Open Office

I met with some of the teachers on the freshman team yesterday to talk about some of the problems students were having with spreadsheets and formulas.

The solution we have come up with is the program OpenOffice, which is a free download.

After you download it please drag the application to your documents folder, NOT the applications folder. If you get a message saying it needs authentication, it means you ave dragged to the applications. Try again.

When you are asked to register, choose Don’t ever register.

Open Office has a functions tool in it that works like Equation Editor. The way to use it is Insert > Function. It puts the function right in to the Text document.

There are also free templates you can download at

Open Office is a free, cross platform download that runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. If you have a machine at home that doesn’t have Microsoft Office, this is a great solution.

a great learning opportunity

Welcome to the Electronic Village Online 2009

A professional development project and virtual extension of the TESOL Convention.

For six weeks , participants can engage with ESOL experts in collaborative, online discussion sessions or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions will bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by the four-day land-based TESOL convention and will allow a fuller development of ideas and themes of the convention or of professional interest in general.

The sessions are free and open to all interested parties. You do not need to be a TESOL member to participate.

To view the 2009 EVO sessions, go to Call for Participation 09.

You may join sessions after January 2nd.

CES Fall Forum

Web 2.0 Tools Improving Student Engagement and Learning in the 21st Century Classroom

Presented at the Coalition of Essential Schools, Fall Forum. Charlotte, NC November, 2008

Melissa Noack and Alice Barr
Yarmouth High School
Yarmouth, Maine

Essential Question:

  • How does the use of Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs, wikis, and Voicethreads motivate and encourage students to improve analysis and refection skills as well as take ownership for their learring?

Sub Question:

  • How can I ensure that students in my classroom experience a participatory culture of learning (strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations with others, some type of informal mentorship where what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices, students contributions matter) with others, inside and outside of the classroom AND as a result, what is the impact on student engagement?

Participants will:

  • become aquainted with 21st century literacy skills
  • view sample teacher and students created blogs, wikis, and voicethreads
  • develop an understanding of collaboration and communication using Web 2,0 Tools
  • be given resources for developing their own blogs, wikis, and voicethreads