Monday, April 19, 2010

Thing # 23 Overview

Wow!!! I'm finished. I have to say...I'm a little sad thats it's over. I enjoyed learning about all the stuff this project had to offer. It was great to learn new things and I liked learning new tools that I can implement in the classroom.

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
My favorite discovery would be setting up this blog and finding other blogs that I was interested in. I have never set up a blog before and in the beginning, I was a little worried in how I would be able to complete this project. Before this project, I would only be on the computer for email and my celebrity gossip. Now... I'm on the computer all the time exploring different sites and tools.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
As an educator, I am always looking to improve myself as a teacher. Each school year I like to add one more thing to my plate. (This year it was a weekly newsletter to keep my parents informed in the child's learning) This whole project has definitly brought on more lifelong learning goals. Some of my goals for the next school year is to get my students active in Shelfari. I would like to become proficint in storytubes because I KNOW my students would love it. I also feel like I can be a great resource for other teachers at my school.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I was very surprised in how technology savy I was. I seriously thought this project would be a lot harder. I thought I would have to rely on my husband to help me upload videos or upload pictures especially the avatar in the beginning of the project. I was surprised that I was able to teach my husband some things about technology. I now feel like I can easily be a technology teacher at my school. ( at least until I can't do something like add sound to my photostory.)

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
I don't think I would change anything. I think there was plenty of time to complete the project. I think the videos and the step by step instructions alon
g the way were VERY helpful. I enjoyed the program.

5. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
If there was another discovery program, I would love to participate. I know new things will come up in the future. It's hard to keep with technology. It would be great to add more tools to my toolbox.

6. 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? word is hard. I would have to say Enlightening.

Thing # 21

I was introduced to Photostory in the beginning of the year by my technology sis at my school. I was amazed in how easy it is to use. I haven't used it ever since I was introduced to it. My students will be starting classics for their reading groups. I decided to make a photostory to introduce them to the different classic books so they can get an idea of which book they would like to choose. I didn't have any trouble making the podcast although I did have trouble inserting the sound. The sound would not play back. Very fustrating. Once I figured it out, Photostory was easy to use. Here is my podcast for my students.

I think Photostory is great. I know the students would love it. I would definitly like to use Photostory more often especially next school year.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thing # 22 Nings

I have never before heard of Ning. I love to go to facebook and since they are both a social networking site, I was sure I would like Ning as well. I went to Texas School Librarian. I really enjoyed this site. I really liked the videos they had especially the story tubes which had been done by students. They were book reviews students had done and they even added cute pictures or changed themselves to a cartoon character.

Find more videos like this on Texas School Librarians

I had never heard of storytube so of course I had to research it. I think storytube would be great. I would like to do one with my students next month since I know the students would fun.
I enjoyed the Texas School Librarian Ning. I can see myself visiting it in the future to communicate with other educators and librarians. I know I will definitly enjoy visiting the videos they have to offer.

Thing # 20 You Tube and Teacher Tube

I have never been a big fan of Youtube. It's not that I don't like it but I just never went on it unless a friend wants me to check out a funny video. I did enjoy watching some of the vidoe youtube has to offer. I found a lot of library rap videos which were very funny. I didn't realize there were so many library videos out there. I did find one that I thought was funny. It's about annoying library patrons. Take a look at the video if you have a chance.

I really didn't know much about Teachertube until recently. Ever since I got my active board this year, I have been using technology at lot in my classroom. I use Brainpop and Discovery Education all the time. I did look on TeacherTube the other day. I found some great Poetry powerpoints that I can use. I like how TeacherTube categorizes there vidoes from recently added to most popular. I found one video about classroom rules that I thought was funny. The second part of the video is what is the funniest.

Classroom Rules

I think YouTube and TeacherTube are both great tools we can use in the classroom.

Thing # 19 Web 2.0 Awards

I really enjoyed looking at all the tools on Web 2.0 awards. I was surprised that I had actually heard of some the sites on there or had actually used. As I get further along in this project, I realized how little I know about technology. I really enjoyed playing around with which is a free music site. I have always used Pandora in the past but has a lot more to offer in my mind. I like how it tracks all the songs they play. This helps me when I want to download new songs on my ipod. I also like how show differnt pictures of the artist that is playing. It's nice to put a face with the name. I often use Pandora in the classroom to play classical music or kids music. Now I can use
I found out about Mango Languages. I had fun playing around with the demo. It's a website for people who want to learn conversational skills in a different language. The demo taught me basic converstaional skills in spanish. I like how the lesson reviewed sayings from the beginning so I can remember. This a great tool for libraries to have especially for high school. This site would have been very useful when I was learning spanish in school.
I have really enjoyed looking playing with all the 2.0 tools.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thing 18- Online Tools

It's funny that for thing # 18 I had to explore Open Office. Just two weeks ago I took my students to the computer lab to type up their poems. My students logged on and automatically went to Microsoft Word and what do I hear??? "Mrs. Finley... I can't find Microsoft Word" ( Microsoft Office had been deleted and replaced with Open Office) It was a little annoying because I did not know we were replacing Microsoft Word with Open Office. It was nice to see that even though the students had never used Open Office, they did not have a problem because they were so similar.I think Open Office is a great tool because it is so easy to use and it's free!
My husband had told me about Google Docs a long time ago. He tried to get me to use it although I never paid much attention to it. I think it is a great way to collaborate with others. When you are working on a new document, you can invite people to use it or edit the document. What a great way to collaborate especially if you are working from home.

Thing # 17- Rollyo

Rollyo is a great tool for all users to use. At first when I was researching the site, it was somewhat confusing to me. I refused to ask my husband to help me so it took me awhile to see the benifit from it. I thought the video from Bruce will helped me understand how Rollyo works and why we should use it.
I think its a great tool for my students when they are doing research. I know there has been many times when my students can't find the information they are looking for or... there is too much information that it is hard for them to synethsize the important information. Now with Rollyo, students can research information that I have already deteremined is appropriate and kid friendly. Hopefully now my students won't be so stressed when researching on the computer.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thing # 16 Wikis

First off, can I just say I love the videos by Common Craft? They make all this technology stuff so easy to understand. I first heard of Wikis this year. I was at a district meeting where I had to add my thoughts to a wiki.I had no idea what a Wiki was let alone how to use them. Now that I have had some time using the website, I realized how beneficial they can be. I think it's a great way for people to share their thoughts and work on a project without feeling so stressed having to find time to meet. Our group members have been using a Wiki to work on our final project. It has made things easier to collaborate.
I think Wikis can be great tool to use in the classroom. I think it would be great for middle and high school students. Students by then have emails and would understand how to use it. It would be great for when students have group projects. Wikis are a great tool.

Thing # 15 Web 2.0

It's amazing to see how libraries have changed over time. I remember when I was in elementary school and having to go to the catalog to find a book. Now, kids just look it up on the computer.
It was interesting to read about Web 2.0. When reading Michael Stephen's article, I thought it was interesting when he said that "librarians do not buy technology for the sake of technology" I think this is very true. I know our school district bought ipods for the schools although I'm sure how much it is going to benefit the kids. I know there are educational games they can play but why not buy more laptops for them to use? There are 16 laptops in our library but not enough for a whole class to use.

I think every librarian should read Into a New Librarianship. Everything he had to say was true and valid. I like how it said how librarians are trendsetters and they have to make fast decisions. Librarians should be always be up to date on technology. Teachers and staff rely on the librarians for information. It is up to the librarian to provide the information or direct them in where to go. Librarians should be able to move the school forward and be ready for what comes next.