TCEA 2012 - Day 1

Yesterday provided a few opportunities to learn a new trick or visit a new website or explore a new tool.  It also showed me that we're doing a pretty good job staying current in BISD.  Here were some of my favorites from day 1 of the conference...
  • Google Treks - using Google Maps to deliver interactive and engaging lessons.  This method is similar to Lit Trips, however using Google Maps over Google Earth means not having to install any software or beef up bandwidth.  You can drop pins on a Google Map with text, pictures, links and even embedded video.
  • Dr. Howie DiBlasi - this guy has a GREAT website.  You could spend hours browsing his site for resources on web 2.0 tools, multimedia projects, Google and more.  Check out his downloads page for a wealth of information he has graciously made available to all of us!
  • Twitter - I am determined to wrap my brain around this Twitter thing.  :)  I think there is a lot of value in using current technology to not only reach students, but also parents.  I also think administrators can use Twitter as a powerful tool to deliver real-time, on-demand information to teachers.  So, during the conference this week I am going to try and tweet regularly and get my feet wet.  Find me @edtechchic.  If you're just getting started with Twitter, like me, Google Twitter and your content area (ex: Google and science).  I found a great article on 80 Best Twitter Feeds in Instructional Technology.  Sometimes just following a few others and retweeting their posts can help you get your foot in the Twitter door!  Or, consider following a young adult author with your student to see what they're's a starter list.  Want more classroom ideas?  Check out this list of 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom.
  • Teach Hub offers a TON of resources and ideas, but the one I specifically liked was the video writing prompts.  What a cool way to bring a little pizzaz to your classroom!  I know our kids get tired of the same old stuff - and let me get on my soapbox for a minute...  IF YOU ARE TEACHING HOW YOU TAUGHT 10 YEARS AGO ... OR EVEN 10 DAYS AGO, YOU ARE DOING YOUR STUDENTS A DISSERVICE!!!  There.  I said it.  Too many cool things out there right now for us to accept mediocrity and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Live a little!  Your kids will thank you for it!!!  :)
Check back this evening or tomorrow to see what I picked up at day 2 of the conference!!