Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Radio Station Reports on GED and the Shakespeare Project

A story was recently released from radio station WBEZ Chicago reporting on the new GED test and on The Shakespeare Project at the Rondo library in St.Paul.

The audio excerpts and story can found at:

In the first audio excerpt, (the small grey box) reporter Laurie Stern  interviewed Hubbs Center members and GED Testing Services President Randy Trask.
The interview also included Ericka Coleman, at GED student enrolled at the Minnesota Literacy Council's education program in the Rondo Library.

The video clip (large rectangular box) features a story on students learning Shakespeare's McBeth. One of the project's highlights was a very successful  Shakespeare Community Reading. There were 17 different readers and 80% of them were students of the literacy program.

A special thanks goes out to Heather Herrman and the staff at Rondo for all their wonderful work each day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

What's a Phlog ?

Have you ever wanted to try podcasting but thought the process was too much trouble? Have no fears my friends. ipadio makes it simple.

In the past I did buy a nice microphone, sound mixer, downloaded audio recording software, found a place that would feed my audio up to itunes and was successful. If you search hard enough you just might find a podcast of me singing Row Row Row Your Boat. (True story)  But it all seemed like sort of a pain and I didn't really have much to talk about at the time so it ended there.

Jump forward a few years. I was researching some new trends in using cell phones in the classroom for an upcoming training, I discovered ipadio . They claim you can simply dial a toll-free number, enter in a pin code and you would be broadcasting to the web. Really ? It sounded a bit too easy.

Of course I tried it. It really was that easy. I signed up on their website, received an email with the phone number I needed to call and 4 minutes later there was a recording from my phone on the internet. They even transcribed it. For free.

Ok, the transcription could use a little work but if you ever wanted to try podcasting, or a simple audio recording of your class in an easy to use manner, I recommend giving ipadio a try.

Oh, what's a phlog ? It's a phone blog. Below is a link to me and my friend Donna at a recent training about cell phones.


Looking forward to your phlog!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Doing More with Google Docs!

There’s still room for you in this Friday’s workshop: Doing More with Google Docs!

What?  Over the past year, many teachers, volunteers, and staff have had a chance to get started with Google Docs in the popular "Introduction to Google Docs" workshop. The "Doing More with Google Docs" hands-on technology workshop picks up where that session left off. Come back for a brush-up on key Google Docs features like uploading documents and sharing with other users, and then try out some new features like building web forms, making presentations, and using free document templates.

When?  Friday, May 4 from 1:30-3:30

Where?  Minnesota Literacy Council, 700 Raymond Ave, Suite 180, St. Paul, MN 55114

How do I register? Click here!

Questions?  Contact Susan Wetenkamp-Brandt at swbrandt@mnliteracy.org or 651-251-9090.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Employment Readiness: An iPad in the Field Exercise

     As iPad and other tablet computer use continues to grow, many programs want to know how to use them in their classroom. Sarah Lund, an instructor at one of the Minnesota Literacy Council's learning centers, was kind enough to share this lesson with us.

Last month, the Employment Readiness 2 class at Arlington Hills did a month long unit on job interviewing skills and using iPads.

Students started by watching videos of job interviews that were developed through Rochester ABE.  http://www.ricdwyer.com/ABE/Print_Materials.html 

The students watched the videos and then made decisions on if the video was a “good” interview or a “bad” interview and discussed why they thought that way.

They then spent time pulling out the interview questions and, in pairs, practiced interviewing each other with the same questions from the videos.

Once the students felt comfortable answering the questions, they began using iPads to learn how to take videos. Once everyone was comfortable, the students videotaped each other being interviewed. The teacher uploaded each video to Youtube and then the students watched all the videos as a class. Students rated each other’s interviews on the following criteria:

1. Could you hear?
2. Could you understand?
3. Was the person friendly?

The students rated each category with this following scale:

3 – Very Good
2 – So-So
1 – Not very good

This was the top rated video from the class:

And this was the bottom rated video: (because he answered his cell phone during the interview!)

Thanks Sarah!
We would love to hear reader comments and questions.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Don't Break the Chain

If you are like me, you have an easy time getting motivated about things but sometimess get distracted by other shiny objects and have trouble following through with your original goal. Enter dontbreakthechain.com 

The website was inspired by a goal setting exercise used by Jerry Seinfeld. Yep, that Jerry Seinfeld. He would take a calendar and put a large X on each day he worked on his comedy. His goal was to work on his comedy every day. The theory is that a visual of getting things done is a great motivator to continue. Filling his calendar with X's, Jerry created a chain that he didn't want to break.

To use the website ,you create an account and simply click on the date to mark that you worked on your goal that day. You can set up multiple calendars and view calendars by different date ranges.

One thing I did to further help me reach my goal is to set the website a my home page. That way each time I access the internet I am reminded to continue my "chain". Give it a try and good luck on your goals!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Minnesota Literacy Council Wins .org Award !

In December , I posted the launch of the Minnesota Literacy Council's  new website http://www.mnliteracy.org/
This month, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits selected our new website as this year’s dot.org award winner in the website redesign category! 

The award will be presented at the Nonprofit Technology Conference on March 16. Congratulations to everyone at the MLC , and a special "Great Job!"  to Melissa Martinson the project manager.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year = New Trainings!

A former Miss World-Wide Web runner-up once told me, "After world peace, free energy, sustainable food supplies, tv remotes that never get lost, and jetpacks; what would benefit the world most would be more tech trainings providing CEUs to educators."  To help fill this need the MLC will be holding 3 technology trainings in January.

Friday January 20th from 1:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.
iPads in the Classroom

Friday January 27th from 1:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. 
Cell Phones in the Classroom

Friday January 27th from 3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. 
Skills Tutor Webinar 

Cost: FREE !
Location: MLC Main Office, 700 Raymond Ave. #180 St.Paul MN, 55114
Register Today