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Trevor Notes and Whatnot

Page history last edited by Trevor McGill 14 years, 2 months ago



Monday, 03-22-2010: Keynote Session with Dr. Covey     

Four Hazards: Failure to Execute, Loss of Focus, Crisis of Trust, Failure to Execute

Building Trust W/ All Stakeholders

They boss owns responsibility for production therefore manages and motivates, cultural owns responsibility.

1) Execute with excellence

2) Achieve more w/ less

3) Transform fear w/ engagement

Comparing the industrial age to the knowledge worker age

Voice: 1) Need, 2) Passion, 3) Conscience, and 4) Talent

Restraining Forces

Personal, Interpersonal, Managerial, Organizational

Students can retain 95% of what they teach (10% of read, 20% of hear, 30% of see, 50% of hear & see, 70% discuss, 80% experience)


Monday, 03-22-2010: 1030 - 1115: Austin Peay - Tennessee Ellen Smyth presenter -  #TxDLA - 171

Loss of students to brick and mortar classes: 30% - 70%

Online weaknesses: Communication, collaboration, accountability, retention

Engage students to keep them involved...Design course infrastructure, facilitate student learning

Students want form and function

Welcome images and messages lure and keep...Opening page orientation

Orientation - Clear, concise instructions for course navigation

Diversity - Words, pictures, formulas, color, font, audio, video...Break things up - not blk and wht

Modules - Provide feedback, chronological order in bite-size chunks: alternate small input bits and small output bits

Groups - Put students in groups

Make the course challenging

Self-reflection; self-feedback: assign self assessment

Be excited and enthusiastic

Care more for students,"Pray for students."

Encouragement - makes a big difference positive/negative feedback

Prompt feedback: respond to students ASAP

Know the students

E-Mail and call students who drop off in class

Forgive new students: Miss first assignment, quiz, homework...let them catch up.

Fairly interesting perhaps aimed at the college instructor/ professor than the MS/HS teacher. Good info though.


Monday, 03-22-2010, 1130 - 1215: Texas Virtual School Network - #TxDLA 113

SB 1788 80th legisation

Leverage courses already developed

Ensure alignment to TEKS

No change to existing distance learning laws

HB 3646 81st Texas Legislature

State allotment fund

Paid upon successful completion of course

  • final grade of 70% or better
  • completion of all assessments and assignments

Provider district: $400

Receiver district: $80

No - Pass, No - Pay: Final exam is required assessment


Courses align w/ TEKS & iNACOL

Instructor led - high school led

vary in pacing - enrollment type

materials to be provided by student or district

Teacher: must be certified in the state TX

Complete Professional Development classes

Pass a background check


100% alignment w/ TEKS

Depth and Breadth of content ensured with evidence of each students expectation and content being taught at the  appropriate Bloom's level. Meet or exceed the Nat'l standards of quality for online courses

Online instructor professional development: leading active and ongoing interaction between the teacher and students and among students

58 standards must be met for a lesson to be approved (YIKES!)

Main modification to completed lessons: Must be extremely interactive w/ students - discussion boards, e-mails, group projects, blogs, wikis, and chats.

Must have a variety of ways students are learning and how they are being assessed.


TxVSN Site Coordinator:

May be anyone in school

1) Must know needs of students

2) Is "go to" contact for course instructor

  • will receive progress reports for students
  • will receive final grades for students

3) Must be a mentor for the student



  • pre-assess:procrastination/ motivation
  • learning styles
  • technical competency
  • on-screen reading rate 
  • type speed and accuracy

(Provided at no cost through TxVSN.


Mentor: research proves local mentors increase student success. May or May not be the site coordinator. Must be campus based. Day to day students progress, proctors exams, assists with exams, remains in contact with students.

Schools may complete a 7 step application to become or receive school activation.

Webinars available often for mentors, site coordinators.

Interesting info about what will be expected and what we are facing in developing our classes.


Monday, 03-22-2010, 1400 - 1445: Blackboard Learn (versions 9 and 9.1): the latest version of blackboard.

High level of skill needed in blackboard 8 and vista to comprehend section.

Dr. Teresa Acosta had broken down the Blackboard 9 and 9.1 and formulated her own "wish list" for additions to the software. This was over my head in many aspects but I did like the new versions added features and pertinence to a more dynamic learning management system.

More to continue...battery needs charged...mine not the laptop.

Refreshed. I did not find this session to be too helpful as I have not yet been trained using the Blackboard system in setting up lessons.


Monday, 03-22-2010, 1545 - 1630: Web 2.0 Applications: Free tools for you and your students. #TxDLA - 167

Dr. Mark Workman Blinn College (Small world - Dr. Workman was my first computer class professor at Frank Phillips College 20+ years ago)

Interesting session...Dr. Workman presented some interesting sites to use in class. Best of all, the majority of them were free.

Mobil Desktops



full featured application: Zoho Writer (Free word processing application)

Zoho Document Sharing: Can be used for a true collaborative tool for distance learning: Spreadsheet, slide shows, etc

Zoho Show (Slideshow presentations)

Zoho Wiki



AirSet: Organize and Collaborate word processors




Slide Show Applications

SlideRocket: sliderrocket.com

Prezi: prezi.com


Tuesday, 03-23-2010, 0815 - 1015: Keynote speaker session

Began by handing out various awards and recognized people working and improving TxDLA.

Charlotte Stallings: What do you bring to the table?

Success is a choice: Choose your attitude!

Focus: Focus beats brilliance. Focus makes you remarkable. Focus on your strengths.

Look for the lion.

Live your passion.


Tuesday, 03-23-2010, 103 - 1115: Not again! Alternatives to the same old PowerPoint #TxDLA - 151

Randy Rogers

PowerPoint can save money, it is visual - can display ideas...multimedia - can use sounds and pictures together - creative.

They are familiar...this can be a negative. Overuse in lecture and for assignments.


Collaborate with other users. Make it social. you can use www.slideshare.net: upload and share PowerPoints, may set privacy where certain people can see the PowerPoint. May share comments and have others ask questions for clarification.


authorstream: will turn PowerPoint into a movie and can forward to you tube.

Google docs beta...collaborate really easily - does not have many features - share button allows user to invite people to participate on project. Can export it to PowerPoint.

iSpring free. It is a plug in that goes into PowerPoint that will turn PowerPoint into flash movies.

slide rocket...cool interface - flash based. Good text tools and more special effects than Google docs.

**voice thread: one of the coolest options to PowerPoint on the web. Simple process: load images or video (straight of web cam) and click and drag to the order to be in. Browse button to review other compilations from other people. May type, record, input comments into the pics. (eb.voicethread.com teacher account $10.00)

scrapblog: create a world for your pictures.Virtual scrapbooking. cool interface...drag and drop onto screen...may resize and rotate. Can export them as JPEGS and print them into books. Add music and narration. Share with other people.

Go!Animate: Many different scenes and characters "anyone can animate".

Battery getting low!

extranormal: create animated characters

xtimeline.com: various timeline creativity tool.


sketchcast: draw and records your animations

photopeach: pop pictures in and it has music to apply to pics...will animate.


Tuesday, 03-23-2010, 1415 - 1600: Let's Get Together #TxDLA - 233

Taking a tour of the 10 most popular online and videoconferencing softwares.

Integrated room

  • Centralized location for codec
  • main camera
  • displays and peripheral video sources w/ multi features
  • $10,000 - $100,000

 Set top

  • designed to set on top of monitor
  • small and easy to move around
  • $3000 to $20,000


  • used by people working from home
  • keeping in touch w/ friends and family
  • between $250 - $400
  • able to do voice, video, and application sharing

Types of Focus

Peoplecentric - absolute need to see someone

  • Skype, Zorap, DimDim, Safari Montage Live, elluminate VCS, Telepresence, integrated rooms


  • elluminate, webex,

Content specific

  • H. 239, screencast programs


Top "Ten" Lists

  1. ooVoo
  2. Skype
  3. Yugma
  4. Vbuzzer
  5. Ekiga
  6. Tokbox
  7. Eyejot
  8. Sightspeed
  9. iChat

Even though there are only nine here!


  • GoToMeeting.com
  • iLinc
  • InterCall
  • WebConCentral
  • FuzeMeetiing
  • Microsoft Office Online

Presentation address:





Thursday, 02-11-2010, 1300: Web 2.0 What It Is and How I Can Use It

Rene Fuller and Charlotte Haley of Decatur ISD: presenters. Have books available for purchase concerning technology in the classroom.

Web 2.0 is basically integrating people and ideas (Skype, Facebook, Twitter). Flickr photos for various photo programs. Companies use Internet for feedback about products and service. Smart phones opening endless opportunities with applications and mobile Internet access.

Provided several teacher help wesites useful in the classroom and in the development of various lesson plans.

www.picasa.com: User friendly applications for storing, sharing, and altering photos.

Ex LP: Shades of me – blur, change colors

www.wordle.net - graphic for words also www.worditout.com - Copy and paste a composition into the site and it will digitally change the view

It is better to save in word then copy and paste. Ex: The Preamble to the Constitution

www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com - A very graphically visual used in interactive lessons for students. It has a list of embedded math terms and other elementary math games.

www.forensics.rice.edu - Can be fun stuff. Contains an educators guide. One prgram called “the writing on the wall” allows students to compare handwriting examples to pick out the similar writing patterns. Kind of a CSI for kids. It has various online activities: aimed primarily at science.

www.kerpoof.com - Use this site to draw pictures of main ideas of short stories or non-fiction. Rather elementary. Could be implemented to allow older age groups take a break. Kids like to draw.

Google a term, ex: TEXAS, click the show options at the top left of the window and it will open a seperate tools menu. Click on Wonder Wheel and Google will present info in a content map that can also be clicked on to open websites and whatnot. Good research tool being a visual (graphic organizer). There is an option for a Timeline as well.

www.freetech4teacchers.com - Site consisting of various technology info for teachers.

www.pics4learning.com - A list and collection of free photos for kids to use without worrying about copyright infringements. Would be good to use in researching and presenting online brochures and PowerPoints/ Keynotes.

www.slideshare.net - This site is full of PowerPoints from all different subjects and information free to use for lessons and presentations.

www.spezify.com - Contains different photos and information boxes (kinda like a textbox) for various subjects. Would need to be careful with filtering as some inappropriate material could pop up.

www.audacity.net - Contains free audio files and import capabilities to apply to various programs and applications.

www.moviemaker.com - self-explanatory

Remember to keep looking the web is always changing.

Presenters E-mail: www.technologyclassroomlessons.com


Thursday, 02-11-2010, 1030 – Blackboard 9 – Tips & Tricks

http://www.wix.com/dcasto/Blackboard is the link for online instruction. Has links to download instructions to a printable PDF.

Voice announcements – post verbally something that may be hard to repeat exactly each class – record an announcement and open site. There are  20-minute time limits for each post.

Voki avatar in general copy and paste a code. May digitize yourself stating the message.

Under tools click voice announcement – type in subject (ex. Welcome)

Vocal message – record use headset to for recording – have to unplug headset for play back

Options – always show or pick certain times available for playback, ex. 6th and 7th periods.


Control panel – click groups create single groups or group sets

Tool availability: blogs, collaboration, discussion boards

Add members and teachers are able to send E-mail to complete groups

Assignments – drop box – digital documents a greener way to teach

Create digital drop box – edit mode – create new file – drop box

Works differently than a drop box

Evaluation – grade center

Grade track changes review

Insert text box for notes about grading

Create as a PDF first before e-mail to students

Safe Assign – way to check a document against other submitted documents and Internet and other past safe assign documents in database

Will indicate the assignments plagiarism notations

Control panel – safe assign teacher access only

Direct submit – too submit work for students

View submissions – click on documents to view complete documents

Global database and school database

Blogs and discussion boards:

Create blog button – students can create colors, font, size, add photos may personalize

Smart notebook recorded course materials


After the Smart Board presentation we waited for the exibits to open for the opportunity to speak with Aventa about their online curriculum. Spoke with Adam Davy, account executive, about setting up a Social Studies online curriculum through Highland Park. I really liked his presentation info and the lesson examples provided online. Worthwhile visit by my standards. The integration of multimedia and interactivity for the lesson plans would encourage sudents to learn.


8:00 Session: From Smart to Great:

Presenter: Ronda McClain

Teachers use to modify photos and clip art (good for starting day and taking attendance)

www.Audacity.net sounds must be MP3 files http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Sound files can be used to trigger student responses. Students hear certain songs and whatnot to signal times: clean up, get a textbook, finish up your work.

Instructor had programmed Smart Board with a spinner to group kids at certain stations. Helps kids stay more organized and more structure to classroom.

We were shown how to use the Smart Board to do a self-check for completions of assignments.

I liked the layering examples that permit the hiding of images behind one another. Can use to implement what goes with which group. I think it could be adapted to SS in various cases. Comparisons can be made; Civil War, Abraham Lincoln to Jefferson Davis, cultures, economies, etc.

I liked the linking of sounds and music to a Jukebox page that will make transitions and class procedures move smoother. May Google ‘free sound effects’ to get additional music and sound files.

Classroom instructions can be recorded using a microphone or headset and implemented on the Smart Board for various lessons.

There is a program that can link certain shapes & pics for students to touch that will transfer them to different pages based on choices.

www.Speakaboos.com - Free online children stories

Web files can be embedded into slides by dragging the URL to the address bar on the Notebook page and saved.

Presenter E-mail: ronda.mcclain@centralhts.org

I found this interesting as I am not as developed a user of the SmartBoard technologies and programs as of yet. I am still learning and using the hints and advice of fellow, more experienced teachers.



Wednesday, February 10, 2010:


Had a good flight into Austin and met Debbie Purvines. We were able to get my registration and I accompanied Debbie to the Exhibit Center.


I spoke with Sarah Richards at the Smart exhibit about implementing more social studies technologies in my classroom. I enjoyed the presentation of using the content maps as a brainstorming device to get students to think about various lessons and connections. The modeled lesson was at 1115 - Smart Ideas and Our Solar System.

I spent the rest of the morning acclimating myself to the Austin Convention Center exploring the exhibition hall and marking exhibits, events and presentations I wanted to attend during the afternoon.


I returned to the Exhibition Hall after lunch and spoke with representatives with Smart further. I signed up to receive the free monthly newsletter. This will provide Smart Notebook lesson plans, digital content, question sets, etc. I also explored the Smart Table activities. This program implements the use of similar technologies in the Smart Board but on the top of a table. This is good for smaller groups and has a growing lesson plan activities in Math, Science, ELA, and Social Studies.


I spoke with representatives of MAPS101. This was an interesting exhibit integrating online geography-based Social Studies technology. This resource is compatable for K - 12 classrooms. It provides 24/7 online access to comprehensive lesson plans, maps, educational games and support that is available through any internet connected computer.

1000s of interactive maps

200+ lessons for K - 12

350 videos through National Geographic

Current and historical geographic events w/ Geography in the News and Maps in the News

Reference Atlases allow students explore the world's continents, people, flags, gov'ts, economies, etc.

Interactive learn and play games and quizzes. Puzzles, make their own maps, weekly GeoQuiz, etc.

All of the plans and maps are downloadable in a PDF file. The applications are available to the campus for a reasonable price

Very interesting program...my favorite so far.

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