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Friday, November 19, 2010

Information Literacy Quiz - Answers

Somewhat Savvy (0-5 points)
Moderately Savvy (6-10 points)

Downright Nerdy (10+ points)

1. List four major search engines and a major directory.
A: For a full list of search engines, directories, and all their functions check WIKIPEDIA's list of search engines

2. What is a blog?
A: Blog is short for weblog - it is literally a log of the Web

3. Why might you use quotation marks when conducting a search?
A: Use "quotation marks" to ensure your keywords appear in your search results in the order you have specified

4. URL is an acronym for:
A: Uniform Resource Locator

5. Identify three Boolean search terms.
A: AND, OR, NOT

6. How do you find the owner or publisher of a Web site?
A: Go to www.easywhois.com and enter the URL of the site you would like to research

7. Identify these extensions and what they represent:
(A: .org - organization .com - company .sch school .k12 - most US school sites .edu - US higher Ed .gov - US government .ac - higher ed outside US usually used with country code, example, ".ac.uk".net - network .mil - military .co - company)

8. How do you find out who is linked to your school’s Web site?
A: Go to AltaVista www.altavista.com and do a LINK: command search. In the search box type link:your school's address

9. What clues in a Web address might indicate you are on a personal Web site?
A: Look for a tilde “~” or the “%” sign or a personal name “jdoe” or the word “user” after the domain name and the first forward slash “/“

10. How would you conduct a search for the following: a list of Web sites of all the academic institutions in South Africa? (Hint: South Africa’s country code is .za)
A: Go to AltaVista www.altavista.com and type host"ac.za in the search box

11. How do you find the history of any given Web site?
A: Use the Wayback Machine. Type the URL of the web site you would like to research into the search box.

12. How would you conduct a search for the following: US higher education Web sites that contain the word turtle?
A: Go to AltaVista www.altavista.com and type "host:edu + turtle" in the search box

13. How do sites get to the top of a result list in GOOGLE?
A: One factor Google uses to rank sites is popularity. It counts the number of links from sites all around the Web. For example, if a large number of sites has a specific keyword somewhere on their Web site along with a link to a particular site, Google counts the number of times the keyword appears along with the number of links to a particular site. The higher number of links to a site, the higher Google will rank that site on a list of results. There are several additional factors as well, including but not limited to the title of the site, the site’s meta information and the actual content of the site.

From http://novemberlearning.com/

Thursday, November 18, 2010

ATS Picks 11/18/10

1) How the US Engages the World with Social Media
An interesting article about the ways the US government is using blogging, Facebook and Twitter to improve our image in the world.

This free site makes it easy to create your own timelines. They aren't fancy, but they are quick and you can print them out or embed them on another website.
This ReadWriteWeb blog post summarizes some of the recent comments made by Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, regarding Facebooks new privacy settings.

4) Edutopia Digital Youth Portrait: Cameron, 11 years old


Discussion Questions
1. Is Cameron typical of kids in your community? Why, or why not?2. How would you describe the attitude of Cameron's parents toward technology and Cameron's interest in digital media?
3. How would you describe the attitude of Cameron's teachers toward technology and Cameron's interest in digital media?
4. What did you think of Cameron's Rewind video? Was this a good use of multimedia for learning? Why, or why not?

5. What would it take to support kids like Cameron at your school? What are the potential challenges?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How much do you know about information literacy?

Take our Information Literacy Quiz. Answers will be posted by Friday!
Somewhat Savvy (0-5 points)
Moderately Savvy (6-10 points)

Downright Nerdy (10+ points)

1. List four major search engines and a major directory.
2. What is a blog?
3. Why might you use quotation marks when conducting a search?
4. URL is an acronym for:
5. Identify three Boolean search terms.
6. How do you find the owner or publisher of a Web site?
7. Identify these extensions and what they represent: (.org .com .sch .k12 .edu .gov .ac .net .mil .co)
8. How do you find out who is linked to your school’s Web site?
9. What clues in a Web address might indicate you are on a personal Web site?
10. How would you conduct a search for the following: a list of Web sites of all the academic institutions in South Africa? (Hint: South Africa’s country code is .za)
11. How do you find the history of any given Web site?
12. How would you conduct a search for the following: US higher education Web sites that contain the word turtle?
13. How do sites get to the top of a result list in GOOGLE?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

National Ed-Tech Goals

The latest release of the US national ed-tech plan includes the following goals, as summarized in an 11/9 article of eSchool News:
  • Using educational technology to fundamentally change the learning process by making it more engaging and tailored to individual student needs and interests;
  • Using ed tech to develop a new generation of assessments;
  • Connecting teachers with their peers and experts so they are always up-to-date on the resources available to them;
  • Building infrastructure that lets schools support access to technology in and out of the classroom; and
  • Harnessing the power of educational technology to increase school district productivity and student achievement.
What do you think of these goals? Do they align well with BB&N's? Are there any others you would add? You can access the full plan on the Department of Education website.

Monday, November 15, 2010

ISTE Webinar: Cool Tools for School

Sometimes it seems like there are so many Web 2.0 tools available that it's hard to know which ones we should be taking advantage of in the classroom. Fear not! Adam Bellow, the president and founder of EduTecher, will lead this upcoming webinar (Wednesday, 11/17 at 9am) about a number of great Web 2.0 tools, including digital storytelling, digital video, and alternative search tools, to help you and your students create and collaborate. By the end of the hour, you'll have a number of new tools in your toolbox to make learning more engaging and enjoyable for your students.

Please let a member of the technology department know if you are interested in "attending" the webinar.

Best of TED

TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) is a conference held at various times and places around the world that hosts some of the most fascinating talks from some of the most amazing individuals from across the world. Tickets to TED are highly prized, but luckily for the world, the organizers put all of the presentations up on their website (www.ted.com) for the whole world to see.

There are literally thousands of talks on the website, so I've decided to share some of my own personal favorites with this forum. For my opening post, I've gone with one of my all-time favorites by Hans Rosling, a professor in global health. I love this for several reasons: He asks us to re-assess our understanding and use of the word "Third-world" when we think about countries around the world, he does an incredible job of demonstrating what good data analysis can do, he walks us through a wonderful online tool at www.gapminder.org, and he makes it all so much fun.

I hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MIT Museum: Friday After Thanksgiving


What is the Friday After Thanksgiving? A grand event that could only happen at MIT! Participants link their mini chain reactions together forming one mega chain reaction - set off at the end as the event's thrilling culmination. It's like watching a giant domino demonstration. 1,500 people from all over watch and participate in this fun-for-all-ages "extreme" event.

Also, every Sunday, from 10 a.m.-noon, admission to the MIT Museum is free.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

ATS Picks 11/04/10

The theme of this week's ATS picks is History/Social Studies

1) Online History Games
Playing History is a forum and rating website for over 126 online history-related games for teachers and students alike. The games are compiled and organized by topic, difficulty, general ratings, and much more. The search tool is also very helpful and easy to use when trying to find a specific game. Playing History is also user-friendly, allowing students and teachers to post reviews, scores, and comment on feedback of the website itself. Although not all of the games have consistently high ratings, Playing History is a great place to find educational games online for students to learn more about a particular subject.

2) National Archives Experience: Digital Vaults
The NARA Digital Vaults is an interactive exploration of history that examines thousands of documents, photographs, and pieces of history that have been integrated in a digital format. Upon entering the homepage, the user is given eight random archives to choose from. Clicking on one will give a description and a brief history of that archive, as well as displays a large variety of similar archives. The user has the ability to shuffle, rearrange, collect, and explore archives, as well as search for specific points in history using a keyword search. Although a lack of initial organization or index might seem overwhelming, Digital Vaults is a wonderfully imaginative resource for exploring history in a digitally compiled way.
Sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration

3) Life Magazine's Civil Rights: Women in the Struggle
Life.com presents a photo gallery of famous women in the struggle for civil rights. Each photo provides a concise description of the importance of each woman, along with links providing more information. Although the collection is not very extensive, each of the fifteen photos provides a unique insight into an important part of a movement that largely goes underrepresented. As far as a general resource, this website is a good start to further student research and understanding, albeit not very comprehensive.

4) EdtechTeacher's Best of History: Games and Animations
The Games and Animations section of EdTechTeacher's Best of History sites is a list of fun history games and animations organized around broad historical periods. Most of these games and animation are aimed at students ages 10-16.

Free online conference: Global Education

The Global Education Collaborative is hosting a huge free online conference November 15 - 19. All sessions take place using the Elluminate software platform (an online meeting space). Please visit the conference website to see a list of sessions. The drop-down menu for sessions lets you filter them by tracks (e.g. see the teacher track.) If you've never participated in an online meeting, this is a great chance to try it out. Please feel free to ask the tech department for assistance if you have any questions about how to register or how to test the software in advance.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Free ISTE Webinar: Student Point of View

The Student Point of View on Online Learning: Are We Listening?
Students have ideas and opinions about online learning, but they don't often have the opportunity to share these ideas when schools are exploring or implementing online learning programs. In this webinar, you will hear what students want and expect from online learning. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, shares national Speak Up data from K-12 students and leads a panel discussion with three students currently learning online. Join the discussion, along with George Warren, vice president of K12 Inc., to learn how to bring student voices on online learning to your school's planning process.
Tuesday, November 9 4-5pm

Click here to register

Webinar sponsored by ISTE- International Society for Technology in Education

6th Grade "If You Really Knew Me" Scratch project


Sixth grade students at BB&N just completed their first Scratch project of the year. This collaborative Language Arts and Technology project supported the students’ reading of “The View from Saturday,” which involved a mini Challenge Day where students shared a piece of themselves with their classmates. Check out the online gallery of the students' final projects, and let them speak for themselves!

-Jaime Goldstein and Megan Haddadi

Google Tools for Educators

Google Tools for Educators: The Best Features for Busy Teachers
According to Edutopia, “Among all the links and downloads out there, it can be hard for teachers to know which ones work best. Google has made it easier by creating Google for Educators, which compiles some of the search engine's most useful features in one place. Whether you're teaching Spanish or social studies, mathematics or music, there's a free Google feature that will make your lessons more dynamic and your projects more organized. The lively, informative Web site offers step-by-step visual tours and even videos to help you get set up.” This Edutopia article walks teachers through the best Google tools out there, including: Google maps, Google docs, Glogger, and Google Book search.

Google for Educators

Learn more about Google for educators

Teacher’s Guide to Google Tools for the Classroom

Google suggested classroom activities that use Google Aps