Google Earth Lesson Plans

passportcover.jpgHere’s another great resource from the VSTE conference: It’s a Small World After All…Integrating Google Earth into the Virginia Standards of Learning. Sarah Walters, an ITRT from Loudoun County, has put together a nice collection of lesson plans and files to use with Google Earth. My favorites that I’ve seen so far is the Passport for a Virginia Traveler that goes along with the regions of Virginia (4th Grade Virginia Studies). There are also files that go along with the books How to Make an Apple Pie by Marjorie Priceman and Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, activities for migration, and even a Google Earth file for Ponce De Leon’s Voyage. Thanks, Sarah, for sharing all these great ideas!!

Resources for Integrating Technology with Marzano’s Instructional Stategies

I have had the opportunity to attend some really great sessions in the last two days at VSTE, and I am trying to get around to posting what I’ve learned. This site, Putting the Pieces Together: Integrating Technology with Marzano’s Instructional Strategies, is at the top of my list because it matches so closely to some of our division’s goals…and it’s just an incredibly huge resource! It was put together by Sheri Miller, an ITRT for Gloucester County, VA. It contains resources to match the instructional strategies from the book, Classroom Instruction that Works by Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, Jane E. Pollock. Sheri has taken the researched-based strategies from the book and compiled ready-to-use resources that allow teachers to integrate technology with activities that match the strategies:

  • Similarities & Differences
  • Summarizing & Note-Taking
  • Effort & Recognition
  • Homework & Practice
  • Non-Linguistics Representations
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Objectives & Feedback, Hypotheses
  • Questions, Cutes, & Advanced Organizers.

The section on Summarizing and Note-Taking even includes strategies for integrating technology into Interactive Note-Taking (an upcoming in-service at our March 7 Professional Development Day)! And the best part? The activities are all ready-to-use in programs our schools already have: Kidspiration, Inspiration, Kidpix, Word, Excel, PowerPoint or on the web. It’s incredible!! Thanks Sheri, for a great session and an invaluable resource!

If that’s not enough, Gloucester County has also put together a great repository of websites matching the SOLs on their Elementary K-5 Resource page! I will definitely be spending some time looking through all these resources in the weeks after the conference!

Counting Down until VSTE 2008

I’m pretty excited about the upcoming VSTE Conference starting Sunday at Hotel Roanoke. Conferences are a major source of professional development for me…and one way I stay on top of the up and coming trends in Instructional Technology. This is the first and only conference I’ve been able to attend for almost a year and a half, so I can’t wait!! I’m also excited about the prospect of connecting with people I’ve been communicating with via Twitter, Second Life, Ning, and other means (but either have never met in person or haven’t seen in a long time). It will be good to see familiar faces from nearby schools systems, as well, and catch up. I learn so much from getting to talk with other people in the Instructional Technology field.

If you don’t have a chance to attend VSTE in person, you can always attend virtually. The easiest way to see what all the attendees are learning/sharing/doing is to use a service called HitchHikr. Attendees to the conference (hopefully) will tag their blog entries, pictures, videos, bookmarks, etc. with “VSTE2008” so that Hitchhikr will pick up their posts. On a smaller scale, the Salem ITRTs usually take notes on the SCSTech Wiki, so you can look there too if you want to see what things strike our fancy. Personally, I’ll be blogging as I run across great ideas, and I’ll be tagging links in too so that I can share with others back at school. Maybe I can find an idea or two that I can pass along to you! I can’t wait!

HitchHikr for VSTE2008

Delicious tags for VSTE2008

Salem Attendees’ Notes for VSTE2008

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