Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thing #23 Summarize Your Thoughts About This Program)

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I enjoyed learning about the Web 2.0 Awards List. I found some new sites that I will definitely use and recommend to my colleagues and some sites I’ve been using for a while— wufoo, flickr, Pandora, Google Earth.

There were some sites that looked interesting, but unfortunately were not functional any longer—Yourminis and goowy.com.

I also enjoyed learning about Photostory and exploring Big Huge Labs again.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
This is my second foray into 23Things. I feel that I've learned much more from the double exposure, although I have to admit that I realize that I have MUCH more to learn. I can't wait to start exploring the various applications with actual students!
I've been touting this course to my colleagues and friends, and they seem excited about taking the course this summer.

Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
Nothing really surprised me, but I am pleased with my increased confidence and knowledge using technology. I also appreciated the opportunity to read the blogs of my colleagues and learn from their own experiences.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
I still believe that it would be helpful to have face-to-face opportunities for those participants new to this technology.

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
ABSOLUTELY!

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?
TIMELY

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thing #22 (Nings)

7 Things You Should Know About Ning

Ning is “an online service that allows users to create their own so­cial networks and join and participate in other networks.” It seems to me that it’s like a Facebook or MySpace network that is customized to meet the users’ specific interests or needs.


I checked out the Teacher Librarian Ning, and found a couple of

Spring Branch folks that were members. I also looked through the different forum topics. I feel that this would be a good place to come to post question and get answers from people who have experience in those areas in which I need help. It also seems to be an excellent place to learn from my colleagues in other parts of the state and country.

Thing #21(Podcasts and Videocasts)

I used photos from a trip I took to Spain a few years ago on a Fund For Teachers grant. This is a wonderful way to record memories. Photo Story can be used for many activities both in and out of the classroom. Students can create beautiful and meaningful videos with photos they take of their educational experiences.



video

Thing #20 (YouTube, TeacherTube, and Zamzar)

1. Go to YouTube and find a video using the search box. Search for something such as libraries, librarians, learning and teaching, Web 2.0, Library 2.0, educational technology.

I found this interesting video --JISC - Libraries of the Future. It highlights technology as a change agent for libraries. It was prepared by JISC , a company that "inspires UK colleges and universities in the innovative use of digital technologies, helping to maintain the UK’s position as a global leader in education."




Here's another interesting video: What is the future of the library?



2. Go to TeacherTube and locate a video for a subject of your choice...math, science, social studies that might be useful for students or teachers in your sphere of influence.

Pay Attention is a good promo for all of the technology we are learning about in this class. It shows the importance of reaching our students using the technology THEY are using daily.



3. Write a post for Thing #20 about your video finds and the value of having access to so many video resources. Embed at least one of the videos you selected into your post.

These sites provide another avenue for learning and teaching in an interactive and focused manner. I found some really interesting videos, but I had to cull through some really boring and irrelevant ones in order to find them. Some videos in YouTube were actually quite offensive. This is something to take into consideration when using sites that allow users to freely upload videos.


Thing #19 (Explore the Web 2.0 Awards List)

What is special about the tool? What are its useful parts, especially with regards to Libraries and school? How might you use this tool in your own setting?

Pandora is a free internet radio website. I love it! I listen to music from my computer wherever I can get WiFi service. Since my taste in music is eclectic, I can create stations tailored to my interests and needs. For example, when I want to chill, I listen to music on my New Age station. When I am in a more energetic mode, I listen to my salsa station featuring the music of artists similar to Marc Anthony or Celia Cruz.... AZUCAR!!! What's YOUR listening preference?

I just checked out Wufoo. What a great tool! I could have really used this site to organize my family's potluck dinner during the holidays. I also liked the substitute feedback form and the emergency contact form in the educational section. Libraries andn schools could really use many of these forms and even customize them to meet their specific needs.
Can you think of other ways to use Wufoo?

CitySearch is a site I've used on and off to find dining spots around town. Has anybody found a great restaurant here?

Thing #18 (Online Productivity Tools)

Using Google Docs is like using an interactive notepad. One of the advantages is the ability to collaborate with peers, students, or other users. Once the document has been created, the users can simultaneously edit the active document. This eliminates the need for multiple e-mails and confusion over which version is the most recent (updated) version of a document. This would be effective in a high school or university classroom where discussion could take place and students can constantly update and change a group project seamlessly.
A disadvantage of using online productivity tools such as Google Docs is the constant need to "refresh" while others are actively editing in order to see the changes. Otherwise, multiple users could be editing the exact same portion of the document, wasting time and ending up with a product that doesn't make sense.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thing #17 (Rollyo)

It seems to me that Rollyo is a hybrid of certain attributes Delicious and Wikis. It allows users to create a hand-picked list of websites on a given topic where users can perform keyword searches within each area of interest. Additionally, the lists are made public so that users can tap into other users' lists. What a great idea!

I created a Rollyo search roll for YA Literature:
YA Literature

Thing #16 (Wikis)

This is my second semester using wikis, and I'm beginning to feel much more comfortable using them as a way to learn from my colleagues in the Library Science classes and also to share what I've learned with them. I've not had much experience using them to collaborate on a project or topic where everyone can post, edit, and upload documents as needed. I can see how teachers can incorporate wikis into their instruction.

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

The future of libraries is extensive and dynamic collaboration with librarians taking an active lead role. Librarians can integrate their knowledge of technology tools and their applications to the teachers’ knowledge of the curriculum. They can help their patrons tap into all types of resources and media...printed and digital.



Thing #14 (Technorati)

I did a keyword search for “School Library Learning 2.0” in Blog posts, in tags and in the Blog Directory. I got ZERO results for both postings and blogs. This absolutely surprised me, since I fully expected tons of both.
I can see the value in having a tool like Technorati...as long as it works. It should save time searching for blogs of interest.

Thing #13 (Learn about tagging and discover Delicious)

Delicious successfully organized and tagged the 148 bookmarks I had in a master list that was NOT organized. By using this website, I can quickly click on a tag and view all of my bookmarks for that topic. At this time I do not want to share my Delicious bookmarks with anyone.
I wish I had used Delicious a few months ago before I lost the bookmarks I had saved in Speed Dial and on my laptop. When I updated Firefox on my computer, I lost many bookmarks for sites I liked. This website makes an excellent backup site so that this doesn't happen again.

Teachers can use this site to provide their students with pre-selected and pre-approved websites for learning. Students can access specific content through the tags from any computer with Internet access. This is a huge advantage for making the list public.

Thing #12 (Creating Community Through Commenting)

Part 1- These are two comments from blogs that resonated with me:

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog

You show the blog author that "you hear them"


Sometimes authors (like me) feel like they are only posting to themselves. You can actually influence those you admire with a meaningful comment, blog writers change their opinions all of the time. You can also reinforce opinions you agree with when you have real world examples.

From 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog


Ask Questions – Including specific questions in posts definitely helps get higher numbers of comments. I find that when I include questions in my headings that it is a particularly effective way of getting a response from readers as you set a question in their mind from the first moments of your post.

I agree that bloggers sometimes feel that they are on an island all by themselves, and comments to their postings can let them know that they are writing for a real-world audience--and that someone values their opinion (or disagrees with it).

Questions automatically spur action from readers, and bloggers would benefit from including them in their postings. (Gotta remember this for myself.)

Part 2- I commented on 5 blogs from Library2Play.
Part 3- I found 2 blogs of personal interest. One belongs to a friend who is blogging about his weight loss journey. My attention to this blog was drawn by our friendship (and his insistence that I follow his success). The other blog I found deals with cheap world travel-- which is a HUGE draw for me. I can't wait for some free time to explore some of the places I read about.

http://transformations-mcushing.blogspot.com/
- my friend's blog about his weight loss

http://travel.booklocker.com/ - Cheap Travel Blog

Thing #11 (Shelfari)

I used Shelfari instead of Library Thing. This website is very easy to use. I like that it suggests tags to add for the books on my shelf and allows me to include the date of completion for each book. I am definitely recommend this site to my students, so that they can start their own accounts.

I explored the tab labeled "Members Like You" and read suggested books by people who share my interests.

Thing #10 (Image Generators)

I used the comic strip generator to identify a Greek god to demonstrate how this image generator can be used to provide succinct information about a character. Students or teachers can use this application with little difficulty.




I searched Big Huge Labs and found the Badge Maker application. I used this to create badges for book club student roles.