Andy Losik’s Islands of Geektopia

Andy Losik is a STAR member of the Discovery Educator Network and teaches in Hamilton, Mi

Andy Losik’s Islands of Geektopia

Michigan State University Tech Conference 2009

November 13th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

I will be keynoting and presenting at the 2009 Michigan State University College of Education Tech Day on November 14, 2009.

Conference website:

EdTech All Stars:

Google Lit Trips:

  • Wednesday March 10, 2010: half day Google Lit Trips workshops at MACUL conference, Grand Rapids


Let’s Ride this Google Wave Together.

October 9th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Google Wave looks to have amazing possibilities for educators and Personal Learning Networks. The hardest thing about getting started though is finding other contacts to with who to ride.

Visit this Google form to add your information. (Directly available at

Check out who has added their contact information by visiting the spreadsheet of responses. (Directly available at

Please feel free to share these forms with other educators you know who are using Google Wave.

For those of you still awaiting Google Wave invites, hopefully those will arrive soon. Currently, Google isn’t letting users invite others. These forms aren’t going anywhere and will still be around when more people are able to come on board.


Follow the Discovery Educator Network Leadership Council Symposium Live.

June 25th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

As a lead up to the NECC in Washington, DC the members of the various state DEN LC’s have gathered at Discovery Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD.

Not only can you watch the discussions live, you can even join the back channel conversation with those in attendance and those tuning in as well.

 Link to original post


My Twitter PLN Keeps Me Movin’ Everyday!

May 18th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Get your twitter mosaic here.


Check Out Map A List

April 16th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

A great new tool that I have discovered is called Map A List and can be found at . It basically mashes up any Google Spreadsheet
that contains location data (full addresses, cities, states, or merely
zip codes) with Google Maps.
During my recent presentation at the Michigan Macul Conference on
building literacy through Google maps and Lit Trips (part of my
Google Teacher Academy action plan), I asked attendees to fill out a simple Google form I
embedded into my presentation links page . All I wanted was their zip code.
When I was finished, this is  the spreadsheet that was generated.

I directed Map A List to it, and it quickly generated this map showing
where all had traveled from for the conference.

I have not used it extensively, so I can’t comment on how customizable
the maps are, but maps and forms linked together offer unbelievable
possibilities. Take your students’ addresses off of a spreadsheet
generated by your school’s data system. Upload it to Google Docs. Tell
Map A List about it and see exactly where all of your students live.
The major point I wanted to share at MACUL, was that the real point of
using technology in the classroom is to deepen understanding of a
subject matter. Map A List is definitely a tool that can help both
teachers and students make more sense out of location data.


XtraNormal is an Xtra Amazing Digital Storytelling Tool

March 16th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

While listening to Ben Rimes, the founder of Macul Space (among others) interview THE Steve Dembo about his upcoming sessions at this week’s MACUL conference in Detroit, Steve mentioned XtraNormal.

XtraNormal is a tool that simply takes whatever text you type and turns into the spoken script of an animated 3D film. This is no Blabberize, Photostory, or even Kerpoof (although great applications in their own right). This is a movie maker that simulates actual lip movement and changes camera angles automatically. You can control actor gestures and expressions.

Check out this XtraNormal movie about Internet Safety I created in no more than 10 minutes.

Caution! This is highly addictive!

Listen to Ben and Steve.


The power of a good picture and a few words

February 27th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Pic Lits is a wonderful site for building literacy in a very artistic form.

If you are like me, it seems that I constantly struggle to find new and engaging ways to teach voice, ideas, and word choice as necessary writing traits.

Today though, while reading through some of Kevin Jarrett’s archives at NCS-Tech, I found the absolutely stunning

Pic Lits

Users select a picture from a series of thumbnails that scroll across the top of the page. Once one is selected, a box of words pops up that can be dragged and dropped onto the picture. The user may arrange them into sentences or simply place words in a collage around parts of the image. Think those word magnets people have on their refrigerator meet some of the prettiest and most interesting photographs you have ever seen.

I used this with first grade students today in hopes they might be able to simply read words they felt matched their pictures of choice. Like most open ended activities, they blew me away with some of the ideas and concepts they dragged and dropped onto their photos. There were so many different approaches. There were deep thoughts and some fun randomness. Some grew frustrated that some of the words they had in their heads weren’t listed but ultimately learned more expressive ways to make their points with what was in the word bank.

I cannot wait to use Pic Lits with all of my different grade levels. If you ask kids to write, then give them a chance to get started with this site.


Siftables = Wow!

February 20th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

This is absolutely amazing. That is all I have to say about that. Amazing!


Got stress? The Winter Grumpies getting you down? Hit the ‘Eject’ button.

February 19th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Got stress?

The Winter Grumpies getting you down?

Hit the ‘Eject’ button.


There you go. Feel better?


Teach like your hair is on fire!

February 17th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

When I went to the Chicago Google Teacher Academy in September, my bag of goodies contained a book called “Teach like your hair is on fire”. I had carried it in my laptop bag for months thinking, “I ought to take a look at this.”

The thing that made me pick it up…and hardly put it down since…was the mass of Twitter messages coming from The Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C) raving about the closing keynote speaker Rafe Esquith. I quick Googled the name and a link to the book I had been hauling around for months was the first hit.

After reading just a few pages, I could see what all of the excitement was about. Below is a story from The Today Show that takes you inside Room 56 and gives a bit of a glimpse into what makes Rafe such an exceptional teacher.

The book is available at Amazon with excerpts available for reading online.

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