Monday, January 30, 2012

Direct Downloads from TED

Good news for fans of the TED series! TED has started to make a majority of their catalog available for direct download. If you download the video to save on a flash drive, you can get around the long buffering times in the smart classrooms or labs. Look for the download button below the video (see below).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Professional Development at The New School

Here is an upcoming event at the English Language Studies Center at the New School:

Resources and Ideas for Language Teaching from Natural Language (Corpora): A Workshop with Randi Reppin

The New School
Wednesday, February 22 at 6:00p.m.
Theresa Lang Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Tech Tools For Streaming And Polling: A Recap

Thank you to those who participated in the workshops last week - we had a nice turnout both days, and I've heard from a few faculty members about successful saving of video. Please keep me posted on what you try and how it goes.

If you were unable to attend, here are two handouts you might find useful: a list of the sites we visited and explored, and guidelines on fair use and copyright from CUNY's general counsel.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18 Web Blackouts

If you notice that the web looks different today (perhaps you can't find anything on Wikipedia?!), have a look here to learn more.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Media Center Workshop: New Tech Tools for Streaming and Polling In the Classroom

Frustrated by the slow streaming from YouTube in the smart classrooms? Can't play a radio show because it just won't load? (Smart classrooms don't always feel so smart...) Or, are you looking for a new way to get quick and honest feedback from your students about what they are learning or what they might be struggling with? We've got some tools to show you that might help.

Please mark your calendars for a workshop being offered on either Thursday January 19 or Friday, January 20. We will meet in C333 (NOT the Media Center!) from 1:00 - 2:00 on those dates.

Three Activities and Two Songs

Welcome back, everybody! Here are the new activities outside the Media Center for Winter 2012. The worksheets are available on the board outside C311, the binders in the teachers' computer room and at the teacher's desk in C311, or on the wiki.

There are two activities that combine clips from movies with text from the novels that inspired them. These activities might be more well-suited for students in intermediate to advanced levels. If you are looking for contemporary fiction to bring into the classroom, perhaps pair reading The Help or The Hunger Games with watching the movie.

This clip from the current season of 30 Rock features a long and vocabulary-rich monologue by Alec Baldwin's character, Jack Donaghy. The activity asks students to listen to the monologue while reading a gloss; they can then try to determine the meaning of some highlighted words and phrases.

The songs are currently popular on both the radio and as digital downloads. Keep Me In Mind by the Zac Brown Band is a contemporary country song with easy lyrics, and its equally simple structure makes a comfortable listening activity for students in the lower levels. Shake It Out by British stars Florence + The Machine is lyrically much more complex, but provides an opportunity for students in the higher levels to study idiomatic expressions.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Your LaGuardia Email

Liz sent an email around this week about the advantages of keeping your LaGuardia email active and current. The best reason is to speed up your smart classroom login time!

Because LaGuardia email passwords were recently reset, you will need to set a new password for your account. Here are the instructions again for your reference.
  1. Go to (There is also a link on the LaGuardia website, bottom right, under "Communicate.")
  2. Login with your USERNAME (first letter of first name + last name, e.g. wshakespeare) and the password (queens2012).
  3. In the top right corner of your inbox, click Options.  A window will open; click the Password tab in the window.  Type the old and new passwords.  
  4. Take a few minutes to delete old messages.  
See me or Liz with any questions!