Friday, March 30, 2007

New Features and Settings on Flickr!

I presented a session titled "My Friend Flickr" at both the January NICE mini-conference and as a breakout session at IL-TCE. I've recorded both sessions, but have only posted the NICE audio file so far. Please visit my "handout" page which will walk you through using Flickr in education.

Great news for educators...
On March 22, 2007, Flickr rolled out content filtering, allowing Flickr users to flag their images as they upload them, and to also set "viewing" and "searching" preferences. I'm happy to report that my account has been reviewed as "Safe" by the Flickr staff -- which according to Flickr, means I am "good at moderating my own content."

"Safe" is one of three filters that can be applied to pictures. The other two filters are "Moderate" (some photos may be considered offensive by some people) and "Restricted" (for photos that are "unsuitable for children, your grandmother or your workmakes").

Flickr now provides a way to only search for "Safe" photos too! You can choose a "safety level" that applies to any site-wide searches you perform while you are logged in, and which can be adjusted on a per search basis using the the advanced search page at: -- note however, the content filter selections only appear when users are logged in.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Best Experience You'll Have All Summer!!

I know it's only Spring break, but now is the time to begin planning your summer and investigating your options for professional development. The Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) will again be offering summer seminar/workshops at various locations (a few will be held at Stevenson).

Also of note...

I am very excited to share that the Western Illinois University College of Education is taking their popular summer workshop on the road! "Summer Experience--North" is coming to Stevenson High School on Thursday and Friday, August 2 and 3!

Summer Experience is two fun-filled, theme-oriented days of hands-on technology integration sessions geared toward K-12 teachers, and sponsored by Western Illinois University's Office of Partnerships, Professional Development and Technology, in the College of Education and Human Services. Attendees receive quality professional development on a variety of current and emerging technologies that can enhance student learning.

For those of you wishing to travel to the campus of Western Illinois University, their dates for Summer Experience are, Wednesday and Thursday, July 25 and 26, 2007. See: for details. Registration will open soon.

Finally, Apple Distinguished Educator, Lucy Gray has posted a comprehensive list of summer opportunities.

So much to learn... so little time!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

More on Wikis...

In my previous post I invited readers to visit a wiki that was created for connecting the learning of those who attended IL-TCE. If you haven't yet considered using a wiki for your classroom... think again.

Why wikis? A wiki used in a classroom setting could provide an archive of lessons, and a long-term forum, as an archivable and searchable conversation among all members of the classroom — teacher and students. Students may expand on topics as they see fit, and teachers may guide the discussion where needed. It is a “many to many” technology, where knowledge is created for the benefit of all.

Check out Stuart Mader’s list of wikis in education at and Mark Wagner’s online tutorial/presentation on wikis in education presented at the fall "K12 Online Conference" at:

Thanks to two great companies, wikis are FREE and EASY for educators!, where creating a wiki "is a easy as making a peanut butter sandwich" (actually making the sandwich takes longer). If you set up your page in the education” category, it will be ad-free.

If you would like to help spread the word, pbwiki provides "Presenter Packs" which includes a free t-shirt, PowerPoint files and giveaways. See details at:

Just before IL-TCE, I had a great conversation with Ramit Sethi, PBWiki co-founder, about some of the new features and enhancements just released for PBWiki. Listen to this 9-minute phone interview!, will provide an annual “ad free” subscription to educators at no cost (regular $60 per year) Sign up at: Adam Frey, co-founder of, presented several Spotlight sessions at IL-TCE.

I hope you will explore using wikis for your classroom. Remember, you are in control of who can add, edit or view the content. Wikis can be made public or private for your classroom. If you'd like to learn more, or have some guidance in setting up your classroom wiki, I hope to be presenting a summer workshop through ICE. Stay tuned...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Following up on IL-TCE...

A mere two weeks ago I was presenting and attending the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators (IL-TCE). For those who were unable to attend, there are many resources available online. Both the Thursday and Friday keynote speeches were live-streamed and are now archived for your viewing pleasure. New York Times Technology columnist, and an all-around sincerely funny fellow, David Pogue, provided a great kick-off! Also available online are many of the presenters' handouts!

Kudos to Stevenson teachers Laura Brown, Andy Conneen and Dan Larsen for sharing their classroom success stories! Since our district was able to loan some of our laptops for the conference workshops, we earned a set of conference passes. We are sharing our discoveries and experiences from the conference using a wiki. Drop by and see what we have learned!