Friday, September 19, 2008

Excitement Over Something We Already Have

Yesterday I had plans to do a power point presentation on using SharePoint websites for virtual classrooms. During the first workshop on Learning Disabled Students one of our staff members talked about how some students have written output problems. I mentioned that MS Word 2003 has built in voice recognition software. That means you talk, and MS Word types, (after you train the computer first). They were astounded, as no one had heard this feature existed in MS Word. It is not as good as some of the third party software titles out there that do speech to text better, but it is something we already have on our computers. No added cost; no waiting for installation or implementation. Some of the student services people thought that this was something they will implement immediately.

How can we get the word out about these features on commonly used pieces of software that will help our students? I will do my part, and blog it!

I think my next pro-d will be about professional reading. If all the teachers in my staff subscribed to one blog each on the topic of their field of education, we would be the most up-to-date middle school in the Province. Plus, by subscribing to blogs, we would be learning in small, easy to digest bites. Middle school practice is designed for people to share out information, and so one good idea can get spread through a team and then a whole staff very quickly.

We shouldn't stop reading books. We should just start reading blogs.

1 comment:

Dave Truss said...

I won't stop reading books, but now I'll be reading your blog!

James, it was great meeting you today. I feel very networked in a lot of ways, but don't feel that I have a strategy for connecting to 'local' bloggers! We should create a group in our district that meets once a month to share ideas and enthusiasm for everything web2.0.

Dave.