Saturday, January 31, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 31

A rare visitor to Ohio in the winter... the sun!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 30

I've been wanting to experiment with the collage feature of Picnik... and tonight is the perfect time. I took several photos from the parking lot of a local church... and I wanted to use all of them as "the" photo of the day.

You can see the moon and Venus, three sides of a peace pole, and the temperature. I played with some of the features of the collage option. It's fun. And -- even in the free version of Picnik -- you have several choices of how you want to set up your collage.

I chose the background color, added a frame, decided how many photos I wanted to include, the layout, and how "kooky" (tilted) the photos should look. Fun!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 29

Photos of snow-laden trees often don't look as lovely as they really are. The reason? White snow against a white sky. Now... if the sky were blue... But then we wouldn't have the white snow if the sky weren't white, also.

So, I decided to experiment. I did my usual tweaking with Picnik, but I couldn't figure out a way to turn the sky blue. Then I tried Photoshop Express. I had previously used Photoshop Express to turn a blue water lily purple, so I knew I could play with color.

You can see the result above. The first photo is the original after tweaking with Picnik. The second photo shows what happened after I used Photoshop Express to pop the color of the sky. (I also cropped the photo a bit.)

The sky is more blue. But the snow is, too. I think the result looks better. I wish I could turn the sky more blue without changing the color of the snow... and without paying the cost of Photoshop, of course! What do you think?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 28

Around here folks call friends who spend the winter in Florida snow birds. I caught a different type of snow bird when I took pictures today.

I used a green arrow from Picnik to point out the snow bird in my photo.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 27

End view of new dormitory

Monday, January 26, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 26

These critters occupy a local pharmacy.

Moby Dick and Language Education Conference

Meg Guroff and Howard Vickers have shared information about activities with which they are involved... an annotated Moby-Dick and a conference in Second Life for language educators.

Power Moby-Dick, the Online Annotation

What a great way to read a book… Read the text and have links ready for you to click for the words and phrases for which you would like explanations! Meg Guroff shared with me her web site about Moby-Dick. I’m impressed!

Guroff has annotated the entire text of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. In addition, there are several resources available, a message board, current information and photos related to Moby-Dick, a glossary, and notes on the text.

You can visit the site’s FaceBook page or follow it on Twitter.

If you teach Moby-Dick or you just enjoy the book, be sure to explore this site!


SLanguages 2009 Conference

Howard Vickers of Avatar Languages sent information about an upcoming conference for language education in virtual worlds. This is the third year for this free virtual conference that is held in Second Life. Check the Slide Share presentation (below) for more information.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 25

I needed to make some background elements disappear in this photo, so I played with Picnik a bit, including adding a frame. I use Picnik frequently, but usually just to tweak photos to make up for something I did not accomplish with my camera. After playing this afternoon with Picnik, I think I need to explore some of the many other effects possible with it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 24

Getting ready for a birthday party

Friday, January 23, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 23

This small pond outside a business in a nearby town is lovely in good weather when the fountain is working. At the moment it is covered with snow and ice. What caught our attention, however, are the large spots of lichens on one of the rocks.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 22

More experiments with night shots.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 21

This evening I experimented with taking photos at night. And then I played with Picnic to see how I might enhance them.

Photo Resolution... Day 20

I am drawn to books on shelves... both because I like to read and because of the geometry teacher in me. I love all those parallel and perpendicular lines!

Note: I'm posting after midnight again... my USB connection glitched. :(

Monday, January 19, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 19

Phil and I drove through a couple parks today, looking for subjects for my photo of the day. I took more than two dozen shots... a flag, lots of geese, a Mallard duck, a bridge, and the McKinley Monument. Several of the photos are interesting. My favorite, however, is this one because it shows families playing and enjoying this winter day while paying respect to a former president of the USA.

Google Reader Videos Explain Basics

Using Google Reader is an easy way to keep up with blogs and other web sites. Read the news, read blogs, share items with others… all for free. It’s so much more efficient to have the content you want to read pushed to you rather than your having to search for it.

Are you just beginning to use Google Reader? Or are you teaching someone about it? You have some help now.

Google has begun posting videos that explain some of the basics. Upcoming videos will also cover some advanced features.

You can access the videos through Google Reader’s help section. The three that are available now are Getting Started with Google Reader, Reading Feeds with Google Reader, and Sharing Items with Google Reader.

I’ll take advantage of these videos a week from now as my students begin to use Google Reader as part of their personal learning network.

Thanks to Josh Lowensohn at CNET News for sharing about the Google videos.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 18

Old iron bookend... Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 17

Rick's painting

Friday, January 16, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 16

Icicles outside the front door... on a very cold day.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 15

Cold and snowy winter day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 14

Another of our cats. This one likes to show off as a "cute" cat. Even though she has gorgeous green eyes, her name is Blue because her eyes were a pretty blue when she was a kitten.

Photo Resolution... Day 13

This photo was taken on the 13th (honest!), but posted on the 14th. I teach in two... well, actually three... separate labs. This is one of them.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 12

This is my first attempt to shoot a statue. I was close enough that the detail should have looked good. But it doesn't. So, I need to find out more about taking this kind of photo.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 11

We just had a two-day snowstorm. Not as much snow as forecasted, but enough to make even a bald cypress look pretty in the winter.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 10

Bromeliads have vibrant color. I think this photo captures that.

Update: These flowers belong to a Christmas cactus rather than a bromeliad.

Technology Integration in the Classroom

Classrooms@Work, Tools@Hand is a site designed to share examples of technology integration in the classroom.

The lesson plans are described from the planning process to the actual integration. You can read or view a complete overview, learning goals, student group work, technology strategies, assessments, content standards, and more.

The following lessons are shared:
• Animal Research Report presents Char Soucy's 1st grade classroom where students build reading and writing skills while learning about an animal they choose.
• Travel USA presents Jane Krauss' 4th/5th grade classroom where student travel agents prepare a travel itinerary for a German family coming to the USA.
• It's a Wild Ride presents an 8th grade interdisciplinary science, math and language arts project where students design an ultimate roller coaster to save a local theme park from bankruptcy.
• Global Challenge presents Peter Knowles' 9th grade Social Studies classroom where students take on a research challenge related to Latin America.
In addition to using these model lessons to gather ideas for your own teaching, you may want to use them as part of a professional development opportunity. The site provides suggestions for that, too. I plan to share this site with my students when we discuss technology integration and with teachers when I present workshops.


History of the Internet

The history of the Internet is interesting. Defense, research, communications all played a role in the Internet’s beginning. Rather than just read about this history, you can now view a fascinating presentation. This documentary was created by Melih Bilgil as part of his work toward earning an advanced degree in graphic design. Click here to go to Stewart Mader’s blog where he shares the story.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 9

This may look like an unusual photo to choose as the one I want to share today. The reason I'm excited about it is because I was able to catch the fire engine as it sped by our car. The shutter lag that my camera usually displays is frustrating. I'm trying to learn to set up the focus and point toward where my target will be... and then complete the shot when the target is in view. I succeeded in this shot! Yay!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 8

This schoolhouse was renovated by the local historical society with the help of the community. It is used by the school district to teach students about local history. This shot was taken on a snowy afternoon.

Photo Resolution... Day 7

Old business files in a museum... taken on day 7 but posted just after midnight!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 6

It's been an icy, snowy day... and not very sunny. The red berries on these trees on campus looked very pretty against the light of the sky.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 5

I was curious how well a snapshot of the monitor's screen would work. Actually, it's not as bad as I expected.

I quickly learned to turn off the flash. Left on, there was a large reflection in the middle of the photo.

But, I truly cannot think of a good reason for taking this type of photo. Skitch does such a good job! Oh, well. It was an interesting experiment.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Teaching about Phishing in Two Steps

How do you help folks to avoid being fooled by a
phishing attempt?

In an earlier posting I recommended using CommonCraft's video which explains what phishing is. That's a good start.

However, this evening I discovered a good follow-up to that.

Hot Hardware shared news of a
phishing scam that hit Twitter. The article also provided a link to Anti-Phishing Phil, an interactive game that helps players learn to recognize phishing URLs.

Playing Anti-Phishing Phil is a very good second step to help learn how to avoid being fooled.

So, when I teach about phishing this semester, I will...
  1. share the CommonCraft video on phishing and
  2. encourage my students to play Anti-Phishing Phil.



Photo Resolution... Day 4

As you can tell from the last few postings, I’m having fun with my New Year’s resolution to take and post at least one photo per day.

I’m trying to see mindfully as Bud the Teacher (and D’Arcy Norman) have suggested.

In fact, after reading BTT’s comments, I realized one reason why my husband is such a good photographer. He is much more aware of detail than I am when he looks at anything. He’s also very creative. He sees mindfully.

BTW, today's photo is a parchment poinsettia from our church's Christmas decorations.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

SMARTBoard Blog Shares Many Resources

I have been reading some of the blogs that won EduBlog awards for 2008. Some will join my Google Reader list and some will become popular with my spring semester instructional technology students as they read and comment on blogs. One of the blogs —Teachers Love Smartboards— will become popular in another course I teach and in which we use a Smartboard. The archives go back to August 2007, so I have a lot to explore! Topics include art, games, history, language arts, logic, mathematics, science, lesson plans, tips and tricks, training videos, social studies, and special education. Blogger James Hollis shares the purpose for his blog…
The mission of this blog is simple. Share information and resources so teachers will utilize their SMART Boards in a way that increases learning in the classroom. That's why I end each of my posts with "Sharing is Caring!"
Hollis shares many resources for Smartboards on his blog. Frequently, he summarizes what he has written in lists... lesson activities, lesson resources, 2008 top five lists. Those lists and his categories make it easier to find ideas to use in the classroom.

If you use a Smartboard--or will soon be--this blog should be a good resource!


Photo Resolution... Day 3

Wreath (created by Phil) in my office at the university

Friday, January 2, 2009

Photo Resolution... Day 2

Die Kotz, the oldest of the cats

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year's Resolution Begun!

I don't usually post during the week, but I just had to share the first instance in one of my resolutions for the new year. I resolved to take and post at least one photo every day in 2009.

Keturah, one of our cats, is the subject on this first day of that resolution.

Only 364 to go!