muse: n. a source of inspiration

Links You’ll Love

I’ve written about Haiku Learning before, but I wanted to remind people about this amazing product where you can create class webpages, post assignments, embed activities, support collaborative projects and more. Basic teacher accounts are free. I used it this summer and I like it a lot. 

I love the Newseum! Check out their redesigned website for educators. You can download lesson plans and posters, take online classes and more.

You know how I love TED talks. Well, ELI talks (the AVI CHAI Foundation version) are coming to Chicago – and you can be part of the studio audience. Register and find out more here.


October 23, 2015 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , , , | Leave a comment

Putting it together

Hard to believe that it was a week ago that I returned home from ISTE. Here I am, getting ready to leave Krakow in a few hours and head to Vienna. For the last few days, I’ve been somewhat immersed in pre-war life and how to use Centropa’s vast resources (historical information delivered using 21st century technologies) to help my students. Before that I was spending time learning about technology and how to deliver instruction using it – and where it’s taking us.

Today I really started putting some of this together. I’m thinking that it wasn’t just an accident of timing that put me in Philadelphia last week with the AVI CHAI folks at a 20,000 attendee tech conference and then sent me to Eastern Europe with some 60-120 teachers from all over the works to delve into the resources of the Centropa organization.

For instance…last week, Adam Simon spoke with us about using QR codes to direct his students to relevant online materials when creating timelines. This week, I spoke with Lauren at Centropa about that idea, and she took it to a different level – linking Centropa material to maps via QR code. Imagine your students being able to access multimedia material while looking at maps.

I’m sure there are other places where I’ll experience this interesting intersection of ideas!

L’hitraot…more from Vienna…

July 6, 2011 Posted by | Technology | , | Leave a comment

Getting ready for ISTE

I’ve always been one to double my travel. I love to plan travel experiences and I think I get as much pleasure – well, maybe almost as much – from the planning as the actual travel.

I’m finding that going to an international humongous conference is no different. And doing a little (okay, maybe it’s been a lot this week) pre-planning and pre-thinking can really enhance the experience, I believe.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

1. Use the conference planner. The planner is a fabulous tool. I’m choosing at least three sessions during each time slot. Why three? Sometimes sessions get canceled, sometimes the room is full and sometimes it’s just too far. Seriously. I don’t want a last minute conversation to have to be cut short just because I’ve got to run upstairs and down the hall. Because I’m traveling to ISTE through the generosity of the AVI CHAI Foundation, I’ll be having dinner with the amazing group of Jewish educators that they’ve amassed, so I added dinners to my planner as well so I don’t forget to go (like I’d forget to eat dinner!). I’ll be carrying my iPad and iPhone, so I subscribed to my ISTE planner using iCal, so I can check my planner electronically and have it updated automatically. I also added things like the Jewish educators Birds of a Feather session and my hotel info so it’s all accessible in one place.

2. Twitter. The #ISTE11 Twitter hashtag is becoming very active and it’s a great way to get last-minute tips and scope out some new people to follow. I’ll be following it during the conference, of course, but it’ll be crazy then. Now is when it’s really helpful. Following the tag, for instance, is how I found out that we won’t be able to use power strips at the PACC. That’ll save me a little room in my bag.

3. Get to know the keynote speakers. The keynote speakers are all rock stars in their fields and it’s worth taking a little time to check them out. Do a Google search and check out their websites, blogs and TED talks. I’ve been doing this for some time now and found it really enhances the experience of listening to a keynote when you know a little about the speaker.

4. What to bring: there’s the usual: all the electronics, comfy shoes, a wrap for cold conference rooms (not to mention airplanes)… Here’s a couple other things I’ll be bringing: my CAJE (a moment of silence, please) badge holder (has a little space for extra things like a pen and some cash), a couple little Moleskine Cahier notebooks (sometimes no-tech is better), lots of business cards, pre-printed labels with my contact info and a QR code to my page (totally stole that idea – it rocks!), my mini one-device surge protector so I can feel okay about plugging in wherever (like at the airport), a water bottle so I can be green, snackies to drop in my bag, a little folding Baggu shopping bag, and my ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) luggage tag because one must always remember from whence one comes. I’m not planning to check baggage but lately the airlines have gotten really aggressive about making you surrender your carryons at the gate (because, really? Did they not think too many people would carry on once they starting charging that ridiculous baggage check fee? Sorry. I digress) so even if you’re not planning to check a bag sometimes it just ends up there anyway.

5. Plan to leave the conference center. I know that, other than returning to the hotel to go to bed, there’s no good reason to ever, ever leave the PACC, but it’s worth doing a little pre-planning to find one thing that provides an educational opportunity and a reason to perhaps get out, get some air, and walk a little bit. This time I will try to steal some time to go visit the National Constitution Center.

That’s my plan!

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Education, Lifelong learning, Technology | , , | Leave a comment


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