Middle School Matters

2011 Tech Ideas to Start the Year

(from Middle School teachers and the Integration Blog)

Find some time. Click a few links. A little something for everybody.

Student Work Displayed

Teacher Blogging Techniques

  • A clever way to make that weekly post that takes the “blogging pain” away.
  • View the power of embedded games on your blog site. A natural fit.
  • Witness the draw-you-in-ness of having large, clear images at the start of your blog posts.
  • Simple organization of daily class starters you already do allows for student review and a bank of future resources.

To inspire integration

Off the beaten track
To soothe the soul at the start of 2011:

  • If you need to just chill a bit after the holidays, grab a primer of various styles of music from the music department.
  • Not to be missed. Try a new hobby.

United Nations Pitches

For the second straight year, Grade Six students have produced stupendous work incorporating research from all core subjects.

They produced incredible Pecha Kuchas* for the Q2 performance task. Their video presentations are between 10-20 slides, and the narration on each slide is between 10-20 seconds long. Their task was to research the impact of certain products on food chains and groups of people.

Situation: The UN has raised the question of whether or not certain products should stay on the market due to their questionable effects on the environment and people. They have appealed to certain NGOs for their help in determining positive and negative impacts on the environment and people, so that they can make an informed decision.

I.T. Connections: Students learned about Creative Commons and how to search Flickr and Google Image Advanced Search for Creative Commons photos. Students were encouraged to use Compfight to find appropriate photos.

To view the videos, click on the topic below:





*What is PechaKucha ?

PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images forward automatically and you talk along to the images.
To read more about the Pecha Kucha format click here.

Sharing Resources

Are you a social bookmarker? Do you share your online resources with fellow teachers? Are you building a database of quality online sites for your future classes? Do you have shortcuts sleeping in folders on the server?

logo-deliciousIn Middle School, a few individual teachers, one department, and possibly an entire grade level are now sharing great sites via Delicious.com .

Another option is Diigo This service allows you to highlight and annotate bookmarks as well.

What is social bookmarking?


Ask one of your integrators to help you get set up.

Get ready to:

  • Share sites with people in your network
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds of people’s bookmarks
  • Teachers and students can share great sites with one another all in one location.


How to Use Delicious Like  Pro

Shared Bookmarks at ISM
ISM Spanish
D. Sturgeon

Prezi Updated!

Prezi, the popular online presentation tool, has updated some of their features.

Some major changes have been made to help correct Prezi’s major drawbacks:

  • Seasickness: now much smoother smoothing and panning
  • Necessity to use visible frames to group ideas topics: now able to use hidden frames

Check out the Prezi below to see the knew changes in action. (Click on More and Fullscreen in the Prezi)


Simple Solutions #1

usb pileOn a daily basis USB/flash/thumb drives/sticks are left in the computer labs and in classrooms. Previously I would take the time to open files on the drive and determine the owner. No longer! My rule is now to see if the student named their USB. If they have not it goes in the ‘USB” pile.

How to Name your USB


Like renaming any file or folder, simple right-click and re-name it.



Right-click the mounted USB-chose Get Info-Naming and Extensions.

Screen shot 2010-03-26 at 9.13.05 AM

Tech Toons

Grade Five iLearn students have produced some cool cartoons relating to technology. Topics such as cyberbullying, online chatting, gaming addiction, cellphone, online scams, spam email, and other tech issues were addressed by the students.
Printouts of the cartoons can be seen in the Grade 5 hallway on the plaza level.

Uses are limitless. You can combine strips to form cartoon books as well.Make your own cartoons at Toondoo.

Hong.-Soo-Yeon.-Technology-cartoon tan.nea.toondoomaker Shaminan.Suriyzah-toondoo-credit-card

Tan.-Shin-yee.-A-baseball-match kong.owen.toondoo lamont.rory.toondoo