Category Archives: TCEA08

TCEA 2008 Let’s Go on a Writing Safari! Paula Alsup and Missi Downs

I didn’t get to attend this presentation – it was one of those time-slots when I needed a few clones to attend several sessions at the same time. Through the magic of technology I can still hear and “see” the presentation! After “attending” online I am very excited about the real event!

If you will go to Mrs. Alsup’s web presence there is a link on the sidebar to 2008 TCEA Presentation which will let you download the entire PowerPoint. You can view the PowerPoint and listen to the presentation at the same time -there is also a Podcast online – just click this link and put on your headphones – the Podcast lasts about 40 minutes. Writing Safari Podcast

Developing an Exemplary Writing Program with Digital Storytelling 8740

Presenter Shaunna Buck

The best parts of this session for me were the student presentation examples. It was truly exciting to see the quality.

7th grade writing program meant to grow beyond writing well enough to pass
Develop writing portfolio
Folders for
Rough drafts
Final drafts
Reflective place – higher order thinking

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” John Jakes

Collections and reflections
Organizational pattern akin to true writer’s notebook
Student’s papers that received a “4” were blown up poster size, a picture sometimes added, laminated and put up on the hall wall
Student’s goal became creating a “wall worthy” paper
Slowed the traffic pattern in the hall but it was kind of hard to get on to a student who was slow moving when the reason was that they were reading.
Reaction “ so and so’s up there?? How did they get a paper up there??”
Students no longer convinced that their first draft is their best work”
Motivation through competition

Students recorded reading their papers using audacity then uploaded as podcast

Incorporated Photostory 3 video to create digital stories enhanced the program
“Photostory like PowerPoint on speed”
Easy to learn and use
Students were motivated to rewrite

“Revision no longer a dirty word”
“Public recognition key”

Public presentation skills – students who were not comfortable getting up in front of class presenting had success in a room alone recording.

Save ppt slides as jpeg and import into Photostory, add music and audio – insert
Reading students used their class novel
Project – two word sentences – subject,verb – subject verb
Great for inclusion kids

Student went to district – made people cry
Photostory presentation about mom being killed in a car wreck – not true just a story but made me cry anyway
“if you make people cry you almost always get a 4!”

Think about their writing visually

Project – study origin of their name – not just definition but what it means to them, who they are.
Beyond thinking literally

Digital camera to make their own pictures , google images, scans
discussion about copyright
template for storyboard (looks like filmstrip)
require storyboard and script

Note what images go where
Import pictures into photostory
They used the headphones with mic attached
Pairs – one to talk, the other to click buttons, then they switch places
Photostory has a lot of built in music clips
Resource :

Suggested book “Mechanically Inclined” Jeff Anderson

TCEA 2008 Crispen’s Guide to What’s New and What’s Next 8934

Patrick Crispen takes a sneak peak at what’s just over the horizon. Site:

Thanks to my guest Paris ISD teacher Nancy Bratteli for these notes on the session! This presentation was lightening fast and fun – I was scribbling so fast I could barely read my writing!
Polaroid Zink printer – zero ink – thermal, permanent, $149, about 30cents/print, available 12/08

new hard drives; SSD SATA 5000 1.8” 72GB; uses about 5% of the power of old drives; in 5 years, all will be this way; no spinning platters, less hard drive crash

USB3 is on the way; uses fiber optic cable, ridiculously fast (10X faster than 2)

Wireless USB (short range – speed relative to distance); Belkin has one now;
connects device to device

Eye-Fi SD memory card 2GB for camera; available now for $99; card transfers pics wirelessly to computer, filesharing sites, automatically

802.11n – (IEEE—guys who set global standards) new version of wireless coming April 2008; 540 megabits/sec; look for DRAFT 2.0 (some products out too early)

WiMax (802.16) metro area network – 70 mb/s;
it will be everywhere like cell phone service?

RFID – now in all U.S. passports (concerning?), toll tags, etc.; in 5 yrs. will replace bar codes

LEDs – last so long they will replace light bulbs in 10 yrs.

OLED see how stuff works for explanation – organic light-emitting diodes; bright, thin displays on electronic devices using less power

Recordable media – as of January, Blu-Ray has won, HD is gone

AACS – Advanced Access Content System – if signal is broken anywhere (hacked), may not play HD in the future

Distributed Computing – e.g., PS3 folding at home

508v2 and WCAG 2.0 – Web Content for Accessibility (504s)

IPv6 – new system large enough to assign an address for every atom in the body of every person on earth

Presentations 2.0 – Crispen used today; cleaner alternative to PPT

TV – original color standard set in the 1950s; showed great diagram of difference between interlaced and progressive signals; 1080p is gold standard, but nobody does it; digital-to-digital connections: cables aren’t important, so get cheap ones (good cheap source: (get converter box vouchers for schools!)

Also posted at PHS computer Project Lab

Dynamic Powerpoint – Beyond Basics By Cindy Cohen 8035

This was a good session that gave some basic common sense tips on using PowerPoint.

Why would we want to use it (well)?
• This generation has little tolerance for delays or mistakes in delivery of information
• It’s an easy way to get information across in a short time period


  • Too much information – on each slide
  • Color choices (may depend on lighting in presentation location)
  • Can be “eye catching or eye watering”
  • Presentation often not test driven to catch problems

If well used can be extremely engaging


  • Proof read
  • Don’t include all information
  • Practice test run
  • Don’t over-use the software in the classroom

Key – Keep the focus on the presenter

Start with the basics

  • Know your information
  • What are the key points or concepts
  • Make an outline (enter basic information on blank slides)
  • Order is important
  • Add relevant materials (diagrams, images, audio, video)

Consider approaches for presenting

  • How is the slide being used?
  • Ask a question on the slide (stop for discussion)
  • Break up with a related activity (stop presentation, do short activity, go back to presentation)

Adjust style elements (easy place to waste time)

  • Visual interest is key but remember to keep focus on the presenter
  • You can use WordArt to make notes on each slide to remind you of details, changes, and additions – what needs to be done to each slide
  • Do test run
  • Prepare your oral presentation (this is the part that many people omit!)
  • To prepare you can take your original outline and print it out or print slide handouts.
  • 3 slides to a page and you can have lines on the right side for notes

Presentations without a presenter

  • Podcast presentation
  • Save each slide as a jpeg
  • Insert into MovieMaker
  • Create audio voiceover using Audacity put together audio and movie – Podcast

*They did a Distance Learning Day at Good Shepherd. They submitted lesson plans, students stayed home and did assignments via internet. This type of podcast presentation was part of her lesson.

Keeping Up with the Googlebots: What’s New at Google (Patrick Crispen) 8940

If you go to TCEA 2008 and click on Sessions and Workshops, list free sessions you will see the entire list and the session I attend will have the session number in the post as well.  You will be able to look for handouts there in a few weeks.

I like Patrick Crispen’s presenting style.  He starts on time, tells you what he will cover, moves through the presentation like an east Texas wind.  Before you know it he is saying we have to hurry because there are only three minutes left, ties is all up and sends you out as the next group comes in.  He must have an incredible amount of energy or sleep for a week after a conference like this.

His website is NetSquirrel and if you go there and click on PowerPoint Presentations on the side you will have access to all his handouts.  They are licensed under Creative Commons (he was the first person I heard even mention Creative Commons yesterday) so you are free to download his material. The presentation for this session will be udated in a few days.
Some new things I learned yesterday:

  • Google free business directory assistance 1 – 800 – 466 – 4411
    • Voice, directions, maps on your cell phone.  Google wants to do voice search – this is there start at getting voices saying words
  • Google Notebook now datestamps your entries
  • has added discovery videos

This morning I found a new little snippet in my reader about Google docs – they have added a new little tool. When you share a spreadsheet you now have three choices – collaborator, viewer, and now “to fill out a form”. You can create a form in Google spreadsheets, share it with people and as they respond to the form, the data is automatically added to your spreadsheet.

Arrival In Austin

We have arrived in Austin after a deluge near Sulphur Springs. We made a potty and Starbucks stop and ate supper at Freebird’s.

We got to the Omni and there was a mistake so they didn’t have a double occupancy room and they ended up putting us in a suite. suite This room is a smoking room so there is a bit of a smell (the ex-smoker said a bit sarcastically) but it has two full bedrooms, three baths, two walk-in closets, a spa tub, a kitchen, two balconies, a bar, and three tv’s. We had to use our room key just to get on the right elevator. Not too shabby for a couple of country girls. They are supposed to move us tomorrow but we wouldn’t complain if they just left us alone.
view from 17th floorWe took a walk down on Sixth Street just to see what it’s like on Fat Tuesday. We found Mardi Gras beads, tons of people, a group of drummers in a circle playing in the street, music pouring out of the doorways and children dressed like grown-ups. There were grown-ups acting like children, a street artist using spray paint to create fantasy spacescapes, an Irish pub where a man was playing and singing country music, police on foot, horseback, and bicycle and an atmosphere of friendly fun. I don’t know if that atmosphere remained later in the night because we headed back up to our hotel to rest up for our first morning at the conference.

sixth streetAddendum – First day was fun – I learned a lot and as soon as I get notes typed I will start adding them to the blog so keep checking back!!

TCEA 2008

tcea08.jpgNext week I am planning on attending TCEA 2008 in Austin. Dale is doing well and I will be a cell phone call away. I am looking forward to learning some new things and meeting some folks that I have till now known only through blogging.

I plan, as I did last year, to blog my notes. If you do not blog and are going to be attending this year from PISD, I would love to have you as a “guest blogger”! Just let me know if you are interested and we can arrange for your notes/reflections on the conference to appear as a guest post by you to share with the rest of the district.

If you are a blogger I have a few tips for you. Take good notes making sure you have the session name, presenter name, and school district if applicable. Check out HitchHikr – a site that will aggregate posts that are tagged for specific conferences. There is no tag yet so you might want to check back – it will be something like TCEA08. If you tag our post with the HitchHikr tag it will make it easier for people who didn’t attend the same sessions to find your notes. As conference attendees start posting and tagging, the posts will show up on the HitchHikr site and there will be an RSS link so you can subscribe if you like and read other posts. This is a great way for all of us to get the most out of the conference and share the information with folks in the district who couldn’t attend.

There is a great post at Lunch Over IP on tips for conference blogging with links to other articles if you are interested in reading more about this. They have even created a PDF booklet you can download. There are two versions and I have included one here.


Stop by Lunch Over IP blog and leave a thank you comment if you find this useful. I’m excited about the conference and can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Also posted at My school blog – PHS Computer Project Lab