A just retired middle school teacher with a passion for blogging. Will be working one day per week at the Tasmanian eSchool with global collaborative projects for primary school classes. Love reading, using chatrooms with friends I have actually visited, using computers, doing family history but most of all travelling around the world whenever I can afford it.
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I'm sending out messages to everyone I know right now, and this virtual Ning network is no exception. My name is Andy Pethan. I am a 21 year old student from Olin College of Engineering. I am a part of a group of 6 Olin students (near Boston) who is taking a year off to pursue our interests in education, entrepreneurship, design and technology, bringing us to the logical project of a business that designs collaborative software for schools! I found you in a search for "middle school", and since our project is specific to middle schools, I thought you might be interested. Our project is called AlightLearning, and this is our "short" project description:
We are working under the assumption that within ten years, the landscape of modern education will have fully integrated what we now define as new classroom media and tools: video, online collaboration, open source curriculum, and internet-based software. We hope to pioneer a web software tool that acts as a platform for this new media, bringing the power of the web and its tools to students, teachers and parents in a secure, comfortable and innovative environment. More importantly, and unlike many of our competitors, our software will empower teachers to better integrate higher level thinking skills, individualized learning, goal setting, reflection, and effective feedback and evaluation. Our goal is to have our free software at a pilot middle school by April 15th, 2008, continuing to develop and coordinate with our users to create a product that other schools and individual teachers will want to use to improve their students' learning in and out of the classroom.
Our team is currently trying to win an idea competition on Ideablob.com You can find us at http://ideablob.com/3975. We would love your support in the form of a vote within the next couple days, but more importantly we'd love your feedback and comments. Our description on Ideablob is short, and even the one above hardly gets at many of the issues we would like to take a stab at solving, but at least it's a start. Note that winning this contest will raise $10,000, a large and useful sum of money for a web-based company running on “sweat equity” and minimal costs.
Feel free to email me back, post on my profile, check out alightlearning.com, or do anything you like!
Sue - yet again just touching base about Global Bloggers. What confusion I created for myself with my email filter, I apologize again for that! Let me know if you'd like to post on Global Bloggers and I'll get you set up right away. If your class would just like to comment, that's great too!
Sue, Welcome to Classroom 2.0. I didn't know the answer either, but I figured it out. At the top right of the page there is a link that says "my friends." If you click there you will see an a link at the top of the page that says "send message to friends." Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
I found a Google Earth layer that might work with your biome study. Look under Layers in the sidebar menu for "Global Awareness" and the particular selection of "UNEP". This is from the United Nations Environment Programme and contains image layers such as the Amazon from 30 years ago and today. Select UNEP and then look for its icons around the globe. Click on one to view the topic. Hope this is what you had in mind.
Good on you for taking on the technologies. I probably should be a near retiree but am hanging in there. I have had a promethean board for a few years, feel I have mastered that, and want to focus my efforts on web 2 technologies. Its a lot to take on both at once. Make a list of your achievements so you don't become discouraged. I'm always comparing myself with people who are way more advanced and forgetting how much I have learned.