Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sentence Structure with Stop Motion Video

Sam and Clare, two students in Mrs. Pongratz's Senior English class, energize grammar with their creative stop-motion animation video on sentence structure.

The power of publishing to the web means real, live, instant feedback. Within an hour of publishing their project online, these were comments received via Twitter about it:

A Visitors' Thank-you

Letter from Louisville Public Schools:

"Katie and Staff and Students at O'Neill Public Schools,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your 1:1 program with us last week. We learned so much and were so impressed with your progress. It was great to see the process in action. Thank you again,

Shureen and the Tech Team"

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Mr. Hostert's 7th graders use their Macbook to learn U.S. Geography in a number of ways.

  • iPhoto: Tagging images with "Places" and adding geographical information to each image for later review.
  • SMART Notebook: Using the Gallery items to create maps and study guides for learning the original 13 colonies

The more ways we practice, the more we learn!

Collaborative Flashcards

In Mrs. Pongratz's English classes, learning vocabulary is a full class effort. Students create PowerPoint slides on individual vocabulary words, complete with definition, derivatives, and visual image, etc., then save their slides as pdf files and submit to Angel. Mrs. Pongratz downloads the student-created flashcards, and using Adobe Acrobat Pro combines the individual student files into one large pdf. This is saved back to Angel for the entire class to download and study from. What a great use of a simple technology tool, Mrs. Pongratz. Thanks for sharing!

Download an example here.

Student Shares Sign Language via iWeb project

Douglas shares his knowledge of sign language via his iWeb site for Mr. Peterson's class. Click on his Blog and subscribe to his videos to learn the alphabet and more!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another mode to "touch" foreign language practice

Spanish classes at OHS have started utilizing O'Neill's new iPod touch cart to deepen their foreign language practice. The iPod touch is a portable handheld computer which can run many applications with the touch of a finger. The iTunes App Store has many educational apps available for download that run on these devices (and not on laptops). Mrs. Brown purchased apps from the 24/7 Tutor series with which students are able to see, hear pronunciations of, and play educational games with Spanish vocabulary words. This additional avenue of experiences with technology enhances the learning of our students and reaches other modalities and interest levels. The iPod touch cart will be shared with other O'Neill teachers and classrooms throughout the school year. Stay tuned for other exciting applications of this newest learning device for O'Neill Public School students and teachers!

Collaborative Writing Continues

In Mrs. Troester's 8th grade English class students are not only writing, peer editing, and revising within her classroom, they are doing it with students across the state. The following link is from an article written by Mrs. Troester and published by the University of NE- Lincoln about O'Neill's participation in the Nebraska Writing Project last year. This year the project has been expanded to more OHS classrooms and is producing more and more positive results. Congratulations to our 8th grade authors, editors, and peer reviewers in this project!


Students make the best teachers!

Listen to Lorissa Johnson, OHS Senior, share her self-taught knowledge of photographing people with the OHS Photography Club this morning. Great information and really cool images were shared with all. Lorissa is planning to study graphic arts in college next year and it looks as if she already has a great start!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Message from an OHS Student

A big thank you to senior student Lorissa Johnson for taking the time to write up this message regarding technology opportunities at OHS and her recent college visit to The Creative Center in Omaha.

I recently went the Creative Center in Omaha for a college visit. I thought I was unprepared but that wasn't the case. Here at O'Neill since we have 24/7 use of MacBooks we are being well prepared for the new technology that is now being used for some major careers. They told me they use: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Final Cut Pro etc. all of which we have here at O'Neill. They also told me since I have a lot of practice and skill in some of these programs that I would be far ahead of any other student. Finally they told me that I would have a great chance of getting into this school even though they only let in 60 students a year. So basically what our high school has done for us students is they have given us a great chance to succeed in the future, and given us a chance to excel in learning new technology; for which I am very grateful. :)

--Lorissa Johnson

Guest Speakers via Video Chat

Several opportunities to learn from experts have been capitalized on in the last couple of weeks at OHS. Calling upon professionals to share their experiences with our students is a underutilized opportunity that technology makes so simple. A couple of examples include Mr. Peterson's brother-in-law, Glenn Gross, college professor in Digital Design, who was willing to speak to the OHS "Hot Shots" Photography Club. Here is a summary from OHS "Hot Shots" Sponsor, Katrina Gotschall:

"The OHS Hot Shots were lucky enough to have connections this week! Mr. Peterson's brother-in-law, photographer and professor Glen Gross of Highland Community College in Highland, KS skyped in to talk to the club about what makes great photography and the appreciation that needs to come with the "art" of making a great photograph. He gave the group some background on how he became the photographer he is, talked skills with us, and gave us some pointers on choosing the right camera for the job. Mr. Peterson displayed some of his work for us all to see and appreciate. He also gave us a few resources to check out: 1) Kansas City: MK 12 2) PDN (Photo District News) Thanks for taking time from your schedule to talk to us! You can find more information on Mr. Gross here."

A second example was enjoyed by the Digital Media class as Molly Wetlauffer's cousin Skyped in to talk about her work in the professional world of Digital Media. With a write-up, here is guest blogger Molly Wetlauffer:

"On Wednesday September 30th we had a via Skype call with a General Media Manger from New Orleans,LA Rachel Vella. She talked with us about what we do here at OHS for the new cable channel 7 that we produce. She gave us tons of great advice. She told us that we should do a reality show or sell parent adds. She also told us that we are using a great program to work with,which would be Final Cut Pro. We were certainly grateful for all of her advice and are excited to get started on some new ideas."

These are just two examples of the ease and power of bringing experts from the outside world into our classroom walls via technology. The possibilities are endless. Save on mileage, travel, time, and money and set up more Guest Speakers for your classes soon. You and your students will be glad that you did.