Shout out to EdTech 2008!

Can’t be there this year, so everyone have fun!

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Growing up with Juliana Hatfield

I’m a huge fan of musician Juliana Hatfield and have been since 1992.  Her memoir When I Grow Up was released in September.  A photographer, Brad Walsh, took my now favorite pic of her just recently in New York while on a promotional tour for her book.  Future celebrity READ poster?

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Something you can do, today

On Friday I was able to use a few web 2.0 tools and wanted to share.

Flora had a Club Fair Friday during lunch.  I went out and took pictures and uploaded them to Picasa, but I also copied them to a file on my desktop to use for PhotoStory, where I created the video. 

Getting Started. I opened Photostory, a free download on and followed the directions for importing pictures from the folder on my desktop.  Holding down CTRL let me pick more than one at a time to do a batch upload.  Because of time, I left the default movements and transitions but did add text “Club Fair” on the first photo. 

Adding Music.  Last year we purchased Soundzabound in CD form.  I wished we would have purchased the online library, instead.    Because the files were in a format that wouldn’t import into Photostory, I converted them to “wma” files.  To do this I ripped the tracks from the CD using Windows Media Player which automatically turned them into “wma” files.  This put the tracks in the library which can be found in “My Documents” “My Music” then in a folder with the artist’s name.  In my case it was in a folder called “Unknown Artist.”  I then moved the track that I wanted for the video to the desktop, went back into Photostory, and browsed for the file when it prompted me to Select Music.  I didn’t use other features like narration.  The video was saved to the computer desktop.

SchoolTube and TeacherTube.  This is where I hosted the videos but first had to register.  The registration was easy and fast.  As soon as I was verified, I uploaded the video.  Both sites give the codes to either embed or link to the video.

School Webpage.  I tried to embed the video into our eChalk site, but it didn’t work.  I think I am doing it wrong somehow because the preview shows the video perfectly, but when I go to the webpage it is showing as code.  So, I just added a link from the SchoolTube video (copy and pasted the link code) on the school’s main page.

Here is the result: Club Fair Video

 As of 1:52 pm today the video has been viewed 122 times.

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Breaking Dawn, a little disapointing

Are you like me and disappointed with how Breaking Dawn (Twilight saga) by Stephenie Meyer ended?  Don’t get me wrong, I like the books.  But, it seemed to end too civil (do not want to give it away).  It leads me to believe the next installment should have a little more action.  I’ve talked about this with teens at Flora, and they have the same opinion.  On a side note I am not a lover of series for books or movies.  I stopped reading The Uglies series half-way through The Specials.


Stephenie Meyer was working on the new book, Midnight Sun, until it was leaked on the Internet.  She describes was happened and her reaction on her website


One thing I absolutley love about Meyer is that she is connected with her audience.  The fact she puts a music playlist on her website that goes along with the theme of the book is awesome and not to mention just has great music (IMHO).


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Using Adobe Visual Communicator 3

hannahridesbike  Click on link to see the video.

I attended a district half-day information session/workshop on Adobe Visual Communicator 3 to which we received a 30-day trail.  It is up to individual schools in my district to purchase the software.  Afterwards I went home and used existing pictures and video to try it out.  It is fairly easy to use.  Much easier than Movie Maker and very professional looking. is a wonderful website to get you started with Communicator and what equipment to purchase and how to set it up.

The workshop presenter, district webmaster Mitch Wyatt,  also showed us Adobe Ultra (part of Creative Suite) which has virtual sets.  All you would need is a portable green screen or to paint a wall in the studio green, computer, and digital camera. 

Our school will be using Macs for video production/morning news show so I am interested in blending the two (if we purchase Visual Communicator).  I was unable to attend the Mac workshop training this summer so I am eager to see the differences/similarities. 


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Spring cleaning?  Don’t know what to do with your piles of novels that you can’t seem to just give away to just anybody?  Here may be a solution.

Bookcrossing is a fun way to release books “out in the wild” where subscribers in your area can hunt and gather them for consumption.  Real fun!

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Okay, I tried

I downloaded Fruity Loops (demo version) in an attempt to create my own music since the student made it look sooo easy!  It was hard.  So I quit.  Anyway, pics from technology fair week around the district are posted here.

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Technology Week

This week we are celebrating technology.  February 18-22 is named Technology Fair week in Richland One

We are celebrating students who have used technology in innovative ways.  I was most impressed with our student presenters today.  The Broadcast Journalism and Newspaper showcased the behind-the-scenes work they do producing the morning news show and newspaper.  A band student demonstrated how he uses Fruity Loops to create his own music (very awesome).

More to come.

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A German teacher at my school introduced me to a program within Microsoft Office called NetMeeting.  She uses this for her students to have guided conversations in German but with an instant messaging/texting/conference call feel. 

To find this on your computer go to the Run command and type conf.exe.  This will load the program.  Set your preferences.  You will need to know your computer’s IP address so other computers can “call in.”  Whatever computer you are calling to is called the host computer.


 To find a computer’s IP address: Go to “Run.”  Type “cmd”.  The screen will turn into DOS mode.  Type “ipconfig” and listed will be the numerical IP address.

 This explaination may be clear as mud, but when you figure it out it is cool!  Once the host computer accepts your call you can begin typing messages back and forth.  You can also use voice, maybe video?  There are lots of features that I haven’t explored yet. 

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Flora is Podcasting!

Broadcast Journalism students at Flora are podcasting.  This is an excellent way to get started with podcasting since it only takes about 15 minutes from recording the annoucments, exporting the file as an mp3 using Audacity (a free download) to uploading it to the webpage.   And what an impact it has made with the school community!

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