Saturday, July 5, 2008

Thing #23!

YIPPEE!!!! I am at Thing 23! What an adventure!

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
My favorite things through this experience were:Google reader, wikis, creating a blog, and learning about Library Thing - I love that!!!!!
How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
I have felt rather guilty the past year or so because I knew there was so much I DIDN'T know about technology! This was a great way to push myself to learn some new things in an area that is a bit overwhelming to me.
Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? I was amazed at how much I could use personally! I use Google reader EVERY day now and had so much fun creating a wiki for a book club that I love.
What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I think this was a great program - very organized!!!! At times I needed help with a few things, and luckily I have a fabulous librarian that would email me/call me over the summer to lend support! It was A LOT to learn, so maybe having "mini sessions"? All in all - I am amazed at how you put this together!
If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate? YES!
How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities? Challenging, rewarding and applicable!

Thing #22

I spent some time on the Teacher Ning - and again I was amazed at how much teacher chatting is going on out there in cyber world! I thought it was interesting to "peek in"and see what others are thinking (and venting) about!
One benefit of Nings, as mentioned in the article, was that it looks like a way for educators to communicate with students, and students with students, in a more "business related" fashion. I know some teachers that have MySpace and Facebook accounts that they invite their students to view and I've always felt a bit uncomfortable with seems a little too personal...although I do believe that this is the way kids are communicating nowadays and maybe Ning is a way for us to meet them where they are, without getting too personal. Hmmm...will have to continue thinking on that one!

Thing #21

Ok - I am going to come back to this one! I have emailed my super fabulous librarian and she is sending help!

More later... Here we go! My LMS sent me information on photo story and it was pretty easy after that! However, I don't have a microphone for my computer so I am not sure you will be able to hear my voice! Which may NOT be a bad thing!!!

OOPS - well it looks like it will not let me upload my video! It goes through the motions and then gives me a message to contact "support"!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thing #20

I had lots of fun with YouTube and TeacherTube. I had been introduced to YouTube by friends showing me silly things on the site, but I didn't even know there was TeacherTube! There were lots of neat things that I could see using with my kiddos - especially a cute dinosaur project that a 2nd grade class has created. I love the idea of having all of these new ways in which kids can share their knowledge with the world! Wow! I love using video to teach. I know, I spend too much time in front of tvs as it is, but truly, short videos can be very effective! Probably because it is a familiar format! Personally, my favorite things in this technology adventure have been those videos that explain the new technology simply. I think they are called common craft videos. In any case - I love them and can understand them! I think kids feel the same way when we take a difficult concept and present it in a way that is familiar and friendly. This is just a silly Muppet's video. I loved the Muppets as a kid and who can resist the vocal stylings of the Swedish Chef?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thing #19

This was an interesting search! I spent the majority of my time at Craigslist and Lulu but I also LOVE that there was a Spanishpod site where you could learn Spanish online, for free and at your own pace! I really have no more excuses now for not learning this...
In any case, I looked at Craigslist simply because I had heard about it but wasn't quite sure what it was all about. It was very easy to use and is a great tool to find local listings for all sorts of things in a variety of cities. I loved that is was very user friendly. They also had a link to the "Best Of" Craigslist which was hilarious, but certainly not appropriate content for students! Lulu was a great site in which you can publish your work and then sell it online! After taking NJWP training a few years ago, I remain mindful of the need to find creative ways for my students to be able to publish and share their work. This is a great tool for writers to get professional looking published works. I am not sure how user friendly it is, but it appeared to be fairly simple. Great activity!

Thing #18

Ahhh...Google to the rescue! For some reason (I am sure it is just the format) all things Google seem so much easier for me to understand! I played around with Googledocs. I wasn't quite sure why one would need these products if you had the good old Microsoft Office Suite, however I read several of the reviews and it became clearer! I guess the obvious advantage is it is free! I do get frustrated that Microsoft (and other software companies) update and change their products every year or so and you are forced to buy the new product which does not seem to "read" or be compatible with the older product. The online tools seem to be updated instantly without one having to make any more purchases. Another advantage is that it is all online - so there is no need to worry about storage issues or access from other computers. To be able to access your work from anyplace and anytime seems to be a recurring theme with all of these new online tools. Also, it appears from reading the reviews that folks love being able to read, publish and edit their docs in "real time" - I can certainly see it being nice for documents to be able to be shared easily on the web versus trying to email everything. These are a great alternative.

Thing #17

All I can say is, "huh?" I don't understand how to actually use Rollyo. I understand the concept of creating your own search engine and I even created my own account and added some other folks' searchrolls into mine, but I can not figure out how to actually use them or how to link this to my blog. I am so confused. I searched other people's blogs to see what they did fot this posting but am still at a loss...any ideas?