Monday, July 24, 2006

Authoring Tools Tech. Help

I recently spent a week at my school working on curriculum. As hard as it was getting into the swing of school work when being half way through the summer, there were parts of it that were enjoyable; like being able to work on technology integration. I introduced many of the teachers in my department to Photostory, and even helped an english teacher use it to create a short presentation on Shakespeare. I was also able to assist another english teacher with a powerpoint presentation. He was attempting to download MP3 music into the powerpoint but needed it saved as a WAV file. I introduced him to Audacity; the freeware program that allows a user to integrate all types of sounds, technologically alter them, and then export them as either a WAV or a MP3 file. If you haven't fooled around with it before I highly recommend it. I believe that I already created a post for it several weeks ago! I'm getting so old all the technology runs together!

Friday, July 14, 2006

authoring tool for teachers

I just wanted to share this article from The

it talks about a great software program for teachers - an authoring tools specifically for them - to help them deal with classroom management problems. Grades, seating charts, lesson planner, administration section and also has a section designed to help teachers get the most out of the internet. Check it out!

Monday, July 10, 2006

PowerPoint Presentations

My authoring tools class recently had a project due where we had to present an authoring tool in a powerpoint presentation. After they were all graded we were able to view them. It was interesting to see everyone's presentation, and I learned a lot through them. As one group did dreamweaver and one did FrontPage I was able to compare and contrast the two of them. I have never used either program (I typically just use Geocities when creating a webpage) so both of them were new to me. I was sad to see that FrontPage will no longer be continued.

Another classmate presented Puzzle Maker from I have to say that I absolutely love using It has many great puzzle making tools and they have all been used, mainly in my geometry classes.

A last group did a presentation on using blogs in the classroom, and I really liked that presentation as I have always been interested in introducing blogs in the classroom, but haven't been exactly sure how to go about it. The presentation listed several blogging sites that are secure and only allow "appropriate" material for the classroom.
Overall, a job was well done by all! :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Photo Story

Another GREAT authoring tool: Microsoft Photo Story! I found out about this one through my other current class: Special Topics In Ed. Tech. Photo Story is a digital picture story that can be created through a very simple process. It is appropriate for all grade levels, and all disciplines. I used it to create a photo story about my recent trip to help rebuild houses in Mississippi that were damaged by Katrina. Because my instructor said it had to be insructional I told about our experience, and then detailed the whole process that has to be done to the house in order to get it ready to live in again.

Photo Story can be used a number of different ways in the classroom. The author could be the teacher, who could create the story as a direct instructional tool which teachers the students the steps to completing a process. A digital story could also be used as an introduction to a topic, or as a closing section to a unit, or as an exploratory section. For instance, in teaching math, I might use a story to apply what the students are learning in my classroom to how they might use it in the "real-world." The author can also be the student, and the teacher can have them create a story for any means that they think is appropriate in the classroom.

I highly recommend using this site. If not even for the classroom, for personal use. It is a great way to keep memories alive.
The site is

FREE to anyone that has Windows XP!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Intro to Authoring Tools

I have never really considered authoring tools and their use in the classroom before I wrote my first paper for my authoring tools class. Learning about the benefits of using authoring tools in the classroom really made me think about their importance in my curriculum. I typically only use the computers for Gometer's Sketchpad activities, but am not thinking about expanding te programs I use to include many more authoring tools.

I discovered that students are motivated by using authoring tools as they create them themselves and they can be a direct expression of themselves. This gives the students a sense of ownership over their own learning, making it much easier for them to enjoy their schoolwork.

Authoring tools can also be used independently, or collaboratively. Collaborative work also motivates students not only for the social aspect, but also due to the peer pressure. Students do not want to look like idiots in front of each other so they will typically work harder to impress each other.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I just discovered this great authoring tool called Audacity. It is a shareware program that allows the students to record their voices and create products like radio shows or an oral reading of shakespeare or a presentation. The authors are able to add several layers, making it possible to to add music, soundbites and narration. When completed the file can be saved as a WMV file, allowing it to be played on virtually any computer.

the website for download is

check it out - it is great for the classroom!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Hello and welcome to my blog! This blog has been created as part of my Authoring Tools class, one of many classes on the road to getting my master's degree in Educational Technology. Check by occasionally to hear my thoughts on technology or to learn new things.