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:
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.