Friday, February 29, 2008

ASTE Day 1 ... Afternoon

Well after a box lunch and visit with the rest of ITT’s, I headed off to a Conference entitled “Technology to Enhance Your Curriculum”. After hearing about what the presenters do for the Anchorage School District, I realized they were our counterparts and would talk with them afterwards to look into some sharing of resources and collaborating with them as best we could. I was looking over their list of topics and quickly realized that due to the similarity of jobs I knew about most of the resources they were going to be going over, so I was going to be listening from a different angle during this session. Some of the key thoughts from their talk that struck me were the following:

“Technology is not something on TOP of what you are doing, but it should be something that will ENHANCE your lesson.” (Shelley Szipszky)

As an Instructional Technology Teacher, you should go in lead several lessons while giving the staff member you are working with the chance to observe how the students are interacting with the lesson. Just let the teacher know that you would like them to look past behavior and more towards their engagement in the lesson.

Then they pointed out that they did not harp on music and headphones if the students were using them as long as they were used in an appropriate manner. They noted that it would help many students focus on their work and that they would teach proper use of when to listen to music.

Then they featured a really cool movie using ISTOPMOTION, which is a program that takes still photos that will create a stop motion animation. This is actually a program that I have and I will look forward to trying it out this summer

Next up was a movie using a technique called shadow-puppet storytelling. They also mentioned that there were hundreds of iMovie 06 HD plug – in's that you could download and install. So when I get some time I will go looking for some to see what is out there.

The coolest resource that they did cover was called “Google Lit Trips”, located at This site works with KMZ files in Google Earth where they will take a book, create a pathway in Google Earth and then add text and pictures to recap the book as you move from one place to the next. I downloaded the classic book of “Grapes of Wrath” and the KML file started in Oklahoma and traveled west to California. The prospect of how this could enhance an English class was a giant “Aha” moment for me. I cannot wait to share this site with my English teachers.

Finally, their shared an Instructional Technology Teachers worst nightmare that is when your best laid plans go horrible wrong. They showed off this really cool site for K – 6, called where you can create a story or movie with provided characters. Ross had mentioned that he showed it to a teacher and the teacher was using for a couple of days and then the teacher came in the next day only to become frustrated towards technology. The emotion arose from the fact that their school district decided to block the web site. I know that feeling oh to well and know numerous teachers that have felt that same frustration.

Well now that Day 1 is done and after waking up at 4am today, dinner sounds nice and then early to bed as I am bushed. Check back soon for ASTE day 2 installments.

No comments: