Well, it’s official. This weather stinks. Winter needs to end. I was ready last weekend to hear the news that Punxsutawney Phil was ready for spring, but alas, no such luck. Instead that little rat was scared back into hibernation by his own shadow and we were graced by not one, but two lovely snowstorms this week. Now, don’t get me wrong…in a normal winter I love snow. I get excited for it. I dance around outside with the snowflakes swirling around me, in my own little snowglobe world. Not this year. Now I stand outside, bundled, chipping ice and frozen snow off of my driveway and cursing the weather for the number of snow days my school district is accumulating, cutting into my summer vacation.
Our total so far is 5. 5 additional days added to our school year. This week we had a snow day on Monday, 2-hour delay on Tuesday, snow days on Wednesday and Thursday due to a lack of power in the district, and finally with power restored we were supposed to return to school today, Friday, with a 2-hour delay. That was until 8:15 this morning when we got word that our school was closed yet again, this time due to a water main break across the street. No school for students. Teachers had to report to another school in the district for in-service. We weren’t excited.
Our disappointment and disgruntled behavior this morning quickly melted into enthusiasm and dare I say excitement as we learned about 3 new technology tools for our district: Skype in the Classroom, Office365 and its SkyDrive; and Screencasting through Screencast-O-Matic.com.
By far, the most popular was the idea of having a SkyDrive, increasing our district storage space from our 4gb personal drive on the district servers to the 25gb cloud storage provided through Office365.
My favorite however, seems to be the idea of screencasting my lessons. I love the idea that I can record my lessons and share them to students who may be ill, injured or homebound. I can send tutorials for skills that my students are struggling to grasp. I can create test reviews and more to be shared with my classroom community. It’s awesome and simple to use – two of my favorite adjectives when it comes to technology in the classroom. Press record, capture up to 15 minutes of material, save and send. Or, better yet, I can post it to my classroom website.
Now that I’ve shared it with you, I hope you’ll check it out. I’m off to go record something….
Guest Post By: Jennifer Quaresima