Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Web of the Week: Super Science Resources

Web Address:

Are you looking for one stop shopping when it comes to Science Resources for the State of Utah.  Well, we may not have it all but we have it all online.  Visiting the Super Science Resources page at UEN will help you find the mos core curriculum correlated curriculum and content there is.  Each Science Content area has links to the specific resources available through UEN.  Check out the Super Resources.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tech Tip Tuesday: Share video the eMedia way – Tip #1

Using video in class can be really rewarding and engaging.  Most teachers know that.  Utah teachers have a great resource in eMedia.  A library of mostly video resources that you can use to help enhance your classroom.  As I used these in class I came up with 3 ways to effectively use them over the next few weeks of the Tech Tip lets look at ways to effectively use video in the classroom.

Tip #1

Share videos in class using the NTTI Standards

The National Teacher Training Institute has developed several strategies for effectively using video in the classroom.  Most of the strategies develop organically as we use video in the class.  They are just good techniques that good teachers gravitate toward.  Things like previewing video become fairly obvious when we hear stories of unexpected statements, or images even in educational videos.  Images or statements that may be appropriate in a different environment of with a different age group.  Providing a focus for watching the video is also a natural fit for most teachers.  We recognize the value of the video or we wouldn't show it, but we need a focus that helps students learn from it.

Visit the NTTI link for more detaiils about the strategies and video clips demonstrating the various skills.  Visit UEN's own eMedia library for great resources to share in class.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Web of the Week:

web address:

Are you teaching about our world?  What about money, other countries, cultures, economics, or math?  Many of these subjects can be made much more Screen shot 2009-11-16 at 2.18.08 PMinteresting with a little comparison. is a site that allows click-able currency rate comparisons.  Use the interactive map to choose two countries and get up to date currency information.

Utah Core Connectin: Geography for Life

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Berlin Wall

This morning on my drive to work I heard an interesting broadcast about a recreation of the Berlin Wall done at Utah Valley University. I couldn't find the archive of it, but UVU's Website has a description of the event. It's hard to believe it's been 20 years.

Need a Recharge! Take a walk!

This is one of the most fascinating things I have heard all week! I especially like the concept of actually embedding the technology into a cell phone. Or, what about my netbook?

Tech Tip Tuesday: Build your Own Blog!

Screen shot 2009-11-16 at 2.03.22 PMBlogs have become very much a part of our mainstream media.  Many companies, organizations and news institutions are now including blogs as part of their plan for sharing information.  A blog is a web log of your activity.  Because of the personal and sometimes highly opinionated nature of blogs there has been some hesitation on how best to include them in the educational setting.  Now there is a tool to make your blog much more School Friendly.  My.UEN has launched a blog portlet.  So, if you are already a my.uen registered user log in and check out the improvements.  If you aren't then visit to set up your account now!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 11: Live Video Web Conferencing in a face to face class?

Ok, so one of my assignments at work has been to develop an online course about a tool we provide for doing live Video Web Conferencing. I have been uncertain as to how exactly your average classroom teacher would use this. Two things have changed my vision on it.

I was with the State Technology Specialist last Friday and he said to me: "You guys (meaning me and my colleagues) shouldn't be teaching Word Processing. You should be on the cutting edge."

I realize that developing a course on collaborating via web conferencing would definitely be more cutting edge than teaching Word Processing.

Secondly, and this came today. One of the folks involved in using the software and a real advocate for the software invited me to watch her train a teacher on the software. The teacher was using some of my friends materials and she conducted a couple of authentic review type questions. She used the software the way I have seen people use a clicker system. She asked questions. Allowed kids to chat about their ideas for an answer and then submit an answer. One of the major things I noticed was that all the kids were engaged and working. But yet again, I don't think technology inherently made it engaging. It was good quality content. But all in all It was terrific! The kids were engaged and we had a great time. I really think I can see where to use this better now.

Web of the Week: National Parks

Web address:

If you had the wonderful opportunity to watch the newsest Ken Burn's Film on National Parks you may be thirsty for more.  The series was great and right here at UEN we have resources set up for teachers, students and the whole public to add their own story about the National Parks.  If this isn't enough to quench your thirst for knowledge the National Parks Official site has even more resources for teaching about the United States great treasures:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

NABLOPOMO Day 5: Teachers

Ok, I figured out a norm I need to share with teachers. When I teach from now on. I am going to tell all the teachers they aren't allowed to denigrate themselves or belittle themselves. I have watched teachers who are in all ways completely competent belittle themselves when it comes to their level of expertise on a computer program.

Why do teachers adults behave in ways that they would never allow in students? I would never let a student just choose not to learn something or try or opt out. I wouldn't let them sit back and coast, or if I do allow that kind of behavior when working with adults why don't I allow it with teachers?

There's room for a lot there, but anyway! No more bad mouthing ourselves. We are learning! We are learners! We are competent and capable!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NABLOPOMO Day 4: Teenagers

I have forgotten what teenagers are like a little. Tonight I taught at a local library for the Netsafe Utah grant. It was a little challenging, I had an audience with vastly different ages. 15 year old boys to 11 year old girls. And when it comes to internet safety what those two groups need is different.

Plus, I am not used to the heckling like I once was. When I was in front of teens every day I was used to the banter and could give as good as I got. In this situation I didn't feel like there was enough of a relationship to do that. I had never met these kids and they had never met me. Not a good idea to crack sarcastic jokes in that situation.

It went well and once we got into the swing I think I got through, and I do miss being around teenagers. They are so goofy and there's always something to make you laugh, but I am out of practice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Resistance to the Revolution

Why don't schools change? Why do we keep doing the same things over and over even when research, experience, common sense and personal feelings dictate otherwise? This quote gives me som fodder for the rant cannon:
However, they also believed that the use of cooperative learning would increase student off-task behaviour and take up too much class time. It was found that the concern for off-task behaviour was a bigger predictor of a teacher’s intention to use cooperative learning. Although the authors did not draw this conclusion, it seems that this conception of teachers as needing control over student behaviour is a conservative force that makes many curricular innovations difficult.
I was reading an article with my wife that had the above quote in it. It seems to state that the teachers nne for control is one of the greates obstacles to innovation in the classroom. Well...DUH! When so much about the system discourages teachers from losing control. There are all of the legal and litigious reasons that a teacher needs to keep control of his or her students. When administrators come in and are concerned that kids are in their seats and 'on-task'. When parents wonder 'what are my kids learning' not 'are my kids enjoying learning. Then no, teachers aren't going to try something new. It's frustrating but true that so much of the system reinforces ( literally re-enforces) the teacher as authority and in charge. It takes so much effort to truly switch to a new way of doing things and to create an atmosphere in class that values safety and respect without me as the teacher having to be the one in control. I felt like I had this my last few years of teaching, but I still got the message from folks who came in to see my class that my students were out of control this was because they weren't in their seats all doing the same thing. Each student was engaged in the work they needed to be doing at the time.

That's why there is so much resistance to the revolution!

Citation Nod:

Castro, Paloma, Lies Sercu, and Maria del Carmen Méndez García "Integrating language-and-culture teaching: an investigation of Spanish teachers' perceptions of the objectives of foreign language education." Intercultural Education 15.1 (2004): 91-104. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 2 Nov. 2009.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This is my first try at NABLOPOMO. I came to blogging late and I haven't really tried this before. I am going to make posts everyday this month, but I am going to be using my personal blog. So watch out here comes the world!

Welcome to Jorgie Learning

I really am learning and this blog is maintained both as a record of some of what I am doing as well as a place for me to train and teach others about creating an online presence. So please don't mind the dust. We aren't remodeling we are learning!

Visit some of my other blogs or the other blogs I find mildly entertaining for a more polished feel.