Quick Update

I really hate these kinds of “weekend update” types of posts, and only do them as a last resort.  I feel that little blurbs about my day-to-day activities are best left to Twitter, Facebook and the like, where I would deeper explorations here.

Regardless, the last week of July is always a nightmare, and I haven’t had much of a chance to catch my breath, much less write a long blog post.  Here, then are a few things that have happened recently, for those that might be remotely interested… Continue reading “Quick Update”

SCETV Workshops Spring 2010

The time-lapse video above gives some indication of the frenetic pace I’ve been hitting this week. Several months ago I agree to once again do my Google Earth workshops for the SCETV Technology Conference. Had I known how hectic these past two weeks were going to be even without the conference, I might have reconsidered. However, despite PASS testing, 135th day counts, and other pressing needs in Spartanburg Five, I headed on down for the Wednesday – Friday sessions.

As I had done last year, I’m presenting two different sessions. The first is a basic introduction to Google Earth. The teachers get some time just to become familiar with the program’s controls and navigation, and I give them some suggestions for using it in their classrooms. The second session is more in-depth. I cover ways that Google Earth can be used to create highly interactive lessons buy using embedded media. I tend to get lots of oohs and ahs with that session because there is some really cool stuff you can do.

Wednesday we had a luncheon and were joined by several representatives from Discovery Education. Phillipe Cousteau, grandson of Jaques Cousteau, was our keynote speaker. In the evening the Discovery Educators Network (DEN) STAR members had a dinner at the SCETV studios, and we were again joined by Phillipe Cousteau. He spoke about some of his current environmental education endeavors.

DEN Star Educators DinnerPhillipe Cousteau addresses the DEN groupDEN Star Educators at SCETV Continue reading “SCETV Workshops Spring 2010”

Discovery Education MediaShare

The citizens of South Carolina really have some wonderful online resources available to them. For ten years now the State Library has made available a wealth of research and reference materials through the DISCUS project. This is available in all schools, libraries, and colleges, and available at home if you obtain a free password from one of those sources. Then there’s KnowItAll.org and all of the other amazing resources from SCETV. One of the best of these is the Discovery Education video clips available from StreamlineSC. Like DISCUS, this is available free to all schools in the state through a special licensing arrangement with Discovery. At the SCETV conference this week I learned about a new feature that Discovery is promoting called MediaShare. This new service looks really cool, and looks like it will be another great resource for teachers.

As the name suggests, MediaShare allows users to share files of various types – PowerPoint slide shows, Smart and Promethean files, podcasts, and video clips. The idea is that these types of files often take up more space on servers than some districts allow, so Discovery has created this place to host the files. MediaShare is monitored for appropriateness of content, and districts can also set approval levels for files uploaded by their users.

MediaShare-1

Continue reading “Discovery Education MediaShare”

SCETV Summer Workshops

DSC_2090

This week SCETV is holding its summer technology workshops. Normally I’m so busy building new schools and putting in computers that I can’t take part in the summer workshops. This summer, however, I decided I would try to make it. I figured that during summer there would be better participation than there might during the school year.

Last spring I did three sessions each day, which meant that I had no down time nor opportunity to visit any other sessions. This time I cut one of my presentations, so I would only be doing two workshops each day – Basic Google Earth and Creating Interactive Lessons with Google Earth. I had also been asked to conduct a geocaching activity one of the afternoons. Continue reading “SCETV Summer Workshops”

Unclear on the Concept

Today I attended a workshop in Columbia on the state’s new IP video retrieval system. Our district has been using the system for over a year now, so I was held up as an example multiple times during the workshop. That was a bit uncomfortable, but it also meant that I didn’t get as much … Continue reading Unclear on the Concept

SCETV Day 3 – Reflections on Censorship

South Carolina State House

Today was a jam-packed day. I had three sessions back to back, then it was time to drive home. There was one last session on basic Google Earth, then two on Geotagging. Yesterday during the late afternoon I had drive around Columbia snapping pictures so that I would have some shots for tagging.

Thurmond DomeWar Protesters 2Varsity BilliardsETV Satellite FarmETV Building

The first session went well, then it was a mad dash to the other ETV building for geotagging. It was a small room, so we had a rather information demonstration/discussion. Both sessions went very well, and my photos showed up in Google Earth exactly like they were supposed to. Continue reading “SCETV Day 3 – Reflections on Censorship”

2 Much 2.0?

Discovery Education is playing a large role in this week’s workshops sponsored by SCETV. After all, through their partnership with SCETV, all schools in the state have access to on-demand video via StreamlineSC. This evening I joined a large group of local educators who are part of the Discovery Education Network for dinner and discussion. … Continue reading 2 Much 2.0?

SCETV Day 2

Today’s workshops went very well. As with yesterday, I did a basic Google Earth workshop then an advanced session. Both sessions were well-received, and I got some good positive feedback. By sheer happenstance these workshops are following a logical progression. The basic session focuses on just getting used to the program. First, there is simple … Continue reading SCETV Day 2

(Google) Earth Day

Since this is Earth Day, it seems only fitting that I spent the day doing workshops for SCETV on Google Earth. I did one basic session, which covered getting use the the controls, searching, basic placemarks, and learning how to manage layers and folders. The second session was an advanced session where we started embedding … Continue reading (Google) Earth Day