Monday, November 15, 2010

Diane's Site Visit with Frances at Petaluma Adult School

Hi everyone,

Today I had the pleasure of visiting Frances at her site, the Petaluma Adult School. Frances teaches an intermediate ESL class there four mornings a week. There are about 35 students in her class. Her classroom is in a portable classroom behind the McDowell Elementary School and so there is a lot of activity on the campus and in the classroom where Frances teaches. Her classroom also houses a program called Healthy Start and a parent education program called Avance.

Today I got to meet her principal, Carol Waxman, and discuss the goals for her TIMAC project, which will focus on helping teachers learn how to use and interface with the new document camera and projector that will be arriving later this week. We looked at the space in the room and considered the best place to put it and talked about the need to hook it up with a laptop computer as well. Frances is hoping to get an orientation to the new equipment from the technician who installs it and I'll do my best to find other sources of info. about how to use document cameras.

In addition to discussing goals for the coming year, we also got to meet with Vera Nichol, the Learning Center Coordinator at the school, who is responsible for IT at the site. She graciously gave up part of her lunch hour to come in and help us try to download Photo Story 3. We hope to have it installed and for Frances to get to experiment with that program soon. It's great that Vera is on site to assist with computer needs.

Next, Frances and I decided to go off-campus to a Starbucks with Wi Fi to continue our meeting since her classroom is in use starting at 2:00. At Starbucks, the first order of business was downloading Picasa onto Frances's Mac and showing her how to import photos from a camera and upload them to Picasa. In order to use Picasa, you need to have a gmail account so we signed Frances up for one and tomorrow she is going to help her class sign up for gmail accounts as well.

You can see our photos from today here:

After working a bit with iPhoto and Picasa, Frances decided to open a wiki account with Unfortunately, we ran out of time but we look forward to learning more about pbwiki and seeing how we can use it as a possible class website.

All in all, it was a fun afternoon and I look forward to learning more from Frances and seeing how she integrates the use of a document camera into her classes and what websites or wikis she develops. Thanks Frances !

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