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.

Games and Gaming Podcast

Women of Web 2.0, Show 70, welcomes you to the gaming show. Join us as Sharon, Vicki and Cheryl interview Karl Kapp, Karl M. Kapp, Ed.D., CFPIM, CIRM / Assistant Director, Institute for Interactive Technologies / Professor of Instructional Technology / Bloomsburg University. The chat has many great gaming links and developments as the show proceeds.

You can download the audio file from the bottom of the page and read the chat:

The Show links:

The author’s book is at:

Please let me know what you think!

Chapter 5: What will I do to engage students?

The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instructionby Robert J. Marzano

Action Step #10: TALK TO AN EXPERT

Using some kind of connecting method (Skype for example), make a live connection with an expert and provide the students with an opportunity to talk with an expert about any number of issues. Let’s suppose that the Biology classes are doing a unit on diseases and that students are being asked to research a specific disease. A teacher could make a connection with an expert in that particular disease (for example at the CDC) and students would be able to ask that expert particular questions about the disease.

A shoutout to Cheryl Oakes for her help!


Using a program called “Voice Thread,” students can create projects using photos and record a presentation. Once students make the recording, they can share the link with others in their class so that students can listen to one another. In addition, students can record comments or questions for the students who have presented. In a social studies class, students do brief presentations on Great Greeks. The students then share their presentations with the rest of the class. Students are then asked to view and listen to all of their classmates and respond.

Action Step #12: USING PODCASTS

Using audio and/or video that is available online in iTunes or other areas, students can subscribe to a particular podcast and listen and/or watch content that will support the students’ learning. A social studies teacher who has introduced the students to the recent book The World is Flat finds a video of the author giving a lecture at MIT on the principles outlined in the book. The teacher has previewed the lecture to find the section dealing with how the author determined why the world is becoming flat. The students then can hear directly from the author and can go back to the clip again.

Thanks to Ted for taking notes

The iPod Lecture Circuit

Technology is bringing the ivory tower to big rigs and fishing boats, offering the chance to study existentialism or theoretical physics.By Michelle Quinn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer¬†November 24, 2007BERKELEY — Baxter Wood is one of Hubert Dreyfus’ most devoted students. During lectures on existentialism, Wood hangs on every word, savoring the moments when the 78-year-old philosophy professor pauses to consider a student’s comment or relay how a meaning-of-life question had him up at 2 a.m.¬†Read the rest of the article.

Electronic Village Sessions announced

The 2008 EVO Sessions have been announced. They run from January 14 – February 24, 2008. These are free online courses and while they have an emphasis on ESL, they are an excellent way to learn about web 2.0 and online tools. They are also provide an incredible collaborative, global learning community.

EVO 2008 Sessions

Advanced Tips & Tricks…
Becoming a Webhead
Blogging for Educators
Effective Lesson Planning…
EVO Video 2008: ESL/EFL…
Exploring the Big Apple…
Getting the Most out of Web 2.0 for ESP
Getting Started with Drama…
Integrating Technology…
Music in the Classroom…
Research on Web 2.0 applications…
Social Media in ELT
Teaching with PowerPoint


Encyclopedia of Life NEW!

by Adam C. Engst

A number of high profile scientific institutions joined together last week to announce the Encyclopedia of Life, a global project to document on a Web site every one of the 1.8 million named species of animals, plants, and other organisms. In essence, the Encyclopedia of Life will run along some of the same lines as the Wikipedia, although contributions may be limited to scientists with expertise in the subject, a restriction that may both slow the growth of the project and avoid some of the errors and argumentativeness that exist in Wikipedia. But from the standpoint of those who need information about living organisms, the Encyclopedia of Life’s demonstration pages look extremely promising, bringing together written information, photos, video, audio, maps, and more, and presenting it all in an interface that can be scaled to the reader’s level of experience. There isn’t any live information yet, but it’s worth viewing the demo pages, reading the FAQs, and watching the video on the main page.

Here is the accompanying artice at the NY Times: Scientists Work on the Encyclopedia of Life