Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Student Bloggers!

Check out Brett's blog and check back in often. As an already-published author, ( Brett is now writing in another voice and channel for all to learn from. Web 2.0 - The Read/Write Web - is a place where all student authors and artists can share their voice.

Monday, April 28, 2008

O'Neill Public Teachers @ NETA 2008

The annual pilgrimage to Omaha for NETA took place last week, April 23-25th. The theme this year was "Digital Transformers Goin' Global." Encarta defines a transformer in the following way: somebody or something that effects a transformation. The teacher participants, although only representative of the larger staff and administration of the district, truly are "transformers"-- trying to bring back ideas and strategies for continuing the positive transformation at O'Neill Public Schools into a Center for 24/7 Learning. Some of the highlights and/or positive comments from OHS teachers who attended NETA 2008 include the following:

~ "I enjoyed seeing the different ways to use iMovie with students in the areas of reading/ language arts, etc. (book talks, digital storytelling, bringing reports to life, etc. there are so many possibilities with this!)"

~ "The best advice that I heard: Don’t try to come up with really cool projects- Let the kids come up with the stuff!"

~ "I attended the Photoshop Elements: Elementary Project Ideas workshop and LOVED IT. We learned simple animation in photoshop and how to manipulate layers to create language arts projects. There were also some art projects that can be done using photoshop that I found really interesting."

~ "Keys for Managing a 1:1 classroom:
1. Set clear expectations
2. Motivate appropriate computer use by having less attractive options up your sleeve.
3. Make clear that computer use in your class is a privilege.
4. Arrange your desks to facilitate monitoring.
5. Practice proximity - move around the room a lot!
6. Read student behavior.
7. Make technology use part of your lesson - and close the lid when needed!
8. Monitor closely, but pick your battles.
9. Create activities and projects that appeal to students
10. Embrace the power of immediate feedback.
11. BE CONSISTENT!!!!!!"
~ "I am always inspired by NETA...every year in a different way..."

~ "Dr. Tim Tyson scored points with the video presentations his students share with others."

~ "I really liked seeing
how other teachers were using technology in
their classrooms, and got some good ideas
to try in mine. I'm going to have my students
make podcasts with their research papers, and
then possibly video them when they give their
presentation and turn that into an imovie."

O'Neill's 24/7 Learning Initiative was featured again as Katie Morrow represented our school in a panel discussion on 1 to 1 Learning with the following description:

"It's about teaching and learning. A 1 to 1 learning program is about creating a 21st century learning environment that engages students. Students learn better when they are engaged, and research on what engages todays students points to technology. 1 to 1 learning matches how todays students interact and learn. Come hear this panel of schools who have created their own 1 to 1 learning environments."

Let's keep right on with the Digital Transformations!

"The World is Listening"

I keep telling the students that the world is listening. It is nice to have proof. In the last week, several projects that students have been working on have received real-world feedback and acclaim. This global sharing wouldn't be possible without the technology resources available. The following are real responses received about student projects:

"It's Real. It's Wrong." - "Please tell your students how impressed I was by the video. I have given many speeches concerning dating violence, and have always thought how beneficial it would be to have a tool which displayed teens discussing the reality of abusive relationships. This video will be a wonderful resource for our agency! Due to the nature of my work, I am very interested in this video. As an agency, we are constantly searching for resources that portray the complexities of intimate partner violence, and this film seems to do just that! I noticed that the piece was used as a PSA and was impressed by the collaboration that made this project a success. I am very interested in using this video as a resource for community education."

ScreenNation - "Just a quick note to that you for featuring ScreenNation as part of your classroom assignment. The team here at the AFI ScreenEd Center got a lot out of reading your students' honest assessment of the new site. As we continue our roll-out many of their comments will inform how the site will look and feel. I'm very interested in in they types of projects you are producing with your students. I hope you will encourage them to upload and exhibit on Screenantion."

Personal Finance Online Competition

Congratulations to Breanna Felker, Taylor Carlson, and Seth Dodds! These students from Mrs. Appleby's Personal Finance class recently competed in an online competition against 3-person teams across the state. They placed 2nd overall out of almost 150 teams and were rewarded $25.00 iTunes gift cards for their efforts. Complete results can be read here: Congratulations!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

SMART Notebook 10.0 is here!

SMART has recently released its newest version of Notebook software. As many of us have had troubles with SMART software and the Leopard operating system on our Macs, I highly encourage you to download and install 10.0 today. Downloads for both Mac and Windows can be found here:

A few things that need to be pointed out:
1. Uninstall any previous versions of SMART Board software first.
2. The first 10,000 people to download and install Notebook 10.0 receive a free year-long subscription to SMART Learning Marketplace.
3. You will need to obtain a product key to activate the software. Just find the serial number on the underside/backside of your SMART Board and submit it online. Your product key will be emailed to you and you can copy and paste it to activate it.

Now you are ready to play! I'll share some of the great new features of Notebook 10.0 sometime in the near future. So whether you like to lead the way by trying new features or just want to get your SMART Board to work with your Mac... here is your chance!

Atomic Learning Desktop

"Atomic Learning is proud to unveil the Atomic Desktop. This complimentary downloadable tool allows users to quickly and easily access on-demand software training by offering an easy-to-use interface to search and view tutorials that answer their common 'How do I do that?" questions - all directly from their desktop without ever having to open the browser or leave a software program."

We will put this on the student image for next year, but I highly encourage teachers to download and install it before you leave for the summer. It's like having a little teacher right on your desktop whenever you need to ask technology-related questions!

To download the Atomic Desktop, please select the Downloadable materials tab in the Atomic Toolkit (

Saturday, April 26, 2008

O'Neill Student Impresses NETA 2008

Jordan Peterson shared his knowledge of music composition and digital music production with a packed crowd of educators last Thursday at the NETA 2008 Spring Conference. Neither standing room only nor 1st session of the 2-day conference deterred participants from learning from and listening to Jordan explain his process of creating music with GarageBand. Jordan was accompanied by his dad, OHS teacher Mike Peterson. Following the break-out session Jordan was approached by school districts from various parts of Nebraska, inquiring about his services to share his knowledge with their students. In addition, he sold many of his CDs, online music downloads, and was offered by a music store in Westroads Mall to market his music there, as well. Praises abound once again for this O'Neill High School student. You can view his NETA presentation documents at by clicking on 'News.'

Monday, April 21, 2008

Digital Student of the Year!

Jordan Peterson, an O'Neill High School senior, was named Digital Student of the Year on Saturday, April 19th at the 2008 Digies Awards. Sponsored by Apple Computers, this award competition highlights the best in K-12 student digital arts projects across the state of Nebraska. Jordan has received recognition at the Digies in his last five years of participation of the Digies' 6-year history. This year, Jordan's work was recognized in four different projects in four different categories. This was an outstanding honor that is not even awarded every year. Jordan is definitely deserving. Congratulations!

Digies Winners from O'Neill Public Schools - 2008

O’Neill Public School has been represented by student finalists each and every year of the Digies’s six year history, but none so heartily as this year. From O’Neill Public Schools alone over 29 unique students were honored, some with multiple entries, in 17 finalist projects, including 4 Digies trophy winning projects. For a list of all finalists and award winners along with their projects, visit:

Monday, April 14, 2008

2008 Digies Awards

Announcing the O'Neill Public Schools' Finalists for Apple's annual Digital Media awards! Way to go, students!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cool things to do with Preview

If you have opened up pdfs or image files on your Mac and desired the ability to leave comments, mark-up the pdf, etc., you no longer need to have to worry about installing Adobe Acrobat Pro. Take a look at this:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Student Projects!

It's seems like Spring time is Project time at OHS! Just a reminder of a few of the many great websites to check out O'Neill Student Projects created within the 24/7 Learning Initiative. New features are being added daily, so keep checking back often!

Student Sharing Gallery (general Student projects)

TANN Digital Media Gallery
OHS Digital Media Gallery
7th grade Math Screencasts