On Tuesday evening, July 10, I will present the current state of our website to our school board at their regular meeting at 7 PM. A pre-recorded version of my presentation is available below in Quicktime format.
Today, Google is celebrating the 132nd birthday of the guy who invented the zip! Check out www.google.com to see today’s Google Doodle special and learn about the history of the zip(per). You actually get to pull the virtual zipper which I’m curious to see how they did that… (that’s the geek in me).
Two: If you have a personal iPad or iPhone and would like to use them to add content to your blog, we recommend the free WordPress app for iOS. You can learn more about setting it up in this video I produced.
Third: I know everyone is focused on beginning our SOL testing soon. But I thought it might be interesting to re-visit concepts we started the year with… if you remember, I spoke at convocation with this opening slide:
I also shared with you this quote, about what it means to be “well educated.” Our goals for students always go beyond the standards.
One way we frame that vision is through our G21 projects. A teacher recently came to me and asked… “I am not sure I’m doing a lot of twenty-first century skills stuff in my classroom. How do I know?”
I keep this chart close at hand:
You know you’re helping students develop twenty-first century skills when:
- You talk about events going on in the “real world.”
- You don’t answer their questions, but hand them an iPod or a laptop and challenge them to see what they’ll find.
- When you work on how they can better express their ideas verbally or through writing.
- When an assignment you gave 10 years ago involved reading several pages and now involves watching a video on YouTube.
- When they go home and talk with a parent about the cultural differences between their family and those of someone they interfaced with online in class.
- When you no longer have to remind students that an assignment is due.
- When the end of a unit involves a student teaching someone else new.
- When students working together are arguing about how to proceed, and they change focus on how to get back on task and blend a diversity of thought towards a solution.
And the list is never-ending, of course.
Several teachers have contacted me of late about the space on their blog for pictures and media. “New pictures aren’t loading!” they write. Well, I’ve got both good and bad news.
First, it’s imperative (read: required) to re-size photos for the Web. This has always been the case. While those 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, and 9-megapixel images look great for printing, there are far too many pixels within them for the Web.
Use iPhoto or Preview to re-size photos to web-friendly sizes. In iPhoto, use the Export function, and choose a size in pixels. The width of your photos should be in the range of 300-450 pixels, maximum.
The screenshot above is from my blog: on your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see how much free space you have. 150 MB is the equivalent to 1.5 Zip disks (for those of you who remember those), or about 1/10 of a gigabyte.
This photo, above, is 24KB. It’s size is 288×310 pixels. With 150 MB of space, you should be able to store over 5,000 photos like this in your blog space. If you are running out of space, please do check your resources, and ensure that you are only uploading media that has been optimized for the Web, in terms of size. While download times at work may be pretty quick, folks with dial-up connections really suffer when they hit a webpage with a 2- or 4-megabyte image.