Welcome to Modern Educator

Here on this blog I hope to get a conversation going amongst students, teachers, administrators, and parents about who, what, when, why, and where we should teach technology skills for the 21st century. I am technology teacher at Truckee High School in Truckee, CA and currently teach classes like digital media, e-learning, applications, and keyboarding -- yes...still important! :) Please Join the Conversation!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Diigo Group for Truckee High School

Just used Diigo to create a social bookmarking group for my technology classes at Truckee High School.  This is a cool new way of sharing and cataloging web sites relevant to my classes for students and parents to access.
Check it out!

Your first steps with Doodle on Vimeo

Ever play email ping-pong when trying to schedule a meeting with multiple folks?  If so, Doodle might be a service worth trying out.  It is free and you are not even required to register for an account.  It also syncs with major calendar services like Google, iCal, Outlook, and others.

Check out this short video introduction.

More about Doodle - CLICK HERE!

So, what do you think?  Has anyone used this service and how did it work?  Does anyone recommend an alternative application for calendar scheduling and collaboration?

Doodley Doo!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Do you need a BA, MA, MBA, JD and PhD? - CNN.com

Going to college...why?  

Great article below about why students should go to school and how society's perceptions of the value of an education have changed.  With the recent dramatic increases to the costs of an education politicians, students, parents, and others are calling for more accountability to insure that the costs are justified.  Others are afraid that this singular focus on accountability is narrowing student learning to simply a means to get a job or a good paying career.  The problem here is that getting a job does not necessarily create fulfillment for people.  Educators often argue too that we need to look at schooling as more of an opportunity expand our minds and find inspiration to become life long learners.

What do you think?  Both sides have strong arguments and as the cost of going to school continues to increase I think this debate will only broaden.  Please comment below.

One final thought: "We make a living from what we get. We make a life from what we give."  Winston Churchill

Do you need a BA, MA, MBA, JD and PhD? - CNN.com:

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In the Know - Using the Internet to Stay Informed

Too much information and news, not enough time, can't decide what to read?

There is so much information available for consumption today that much of the struggle to remain productive and knowledgeable about the topics that matter most to you is figuring out how to manage all this content.  The Internet, which has exponentially increased the amount of media, luckily does have great web 2.0 sites available for free that can help people manage information, stay focused, get connected, and be informed about what matters to them without 'killing' their entire day.  So, take a look at some of the useful web sites listed below to help you get started at being a more informed and productive person.

Twitter - use this social media tool to follow and connect with people and organizations that share content relevant to your interests.  This allows you to filter the type of information and news you want to see.  Follow me at www.twitter.com/jonhalvorsen

Google E-Reader - choose to subscribe to blogs and web sites so that their new content comes to you in an easy one-stop place to read and share with others.  You can organize all of your subscriptions into folders for easy access by topic.  This allows you to no longer bookmark all your favorite sites for accessing since all of the content feeds (RSS) to your E-Reader home page.

Diigo - Collect, highlight, and then remember what it is you need.  This site allows users to do so much more than other social bookmarking sites like http://delicious.com/ by focusing on E-Reading and providing technology that allows readers to create sticky notes, add highlights, and incorporate pictures and documents.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Google Reader - A Useful Tool

Using Google Reader makes it so much easier to stay up with all the blogs and web sites I follow.  Here is an example of a post I received in Reader about my kid's elementary school.  I was at this event and it was awesome!  Excited that our school is using social media and web 2.0 technologies to spread the message about all the great things going on on campus.

Truckee El’s Open House a big, green success:
Right on the heels of Truckee Elementary’s big show at Earth Day came our annual Open House,held on April 26. As in past years, this event gave parents the opportunity to see first-hand what our kids have been up to at school, with a tour of the classrooms, guided by the students themselves.
But this year’s Open House was truly a special evening, as we celebrated our Going Green initiative, co-funded by the Shane McConkey Foundation and the Truckee Elementary PTO. Open House provided the perfect venue for the official unveiling of our beautiful, green-oriented lobby mural, complete with artistic contributions from every student at TES!  Local artist and lobby muralist Sara Smith (www.saralsmith.com) was in attendance to provide perspective and answer questions. For weeks, Sara’s been not only the artist-in-residence, she’s been a teacher-in-residence, engaging and guiding children with their own works of art. We’ll miss Sara!
This year we added to the green-themed fun with a major new event: Family Science Night. Our partner in environmental education, SWEP (Sierra Watershed Educational Programs) was on-hand with parent and teacher volunteers, as well as our own student-staffed Green Team to run several science “exploration stations” in the cafeteria. Parents and students alike shared in the fun … and learning.
Big thanks go out to SWEP, the Envirolution Club, the Green Team, and all the parent and teacher volunteers who helped us out … we couldn’t put on events like this without you! It was certainly worth it … check out the sights from Truckee El’s Open House 2012 here:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How to Use Google Reader to Keep Up with Your Favorite Blogs | Michael Hyatt

Stay current in less then 30 min a day following hundreds of blogs with an RSS feeder like Google Reader.
Google Reader has allowed me to stay informed about many topics I'm interested in both professionally and personally in a time efficient manner.  No longer do I have to 'bookmark' my favorite blogs and web sites.  Now, I just have to visit my Google Reader page and all of the content I'm interested in is feed to me via RSS technology.  I highly recommend using it.  Watch this video to see an introduction to what it is all about.

Read more about this tool and learn some great keyboard shortcuts here.

How to Use Google Reader to Keep Up with Your Favorite Blogs | Michael Hyatt:

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