Muddling through the blogosphere

Reflections on CUE 2008 – Day One


Starting with Wednesday’s Edubloggercon and ending with the Friday poolside reception, the trip to Palm Springs to attend the 2008 CUE Conference was well worth the trip to Palm Springs! Despite some lousy connectivity issues for both presenters and participants, I walked away with new ideas and resources from every session I attended. Here are some snippets from Day One – Thursday:

Technology to Bring the Past Alive – Mike Lebsock: Well right off the bat, when you meet an 8th grade history teacher with the guts to dress in colonial attire, that’spodguy.gif sort of an indicator that he’s all about engaging students with the past. I valued the resources he shared (in his demonstration and handout) and, even more, his sharing of how he structured the introduction of and integration of podcasts in his US History curriculum. Before having students create collaborative podcasts on the Declaration of Independence, for instance, his students listen to professionally done podcasts hosted at the Colonial Williamsburg site. After listening to actors readings of historic documents, the students are ready to start recording their own versions. To build on comprehension, Mike also has students include images with their podcasts. Excellent presentation! (Note to self: Notify CUE staff that you were not totally focused when filling out the evaluation for Mike’s session – and might have marked all 1’s instead of the well-deserved 5’s.)

Blogs and Wikis: Writing Across the Curriculum – Brian Bridges: This was my first time to hear Brian Bridges present. Even though he has posted all his handouts online, his hilarious presentation style made it a memorable hour. Since I am always looking for royalty-free music for students projects, I was glad to learn that Jamendo, a site I looked at a year ago, now has over 7,000 albums online, with artists offering them to the public royalty free. (Note to self: send link to Jamendo to all DOLCHE project teachers.)

Integrating the Internet into the Primary Classroom: Gayle Berthiaume – One of my goals for this school year is to take a closer look at technology integration in the primary grades, so I’m glad I caught the tail end of Gayle’s presentation. I’ve always been a fan of Scholastic products, so it’s no surprise that they offer a ton of resources for the younger student. (And thanks to a little prompting from Alice Mercer, they be adding RSS feeds to their sites.) Besides sites like Scholastic’s Go Buggy, Send a Letter to Clifford, Publish Prehistoric Tales, and the spinning wheel of computer lab favorites, we also toured fun sites such as Giggle Poetry and very promising sites such as Panwapa – where students can make their own avatars, play many learning games, and make safe “connections” with students around the globe. Here’s a link to Gayle’s favorite primary sites – to self: start putting together workshop for primary teachers.)

Digital Imaging and Tips & Tricks for Photoshop & Photoshop Elements – Arnie Abrams – I would love to do a hands-on workshop with Arnie Abrams. He is a master at simplifying all things Photoshop. I’m still working with PSE 3, but am tempted to spring for PSE 6, based on the Photomerge Group Shot option and the right click ability to send photo to a Google Maps.

Coming up next…Reflections on CUE 2008 – Day 2

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