Discovery Connect with Michio Kaku and EdTechConnect with Jason Ohler!

December 8th, 2008

From the National Blog

December 17th is going to be a phenomenal day for webinars here at Discovery Education.  We’ll be closing the calendar year off with two holiday treats, one for you and one for your students.  In the morning, the Science Channel’s Michio Kaku will do a special webinar for you to share with students in your district, and in the evening we will be connecting you with digital storytelling guru extraordinaire, Jason Ohler!

Michio Kaku  is a best selling author, host of two national weekly science radio programs, and frequent guest on television shows including Larry King, 60 Minutes, 20/20 and many more.  He has hosted numerous series for the Science Channel and is currently increasing people’s Science IQ every Sunday night in the series “SciQ“.  If you’ve ever seen Michio speak before, you know that he has a brilliant ability to break down incredibly complex theories and explain them in ways that anybody can understand. On on December 17th, he’ll be sharing his ideas directly with you and your students!  This is your chance to connect your students to one of the most dynamic scientists on the planet, and even have him address their questions directly!  It’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss.

Register for Discovery Connect with Michio Kaku, host of Science Channel’s SciQ

But that’s just the morning!  In the evening, we have a holiday treat just for you.  The featured speaker for December’s EdTechConnect is none other than Jason Ohler.   The author of Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning and Creativity Jason is one of the nation’s premier digital storytellers and an incredibly popular presenter.  By combining passion, humor and intelligence with 25 years worth of experience, his presentations do more than simply inspire and engage you, they demonstrate practical ideas for transforming your classroom.  Register today and join educators from around the world in learning from this dynamic educator.

Register for EdTechConnect with Jason Ohler, Wed. December 17th, 7pm EDT

Catching Up on Speed DENing: Winners Alert!

June 15th, 2008

A long while ago, I challenged you to participate in Speed DENing. I promised you prizes from the DEN Store, and after speaking to Lance, he will be mailing each of you a prize. Here’s the catch. I need your addresses, so could you please email me ( your shipping address and the surprises will be on their way. Since it’s been such a long time since you posted, here’s who responded:

11 Responses to “2 People + 2 Minutes + 10 Questions = Speed DENing”

  1. Phy Chauveau Says:
    I loved the Speed DENing at PETE & C. Thanks, Jennifer! I really should go shovel, but this is much more fun. The three wishes? Here goes:1) a 400 block ride in the Cash Cab
    2) more copyright-free music from artists my kids know and love
    3) more time in the day to play with all the amazing Web 2.0 tools I learned about at PETE & C. (Last night I made a birthday greeting for one of our assistant teachers on Blabberize, just to see if I could do it. So easy!) I guess it’s the DEN way to show it, so here goes…
    I made a Blabber for You!

    While b-day greetings are great, I intend to use it as a way for animals to supposedly share their perspectives on rainforest issues, including rainforest destruction and overuse of energy in our homes. I’m also going to have my kids experiment with Twitter in the spring when we do our endangered earth unit, throwing out the question: What are you doing to save energy right now?

    If I could invent a tool, it would allow you to type in a specific skill (perhaps a theme and grade level), and have the top ten Web 2.0 tools that DEN members have utilized to support integration of that skill.

    I’m sure that I could think of better ideas if I had my third wish, but I have to leave for school now!

  2. Jannita Demian Says:
    Great post… CA will be speeding DENing at our conference in a few weeks… maybe we’ll have to do it better than PA! I missed seeing everyone… I hear I would have been snowed in again… my little PETE & C annual tradition… but at least I could have used the back scratcher!
  3. Jan Abernethy Says:
    Wish 1: More comments on my student’s blog called Project S.C.A.T. Why? Students have been working really hard to make a difference in their community. I think it would be great if they knew someone was really reading about their accomplishments. There are three posts in particular that ask for reader input. They are: Project Logos, What is Project S.C.A.T.? (January) and Help us Choose a Theme Picture. (January)
    Wish 2 & 3: My wish is that my first wish is fulfilled.Thank you for fulfilling my wish!
  4. Traci Blazosky Says:
    Okay… speed DENing was definitely fun! I met a lot of cool people… some f2f for the first time!
    Here are my 3 wishes:
    1. More time to use the cool tools I learned at Pete&C with my classroom.
    2. Smartboards in my building… or Promethean! ANYTHING at this point!
    3. More get togethers w/the awesome Network I’ve built since becoming a Keystone Tech. Integrator.
  5. Meg Griffin Says:
    I am just now reentering reality from PETE&C. I had told Lance, “Don’t worry this year…no snow in the forecast, just cold!!”
    My three wishes are:1)More time in the day to play around with all the cool web 2.0 tools and widgets and have my kids use them
    2) A way to energize and motivate my colleagues to enter the “Brave New World.”
    3) A way to reassure my students’ parents that the web is not a big dangerous forest.

    I am going to AFI in Bucks tomoroow and Tuesday. I can’t wait!!

  6. Dave Solon Says:
    Speed DENing – what a cool concept!Wishes:

    1a. Gigabit connectivity for all public schools on the planet.
    1b. An overall positive change of attitude by all teachers when it comes to integrating tech into their classrooms.
    1c. An extremely liberal ‘fair-use for educators and students’ policy for our overall society. (So folks aren’t so scared to use commercial content for educational purposes.)
    1d. extra wish: that all folks who litter have that trash returned to their living rooms while they are sleeping.

    Special Tool: an all-in-on podcast/vodcast device that would allow teachers and students to record their content – then with a one-step, seamless upload process to a blog/podcast site with little to no setup required.

  7. Robin Martin Says:
    Three wishes? Wow
    1. A one-week paid workshop for my teachers so they could dig deeper into all that Discover Educator and DiscoveryStreaming has available for their curriculum. No excuses for them not to attend! They could explore, create, explore, create, and create with the “guide on the side!” Teachers need time to create with a tech guru in the same room, so they don’t panic when the page does not load.
    2. A visit by one of the TV personalities to my school so kids can learn first hand about all the hard work these people go through to produce a show the kids enjoy. They see the shows and like the personalities Mike Rowe, Mythbusters Guys, Smash lab or Storm Chasers.
    3. A job with Discovery when I retire! Or a visit to a set in production to observe the process and blog back the interaction and information to classes anywhere.TOOL – a device like Amazon’s Kindle which would hold all of our textbooks and ability to search the Internet for content and research. Added with a SIMPLE text editor to capture the research. Files could be transferred to desktop later. For about the same price or better than the $300 Kindle.But in the meantime, how about the ability to download or stream more of the current TV shows to be used in class without commercial interruption in the middle or waiting for it to be on DVD.
  8. RJ Stangherlin Says:
    Traci,What kind of “get togethers” would you like to see happen? Could you give me a wish list and I will get on it.

    I am so with you on 1 d. Love it.


  9. Robin Martin Says:
    Just an after thought, I would love to see some software widget or such that would allow me to create my blog on DEN, and have it cross-post to my blogger or other location.Thanks for 2 fun days Jen Dorman at BucksIU. It was a long haul, but I got a lot of ideas and now my brain if full.
  10. Jim Hopton Says:
    I also enjoyed the Speed DENing at PETE&C, but found that I didn’t want to stop talking to all the cool DEN members.
    My wishes are:
    1. More time to play with the great Web 2.0 tools-I LOVE ANIMOTO !! I had my Pre K students dancing all over the room while I played the short video of their last art project.
    2. Introduce these cool tools to my graduate students in our next tech class.
  11. Tom McGee Says:
    Speed DENing? I can hear the eharmony theme song playing in my head right now..sorry I missed it at PETEandC, maybe next year. I still wanted to jump in on this discussion though..ok here goes..wish 1. To be able to blog as often as Kristin

    wish 2. I like Traci’s idea – how about a DEN day (mini conference with a social afterwards)
    Are we talking DEN at Disney??

    wish 3.To become a STAR..aaaah! Let me in!!

    Jan, your kids were fantastic! As promised, I put the Alex’s Lemonade Bracelets in the mail!

Now you know why I couldn’t select just one winner.

Scott Kinney and Using Discovery Media to Differentiate Instruction: A Day of Discovery at Bucks County IU

April 8th, 2008

Live Blogging

Scott Kinney, Vice-President of Outreach & Professional Development, discusses ways to meet our growing diversity of learners by using differentiated instruction using Discovery Education products.  Scott began with a test of our knowledge with a quiz identifying demographics of changing student populations.  Questions covered percentage of ESL students entering school (20), percentage of students entering fourth grade nationwide reading below reading level 36), most frequently watch video channel (YouTube), percentage of public school students part of racial or ethnic minorities (43), website larger than Germany, France, and the UK combined if the site were a country (myspace), and percentage of students requiring special education services (14).  Using a CPS clicker system, teams registered answers for prizes, and Scott came, as always,with great prizes.

Then, we discussed the profile of our classrooms, which included the following topics: ethnic diversity, housing, SES, technology literacy/access, sexual preferences, learning styles, language, class size, special education, religion, households (family structure).  Why are the things mentioned such a good thing?  Because it is an opportunity to collaborate, to see things from a different perspective, and because what we see in  classrooms is a microcosm of the real world.  The more diversity we have, the more learning and information exchange can grow.  So, Scott suggests that first day of school should take a look at where we are and what students know.  What’s the best way to access readiness: Quiz Builder.

Within Streaming, teachers can access and create quizzes with multiple choice and open-ended questions.  Results can be sent to your email (Blackberry) or give you dis/aggregates withing the builder.  Since we need to know our students to teach them effectively, Scott asked what other questions might we ask?   In addition to discipline knowledge, we would want to know their interests, level of entry, how they learn, and access to technology.  But why do we want to discover students’ learning styles?  Because we tend to teach the way we learned, but we know that students learn differently with different interests, so we need to differentiate our delivery.  A great learning style profile that will identify learning styles, along with Scott’s slide show and other links can be accessed here.

What do we know about integrating media?  It’s how students learn, can differentiate learning styles, film is the new text, and it provides relevancy, in addition to providing audio-visual learning and provides more recall because of more engagement of senses.  Short media segments really work to reinforce learning.

What is proven to show significant improvement in: reading comprehension, listening vocabulary, vocabulary acquisition, word recognition, decoding skills, and overall motivation to read…and you probably already have access to it?  The answer is closed captioning.  It adds another level of learning, scaffolding instruction.  Closed captioned titles in DiscoveryStreaming can be accessed by selecting the Advance Search mode and checking “Closed Caption.”  The number of CC videos is 1500 and growing daily.

Another builder is Writing Prompt.  A great feature of this builder is the ability to put any language into the text box.  Using is a Google translator which can translate entire web pages into another language.  As you click on different links, the links will be translated “on the fly” into the selected language.  Next in differentiated learning: using songs from DiscoveryStreaming, which easily embed into PowerPoint or Keynote.  Scott’s example was about homophones, which displayed the words visually while a song coordinated to the text.  For a multi- sensory learner, Discovery Education Science offers a huge variety of ways to deliver instruction, and it has eBooks embedded within it.

For students who want to interact with their learning process experience, you can interact and build experiences with Atlas Interactive Map, a series that began last year and will continue this year.  As you mouse over countries of the world, you can select a multi-disciplinary approach to learning withing the selected atlas.

When students begin telling their stories, they can tap into the Discovery Resources, especially “editable clips.”  These clips can be remixed or mashed up to create a new product.  You can find editable clips by doing an Advance Search and selecting editable clips.  These clips have copyright cleared access, and work back to iMovie and PC platforms.

According to Ellie Scheitrum from Palisades Middle School and an attendee at this session,  “The more senses you engage when students are learning, the more they learn and retain.”  And Discovery Resources and DiscoveryStreaming make that process seamless.

PETE&C DEN Pre-Conference Mea Culpa

March 6th, 2008

After much stressing with my web cam videos of the sessions at DENs Pre-Conference event, I discovered why I had video sans sound, and it was my fault.  I know better, but I forgot to change the sound platform in the control panel.  Consequently, I have no videos to upload of the great event, and let me tell you, I will never make this mistake again.  What I do have are some great blogs and resources from Jennifer Dorman, so here they are:

The Whole World in Kids’ Hands — Julia Tebbets, Sewickley Academy

PETE&C Presentations — Jennifer Dorman

Learning to Speak Native — Steve Dembo’s Keynote Address

Administrator 2.0 Academy — Bridget Belardi and Chris Stengel

A Positive Solution to School Copyright Issues — Dr. Scott Garrigan

The Digital Generation Grows Up — David Pogue’s Keynote Address

Jennifer Dorman’s PETE&C 2008 Pre-/Conference Materials

A very special thank you to Jennifer for her presentations both at DENs Pre-Conference, PETE&C, and live and reflective blogging.

Jan Abernethy’s One Wish: Project SCAT and the Cyber Chickens

February 22nd, 2008

In my post about the PETE&C DEN Pre-Conference Day of Discovery, 2 People + 2 Minutes + 10 Questions = Speed DENing, I tried to get a contest going for the online version SpeedDENing, asking you to answer two questions about 3 wishes and a new tool. Four people responded and one of them is the subject of this post–Jan Abernethy. Here’s what she wished for in her own words:Wish 1: More comments on my student’s blog called Project S.C.A.T. Why? Students have been working really hard to make a difference in their community. I think it would be great if they knew someone was really reading about their accomplishments. There are three posts in particular that ask for reader input. They are: Project Logos, What is Project S.C.A.T.? (January) and Help us Choose a Theme Picture. (January)
Wish 2 & 3: My wish is that my first wish is fulfilled.

She thanked us in advance for fulfilling her wish. I think we should. So, snuggle in with some warm hot chocolate and your laptop nearby, watch the snow falling, and grant Jan her one wish. Help her 5th grade Cyber Chickens Stop Contamination At Trinity. I’ll post my thoughts tonight, and Jan, I promise that on Wednesday I’ll get my high school students to pitch in too. I’ll be with Jennifer Dorman and some other PA DEN members at the two-day AFI Workshop Jen has organized at the Bucks IU on Monday and Tuesday. It’s not too late to register for the event. And it’s not too late to do some Speed DENing online and win a prize from the new DEN Gift Store, which is coming soon.

Lost in Translation Podcast

February 12th, 2008

As promised, Lance Rougeux’s East Coast Virtual Conference Keynote, Lost in Translation. Podcast ready, good to go for your trek in the snow.

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2 People + 2 Minutes + 10 Questions = Speed DENing

February 12th, 2008

And it was fun! Talk about a clever conference kick-off. Here’s the Recipe:

  1. Mix 150 +/- DENers in a large conference room with lots of Hershey’s chocolate.
  2. Add 10 Discovery Educator Network-related questions.
  3. Find a partner.
  4. Stir Q/A conversation heavily for 2 minutes.
  5. Change partners.
  6. Repeat the process several times until the bell (horn, really) rings.

Know what you get? The beginning of a fantastic, fun-filled, action-packed (if Dorman says 37 tools, she does 37 tools) Day of Discovery. A quick way to meet your neighbors in the rows around you, Speed DENing is as much fun as it sounds. You almost hate when the activity ends. Lance said Speed DENing made it debut at FETE&C, but you know the old sing song, so I think PA just did it better.

The questions engaged us, but two of them got me thinking, so I’m passing them along to you for reflection. And maybe a little contest. Let’s show FL that PA is the best. Let’s start Speed DENing online.

Here are the two questions:

  1. If the DEN genie could grant you 3 wishes, what would they be? [If you are an overachiever, you can even tell us why].
  2. If you could create your very own new Discovery tool/product/interface/whatever, what would it be? [Let’s throw the why in, just for good measure, but definitely optional].

All you have to do is hit the Comment button to start Speed DENing. The kid in me knows that I need a prize. So, how about if we give the winner [no, I do not have a rubric, but originality scores high] a soon-to-open-DEN Store Gift Certificate.

Let’s go, PA. FL might have done it first, but let’s show we can do it better.

A very special THANK YOU to our Discovery Day all-star team of presenters:
Matt Monjan, Nancy Sharoff, Jennifer Dorman, Elizabeth Buyer, Steve Dembo, Lance Rougeux, and Shelley Santora-Jones. We missed you, Jannita, but the prize-winners did the dance just for you. Hall, hope we all see you soon.

P.S. I’m heading out, despite weather, to a four-day Model UN in DC with 45 students. I promise to upload the 6 videos of the day to TeacherTube and then post to the PA blog, but it may take until next week. Resource links coming too. Happy long weekend to all.

Are You “Lost in Translation”?

February 4th, 2008

The Discovery Educator Network launched its history-making Virtual Conference on Saturday, 2 February 2008 and it proved, as DEN always does, to delight and engage audiences across the nation. What made it ground-breaking? The DEN harnessed webinar technology to face-to-face interactions at host sites throughout the country, experiencing the virtual world uniquely: a national conference hosted locally!

Our East Coast Keynote, Lance Rougeux, opened the virtual conference with a session EVERY teacher should hear: Lost in Translation. His thesis is simple: Every student speaks a second language, and Everyone must become a second-language learner. So, can you read this? Quickly? If not, then you are not proficient in ESL. What is ESL? Emoticons as a Second Language.

Still lost in translation? Here’s your answer on the left. I’d be willing to venture that any eight-year-old (or maybe younger) would have read the ESL slide in 20 seconds or under. Why? Because it’s their language. It’s what they use to communicate, and they are highly proficient at it. Like some of you, I am lost in translation (although I do remember Milli Vanilli, Lance). So I can read Lauren Myracle books every day (Lance says he does; bless you, Martha) written in emoticon, or use transl8it!, or both.

I’ve been working with a student to create our School Profile for AFG, and he speaks yet a third language: code. (At this layer, I am really lost in translation.) He writes code faster than I can type, but he IS a digital native. And he’s typical of many of the students in our classrooms. So, how do they learn? Very much like Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind suggests: through the 3 Cs: communication, connectedness, and creativity.

Our students are consumers and creators. They write and speak digital; it’s how they like to learn if we let them. While we were engaged in the virtual conference, an interesting side bar chat ensued about how education has shifted from the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side” (a wealth of resources appears in any DEN sidebar, so you do want to check it out in the archives). Repurposing the educator’s role is what I call Educating in the Shift. We are all at different levels, but for many of us, we are behind our students’ collective knowledge base. Do we know less? Absolutely not! They just know more–differently.

And they LEARN DIFFERENTLY! They are consumers and creators. Here are their tools. Are we using them too? If not, do we need to catch up to teaching how students learn, as the inimitable Hall Davidson said two years ago at PETE&C, with the things in their pockets. And I can’t think of any better way to engage not enrage students than by beginning anywhere with the resources that the Discovery Educator Network offers, starting with Lance’s presentation and continuing throughout the virtual conference.

According to Lance, and I do agree with him, we need to do something else too. We need to master that second language too, at least metaphorically speaking. We may not go out and learn text messaging or code for that matter, but we do need to rethink how we collaborate academically with our digital natives, bell to bell, as Jennifer Dorman said in the chat room yesterday.

So, how do we meet the needs of our ESL students? Start with any Discovery product or resource. My favorites: DiscoveryStreaming and Kathy Schrock. Or find a content-specific Discovery resources like Discovery Education Science (middle school target audience) or Discovery Education Health. Unveiled at the Virtual Conference: Discovery Education Science (elementary school version).

In the spirit of yesterday’s virtual conference and collaborative learning, I made a slightly bigger footprint, although marginal compared to Jen’s. You can see screen shots (individually or as a set) from Lance’s opening Keynote at my new flickr account. You can also view my presentation slide show at my new SlideShare account (feel free to adapt it).

Super Bowl Sunday is only hours away, so I’ll end with a Mickey story. Yesterday, in the middle of Matt’s presentation, my husband walked into the kitchen with a post-it note on his forehead. It read, in big black marker letters, COMPUTER. On the plus side, it was a Discovery Educator Network round post-it from last year’s PETE&C. I got the message, and will have to, like some of you, view the rest of the day’s virtual conference from the archives. Enjoy the game!

Dembo Delivers the Goods

February 1st, 2008

If you missed Steve Dembo‘s (aka Teach 42) Discovery Education webinar, Something for Nothing: The Best of Web 2.0, then you might not know you no longer need to use your telephone to connect to a DiscoveryWebEx presentation. Nothing beats hearing Dembo direct, but if you missed the streaming–or you want to revisit a packed hour of great new tools–you can check out the Discovery Webinar Archives. If you are new to the Discovery Educator Network, you really want to explore the wealth of resources available to you when become a STAR Discovery Educator, because the DEN takes social networking to the next level. Now would be the perfect time to pitch a plug for tomorrow’s history-in-the-making Virtual Conference National Event, ground-breaking with local break out sessions at 30 different sites. It’s not too late to register. Thank you, Tracy Standhart, for a great blog. (I borrowed your image.)

Steve’s list of cool tools began with 6 photo-related sites. Want to capture your stories and save them permanently? Then you want OurStoryWidget, created by Word Press, the weblog platform Discovery uses. OurStory lets you save stories, photos, and videos on a collaborative timeline. And that notion–collaboration–was a theme running throughout most of what Steve shared, an indicator of how embedded social networking has become in our lives.

When Steve mentioned the K12 Online Conference, I connected, because I used a segment on social networking by Jeff Utecht in my Digital English class. K12 Online made a big splash when it premiered, but has since lost some of its buzz. You really might want to revisit this site, because it hold a wealth of 21st century learning we can all use in our classrooms.

Kerpoff is a great early childhood tool that takes digital storytelling into a different kind of venue. But don’t let the elementary school look-and-feel fool you; it’s just a great tool with lots of built-in elasticity for mindful yet playful super-doodling, helping kids to connect online and create together. For the children in your lives, or the child in you, this easy web 2.0 site will engage and delight!

We all know Flickr and most of us probably use it for photo sharing, but according to Steve, there are 3 new tools that will make Flickr your first choice for managing your photo world, if it isn’t already. Uploading and organizing was always easy because you could +Add Notes, but now you can edit your photos as well. Flickr’s edit defaults to Picnik, one of Steve’s earlier blog best-of-the-week sites. What’s great about Picnik: edit in a click, no registration, education friendly (not blocked in most schools), adjusts red eye and colors. Got to love Picnik, which you can, of course, use independently of Flickr.

If Steve loves FlauntR, that’s good enough for me. When he says, “incredibly robust,” he wasn’t kidding. How about it integrates with facebook, Picasa, flickr, myspace, orkut, hi5, Windows Live Spaces, Word Press, Live Journal, Blogger, and iGoogle. Not enough reasons to love FlauntR yet? It can make images for mobile devices. Or your best ever Valentine’s Day card. This one’s just got to be my new favorite tool.

By invitation only (email Steve, but after tomorrow), you can browse collaboratively with others inside your own Photophlow room. Interesting way to browse photos, however, because if you are online within your room (account), you see everyone else’s photo uploads. Despite a short browse through this site, it is definitely the most interesting social browsing I’ve seen yet. Definitely a network, because acceptance to the site, for now, is a very private by invitation only. Can you imagine the possibilities for collaborative learning with the CFF Mac laptops. We just had our one day Apple Out-of-the-Box training, and I can’t remember which application had the option to share your photos over your wireless network, but Photophlow and Mac should be a great combination.

The next 2 websites are not Web 2.0 tools, but neat. The World Clock has an almost unlimited number of uses in any discipline. You have to check out the website, and if you are a math teacher who said you could not integrate technology into your classroom, here’s the easiest and best place to start, and the tool is user-friendly. You’ll want to bookmark the website, because googling world clock will likely not get you to this one easily.

Steve’s taught us to teach our students about their new permanent record. We get to see the updated version at PETE&C, where Steve is Tuesday’s Keynote Speaker. So I think about my digital footprint, but now we can think about our eco footprint at the same time using Blackle, which is Google gone black. Same search engine, just black. Why? Because it’s environmentally friendly. Google is a white screen, and white uses the most wattage; black uses the least. If your eyes can tolerate the black screen and you life Firefox, there’s a Brackle plug-in waiting for you to install. At the moment that I accessed Blackle, 438,890.943 Watt hours had been saved.

Back to Web 2.0. Poll Everywhere. Just like it sounds. Free for 100 votes; after that, it’s a purchase, but the site is considering offering educators a package deal, making it your new best poll tool, and economically friendly as well. What makes this poll fun and different: online polling, text messaging polling, embedded into a website, PowerPoint; download results as a spreadsheet or RSS feed. I wish I knew about Poll Everywhere two weeks ago when I made my mid-term for my digital English class. Yet another bona fide educational opportunity to legitimize cell phones in the classroom. And a better polling tool, by far.

‘Tis the conference season, so a timely reminder from Steve about David Warlick‘s hitchhikr, the virtual way to hitchhike onto a conference and blogs connected to it. Hitchhikr for PETE&C: right here. Back to Steve’s kindergarten teacher roots for his next pick: Kindersay. Is there a better way to learn to read? You see the word (or letter), image, and you hear a person say it. There’s a word bank of 300-400 and growing, but this site is hard to beat for first-level language as students learn to read and write, collaboratively.

Not just another social network chat, Twitter is a solid educational tool, or can be. Steve’s Twitter group is a collection of educators almost without exception. Or they are technology integrators, or both. The learning that happens inside this group is off the charts. Steve said that he sent a twitter feed yesterday, asking his group if they could list their favorite Web 2.0 tools. That’s how he found World Clock and now we all have it. The value of this kind of collaborative learning: priceless.

Zamzar is one of my favorites. I use it so frequently that I cannot imagine life without it. A great converter, it is fast, free, educationally friendly. It converts almost anything to anything else you want it to be. The list is endless, so for one stop conversions, this is my pick as well. The last item, like Zamzar, is a converter. ConvertTube will allow you to convert online video like YouTube to more popular formats like wmv, mov, mp4,mp3, 3gp. If you haven’t joined us for a Discovery webinar, you really should, because Discovery Education always brings you cutting edge technology, before the edge is cut.

It’s Not too Late for a Second Life Experience

January 14th, 2008

A year ago fellow Star Discovery Educator Jennifer Brinson and I joined Jennifer Dorman in a Making History Come Alive issue of the Discovery Educators Resource Guide. Our article’s focus was What If You Could Change History? This time I have a different sales pitch: Want to Make History? That’s right. Join the Discovery Educator Network’s inaugural foray into Second Life with the webinar Get a Life, A Second Life, That Is.

WHEN? Tuesday, January 15th at 4 p.m. SLT (that would be 7 p.m. EST). I apologize for the last minute posting, but it is never too late to get a Second Life.

WHAT? A webinar aimed at educators who would like to learn more about Second Life and how this virtual world can contribute to your PLN (Personal/Professional Learning Network). The webinar will cover the basics of Second Life (how to create an account) and opportunities that abound for educators in-world.

WHY? Because SL is just the most amazing in-world 3-D virtual reality experience out there. Because it has unlimited educational applications.

WHO? Veteran SLers are definitely welcome, but this webinar will cover the basics.

We hope to see many of you in-world after the webinar so I STRONGLY suggest that IF you THINK you MIGHT want to see what Second Life is all about, please download the client (FREE) and sign up (also FREE) PRIOR to January 15th. (By my math, you have 23 hours left before life as you know it changes forever). You’ll find all the information for this venture in the Google Groups in the ^Files^ section. The document is called ‘Creating an Account in SL’. And of course, if you have ANY questions about downloading the client and signing up, please let us know and we’ll guide you along.

You can register for the WebEx HERE.