Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Richard Byrne Shares

Free Technology for Teachers is a personal project of Richard Byrne.
- Create Voice Recordings Without Software

Vocaroo is a free service that allows users to create audio recordings without the need to install any software. All you need to provide is a microphone. . What I like about Vocaroo besides the ability to record without installing software is the option to embed the recording anywhere. After completing you recording, Vocaroo gives you the choice to publish it or to scrap it and try again.

Can't wait to give this a try. I love FREE.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I used to think conversion meant religion

converttube is instant. Zamzar you have to wait for the email.

This is a download for .ppt that lets you imbed the video in .ppt

you can use

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Footnote to History

The 44th American President, Barack Obama, is an African-American. This is the first time this has happened in the history of the United States. A history that included slavery. He received over 62 million votes, and all the votes still haven't been counted. It is the largest amount of votes ever cast for a president. This Democrat candidate is young, full of hope, and ambitious. This was also the costliest presidential election ever...spending millions of dollars.

There is hope in the world that he will be able to do what he promised, make changes in the country. Change is hard, and not up to just one person, which I believe some people don't realize. No matter what a presidential candidate promises, s/he alone is not able to deliver that promise without the backing of Congress.

Many people are afraid; afraid of assassination, afraid of what it means it means for an African-American to be president; afraid of change. No one is voicing those thoughts out loud, not on tv, not on plurk; it's like they are afraid to say something like that out loud.

So, today is the first day in a long time I don't have some 'drama' to look forward to. The Olympics, the debates, the Phillies, the presidential election...they are all over now in time for the holidays to start.

The quote "May you live in interesting times" is very true. These will be interesting times.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History Has Been Made

CNN projects that Sen. Barack Obama has won election as the next president of the United States.

It's 11:06 and ABC and the rest of the news stations have just "called" the election for Barack Obama, the first African-American to ever be elected president of the United States. It is Tuesday night and it is the big story around the country, around the world. Obama will be addressing the crowd in Chicago, his home state tonight. Everyone is calling this a historic event, saying that men and women are crying saying they would never have thought that an African-American could ever be president of the United States.

"America will never view it self the same way again, and the world will never view America the same way again."

Many of the African-American reporters can hardly is so emotional for them.

John McCain is an honorable man. He served his country both politically and militarily. How proud his family must be of him to have done so much for the country. He is so inspiring to people of all races, of all ages. His concession speech was very well done.

So now it will be interesting to see what happens next. There are many questions, many hopes, many fears associated with this election. The next chapter is to soon to be written and read by the world.

Personal Essay Workshop

Today we had a professional development day about writing a personal essay. Below is what I wrote. I did this from the view point of a third grader so if the writing sounds a bit "different", that may be the reason. It is still lacking a conclusion.

Grandparents are people who you are supposed to be close to you so they should live close to you.

My grandparents used to live close to me. They don’t anymore. In fact, they live in Florida, which is a long way away from New Jersey. My grandparents are really fun people. I love it when my mom drives us to their apartment on the Shrewsbury River. I go skipping down the sidewalk, saying hi to all the people I have met there, bang on the front door, and just burst into their apartment. Running up the stairs, I am always greeted by a huge hug from my grandfather, who was probably reading the Wall Street Journal and another by my grandmother, who was always reading a book. After visiting for a bit, my grandfather and I would walk, hand in hand, down to the dock where the Strebla, his cabin cruiser, was docked and let me help him clean it. I love working on the boat with my grandfather. It’s the time we spend together without my little brother, my mom, or anyone else. It was my time and I love it. Living close to the people we love is important.

Every year we hear about the price of gas going up. This affects all kind of travel as well, planes, trains, automobiles. Just staying in hotels can cost families a lot of money for a room and food. Traveling long distances can be hard on families who don’t have much money. They wouldn’t be able to see their grandchildren more than once or twice a year. My mom’s friend, Sue, doesn’t get to see her grandchildren in Texas more than twice a year. Once, during the holidays, she and her husband travel from California to Texas to visit with her three grandchildren. Then, during the summer that family travels from Texas to California. It costs too much for either family to make this trip more than once a year. Distance is difficult when you love someone.

The hug was warmer and tighter than any other I ever remember from my grandmother. She held me close to her, her thin arms around my shoulders. I could smell the cigarettes she smokes, although we had told her so many times she shouldn’t. It was our last day in Florida. Only this morning, we had been happily swimming in the blue water, but now the car was packed, the cooler in the back of the car filled with food for our drive back to New Jersey and I was in my grandmother’s embrace. My dad, who was usually laughing and talking a mile a minute, was quiet as he made sure my brother was buckled in safely. I turned my face to see my mom coming from inside the house, her eyes red. I knew I was sad, but I was also angry at the thought of my mom being this sad. My grandmother SHOULD live closer. I loved being in Florida but this feeling, this sadness, couldn’t be good. It was in such direct opposition with how I felt when we had first arrived. I knew if my grandparents lived closer to us, my mom would be happier and our hearts won’t hurt this much.

Sometimes living apart from the people you loved just can’t be helped. Some people move because they have to take a job in another part of the country. Some people have to move to places because of their health. Others move because all their lives they have wanted to live in a different type of climate. Sometimes these things can’t be helped. People say that with the Internet and phones, that people, even though they are far away from others, seem to be closer. Still, there is nothing like a hug, a smile you can see, or a kiss, from a person who is right next to you.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November 2

In my effort to become a better blogger, following Steve Dembo's suggestions, I'm off to look for a statistics counter. To me it doesn't really matter if someone else is reading this's for me, but if people do, it's nice to know where they are from. I'm not sure this type of blog allows those types of things, but it makes me more aware.

On our wiki we have one and it is fun to see our visitors from all over the world.
SO, off to search for a counter.

Well, it wasn't that hard. This blog has gadgets on it that you just click, add, and save. Easy. So, now I've made my blog even better. For me and for others.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 1

Hard to believe it's a new month already. October flew by and November promises to do the same. Here is just a few things that are ahead:
a two day teaching week this week
one inservice day this week
trip to Atlantic City for more inservice on Thursday
National Education Week
report cards to be done
end of my time with my student teacher

and then it's December

Like everyone else, time flies around this time of year, especially teachers.

We have a new idea for Grandparents' Day. We are trying to find grandparents who can not make it to the school that day and have them set up a Skype account and see if they have a web cam. Then, on that day, we will "broadcast" to them. I have no idea how I plan on doing this, but with the help of my PLN, Plurk, I'm hoping to figure it out.

I also feel we can use the web cam for students who may be absent. They can "tune in" to the classroom to find out what they are missing. I remember when I was younger and read books about Australia, that this is the way kids in the outback would learn...but over radio.

So, lots of things to do this November, especially keeping up with a blog, a challenge I am taking on along with others, to make our blogs better. Today I added my picture and blogged. That's a step in the right direction.