Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thing #23-- Oh and one last thing...

  1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
This experience has been wonderful... for considering myself pretty technologically inclined prior to beginning this journey, I definitely learned a lot! I think my favorite discovery was probably Delicious, though Ning is definitely high up there as well! I plan to incorporate both into the upcoming school year

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

Well, the availability of this online and to be able to work on it from home is definitely the way of the future. I hope to continue to have at least one program going on at a time so that I am constantly aware of the latest and greatest in educational technologies. Some of the Things also gave me some tools to use!

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

Plenty! I could pretty much see how most of the Things could play a role in my classroom or assisting me in becoming a better educator. Students are notorious for a being a step-ahead of adults when it comes to technology and I feel like I may have caught up for the time being and am excited to implement!

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

Overall I think the concept works well. To improve, you could maybe host it through a tool like Ning instead of a blog to allow for more interaction between the players... though I know that commenting also serves that purpose

5. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?

Absolutely!

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?

Library2Play is like GPS for the internet.

Thing # 22-- It's good to be the Ning

Well hey there, Ning... it seems like the possibilities for your use are endless! (but maybe that's the point) As a teacher, the idea of connecting with my students on Facebook or MySpace makes me a little uneasy... so this seems like a great alternative. In fact, Ning might have more of a place for teachers than a blog or a website as far as being an online component to the classroom. My preliminary ideas are having Nings for each class ... maybe even separated into periods. On whole, I think it would be a replacement for my current homework site as it adds the function of interaction. I envision a student posting a problem they are having with a concept and ther students commenting to help them understand and/or add their own issues. I will definitely attempt to give this a shot this year!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thing# 21-- How much did I pay for my wedding video?

Using these types of technologies meet students where they are, either in presenting material in this way or allowing students to express what they've learned. I think another important feature to remember about podcasts and VODcasts is their portability. Many students have portable technologies such as the iPhone or mp3 players that can download these audio/video creations and could potentially download lectures or important videos to help aid them in studying. In middle school this would be a major leap, but many lectures in college are now available on iTunes. There is even an entire new component entitled iTunesU that gives universities their own site for students to download from. It's the future of education!


Here's my photostory of my Wedding that happened almost 2 years ago. Happy Anniversary, honey!


video

Thing #20-- Glued to the Tubes

As a science teacher, the ability to SHOW science in action is something that we are constantly striving to do. One of the reasons I became a middle school science teacher is because most of the concepts taught are evident in the world around us. I have cautiously used YouTube in the classroom but am delighted to discover TeacherTube that also proved to have a lot of good material. Here is a cute little cartoon explaining the difference between weathering and erosion... a big struggle with students (adults too)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thing #19-- Cook and Lose Weight!

I can't say I looked at the instructions for this thing through my professional educator glasses. I took one look at that list of fun Web 2.0 tools and I immediately gravitated towards the things that concern me personally right now... post-pregnancy weight loss and cooking... ironic yes?

The winners in the Health category were the first to catch my eye... RevolutionHealth and PEERtrainer. Revolution looked very similar to WebMD and so I did not spend much time with it, but PEERtrainer definitely struck a chord. It had wonderful articles on my specific weight-loss scenario ... working mother and nursing and even had groups that I could join with other women that are in similar situations. Being in a group involved setting a visible goal and logging food and exercise each day. So, in terms of useful parts the ability to find information on a topic I was interested in using a search tool as well as being socially involved with commonly-interested people were the key with this site. With a professional lens, I see these parts being useful to me with the topic being middle school science with the ability to communicate with other teachers in the same content field.

Another site that I absolutely LOVED was I'm Cooked, an arsenal of videos of recipes being cooked... just like food network!!!!!! This is far more useful to me... a novice "chef" as I am not only able to get the recipe but see it applied in ACTION! WOO! ahem... sorry... professionally... the useful parts of this site can be applied to education in that there are Many MANY MANY! things in science that are much better seen than read.. hence why we have labs. Unfortunately, budget and time often prevents us from doing as many as would be useful so if there were a site dedicated to science projects and labs (especially dangerous chemical reactions) I would definitely be all over that in my class! Yes.. YouTube does have some stuff right now... but it would be nice to have a site that didn't also have inappropriate "suggestions" scrolling across the screen or on the side bar.

Sidenote: Web 2.0 awards = del.icio.us tag? you betcha

Thing #18-- Maybe I won't clutter my online office

Forgive the title, but last few weeks of summer= declutter rooms and our office is the WORST.

I decided to opt for Google's version as I am on my husband's laptop and want to limit what I download. As I mentioned previously, I use Google docs pretty frequently for personal use. I have created a food diary using their version of excel and have a working honey-do list with my husband where we keep track of the statuses of our many many projects.

The advantages of an online office are:
1)Easy access-- wherever you have internet
2)Ability to share/collaborate
3) Do not take up memory on hard-drive

Disadvantages:
1) Limited function compared to Microsoft version
2) Privacy issues
3)Transferability into Microsoft-- I know that it can, but it's not always a seamless transfer between the two... at least with Google Docs
4) Can't access without internet access -- these places still exist, people!

Though I have more disadvantages... I believe they are smaller issues compared to the whopper advantages. I vote YES.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thing #17-- Rollyover

It's getting harder and harder to come up with creative titles for these posts :-)

Alright, Rollyo... here's the deal. I know you're useful.. I could have definitely used you last year when I asked my kids to do research on a specific animal and gave them a list of websites to use... it would also eliminate the need for the "Wikipedia threat-speech". I know all of this... however, I have found it so hard to create a Searchroll!

Part of this problem I believe is that I kind of like the idea of discovering information from an amazing resource that I don't know about yet! Perhaps it's because I am not yet at a point where I have the full arsenal of good websites to use so maybe ask me in a year or so.

I should mention thought that I do see it's use in online shopping when you're 1) waiting for something to go on sale or 2) come into stock... not very educational though !