Remembering that Tech in Teaching is Linked to Learning

Jared Nichol, who is the author, of Journey”s in 2.0 teaching had a great post about his experiences using tech in his classroom. This week he is talking about how the learning outcomes in the curriculum certainly did not cover all of the aspects of the project he was working on with his students. It really helps us to think why and how we use tech in our teaching and the difficulties of using it effectively in education when technology is changin all the time.

You can find Jared’s post here:

If you are using tech in your classroom how are are you assessing the students’ work? How do you design your projects? These are the things we have to be diligent about when using technology in education.

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What is Screencasting? Well screencasting is capturing what you do on your computer to show to others so that you can visually explain how to do some thing or how it would benefit them. Instead of creating a step by step instruction booklet, you can simply show them in a short video, narrated by you on how to do something. Its an incredibly neat tool and I am going to try and compile some of the things I have learned to share with others in my school and division.

I have just been experimenting with some screencasting tools. The one I have been playing around with is Jing from If you want to try Jing you can find it at Jing. I made one this evening(click the link below to view):

Tell me what you think! You only have five minutes of recording time so you must be sure to use your time wisely. I tend to ramble so I had to go and redo it a few times.

Other sites and apps you can try:

  • SnagIt- a capturing tool also by Techsmith
  • Camtasia Studio- Techsmith’s high end capturing tool (very cool but pricey!)
  • Lots of features! 

Well, I hope this works out and let me know what you think. I’ll be working on other screencasts for the future.



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The More I Find the more I Learn…. Why Web 2.0 is an Exciting Place to be in Education

It seems that since the explosion of the World Wide Web all those years ago, we have been trying to find a useful way to gather all the information on the Internet and use it for something good. It seems that there are new and exciting tools that allow us to create, share, and learn. As a teacher, I struggle to keep up with all of the new tools we can use with our students in the classroom. Never, at any one time have we had such a great number of tools to promote and enhance learning in the classroom. We are now in a world with Moodle, GIMP, Interactive Whiteboards, Podcasting, and Digital Storytelling. All of which are just a sampling of tools to help us create and share learning. We have blogs and wikis and screencasts. There is such an incredible amount to learn and it is hard to pick a direction to head into first.

If I can give one piece of advice, don't be afraid to try any and all of these tools. Even if you are not an expert in a program yourself you will be learning and engaging with your class. Don't be afraid to ask for help! Thanks to the Internet there is a great community of people who are willing to help you solve your problem or answer your question. The Internet is something that has always been there for our students, and it is impossible for some to even imagine what the world was like without it. We're the ones who have to play catch up.

Just this evening I was looking at some presentations from Google Docs shared by Tom Barett, and as I clicked through the great information and examples he had to share. I was able to learn more about how I could apply these tools in my own classroom. I am genuinely excited to try these new tools in my class.

Thanks for listening to this week's ramble about tech in the classroom. Web 2.0 is an exciting place right now for teachers. It makes me wonder what the impact of Web 3.0 will have on education in the very near future.

If you have a twitter account and want to contact me you can follow me @leewin on Twitter. Send me a tweet.

I'd be happy to learn what tools you are using in the classroom right now and what success or failure you are having with these tools.


Lee Winik

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Teacher 2 Teacher Conference Day 2

Well, I can’t go on enough about how good this conference actually is. Here are some brief summaries of what I went to see at the conference.

My first session was with Ben Hazzard on Cross Classroom Collaboration. As part of his graduate studies work, he developed a site called Although there are many forums and social networks which allow teachers to connect and partner with others from around the world, Ben’s site is unique in that it tries to match people based on their knowledge or comfort level with collaboration, teaching philosophy, and what projects are available for collaboration. One of the most interesting things I found with Ben’s presentation is how he defined collaboration for class projects. It simply isn’t finding someone with the same grade and subject. It can be between classes with similar interests for learning. It does not have to be bound by what some would consider appropriate opportunities to collaborate. Ben encourages teachers to collaborate with others not just from within their own schools but with schools across Canada or even Internationally. The site Ben has helped to create in conjunction with other like minded teachers from around the world have created a great portal to help you take that first step into online collaboration.

The next session was called Why Podcast? As I have mentioned in earlier posts, podcasting can be an incredible tool and resource for your classroom. Two teachers from Texas, Anna Adam and Helen Mowers host a podcast called Tech Chick Tips (check it out on Itunes or go to, They went on to extol the virtues of podcasting and retrieving podcasts. I won’t go into much detail but needless to say if you want to learn what a podcast is then check out:
There are number of things that you can do with podcasts and creating podcasts requires minimal equipment. The best thing about podcasts are that they are free! You can’t beat that!

After lunch, I attended Mary Lee Blemings session on Junior High Language Arts on the Smartboard. Basically, Mary Lee has developed a number of links, resources, slides, images and sounds that she has used in her teaching with Smartboard. Now while she uses the Smartboard extensively it is not the focal point of the class but a tool used to hepl convey the information to the students and to help reinforce concepts and ideas learned in class. She spoke about how she uses the board in her LA class and what she has done.

The last session of the day was on Senteo voting system. Our school had just received these Senteos and we are just learning how to use these in the classroom. The presenter showed us many examples of how to use the Senteo as a formative assessment tool and how to operate and read the data that the senteo clickers (as my kids like to call them). It also provides those students who would not normally be engaged in class a chance to answer. It can also be used to help gauge how well the students understood a concept in class, and where and who we should be spending more time with in class as well.

As you can see I have lots to write and ponder over the coming days and weeks, and I wish there were other sessions that I could have attended in addition to the ones that I mentioned. All the conference materials, slides, and links were made available by download from the conference.

Again, my thanks goes out to the organizers, the volunteers, the presenters, and everyone who helped make this conference a success.


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Teacher2Teacher Pics

Hey there! Sorry for the huge picture post! These are pics from the conference I was just on! It was a great experience and I would recommend this conference to anyone. It is geared for both new and advanced users of tech. Also, the sessions were delivered for teachers by teachers which meant that we had practical applications we could see being in used in class.

I hope to attend this conference again for next year!






See and download the full gallery on posterous

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Teacher 2 Teacher Conference Day 1

Well, what can I say. If I had to sum up the first day of the conference than I would have to say WOW! The organization and people there on hand to direct people to the different sessions, the quality of the presenters and presentations was excellent. It was a great use of my PD for this year!

Senator Gershaw has an excellent facility for hosting a conference of this type. We had morning announcements sent throughout the school via live streaming video from the school’s TV studio complete with green screen. It had an excellent combination of Macs and PCs and everyone had a chance to practice the number of apps being showcased at the conference. Even when we were short of stations,we were encouraged to use our laptops on the wireless network generously provided by the school. All the workshop materials are even available for download after the conference. Pretty slick.

Anyways, I learned about how to do Digital Storytelling with a free app from Microsoft called Photo Story 3. Although many people would at first confuse this program with a Powerpoint presentation, it really is so much more than that. Students build photo essays using images, narration and music. It forces the students to really focus on the elements of storytelling, presentation, narration, planning,  and pacing. I can’t wait to try this program with my students.

Next session I attended was about using Wikis in the classroom and while we did end up talking about how we can use wikis in class, we also talked about many web 2.0 tools that are freely available to help make our teaching easier. Tom White our presenter was excellent and was obviously very passionate about using tech.

I also attended a great session on animation with Jim Hollis using the SMARTboard. Even though I have experience using smartboards I learned something new. I’ll be sharing a lot of ideas with my colleagues when I return.

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An adventurous trip…

Well, I’ve been looking forward to going on this conference for a while but I must say the road trip was quite rewarding. It started out with gregreat weather here!at weather, sunshine on the snow, and for a change during this Canadian winter, I actually felt warm.

There is nothing like a good road trip, so it was nice to get out for the drive. The scenery kept on changing as I drove south towards Medicine Hat. I haven’t driven through the Badlands of Alberta since I was a child so it was astopped here for Timmy\'s eh? great treat. The only thing that changed on my trip was the weather. You could see that storm coming from a long way off before I drove into it.

Anyways, even though the drive worsened for a short patch the scenery was great. I even have a few spots picked out for photos on the way back home.

Till tomorrow!


the storm approaches!I even saw a tumbleweed! Wish I\'d had a pic of that!

Off to conference soon!

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven’t been bloggin lately but it has been very busy here at school. The students and I are trying our hands at wikis now and experimenting with the collaborative learning we can do with that.

This has been an exciting year, and it has been very exciting working with a number of Web 2.0 tools to enhance student learning. Anyways, to that end I am going to be attending the Teacher 2 Teacher technology conference to learn even more about tech in education.

I hope to take away lots of ideas from this conference and I will report whatever I learn to you. I’ll post pics and links from the conference and who knows maybe even Twitter? Here’s my link btw:

By the way for anyone looking for somre great links for educational websites and helpful tips try Larry Ferlazzo’s website, or for an interesting diversion play Magic Pen which you can find on the Miniclip website.


Mr. Winik

Novel Study and Blogging

Blogging can be an interesting way to share about what you are reading in class. Whenever you choose a book from the library you will be writing about what you are reading and making a post on your blog. I will respond to what it is you have been reading about and you will also be graded on the responses to others in your posts about their books.


This weeks assignment:

  1. You have chosen a new book, so you’ll have to tell us the title and why you chose this particular novel from the library.
  2. You will also write about your first impressions of the book. Is it easy or difficult to understand? Are there any words you are having difficulty with?
  3. Write about one thing you liked about what you have read so far and one thing that you have liked so far and one thing you have disliked so far. Please explain why.