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YouTube

Posted by Christine S on 5:43 PM
     Good afternoon one and all! Well, 2nd grade at my school recently had a PTA program and somehow I volunteered (or was volunteered, I am still not sure) to create a video with facts about the Presidents. Being the techie (and perfectionist) that I am, I could not pass up this challenge. I spent a week wondering how to create a video with music, pictures and text. I could create a PowerPoint but it would not run on its own like a movie. Music can be embedded into a PowerPoint but it would not be the same as a video.
     I also thought that I could do a photbucket slideshow but I would not be able to embed the music. Well, I must admit I was stumped. I was racking my brains out trying to figure out how to make a video with pictures, music, and text. I knew that my mac at home had IDVD but I had never made a movie using that program. Then, by accident, I opened a program on the mac that I had not used before.
     That program was called IMovie. IMovie is program similar to Finalcut which is used for creating videos. I began playing with it to see what the program could do. I must admit I found the program to be very easy to use. I started my movie by uploading the pictures of the presidents. Then I uploaded a tune that could be played while the pictures are being shown. The product at this point was not bad. It looked like a music video. However, that did not meet my needs.
     The video needed text to go along with it. Through some testing and playing, I discovered how to add the text. The video seemed to meet my needs but I still had to get input from the other second grade teachers. I wanted to make sure what I visualized was what they visualized for the project as well. This lead to an all new problem. How do I show them the video on short notice (less than a days notice)?
      Thus, a new YouTuber was born. YouTube, for those you who may not know, is a website that allows you to post videos for free. I decided to post the video I created so the other teachers could view it easily (rather than clog their mailboxes with a huge file).  Here is the results of my very first "movie" endeavor.  


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Dust off the noggin for this one

Posted by Christine S on 8:32 PM

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One thing ...

Posted by Christine S on 10:41 PM

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Dude!

Posted by Christine S on 10:35 PM
     If you EVER have the opportunity to go to Epcot, please make a point to stop by and see Turtle Talk with Crush at The Seas.  Dude, it was SWEET to say the least!  Here is a short snippet.

video
Isn't he fabulous!  My 3 year old LOVED the show.  It amazes how much technology has changed just in the past year.  Blogs, twitter, gabcast, podcasts, slideshare, public favorites, youtube and such have taken the nation by storm.  Teachers still express disbelief at all the changes. A vision of students today  is so accurate.  Students are more tech savvy today than their teachers.  
     When I taught 4th grade last year, I was amazed at the number of students that were on-line.  I was also amazed at the number of students with MySpace accounts.  4th Graders on MySpace!  It is happening more and more everyday and teachers are the ones being left behind. There have been many jokes made in reference to No Child Left Behind and teachers being left behind.  It does seem to be true in some areas.  I think the area of technology is one of those areas.
      Teachers today have the daunting task of competing with the Wii, Playstation, and so much more in order to even perk a child's interest.  I have discovered that more so this year than in years past.  It takes more than a book to maintain the interest of a 2nd grader.  We are expected to be innovators with the resources of Fred Flinstone.   For example, the school I am at JUST got new computers in the classroom.  K-2 got 2 computers while 3-5 got 4 computers.  2 computers for 19 students.  4 computers for 25 students doesn't seem to compute either.  The laptop  I was issued is 4 years old (some are even older) and has issues of its own.
     It also does not help a teacher's cause when teachers rant about getting new computers when their "old" computer  which is 5 years old works just fine.  My question is "Works fine as what, a PAPERWIGHT?!?!?!"  That rant appeared in the Times Union the other day and I was dumfounded.   If you don't want to use your computer, put one of your students on it then.  They could teach us a thing or two.  
     I could go on for hours about this  but I won't.  I simply feel strongly about the subject of technology in the classroom.  Our students need to be given more opportunities to use it in the classroom.  Otherwise, they are truly being left behind in the global market.   You don't need top of the line either to allow them the opportunity to use it in the classroom.  I have done my best to rig my classroom to allow for maximum integration of technology.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be the teacher ranting about a new computer(if you by chance read this, give me a call and we'll see if you would like to trade computers).  I'd love to have access to a new computer because they have more capabilities.  But I don't so I make due with what I have and I honestly feel I am doing my part to prepare today's students for the global market.

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Our Disney Day Adventure

Posted by Christine S on 9:38 PM
     I know, I know!  You feel like you have entered Bill Murray's Groundhog Day.  I know what you are thinking.  "Didn't she just talk about this last week?"  Yes, I did.  Well, we up and went to Disney again for the day on Saturday.  You have to love the Florida Seasonal Pass Holder Ticket.  In just a few visits, the passes will have paid for themselves.  
     Anyway, my sister called us Friday night and asked if we wanted to go to Epcot on Saturday.  Abbie said yes of course.  That child cannot resist the chance to go places.  She is like a sponge!  She just absorbs all of her experiences and remembers so much from them.  It amazes me when she recalls an event from a year (or more) ago.  But, I digress.  
    Well, we went to Epcot and had a wonderful time.  I captured some neat videos and photos that I would love to share with you.  Feel free to check them out!





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Our Disney Day Adventure

Posted by Christine S on 6:47 AM


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To Mac or Not to Mac, that is the question!

Posted by Christine S on 3:56 PM
    Well, Duval County has begun refreshing some schools in the area of technology.  Sheffield, for example, has brand new PC’s.  Other schools are due for a refresh as well.  Some of those schools will be getting Mac’s.  The teachers at those schools will also be getting IBooks which is the Mac version of a laptop. 

     Can I admit I am so JEALOUS!  Before I met my husband, I was a hardcore PC person.  I had a HP laptop which went EVERYWHERE I went.  I had a HP at home which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Every new Windows, Office, etc. that came out, I had it.  I was a HARDCORE PC FANATIC! 

     Then I met Bob.  Bob had a PC but preferred a Mac.  I was not impressed.  When we got married, we purchased a brand new Dell.  It served as an “Our Computer” sort of thing.  It was a joining of the households if you will.  Well, we loved the Dell.  It met our needs with website design, email, internet surfing, word processing, and so on.  It was a good little computer.

     During our second year of marriage, Bob decided to surprise me with a new EMac.  His logic for the purchase was that Mac’s were known for their graphics and exceptional website designing capabilities and I had become heavily involved in designing my website.  On its third day in our home, I threatened to throw the EMac out of our second story window.  This panicked Bob since he had just purchased Adobe Suite (for the Mac) so I could make PDF documents.

     That EMac frustrated me to no end.  There were many days where I was willing to throw it out of the window upstairs. But, I persevered.  I eventually became very adept at using it.  Dare I say I even began to like it.  Well, our poor Dell eventually gave out and we needed to buy a new computer.  We are a two computer household.  I use the computer so much for school that poor Bob wasn’t able to use it that often which is why we need 2. 

     This was around the time when the new IMacs came out with the ability to run Windows (like a PC).  I could not believe it!  A Mac that could act like a PC!  It was the best of both worlds.  We ended up purchasing a new IMac with all of the bells and whistles.  I love it!  I never thought I would say that a Mac can do so much more than a PC but it can.  It can even run Windows better than a PC (Sorry Dell). 

     With a Mac, you can create QuickTime presentations with the click of a button.  You can make a DVD of photos that can play in a DVD player in moments.  Pod casting is as easy as 1, 2, 3.  WebPages are a matter of clicking and dragging.  What can I say?  I have been converted to a Mac fanatic. 




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