Sunday, August 27, 2006

Podcast #39 - Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum, Best Buy Grant, Teacher Blogs and A Project From Down Under

Hello. Sort of a collection of odds and ends tonight with various topics. We just finished our first full week of school so it is good to be back with a regular routine. Last week I held a workshop on creating blogs as classroom web pages to our staff and it went over very well with several teachers already using them with their students. I recently learned that Erin Garvey, my fellow 8th grade history teacher at SVJH, and myself have been selected to attend the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum at the Microsoft Corporate Campus later in September. The deadline for the $2,500 Best Buy Teach Grants is coming up on September 30th. Tonight I participated on the Sunday night edition of Ed Tech Talk and shared a microphone with Kathy Schrock! I'm working on a project with a teacher in Australia and tonight we discussed the project via Skype - very cool. Tuesday I will be testifying before the Missouri State Senate Commerce Committee on using technology in the classroom. Check out the show notes below for links to all these topics.

If you have any questions or comments please drop me a line at

Direct link to Podcast #39 - Odds and Ends - Microsoft Innoative Teachers Forum, Best Buy Grant, Teacher Blogs and a Project from Down Under - MP3 format (14:45 minutes)

Podcast #39 Show Notes:

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Podcast #38 - Classroom Technology Goals for the 2006/2007 School Year

Hello. Well, the first several days of school are in the books. We started class at South Valley Jr High last Wednesday. There is something about the first day of school for the new year - the smell of new pencils, fresh notebooks and the potential that anything is possible with the new year.

Today I want to outline my technology goals for the upcoming school year. Last year I did this in podcast #5 and at the end of the year I did a recap of what goals I met and which goals I did not accomplish. As the new school starts I'm as excited as ever. This is my 13th year in the classroom and over the course of the past summer I met amazing groups of people at travels that took me to Washington DC, Chicago and San Diego that have given me a fresh look at how I do things in my classroom.

List of technology goals for the 2006/2007 school year:

1. Expand the use of blogs in my classroom

2. Produce a regular podcast that features my
principal with news about our school building

3. Help students create more

4. Organize a workshop to educate parents on how to
keep their children safe on the Internet

5. Long distance collaboration with teacher(s) in
other parts of the country and possibily around the world

I hope your school year is off to a great start. If you would like to contact me please drop me an e-mail at I am a little behind on returning a couple e-mails but I try to make every effort to respond to each one.

Direct link to Podcast #38 - My Classroom Technology Goals for the 2006/2007 School Year - MP3 Format (17 minutes)

Podcast #38 Show Notes:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Podcast #37 - Ted Stillwell's Presentation on the History of the Mormons in Clay County and Jackson County Missouri in the mid 1800's

Hello. Today's podcast will focus on a local historical topic in Clay County Missouri. On August 11th the Clay County Historical Society had a presention at the museum about the history of the Mormons in Clay and Jackson Counties of Missouri in the mid 1800's. Ted W. Stillwell of Independence gave the presention and described the history of the early settlers to the local area and why the conflicts began to impact the Mormons and the local settlers. The entire presentation is about an hour long so I have split it up into two podcasts - 37A and 37B.

Mr. Stillwell is an newspaper columist for The Examiner in Jackson County and his "Portraits of the Past" column focuses on the the history and folklore of the area. He has several books for sale and I purchased one entitled "Portaits of the Past" Volume 2. It is a collection of his newspaper columns and since the are typically only a couple of pages I can easily use them as read alouds in my 8th grade history classroom. He can be contacted at the Blue and Grey Book Shoppe in Independence, Missouri (816) 252 - 9909. He is also an accomplished artist.

The start of school is right around the corner - next week - and there will be some shows in the near future about getting geared up for the new year. If you have any comments or suggestions about the podcast please contact me at

Direct link to Podcast #37A - Part 1 of the Ted Stillwell presentation on the History of the Mormons in Clay and Jackson County in Missouri in the Mid 1800's (MP3 file)

Direct link to Podcast #37B - Part 2 of the Ted Stillwell presentation on the History of the Mormons in Clay and Jackson County in Missouri in the Mid 1800's (MP3 file)