

A review of the first half of the 2009/20010 school year.

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