Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Region 4 Podcast Class

Hard to believe that its been about 4 months since I was in this class...part of a grant for ELL and podcasting...great class. After completing the 23 Things to Play, I thought that I would be a little more savvy with the podcasting, but...this RSS thing still boggles me. I may need to go back and re-do the RSS information. Help...is there an easier way to figure this out?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing #23

I've said it before and now I'm going to repeat myself, "This is one of the best training classes I've ever taken." One of my favorite discoveries has been to create my own blog. (1) This has floored my kids (and myself). I want to maintain it and probably add it to my TeacherLingo Ning. I hate to admit it, but emerging technology when I was growing up (whoops! I'm going to date myself on this one) was going from a manual typewriter, to an electric typewriter, to word processors, to working on computers the size of a VW Bug with the memory capacity of a lima bean. (2) I was really beginning to feel out of loop on technology. But, I think 23 Things has given me the self-confidence to try new things and explore what's out there.
I used to be the last one to sign up for technology classes (3); now I can't wait for next summer to take part 2 of this course. Who knew?!
I can't imagine changing anything about this course. (4) Having the get togethers in the beginning of the summer helped me through the initial rough patches. Without that help, I may have given it up because I was truly in over my head. The face - to - face meets bolstered my self confidence and every one was so nice I didn't feel like the village idiot.
(5) I would so take another course offered like this. I have learned so much! I will probably need the school year to practice what I've learned and to revisit 23 Things so that I can keep going back to all the different web sites. Besides I love the CommonCraft guys!!
(6) Unlike other staff development courses/training where you sit and watch other people demostrate or listen to other people's explanations, I actually had to explore the different websites, create blogs/videos and join web based communities. Your motto should be "Go Forth And Learn!"
Thanks for an outstanding class!

Thing #22

I really enjoyed exploring Nings. In fact I joined two Nings - the NCET and TeacherLingo. I like the idea of having a forum for like minded, like interested people. I have always felt that it shouldn't be necessary to re-invent the wheel everytime someone wants to expore something new or try out an idea. There's alot a really talented people out there. I'm hoping I can join up with some on my Nings and hopefully contribute to the effort as well.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thing #21

Photo Story very easy to use. Audacity is another story. I think the file size may have alot to do with it. Also trying to match the music with the voice over with the pictures as a bit frustrating and not entirely successful. I am going to go back and reread alot of the information sites (my Common Craft guys' video didn't work this time...darn! darn! darn! I love those guys!)
I think this is just one of those things that has to be performed repeatedly...for me this will be learning through trial and error, but sometimes that's the best way. You can't just read about it; you have to do it! **Note: Processing the video is taking forever! I didn't use that many pictures. Yikes! I think I'll just go do something else for a while....starring at this screen is making me stir crazy! **Okay, checking back...that's 1 hour down and still processing! Two hours and counting!
Okay its now 8:42 p.m., I started this at 6:10. I'm done...it's cancelled. It was saved as a .wmv or whatever, but this is ridiculous. I'm not seeing a value in this.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thing #20

I really prefer TeacherTube to YouTube although I will visit both sites. I find that YouTube has alot of just 'junk' videos that you have to sift through if you are into mind-numbing hours of boredom. TeacherTube it the way to go and I have found more useful videos there that I can use in my class. Hopefully my video download or upload will be a success.

Thing #19

Web 2.0 had some really cool sites, but so far my favorite was Picasa 3 which I had to download because it was too good to pass up. I know there are plenty of sites to use for photo editing and organizing, but Picasa was just so much easier for me. I download alot of images throughout the school year to create student presentations. Picasa is a great organizing and presentation tool. I want to spend sometime now setting up some folders for student use that will save them alot of time working on their various projects. Love it!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thing # 18

I have to say that I'm like Google docs alot. I like the fact that I can share the documents and also limit who has access to read and/or edit. Because I work on a home computer and my school laptop, I have documents in both places. Google docs could become a place for me to store some of my shared documents. I can also share with my team mates, which would be very cool when we are team writing a grant. I would like to try Google docs with a student writing project also. For those students who do not have computers at home, but who maybe able to go to a library to use one, they could access their work in Google docs. I am definitely liking it. If anyone has any horror stories about Google docs, I hope they let me know!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thing #17

I really like Rollyo...this tool definitely gives me the information management that I feel I need for my classes especially during the first half of the year. I think Bruce's video was dead on..give the kids an assignment and the very first place they to is to Google. Well enough, but they would need to sift through thousands of hours of information. By that time, they are bored and spending thousands of hours deciding what font they want to use and in what color. I'm definitely going back to Rollyo before the school year starts to begin setting up some search boxes of my own making and also discovering information sites others have provided. I did have a bit of trouble trying to link my box Scharer 8 ELA to this blog though. Not sure what happened with that...

Thing #16

Okay I get the idea of what a wiki is...however, I still need to filter on the uses. I can definitely see where using a wiki for my writing lessons...for the students to collaborate in groups to edit and refine their papers. And, I think I could definitely use wikis for book discussions too and history research projects. My big concern is that there doesn't seem to be alot of security on the wiki page...as such, it looks like a student could have their work lost if someone goes on to the wiki and changes it...hmmm not sure about all that so I'm going to check out the other resources to see what they say about security. It was fun though posting a wiki on the sandbox!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thing #15

The video was outstanding. I want to play it for my classes so that they too can understand the power of technology. But, just as I typed that comment, I had to give myself a mental mind slap. My eighth graders are more technologically savvy than I am...texting/itunes/gaming/MySpace etc. All of the discussion on Web 2.0 and the future of libraries were astute and interesting. My biggest problem with the increasingly rapid pace of developing technology is that the classroom isn't developing as fast. I'm in a Title 3 school. I had to go through 5 desktop computers at the beginning of the last school year just to find one that would work with my Elmo for longer than 3 or 4 days. As far as computers in the classroom....UNHEARD OF!! Don't have them and we're not getting them. We have computer labs and a 30 laptops on rolling carts (but you must check out all of the carts {2 carts at 15 computers each} for the entire day even if you only have 16 kids in class. (you do the math any way you want but that means that 14 laptops are sitting there unused for how ever many days that classroom has checked out the laptops. ) Usually 1/3 to 1/2 of the computers in the labs don't work (because they are about 8 years old!) and you have to register to use a lab. To make a long story short, you can't get in because teachers have reserved labs for a month at a time. There are so many other things that I could say about this, but probably the most aggravating is that many teachers do not know how to integrate the computer into the classroom or their scope and sequence. The laptops are typically used as babysitters to keep the kids quiet and occupied. It's all such a waste and very disappointing. The kids at my school will be lacking in technology skills when they get to highschool; there's no doubt about it.

Thing #14

Technorati was very interesting and navigating the site was fairly easy. I was able to register my blog within a matter of minutes. I'm going to go back and spend alot more time experimenting with the widgets. I think I also need to add Technorati to my iGoogle acct. too . I can see though where this is going to have to be a slow process for me just to wrap my mind around interfacing some of these sites. Actually, I'm surprised that I've made it this far...not bad for a person who's never had a blog, MySpace or Facebook account. Well, I still don't have the MySpace or Facebook, but I have a blog! Onward!!!



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thing #13

I remember when we had to submit a list of four names of our favorite websites at work so that the tech person would them to Delicious. I just didn't understand why...what was Delicious? Well, the video was very imformative. Makes sense to organize try all the info that we find on the web. There are so many times where I am just browzing and I'll find something that I know I could really use in class. Unfortunately, that information is usually just lost because I don't remember having see it by the time I'm covering that content. So, in essence , these sites also serve as my memory.
Of the sites that I checked out, I actually like Digg the best. At least I think I do. I set up an account and I'm going to start tagging sites. The video made it look easy so we shall see. I am really excited about using this to organize information for my U.S. History classes. (And my Language Arts classes too!) I would like to use this type of website for research and reteach. Anyway, I figure that if I don't like Digg, I can always go to Delicious. Or I may just set up another account just to be used for my students.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thing #12

I agree that : 1) it is important to comment on blogs if its about something that really interests you or is pertinent to you and 2) your comments should be just as good/complete/descriptive as the blog to which your are responding. I like what cwhite had to say on his comment: in the beginning blogging to is a little like staring at your navel : )! Couldn't have said it better...so I think humor is definitely something that should be added, if appropriate, to comments. I hate comments that just say "Great Idea" or "Awesome Words!" What does that mean? It also reminds me of the early AOL days when everyone wanted to get on the internet and join a group to talk to.....did I say "talk"...it was more like idiotic ramblings of a social moron! Lord I hope those days are gone...

Thing #11

LibraryThing is a very cool site! I'm considering entering my home libary as well as my class room library. I have so many books that I forget which ones are which, and that means I'm not recommending some very good reads to my students. I'm constantly updating and adding to my classroom libary as well... anything to help keep me organized. I think I want to go back now and spend more time on LibraryThing...there is definitely more than meets the eye on this one!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thing #10

I loved this Thing!!! Obviously ImageChef was my favorite site. I am so using several of these site in my Language Arts classes and my U.S. History classes. Usually we have concrete poetry assignments, but Image Chef makes it so much more fun. Glogster was fun too but I would have to preload some of the info for the kids to draw from...hum...I have to think about this one. I'm going back now to play some more on the other sites...I've got lesson plans to write!!

Thing #9

Holy Cow....Thing #9 totally helped me with the RSS and blogging issues. Let me just go on record now saying that I agree with Cool Cat Teacher. In fact, I addressed the same issues in my comment on Thing #8. Now I'm on a mission to create my own circle of trusted bloggers! As far as looking a some of the other sites, I added WikiEducator and Aup 20 school to my Google Reader. I found Atomic Learning to be very interesting also; I just need more time to spend perusing it. But, I'm going back to The Cool Cat Teacher for now...love that site!

Thing #8

That was a lot of information on RSS feeds...almost too much. I did manage to add some subscriptions to my Google Reader, but I think that one of the problems again will be sifting through mountains of information. Just because someone blogs doesn't make them an expert on a subject...so there is the matter of credentials. In other words, what information is factual/useful/supportable and what is just idle rambling. I think I am going to add educational resource web pages to my Google Reader instead...I think we have a much more grounded relationship.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thing #7

Very cool tools on Google! I did set up a calendar for myself and it was really easy. I tried to search a couple of items on Google Scholar, but it was working very slow. But I've had problems using Google while I have the Spring Branch server up. I'm going to try searching some more after I close SBVPN. I really liked being able to search for powerpoints...after all why re-invent the wheel. Since I teach two content areas, I need all the time savers I can get. Finally, Google Docs looked pretty user friendly...so I'm going to play with that alot more!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thing 6

Whew...the actual article explaining 'mashups' on Wiki was alittle beyond me. Well, it was way beyond me by the time I started reading about APIs. But some of the 'mashups' I checked out were pretty cool. Loved Mappr! It would be so cool to create a map and place vacation photos on the map showing every place we've (the family) gone (but I think I read something about Mappr not using Flickr image anymore.) Retievr was way cool and has the makings of becoming a cool poster tool...I may work on that for my Language Arts classes. I usually have them make a mosaic of sorts using magazine photos and images to represent who they are as individuals. Hopefully, they grasp the idea of symbolism by the end of the activity. I would be cool to do it with photos on Retrievr. Definitely need to spend some more time playing with these.

Thing 5

Yikes! I'm trying to figure out how to add a photo that I save from Flickr...this is going to take some time. I wish I had more savvy...it just takes so long to get anything done! I know...patience...patience!
Anyway, after jumping around and flicking back and forth, I worked my way through this & here's my picture. Since I love Christmas (favorite HOLIDAY!!!) and I watched the Walt Disney Hour growing up...perfect picture for me!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thing 4

Well I have to say that "if" I provided the correct information to Vaughn (which I have to make a note now that I love that name!) I should be registered shortly. In that case, this was the easiest thing so far!

Thing 2

Still confused in suburbia...thank god I came into the media center cause I never would have gotten this far if it wasn't for alot of help from the library interns!!!! Thank you!!!

Thing 1

Very confused...this should be an interesting journey.

Thing 3

Okay, I'm still confused! This blogging thing is not clicking for me...I'm learning new things on how to navigate, but it's definitely a rocky road.