Thursday, August 28, 2008

Online Teacher Technology Training

I have been busy this summer. Our district started to implement a project I put together that teaches technology and technology integration to teachers online. Now, there are products out there like InfoSource that do this but our program is outcome based and follows a method that hopefully will align with what teachers need to do to prepare curriculum, activities, etc. for their practice. Feel free to utilize any or all of these online lessons. You can even participate in our discussion boards. However, some lessons are designed specifically for our district's needs.

1.1 - Understanding File Properties (5 pts)

1.2 - File Formats & File Extensions (5 pts)

1.3 - Hooking up a Periphials (3 pts)

1.4 - Burning CDs and DVDs (5 pts)

1.5 - Backing Up Your Files (5 pts)

1.6 - Wireless vs Ethernet (5 pts)

1.7 - Dealing with a frozen computer (2 pts)

2.1 - Search engines (7pts)

2.2 - Language Translators (5pts)

2.3 - Databases – ebsco, Google Scholar (5pts)

2.4 - Anatomy of a URL (5pts)

2.5 - Netiquette & Internet Safety (3pts)

3.1 - Fair use (5pts)

4.1 - Google Docs & Spreadsheets (7pts)

4.2 - Zoho (7pts)

4.3 - Presentation Programs (6pts)

4.4 - Online Storage (5pts)

5.1 - Digital Cameras + Digital Image Basics (5pts)

5.2 - Digital Image Software (Gimp, Photoshop, Picassa, Splashup, Picnik, etc.) (10pts)

5.3 - Image sharing – Flickr, Photobucket, etc. (5pts)

6.1 - Capturing Video (6pts)

6.2 - Digital Video Content (7pts)

6.3 - Video Editing (10pts)

6.4 - Publishing video online – YouTube, TeacherTube, etc. (7pts)

7.1 - Podcasts (5pts)

7.2 - Audacity (5pts)

7.3 - Creating a podcast (10pts)

8.1 - Concept Mapping Software (5pts)

8.2 - Wikis (10pts)

9.1 - Blogs (7pts)

9.2 - Social Bookmarking ( (4pts)

9.3 - RSS (4pts)

9.4 - Power of the comment (3pts)

9.5 - Skype (5 pts)

10.1 - Updating your website (basics) / webpage design considerations (5pts)

10.2 - HTML tricks to enhance your webpage (5pts)

10.3 - Embedding Video (2pts)

10.4 - Widgets (5pts)

10.5 - Online Quizzes and Worksheets (5pts)

10.6 - Digital Drop (3pts)

11.1 - Rubistar (4pts)

11.2 - Online Lesson Plan Sharing (3pts)

11.3 - SMARTtech lessons and teacher toolkit (5pts)

11.4 - WebQuests (3pts)

12.1 - Open Source vs. Proprietary Software (5pts)

12.2 - Serious Games (5pts)

12.3 - Virtual Worlds (5pts)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Are Learning Styles a Myth?

Like many people I have a customized home page that I use on all of my computers that contains links to stuff I use on a regular basis. Recently I have added two RSS feeds to this home page that I have found extremely valuable and maximized my use of two separate web2 services: Twitter & My Twitter subscriptions and network closely mirror each other. They are mostly composed of people I have come across in the edtech world who post interesting stuff relevant to what I am interested in. With this feed I catch the latest tweets and tagged sites every time I refresh my browser or return to my home page.

Today I noticed Bernie Dodge posted a link to the video by Dan Willingham I have embedded below. I find this video thought provoking but also a bit unsettling. I find it hard to argue with what he says and I am sure I will be spending quite a bit of time over the next few days (maybe weeks) chewing this over in my mind. Basically, Dan tells us that there is no scientific basis for the existence of individual learning styles. The conclusion is that there is no need for teachers to alter their lessons to accommodate individual student learning styles. What do you think? Also, if this is true, how do I address a teacher who says online staff development is not conducive to their learning style?