Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thing #11.5: Evaluation

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I really enjoyed the lesson here on image generators. It was fun to play with Wordle and think of ways it could be useful in a classroom setting.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? I learned about things I didn't know where out there. I am not one to go exploring various sites on my own and this gives me a great reason to educate myself on new things that are out there.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? Second Life was a total surprise to me. I never knew such existed or that it was used in an educational way.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I don't know of any changes. The program is interesting and relevant. I'm thankful to be able to participate in the summers! Thank you!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing #11: Digital Citizenship

There is a whole new world out there that wasn't even there (like it is now at least) when I was in high school. Educators must stay on top of technology as it is ever changing but a daily party of every one's life. Part of the educators responsibility is to teach children about digital citizenship. I like one of the articles I read that said how we teach our students math and reading; digital citizenship should be no different. There are some things that students need to be taught. Teachers need to present this information at the beginning of the year but continue to remind students of these principles all year long.

First, students need to know the importance of online safety. I don't think this can be stressed enough to our young people. They need to be careful. We teach them not to talk to strangers in real life or go to dangerous places. We need to teach them about being safe online as well.

Second, students need to know how to use the information they find online legally. They need to know what they can use and for what purposes.

Third, students need to realize the value of being lifelong learners. This involves technology. The teacher needs to show how he is a lifelong learner and work with students to show them the value of this in their own lives. One way for the teacher and student to relate would be through technology.

Fourth, students need to learn how to find reliable, accurate information on the Internet. Teachers need to give students resources and model this before expecting them to do it on their own and just automatically know how to do it.

Finally, students need to be aware of teacher expectations regarding technology. What ways will technology be used in the coming school year? What things are not permitted in the classroom?

This was a valuable "thing" and good reminder for teachers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thing #10: Virtual Worlds

I created my avatar and walked around a bit in Second Life. I think my computer was too slow to get a full effect, but I got the idea. It was odd to see other people walking around I thought! I went back another time and talked to a girl and played around with changing my appearance. Today when I went I saw the feature to make me sit down.

It is interesting that there are educational happenings in this virtual world. As a parent and teacher it would concern me for students to just be open to explore this, even the teen edition because it couldn't really be controlled who they came into contact with. I can't imagine people really having lots of time to spend here though and make connections! That just puzzles me!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thing #9: Slideshare

I think Slideshare is a good option for students to learn. It would be beneficial for them to be familiar with this. They could use it for their presentations. It seems this would be a helpful learning tool in the classroom as well. Teachers could show students presentations that were good or not so good to help them improve their own presentations. Plus there are so many already made teachers could use these instead of creating a new one of her own if it fits the material she wants her students to learn.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thing #8: Screencasts

There are many options available if you want to create and use screencasts in your classroom. I can see this being a beneficial teaching tool for older students especially. The teacher can instruct them on a new skill. Then later once the students have mastered the concept they can create their own screencasts to teach others. This would also be a good way for the teacher to test student mastery as well.

I made a screencast using Screencast-o-matic. I showed how to leave comments on a blog. I could not get it saved though onto my computer. (The link did work for me though when I tested it the first time.) It was very easy to create and I liked that I didn't have to download anything to use it. I told my husband I thought this would be a beneficial tool for him to use in presentations for his work as well.

Thing #7: Video resources

There are so many video resources available on the Internet.

Here is one i found on TeacherTube. I thought this would be cute to show a class of students learning the letter sounds. Kids this age would enjoy seeing other children perform and then they could create a video of themselves after they learn it.

Another is called Why does the moon look like it changes? from neok12 site. This would be good to use with a science lesson on the phases of the moon. The class could then make up their own questions to "ask an astronomer." I really liked all the categories on this site and it was fun to look around here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thing #6: iTouch Apps

My husband surprised me with an iPod Touch this past Christmas. I had no idea there was such a thing until about Thanksgiving prior to that. I had no idea how much I would use or enjoy my iPod Touch. We both have actually. He originally got it for me to store recipes. I continue to find new uses.

I found some interesting apps while looking through these articles and videos. One was a mileage counter, something so practical yet something I'd never really think about "needing." The graphing calculator is one that will be helpful to students. Teachers or librarians can use the iTouch to share "words of the day" or "today in history" facts with students. Students can use it to access the Internet or watch videos besides the apps they'll want to add. The weather information and the maps are also convenient to have available with the touch of a screen.

Here is a video on how to add apps to your iPod Touch.

Thing #5: Microblogging

I am a member of Facebook and have been for the past year. I've found it to be a great way to reconnect with old friends and have found some former teachers as well. I love how groups can be formed about any common goal or interest. I made one for my classmates so when it's time to plan a reunion we will have a place where we are all in one place.

I've heard about Twitter and its growing popularity but haven't really been interested until reading some of the material presented in this lesson. I didn't realize all it's uses as far as following businesses, educational news, celebrities, or current events.

I like the idea of using back-channeling to get the listeners active and participating during lectures or conferences. Some people learn better by being able to be interactive, and this would be a new teaching tool to get learners involved rather than only listening.

Students are using these and I feel they will continue to in the future. Teachers need to be aware and find ways to use these in the classroom. It will get students interested, and the teacher will establish a connection with the students that would otherwise not happen.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thing #4: Video Hosting (YouTube)

Here is a video I put on YouTube. It is made with Animoto using the same pictures from our trip but a different song.

I've used YouTube often to watch videos. I don't make many videos so I have uploaded only a couple to the site. Videos online can be helpful to teachers for them to learn new ways to teach a concept in the classroom. They can gain ideas from other teachers of things that have worked. Students would enjoy creating and posting their work online as well for others to view. This would be a convenient place for students to upload their work for the teacher to look at every one's projects in the same place.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thing #3: Like Skype

I have never used Skype myself but have heard of it and know people who use it. This could be a great tool to use in the classroom or library. There were many ideas I liked in the article 50 Awesome Ways to use Skype in the Classroom. One idea I liked was to have talks with authors of books that the class has studied. Another good idea is to share the class field trips with others. One more I liked was to use Skype to have parents give presentations to the class. There are many ways that learning experiences for students can be enhanced through the use of technology such as Skype.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thing #2: Image Generators 2

This lesson was full of new sites and information for me!

I enjoyed using Wordle. I actually had looked at Thing 2 a few days ago. Then after that I heard someone on the radio talking about Wordle and was glad I knew what it was! I submitted the URL for my other blog (Have You Read With Your Child Today?) several different times. It was fun to see what would come up. I liked changing the font, color, and layout as well. It is very easy to use. A teacher could use this to help students review concepts for a test. She could enter vocabulary words and have the students define the words in the word cloud. It would be more interesting to see words displayed like this that just a black and white list. The students could make their own as a way to study also. The teacher could have the students choose the important words they think they need to know from a chapter. The students' could then compare their creations, decide which words everyone in the class thought were important and make a class cloud together with all their important words.

above cloud made with

I looked at WordSift for a minute too and can see it would be beneficial in a classroom as it links to other websites, like Google images, related to the words in the cloud.

I have never heard of Glogster. Wow, what a change from the days of cutting and pasting posters together for class projects! It reminded me of my days in college. This is much more advanced of course than anything we did (even though it wasn't THAT many years ago I was in my education classes at college!). I love that it is interactive and students get to be creative. If they've researched a particular topic, this would be a creative way to display what they've learned to all of their classmates. It seems like it would need more thinking for a student to present information here than on a cardboard poster. A student would need to determine what was most important and if that information could be turned into some audio, animation, or video where as on a cardboard poster you don't have to plan this.

I had to try an Animoto also because I've never heard of it either. It was easy to upload the pictures from my own images and use some of theirs as well. I made a couple videos and emailed one to myself. I tried embedding one through the "edit html" feature here but my internet shut down two times when I pasted it in. I was able to make a video in a new post though (seen below). This was a video I made with some scenery pictures from a trip we took earlier this year. I liked scrolling through the music selections they offered; they have a good variety. This could be used in the classroom to make fun slide shows to remember projects or field trips. Also, teachers could create lessons set to music for the students. For example, if the class was learning about the various regions of the state of Texas, she could use real pictures of the regions, add text before each region to identify the region, and then put it to fun music. This would give the students visual examples of what they'd find in each region rather than just reading the description from the text of a book. The teacher could even have groups of students come up with their own videos using pictures on a topic she assigns.

My son and I played with Voki together. It was so much fun! I could play with this for a long time!

Finally, I looked at Bookr (another one I've never heard of). It is very easy to use and learn. Children could make their own books, even using their own photos. Teachers could make books for their students to read. I see many possibilities for classroom use.

What a great lesson! I learned so much!

Friday, June 26, 2009

New avatar

I changed my avatar. This year my son thought I should be a builder instead of a fire fighter! It's fun to play with the various appearances to create an avatar.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thing #1: Introduction

I watched The Networked Student. It is amazing to me to think of the vast ways that students can learn now compared to just a few years ago when I was a student in college. The video touched on a small sampling of ways for a student to connect with others for learning purposes. The teacher's role is a facilitator and modeler. She can direct the student to new areas of information to help him through the learning process to help him be successful. I think librarians can help in this regard. The librarians can be the source of information for the teachers as well as the students. The librarians need to be the "experts" so they can teach the teachers how to use the various online resources to pass on to the students.

Learning some More Things...

I'm happy to be learning new things this summer once again. I look forward to the 11.5 More Things I will learn this year.