Archive for October, 2010

Tech Support at Discovery Education is Great!

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

First, as you can read in an earlier post, I was having trouble accessing the link to my blog when using a Foxfire browser. Well, that got corrected, but something else messed up, so that whenever I clicked on the link beside my name in the DEN tab, I got an error message. I couldn’t access any other blogs, either. It seemed to have something to do with my login script, because when I accessed the blog by typing in the direct address:

it went to blog as long as I had NOT logged into the Discovery website.

Well, long story short, the kind folks at DE streaming Tech Support got it fixed. Now I can get to the blog through the link, and I can get to my Dashboard, so I can add new posts.

In my troubleshooting, I clicked on a lot of different state blogs besides CT, and I was absolutely amazed by all the wonderful info that is out there. Pennsylvania had a particularly impressive blog – as does CT. There is no shortage of good professional development opportunities on the web. The only drawback is finding the time to utilize them.

Thanks again to DE Support!

What a Rush!

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

discovery meThe CECA pre-conference at Smith Middle School in Glastonbury, CT, was awesome. I learned many new things. I can hardly wait to test the Smart Board media player with a streaming video. I did not know until today’s session offered by Howard Gunther and Robin Metaj that picking up one of the markers will pause a video playing in the Smart media player. You can annotate right on the still clip and save that to a Notebook 10 file by clicking on the camera icon. Next, you click on the red x to get rid of the writing, put the marker back in the tray, and the video continues. That is such a neat feature. The session by Steve Dembo on 50 ways to Spin a Digital Story was also very informative. I learned about several new tools that I had never heard of before. I am most anxious to try, an online video editing tool. I also got more information on Google Earth and am encouraged to learn even more. Glogster was at the conference, too, and they announced that they are starting an anti-bullying campaign on their site very soon. That message needs to be spread far and wide.

Great bagels and coffee and juice for breakfast; nice sandwich box for lunch; great prizes to end the session; and the conference was offered for free. Who could ask for more. This is the second face-to-face conference I’ve attended organized by Whitney Mihoulides. I understand she has organized and managed another 16 in addition to the two I attended. She is amazing. Steve Dembo, who is in charge oso excited to be with celebsf the whole Discovery Education Network, is also an incredible human being. He’s really a celebrity, but he’s real people. I didn’t pick up on any ego at all- just a real belief in his product and a great enthusiasm for sharing.

Could it get any better? Yes! I won one of the prizes. I got a small DVD player, a collection of Discovery videos including one on Nefertiti, a mouse pad, and a polo shirt with a Discovery Logo. Guess what I’m wearing to the CECA conference on Monday! My hubby and I are staying at a hotel in the area, and I’ve plugged the DVD player into the large screen TV in our room. The video (watching one on sharks, now) is awesome on the big screen. Thanks, Discovery for a really great day.
I can hardly wait to share what I’ve learned with my colleagues back at my middle school.

Finally, thanks to Smith Middle School for hosting the conference. You have a gorgeous school. What a nice environment for collaborating and learning. Oh, and  I can’t forget to thank the Connecticut DEN Leadership Council who helped organize and run the conference. Great job, guys! Love your blog.

Conference Weekend

Friday, October 15th, 2010

I am very excited about attending the CECA Pre-Conference Day of Discovery tomorrow and then CECA on Monday. While attempting to post to my blog, I encountered some interesting issues. First of all, one of the teachers in my district loaned me one of the iPads she has for her special education classes to experiment with this evening.
I was able to successfully log into Discovery Education on the iPad, and when I went to the DEN, I found the link to edit my blog. I was able to add the title, but when I tried to edit in the “post” area, all I got was a “copy” box. I am not sure why the title field was editable but not the actual post.

So, I logged into Discovery Education on my laptop, went to DEN, and the links to my blog were missing. It has to be a setting problem on my laptop, because I have the links beside my picture on the computers at school and on the iPad. I’ll have to see if anyone has ideas on how I can adjust my internet setting so the links will show up.

Anyway, I logged back into my account on the iPad, found the URL for my blog, and typed that in on my laptop. Success, I am now editing my blog. It’s a “go figure.”
So, I’d better get to bed soon because I’ll have to be up early in the morning in order to get to the conference on time. I went to a Discovery Education conference this spring at a high school in Massachusetts, and it was awesome, so I’m looking forward to learning even more tomorrow. As a result of my attending that spring conference, all of the students in my district have been uploaded to Discovery’s database, so now it will be much easier for my teachers to utilize the great tools in Discovery Education for delivering content to individual students and classes. What a wonderful tool to facilitate the individualization of instruction.
I’ll report out after the conferences.

Yeah! Our CSV file upload was successful.

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

I just learned from our Discovery Education administrator that my school database of students finally uploaded successfully to Discovery Education’s database. Now when our teachers create classes, all of our students should be available in a drop-down list or menu. Hopefully, we can now expand our usage of all these wonderful tools at our disposatl through our Discovery Education subscription. More in my next post on how successful I am in setting up some classes.