Category Archives: technology

First-Time Glogging

I had my EFL kids try glogging thier mini research projects last week.  They took no time to figure out how to use a glog and loved the experience!  I highly recommend this medium for publishing work!!  Check them out here and here! 🙂

Howdya Like Him Now?

So what kind of “equipment and technology” do YOU think Chavez will ask for in return for his “free” oil to Iran…?

The List List Part Deux (Just in Time for Vacation)

A second edition of lists that have flittered through my twitter (which isn’t really as racy as it sounds!).  And, again, I haven’t had a chance to work my way through all of these, but I  have high hopes to do so now that it’s “vacation” and I have all kinds of “time on my hands”…

Please peruse and use!!

How to Effectively Listen on Twitter:  Ok, this one isn’t so much a list of different things as it is tips presented in list form…still good enough to make The List List Part Deux!

80+ Videos for Tech & Media Literacy:  Any type of list by Alec Couros automatically makes my List List…Part Any!

PurposeGames:  Another disclaimer here…technically this is a whole site where you can both play and create educational games, but the games are then kept in lists… ;).  Either way…looks good!!

7 Habits of Highly Effective Twitterers:  7 Habits of Highly Effective Twitterers written by a “Social Media Strategist” … (I didn’t even know that was a job!)

9 Free Tools for E-Learning:  Like above…pretty much what it says…9 Free Tools for E-Learning 😉

50+ Google and Yahoo Search Shortcuts:  Again…self-explanatory yet quite helpful!

Word Play: A huge list of sites that feature fun with words.  It’s a monster…but at least they’re all in one place!!

10 Awesome Flash-Animated Interactive Websites:  There are 1o…topics ranging from science, social studies, health, music, writing, and more!

8 Habits of Highly-Effective 21st Century Teachers:  Thank goodness for these descriptive and straight-forward titles!  This one from Interface Magazine

30 Twitter Tips for Teachers: You got it…30 tips…for teachers…in regard to the use of Twitter

Teacher Clicks: Twitter in the Classroom:  Now stick with me here…this is a list of lists and article about how and why to use Twitter (in the classroom ;).

100 Awesome, Free Web Tools for Elementary Teachers

Keyboarding Games:  This is a gi-nor-mous list of games just for practicing keyboarding skills!

ICT Mindtools:  ICT tools that engage users in higher order thinking

8 Tips for Super Searching: How to search and get what you want when you want it!

Amazon’s 25 Software Bestsellers and Their Free Equivalents:  Haven’t looked through all yet, but am totally psyched about this one!!  (Just Say “No!” … to Microsoft that is)

100 Terrific Productivity Tools:  This one claims to be for the “bored or unemployed,” but I feel fairly certain there’s gotta be something there for everyone!

(Most of the above came courtesy of Diana Dell, one of my favorite follows on Twitter!  Thanks, Diana!!)

Presenting: The List List!

Not sure why, but a big bunch of great tweets about a big bunch of great lists have come through in the last few days.  I haven’t had the chance to work my way through all of all of them, but these lists listed here are looking pretty good to me!  Please…peruse and use!!

Indispensable ICT Tools for Teachers:  This is a monster of a list, but looks awesome!  Good thing summer vacation is just around the corner!

Online Educational Video Games:  For all ages and disciplines.

Games that Make You Think! I think I’ll love this one most of all, Scarecrow!

100 Websites You Should Know and Use:  That’s alotta sites!

50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Education:  Only half of the above, but still lots of room for exploration!

Any feedback or other recommendations welcome!!

The Big Guy Does It Again

A little while back I put up a post about how sometimes it is just so clear to me how God aligns things just right (see previous post: Sometime I Just Have to Say: “OK!  I get it!”).  While I am always confident in His plans for all of us, some days it is way more obvious just how He works, and I have to stop and marvel at it.

Take yesterday for instance…I visited my Facebook account to check on any responses to the March for Justice information which I had put up just the day before.  (Btw…The day I did that was the first time I had visited fb in weeks…fb and I are on-again/off-again lovers.)  So yesterday when I visited, I decided to clean up some of those piled up notices, starting with the friend requests.  There were a handful…some students, one dude who was a friend of a friend, and an old classmate from high school…one of those people who I knew who she was, but had never really been friends with.  I always debate about who to “confirm” and who to give the big “ignore” click to.  Yesterday I was feeling generous and just accepted everyone.  Yada yada.  Then I went on to check the day’s news, scanning for more info to share in English about the crisis here in Guatemala.  Instead of finding any direct references to the government scandal, I found one about the murder of an American priest.  It relates to what we’re fighting for here, so I put a little something together, posted it on my ministry blog, and was just about to do the same on Facebook, when there appeared a message on my wall…from the high school classmate I had just accepted.  (note:  I haven’t had contact with this person in 20 years.  There is little chance she would have known that I was living in Guatemala until scouring fb for contacts…and even if she had found that much out, she had requested weeks ago to be fb friends…) She was writing to ask if I had heard anything about an American priest who had been  killed here this week, and went on to write a heart-wrenching note about how she and her family had been very close to this man…

Now, I had been looking to use Facebook as another outlet for information to the world about the goings-on here…and here was a person I would likely have never contacted myself…never even remembered or thought about, who’s friend request had been sitting in my notices for weeks, and who I had just confirmed that day…writing for information on something that NEEDS to be shared with the world.  Coincidence? Not in my book.

I just can’t deny God’s hand when I experience things like this.  I know He wants justice for Guatemala. And I know He will use whatever means are available to bring it about:  in this case…online social networking.  How awesome is that?!?!

Chalk another one up for the Big Guy…

Can I just say this…

Every day I love technology more!!  And here’s just one reason why…

I teach middle school students who don’t usually want to be caught dead talking to a teacher at school about important/serious things in life.  But I’ve been online with two just now…one via Facebook and the other via Google Chat.  One is a kid who is so smart but is on the verge of failing b/c he doesn’t “do” homework. And we’ve been able to have a serious “talk” about what that could mean for him and what he can/should/is doing about it.  This is a conversation that would not take place in person without having to break through some well-built walls first…he’s too proud (and ashamed).   But talking online is somehow different and I can get across to him the same stuff I would in person and have had success in getting him to take the conversation seriously.

The other kid  just got done blowing me away with her personal theology about some in depth science concepts and basically put me in my place about how we view and question God.  It has been a long and convoluted “conversation”, but again one that would have never taken place at school because, well…there’s just not the time, and again…talking to the old teacher lady doesn’t top the list while there are cute boys looking on in the halls…But this student finds me almost every night online and doesn’t stop “chatting” until time for bed.  And something extra to love about that is that she’s an English Language Learner who doesn’t get to practice her English with anyone at home, but via our conversations, I see her English improving daily.  Awesome!

It’s just made me want to say:  Very cool.  Very fulfilling.  Very enlightening.  Very important to their development…and mine!!!!

Ahh…the Chocolate-Covered Irony

I’m not exactly sure why this bothers me so much, but it does.  So, I’m leaving it here in the hopes of helping myself feel better…?

Here in the developing nation of Guatemala, in which I live, we are subject to…er, I mean, graciously provided with global “news” coverage from basically two sources:  CNN and Fox “News”.   Often, as a form of entertainment, when there are no reruns of Seinfeld to watch and we can take no more of the non-stop episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, my husband and I will turn to Fox “News”… just for the fun of it.  They always have these special segments called “Fox News Extras” … “And now here’s something our international customers might find interesting”…running between the “actual” stories.  These are canned spots that they play over and over, presumably because they think their international customers are no brighter than their domestic ones.  One such fascinating story that has been cycling through lately is about on-demand water heaters.   The dude telling his tale goes on and on about how amazing these new-fangled, fancy mechanisms are because they are efficient and green and can still do the job of providing Americans with the high-quality hot water they deserve!!  This space-age technology is apparently able to heat water instantly as it gets pulled from the pipes through this little box that just hangs there on the wall!  There’s no huge tank sitting around to keep water heated at all times of the day and night!  He goes on to say how traditional water heaters are  so inefficient because they use either gas or electricity around-the-clock to keep the water hot so it’s ready when someone turns on the tap (just in case you weren’t already aware of that fact).  But, now, with this amazing new technology, you don’t need that anymore…yada yada yada… aren’t Americans so wonderfully ingenious and still saving the planet?!?!…

The irony of it is this…here in the “developing world”… on-demand water heaters are all people who are fortunate enough to even have hot water (or running water inside their homes at all for that matter) ever use!!!!!  (insert dramatic music here)  The idea of a huge tank of hot water that just sits around your house being kept hot for you all day long is virtually unheard of.  Every morning, all over Guatemala and other places just like it, husbands (mine included) get up, open the gas to this highly-advanced new technological wonder and when someone then turns on the hot water tap, the water is instantly heated for the time that it is being used and that’s it.  Amazing!

I think the thing that gets me the most every time this “extra” bit of “news” comes into my home is the smugness with which this guy presents his marvelous new invention the on-demand water heater.   Just another example of “aren’t Americans so wonderful…they have now come up with a way not only to keep their lavish lifestyle alive but also to be able to do so while still considering themselves the saviors of the planet!   Surely, surely no one else could ever be so brilliant!”    Errr…well…except the “backwards” peoples living in Central and Sounth America who have been heating their water this way forever….