Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Friday, September 23, 2011

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Digital Literacy News September 23, 2011

Mount Vernon Digital Literacy News

September 23, 2011
Digital Literacy Workshop

Lots of opportunities to learn new things going on around the district this week.  I have worked with PLCs, Developed Tutorials and Presented Literacy Resources and Grading resources to different groups of teachers.  

Be on the look out for Digital Literacy Workshops being offered in October.  

Learn how to create a blog and pages in our new website, get tips on using Easy Grade Pro and AIMS and much more.  

Here are a few of the resources I created this week.  

EGP Resources
New Elementary Report Card (head to the second half of the page.)
Literacy Links

Links to Explore

Fall Colors
A cool interactive visual to teach about fall colors.  

EdHeads is a very engaging site with some neat simulations.  Most are science related.  My students loved the knee replacement simulation.

Draw a Stickman: This is just for fun.  But I thought it was a cool interactive site.

Web 2.0 For Math: A list of several great resources for using Web 2.0 tools in the math class.

Technology = The Magic School Bus Experience

'Image000' photo (c) 2008, Chris - license:

When asked to share something personal about myself in a meeting the other day, I stood up and announced to all that I was not a geek.  Most people laughed, because to them, that is exactly what I am.  I am the person in our district who is always trying to push teachers to use more technology in their classrooms.  I must be a geek.  

I explained that although I do use and sing the praises of using technology in the classroom, my goals are not focused on the the technology, but on the student and the learning.  

My dream classroom would not be a computer lab.  My dream classroom would be a school bus, or better yet, a school bus yellow jet.  (Move over Ms. Frizzle.)  My passion is to help students experience the wonder of learning through meaningful experiences, and make real world connections.  The highlights of my teaching career have been those opportunities where I have been able to expand a child’s world through real experiences.  

Of course our budgets don’t allow for unlimited global exploration via school bus or jet.  But fortunately, by adding a bit of technology into our classrooms, we can at least virtually explore the world outside our classroom and have real conversations with people who have different ideas and experiences.  Just as importantly, we can contribute our own ideas and experiences to the world of learners by creating and sharing content.  Although, not quite as powerful as a child hearing an owl hoot as he spends his first night ever out in at tent while at Mountain School, experiences such as collaborating with a class in another part of the world via Skype and wikis as they work together to solve a real world problem can change the way a child sees the world and even more importantly, empower a child  to believe that they matter and they have an important part to play in our world community.  

So for me, it is not about the geeky side of tech.  It is about the opportunities, experiences and empowerment for our students.

Video of the Week

Tech Triumphs

Heather Kendregan is my hero!  As we hatched this idea of an iPod Touch Lab Pilot, Heather jumped on board as the tech representative who went beyond our big ideas of the power these tools could have in the classroom and she got down to the nitty gritty about how to store, sync, buy apps, register products and more.  She is now our official iPod and iPad expert.  Her work behind the scenes has made it possible for this project to take off.  If you see Heather, be sure to thank her for her hard work and expertise on this project.

APP Ideas

Animoto: I’ve shared this web application with teachers often.  It is my go to tool, for quick and easy music videos.  Animoto is great for sharing photos and small amounts of text.  See some of my examples here.  But the cool thing is that they have an ipod/ipad app.  Students or teachers can quickly create a video using photos taken on their device and then adding music.  It is quick, it is easy and  it looks slick.  In order to play though, you will need an account.  Videos that are 30 seconds or less are free.  Teachers can sign up for an Educator account at  

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Catherine Ousselin said...

I was going through my Google Reader when I saw this post. I had scrolled past your blog title and only saw Heather's name with "Heather K is my hero!" I recognized her name and thought, "there's another Heather K who is an iPod/Pad hero?" I then realized that this must be one of your posts. Thank you for mentioning her fantastic work! I told the students that she is the person to thank for the iPods and their functionality. Heather should present at NCCE or some other tech conference with a few pilot teachers.

Martha said...

Heather has been amazing.