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.