Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

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One It has been a bit but my cousin Nigel Pickard published his first novel titled One. This is not a shameless plug, and I have not been asked to publicize his book at all!

“One is the story of Sol and Kate Roberts, and their struggle to come to terms with their son’s autism. A love story, a coming-of-age novel and an exploration of the austic condition, this is a moving, thought-provoking and sometimes very funny debut novel.” I invite you to get a copy as it is excellent reading.

Candle Our power was off for several hours this evening and it was a pleasant experience. We had children sitting at the dining room table doing homework by candle light, I told stories about the olden days when I was a cowboy, and we were together because it was dark. There were no computers on nor television; yes, iPods were charged and available but no one thought to use them. The technology we used was mostly paper, pencils, and books. These forms of technology have served their purpose well for many years, and I have a feeling they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon because, you know, the power could go out at any moment.

Will Richardson Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts,… Today I finished Will Richardson’s book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. I have always appreciated Will’s viewpoints on his blog, and I like the straightforward, easy to understand approach he presents in his book. Having used many of these tools in my classroom for over a year now, I was familiar with much of what Will shares, but I had many “I should have tried that moments!!!” Now, I am in a new position (district level educational technology specialist) with a new audience (educators) and the book proved valuable in giving me ideas and ways that I can share these tools with teachers.

Teachers themselves will benefit from reading this book (Get it ASAP!), and I believe it would serve as an excellent textbook for in-service training and for use in teacher preparation programs. Even a seasoned Web 2.0 teacher (Can there be such a thing in such a short period of time!?! 🙂 will pick up new ideas or ways of using these tools that they hadn’t thought of before! As with any text that concerns the web the reader will encounter shared links that have since moved on in such a short time since the book was published; nevertheless, I could easily search the name of a particular person or topic mentioned and find the new location of the information on the web. (Maybe Will could add a page to his blog with updates or create a wiki page where readers could help update links.)

The book, to me, is written for the now, and it is intended to jump start educators and students into using the many Web 2.0 tools that exist today. I know Will has much more to say concerning these tools and the future of integrating technology to facilitate collaboration, critical thinking, and self-directed learning, and I feel his blog serves as a continuation and expansion of the text. One of Will’s main points in his book is to recognize the “teachers” that are and information that is out there, on the web, ready to fill your RSS feed reader! His text is really a staging area for the journey that he invites the reader to take in using these powerful web tools in the classroom, and I think it is a good place to start and to take ownership of your own learning.

Read Write Think is a repository of language arts/humanities resources sponsored in part by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.

“ReadWriteThink, established in April of 2002, is a partnership between the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Verizon Foundation.

NCTE and IRA are working together to provide educators and students with access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction through free, Internet-based content.”

Some particular resources that I found engaging include:

100 Best Books for Kids

Clickable Poems

Guys Read

National Writing Project

The National Archives on Google Video