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





video
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.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thing #17: Rollyo

I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to use Rollyo today and for some reason the link to this video was not working.  After taking a break the video finally worked.  And I'm so glad it did.  After watching the video it all made sense.  I looked at search rolls that other people had made, then I made my own.  You can find mine here it is on mammals of Texas.  I found it really easy to make and it reminds me of a webquest, I guess only because you are limiting where the students find their information. This could be very helpful, especially to younger students that are just learning to research and the parents that are having to help them. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thing #16: Wikis

I have used a Wiki in a couple of my classes, and have figured out how to use them but this video was helpful to really understand the wikis.  It all makes more sense to me now.

PBwikiTips offers great tips for setting up and using a wiki.  I have been thinking about trying to use a wiki in my classroom next year if I decide to use it I will definitely refer back to this site.  I think it would be very productive to have a wiki for a library.  I would have a page of student book reviews, one for teacher book reviews, a page for new books, things that are happening in the library, web sites that would be helpful and/or just for fun.  The list is endless!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thing #15: Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the Future of Libraries

I really like  Sarah Houghton’s  (LiB) definition of L2, “Library 2.0 simply means making your library’s space (virtual and physical) more interactive, collaborative, and driven by community needs. Examples of where to start include blogs, gaming nights for teens, and collaborative photo sites. The basic drive is to get people back into the library by making the library relevant to what they want and need in their daily lives…to make the library a destination and not an afterthought.”
As I was doing the reading for this "Thing" I kept thinking that Library 2.0 could mean something different to me depending on the community and library that I am working with.  Library 2.0 is all about the users and what they need and how the library can help them get what they need.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thing #14: Technorati and How Tags Work

I want so bad to say that I love Technorati, that I found so much and that I will use it everyday!  I don't love it and I haven't really found it all that useful.  I have been playing with it nightly for over a week and it is just frustrating me so I am posting and going on to the next thing.  The clock is ticking and I'm feeling pressure to get through all of the 23 things.  I will come back and give it a second chance later.  When I did a search for School Library Learning 2.0 I didn't come up with anything. The popular blogs feature is not working right now so I couldn't look at that.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Technology Applications Conference

I was lucky enough to get to go to the Technology Applications Conference at Region 4 last week.  It was very exciting to go and see things that I have just been learning through the “23 Things”.  It was even more exciting to see things that were new to me. 
One of the things that I discovered as I sat listening to someone speak while using an interactive board was that even though I don’t have an interactive board in my class I do have a touch screen computer and I can use all of the Smart software (we have a site license for that).  Now if I can just get the tech people to give me access to the Smart software and the folder that has all of the games that will work with it. 
Some of the other things that I can’t wait to take a better look at are:

kidblog is a safe site for teachers and students.

Edmodo is another safe site that I was told looks a little like Facebook and teachers that are intimidated by blogs seem to be more comfortable with this site.

Abcya.com has many games and fun things for students.  I have seen this site somewhere in searching for my 23 things.
Voice Thread children can respond by voice, from what I remember it can be used like a blog where students respond but by voice not writing so it would be great for younger children.

Museum Box would be great for history!  Create your own box, or see boxes that have already been created.  Lets you put video, text into a box.

Capzules puts pictures and audio into a timeline effect.  Would be great for a history a presentation.

Voki is an Avatar that talks, very easy to make, easy to email but I’m still trying put it in this blog.

vuvox is a little like capsules, another tool that would be a great alternative to a power point presentation.

Google lit trips a way to teach literature with a road trip

Tween tribune articles that will cause controversy in the classroom

Tagul word tags, looks like wordle but words are linked to a URL.

Vodburner videos Skype.


I’m sure you can tell by my descriptions that I have not explored all of these fully.  Some I have looked at more than others, but from what I saw of them last week they look really useful, so I wanted to share them quickly!  I hope you see something here that you haven’t seen before and you learn something new also.  Next year's Technology Application Conference is already scheduled for November 27, 2011.  I hope I see you there!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Thing #13: Tagging and Discover Delicious

I really like delicious.  I have never used a social bookmarking website.  As I was playing around with it I came across several sites and activities that I would like to use in my classroom in the next few weeks.  In the past I would have emailed a link to my school email then once I was at school made those sites a favorite.  With delicious I just bookmarked them and tomorrow when I have time I will open delicious and be able to get what I need off of any of the sites that I have already looked at.  Since I use a computer at school and 2 different computers at home it is sometimes hard to remember which computer I saved a web site too.  It will be so nice to get everything I use in one place.  It would be nice for the teachers I work with to have a delicious account and be able to share things through delicious and not have to save the link and email things to them.  Maybe one day soon I can convince my coworkers!
I looked at Delicious and also at http://www.reddit.com/, I didn't care for it, it seemed a little more like a Tabloid website to me. I also looked at http://www.stumbleupon.com/ but without signing in I could only watch a video and was a little frustrated at the time so I watched the video and left the site.  From the video it does look like it would be helpful to find information on specific topics, I'll have to go back when I'm not feeling so pressed for time and give it another look.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thing #11: LibraryThing

I have used a site like this before, but Library Thing seems to be more user friendly. For some reason, it seems easier to navigate than the other site.  The only thing I would like Library Thing to have and I haven't found is a wish list, or a place to add books that you want to read.  I did find some groups that interest me, historical fiction and YA readers are two of them.  I was surprised when I was looking at the groups to click on "see more tags" and see so many more groups.  I looked at many of the challenges too,  some of them look very interesting, there is no telling what you might end up reading!  There didn't seem to be much for children, but if /when I work with students that are reading YA literature Library Thing might be another tool for finding recommendations for books that might be interesting to them.  I would like to add a Library Thing Gadget to my classroom blog.  It would be much easier to post some of the books that we read to Library Thing than to cut and paste the cover to the blog like I sometimes do now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thing #10: Online Image Generator



I enjoyed this "thing".  I went down the list and played with the different websites.  I have used Wordle before and that is fun, it could be used in any class or subject.  Just have students use words that describe a specific country, or period of history, book that they have read, the list is endless.  I have had a hard time doing anything with Wordle except printing, saving or embedding is a problem for me. 

I also made a flower text from ImageChef, it is supposed to be on the side bar, it was there a few minutes ago, I hope it hasn't moved.  It was very easy to make, just type in the short message that you want, then type the place you want it to go, a blog, Facebook, Myspace, there were several other options.  The only problem I ran into was that if it was smaller it would fit better on my sidebar, but I can't shrink it!  I think it would be fun to change the message on a flower text in a blog to give a hint about something that will be happening in the library.  The text needs to be very short though, 1 or 2 words.

Big Huge Labs has so many things that you can do with your pictures, it is amazing.  It was hard to chose where to start.  I played with the Hockneyizer because I thought it was just so different.  The look of the polaroid is what got my attention.  Wouldn't it be fun to have this type of pictures of students involved in group projects or other activities in the library around the library or even in the hallway outside to promote the library?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thing #9: Useful Library-Related Blogs and News Feeds

I have spent many hours on this post also.  It is so easy to start searching and either get off track and end up reading all kinds of blogs or stay on track with educational blogs but spend way more time than you meant to looking for the blogs that you will actually want to spend time reading on a regular basis.

I looked at  http://www.topix.net/opix.net and thought it seemed like a great way to get national and local news, until I continued to read and started seeing that people were just making up and writing things that were completely crazy, evidently anyone can post to it and comment. 

http://edublogawards.com/2008/ award winners made it easy to fine blogs that are what I was looking for.  Although the name of some blogs doesn't really fit the content, it was quick and easy to open the blog and see if it fit what I was looking for.

One of my favorite blogs that I found was freetech4teachers.com.  They have so many free things that are very useful for teachers.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thing #8: RSS Feeds and Readers

I think I have spent about 2 weeks on this "thing".  The RSS I didn't have any trouble with at all, I had noticed that little orange button many times, but didn't know what it was.  It is much faster than going to each blog individually, and I've noticed that if the title doesn't seem to be something I'm interested in it is easier for me to just skip the whole entry.  If I go to the actual blog I always get caught up in reading the post anyway.  So it is a time saver in that way for school or personal use.  I knew that there are many blogs about all kinds of personal interests but I was really surprised to see so many blogs in so many different areas that are school related.  It would benefit anyone in the schools, teachers, librarians, and administration to subscribe to a few blogs that are related to their areas because someone always has a new idea, or a new way of thinking.  Some days it's like a mini workshop is waiting on your computer. 
The reason I haven't posted in so long is because I've been trying, and getting frustrated with the create a public page part of this.  Once I get frustrated I just go back and search more blogs and forget about what I am supposed to be doing.  I think I almost have the sharing thing figured out, but I decided since it is optional I am going to post thing 8 and I'll post more on the sharing later.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thing #7: Cool Google Tools

I have spent more time playing with Google than I should have.  Customizing my homepage was fun, I always wondered how people put the timers on blogs.  I'm still trying to figure out how to show both of the timers at the same time, I'm going to keep working at that.  You can view my homepage here:  http://www.google.com/ig#restore
I also added a few Google Alerts, and set up a personal calendar.  I think that a librarian could use the calendar to let others in the school know when she has classes coming into the library and when she would be available.
Google Docs is something that I learned about last spring.  I have used it several times. If I start working on something at home I can use Google Docs so that I don't have to email the document to school and hope it is there when I get there.  It is also nice when more than 1 person is working on a document so that everyone can easily have input.
Google notebook was another thing that I played with.  I thought it would be a neat thing to use but I was disappointed.  Maybe it was because I was having computer problems but it didn't seem to let me put in the notes that I thought I would be able to.  I will definitely go back and play with that one again.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thing #6: Have some fun and discover some mashups and 3rd party sites.


There are so many things in this "thing" that are so much fun. I played with the mosiacs and a lot more at Big Huge Labs. Bubblr is one of the many Flickr Toys that I looked at, you can use Flickr pictures to make cartoons. The first few weeks of school are not my best at coming up with cute, catchy captions. However, Bookr was my favorite. I can't wait to have my kindergarteners make books. They are very simple and quick to make. I'm thinking that as a group we could brainstorm rhyming words or things that start with a specific letter then let several students at a time go to the computer with the list (in my handwriting with words spelled correctly) to make a book. In the alphabet book that I made I didn't put all 26 pages in the book because I was afraid it would take too long to download and upload. In the end it didn't take long at all to download to my computer. I am just amazed at how easy this was to put together a book!

Thing #5: Explore Flickr

I chose this photo because, teaching kindergarten I spend a lot of time teaching letters and sounds of the alphabet. I have used Flickr and Creative Commons before but I had never played around with it enough to learn about groups or tags.  For my classroom Flickr would be useful to find pictures for anything we are talking about for my ESL students and those that just haven't had exposure to many things to increase vocabulary.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

•Thing #3: Set up your own blog

Setting up the blog was fairly simple.  Creating the avatar took much more time than it should have but it was a lot of fun.  I can't say that I did all the work myself, my daughter gave her ten year old opinion about most of the options so we went back and forth on what I should look like.  I didn't even know what an avatar was before this activity and now I'm ready to play with it more to see where else I can paste it. 
I've also just learned that if your daughter gets on your Yahoo account because she wants to make an avatar she can easily remove your avatar and put herself in your place.  It took me longer to put mine back in place than it did to get it there in the first place!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thing #2: Pointers from Life Long Learners

I would have to say that the habit that is the easiest for me is accepting responsibility for my own learning.  Probably the hardest is setting goals.  I am a planner, but I plan for the short term, not long term goals.