Life Long Learning in Action

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Planbook for Windows

Planbook for Windows!

Well not quite yet...

It is in the Beta testing phase right now, and Jeff has been working hard to respond to the suggestions that we have been sending him. This software package will allow teachers to create their lesson plans digitally, without having to hassle with a spreadsheet program. The publishing options, calendar functions, and the ease of input has impressed me. I keep reminding myself that the software is still in testing phases, all created and maintained by one person! I still will be using Excel for writing my lesson plans until more functionality is added in the upcoming beta releases. Just this weekend, Jeff updated to Beta 2 and fixed one of the bugs I was having with my weird schedule. He also added a "To Do" list and search functions. He has been absolutely wonderful with all of the testers. I am excited for when the product is finished. I plan on purchasing a copy to help support it.

Where's Waldo

I committed the cardinal sin of blogging, lack of posting! Many apologies. The school year started on the 5th for me and I have been going full steam since! Also I bought a house on the 7th. My free time has been limited. When I am not working on the house, planning for my class, or working on my graduate school work, I am with my wife and son... at Lowe's. They should include in the disclosure information how many trips you will need to take to a home improvement store before you can move in. The first weekend I think we had 7 total visits. Obviously you can tell we are first time home buyers!

Two quick pics of the house project...

Floor Before, tearing out the carpet (It smelled like a 20 year old Cat)

Floor After (Refinished! No more animal mess stains.)

What woke me up, out of my blogging slumber, was a mention on one of my favorite podcasts, The Ohio Treasure Chest Podcast. There I was, sitting in the teacher lounge today grading papers and waiting for Open House night to start, listening to my fancy new mp3 player. I was listening to the latest OTCP show when Eric began to share his favorite blogs. He mentioned el/ed/tech! I could not believe it. Thank you Eric, it is an honor!

The Ohio Treasure Chest
is an excellent resource for educators of every level. I have shared it with many of my fellow staff members and frequently use the site to find resources to support my instruction. The podcast is professional, informational, and I always leave with a new resource following Eric's review.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Bookmarks Meme

Alice Mercer just tagged me for the bookmarks meme. I shall share with you the last 6 entries on my bookmarking list (you can see these on my sidebar, unless you follow via an RSS reader). All of these come directly from my account.

Here they are!

ForgeFX- Eclipses and Moon Phases - A 3D simulation that allows the student to control and interact with solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, and the different phases of the moon. This pairs nicely with my other favorite space simulation.

The Atrocious Apostrophe's Flickr Collection
- A hearty collection of images portraying poor grammar.

The "Quotation Mark" Abuse Flickr Collection - Related to the group mentioned above.

Grammar Bytes! - Comma splices and fused sentences!

Math Cats: Naming Large Numbers - How do you say/write 1,243,640,975,123,890,211? Just input any number and see how to write it. This site will go together perfectly with the Mega Penny Project.

Google Maps Transparencies- A nifty little mash-up of Map View and Satellite View. A site that I feel is much better than this one, which I demonstrate a lot to fellow teachers, would be Flash Earth.

Now I shall pass it on to these lucky contestants...

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(To be determined very soon, I am a meme newbie so please forgive me.)

*Images Courtesy of Flickr and Spell with Flickr.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Google Earth Flight Simulator

A pretty cool feature has been found in the new version of Google Earth. With the recent announcement of the addition of Google Sky, a new flight simulator has been discovered when you press Ctrl+Alt+ A. I had the older version of Google Earth, minus Google Sky, and all I needed to do was download the updated Google Sky version from the Google Earth website.

I am glad that I did not become a pilot because I certainly can not control the simulator. I do however enjoy the ability to fly over local terrain as well as choosing which runway to start off at.

Here is a link for the controls needed to fly.

As far as the implementation, exploration, and integration of Google Earth as a curricular resource and learning tool, Dean Shareski has created a wonderful collection of links and resources over at his wiki. He also presents a session called "Exploring Google Earth...moving beyond the Wow Factor." Bob Sprankle, with permission from Dean, recorded this presentation at the Building Learning Communities conference and in late July released the session via his Bit by Bit podcast. Here is the link to the MP3 file...

Thank you to Dean for compiling the Google Earth resources, and thank you to Bob for your podcast!