Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural Activities

On this great day in history, where we are celebrating the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, we need to be sure to give all of our students the means to communicate about and reflect on the excitement that we are all feeling today.
Eric Sailors, has created a video about the inauguration on his blog http://speechlanguagepathologysharing.blogspot.com/ and accompanying activities, including ones to go along with this weeks News 2 You edition.
Here is an adaptation of a social script that an SLP I work with created before the inauguration:

I would like to talk to you--come closer!

Let's talk about the Presidential Inauguration?

What is an inauguration?

Did you go to the inauguration?

Did watch the inauguration on tv?

This inuaguration is so important for American History!

Yes, he is the first African American president of the United States!

Do you know anything else about President elect Obama?

The American people are ready for a change and he is willing to listen.

Do you want to be president one day?

Wouldn't it be cool to live in the White House?

I hope President Obama is going to be a great American President!

Talk to you later!

AdaptedLearning.com (a place to post materials made in Boardmaker and SDPro) has a number of activities on the Inauguration, including Put the Inauguration in Order and an interactive book on the Inauguration.

Intellitools Activitiy Exchange has an activity by Cindy Kerr, called A New President. Cindy always makes great things to share on the activity exchange.

So, enjoy watching the pomp and circumstance today, celebrate a milestone for our country, and help the kids to get involved in it back at school this week.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Help Me...Social Media is Sucking My Will To Live

I am a member of the QIAT listserv, a group of a few hundred (maybe more!) professionals and others who are interested in Assistive Technology. I post if not frequently, at least more than occasionally, and I follow threads that catch my interest. The following thread was started by Samuel Sennott, a frequent contributor to the list (who has a great blog, http://alltogether.wordpress.com) under the title, Help Me...Social Media is Sucking My Will To Live
I have posted the original email, the responses of a few others, and finally my response, as I feel it is so relevent in this day and age of technology.


Okay seriously...myspace, facebook, twitter, ning, the endless onslought of GMAIL, google reader, aim, wiki changes, skype, and on and on.

So unlike that haircutting vacuum thing <http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymq1ETtXPtc> from Wayne's World, social media is not sucking my will to live. Actually, it is quite enriching. Yet, I am trying to think in a positive and critical way towards these tools. How do we manage them, so they don't manage us? What tools are there to manage the tools to manage the tools to manage the tools and so on? What are some tips that have helped you manage this the tools of this new age?

Thanks a bunch! :)




From: Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology on behalf of Kate A
Sent: Thu 1/8/2009 11:06 PM
Subject: Re: [QIAT] Help Me...Social Media is Sucking My Will To Live

For me, like anything else in life, I have had to turn to moderation and priorities. I hardly ever twitter and no longer plurk. I don't do any kind of social bookmarking. I have put my wiki on the back burner and it may never get updated again and I accept that. About half of my e/g-mail never gets read. I only open list serv stuff is it pertains to something I know or need to know. (I also use filters for this.)

I prioritze my use of social media based on what either makes me a better, more fulfilled person or a better teacher. So my rss reader is cut back to blogs that either teach me or make me feel good. My blog I count as a service to myself as a teacher (as well as anyone else who reads it). I learn and grow as a teacher and a writer by creating it, so it is the top of my priority list for online time.

At times I feel driven to "do more, be more" online and when I do I shut off the computer and go outside. Now that gas prices are dropping (knock wood) I may even start camping again... well once some snow melts.


www.teachinglearnerswithmultipleneeds.blogspot.com <http://www.teachinglearnerswithmultipleneeds.blogspot.com/>

"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."

John Wesley

On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 10:56 PM, Christi F. wrote:

I so understand what you are saying. One little thing that I have done is to filter my email and set it to run in my google task bar. Now, I do not read many of the emails unless I feel they apply to me and my area of interest. So, yes, all of the QIAT mails go into their own file and I sort through them just once a week unless something like this catches my eye. I also filter the filtered mail by reading only certain persons postings.
D'ya think they could create an AI (artificial intelligence) that could get to know me (maybe over a cup of tea or coffee) so that it could filter it down for me even further?


(and finally my response):
I agree wholeheartedly with Kate. Give your self permission to not do it all. Pick what you like best and is the most personally and professionally fulfilling within social media and focus on that. I am constantly telling myself not to feel guilty for not updating my blog more often, and that it still serves its purpose even if I only post 1x a month. (it is mostly an outlet for me and a place to post resources for classes I teach). I try really hard to take a technology free day at least once every couple of weeks, and spend time at the barn, the movies, or whatever my family is up. I still feel overloaded and would love to find the perfect technology to help me better organize my life (so far I vote for iGoogle, as I can see my calendar, my email--I forward my work email to my gmail, so I can glance at it quickly--a to do list, links to my online courses, and my RSS feeds in only 1 or 2 screens), but there is more to life than social media. My husband just read the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv , which stressed the importance of getting outdoors for today's children, but I think it is vital for us as adults as well, and it is on my list of books to read (on Shelfari.com, of course!)
Beth Poss, M.A., CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist
Montgomery County Public Schools
PBwiki Certified Educator