Here are my weeks Tech Showcase projects.
First, A big shout out to The 5th grade team who are off and running with class blogging. I especially invite you to look at the 5TM and 5SH class blogs, but more so, I invite you to run down their blogroll’s and take a look at some great student blogging. Why is it so great? Why should I bother? Both valid questions. First, as a teacher it is great to see what students are writing and saying and thinking. It keeps us in touch with our “clientele”. Second, their students’ post are succinct, about school and their lives and lack fluff, cartoons, pictures, etc. that don’t relate to their writing. Third, it is just plain impressive to see the writing our kids are capable of and that is a testament to the hard work you teachers put into reading/writing here at SAS.
***A friendly reminder, if you are blogging with kids, make sure all their blogs are linked to your teacher blogs, we want their blogs as accessible as possible so parents, other students, and the world can see the great things you and your kids are doing in class.
Second, the first graders have been using Kidspiration lately to do a “virtual” grocery shopping trip. They were asked to select 5 healthy and 5 unhealthy foods from the stamps in kidspiration and place them into a shopping cart template. Besides the obvious of kids having to make smart choices about the food they were selecting, they also got to practice their mouse skills-dragging and dropping, opening a file from their network folder (big stuff for these little guys), and it got them talking about food choices. Is pizza healthy or unhealthy? The debate still rages. To see what the Kidspiration template looked like and to read more about this project you can read my blog post at:
Finally, as promised, my personal tech tip for all of you. Actually there are two this week.
1) With Thanksgiving around the corner I thought this site would be timely for all of you who will be spending some time in the kitchen in the upcoming week. http://www.cookstr.com offers a celebrated list of recipes provided by a roster of 250 star chefs and cookbook authors (including Alice Waters, Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Julia Child and Jamie Oliver, among others). The dishes in here look amazing and there are a ton of Thanksgiving dishes just waiting for you to try your hand at. C’mon, step out of www.recipes.com and try something new. Your mouth will thank you.
2) Now that we are all MAC users and I see a lot of you with music in your iTunes I thought you might find this little tip handy for organizing your music, finding missing track titles, and getting that long lost cover to that ’77 Cornell Grateful Dead Show that you have been searching for. Look no further than http://www.tuneupmedia.com. TuneUp, is an application that fills in the missing info–artist,song name, album, release year, cover art and genre–for any music in your digital library.
TuneUp runs alongside iTunes. You drag your “dirty” tracks into the TuneUp box and it compares the songs to the Gracenote database, pulling in the missing data. While TuneUp isn’t 100%reliable at identifying every song ever made it was accurate enough to straighten out my messy song library.