I attended some great CUE sessions, both for the resources shared and the presenters’ engaging presentation styles.
- Internet Safety Awareness: I blogged this outstanding session live- and a week later am still thinking about the question Larry Magid poses to ‘tweens and teens: What does it mean to be a friend in 2010?
- Sharing Stories with Google Earth – Joe Wood – Between the resources Joe shares and his engaging, energetic, humor-infused style, his sessions are always fabulous. I’m going to keep checking his website where he has promised to upload a live recording of the session. As soon as that happens, I’ll update this post, so you can see first-hand how Joe used Google Earth and Google Maps for a digital story of his childhood. In the meantime, for Google Earth resources and ideas, check my Friday section below.
- Google Tools for Educators: LACOE’s Nancy Moore and Chris Jones led this hands-on session. They set up a great resource page to guide us through the workshop and for later use. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at Google Books, but, oh my, the huge assortment of books and magazines in the public domain is pretty impressive, including Life Magazine from the beginning!I really liked the main workshop activity: Using Google Maps to annotate the stops mentioned in Thomas Slocum’s 1899 book Sailing Alone Around the World. Having Nancy and Chris’s handy Google Maps tutorial as a reference really helped everyone delve into the task.
- Teaching Internet Literacy as a Genre – Heather Wolpert-Gawron – This presentation just hummed along, starting with Heather’s opening statement: “We can’t assume that a good offline reader is a good online reader, or that a good reader of one genre is a good reader of another.” A few take-aways from Heather’s session:
- Think aloud – Narrate everything! Teaching Internet literacy is about methodical think aloud.
- Tap into Amazon.com. Use the “largest mall in the world” for teaching navigation tools. “Without navigation tools in their heads, students will fall into shopping traps.”
- Twitter – If you follow science feeds or history or news feeds you can break for a “syn-nap” and check out the link. “Syn-nap” = spontaneous learning – stop and act on Twitter news item.
- Teach basic rules of netiquette for commenting on a blog. Let students use emoticons, which help them to find their writer’s voice. Have students take a netiquette quiz.
- Formal writing vs. texting – there’s a time and place (compare to shorthand – a great analogy to share with administrators who are concerned that text-speak is eroding students’ writing skills) – use for notetaking. There’s a time and a place.
- Extreme Makeover: Education Edition- No Blog? No Wiki? No Twitter: No Problem! – Steve Dembo. I picked this session because I’ve never heard Steve Dembo present before. I have to say, he’s right up there with his DEN colleague Hall Davidson – what a stage presence! I didn’t think I would have any take-aways from this session (just because I’m already an enthusiastic user of blogs, wikis, and Twitter), but I was wrong: iPadio.com!It took about a minute to register for this extremely user-friendly tool. Thanks to iPadio, I’m over the heartbreak of losing GCast.com as my favorite tool for podcasting from my cell phone. Three minutes after posting my first ‘phlog,’ I had an email from the iPadio team, welcoming me into the community and providing me with more tips. Checkout iPadio’s speech to text feature…Oh my, oh my, think of the possibilities…
- Using Technology to Make the Reading/Writing Connection – Arnie Uretsky – I’m not sure by paraphrasing Arnie’s key points that I could do justice to his unrolling of the reading/writing connection, so I’m pulling some direct quotes from his handout:
Everything we read was written first. It’s a simple idea but a profound one. Understanding the structure used to construct a story or essay can provide powerful entry into developing reading comprehension and fluency….We all give lip service to the fact that reading and writing are interconnected skills, but often we don’t directly teach the common elements that are critical to both activities…
…With my students I use the analogy of multiplication and division to illustrate the relationship between reading and writing. Multiplication and division are opposites of the same concept. The same is true of reading and writing. When you read information, you put the information together from the text you are reading, much like putting together sets in multiplication. When you are writing, especially when you are writing in response to literature (or science, social studies or math), you are deconstructing the elements of the story or essay so you can cogently explain them to others. Good readers also systematically deconstruct what they read. …”
Throughout the session, Arnie stressed the importance of explicitly teaching schema to our students.”Students need something to hang their thinking on.” Graphic organizers are a must!
- Read/Write/Think – I’ve been a long-time fan of NCTE’s site and am familiar with their Student Interactives, such as the Diamonte builder and the Story Map builder. The one drawback to this great site is students can’t save their work on this site – so print it!
- Scholastic Graphic Organizers – All the graphic organizers provided by Scholastic are PDF’s, so you can save them and print them. Another take-away from this session: If your students have been working with Read/Write/Think’s character traits graphic organizer, you can pull up Scholastic’s printable Character Sheet and Traits List, print it out poster-size and now you’ll have a character chart for you wall.
- Tools for Reading, Writing, and Thinking – Need graphic organizers for teaching cause and effect? Checkout these cause and effect formats.
- Writer’s Companion – This is the companion website for Arnie’s program. I’ve looked at this well-thought-out program before – and always walk away with the understanding that Writer’s Companion offers more for the reluctant writer than Inspiration. If I had $ to purchase software for grades 4-8, I’d chose Writer’s Companion in a flash.
CUE 2010 – Ah, so many tools, so little time; so many great presenters, so little time; so many opportunities to connect and re-connect with the CUE community…