Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thing #23 Summarize Your Thoughts about This Program

What were my favorite things?  I enjoyed learning most of the things.  I would have to say I appreicate being made to comment on other people's blogs.  I had a lot of fun with Mash Ups and Big Huge Labs but I will use Delicious a lot also.  Ok, the more I look back at the list the harder it gets to decide on a favorite. 
This will help me with lifelong learning because there are so many places to look to learn, whether you are learning for your own enjoyment or to further your education for the classroom.  With a computer someone would really have to work hard NOT to learn.
It was hard for me to admit that I didn't care forTechnorati that sees weird to say that is an unexpected outcome, but I thought that I would at least find something about each "thing" that I would like. 
The only thing that could make this program better is to replace some of the things that are not as useful.  I'm thinking of Nings. 
I would love to complete another program like this one!  I had fun and learned so much.
Discovering is how I would discribe this program.  I have discovered so many things that I had no idea exsisted!  I know that there are so many things out there and I can't even imagine what they are.  I do have my eyes and ears open for any other web 2.0 "things" that I can discover. 
Even though I loved doing this I did feel pressure to go on to the next thing after learning about something.  Now I will have time to go back and dig deeper into some of the things.  Actually, this is how I feel often after going to a really good workshop, I want to have time to just stop and think about how I will really use the new information.

Thing #22: Nings

In theory Nings is/are (how do you write that) great.  There could be so much information out there being shared by teachers and librarians using Nings.  But, when I looked at the different Nings there just wasn't that much traffic on any of them.  Many of the threads had no comments at all.  Teacher Librarian Ning seems to have a little more traffic than the "Teacher sites".  Texas School Librarian Ning gave me a message that it could not be accessed.  I was disappointed because I thought it might have some relavant information for me.  I will try again, but overall this is not something I see myself using very much, just because of lack of traffic.  There are other places to go for ideas, or help where I can be more confident that someone will hear me and respond.  It is ashame that somehow there isn't more "advertising", because I really feel there is great potential for Nings.

Teacher Librarian Ning

Teacher Librarian Ning

Thing #12: Creating Community Through Commenting

There are several blogs that I have "lurked" for maybe up to 2 years.  A couple of times I have almost commented but never did.  I felt like I didn't have anything to say that would be important to them.  Now that I have a classroom blog and have very few parents actually go there, I understand that after putting time into a blog you want to know that someone is out there, you also want to know what others think. 
I really liked what Meredith Farkas of Information Wants to Be Free  said about sharing knowledge.  She says that by sharing you will help others, feel good about yourself, make friends.  Sharing will encourage others to share, and we will all benefit.
I also thought 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog had some good advice.  The techniques are so simple that you think "oh, I know that" but sometimes you just forget about the obvious and need to be reminded to ask questions if you want people to talk, or flat out invite comments.

I commented on Elementary, My Dear, Or Far From It I found this blog and had never seen it before, or read anything else except that one post.  The post was about her librarian opening the library 30 minutes before school starts every morning for the students so I commented on how great that is to have a librarian that is willing to give up her time.  I also commented on Six Until Me.  I have read this blog for a couple of years now but have always been to intimidated to comment.  She is a wonderful writer, she writes about life with Type 1 diabetes. 
I have commented on the following blogs:

Thing #21: Podcasts and Videocasts

I have used Movie Maker before and I enjoy using it.  Movie Maker is fairly easy to use, although I did have some trouble with this project I think it was more because of the computer than the program.  I do find that I could complete a video quickly, but spend quite a lot of time playing with the transitions and effects.  My family loves our time that we spend in Garner State Park each summer, I hope you enjoy the video.
I think that students would enjoy a project using Movie Maker and could pretty easily do it.  I'm not ready to use it with my students yet, but I have made a video of pictures of my students to show at open house, and of course the parents really enjoy it.  I will probably make a video next week after my class goes on a field trip and add it to my classroom blog.
Alright, I have tried several times now to embed my video and it says it is processing for hours then says there was an error.  If anyone can tell me if you have had this happen and what I can try to make it work I would appreciate the help!
Yeah!  I finally got the video to post.  I didn't save the video to Windows Media Player the first several times I tried to post and it didn't work.  In the end that is what I had to do.  I didn't think I would need to but I guess to post to the blog that is what you have to do.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thing #20: YouTube, TeacherTube and Zamzar

This should speak to anyone, with no other explanation needed!

I am frustrated with Teacher Tube.  It has been busy and very slow.  I have been on and off of it all day and I feel like I am spending more time waiting than anything else.  Maybe it is always this busy during the school day?  I am at home with sick children and thought I could get some work knocked out, but this has taken quite a bit of time.

It was very easy to embed a video from Teacher Tube and from You Tube.  Even though I was a little frustrated with Teacher Tube there is some great information on it.  It is amazing that there is such a huge number of videos out there for teachers to learn from and teach from.  Anything that is taught or talked about in the classroom or in the school seems to be on Teacher Tube.  My kindergarten students can hear other students sing about reading, or I could watch another teacher teach a concept that I need a better way to teach.  I was also surprised to see teacher resources on Teacher Tube.  They have documents, and lesson plans listed by grade level and theme.  I even found a sign language Thanksgiving song that I would like to teach to my students next week.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thing #19: Web 2.0 Awards List

I love having all of these "things" together in Web 2.0 Awards I had never heard of the 2.0 Awards. There is so much to look at!  I thought that Upcoming would be useful, maybe not educationally, but personally to look for things to do. 
One Sentence could be a great educational tool.  After reading it for only a few minutes I felt like I had been through every emotion possible.  People contribute their one sentence story to the site, the stories can be searched by tags or date contributed.  I thought in the upper grades especially, students could write a book review in one sentence, or a history event, an event in their own life.  I don't know if it is human nature or that we have all been taught to expand on most of what we write about but writing anything in one sentence and getting the main idea across would be a huge challenge. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thing #18: Online Productivity Tools

I tried to play with Open Office, but am a little impatient and when it said it would take 27 minutes to load I quit.  I have worked with Google Docs a few times before and had a project that I've been meaning to work on so I worked on it this evening on Docs.  I like it because I can work on something at school or at home and not worry about having the flash drive or emailing to myself if I need to work on it at a later time.  It is also nice that a project can be worked on or shared with other people.  The assessment checklist I was working on tonight I plan to ask some of the teachers on my campus to help me finish, then they can print and use as they need. It will make everyone's life easier to have it finished and ready to use, and no one will have to spend a lot of time on it.  In my opinion, it is as easy to use as Microsoft Office and looks very much like also.  A disadvantage to Google Docs that I just discovered is that you can't see the page breaks in your text until you are in print preview and from print preview you can't move your text up or down.