Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thing #23

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey? I enjoyed so many aspects of this journey. As I mentioned in my blog posts, I was unfamiliar with many of these sites before beginning. I really liked the Google tools. I've been using Google Reader and found it very helpful. I also enjoyed reading the various posts about commenting. There were some great points made there. Podcasts and Nings were my other favorites. I want to explore more with these two things.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? I have always enjoyed learning. This program helped me think about my goals as a lifelong learner and what I can do to continue to learn throughout my life.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? I did not know just how many fun, exciting websites I had no clue existed. I never knew you could do so much with Google, for example.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I cannot think of anything I would change. I liked that it was self-paced.

5. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate? DEFINITELY. I want to keep going and learn more!

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? 23 Things exposed me to many new and exciting applications that I can use in my life and also with students.

7. Now go and comment on some of the other Players' blogs?
I did like how you separated the graduates from the other players' blogs so I could easily find help when I had questions about certain "things."

My personal/family blog is Raindrops & Rainbows.

Thing #22

I had never heard of Nings either. I looked at all three of the listed nings and found them all quite interesting. I would be most likely to use Ning for Teachers. There is just so much information available. In my opinion it is healthy and wise as a teacher to get information from other teachers. Isn't that what being a teacher is all about...sharing your ideas and learning new ideas from others? I loved the message boards and the lesson plans included here. I look forward to reading some of the teacher blogs that are listed on the site as well. Another fun place for me to explore and get ideas.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thing #21

I hear the term "podcasts" all the time so I enjoyed learning more about them through this "thing."

Photostory looks like so much fun. I really wanted to try it but I couldn't get it to download on my computer. I believe this is due to Vista. If you have a suggestion, please let me know. I have made picture videos with another program and was excited to try out a new program.

I think Photostory would be fun for a teacher to use to make a story of the highlights of the year and show it at the end of the school year. It would be educational for the students to use as well to turn their pictures into a video and add music.

I have recorded my son singing a song of the names of the continents using Audacity. We had fun getting this recorded. He knows the song of the planets and "Fifty Nifty United States" as well

Click here to listen: continents song

Thing #20

I have used YouTube often but had never heard of TeacherTube until now. I found many videos on "technology in education" on YouTube. Here is one of them:

I had fun exploring the videos on TeacherTube. I searched for videos about phonics and found several. I wasn't impressed with the information presented through some of the videos, but there was a good variety of lessons available.

Resources such as these are a valuable tool for the classroom. Students would enjoy creating their own videos. One of the advantages of having these videos available is that it gives teachers a new way to present information. I think students get tired of seeing the same things class after class. The videos can give the teachers new ideas as well as be shared with students to present the information in a new way.

This was a fun lesson for me!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thing #19

This "thing" was so much fun! The first link I clicked on was HairMixer. This site just made me laugh! It was fun to play with the faces and hair styles of celebrities!

One site I enjoyed was This is a site of graphs. Users can upload data to create graphs. This would be a beneficial site for a teacher to use to create graphs that are applicable to the students' lives to use as a class when learning about reading charts and graphs. It would also be great for students to use to create a graph using data they have collected. They could also use the other graphs (would definitely need to be pre-screened by the teacher) to discuss as a class.

I am saving this link to these Web 2.0 winners to use in the future! There are many wonderful tools here.

Thing #18

I looked at the Google docs. I wrote a short note to my friend and sent it to her by the "share" link. I found this application easy to use, and I see many benefits to using it. I do not know that I will use personally though since I have Microsoft Office on my home computer.

One of the benefits, as I mentioned, is the ease of sharing the documents. I found it so easy to just click "share" and type in an email address. No copy and paste was needed. Another benefit is the ability to invite others to work on projects. This would be especially useful for group projects. I really like this feature. A third benefit is having access wherever you go. I have been at computers without Microsoft Office. At times like those this application would have been handy to be able to use.

Thing #17

I had trouble using Rollyo. I created a variety of searchrolls for my various interests including parenting and health & exercise. I did a practice search through the parenting search roll on the topic of "teething" and many useful resources came up. Some were sites I'd entered and others were added by Rollyo I guess.

When I tried to share my page, clicking on the word that I thought would let me create a link, I got an error message. I am going to have to continue playing with this site to be more comfortable with it. I understand the point of the site having all your searches in one place and categorized for you. I just didn't get very comfortable using it yet. The video provided by the L2P Player was very helpful as well!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thing #16

Wikis are so much fun! I have used Wikipedia numerous times. I didn't know very much about it though.

I really enjoyed the Common Craft explanation of wikis. It makes so much sense. Emails were once the "in thing" for communicating and making plans. I can see how much more effective it would be to use a wiki for such planning. Actually it would have been very handy last summer when I was planning my 10 year high school reunion.

Teachers and students alike will be able to have many uses for wikis in the classroom. It would be helpful to have a class site where the teacher can post information for the students (or the parents of younger children) that can be easily accessible by all.

Thing #15

I read several of the articles about Library 2.0. Once again I must say this was a term with which I was unfamiliar. One I found interesting was the Wikipedia article. This gave me a good idea of the background of Library 2.0 as well as some of the critiques against it.

I really liked Rick Anderson's analogy of the boat in his article. I agree with him that it would be a disaster if libraries refused to adapt and move forward.

Things have changed in our world. Watching the video "A Vision of Students Today" was really eye-opening to me as well. It doesn't seem that long ago that I myself was a college student, yet I wonder if I would be able to fit in the college student setting today. This little video showed me just how drastically things really have changed in the past 10 years since I was a college freshman.

This lesson was very informative for me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thing #14

I wasn't as impressed with Technorati as I've been with the other "things" in this course so far. I guess it was due to the fact that I have never used this site and am therefore not at all familiar with it. I think I would have to play around with it for a long time to find a use for myself. It is fun though to look at the stories that are rising in popularity and see what other people find interesting compared to my own interests. I did find some rather interesting headlines there though that made me want to read more. The popular technology tags were interesting...Google, iphone, and Microsoft to name a few.

I did not realize the popularity or importance of tags. I wasn't aware of how widely used they are now. They are very beneficial and I like using them in my blog account as well as searching for pictures.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thing #13

Here is another thing I've seen but knew nothing This is a fun tool to use. I can see how it would be a very valuable asset to have during research projects. It would make it much easier to keep track of information without having to print off hundreds of pages that you may or may not ever use. I have run into trouble before when I've been on a different computer and not had my list of favorite sites that is listed on my home computer. Teachers could use this type of social bookmarking to find good information about a particular area of study and keep that information all in one place rather than having to waste time finding it again when it's needed. I'm glad to know such social bookmarking sites exist.

Thing #12

I enjoyed this thing about commenting. I think it is important to post comments when I read other people's blogs. It lets them know I stopped by, and I see it as a way to give encouragement and support for other bloggers.

From the articles I gained many great ideas regarding commenting. One from the article 10 Techniques to get More Comments on Your Blog was the importance of responding to comments. I don't always leave a comment in reply to a comment that was left on my blog. I am going to try this. Another idea I liked was from the article The Ten Commandments of Blog Commenting was to return to blogs once you leave a comment. Sometimes I forget to mark blogs I like and so I never return to them.

I will work to make more meaningful comments as I make connections. Sometimes I feel I don't have anything additional to say that other commenters haven't already mentioned. I see the value of thoughtful comments though.

I enjoyed looking at several of the other Library2Play blogs. It was interesting to read the others posts and find others feeling the same way as me regarding having all the information out there and feeling like I don't have enough time to explore everything fully.

One blog I found enjoyable was Joy of Desserts. I enjoyed the pictures. Also the author has a list of links to recipes for homemade ice cream. I found another new blog through a blog roll. It is called I'm Thinking. This is a nice blog that is a family type journal.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thing #11

LibraryThing would be fun to use to keep up with the books I've read. I could also use it to find reviews of new books I'd like to read. I had some difficulty finding some of the books in my list that I wanted to add. I thought they would be on the Amazon list, but they didn't show up at first. I did find them when I searched again though. I did some searches on topics and an author I enjoy as well as groups related to children's books. This is another fun tool I did not know existed!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thing #10

I had fun looking at the various image generators. I have no experience with this so it was fun to play around with all the different applications. One I liked was Image Chef. I could have looked at this all day! There were so many fun pictures to use. I made my name picture using to add to another blog I have. With the Kid Friendly Generators at this site I made this:

Another one I had fun with is this one also at Image Chef: Flower Text

I can see teachers having lots of fun using image generators in their classrooms. They could create covers for take-home folders of student work. The images could be used to make personalized bulletin boards. Also they would be helpful in classroom newsletters or blogs as funny graphics. The students could also use the images for projects or as illustrations for their writing projects.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thing #9

It has always interested me to ponder the vastness of the WWW. This exercise gave me a whole new view of all the blogs that are out there. I really enjoyed the article on "The Cool Cat Teacher Blog."

I searched for new blogs that are out of the "normal standard" of what I usually choose to read. I figured out how to find the RSS orange box and add the feed to my list on my home page very easily. I enjoyed the "edublogs award winners." The search tool I found the easiest to use was the Google blog search. The one called Syndic8 was rather confusing to me. I thought I had to click too many pages to get to the page I wanted to see. I did some search for recipes and found some new recipe sites. I also found some interesting sites about things happening at my Alma Mater. I was a bit overwhelmed with all the information. I could have continued searching on and on!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thing #8

I have heard of RSS feeds as well as seen the little orange box all over the Internet. I never knew how to use it though. Now that I know what it is and how to use it, I think it is great! I like the ease of adding new subscriptions, the organization I can have by making folders, and the time it saves me from clicking through my favorites listings.

I've already been able to make use of this feature in my personal life. I have made iGoogle my new homepage and added the reader to it through my main Gmail account. It is so helpful to have the updates show right there rather than check through my favorites list multiple times throughout the day.

This technology would be helpful for libraries as a research tool. It is much more convenient to have the news feeds come in as they're updated than to try to scroll through tons of web pages looking for new information.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thing #7

I had no idea there were so many different Google tools and had lots of fun exploring them.

I personalized my igoogle page. I enjoyed scrolling through the various themes to use on the page. I decided on the "Summer Oceans" theme for now. I found several gadgets to add too including love quotes, Bible verse of the day, the game Frogger, and pictures of sunsets.

I also created a Google calendar.

All of these Google tools would be helpful to both students and teachers alike. The calendar would be beneficial to post important test dates and project due dates for your class. Students would benefit from the Google Scholar as they work on research papers.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thing #6

I really enjoyed this lesson. I had never heard the term mashups nor did I have a clue what one was. It was fun to browse through all the different options. I found out I have used mashups but didn't know that was what they were called.

One of the mashups I had a lot of fun with was called Color Pickr. I loved seeing the rainbow of colors. It was fun to try to figure out what the thumbnail picture was and then click to find out.

Flickr would be fun to use in the classroom for students to use to find pictures for their science fair projects and other presentations. Also, the teacher could use the pictures for writing prompts for the class. The trading cards would be a good teaching tool to teach new information about places or people for social studies lessons.
Image hosted @

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Thing #5

I had seen Flickr on other sites before but was not very familiar with it. I had not ever actually used it myself either. I enjoyed browsing through the photos. There are so many possibilities for the classroom. I could see grade levels or classes doing projects where the students take the pictures meeting certain criteria and then post them in a group to discuss. The photos would be beneficial to add to PowerPoint presentations done by the teacher for lecture.

One of the searches I did was for ACU. I found many photos of my Alma Mater that brought back happy memories.