The Diary of a Technology Supporter

Technology being used in an elementary school

Twitter Silly Stuff February 24, 2009

Filed under: twitter — msmithpds @ 3:54 pm

I just received this funny Twitter email joke. I wanted to share it with others. I couldn’t twitter it because it is more than 140 characters. Enjoy the read!

Impress Your Friends With New Twitter Terms (Twerms?)! [Marker]

“Communicating in 140 characters or less? You call that a technological
breakthrough?” scoffed my Aunt Mabel. “Honey, your Uncle Ed has been doing
that at dinner for over 40 years!”

Whether you are as unimpressed with Twitter as my Aunt Mabel, or think
it’s the greatest thing since whatever the greatest thing was
yesterday…you gotta be “in the know” about this new social networking
tool. It’s so “the thing” that it’s developing a vocabulary all its
own…albeit with some notable gaps I have sought to fill here as a public
service. (This one’s for you, Aunt Mabel.)

Twitter – a social networking site where users “micro-blog” in posts of
140 characters or less

Tweet –a single post to the Twitter social networking site; sometimes also
used as the verb for posting. Example: Did you tweet today? Yes, didn’t
you see my tweet?

Twittle – a way to kill time waiting for someone’s next tweet

Twick or Tweet – prank posts to your Twitter account

Twattletale – a child who uses Twitter to inform parents of siblings’

Twutter – an incoherent or incomplete tweet

Twuttle – a series of twutters

Tweaty — a formal agreement between two people to stop arguing on Twitter

Tweety – a little yellow bird who feels cheated about not receiving any
royalties from all of this. “I tawt I taw a Twitter tat!”

Twidiosyncrasy — odd expressions unique to certain tweeters

Twit – not actually a Twitter or social networking term per se, but if you
have a Facebook account you likely will have opportunity to become
reacquainted with some you had long forgotten about

Retwaction — a tweet intended to take back a previous tweet

Retweat — a tweet intended to back off from an opinion expressed in a
previous tweet

Twaster – one who spends entirely too much time on Twitter

Twaining — the 45 minutes you will spend showing your grandmother how to
follow your tweets

Twele phone — how your grandmother will inform you she saw your last tweet

Twister – a low-tech social networking tool characterized by very short
communications–generally of far fewer than 140 characters—such as “Ow!”,
“I’m gonna fall!”, “My arm doesn’t bend in that many places!” and “I’m
getting too old for this!”

Thanks Sue for sending it!

For a glossary of “real” Twitter terms, see


Transforming Teachers February 23, 2009

Filed under: 21stCeturyLearning,blog,NING,Teaching,twitter,Wikis — msmithpds @ 3:15 pm

I have been so energized by several of the teachers that I work with who are transforming themselves into 21st Century Educators!

Using Wikis:
I have my 3 grades (4th, 5th, and 6th) all working on PBWiki. The students LOVE getting to work online and collaborate with others. This tool has really added bump in their motivation and responsibility towards their school work, not to mention improving their writing skills!

I also just gave one teacher editing rights to her webquest by moving her files from being housed in Dreamweaver, to it being housed on a wiki. I will no longer have to update the site because now she can do it without knowing webpage software!

Several teachers are also starting to blog, one teacher using her classroom blog as a means to teach. You can tell the students who are about to go in her room and learn because they are SO excited!

My school is fortunate enough to have a leader who is 100% motivated for this change or reform in education. He backs us with reading material, technology tools, professional development opportunities, and much more. This year he has gone to the NING! Our school has its private NING, where we are encouraged to hold book discussions, reply to his blog entries, further discuss revamping our report cards, etc…but are also having fun with getting to advise whether we should cancel school for snow day, or play with funny comments on what is going to happen on our school retreat, etc. He has gotten us to start in a comfortable setting to start communicating through this Web 3.0 tool! And since “we” are getting comfortable, several of us have been joining other NINGS. Some of my teachers are getting into Classroom 2.0

This tool is slowly making its way into the classroom. Several teachers jumped on board, but don’t have the understanding of the tool quite yet. One even deleted her account. 😦 But others have made global connections with other educators, creating collaborative classroom activities. Two teachers are using cutting edge programs and finding great websites to use with the students from the people they follow on Twitter. A few of us are even using Twitter as a means of advertising student projects to allow others to see and comment on the work. It has really improved the quality of the projects since the kids know that others besides the class and the teacher are going to be looking at what they did.

Watching the classroom transform with these tools makes the learning environment so exciting. The kids in the hallway have a completely different attitude when walking into a class where the teacher has transformed!


Podcasting Entry 4 February 15, 2009

Filed under: iMovie,podcasting — msmithpds @ 3:40 pm

I am simply amazed at how the students absorbed iMovie 8!  This past school week was 3.5 days.  There was really no time that I could meet with all the 4th grader experts and 4 teachers to show a new cool trick to the movie program.  I was disappointed and wondered how this grade was going to accomplish the weekly news report podcasting task.  They had taken the previous week off, since they had their ERB tests.  The classes were allowed to work with the students on writing the script.  So this past week they were to record about the testing week.  None of the classes had emailed me on when we were going to meet, and I was floored with my other techie duties to email them with reminders.  Then suddenly on Wednesday, late morning, a kid came into my office and asked if I could come down and help out with the recording.  This specific class had only made one video before and I thought that “helping” was going to be very time consuming.  When I got to the room the experts had the computer open but not much more.  I showed them how to find the program, reviewed how to capture the footage, and then stepped back and allowed the experts to teach to this week’s reporters on what to do.  They recorded twice.  Then the experts showed how to edit the footage, make the new project, taught the newbies about how to make and tweek the title card, and how to add the two transitions. It was pretty simple.  The experts had really caught on with only one time of me teaching them!  The little sponges!  🙂 Since they had impressed me with how well they had learned everything I was inspired to figure out with them sitting there how to add a little intro and wrap it up music.  We dove into the iLife music packages and found what we liked.  Together we figured out how to drop the music in the area we liked, and trimmed the music some.  They loved it!  After 45 minutes I walked out of their room with the finished project for me to upload to the PDS Podcast page.  

Now for the really impressive part!  Later that day and on the half day Thursday, I had the 3 other classes come ask for my help.  I couldn’t help.  I was swamped.  I was sorry, but then said to go ask the expert boys I had helped earlier.  The experts were on Cloud 9!  By Thursday mid morning I had the 2 laptops with finished projects on my desk to upload.  This new teacher being the facilitator, students being the teacher worked!  Without my being there and available, the students utilized eachother’s knowledge and blossomed!  I am so proud of the work they produced.  I am amazed at how easy this task was accomplished.  I am pleased with the ownership and “impressed and proud” of themselves feeling these 8 to 9 year old students expressed. 
Here is the link to the PDS Podcast page.  The latest podcasts are 4C, 4D (Quicktime link not working but will be fixed on Tuesday) and 4A TV – February 11.  4B finished also, but I did not have a chance to send that file up to the podcast page yet.  4D class was the first class, and the class that became the experts for the other 4th grade classes.  
(Side note:  One of the experts from the 4D class brought his personal laptop to school on Thursday.  He recently had a birthday party and wanted help on making his video.  He and I played around, showing him how to search on the Internet for free music downloads, download it to his laptop, insert that sound wave on to his movie, and tweak the volume levels of both the music and audio on the live footage.  I can’t wait to see what he did over the weekend with this!)