Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thing #23

1. My favorite thing was delicious! I have continued using it as I have worked through this process!
2. I think that my head has been opened to the digital world, which I didn't realize has advanced so! I will now say I was teaching in the dark ages!
3. My unexpected surprise - I am challenging my husband and actually know more than him at this point! When it comes to technology, he assumes that I know what he does. Now, I have learned a different realm than he knows! Wahoo! I will be using some of these techniques and strategies with the teachers at my school. I have found myself wanting to talk to others face to face about this journey! I know the whole point of web2.0 is to be able to communicate without having to be face to face, but I am taking baby steps.
4. I really think that this process was a wonderful one. I was getting a little tired around item #17, but am so excited that I have completed this journey and look forward to how others are going to use it this year! I think it would be really neat to have an open blogging response of how teachers are using these tools in their classrooms or with their teachers. I think that Ning would be a great place to start this! I know that we can look through all of the blogs, but to be able to add it to my Google Reader, and then keep up with the new posts daily would keep things fresh with the possibilities of what can be done!
5. I definitely would participate. For some reason, when I read that idea, I get nervous again about the "unknown", which is what I was doing when I started this! I will get nervous for no reason, and then be so excited at the end. I do the same things with roller coasters!
6. This is an incredible eye-opening journey, that makes you realize it is time to start communicating with our students in the digital world, which is where we are going whether we want to or not! Jump on board!
7. Thank you for this project. I want to be back in the classroom to implement some of these things with the students, but I will figure out how to use it with the teachers, and in the lessons I do get to teach!

Thing #22 Ning

Alright, so I have gotten lost in all of the links again, but I found a social network called Classroom 2.0. I was able to download a webinar for

PBS & CR20: Early Childhood Literacy: Resources & Strategies

This was really neat to see how it all works. You can sign up, text on the left hand of the screen, watch the powerpoint as they speak, ask questions with your own microphone on your computer, participate in polls with A-E buttons, . . . with the economy dwindling and people cutting costs everywhere, I think this is a great interactive tool for professional development! The best part (from what I can understand) is that the presenters could plan using web2.0 tools, (NING) and live in different cities, presenting at the same time! This is awesome. I know that I am supposed to be on Ning, which I am, but I have found a resourse for me to grow as an educator!

I think that Ning would be a great place to have faculty announcements, posts, . . . I would like to talk to somebody whose school has used Ning for communication. I did speak with a high school biology teacher the other day who shlowed me her platform for her kids to discuss things. The thing I liked from what she told me was that you could monitor the students' contributions and edit if not appropriate.

I think I may try using Ning with the 5th grade classes this year, maybe to allow constructive criticism on science experiments or feedback on what they would like to see. I think that this would allow students to realize that they have a voice. I think this is a great tool we should definitely use more. I am going to try!

Thing #21 Photostory!!

I finally got it to work! Yeah! I had to use the wmv file instead of the wm3.
video

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thing #20 You Tube and Teacher Tube

I searched for a Web 2.0 video on You Tube. What I found made sense to me, because at this point, I had tried so many different sites, I was still confused as to what Web 2.0 still meant. This video helps me understand it much better. The idea is simple, but complex in getting all of the school to join in to the digital community.



The You Tube videos are great for the classroom! What a great hook to get the kids excited! I have used these videos when I was teaching, and it automatically created the interest in the lesson!

Thing #19 Care2

I went to the Care2 website and realized that this would be a great use for alternate lifestyles. As much as the economy is pushing to go green, and using renewable resources, this is a site full of ideas and current events. In finding causes of cancer, new species being found, healthy and green living ideas are great conversation pieces in the science classroom.

Some of the topics could also be used in the social studies classroom with citizenship. This website promotes things from community efforts, nonprofit organizations, to global warming and civil rights. Would I put an elementary student loose on this site, no; however, this is a good resource for current events in the classroom for all subjects. From personal experience, if I took a story out of the newspaper and summarized it for the kids, they got interested more than I ever knew possible.

Thing #18 Online Productivity Tools

Pros:
  • you could create pdf documents for kids to fill out with their personal information to keep on file in the classroom
  • you could create charts with the class to turn into a graph
  • all of these programs mimic another Word program, so there is some familiarity when starting off.
  • the presentation wizard lets you decide what type of media you are creating: paper, overhead, presentation . . .
  • I am sure the math is useful in high school math for algebra and geometr
Cons:
  • if you already know how to navigate other Microsoft programs, why use another one?
  • time it will take to figure out the difference between the programs and all of the tools available
  • more complex for elementary students

Thing #17

This could be a great tool to use when doing research projects. There are other programs out there that bundle websites, but they don't let you search through all of them. This is really neat, especially if you are trying to compare things. Personally, this is not my favorite site because it was a little hard to navigate after I created my own rollyo. I'm going to have to pair up with someone who really understands how this works and get them to share the wealth with me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing #16

This was not easy for me, the whole wiki space idea. I don't like that you don't know who is editing and can't monitor what is being said. I'm sure this is great in the classroom to display projects, but I couldn't even navigate through the space easily. I tried to make my own, but didn't get far. I think this is going to have to be a verbal conversation with someone who sees how it can work. I saw a friend's wikispace, and she made a webquest with it. She created the links to new pages where each group completed the assignment. It was neat, but I think you should either use it all the time, or not at all. I think that there is so much to learn up to this point, like adding pictures, podcasts, videos, music...that there is a lot of teaching to be done before it can all unfold in a wikispace. I will have to research more!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thing #15

I read the first two articles and was intrigued. The whole concept of the library is morphing into a virtual playground for our students where they create the toys to play on and how they play (with guidance)! I realize that if we were to limit ourselves to a paper library, then we would be stuck in the ice age; however, I do not feel that keeping our library resources is an iceberg. I think moving the central focus of the library to the digital community will work, while keeping some of the books, or great attributes of the library in tact for our students to experience. I completely agree that the paper age is time consuming, hard to navigate, and you as a consumer are limited to the products available at your specific library.

I laughed at the term "technolust" in Michael Stephens' article. I think that is a perfect term for much of the technology that we have purchased. We have great ideas, but either lack in follow through or have techno-hogs that won't share the knowledge on the technology. I think that our library lessons should now move towards lessons on viewing blogs, what appropriate blogs look like, how to create your own blog, how to navigate through the digital community in their classes... I am sure there is a long list of goals for the Library 2.0 "age" with more than I know about.

I think that our teachers would benefit from the library 2.0 transition even more than the students. Our stuck in the mud teachers are what keep our students from moving ahead into the technological age. Even through this experience, the teacher who opens the circuit to technology gets taken in with the students, hardly 1 step ahead of them. We as the instructors should lead our kids to the digital world instead of holding them back.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thing #14 Technorati

Well, now my head is spinning because it is hard to keep strait which program is used for what! I need a cheat sheet! Technorati, as I understand it, is a way for the bloggers to connect to a community of similar interests. It seems similar to the Google Reader, where you can follow blogs and sites, but the publisher has say in the tagging and how to solicit its post. The Google Reader, the users have the say in tagging the websites and promoting them. So one is selling itself, and the other the users or clientelle is selling it!

It was interesting to rea
d the most popular blogs, they were not what I would have expected.

Thing #13

I love the "Plain English" tutorials! I understand them! I am so excited about del.icio.us! I always forget about my bookmarks, and then the ones I have bookmarked in Mozilla don't carry over to internet exporer, so then I forget where I saved them . . . yeah for social network bookmarking! I have some good friends that I used to teach with and we are always emailing each other asking for websites we used to use. Now our problem is solved with Delicious!

WOW!!! I have already called my previous teacher friends to tell them about this site! I have enjoyed looking for the past 2 hours, spending more time than I had intended! It is user friendly and I love the tags. I plan on giving my teachers my bookmarked website so they can gather science ideas and experiments when at home or at school! Teachers are always asking me for easy experiments to do with the students, and this is the easiest way to help them! I think I will have the teachers create their own accounts at one of our science meetings! I think this is a great way to network and get answers without doing much work.

This can also be incorporated into my Google Reader account, which I think is really neat!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thing #12 Commenting

I learned many things through this discovery exploration. I was most impressed that someone stated exactly how I felt...that sarcasm and humor don't come through clearly through words. I don't even like texting because you receive the message based on how you feel at the time, not necessarily how the author intended it. I also really appreciated Meredith Farkas' opinion of sharing information. I completely agree with her point of view in sharing the knowledge and wealth.
As I was making comments on others' blogs, I was picking up ideas of how teachers could use some of these projects with the kids! Every assignment seems to take a lot longer than it sounds because I realize that I have had no educational training in any of this!!! I would really like to go and visit a classroom where a lot of the blogging is taking place, how the teacher monitors it, and how the students feel and benefit!

I found a great blog that I added to my Google Reader, called http://www.sciencewithme.com/blog/ that is great! She explores everyday events and writes about the science behind them! Some are experiments, and others are just great hands on experiences! When I was looking for the other blog, I came across something that I had not experienced before...blog blasting (at least that is what I call it)! Having a 4 month old, I was searching for a blog on new moms, and well, I came across a crossfire in cyberspace! This makes me think twice before typing something on other blogs or even my blog! People do read your thoughts that you share! I will continue looking for another one!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thing #11 Library Thing

This was incredibly user friendly! Most sites say that they are easy to navigate, but are a huge headache! This was the easiest program I have used! I joined a group called Teachers and Educators. There are not many members yet, but I feel that this will grow! I love reading the different perspectives on the books! It was easy to add books, rate them and comment on them

I think that this would be useful for students rating the books in the classroom . I think it would be a great way to get students to dialogue among each other and challenge or agree with their classmates' views! I think that students should be able to go on and recommend books to know that their opinion counts!

Thing #10

I used Image Chef to create a collage of symbols that are significant in my life. It was limited on the free version of what pictures were available, although you could make or draw your own. I think this would be a great thing for students to do at the beginning of the year, but I think there might be a better and or easier site for them to use.
I also used Glogster, which was a lot of fun to make a poster. I think that if I had built a library in Flickr, then this would have been a lot more fun. I used it to display expressions shared with me. It was neat! I think that the students would love making their own creations!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thing #9

I liked the Technorati search the best. It was easy to navigate and came up with some topics I was interested in! The hardest thing for me was navigating through all the blogs. I would find a blog, start reading, and then click a blog that was resourceful to the author. . . Then I didn't know where I was anymore. It is hard to find a blog without a recommendation from somebody. The news is great, but I want to read somebody's thoughts that I can relate to. I did not find a great blog yet, but I will continue searching. I did find some for pure enjoyment though. Instead of reading a book from cover to cover, I can read a day or two in another person's life.

Thing #8 Google Reader

WOW! This is an amazing way to keep up with the science happening all around us! This is an asset to use in the classroom by both the teachers and students. I think that some students still think that science just occurs in the textbook, and this is a great way to show the students how to apply what they have learned to something that peaks his or her interests! I found some neat websites to follow, like National Geographic for Kids, and another about Science News. This is an easy way to pull current events to share on the morning announcements and find a great article for students to read and reply to in their journals. I called my husband to share this Reader, and he said I needed to take a look at his...he had hundreds of journals he follows weekly! I had no idea!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thing #7 Google Earth, Calendar, & Alert

Google Earth is truly amazing! Think of all the virtual field trips and scavenger hunts you could send your students on!!! I went from viewing the vegetation and bamboo forests in Hawaii, to the craters on the moon on Google Moon! Erosion and Deposition occur on the moon, which you could send the students on a web quest using this site to compare how erosion and deposition are different on the moon and the earth!

The Google Calendar could be used for teachers to inform parents of what is coming up in their classes! This would be a great way to share a public calendar instead of having to print it out for all of the students! I use this with my husband so we always know what the other one has planned...

I think that the Google Alert program is a great resource to use in our classrooms by sharing with the students science that is occurring in everyday life! So many of our students don't realize that science occurs all around us. This could be set up as a station for kids that are early finishers. They could pick one of the topics to read about, and then share with the rest of the class. We need to peak the interest of our students to make them want to learn!!! I think this is a great way of doing it!

Thing #6 Mashups

Mashups were a little complicated for me. I think that the mosaic website was really neat. I really liked the magazine cover creator. As a teacher, I could create 10 topics for students to journal about. Each 9 weeks could have a different magazine cover and could be set up as a center in the classroom. I tried to create ideas that would make the students interested in researching science:
1. why do my armpits stink???
2. why do I need those crusty things in my nose??
Are boogers and armpits in the TEKS? No, but they do get students to think and want to know why their bodies having defense mechanisms. They will learn about all sorts of things that will make them want to learn and understand how and why things work, which will lead to the core concepts in our TEKS!

Thing #5 Exploring Flickr

Flickr is a great way to find excellent portraits of the world around us. This picture is a great example of so many concepts we cover in science: erosion, deposition, slow changes, ... and even getting students to think of ways to stop the erosion. I think that if a teacher created a group of photos that were science specific, this could be a great use in the classroom. Students could create their own PowerPoints giving examples of a topic, or students could download a picture and write a summary of how this demonstrates things learned in the classroom.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Avatar Thing #3

That was more fun than I thought. I didn't know what an avatar was to begin with, but once I started exploring, I stayed longer than I had anticipated! Neat!