Blogging on the iphone

I am loving the iPhone apps! I just found this one (WordPress) that allows me to blog from my phone! I can even add pictures from my phone like this one taken of my summer school kids getting excited about a money game on the Smartboard.


I am also enjoying the Pandora Radio, Weatherbug, Tap Tap Revenge, and Facebook apps. Do you have an iPhone? If so, what are your favorite apps?

*Okay, I have to confess that I went back and added the links on the computer.  Haven’t figured out how to do that on the phone yet.

Traveling Educators

If you haven’t guessed from reading my blog before, I love to travel. I know I’m not the only one. So, let’s see where we are all going this summer. Add a comment and tell me where…and if you can, add your location to the Google Map below. If you have trouble, I’ll add it for you once I see your comment. Let’s see how many different states (and countries) we will be visiting! And if you’ve been to the same location as someone else, maybe even leave a travel tip!

I’ll start…I’m going to Key West, Flordia. I hope to scuba dive, but I will at least snorkel while I’m there and enjoy the incredible (so I’ve heard) sunsets. Okay, your turn…

View Larger Map

Click here to add your vacation location (or leave a comment and I’ll add it for you!)

  • Choose Save To My Maps
  • Login if you need to (you must have a Google account to do this)
  • Type in your vacation location in the search box and click search.
  • When the Placemark appears on the map, click Save to My Maps, and choose Trips 2008.

Or just list it below in the comments, and I’ll add it. :)

Stress Relief with Virtual Bubble Wrap

Okay, I’m not sure about everyone else, but I can use anything to relieve stress right about now. NOT that I’m stressed about SOL testing, because it will all go fine, but just because it’s that time of year. So here’s something silly that’s helping me….Virtual Bubble Wrap (be sure to check out the manic mode). If that link doesn’t work, you can try this version.  Thanks to Teachers Love Smartboards blog for this one.

Oh yeah…educational value….counting? maybe?

Do you have a neat stress relief site? Leave a comment to tell what it is!

We are Multicolored

Celebrate your uniqueness! Create you own flag at We Are multicolored, a digital art project put on by the Lower East Side Tenement Art Museum. You can email it, save it, print it, or download it. I could see this as a writing prompt to celebrate diversity and global awareness…plus it’s a way to practice clicking and dragging with precision.

Here’s mine…a mix between the USA, Mexico, and the UK. I live in the United States. The country that has most affected me is Mexico because I spent a summer there learning to scuba dive. The country I would love to visit is the United Kingdom (though there are at least four others close to the top of the list). I most value the blue in the US flag that represents justice, loyalty, and perseverance. What would your flag look like? What do the colors and symbols mean?

multicolored flag

Need directions? Here’s Langwitches quick and easy “How To.” It was through her blog that I found this site (though she credits twitter). Got to love having a network!

Trip to NYC

Last week I had a chance to go spend time in NYC. This was only my second time ever visiting, and really the first time I had a chance to check out some of the famous places there. Here’s a thirty second overview of what I saw:[kml_flashembed movie="" width="432" height="250" wmode="transparent" /]

I brought back some pics and short video clips of these places. I’d like to increase our collection of pictures and video clips for kids to use in digital projects without having to worry about copyright. Even though there are sites out there that allow you to download pics for educational uses, there are a number of reasons why doing this is difficult (or not safe) for younger students. Having a folder of pics that match SOLs that students can use freely would help. I’ll add the ones I brought back from NYC. If you have any other digital pics or short digital videos (especially ones that match SOLs) that you don’t mind sharing, please leave a comment here or drop me an email.

Animoto (Quick and Easy Video from Pics)

I think Pam Elgin first bookmarked this awesome easy-to-use site, Animoto, that creates very cool looking videos from a group of pictures. I tried it out today with a some pictures I scanned (but digital pictures would be even easier) and was very impressed at Animoto’s easy of use! Try it out for yourself!
[kml_flashembed movie="" width="460" height="300" wmode="transparent" /]

About the pictures in this video: One of the big projects I’ve been working on this summer (and probably for the rest of the year) is organizing family pictures and memorabilia from my childhood. My dad remarried this past November, and he recently moved to a home with his new wife. He’s cleaning out his attic, so I’m got the chance to take all my childhood papers, pictures, and other things to my own house. It’s been huge for me…looking back over my life through drawings, writings, report cards, and pictures. I’m so grateful that my parents saved all those things. This video is just a small, small sample of some of the pictures from my childhood.

Second Life and Twitter

Okay…I’m going to write about two things I’ve been exploring…but I hope you don’t think I’m totally nuts. In my defense, I’ve been playing around with these things lately because it seems to be the current “buzz” on edtech blogs. And I have to keep up with things…right?

Second Life is an internet based virtual world. When you sign up (for free), you create a character that you use to move through the world and interact with other characters. You will not be able to do this from school…our filter blocks it. But that’s because it is not a place for kids. There is a teen version of Second Life, but none of the students we teach should be using either of these sites. More than likely they explore the concept of virtual worlds through Webkinz. The reason I’m writing about it, though, is because lots of people are exploring the use of virtual learning in such an environment. If you try it out, visit Eduisland…you can join the virtual version of ISTE and explore somSnapshot_010e buildings created by various Universities. Discovery School even has a presence. If you want a tour, drop Pam or I an email with your Second Life name (after you register). We’ll add you as our “friend” and show you around (from the comfort of our real life home…so it will need to be in the evening or on a weekend). The picture is of the two of us shopping…Pam is the one in the poodle skirt, and I have on the sun glasess.

Twitter is the other thing I’ve been hearing about lately, and frankly, I’m not sure I get it yet. I mean I know how to use it in a technical sense, but I don’t quite see the point. Evidently that’s a common sentiment for beginners, so I’m trying to use it and stick it out for a bit before I make a judgment. The goal of the service is to ask at any given point in time, “What are you doing?” You can see my Twitter status in the box to the right.

Spell With Flickr

This site, Spell With Flickr, is so much fun–my first grade teacher side kicked in! ABCDEFGH….

Enter a phrase and get back images (from flickr) that spell it out with letter pictures!

T E Antiques A C laserH

W I t H6

T neon e Polka C hNOMosaic letter LoGY

Okay, okay…now how can we really use this for school other than to create really cool titles on our webpages? What first comes to my mind are word walls, letter books, and tons of other K-2 uses. It also inspires me to go grab a digital camera and take my own pictures. Kids would love to go on scavenger hunt with the digital camera…not only for letters, but what about sight words? Numbers? Shapes? Can you think of something else? Add a comment below!