Face-to-face or Virtual?

NETS-T standard 1, part d:  “model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments.”

Have you considered online instruction for your students?  How does online instruction differ from face-to-face?  How important is it that students learn to use an online learning environment?  Could your classroom benefit from “blended” instruction that includes traditional instruction and online learning?

Check out Moodle Cherokee to see how it is being used for professional development and for classroom instruction.   Contact [email protected] to get more info on Moodle Cherokee.


Collaborative Tools

Posted on February 22, 2010 in technology standards by rclark  Tagged , , ,

NETS-T standard 1, part c:  “ promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes.”

Have you ever used any of the following online collaborative tools?

  • Blog
  • Wiki
  • Google Docs
  • Social networking (Ning, Facebook)
  • Podcasting
  • Slideshare
  • TeacherTube
  • Flickr
  • Or any other online collaborative/sharing site

Describe how you could use something like this for a student collaborative project.  Research project ideas and share your findings.  If you haven’t used a tool like this with your students, consider making a plan to get something started soon.

Real-World Issues and Solving Authentic Problems

Posted on February 16, 2010 in technology standards by rclark  Tagged , ,

NETS-T standard 1, part b – “engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources”. 

What classroom projects can be used to help students explore real-world issues?  What digital tools and resources can you include that will help students learn to solve authentic problems?

Give examples of projects you have used in the past or a project you plan to include in your classroom this year.

Technology Assessment

The recent pilot for the teacher technology assessment really was an eye-opener!  Not only did we learn something about ourselves but we learned that we have a long way to go. 

Since this assessment is based on the new NETS-T from ISTE, we may need to examine these standards carefully and I know we can learn better now to change our thinking about technology integration.

I recently began an online class with 21st Century Learning and one of the main focuses of the study is concerning digital immigrants and digital natives.  (http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/)  Teachers are immigrants, speak with an accent, and have a hard time dealing with digital natives.  We are different!  We must change the way we think, the way we teach, the way we learn.  We must be ready and willing to change. 

Let’s take one NETS-T standard at a time and discuss ways to think differently and make our classrooms more digitally instructional so our students (digital natives) will be more engaged and learn the skills they need to be successful in a digital world.

Standard 1:  (we scored an average of 64.58% on this standard on the assessment)  Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

“Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments.”

In Part a, we need to ”promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness”.  How can we accomplish this? 

I think the first thing is to accept change.  Then, we can be more flexible, more open to possibilities, and always strive for improvement.  Innovative thinking may take some practice and some time to master but it will certainly change the way we view classroom instruction and technology integration.  In what ways do you allow creative and innovative thinking in your classroom?  What digital tools do you use for encouraging creative and innovative thinking?

 Post your comments, thoughts, suggestions, or questions on standard 1, part a.  Then, come back to get ideas from others as they are discussed.

Embracing Podcasting in the Classroom

Posted on March 10, 2009 in technology integration,technology training,Web 2.0 by rclark  Tagged , ,

What is podcasting and how can it be used in a classroom?  That’s a good question.   A podcast is simply a digital recording – an MP3 file.  It can be listened to on a computer, an iPod, an MP3 player, or a CD.  The name “podcast” actually started with the iPod but has been expanded to reach out into many more areas and ways of delivery.  You can learn more about the beginnings of podcasting at http://www.poducateme.com/guide/. 


Using podcasting in education brings a whole new light to this new technology.  The best thing about it is that it is so easy to do and very cheap!  The only equipment you need is a computer and a microphone, which can cost less than $10.  The software you can use to record your podcast is FREE – Audacity is a simple to use audio recorder/editor. (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) (NOTE:  Read about LAME – the encoder you’ll need with Audacity to export as an MP3 file.  It is downloaded from another location because it is not distributed by Audacity.)  Contact your school/district tech department to get assistance with these downloads.  If you are a MAC user, you would use GarageBand to do the same thing.


How can I use podcasting in my classroom?  Instead of a printed school or class newsletter, try letting the students record their newscasts and post on the school website.  Record lessons for absent students or for students to review for major tests.  Learning a foreign language could be assisted by listening to podcasts to hear the teacher repeat the lessons.  Students can record oral presentations, reports, assignments, or speeches – listening to their recording might help them improve their speaking skills.  Students can conduct interviews with community leaders or other faculty members.  Podcasting can be another way to do digital storytelling. 


Here are some online resources with ideas for using podcasts with students:










Posted on March 9, 2009 in technology integration,technology training,Web 2.0 by rclark

To me the term collaboration is just a fancy way of saying teamwork. However, it can certainly mean much more than the type of teamwork most would expect. There is certainly enough evidence from traditional classroom environments, nontraditional face-to-face environments, and online learning environments to indicate that collaboration can enhance learning.


The new technology standards from are all about communication and collaboration. Policy changes, re-thinking Internet filtering, and privacy/safety issues seem to be the biggest hurdles to jump. My experience has led me to many blocked websites on our school network. We now have a “staff-override” feature on our Internet filter. It still won’t allow some of the new online tools but whoever said that change was easy? Here are some links to some of the ones I have looked into:

















One thing that I like about the idea of an online collaborative project – it can give students the opportunity to collaborate with someone from another location – state, country, etc.

There are so many online tools available it is hard to choose. I’m becoming familiar with Google Docs and I think I’ll just stay right there – I’ve always been a big Google fan. So, if Google Docs does what I need, why go anywhere else? I’ve seen some other collaborative sites out there that are great, too. I just can’t manage them all – I only need my Google.


Check out these resources to help with collaborative projects.

















Hope these resources give you lots of help in getting started with collaborative projects.

Cyber-Citizenship – How to survive in a digital world

Posted on January 12, 2009 in technology integration,technology training by rclark

How do you survive in a digital world?There are many concerns with the rapid changes and growth of computer technology.  Computer ethics can be easily ignored.  Being a good cyber-citizen is really no different than being a good citizen of the country you live it.  Having good morals and ethics will always keep you from making bad choices online as well as all other areas of your life.  However, the very nature of the online environment lends itself to being more anonymous and therefore more prone to making bad choices. 

Think about these areas of concern when you are planning and using the Internet and other computer resources:
Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship

1. Digital Eiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure
2. Digital Communication: electronic exchange of information
3. Digital Literacy: process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology
4. Digital Access: full electronic participation in society
5. Digital Commerce: electronic buying and selling of goods
6. Digital Law: electronic responsibility for actions and deeds
7. Digital Rights & Responsibilities:   those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world
8. Digital Health & Wellness:  physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world
9. Digital Security (self-protection): electronic precautions to guarantee safety


Teaching students about computer ethics is a very important part of learning how to survive in an online world. The health, well-being, and safety of students is something that cannot be ignored.<

Some of my favorite websites with information for learning and teaching about cyber-citizenship:

Curriculum –


Article –


Internet Safety – http://www.cybercitizenship.org/ethics/ethics.org/ethics/ethics.html

Privacy – None of Your Business – http://www.tekmom.com/tencommand/index.html

Digital Access – http://www.convergemag.com/story.php?catid=231&storyid=105998

E-Commerce – http://communication.howstuffworks.com/ecommerce.htm

Creative Commons – http://creativecommons.org/

Computer Etiquette – http://www.kidsdomain.com/brain/computer/surfing/netiquette_kids.html

Netiquette – http://internet.suite101.com/article.cfm/netiquette_guidelines


Email Etiquette – http://www.worldstart.com/tips/tips.php/424

Digital Rights and Responsibilities – http://www.educ.ksu.edu/digitalcitizenship/Rights.htm

CyberSmart – http://www.cybersmartcurriculum.org/

iSafe – http://www.isafe.org/


Safe Passage – Internet 101 – http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/teachers/wa_teachers/safe_passage_teachers/index.cfm

Internet Safety Webquest – http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/MinorES/techsafety.htm

Educational Games – http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/games/index.cfm

Atomic Learning – Flat Classroom – http://movies.atomiclearning.com/k12/7sfc_wb2

Global Web Projects (elementary)



When participating in an online environment, the bottom line is to keep the same ethics and morals you would in any aspect of your life.

What do you think?

Blog Assignment

Posted on November 4, 2008 in technology integration,technology training by rclark

This post is in response to an assignment in eLearning Alabama.  I think educators can use blogs in many ways no matter what age student or what subject they teach.  Being in the district tech office, we always consider the techie stuff that deal with which blog sites to allow through the Internet filter, safety of students, and teacher management of class blog sites.  It helps to be in a class that teaches all about blogging because there are some issues like this that must be considered if a teacher wants to use this type of technology in their class.

What is your best tip for using blogs in the classroom? 

Digital Video Editing

Posted on July 16, 2007 in digital video,technology integration,technology training by rclark

Reporting on a recent three-day video editing workshop for 12 teachers in Cherokee County – it was a HUGE success!  Teachers learned a lot about the process, the equipment, and the software used in creating a movie.  Projects are planned for their classroom this next school year.

Please print and read the attached follow-up document (Workshop Follow-up).  Post any comments, tips, tricks, or suggestions on video editing in this blog.  You can check back to read comments by others or you can subscribe to an RSS feed that will notify you by email when posts are made to this blog. 

Remember, we are still breaking ground with this technology in our schools.  Let’s help each other learn all the neat things about digital video.


Posted on July 16, 2007 in Uncategorized by rclark

“This is a classroom web log managed by an employee of the Cherokee County Board of Education.  As such, it should be treated as any other classroom space.  All posting and comments to this web log will be moderated before publication.  The postings on this space represent the personal views and opinions of the individuals who post and do not necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of the Cherokee County Board of Education.”

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