Monday, June 29, 2009

NECC Exhibition Hall vs. Blogger Cafe

I'm having a delightful time here at NECC '09. This morning I risked going to the exhibition which is a huge carnival of commercialism with vendors barking their wares. If I closed my eyes, it sounded very much like the cacophony of an agricultural fair, only with a digital edge. There seemed to be a royal battle between a variety of interactive whiteboard manufacturers. There was also a huge number of content management "solutions" vying for attention. Interesting. Having heard the phrase, "follow the money," I wonder about this royal battle between putting content into smaller and smaller boxes to make money and the concept of open software and open resources. How will it all shake out?

Right now I'm sitting in the Blogger Cafe which is a wonderfully open and collaborative environment where online friends have the opportunity to meet and talk face to face in an informal setting. No question that this is my preference to the loudness of the exhibition hall. But gosh, I do know the ISTE needs to pay the bills.

Highlights from NECC 2009

by Olga Laplante

I am at a wonderful model lesson here, at NECC in Washington. A bit of a preview, the Essential Question, "How do natural disasters affect people?", the current Project Coordinator of the TRC project as well as a former TRC Project Coordinator will guide students through an exploration of natural disasters around the world. Through email exchanges, students discover where and under what conditions natural disasters are most likely to occur, as well as the impact they have on humans. Particular attention will be given to natural disasters that impact their own lives and those of their corresponding ePal.

Try this wiki for more information, Great presenters, Amber Rowland, University of Kansas with Kari Stubbs. Check it out.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bus to D.C.

Gathering from all around the State at the Portsmouth Bus Terminal, we are on our way to NECC in Washington, D.C. with estimated arrival time early this evening.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Digital Images in the Classroom

by Olga LaPlante

Digital Images:

1) Sharing - Flickr, (wee planets, tutorial for creating wee planets), Picasa, other services
2) iPhoto and tutorials:
3) Editing images further:


ArtRage is an application that allows you to create digital images that resemble oil paintings, pastel, metallic and other effects. There is the free version and the full version that you may choose from. The picture below was created using this application.

To dowload, go here,


Given a range of relevant
statistical data sets, teachers will use some free and easy to use
tools to create mosaics that visually represent the importance of the
data found. Participants will share the mosaics and the math behind
each in an Internet forum/dropbox created for this event.
Review demo of how MacOSaiX (Mosaic for Mac) works. Final product depicts 615 hours of volunteering finishing every second, one hour is represented by one image in the mosaic.
Here is the link to the download.

Jigsaw Planet is a handy website that will create a jigsaw game from any photograph you upload to it. Once uploaded the jigsaw can be shared with others via a unique URL. You could link direct to it from your IWB flipchart.

Could be useful for lesson starter or plenary activities. Have fun! (from the WhiteBoard Blog)

Ideas and more information about images and their use

Powerful images to give your lessons punch

4) Where to find pictures: CreativeCommons, Google images, Stock Exchange, FlickrCC, etc.
5) Using images:


Maine Netbook Consortium Choice

The MNC has chosen the ASUS 1005HA-V for 1-1 deployment during the '09 - '10 school year.

More Info


Clarence Fisher: OS & Education

Margie Genereux on Graduation Ceremonies

Margie has a new website on which she shares thoughts and information with a focus on homeschooling, Maine adult education, and computer training. Her latest post, "Crossing the Line?", gives a point of view on graduation ceremonies which I must admit I share.

We seem to be in the minority.

What do you think?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who Creates National Standards and Why?

Stephen Krashen's response to the "Subject-Matter Groups Want Voice in Standards" in Education Week:
"Apparently, the subject matter organizations agree that spending billions developing national standards and national tests are a good idea, they are only upset that they have not been invited to join the party.

Apparently, they agree that our major priority in education is more precise and uniform measurement, that all children should know where they are "on every step of their educational trajectory" (Arne Duncan) in all subjects.

Apparently they agree that this assembly-line rigid approach is in tune with the way children learn.

Apparently, the leaders of our subject matter organizations have not spent much time with children, and are unfamiliar with the vast research literature that says this approach is all wrong."

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to Back Up Stuff on Your MLTI Laptop

Barbara Greenstone has updated the handy-dandy MLTI Backup Guide for saving files when moving to a new MLTI laptop or image. Find it here: Web Notebook Version

Papermaking on the Androscoggin

My dad and all my uncles worked in the paper mills along the Androscoggin. Working in the paper mills during the summer allowed me and countless others to attend college. This is my heritage and a culture that I know well. For gaining a feeling for this world, I suggest reading Monica Wood's book, Ernie's Ark.

An excellent video summary of this life from Maine's Paper and Heritage Museum:

Maine's Paper and Heritage Museum


Paper Production @ LIM Resources

Excerpts from Ernie's Ark

Androscoggin River Watershed Council: Source to the Sea 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Student Technology Showcase at MSAD#48

For an impressive event showcasing student work with technology, you won't be disappointed with this yearly extravaganza. I attended a couple of years at the invitation of Kern and Keith Kelley, and I was blown away with the enthusiasm and quality of the work that is being done in this school district. Click here to get all the information on attending.

Sebasticook Valley Middle School

Saturday, June 13th 2009

Doors open at 10:00 with the Integrated Technology Awards Ceremony at 1:00


Parents can sign out an iPod to use as audio tour guide. Listen to explanations from students about the events that are happening throughout the building. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite skateboard design, blog and videos the winners will receive a Zoo York Skateboard! At the awards ceremony we will find out the winner! They will receive an iPod.

Main Hallway

Find satellite images of your house using Google Earth.


See how technology is changing the way students play video games and how they can use them to stay fit. Here you can boogie with Dance Dance Revolution where players dance in an intense workout or use the Wii gaming system and try your hand at virtual tennis, bowling and baseball.


There are a number of technology showcases going on in the library. Take the opportunity to comment on student online weblogs. Maybe play with some of the technology from the high school or create a new song with GarageBand. Here we display a few of the multimedia tools that the students have access too.

Computer Lab

Here visitors can write program using Scratch software.


Try your hand at reading the news. Each morning students broadcast announcements to the homerooms, now here’s your chance to see if you can make it as a Morning News Anchor!

Integrated Technology Room

You will be able to participate in activities completed in the Integrated Technology Program. Program Robots or Race cars and boats like the fifth grade students. Even attach trucks and wheels to a skateboard to see how sixth graders built their own boards. If you have blogged or made music in the Library you will be just like a seventh grader.

AWARD CEREMONY Winners announced at 1:30
6th Grade = People's Choice for favorite Skateboard 7th Grade = People's Choice for favorite Blog 8th Grade = Best Project
Drawing for completed handouts to Win an iPod Nano

If you have questions of would like more information please call 368-4592 or email:


End-of-School-Year Activities @ LIM Resources

Add your own favorites here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You Just Can't Beat This Deal!

Location: Maine Maritime Academy, Castine

"Great Just Got Better!"

Cost Slashed, Super Keynote, Terrific Presentations.

Only $65

Reserve your place now! Space is limited. Don’t be disappointed! Stay tuned!

"Blog the Boat" Comments from 2 years ago, the birth of the LIM blog.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Comic Life

@LIM Resources

Succinct - 5 Minutes with Chris Lehmann

"It's not about the work-force, it's about a citizenry." ~ Chris Lehmann

Practical Theory - A View from the Classroom

Simple Real-Time Document Collaboration

Can't imagine that I just discovered this tool existed! EtherPad allows for real-time editing in a simple, straightforward manner.

Add your comments to the "pad" I just started:

How about pairing this with Skype for collaboration needs?

Friday, June 5, 2009

CMS / VLE / LMS & Closed Mentality

The Ed Techie: The VLE/LMS is dead

Open Education

Brian Lamb's "The Urgency of Open Education"

Open Up!
What Works?
Ivan Illich: Tools for Conviviality

Co-Creators, Citizenship & Information Technology

"We've got to recognize that we can't treat the American people as subjects but as a co-creator of ideas. We need to tap into the vast amounts of communities across the country. The federal government doesn't have a monopoly on the best ideas." ~ Vivek Kunda, U.S. Government's Chief Information Officer

FedStats - The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal

Angela Maiers: Content Creation: An Increasingly Vital 21st Century Skill

Toughest Jobs to Fill

by Olga LaPlante

According to this article, these are the toughest jobs to fill: engineers, nurses, technicians, teachers and sales representatives. Who would have thought?

Well, the engineer bit is quite expected. Lots to learn, a lot of students prefer liberal arts (although the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, do you agree?), and most importantly, employers want an experienced and talented engineer, trained in a variety of fields - who has the money and time for that? - and as baby boomers are retiring there will be more open positions.

The second job, according to this article, is nurses. The problem with these guys is there are not enough nurse educators to train enough people to fill in the slots. How curious is that?

Teachers - it's pretty clear, low salaries, higher education degrees, but I would like to know where that shortage is, just in case. With the infamous "cliff in funding" coming in two years, that's definitely a good thing to know.

All of the above are reasonable, and the lack or hardships of higher education are somewhat present throughout the top 2 and the fourth one (teachers). But this bit came as a surprise and wake-up call at the same time. I actually was in a discussion around that last summer when I was in Russia. My parents' neighbor has a 13-year kid, who is not particularly interested in schooling. One might say, that 13 is too early to get sleepless about the college costs, but he is already considering options for his child. Truth is, unless you are among the top half students, chances are you won't get into a good university or college for free - yes, there is such thing as free higher education in Russia. So, the dilemma he is dealing with is this. He runs a business, some construction or some manufacturing, I never was curious enough to pry, and he didn't volunteer, and he says it's so hard to find a good, experienced technician (such as crane operators, or welders). It's impossible to find a young reliable technician period. Why? Because the young people are after quick, clean (white-collar) and "important" jobs, like accountants, financial folks (working in banks, even if you are a teller, is soooo prestigious!), and lawyers. A lot of them are struggling to find a job now. But few people decide to do the grunt work.

The article supports the same view:
Like workers in skilled trades, technicians are trained at vocational schools, and they're in short supply because so many high school students are encouraged to go to four-year colleges instead.
How does that sit with the intentions of the DOE in Maine to make every student go on to college? Is it best intentions or denial of reality?

What are your thoughts?

CEOs Without College Degree

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Eric Hoffer on Learning

"The beginning of thought is in disagreement — not only with others but also with ourselves.

"The central task of education is to implant a will and a facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together."

"In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."

Summer 2009 PD Opportunities

LIM Resources has a List of Summer '09 Professional Development Opportunities. The list is editable, so feel free to add other happenings of which you might be aware.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Summertime and Your Personal Network"

Join this Elluminate session tonight featuring Bob Sprankle, Alice Barr and Cheryl Oakes at 8 at PBS Teachers and Classroom 2.0 with Steve Hargadon


In this webinar, they will discuss the value of online collaboration and provide guidance for those interested in joining or creating a professional development community during the summer months. They will share their own experiences of expanding their knowledge and improving their practice through online conferences, social networks, and other collaborative technologies. In addition, they will demonstrate tools and best practices to promote technology integration in K-12 classrooms.

Classroom 2.0
Bit by Bit
A View from My Window
Cheryl Oakes Blog

National Education Standards

"Forty-six states and the District of Columbia today will announce an effort to craft a single vision for what children should learn each year from kindergarten through high school graduation, an unprecedented step toward a uniform definition of success in American schools." More . . .

~Maria Glod, Washington Post, 6/1/09

Education World: U.S. Education Standards

Education World: National Standards

ISTE: National Technology Standards

Achieve, Inc.

"A distinguishing characteristic of our nation — and a great strength — is the development of our institutions within the concept of individual worth and dignity. Our schools are among the guardians of that principle. Consequently . . . and deliberately their control and support throughout our history have been — and are — a state and local responsibility. . . . Thus was established a fundamental element of the American public school system — local direction by boards of education responsible immediately to the parents of children. Diffusion of authority among tens of thousands of school districts is a safeguard against centralized control and abuse of the educational system that must be maintained. We believe that to take away the responsibility of communities and states in educating our children is to undermine not only a basic element of our freedoms but a basic right of our citizens. "

—President Dwight D. Eisenhower

What are your thoughts on national standards in education?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Black Bear Island

Want to learn more about Second Life? The Maine Educators Exploring Second Life group will be meeting tonight at 7 p.m. If you don't have the program yet, you can set up an account here, download the software here and be teleported to Black Bear Island here.