Show #22: Gaming in the Elementary Classroom

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Come have a listen as we discuss Gaming in education with our guest, Tom Turner, we talked about why and how you can use online and computer games in education. The discussion points were:

  1. Defining different types of computer games
  2. Educational opportunities and learning objectives in these games
  3. Barriers to using them in the classroom
  4. Games that will likely never be in a classroom (first-person shooter games, e.g. Halo, GTA)

Our next show will be on September 8th, 2008 at our usual time 4pm Pacific / 7pm Eastern at Edtechtalk

Download audio here.

Show #21: Pre-Service Teachers and Technology

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This show featured Clif Mims, a professor at Memphis State University, and Bethany Smith, an Instructional Technologist at North Carolina State University. Both of them work with pre-service teachers to help them learn about how to effectively use technology in the classroom.

We started off with our backgrounds, and what we were required to do vis-a-vis technology in our pre-service. Then we looked at these essential questions:

  • Are pre-service teachers being well prepared for entering k12 classrooms today.?
  • Are pre-service teachers bored in college lectures? Does this affect entry into the field?
  • What are your recommendations for best preparing pre-service teachers?

Bethany felt that teachers needed to have a PLN through Ning, or another service, to go to. Clif thought they needed to see examples of teacher who are using technology successfully. Alice felt that with the advent of more scripted/prescribed curriculum, teachers needed to see what project-based learning looked like. It was a great discussion, and the text chat log below includes comments from teachers who are taking a class on education technology.

Link to Audio at

Show #19: Reflecting on a year of technology in our classrooms

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It was a great show with just the shows hosts Lisa Durff, Maria Knee, Alice Mercer, and Jose Rodriguez sharing what they’ve been doing this year in their classrooms, and the obstacles they faced. Points of interest:

  • Technology is not a something separate, but an integral part of our teaching
  • We use it to help kids make connections to the rest of the world
  • Some issues were how to get kids used to writing, and not just playing on computers, how to plan and allocate time on the computers, and how much choice to give kids.
  • How annoying, and brain-dead e-rate filtering programs are to deal with.

Download audio at

It’s Elementary Show #18 Videoconferencing with guest James Sigler

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We had a great discussion with James Sigler

1. James Sigler shared his background and how he started video-conferencing, including some pertinent points

  • It involved serendipity and a willingness to try something new, rather than a technology plan…

2. Why do it?

  • Our guest and host shared about the learning connections they’ve made, and students make using this
  • We discussed the standards, like NETS Communication and Collaboration and looking on how our students are communicating with authentic audiences.

4. The It’s Elementary team share their experiences

5. And shared barriers to effective implementation or sustainability, blocking and coordinating schedule/time zones came up as the big issues.

We then threw it open and had the audience join in.

Download Podcast at   Here is the text chat from the show.

EarthCast08 1:00 GMT – 2:00 GMT It’s Elementary #17, Earth Groceries Project

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Mark Ahlness joined us to talk about his Earth Groceries Bag Project.  Students decorate paper grocery bags to be used in grocery stores with messages about the Earth.  To remind shoppers to take care of our environment and Earth.  This project is now celebrating it’s 15th year with hundreds and thousands of participating students all over the world. Mark talked about the history and development of the project and plans for future years.You’ll find tons of resources to get you started at the project website at

Download Audio and View Chat at Edtechtalk

Show 16: What is Ed Tech Talk?

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It was a great show (chat room was rocking) as we shared what made Ed Tech Talk important to us, and where It’s Elementary fits into the Edtechtalk Community.

Here was what we covered:

  • Questions to ask:
    • What is Ed Tech Talk? What can it do for you?
    • Why It’s Elementary? How does it help you?
  • Reasons to use this place…
  • Challenges — Is if really for me?
  • Examples – ETT show favorites from the It’s Elementary Team

Download Podcast at It’s Elementary #16, What is EdtechTalk?
Text Chat from 4/7/2008 Show

Preview of Show #16, at a special day April 7th

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Just what the heck is Ed Tech Talk, and what can it do for you? We will explore this topic and how It’s Elementary fits in, and into your Personal Learning Network. If you’re new to education technology, Ed Tech Talk, It’s Elementary, or you’ve been here a while and want to contribute to our community of knowledge, come on down!

We will be on Monday April 7th at 7:00 EDT (or 23 hour GMT) , where we’ll discuss education and other conferences, live ones, online ones, asynchronous ones, and what makes a conference 2.0. The show will stream on Ed Tech Talk.

It’s Elementary Show #15 – Video in the Classroom with Mathew Needleman

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We welcomed Mathew Needleman who discussed Video in the Classroom. Maria was unable to join us due to her mother’s birthday (happy birthday to you!), and the Skype demons kept Jose from being able to be understood by the rest of us, so he was present but silent during the Webcast.Alice discussed attending Mathew’s presentation at CUE last week. Her blog post is here it includes links to his presentation. We touched on…

  • Why to use video in the classroom
  • How to structure projects for success
  • Resources to help you with projects
  • Problems we had, and how to deal with them


Mathew’s video work:
Digital Storytelling by Room36 Jose:

Royalty Free Images for projects

Content Links/Tutorials, Marco Torres’s site for monthly digital storytelling carnival for AFI’s training films
Microsoft MovieMaker
Microsoft PhotoStory

Download at

It’s Elementary Show #14 – Conferences 2.0, Style!

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Have a listen as we discuss Conferences and what makes them 2.0. What makes a face-to-face conference 2.0? Is it the conversations, how they are organized (what are the topics, and how decided), lecture vs. hands on.

Listen as we give our experiences with recent conferences and our expectations as teachers using Web 2.0 tools. We gave examples and how the bar is moving up with Web 2.0 tools like wikis, Skype, twitter and Ustream and the like. We also spoke about the unconference format as seen at educon at NECC and recently at SLA.

What can the presenter do to make it more 2.0?
Have a wiki for the presentation. Tags set up. Allow for and encourage backchannel conversation. Reach out to virtual attendees and others out on the web live with tools like Skype and Ustream.

What can the participants do to make it 2.0?
Adding notes to wiki presenter page. Live Blogging.
Blog and use session tag. Record and post as podcasts like David Warlick, Bob Sprankle and Wes Fryer.
Download audio at

Join us the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month. 4pm pacific, 7pm eastern at Our next show will be on Monday March 10th, 2008. We will be discussing Video in the Classroom with our guest Mathew Needleman.

Preview of Show #14

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Our next show will be about Conferences: Web 2.0 Style! on Monday, February 25, 2008  at 7:00 EST (or 0 hour GMT) , where we’ll discuss education and other conferences, live ones, online ones, asynchronous ones, and what makes a conference 2.0. The show will stream on Ed Tech Talk Channel A . New teachers to Webcasting can get help here, help for newbies.

Here are some links for our show:

Educon 2.0
Classroom 2.0 Live
Bulding Learning Communities

Our planning wiki for the show is here.

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