Tuesday, August 5, 2008

thing #23 summarize your thoughts about this program

1. My favorite experience was with flikr. It is a great resource for someone like me that thrives on the visual, loves to share images of what we are studying with our students and has a personal interest in photography. I also feel you cannot go wrong exploring this site. You cannot mess anything up!!
2. This program has assisted my lifelong learning goals by enhancing my technological education. Before I started this program I did not even have an Ipod (go ahead and laugh), now I have an Ipod, can blog and even create a photocast. I am no longer afraid of using technology in my personal life or in my professional classroom. I will continue to explore several of these sites and enrich my basic understanding.
3. I will definitely be using several of these sites again and look forward to really applying them in the classroom starting this fall. As for something I am taking away with me, I really am still shocked that I didn't collapse in the technology of it all. I have a new found appreciation for technology and it's application in the classroom.
4. To improve this program I strongly recommend more support...I suggest a once a week open chat room with the kickball captains. Also, for SBISD employees perhaps a booking of the computer lab at the admin building once a week for folks to come in and work on their posts. I know that I do better with face to face help and a new (not my comfy house) setting, perhaps others will benefit from that also.
5. I do not know if I would participate in this type of program again or not. (to be honest) While I do feel I learned a lot, I also feel that this was fairly time consuming and assumed a level of proficiency (that I do not have). For the future, I think my participation would depend on my time constraints, what the exact information to be shared is and the support methods in place.
6. I went from only knowing email to the rest of the internet - all in one course!
7. Oh, right. Guess I will go do that!

Thanks for the experience! I hope I got all of this right. Take care.

thing #22 Nings

Nings are a great tool for sharing ideas and applications between teachers. I explored Ning for teachers and really like the idea. It is great because I can network on ideas I am exploring in the classroom; everything from how to convey a concept to reaching a difficult student to subject specific material like daily Spanish phrases. I am a bit distracted by all the ads, but I guess this is where an RSS feed might come in handy. I have to say my favorite section is the lessons....sometimes I am stumped and do not know how to change things up (I just feel tapped out) and this is a great place to look for a start or inspiration. Also, I can post my blog here and do what I have found many teachers do...vent. I know we all got into education for our own personal reasons but for some reason we all have similar problems and people outside of education rarely understand them. So, my blog would be a good place to say my peace and move on and if other educators feel that these issues resound with them then they can respond. But, mostly I see classroom glitches getting resolved in this forum... problematic students, difficult material, new methodology for the classroom. It is a place to come, help and be helped.

Thing #21 podcasts and audio books

This is a great resource for expanding class time. Also, I can see using this for homebound students. I had serious difficulty at first, but I think if I created several photostories the quality and ease would definitely improve. I will be the first to say that I like the concept for my photostory right now, but I am not crazy about the photo quality as it appears in the story. The pics are clear on my computer why arent they loading that clearly??? Again, experience would probably make it better. So, here ya go...

Thing #20 YouTube and TeacherTube

There are so many resources available! With the use of the new ActivBoards in our district these videos can be used in the classroom as "hooks" to start a lesson, as visual reinforcement of information being discussed or even as a primary means of distributing (at times) the desired information. In this day and age when students are addicted to the internet and TV, this is a way to bring education to them. The plethora of videos available would also come in handy when we discuss current events where traditional methods such as books and newspapers may not have yet caught up to the story - the internet most likely will beat them to the punch and TADA! We have resources to use in the classroom. Up to date, new and constantly expanding. The clip I chose is of Picasso...our textbook in foreign language uses famous Spanish speaking artists and their works at the beginning of each chapter as introductions. I really enjoy sharing what I know about the life and times of the artist when I discuss the art and I like to show other works. This clip would be a perfect example of something I could show at the beginning of a new chapter with work by Picasso.

Thing #19 Web 2.0

Care2.com got the award for best philanthropy site and I can see why. I am always looking for ways to get involved in the community or make a wiser decision for the environment. This site can be used in any number of ways....they have stories on design (feng shui) which could be used in Home Ec, breast cancer awareness(health class), war in Africa (Social studies) and endangered species (Science), among many. Not to mention this site takes things a step further by not just mentioning these topics or writing stories, but by suggesting action and ways to implement or support what the article discusses. Think of the ways this could be used in the classroom! You just studied endangered species, now what do you (the student) want to do about the issue? Do you want to start a fund raising campaign? Contact a researcher? Etc? It really allows information to not only be presented, but be applied. Also, since this is a philanthropic site, the students would be making a difference. In my own classroom I see discussing "indigenous people's rights" since that is a huge issue in the quickly growing populations of South America.

Thing #18 online productivity tools

Well, I think that there are some definite perks to the Google Docs. For starters, it is FREE and on my teacher's salary that is a real plus. Not to mention this is the death of thumb drives for keeping files since I can access my files from anywhere. Finally, it is a real plus to be able to share files with other "community" members - i.e. group members on school projects or coworkers for presentations or reports. The templates are also helpful to speed up the production process. While it does not offer as many fonts and such as Microsoft, I don't think that is a big enough flaw to merit me forking out the big bucks. So, for now this program gets my seal of approval.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thing #17 Rollyo

Honesty is always the best policy and so I must say, I really do not like this concept. Maybe it was the fifteen times I had to go in and enter my information because I had not completely logged in, written something incorrectly or not made my search public or what not. In retrospect this is a user friendly site, but it needs a step by step guide. (thanks go out to Bruce's 23 thing project for saving me from complete abandonment) Having said that, I do see using this in other classroom environments. My class (foreign language) is just not a place that I see a lot of research happening. Thus, i do not see creating and implementing a search engine of this type. So, I went for personal glory and instant gratification and created my search for my interest....travel. Right now I want to go see my sister (who lives in Italy) so the sites this accesses are all related to European vacations, tips for travel and must see/do places for your to-do list. So, if you need this information, are planning a trip or are like me and just like to drool over travel opportunities, search on...