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Discovery Liftoff

DiscoveryLaunch On March 15 I was in Orlando, Florida giving a presentation at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Conference. Integrating the Internet into the Primary Classroom links can be found here. After I finished my presentation, my husband and I drove east to catch the Space Shuttle Discovery's liftoff. Since we're from Minnesota, not Florida, we hadn't anticipated the traffic also heading to watch the liftoff. I used our GPS to find back roads which weren't very crowded. We pulled over to the side of the road where there was a clearing three minutes before liftoff. My husband grabbed the video camera and I grabbed my Nikon D60.

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Online with Barack Obama

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Happy New Year!

2009 will bring us a new President. Like Michelle and I, Barack Obama thinks about technology. He has a website, used Twitter during his campaign (I wonder if he'll continue after he becomes President?), and has a Blackberry to text message. He has Facebook and MySpace accounts to social network. But most importantly, he will appoint the first ever United States Chief Technology Officer.

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Think Global, Think Technology

People Thinking about global awareness and technology at the same time makes sense to me. Technology makes teaching about global awareness so much easier. There are a plethora of resources online. Here are a few of my favorites.

One of my favorite global resources is Scholastic's Global Trek. Not only do the students learn about other countries and their people, but they are able to keep a travel journal about their learning.

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Yes We Can!

Obama27_16804595What an exciting week this was! It was so exciting watching Election 2008 come to an end. It was exciting to listen to President-elect Barack Obama's acceptance speech. It was exciting to watch and listen to the reaction of the people. It was exciting to read and listen to the reaction of the children. It was exciting to have the political commercials and mail come to an end. It was exciting to realize the effect this election has on our nation and on the global community. It was exciting to hear "Yes We Can!" over and over.

We need to keep the "Yes We Can!" momentum going in our classrooms and in education. "There are two reasons why people learn one because someone said you can't and the other because someone said you can." according to Howard Wilson Retired NZ Principal. So let's make sure that we keep "Yes We Can!" in the forefront of our planning, teaching and learning.

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When in Doubt, Check it Out!

Check_mark_on_chalkboard_l2 With the Presidential election a little over 2 weeks away, many of our High School Social Studies classes are discussing the candidates and their platforms.  There's a wealth of information out there on the issues and where each candidate stands.  However, after watching the debates, reading the articles and viewing the advertisements, how does a student know which facts are true and which are exaggerations?

Filtering and judging information for accuracy is a tough skill to learn. With the amount of information out there on the web, it's important to help students come up with a method for determining whether a website is truthful or a hoax.  I've found that the political campaigns make it a perfect time to teach web evaluation skills.  In our Computer Applications course, we teach a lesson on evaluating web sites. This year we also had students visit each presidential candidate's website to determine whether they were a reliable source of information.  As students listened to the political ads and watched the debates, we've added to our discussions of how to determine whether a statement is fact or fiction.

So what are the best ways to check the reliability of a specific site or the truthfulness of a candidate's claim?  Here are three...

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Tech Tutors "Supporting Teachers Use of Technology" are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.