Sunday, December 30, 2012



asked me to review 10% of the Adobe, Inc. video content randomly to see if any appropriate education specific language is used and to correlate the feature list of each product with the tutorial list to see what features may have been "not covered" by their training.  I am excited to do this as I have used Atomic Learning in the past for my classes.  I will spend about twenty hours reviewing their videos and giving them a report on my findings as it relates to their requirements.  Great opportunity for me to review Adobe product content!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Had the opportunity to judge the Flat Classroom 12-2 media for the World Wide Web group. There were 23 videos that three of us viewed and voted on.  Students were to address the following issues: 

How the World Wide Web Has Changed the World
The New Age of Connectivity - Flattener #2, p 60-77 of the Flat Classroom Book written by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsey.
This flattener is identified as our ability to not only author our own content, but to send it worldwide with the 1995 launch of the Internet. Netscape and the Web broadened the audience for the Internet from its roots as a communications medium used primarily by 'early adopters and geeks' to something that made the Internet accessible to everyone from five-year-olds to eighty-five-year olds. (8/9/1995)
Overview of topic
  • Development of the Internet: low-cost global connectivity
  • The emergence of the World Wide Web: Individuals able to post content for world viewing
  • Spread of the commercial Web browser: Netscape and others, able to display WWW content on any computer, development of protocols enabling devices to talk to one another
Ideas related to this topic
  • Global Perspective on Internet connectivity
  • Digital divide issues
  • Standards and policies for use of the Internet and the WWW: comparing differences between countries
  • Development of eCommerce, dot-com boom and bust
  • Development of social interaction and communication between individuals via the Internet

How the World Wide Web has Changed the World, ideas to get started
  • Discuss the development of the WWW (Netscape etc) and associated protocols
  • Provide a perspective from your country on WWW standards and issues
  • Conduct a discussion about the use of the WWW in education and business (local and global perspectives)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

NCCE 2013 - The Greatest Show on Earth


Well, I just found out that I am an "Incredible Featured Adobe Educator" at the NCCE 2-13 Conference held in Portland, Oregon, February 26 - March 1, 2013.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I submitted my proposals for Adobe InDesign and Adobe Dreamweaver.  I certainly didn't expect to be a "Featured.....Educator."  Not exactly sure what my schedule is yet, but it looks like I will be teaching an Introduction to Adobe InDesign on the morning of Wednesday, February 27th.

While I know I shouldn't be nervous because I have probably taught hundreds of classes to adults and teachers, but this does make me a little nervous, I have to admit.  I know I will do fine, it is just getting this kind of attention makes me nervous.  I am, however, really looking forward to it and plan to help out in the Adobe booth, which is always fun and a great learning experience.  If you are interested more in what this conference is about, check out the Advance Program - specifically check out page 15. I am excited to see that after all these years of attending workshops held by Joe Dockery, I am listed right beside him in the program.  This is quite an honor, I have to say. I have always admired his work and am always inspired by his workshops.  I hope to provide the same for the people that attend my workshop. 

This summer I attended ISTE 2012 in San Diego, CA. I attended Linda Dickeson's Adobe InDesign workshop.  She gave out books that she had written which I thought was great - because if I missed something in the workshop, I had a reference to go back to.  Linda recently updated her InDesign book to InDesign CS6.  I am hoping that I will be able to use her books at the NCCE conferece. I really like the idea of supporting a fellow AEL (Adobe Education Leader) and being able to provide a great resource for students.  More on this topic, as I learn more.  Have to say, I am very excited, even though a little nervous, about this endeavor.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Well I have some very motivated and talented students this year and feel that it is time to implement the Sentinel Design Academy.  I have thought about this for years, but never quite had the right situation.  This is the year.  I started out by thinking of it as a Design Lab. This Design Lab will be for students that want to go into the field of design, whether print, web or video.  I am thinking more of an Academy now.  These students will complete authentic projects for the the school and community. Since our design lab is under the Business Department, the hope is that we will turn this into a business with real-world experiences for students. These students must be taking a digital design class (graphic design, web design or digital film) and maintain an A in their class.  They should be studying for or passed the Adobe Certification Associate exam. They should be mentors for other students.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Somewhere along the line I stumbled upon a website called Photoshop Ping Pong.  This intrigued me.  It is open to the world.  The idea is that one student finds an image and posts it. Another student picks up the image and makes a change to it and repost it.  This goes back and forth for five rounds, for a total of ten rounds.  Students rate their posts and the best rating wins.

I thought why not start this through Moodle so that it would be geared just toward high school students.  I would start of small - just between two students in independent study. Then move on to getting Graphic Design 2 students involved.  Next, I sent an e-mail to the two other high school Graphic Design teachers in our district (at different high schools). So far the other schools are considering it. There is a technical difficulty hoop I need to get past before I can bring this outside of the school district. I created a Moodle with no enrollment key on our district Moodle site just for Photoshop Ping Pong. The hitch is that only students with an our school e-mail address (whether real or not) can register with our Moodle.  I will need to see how we can work with this hitch, because my next idea is to post something on the Facebook Adobe Education Leaders Facebook page and possibly the Adobe Education Exchange website looking for teachers interested in having their high school students participate. The exciting thing about this, is that it will have worldwide impact. Who knows, just thought I would give it a try this year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Presented a collaborative session for the Flat Classroom Project about Google Apps for Education (GAFE).  This was rather hard for me, as we have not fully implemented this in our school district.  I explained that I was piloting this for our school district and what I have done so far.  Other teachers Theresa Allen from Joliet, IL, and Cynthia Sandler (fellow Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Program) from North Salem, New York) presented what their schools have been doing.  Theresa is a technology teacher and coordinator for a private PreK-8th grade school and Cynthia is a Library Media Specialist in a Middle School. This was a great experience in collaboration and I hope to do more of these types of things - reaching out globally. To listen to the presentation: F.L.A.T.s Ways Classrooms and Schools Use GAFE

Saturday, October 6, 2012

This has been something that I have been wrestling with.  At first I didn’t see the point. After listening to several presentations and doing some reading I now feel that I have a better understanding of why you would want to gamify your curriculum.  I heard a presentation at the Adobe Education Summer Institute that really intrigued me.  I followed up with Mike Skocko who is a teacher & Tech Coordinator at Valhalla High School in El Cajon, CA.  For years I have followed Mike (and the MAC Lab) and Rob Schwartz (and Brainbuffet) from Seminole Ridge High School, Loxahatchee, FL (both Adobe Education Leaders) who teach what I teach.  They are awesome and I love their method of deliver and philosophy of education.

I followed up with Mike and found some exciting things.  He and several students have developed a Wordpress website gamifying the education he has been delivering for years (and I have been following).  While this overwhelmed me a little, I was fascinated.  I have been follow all of the posts on the Adobe Education Exchange through the trials and tribulations of getting something like this setup.  I truly feel like he is on to something.  Check out his new site:  Mac Lab 3.0
I thought about re-creating this through Moodle, especially the new Moodle 2.3 which has the ability to not let students move on unless they have completed certain requirements.  I actually started to create this.  I had a student test it out.  However, I see several things that he is able to do with his site that I will will not be able to do with Moodle, or would be quite complicated and possibly confusing.  

I decided, after that experience, to contact our computer science teacher, Dave Hamilton, to see if he had a couple of students that might want to get involved in something like this.  Dave is also the Track Coach for Sentinel High School, and he said he would not be able to do anything for two weeks.  He was very interested, however and had a book (with many bookmarks) that support gamifying education.  I will be getting back in touch with him, for sure.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Considered submitting a presentation proposal for ISTE 2013.  Worked with Joe Dockery and Ryan Visser of Clemson University in Pendleton, SC. Joe connected me with him.  He has been presenting a Dreamweaver beginning session at ISTE for years.  He would like to collaborate with another teacher and teach two 3 hours sessions - more of a beginning, intermediate six hour course.  Since this may be my first year presenting at NCCE, I did not feel I was quite ready for this.  I wanted to see how things went at NCCE.  I do plan on attending ISTE 2013, however and hopefully helping him and work towards further collaboration for 2014.  I also hope to have an opportunity to help out in the Adobe booth at ISTE 2013.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I have been asked to develop a new Web Design course for the Montana Digital Academy.  When I was at the Adobe Education Summer Institute, I met a couple of people that started the Adobe Generation.  The Adobe Generation is a series of free online creative courses, including Animation, Games Design and Photo Imaging. It´s your chance to learn from the best digital and creative designers in the world. You'll study the latest techniques, share ideas and develop practical skills that will help you stand out out from the crowd.  The courses run for 1 hour a week per course, for nine weeks. You won't have to pay a penny and you'll even get an Adobe Generation certificate at the end.

I have been working with Roxana Hadad from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.  She is an Instructional and Project Designer. and Greg Hodgson from The Chalfonts Community College,  Buckinghamshire, U.K.  I would much rather develop a course for the Montana Digital Academy Consortium (three other states) with Adobe software than with free, open source software.

After (Adobe Connect) connecting with Roxana and Greg Hodgson from The Chalfonts Community College,  Buckinghamshire, U.K., there appear to be several hoops that have to be dealt with before we can really move forward. I will keep working on this.  I may have to develop the course for the Montana Digital Academy and then create another, maybe level 2 course for Adobe Generation that the Montana Digital Academy could use.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I submitted two proposals for NCCE 2013.  One on InDesign and one on Dreamweaver.  While I have done a lot of teaching both to students and adults, it seems a little intimidating to teach to teachers that also know the software and may even know it better than me.  I have had a good role model, however.  Joe Dockery clearly knows a lot about Adobe video software but does not purport to know it all.  How can anyone know it all? There - now I feel better. I have to admit every year I push myself to do something that I am not always comfortable with but in the end, I have learned that I can do many more things than I think I can. Good lesson to learn.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

TEDxMCPSTeachers

Towards the end of the school year last year, we held our first ever TEDx event.  It was held at Hellgate High School.  It was a lot of work but wonderful to see so many dedicated teachers, students and community members chip in and help get it up and running.

I want to include a couple of my favorite presentations that are now available for viewing.  My first and absolute favorite presentation was one done by a fellow master's student and co-worker's wonderful outlook on life, learning and family.  Wendy Lofthouse is currently teaching second grade at Paxson Eementary in Missoula, Mont., and after 17 years of teaching she marvels at the wonderment of childhood. With a master's degree in Technology Education, Wendy advocates for technology in schools by sharing best practices and implementing technology use in her classroom. Currently she serves on the iPad Leadership Team working to develop and implement a 1:1 iPad initiative for Paxson students. Wendy takes pride in being the mother of three teen boys, and in her free time she loves to ski and travel.  All I can say is what a great lady and what a great mom!



Another presenter I thoroughly enjoyed was Mackenzie Lombardi.  Mackenzie was a student of mine last year in Web Design.  She was a junior at Sentinel High School in Missoula, Mont., in 2012, Mackenzie is active in Speech and Debate, Theater, and community service. She recently qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament with an original piece on apathy in our schools. An inspiring student leader, Mackenzie is also a Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Ambassador for Montana and a member of the National Honor Society. Mackenzie was a great student and has a bright future!



Kasey Dirnberger teaches Computer Applications/Business at Meadow Hill Middle School in Missoula, Montana, and a beginner computer course at the Adult Education Learning Center. She has a bachelor's from the University of Montana in Elementary Education, a Master's degree in Technology Education from Lesley University, and Business Information Technology Education endorsements from the University of Montana. She has taught for 12 years in several school districts and at all ages, and she leads technology workshops for teachers.



Scott Chook currently teaches an exploratory Creative Communications class at C.S. Porter Middle School in Missoula, Mont. In his 7th year of teaching, Scott's current class is designed to engage students in the production of authentic products, while grounding them in the standards of Communication Arts. Although he was born in New York City and has lived throughout the country, Scott has called Montana his home for the last 20 years. He has a 16 year-old son and enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and playing guitar and mandolin.



Monday, July 30, 2012



AEL Summer Institute Reflection

I attended the AEL (Adobe Education Leader) annual Institute which was held last week, July 23-27, at Adobe headquarters in San Jose, CA.  Approximately 120 AELs from all over the world (including Norway, Germany, Canada, Great Britain and more…) came together to learn from each other and from Adobe leaders and product managers. I have to say that this was the most inspiring learning event that I have attended since I re-started my teaching career.

I was not only inspired by the AELs, but also I was very impressed with Adobe as a company.  I have worked for a lot of different companies in my lifetime (before re-entering the education field) and was blown away with the level of listening that company employees did – everyone from the product managers to the new Vice President of Worldwide Education Marketing, Jon Perera.  I was quite impressed with Jon Perera’s leadership and vision.  He listed three key trends in terms of a technical perspective. These included devices, the cloud and its social.  Most K-12 districts in the U.S. have an iPad deployment underway. Smartphones just out shipped P.C.’s last quarter. Most likely we can count on a chaos of devices in the classroom. HTML 5 will be front and center.

One of the most exciting aspects of the Institute was that I got to experience an amazing level of collaboration that was happening across the world. After Tuesday’s presentations by Adobe leaders, Wednesday and Thursday consisted of AEL to AEL presentations and hands-on workshops. The amount of talent and energy in the AEL community is astounding, and the fact that everyone is so generous and sharing with their ideas and content is truly inspiring. I have to say this was a little intimidating given that there were people from Ivy League higher education institutions to 8-12 grade teachers from around the world presenting.  I also have to say, however, I felt so comfortable with everyone that I think I can get past this. I have submitted two proposals to NCCE (National Council of Computer Education) in February, 2013, in the areas of InDesign and Dreamweaver.  I hope to have a lot of time to practice and should feel much more comfortable to present at the AEL Summer Institute next year.


Sunday, July 22, 2012


I am getting ready for my first Adobe Education Leader Summer Institute.  I am very excited about this event.  It is hard to find people in Missoula, Montana, passionate about Adobe software.  I understand that there will be people from all over the world at this event sharing and learning together.  I just looked at my schedule and it looks packed.  I arrive in San Jose, California, around 12:30 p.m. tomorrow and immediately need to go to the Adobe Headquarters from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.because I signed up to participate in the conversation about the Creative Cloud and what it means, and could mean, for students, educators, and institutions.  I feel like this could be a great opportunity to help shape the future of Adobe's tools and technologies for use in education.

There is an AEL Quarterly Meeting scheduled from 4:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. I have attended these before, but always virtually.  This will be fun to attend this face-to-face this time. We get a break form 6:15 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and then attend a welcome reception at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel until 9:00 p.m. After that I am helping to help pass out and show how to use DSLR cameras so students have time before we meet to shoot some footage.

Tuesday, breakfast is from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. and there are a series of presentations focused on creativity and innovation in education. Lunch is from 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., however, I have a district meeting that I would like to attend virtually.  This meeting has to do with implementing Google Apps in our school district, our new school website and e-mail in the district and professional development for these.  From 12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. there is an optional Lytro Camera Demonstration.  I would like to see this, as I read about these earlier and was fascinated by the technology.

In the afternoon I have a series of sessions that I have signed up for:
  • Adobe Connect Roadmap
  • Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Roadmap
  • Adobe Touch Apps Roadmap
  • Adobe Muse Roadmap
That brings me to 5:50 p.m. at night.  Reception/Dinner with Adobe Executives and Product Teams is scheduled for 6:00 p.ml. - 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday we start the schedule all over again.  8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. breakfast, 9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. daily kickoff, 9:15 a.m. - 10 a.m. AEL to AEL Presentations.  I am scheduled to attend the following on Wednesday:
  • Using Interactive Video and Infographics to Tell Complex Stories
  • Developing a Digital Creativity Curriculum Online
  • Gamifying the Learning Environment
  • iPad Trail at Arts University College
At 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. there is a Fice Minutes of Fame presentation where we hear tips, tricks and triumphs from our colleges in five-minute mini-presentations.

Dinner is at Campo di Bocce, which sounds very interesting.

Thursday I am scheduled to attend the following:
  • Easy Ways to Connect Like a Pro
  • Adobe Touch Apps Workflow (I am the proctor for this session)
  • Adobe Premiere Pro & Adobe Audition CS6 - New enhancements for Video and Audio Editing
  • Creative Web Sites with Adobe Muse
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and the Tapeless Workflow
Thursday night from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., we will be spending at the Tech Museum - now this looks like fun! It seems like a great way to end the week. I can't wait!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Had the opportunity today to help Vicki Davis with her next book.  She is writing about Collaborative Writing in the Cloud. She sent an e-mail to the Flat Classroom Certified Teachers and wanted to get some feedback on Chapter 1.  What got me was her her comment about "A book on collaborative writing without some collaborative writing is a hypocritical sham."  I really agreed with that and am happy to see that she is truly trying to make it collaborative.  I spent time today making comments and suggestions.  I think this is a great idea for anyone writing a book.  I am guessing that you can spend so much time looking at the same words over and over, that you could miss things that other people might see right away.  She can choose to use or not use the feedback, but to just get it, I think would be great!  I am looking forward to reading the next chapter.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another ISTE Day!

Adobe Education Leaders Booth
Monday was a very busy day.  It started with a "booth meeting" at 8:30 a.m.  This is where they go over all of the details of working in the booth.  After this I had some time to walk around the different exhibits.  This exhibit hall is so large, there was no way I was going to see everything.  I did have a change to stop by the Gaggle booth and the Moodlerooms booth.  I looked for Schoolwires, but didn't see it.  Talked to the Gaggle guys about Google Apps and student e-mail.  Talked with the Moodlerooms guys about cost of their services as an option for our Moodle situation. I had a session on Google/Moodle.  It was awful.  The speaker really didn't teach anything.  He just talked a lot.  I left early and spent some time in the Adobe booth.  Learned about a new extension for Photoshop called LevelUp. I had some time to play around with this and it looks great for students.



PETCO Center


Had a chance to go back to the hotel before meeting everyone at the booth at 5:30 p.m. to walk to the Marriott Gasslamp Altitude Sky Lounge. It is located on top of the Marriott Hotel.  Here is a picture I took looking out at PETCO Center where I watched the Padres play the Mariners Saturday night.

 It was a beautiful view of the water, too.



Denny Washington's Yacht, Attessa



Tuesday morning we had breakfast at the Marriott Bayfront.  This hotel was right across from the San Diego Marina.  Very close to where Denny Washington's boat, Attessa was docked.











After breakfast, I volunteered to help out at the poster session for the Flat Classroom group.  It was fun to meet Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsey and some of my classmates from the Flat Classroom Certified Teacher class that I took.




 

Once that was done, I stopped by to see Joe Dockery who was teaching a Flash Animation class.  His daughter was helping him and I got to meet her.  Spent some more time in the Adobe booth, with some great people and then headed out to have dinner with Diane Woodard and Dustin Herbert.

Diane, Dustin and I took a ferry over to Coronado Island and sat outside overlooking San Diego bay and had dinner at Peohe's restaurant. We didn't have much time there.  I would have liked to have a few more hours to explore the island.


 
Wednesday morning I had a workshop to attend.  This was an InDesign workshop taught by a fellow AEL, Linda Dickeson.  What a great lady.  She has written books about the software I teach called, ClickStep.  It was really nice to have met her before, while in the booth, and help her out during class.  It was a pretty basic InDesign class, but I picked a few things up that I think I knew before but forgot about.



 
After the workshop, I headed to the Adobe booth to say goodbye to everyone.  Diane and I went to lunch at, of all places, Dick's.

We shopped a little and then headed to the airport.  I have to say the days went very fast.  I love San Diego.  The weather was beautiful.  It was sunny and in the 70's with no humidity, which made it very nice. I have to get back here again some day and spend some vacation time.



Here is a link to all of the sessions.  If you click on a session, you will have access to the presenter's materials.  There are some great resources here!  ISTE 2012 

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Arrived San Diego Friday afternoon.  Wow, I love San Diego - water, sail boats, no humidity, no clouds, beautiful, sunny - just love it.  Staying at the Hilton Bayfront which is right next to the convention center.  Immediately upon checking into my hotel, I had to go outside and look around.  I was only going to go for a short walk, but ended up walking all the way past the convention center (which I must add is quite long)  past the Marriott hotel, down to the Seaport Village which had a lot of little shops. I was wishing I had my camera, but wasn't planning on being gone that long.  

Went back to my hotel and rested a little and then decided to go to the Gaslamp area for dinner. Went to the Ocean Room, where I sat out side and ate seafood, of course. Sat outside overlooking the Gaslamp area.  Quite a nice restaurant and very relaxing atmosphere.  

Saturday morning I got up and worked on my Montana Digital Academy class and my WM-CSPD Moodle online class. I had to make sure all of my grading was up-to-date and my next week's curriculum was ready to roll out.  Got all of that taken care of and started studying for my co-presentation the next day - Shooting & Editing DSLR Video

Diane Woodard came in around 1 p.m. and we went to the convention center to pick up our registration packets and grab a quick lunch.  After lunch we went to the pool at the Hilton, which is right on the water. Went through our ISTE booklet to determine what sessions we might want to go to. 

That night we went to a Padre's game at PETCO Center which was right near the hotel.  We had great seats - 20 rows up from home plate.  Thanks to Scott Edge's sister, who got us the tickets!  It was fun to be at a professional baseball game.  I think the last time I was at a professional game was in high school.  I remember going to a Yankee's game.
 Monday got up early to meet Joe Dockery (the presenter) at 8 a.m. to get everything ready for the class that he was presenting and I was helping him with.  It was a great day, although, on my feet a long time.  This was a six hour presentation; three hours in the morning and three in the afternoon.  During the morning students learned about the DSLR camera settings and the afternoon students learned how to edit video using Adobe Premiere Pro.  This was a nice sized class with only eight people in it. 

After class we stopped by the Adobe booth.  This was actually quite a treat for me because for years I had been going to these types of conferences and would see all the exhibitors setting up their booths.  As attendee's we were never allowed to to go in to the exhibitor area until a certain day/time.  So this was just kind of a treat.


In the evening I caught a cab to the Island Prime restaurant for dinner. I have to say, it was a little taste of heaven for me - a restaurant right on the water!

Met a lot of great people, that speak my same language. Sat with a very nice gentleman, Johann Zimmerman from Adobe.  He is from Germany.  I spent quite a bit of time talking with him.  He told me he used to run the conferences, but doesn't anymore.  Little did I know he was going to be giving a speech and introducing the new "head guy" at Adobe.  I didn't expect that - he just seemed like a really nice guy.  I also sat next to Linda Dickerson, which was also a treat.  Joe Dockery introduced me to her books year ago, but I had never met her. Very nice lady.  I think I am really going to like this Adobe Education Leader program - lots of great people that speak my language.  I also like the way Adobe really seems to listen to the AEL's and make changes to their programs based on the feed back they get from their educators.

Monday, June 18, 2012

 ISTE Coming Up!

Wow, a lot has happened since the last time I posted.  School is over for the summer.  Lots of changes in our district.  I am teaching two online classes this summer.  I am teaching a Web Design class for the Montana Digital Academy and a Moodle class for teachers for WM-CSPD. I am creating the Moodle class from scratch so that has been taking a lot of time.

Went to a meeting this morning about the future of CTE (Career & Technical Education).  We discussed many directions that CTE might take.  Talked about tightening up our Career Pathways, Dual Credit/Articulations and Internships. More research will be done and we will meet again.

Getting excited about going to ISTE and co-presenting.  Spoke with Joe Dockery this afternoon about the presentation and other Adobe events, such as dinners, receptions and serving in the Adobe booth.  I am very excited about being able to serve in the Adobe booth.  In fact, I was going to call my Adobe contact to see if they needed any help in the booth.  I started to realize that I really need to get my ISTE schedule under control.  I have also signed up for many workshops.

I also received e-mails from the Flat Classroom creators, Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsey.  The would like the Flat Classroom Certified teachers to help out a poster sessions they are doing.  Therefore, I put together my schedule between the workshops I signed up for, the Adobe/AEL activites, co-presenting to see if I had time to help out with the Flat Classroom poster sessions.  Found a window of time to be able to do this.

It is going to be a very busy week, but it is all stuff that I love, so I am really excited.

I am going to Schoolwires training on Wednesday and Thursday of this week in a kind of train the trainer model.  I fly to San Diego to where ISTE is this year on Friday.  Going to spend most of tomorrow staying on top of my online courses, studying for my co-presentation on DSLR Video and starting to get all of my gear organized to pack for ISTE.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I attended my first AEL Quarterly Meeting today.  I attended both the morning and afternoon sessions.  Wow, there are a lot of great things happening at Adobe!  I can already tell that I really like this company.  They seem to really listen to their AEL's and also seem to be appreciative of them.  It also sounds like they are really trying to empower students to be creative and innovative using their software. Attending this meeting got me very excited to go to the AEL Summer Institute at Adobe.  Many of the people that attended the webinar today will be there.  I recognize so many of the names from just working in the field.  It will be great to put a face with all the names.

I was planning on attending Adobe MAX this year.  I did find out the dates have been changed, which is actually better for me.  The Adobe MAX conference will be held in May, 2013.  I plan on attending this next year, maybe instead of ISTE.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Finished my day with a Google Apps meeting.  It was a face-to-face meeting or a GoToMeeting.  I decided to go home and "go to the meeting" virtually from the comfort of my home.  I really think this is where you will see more and more businesses and education do more of.  It was nice to kick off my shoes, put up my feet and grab a nice cold glass of ice water while sitting in air conditioning on a day when it is probably 87 degrees outside, to attend a school meeting. I was a little concerned that it was going to be like the same meetings have have gone to (regarding the same subject) for the last two years and still not have a plan of action.  When the meeting ended, almost two hours later, we had a plan.  Finally, I have to say I have seen this vision for the last two years and it has been a painful process to go through the "politics" of getting it done.  Today I feel like we made some progress that will result in action.  We had a conference call with the Billings, Montana, school district and they explained the process that they went through to switch to Google Apps for Education.  We left it that the administrators would get together to decide on domain names and the tech administrator would look at getting it set up and let myself and a couple of other teachers know when it is set up to test.

We are going to be able to test it this Fall.  I am really looking forward to this.  Students are currently using gmail and Google docs in my classes and I can really see the power of this. Hope to have a report soon of the test site.

Had my AEL (Adobe Education Leader) orientation meeting.  The lady running me through the orientation, Daniela, was great!  She helped me with all of the steps I needed to do in order to set up my Adobe Air application, AEC (Adobe Education Community).  Lots to learn and I am really looking forward to it!
 
Note: Above logo created by one of my Graphic Design students, Rebecca Norman.

 The third graders came over to my room today to collaborate with the high school students.  Students shared the research that they found over the last couple of weeks. This was a great opportunity for real sharing and collaboration to take place.  The students documented their research using Google Docs and began to think of the story that they want to tell about their subject. 

Monday, May 14, 2012


Wow, got to participate in the NPR Storycorps program.  What an awesome program.  This program gives people of all backgrounds and beliefs to record, share and preserve the stories of their lives.  These stories are archived at the Library of Congress. I got to have about a 25 minute conversion with the teacher that I am working on the When Missoula was Young project with.  This was actually a very wonderful experience.  Margaret Petty and I actually go way back.  My daughter had her as a teacher in first grade.  She was my daughter's favorite all time teacher.  In fact when I told my daughter I was doing a project with Mrs. Manning (Petty), she told me that she still uses Margaret's name in many of her passwords - because she was her favorite teacher.  I think this program is really wonderful and wish people were doing this back in the 1800's!  It should would have helped our project.

Local story coverage.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MSLAedu & TEDxMCPSTeachers

Today was a long day.  Not that most days aren't long, but this one was exceptionally long.  It was also very rewarding and exciting to see Missoula teachers participate in the first ever Missoula TEDx program.  This was the second Montana TEDx program in the State.  Bozeman held the first.

Note:  Above logo created by one of my Graphic Design students, Rebecca Norman.

The morning started off with the MSLAedu event. This program included speakers from The University of Montana, Missoula County Public Schools and the greater Missoula community.  They worked together to cultivate imagination and innovation among teachers and students in classrooms from preschool to graduate school.

This was a unique four-hour conference that highlighted the innovative programs and projects that represented collaborations between UM and MCPS.  These programs and projects demonstrated elements of both the University of Montana's Global Leadership Initiative  and Missoula County Public Schools' 21st Century Model of Change.  This conference showcased educational innovators from both institutes who are collaborating on exciting projects to engage students of all ages and produce graduates with imagination, creative capacity, and innovative potential.

I was a speaker at the conference.  The topic was When Missoula was Young, Engaging Students in the Living History of their Community -  A Flat Classroom® Approach

Sentinel High School students and Lewis and Clark third graders are collaborating on a cross-curricular,  innovative project that flattens and expands the classroom walls to include our greater community.  Students are investigating life in Missoula in its birth year of 1883 when the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived in Missoula to transform it from a frontier village to a bustling center of commerce.  Thinking as detectives, journalists, folklorists, and historians, students search for clues to reconstruct life in early Missoula through the eyes of children living at that time.   Students will share their learning through digital stories that will contribute to the historic record of our community. This project has the critical attributes of 21st century curriculum in that it is technology-rich, project-based, and research-driven.   It integrates many of the skills that students will need to be successful in both school and career: connection, communication, collaboration, and creativity as well as higher-order thinking skills and problem solving.


To view a video that was taken at the conference by two students in a Cell Phone Cinema class at the University of Montana captured footage using iPhone 4S devices entirely:  Cell Phone Video.

It was a great conference in that it was nice to network with University professors and the community and have an opportunity to not only talk about your own project, but hear about the other great projects happening in local education.


The TEDxMCPSTeachers program was also about four hours in the evening.  I was familiar with TEDx as I was one of the lucky ones that got a ticket to a TEDx presentation in Denver in the summer of 2010 while I was there for an ISTE (International Society of Technology Education) conference. At TEDx Teachers events, teachers take the stage to deliver innovative learning experiences that cover classic school subjects in a TED-like way.

This Missoula event showcased the passionate relationship between vision and practice embraced by innovative staff members and students in Missoula County Public Schools. Our innovators have transformed their teaching and learning. They had great ideas worth sharing!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Found out today that I have been accepted as an Adobe Education Leader.  This is very exciting for me because I work with many of the Adobe products and will now have an opportunity work with many of the other Adobe Education Leaders and product developers.  Adobe Education Leaders are dedicated to enhancing creativity and collaboration and improving the teaching and learning experience. They share their expertise through workshops and conferences and help develop standards-based curriculum that are used worldwide.  As Adobe updates it products and develops new ones, Education Leaders provide valuable input through beta programs and focus groups. They are among the first to use new technologies in the classroom and establish learning objectives around them.  I will have the opportunity to network with outstanding educators to inspire each other, share ideas, and collaborate. Leaders are classroom teachers, district administrators, technology coordinators, or education consultants.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Details

Today Mrs. Petty and I met with the high school students only.  We discussed the details of the assignment and the high school students chose which person they would like to research.  Details were presented both about the primary and secondary resources that they would be using.  Field trips and oral history interviews were discussed.  Students were also told about the mobile app that was created for this project.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Third grade students met for the first time with the high school students at the high school computer lab to work on a project that addressed the question:  What happened on the day you were born?  This project included answering guiding questions as follows:

What famous people do you share a birthday with?

What news making events occurred on the day you were born?

How did most people spend their free time when you were born?

Students used Google Docs to record their research.  This was an introductory research project to their final research project.  It was amazing how much the high school students enjoyed working with the third graders. 

I have to say how exciting it was to watch how excited the third graders were and how engaged the high school students were.  For more pictures, see When Missoula was Young website.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wow, just got back from NCCE (Northwest Council for Computer Education) in Seattle.  Very invigorating!  Came back with lots of great ideas and a first look at our new website hosting company. 

Click on the image below for a link to the blog I created while there and also links to the many great resources:



Saturday, March 10, 2012

 
Attended the XLi Conference for the last two days.  Came away with a lot of great ideas and resources.  Especially want to check into Amvonet's web conferencing for integration into Moodle.  Loved Rick Hughes' TED style presentation, From Sputnik to the iPad.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

When Missoula was Young - Getting it Together

What an exciting day!  Joe Fischer held a lunch meeting for interested social students students to explain the project.  He had about 15 students show up interested in the project.  This was a great start.

I also Skyped with Margaret Petty later in the afternoon to see how the process worked.  I sat at my teacher station at Sentinel High School and she used an iPad.  We decided to use Google Docs for creating and storing materials.  We created nine folders, one for each team.  We also created a folder for students to exchange information and documents and a folder for the public to provide us with documents.  We decided to use Google Docs for collaboration and recording our research.  Everything worked well, so I feel we got a good start with the technology we will be using.

We plan to have Margaret Petty meet with the high school students to further explain their role in the project.  We will then have  the Social Studies students meet face-to-face with the third graders to get the process rolling.  Each team will given the name of a Missoula person that they will have to research.

For more information about this project:  When Missoula was Young

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Coffee Hour Tech Talk - Session 7

The instructor for this Coffee Hour Tech Talk, Diane Woodard, will be conducting office hours using Google + Hangout.  I am curious as to how well this will work.

Diigo vs. Pinterest

I was first introduced to Pinterest by my daughter who absolutely loves it.

Many of the Web 2.0 tools today have some component of social media. Social media includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialog.  Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlen define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content." Social media is media for social interaction as a superset beyond social communication.  Enabled by ubiquitous accessible and scalable communication techniques, social media has substantially changed the way organizations communities, and individuals communicate (Wikipedia).

 Pinterest is a very visual program.  That is one of the biggest differences between Diigo and Pinterest.  Pinterest is growing so rapidly lately.  Pinterest is probably going to have to expand their servers, people are signing up so fast.  


Pinterest is very photo based.  Most of the photos are linked to a website.  Pinterest board for iPad Apps for Education.  Both Diigo and Pinterest save websites that you can go back to later.  Pinterest is more social media and Diigo is more social bookmarking.


We will explore, boards, pins, likes, following and dashboard. You do not have to make all boards public.  You can also make boards private.  Diane brought us through the different settings and workings of Pinterest.  While I had already started using Pinterest, this information reinforced what I had learned and I also learned some new things, like that I could put a Pinterest button on my website (see above).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coffee Hour Tech Talk - Session 6

Chrome Extensions

Daum Equation Editor includes some text editing tools but is primarily an equation editor.  This actually looks like a great extension.  I wish Moodle had something like this and maybe it does, but I haven't discovered it yet.  You can save the file and insert it into your presentations, etc.

Evernote Clearly 

 With one click, you can make blog posts and articles clean and easy to read.  It eliminates all distractions from your online reading experience, and even allows you to browse mutl-page articles in one view.

I use Evernote a lot and this allows me to select the Evernote button on my browser and lets me push this page into my Evernote note taker.  On advantage to this is that I have Evernote on all my computing devices, such as cell phone, laptop and iPad and I can access and print this from anyone of these devices. You can also change the font style, size, etc.

Aviary Audio Editor 


This is a powerful clip editing software. You can trim, loop, stretch and reverse your audio clips.  You can add sound effects or record your own voice.  You can easily add fade-ins, fade-outs, pan from left to right, and modify gain over time with editable control points. You also have the ability to change, reverb, delay and parametric EQ are just some of the effects you can use to customize your sound.


I have to say, this looks like an awesome, easy to use audio editor.  Since I teach Video Production and have Chrome in my computer lab, I think I will have this Extension added to all students' Chrome browsers.  I am really excited about this one!  I want to remember to tell students to save as they go along (this is the case for all of the projects we work on in my classes).  Even save them as different names (i.e., 1, 2, 3) so that you can go back if something doesn't work right.

There is also a Library of music/sounds that is part of the editor.  You have to accept their terms first, but then you will have access to it.  It will save all of your files to the cloud storage and there is a limit there. The Edit button allows you to add effects. Last step is to mixdown so that you can get a file (into one track).  They file you are using in Aviary is a project file. You can download your file (after you mixdown) as an mp3 file or a wav file.

You may need to use ZamZar to do a file conversion.

JamendoJamendo is a community of free, legal and unlimited music published under Creative Commons licenses. You can share your music, download your favorite artists. I have used this with my Video Production students making a link available in the Video Production Moodle.  I also purchased a program for all student computers, Mixcraft, for them to be able to make their own music, but this will be a nice alternative.  This will give them another choice, while still keeping copyright issues in mind.

Soungle - I also have a link to this website in my Video Production Moodle. Soungle is a free site for finding all kind of sound FX and musical instruments samples on our mega online library. As different from most of similar sites, Soungle is NOT a Web search engine. It only searches in their growing monster database. 

Their goals are to keep it simple to use (search, preview and download) and to keep it free.Keyword searches are performed by entering any word or phrase in a search box. The retrieved results of a keyword search are displayed ten to a page. Clicking on play icon allows you to preview a file. Download button instantly downloads the sound effect or musical instrument sample file. A short description of the sound appears on top of every sound , followed by the frame rate, duration and bit rate. All of their sound effects and samples are royalty free for downloading.

Web 2.0 Tools 

Kerpoof Studio

You can create movie animations with Kerpoof Studio. The Kerpoof website is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company. Kerpoof is all about having fun, discovering things, and being creative and is primarily for elementary levels. Here are just a few ways that you can use Kerpoof:
  • Make artwork (even if you aren't good at drawing!)
  • Make an animated movie (really! it's easy!)
  • Earn Koins which you can trade for fun things in the Kerpoof Store
  • Make a printed card, t-shirt, or mug
  • Tell a story
  • Make a drawing
  • Vote on the movies, stories, and drawings that other people have made
Snow day today!

Good day to catch up on some working that I have been wanted to do but have not had time.  I am taking an online class called Coffee Hour Tech Talk.  I have not been able to keep up with it weekly so today is the day I will get caught up!  I always learn something new that I can use with my classes.

Coffee Hour Tech Talk - Session 6

Extensions


The first thing I learned today was a Firefox Extension, called Print Edit.  Print Edit allows editing of the webpage content while in Print Preview Mode.  I think that this can be a great feature allowing you to edit the web page prior to printing which will compact the layout and remove unwanted content such as advertisements, sidebars and blank pages.  The Chrome version of this is called Webpage Screenshot.  This extension includes the ability to draw, edit, cut, change resolution, write comments and share instantly via Gmail.

Two more Chrome Extensions - related to math.  One is called Fractulator. Fractulator is a fraction calculator that will add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions and mixed fractions.






The other math Chrome Extension is CalcuNow. This is a basic calculator with access right on your browser.  It will provide instant results to your math expressions as you are typing them. Handy, if I do say so myself.





Web 2.0 Shopping

Woot!  They sell one product a day.  Once the product is gone, the sale is done.  They have different deals. Favorite one is Deals.Woot!  Good idea to look at what they have posted and head over to CNet.com and look at the reviews they have on the item.

Yelp!  Is great for helping you shop.  Yelp is a fun and easy way to find and talk about great (and not so great local businesses.  Great way to find a place to eat while you are traveling. It includes reviews and you can had your own.  You can get a map with step by step directs on how to get to the destination.  You can make reservations and place an order on your cellphone or iPad app.  It is for business in the area where you are located or where you enter the zip code or address of where you are looking for a business. You can also get help, directions, ratings and has a social media component.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I was approached by a elementary school teacher to participate in a collaborative project across schools.  While this may not be a global project reaching across countries, I think this will be a good start to flattening our district's classrooms.


When Missoula was Young:                                                                                               
Engaging Students in the Living History of their Community

Summary
What do the following people have in common?
  • The first woman representative elected to the U.S. Congress.
  • A revered Salish leader who was forcibly removed from her tribal homeland to an Indian reservation. 
  •  A racecar driver, mechanic, inventor, and rancher who played a principal role in the development of a city airport. 
  • A homesteader whose farm has been preserved by a city as a community treasure.
Third graders will be given this challenge to discover the identities of these and other ordinary and extraordinary individuals who were children in 1883 when Missoula, Montana officially became a town. Thinking and acting like historical researchers, students will use primary sources to reconstruct life in their community in 1883 through the eyes of children living at that time.  They will work with high school social studies and video production students to create a final video that will become a story map of their subject’s life.

In this place-based project, third graders will deepen their understanding of local history through exciting and exploratory investigations that engage them in the learning process while working with high school students in the areas of social studies and video production. After visiting local historic sites, examining photos, family histories, letters and diaries, creating photos, video, and GPS data, and conducting interviews, students will share their learning with other students and members of the community through multi-media photo stories that will be linked to the Missoula city cemetery web site.  Finally, they will create Google Earth Place Tours that will become a story map of their subject’s life.

Goals and Objectives
Project Goals:
·         Engage students in innovative practices that integrate inquiry and place-based learning, higher order thinking skills, community resources, and the use of supportive technologies in the context of core academic subjects while working with high school students in the areas of social studies and video production.

·         Instill in young people that historical figures were, in fact, living, breathing human beings who started their lives just like them.

Objectives:
  • Students will use primary sources to investigate life in their community in 1883.
  • Students will describe the cultural traditions and contributions of the people of the Missoula Valley.
  •  Students will share their learning with other students and members of the community through digital storytelling.