Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

Technology Suggestions for Teachers

I frequently read Edutopia Magazine. It’s a magazine created by the George Lucas Foundation (yes, the Star Wars and Indiana Jones guy) for teachers about using Technology for Learning. Recently, one of their writers, Sara Bernard, sent out a request looking for responses to the following question:

What if you had to teach the classes you are taking now or something you learned years ago? How would you use technology to do it? What devices, software, games, networks, or applications would you use to help students learn more easily — and have more fun learning?

For instance, imagine that it was your job to teach algebra, Charles Dickens, volleyball, poetry, a foreign language, science, or the Civil War. Would you have your English students use Facebook to create profiles for each main character in Jane Eyre? Would you have them use Garage Band to create a World War II song or the national anthem of a fictional country? Would you use instant messaging or cell phones as tools for classroom discipline? Could you learn math from Mario?

The point of this is for Edutopia to gather specific ideas and advice from you for teachers to try in their classrooms. So, be sure to describe things in a way that a teacher – any teacher – would understand. You might want to mention any rules about technology and media that exist at your school and whether or not they would need to be modified. We’d love to hear as many suggestions as you can think of!

Student responses can be based on experiences that they’ve actually had in class or just ideas that they’ve come up with themselves. They should also feel free to offer basic advice for teachers about technology integration, or any other thoughts they have on the topic. This isn’t an essay contest, so no pressure — students can just drop a few lines into an email if they like (though I’d appreciate it if they could include their name, grade level, school, and location).

Let’s see if we can help Sara out. What ideas do you have for using technology in the classroom, ANY classroom? Let’s try to be realistic, but think of some ways you use technology that might translate well into a classroom.

Go to the wiki, and Create a Page named “_______’s Technology Ideas”. Put it in the folder Edutopia Tech Ideas.

At the end of your letter to Sara, include your first name, grade level, school, and Newport, NC. I will be sharing these ideas with Sara. Who knows, maybe some will wind up used in the magazine.


Wikis, Glogs, TeensHealth…Oh my!

Today in class we have several activities that will be taking place. You will be reading several articles and visiting several websites about body systems.


  1. Go to
  2. Click on Log In at the upper right
  3. Log In with your Username and Password
  4. Click “Create a Page”
  5. Name your page using your first name and first initial of your last name and Articles (ex. John Doe would use JohnDArticles)
  6. On your page, you are going to write your summary/analysis of Texting on the Move
  7. When you finish your summary/analysis (30 to 50 word summary, minimum 100 word analysis), click “Save”
  8. Please provide a link to the article in the title. To do this, first open the article in a new window or tab. Next, type the name of the article, highlight it, and click the Globe/Chain Link button.
  9. Change Link Type to URL
  10. Copy the URL from the article page, and paste it into the box beside http://
  11. Click OK.
  12. We will work on linking your article to a page for each Core.

After summarizing the Texting Article, check out TeensHealth for other articles related to kids your age. I encourage you to look through the site, however, some of the articles fall outside of the realm of our studies for the year. Please stick with the sections on “Your Body”, “Food & Fitness”, and “Staying Safe”.

Find one more article and write a summary/analysis on the same Wiki Page you just created. To add a Horizontal Bar between summaries, click the button with the “A” above and below the horizontal line.

When you finish, raise your hand and Mr. Williamson will tell you what to do next.

Blood Types

In class the past couple of days we’ve been discussing human blood types. We talked about the four major blood groups and the difference between positive and negative blood. Tonight students are working through some questions about the percentage of people in the United States who have each blood type. For those who didn’t get the question sheet in class today, here is a link to the questions, click on the image to bring up a full screen version of the questions:

Blood Type Questions