So, what’s new in SD?

Just another weblog

Science & Technology…

July 16, 2007 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

In claiming South Dakota as my home for the past 40 years, I’m thrilled with the news that Lead SD is now the home of the DUSEL – Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory.  Governor Rounds made the announcement of NSF’s choice on July 10, 2007 along with credit going to many people and the subsequent renaming of the lab as the Sanford Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory. 

The website is filled with information about the proposed uses for the new lab, ways to find it in the Black Hills and general information about the people involved in the committee work over the past several years.

Take a look and see what’s new in SD!!!!

Leadership Day….

July 4, 2007 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

This is in response to the following: 

I am intrigued with what I’m reading about getting our leaders in education to take the bull by the proverbial horns and lead the way.  It isn’t so easy and I liked Scott McLeod’s reference to the way many leaders probably feel about technology in their lives( ) by referring to the llamas in Peru….interesting analogy.

Not being in a leadership position in my school, I wonder what effect I can have on the leadership concerning our use of technology for our students.   Is it simply a matter of teachers taking it upon themselves and waiting for the leaders to back them up?  Or is there something more the leaders can do to be proactive, rather than reactive? 

On the other hand, is there more that parents can do to be proactive in asking for things for their students in the school setting?  How in tune are they, when there’s still a huge minority without up-to-date computers in the home and maybe not even Internet access?  How much do they know about the future of their own children?  How to find out and then see that their children get what they need to make their futures secure?

It’s not an easy thing, and living in a rural small town, I wonder if we are behind in many ways with seeing technology’s effects on our community’s future and the future of our children.  Either way, this is going to affect education and the educators who are entrusted with knowing what to do for the children they teach.  We owe it to ourselves, parents and educators and leaders, to learn as much as possible about what is coming and figure out what to do about it at the ground level — elementary school, middle school and into the high school.

Other comments about leadership:  Are we as educators in danger of becoming irrelevant in today’s world by not preparing our students for the world they will step into?  This is worth the long read and gets meatier as it goes on.  “If technology is the tool, what is it’s function?”  How would you answer this one?  Don’t be put off by the title here, this is actually about educators and what they know and do for their students.  Scary….

What is going to happen?

July 2, 2007 by · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Finally actually watched Did You Know? 2.0 ( ) and was so thoroughly taken in by this information.  It seems unbelieveable that there have been so many changes taking place in the world, so quickly.  Where have I been?  One hears about such things but to see it all in one place is mesmerizing….

I want to give proper credit here:  is the place to go to find more info about copyright ( Did You Know? is licensed by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and XPLANE under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license. ) and even suggestions as to how to use this presentation.

Blogs & Wikis

July 2, 2007 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

So now I’m trying to absorb all the blogging that’s out there and finding it is impossible.  (All that stuff out there, plus all the stuff I find I don’t even want to know about)  So let’s stick to education and technology issues since that’s where I’m coming from in this space.

I just was exposed to the neatest little video that’s been borrowed and re-borrowed and I want to refer you to a fellow educator’s wiki:  All about what a wiki actually means and how it can be used – in simple enough language and example to show almost everyone what it all means. 

I love it!!!!

Some More Info….

July 2, 2007 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Just some intesting things that have come into my life this past month….   Thornburg: On Wikipedia and the Meaning of Everything….  Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries, a Nature investigation finds…   Will Richardson – The new face of learning…   Comparison of various wiki sites to find features that fit your needs…   Story about a blog family travel…  It’s a wiki wiki world…   Search for podcasts…   Blogs and podcasts: Fads or Fixtures…   Wikis in Plain English…

New Challenges…

July 2, 2007 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Date: June 30, 2007 12:29 PM

As I’m reading through the many comments on this week’s topic and catching up with others, I’m reminded of how much of an impression TTL made on me about 7 years ago. I remember the awe I felt at the possibilities for technology in our schools and the responsibility I felt as an educator to make sure I was in the forefront of knowing enough to keep up. Then DTL and WebCT came along two years later — these seemed to be mostly for HS teachers, I felt, so I didn’t pursue finding anything more interesting for a long time. Maybe I fell behind, maybe there just wasn’t anything new being offered to us teachers, nothing with any sense of training for something new and exciting to get my attention, at least.

With this class and a couple of others that are now being offered through TIE, I’ve found that sense of excitement for new things, technologies I’m not familiar with, and challenges to my thinking about how to incorporate these in the school. Thank you TIE!!!! Please keep this up, because I firmly believe that teachers need to be trained (and cajoled, sometimes) in ways to use new technologies. We need to be shown how to do things, just as we try to show our students how. I know that reading it out of a book or having someone tell me how to do something doesn’t work for me at all. I also love the freedom of the online format with it’s asynchronous learning, so thank you TIE for that also.

The experiences have mostly been very positive, although the time it took to make sure I had all the updated versions was more than I anticipated. Thank goodness for the help I received.

I realize now that blogs and wikis and even podcasts have a place in my teaching, so I need to learn more and just make them become a part of my reality. I also realize that I can go back to WebCT and find ways of using that again as a protected space to work in with my students. Lastly, I realize how wonderful it has been to be exposed to the variety of students in this class and to be allowed to listen to, as well as interact with, their ideas, thoughts & plans about these technologies.

As to incorporating these things in my everyday life, just this morning I found a new RSS feed to add to my list of 25 feeds and unsubscribed myself from the email newsletter. I like that!!!!


June 15, 2007 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

See, here is something of what I’m uncovering and it’s a fascinating thing to find what others are talking about out there!!!!

So, I’m reading along about what Alan Levine is referring to and realizing that I agree with him in the fact that “being” and “doing” are what’s important and what drives us, not what others have to say necessarily.  Then I backtrack to find his reference points and I uncover, not only the article/interview with Kurt Vonnegut (, but also his passing reference to Martha’s thoughtful post and I decide to pursue that….

Wow — I didn’t know there was so much to thinking about blogging!!!!  But, I agree with her about why one should think about such things if one is going to try to explain about blogging to students….Why is blogging different than journaling?  New catch phrase, same ideas?  I think not, but that is something that students need to learn from us, the educators.

One more mystery to try to decipher.  Makes me wish I taught high school students instead of middle school students, but maybe the younger set could also understand the “why” of blogging, and not just for the social connections that I’m hearing so much about….

What really is blogging?

June 14, 2007 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

I realized in reading some more for the online class I’m taking, that it’s difficult to take information out of a book and put it into practice, especially technology.  Is this what it’s like to be a Digital Immigrant?  I think it must be — seems that nothing in technology comes easily from books for me but give me a chance to use it and then use it consistently and I’ve got it….

Of course this reference to being a DI as opposed to a DN (Digital Native) is from Will Richardson whose book we are reading for my online class: “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms” (copyright 2006 by Corwin Press).

links:  If you want more of Will Richardson’s comments about his adventures, check here.

There seem to be two main questions I find myself dealing with here as an educator: 1) how differently do my students today learn as compared to how I learned several decades ago and how can I get past this, and 2) how important is content, such as for my science classes, going to be in the future for my students if they find it difficult to think linearly and want to grab onto information here and there and then try to put it all together? 

On one hand, maybe the main teachers for these students are going to have to be other young people who think the way they do, who are wired the way they are.  I hope we have lots of new teachers coming on board out there if this is true.  Can we present educators truly change the way our students are educated in a broad enough way to make any real inroads in the near future, or are these children going to be technologically deprived for years to come?  Every year I send another group of students from 8th grade over to the high school and I wonder if I’ve done enough to help prepare these students for the real world they will be encountering.  Maybe using up-to-date technology is one of the only ways I can help right now.

I still wonder about the content areas we are supposed to be teaching and the fact that it’s so linear….Does this need to be changed as well, or do we keep plugging along as we are?  Remembering that I teach grades 5 through 8, I seriously wonder how much I show these students about the technology of the read-write web and ways to handle all the information that is available to them besides what little they are introduced to in my classrooms.

Then I remember that a little is better than nothing, for some of these students and their parents, especially those who still don’t have any kind of Internet connectivity except at school.  Maybe plugging along is okay sometimes….

Hello world!

June 13, 2007 by · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Welcome to

So here I am taking baby steps into the new unknowns of the Internet….

My goodness how things have changed in 5 years since I last took any classes in technology!!!!

Bear with me — as a teacher I owe it to myself to learn new things and to find out what my students know….

Wish me luck in these new ventures….