Tag Archives: TxDLA09

Twitter Me This, Twitter Me That: Top Ten VC Twitterers

Another session I popped into yesterday was Ken Conn’s session on Twitter. I was trying to hit two sessions at once, which isn’t always a good idea! The session was PACKED! People were on the floor and crowded in. I couldn’t see the screen, but listened for a while. Ken had some great tips and his PowerPoint and Handout are online at 123vc.pbwiki.com. One of the tips was a site that has top ten lists of people to follow. Ken also suggested for getting started to look at who people you know are following to add more followers. I had conversations with a few VC friends yesterday and who were wondering who else they should be following.

So I thought I’d make a little list for you. Top ten people into VC who are tweeting, in no particular order.

  1. Roxanne Glaser
  2. Carol Daunt
  3. Ken Conn
  4. Lori Colwill
  5. Angela Conrad
  6. Heather Weisse Walsh
  7. Christina Hum
  8. Paul Hieronymous
  9. Joan Roehre
  10. Rebecca Morrison
  11. CAPspace (collaboration updates, not a person!)

Who did I miss? Who else would you add? Please comment!

Enhancing the Distance Learning Experience with Podcasting

This TxDLA session is by Shirley Boyd and Debbie Alston. (Wednesday afternoon; posted Thursday due to lack of Internet access.)

Videoconferencing is all about making connections. Their early connections included a videoconference with students in Iraq.

Podcasting benefits students by finding a way for them to respond to the curriculum, improves their writing schools, improves their self-esteem and gives the students a voice. Can use universal design with the same tools to meet the needs of all students.

We can connect our classrooms one at a time to the world. With podcasting as a follow-up they can become friends with the partner class. As they become friends, we can have peace instead of war because the students understand each other.

You can do an audio podcast, an enhanced podcast with pictures or other content, or a video/vodcast. You could use the interactive whiteboard files to save and export to a podcast.

Examples of how podcasting enhances distance learning from Killeen ISD.
Book reference: Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers: Finding the Rhythm for Differentiated Learning (podcasting creates the beat for different marchers)

1. Snowmen at Night book – about what snowmen do at night. They videoconferenced with a class in New York. The NY kids built a small snowman and brought it inside to show in the videoconference to the students in TX. Then they made little podcast stories of what their snowmen did at night. The classes on both sides made these stories. Each slide in the movie were a kids picture and sentences on what the snowman does at night (goes to the moon, goes to the Alamo, goes to the beach). This was a first grade class. The kids drew their pictures in Pixie of the snowman and the place he went. In some cases the students put their picture on the face of the snowman.

2. Another podcast they did was on the rainforest, also done with Pixie. This one had student narration along with the music. The podcast told about different animals and creatures who live in the rainforest. Debbie says Pixie is the easiest way to make a podcast – even 1st graders can do it.

3. In another podcast, the students had to create a public service announcement about severe weather, a brochure, and a skit for Roxanne’s Texas Twisted Weather (Don Foshee Grant) program. The kids for this project were usually late to school, but for this project they came in at 7:00 every day. They were motivated to come to school! The PSA included tips for preparing for severe weather. The videoconference included a session with the local weather guy (Rusty!) and also a videoconference to share their skit in front of judges.

Someone in the room shared CrazyTalk, a way to get a live image to “talk.”

All these files were saved as MP3s to make into a podcast.

For another session with Belgium, they used a “Huckleberry” which is really a set of mirrors to make your Mac into a desktop videoconference system with the camera pointing out to towards the classroom – the back of the laptop. They used this to desktop VC with the kids in Belgium. They talked together a lot, and finally found out they both have Pixie. So they found an ftp server that they could share files and started to make a collaborative book together with Pixie.

Killeen has many military parents, so they could check in from where they were overseas and see their children’s work as well.

Students write the story, then make a storyboard with the visuals, and then create the podcast. Pixie and Frames both save into any form you want for a podcast server, Ning or Moodle.

The beauty of Pixie and Frames is the ability to save into any format – you can use that instead of fighting with Audacity and other podcasting tools.


Great job Shirley and Debbie!!

Reach for the Sky

Angela Conrad, Humble ISD, is presenting about what is in her cloud. Blogging for this session is sponsored by October Smith, who provided the Internet for this blog. Thanks October! See 123vc.pbwiki.com for more information.


  • It gives your contact information as a text message. (Thanks Brandi)
  • Can put homework in this.
  • Could put quiz questions.
  • Could send spelling words.
  • It’s only text.
  • Check the box, send me a txt when my card is requested, so you can see what cell phone numbers have requested it.


  • iGoogle
  • Book Search – create your own little library
  • GoogleDocs
  • Shared Calendars


  • A place to capture share organize anything you find on the web.
  • There’s a how to video on how to make it public and have it automatically update your twitter account – see the videos on the right side of the home page
  • Install a toolbar in FireFox (click Box and Save) – images, text, pages, videos, etc.
  • Some of her containers are private and some are public
  • Could use it in a research project etc.
  • It saves all the source information too so you know where you got it
  • You can view a list view or a box view
  • You can share your boxes and collaborate on what’s in them
  • You can embed the code for the box into another page
  • You can share so they can view or edit or contribute


  • Use Favorites – it’s not Favorites but favorite tweets


  • You can share slides
  • You can embed video etc right in the presentation
  • Can bulk upload files
  • It’s not just presentations, other files can be shared too
  • Here’s an example of her slideshare for Texas History Mystery


  • The zooming editor for stunning presentations
  • It’s sort of like an animation plus presentations plus zooming
  • It’s more like visual thinking instead of linear thinking – you can draw lines to make connections between pieces of the presentation
  • You have a bubble navigation so that you can easily jump to different parts of your presentation depending on your audience
  • You can draw your path for how you’ll present
  • You can decide who can decide who can view or edit


  • Use to livestream teachers with annotated notes when the students are at home sick


  • Free brainstorming online
  • Angela takes notes in meetings online with this tool
  • You don’t have to have an account to get started, but if you want to save it you need an account
  • You can export to image files or HTML
  • Just like Inspiration and Kidspiration but you can’t go back to the outline – main difference

And more…..

Angela’s cloud is collected all together for this presentation on Glogster. Thanks Angela!!

TxDLA Readers: Links for Designing Quality Videoconference Projects

Here are links to resources and projects mentioned in my Designing Quality Videoconference Projects hands-on session at TxDLA.

Designing Quality VC Projects PPT for TxDLA (without clips)

More results from my spring 2008 “Top Teachers” Survey

Featured Projects

TWICE Resources

Projects Booklet

Other Collaboration Tools

My Online Classes

GooglePlex Your IVC Session

Paul Hieronymous, a Google Certified Teacher, is presenting a session called Googleplex Your IVC session at TxDLA. Paul is a consultant for technology integration at the Northern Ohio Research and Training Technology Hub (NORT2H).

Search Features

  • Search “time in London” to convert time for your videoconference
  • Search “10000 yen USD” and it converts the amount for buying your VC program
  • Advanced Search: file type: i.e. search a KMZ file for the civil war battles
  • Preferences: Switch SafeSearch for strict filtering (use with your account), also can go to Web History to check up on students.

Google News

  • Most recent news on “gaza strip”
  • Can also look at archives on the left hand side and you can see the news from that year
  • Then click timeline at the top and get a graph of the news. It goes back before the Internet too, so you can look at past history – i.e. from 1967. Mine the data to understand the history. (Hmm. Could use this to supplement our Lest We Forget programs!)

Google Book Search (beta)

  • Example – find the book that you need for the TWICE ASK videoconference you’re in. The entire text is there online when the copyright has expired; otherwise it’s just a few pages.
  • It also highlights the keywords within the book and highlights them for you.

See More, Even More.

  • GoogleDocs – shared editing of spreadsheets, word processing, and presentation
  • Use GoogleForms to do registrations for your collaborations that you post on CAPspace or CILC Collaboration Center.
  • GoogleSites to set up your collaborative project – i.e. having each class write their chapters in a sequential writing videoconference project. Emailing is a pain, so set up a Google Site like a wiki for the writing. (Can insert any Google Video, YouTube, Picassa, GoogleDocs, Calendar, including gadgets and countdowns etc.) Good for a classroom teacher page too! Could be private for invited members or for anyone to view.

Finally check out the Google Lit Trips. Google Earth Literature Trips. Digital storytelling with Google Earth.

In a videoconference you can zoom in to your location to show the other site. But you could also write a little story to go with your trip.  Use this to find out the weather at your partner school or to share the weather at your site too. Built into your GoogleEarth map.

45 minutes was just too short for Paul’s session! His PowerPoint is linked online at 123vc.pbwiki.com.

First Impressions of TxDLA

Waking up to a beautiful sunrise over the bay in Corpus Christi. My first attendance in person at TxDLA is of to a good start. I’ve been welcomed and fed with great Texas hospitality and charm by several of my VC buddies from Texas.

I’m impressed with the wide variety of videoconferencing, online learning, blended/hybrid learning, and Web 2.0 sessions represented at the conference. I’ve said this before, but it’s great to have so many videoconference sessions! I don’t know of any other conference in the United States that offers so many good K-12 videoconference sessions. I’m starting to rethink my plans to have NECC as my regular national conference. TxDLA is looking more and more like it meets my learning needs better.

There are several “little” conference things that TxDLA does that make it a fun conference to attend. It’s small enough to have a nice feel, but large enough to have a wide variety of sessions. In addition to the traditional presenter, volunteer, board member, ribbons, the vendors give out ribbons from the “fun pack”. They have fun ribbons that say things like “I could be president”, “workaholic”, “troublemaker” etc. I’ll be passing this idea on to MACUL.

There are a few little things, though, that TxDLA could do to make us feel a little more welcome. Our nametags don’t have our location if we’re out of Texas – just says “outside Texas.”!! Is it so hard to add our state? Also, there’s a session block today that is for all the regional groups to meet. However, nothing is scheduled for those of us “outside Texas”. It would be nice to have a session where we could network with each other. For example, I hear someone from Australia is here and would like to compare notes with him.

I also haven’t figured out the Internet yet. No Internet to blog the general sessions. Would be nice to have Internet for that!

Still, so far I’m glad to be here and looking forward to blogging several interesting sessions. Just might be posting them all at the end of the day when I can get Internet.

(Later. I found the Internet is only at the “hot spot” so I can’t live blog in any of the sessions.)

(Later, later. Found wireless in room 226. Might be hanging out here!)