Thursday, July 19, 2012

11Tools, #11: Self Assessing and Reflection

I love using wikispace and blogs, but this is not new. A new appreciation for Diigo and Glogster have resulted from this latest escapade with technology. It is overwhelming almost to the point of a mental shutdown, but this upcoming year there will be more of providing not just the instruction and group practice, with maybe some students getting hands-on work with a 21st century tool, but with all students working collaboratively within the classroom and independently to communicate in a global community. Beyond that, critical analysis of online text and thoughtful appropriate response using digital citizenship is also a student objective before June 2013. First, however, I want to see students using the ipad and itouch apps to become more savvy, responsible and self-confident.
This coming year should involve increasing parent awareness of the increased role of technology in the classroom before the signed consent form is turned in. There is also a necessity to carefully evaluate each student early in the year to determine who is ready to assume responsibility for themselves and the devices before using the internet. Immediate modelling of the class blog, wikispace, Glogster and Diigo, along with group creation of products should occur. Starting workstations probably with math activities will allow me to actively monitor the groups in the following areas: digital citizenship, use of devices, appropriate selection of websites and use of learning strategies that reinforce success with an academic skill. I am really giving some thought to parent "visitation"during workstations, specifically during guided reading groups when it is more difficult to monitor student activity in small groups.

The repeated summer projects resemble scaffolding learning. While I have had Google, Glogster and Diigo accounts (and others that are merely acquaintances) for a year or so now, I am just getting around to figuring out possibilities for using them with second grade students. But, the good news is that for some students the online experiences will be an eyeopening and for others they will be a point for take-off into the clouds, or shall I say icloud?

11 Tools, Tool #10: Digital Citizenship to ipad and ipod. Also, are a few of the sites that might be noted via icons or shortcuts on the ipad desktop. The following are second grade topics identified by the Texas School Safety Center: Personal Safety. Students should be introduced to the non-standard nature of the texts on the internet, not just proper etiquette and being safe, although the latter two are extremely important. I think Easy Tech will help with this, as well as class discussions, community circle conversations and role modeling. However, I think teachers are going to have to get VERY creative with their time in planning and instruction.

Three things I want to teach second graders: cyber bullying, appropriate website selections, and personal safety on the internet. To the parents I want to explain the importance of their child using the internet, and using it appropriately and safely. In addition, it is important that parents fully understand that they have a role in helping their child learn about internet personal safety and good choices as to where the child goes when online. This could be accomplished by adding the internet to the agenda of the September Open House event.

11 Tools, Tool #9: Incorporating Tools in Classrooms

This posting begins with an acknowledgement of the importance for integrating technology into the classroom. Undoubtedly, the internet advances at an astonishing rate, with the potential of being a tool for good or for evil. Creating and using the internet as a tool for sharing and storing valuable and true information can only take place if educators are among the groups out there trying to develop the internet as an important positive learning tool for academic purposes. The act of using these websites in the classroom provides children with the opportunities for enhance learning of content, as well as good and appropriate use of the internet. 
Part of a student's learning requires demonstration of published work meeting the requirements set forth in the assignment given by the teacher as set by the state government's curricula objectives for each academic area of study. The student ought show competency in use of technology tools, as well as creative and informed expression of the academic content.This is accomplished through exposure to online tools and high standards in using those tools.
     There are many websites posted on the 11 Tools training website that are free. Suffice it to say that I will in the very near future (my personal addition to the 11 Tools training)the classroom ipad and either through Dropbox or a photo taken of the website by the ipad place on the ipad screen easy links of fun websites for my students to access. I just know there will be students who can with little instruction manipulate themselves through the website. Once procedures are understood by students, written down in hard copy into journals, practiced in a fishbowl setting and incorporated into two workstations, one for the ipad and one for the itouch, I feel that students could use websites for practicing skills in math, language arts and ESL workstations.
     I found on a Spring Branch ISD link where to get some apps for the ipad and itouch that will be in my classroom the 2012-2013 school year. There are several good sites for geography, math practice and language arts that I will install onto the devices for my students. As I mentioned in an earlier post, and see as apps that can be loaded on the i-devices, I anticipate using Dropbox with my students and am pleased to find an easy way for my students to access the links. In the small-step-approach I plan to use with my second grade bilingual students I hope to significantly utilize the Glogster EDU Premium Multilicense that is/was available through the district in a limited capacity. By November I would like to have my students familiar enough with Glogster as a classroom tool for creating a response to literature or a USA state poster so that at least a small group, if not individual students, can create their own online visual and written responses to learning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

11 Tools, Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

I learned two cool tips for using the itouch: taking a picture of the screen and and creating a direct link on the itouch so students can easily access that site on the internet. These two features will no doubt be used so that students save time when viewing a video. Screen pictures, saved in Dropbox, become instructional tools for me for explaining how to use tools on a website. That same feature becomes a student tool for taking a picture (giving credit to the picture creator) and using it in a classroom project. Creating a project for the life cycle of an insect with complete vs incomplete metamorphosis will look completely different. So could a report on Texas or another great state, or an American hero.

Classroom management ideas are available here and have learned to bring links to my blog so I can easily access them later on. The two links above are probably going to be keeper reference spots. It seems logical to have classroom techies that can help spread troubleshooting know how to other students. Some students are quick to catch on and can responsibly assist others less concerned with being tech savvy. A stationing area for charging and safekeeping are an absolute, as well as guidelines getting the tools from charging station to work stations. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

This is a pivotal place to be, as in making us "go outside and play.... Remember to play nice and don't don't come home with your clothes torn." Where am I going to take my students out to? What are we going to do? How will we do it? When will we do it?

   Content objective -- I have joined and requested to participate in a fairy/folk tale cyber dictionary project. Here is the website: Here is the objective: Given a story with magical creatures, TLW recreate the story using key vocabulary highlighted and defined in a separate entry.
   When you plan to implement -- I would like to introduce this when we are studying initial sounds, narratives, or main idea and important details somewhere in this next school year.
   What tool(s) you plan to use -- A book with magical creatures has yet to be decided upon. I would like to use Storybird to recreate the book, then share it with the Barnstable project in whatever format can be posted on that website. In addition, the following website for additional resources might be consulted:
   A brief description of the project -- The plan is to read a fairy tale or folk tale with a magical creature, then the class compose a modern-day version of the story by first creating a dictionary of important vocabulary that must be defined separately in highlighted form and then used within the story, also in highlighted form. The storyboard will be created within Storybird and shared there, later to be given to students as independent work on KidPix or Kidspiration (really?) through creation of a student-illustrated page containing text of one page of the story, later compiled into one story. In addition, other teachers will be invited to see the students' work through other websites, such as wikispace or a Blogspot.

Friday, July 6, 2012

11 Tools, Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Communicate

Here is a blogspot I created to encourage participants of the upcoming Recipe-For-Success and Seed-to-Plate after school program we hope to start in the fall. I anticipate lots of interaction throughout the year. This could be for the participants in the after school program as well as the classroom teachers and students. I am so excited! I hope the students are too!

I have been working with Diigo for at least three hours now and I still have barely scratched the surface. Suffice it to say that I have applied for an educator account so that I can create accounts for my students to use throughout the year for science and social studies projects, along with reading poetry and narratives that could be part of a unit of study. I am still learning about Diigo and following, being followed. I like being about to capture useful websites and highlighting important information. Previously, for bird studies I would gather information, adding my annotations, using ActivInspire. I would then print out the pages for students to use. It was so much easier than going from computer to computer finding different websites for each student. That sounds so archaic now. I'm not sure how to post or embed anything here to reflect what is to come, hopefully.

I hope to be able to Skype once in a while with other classrooms or experts in a field as a means to enrich my students learning.

Monday, July 2, 2012

11 Tools, Tool #5, Produce with Web 2.0

While I have tagged several sites that I would like to introduce to my students, I would like to encourage them to try Glogster and Storybird for some of their unit projects that must be done in science and social studies each nine weeks. The children can share their work on a wikipage on our wikispace account or hopefully onto a class blog. There is a lot of potential for guiding them into using internet, sequencing work and behavior, being creative, using academic content, and considering work for other audiences.

I don't doubt that many children could do a much better job of creating a  poster relating to an academic area of study. I like Glogster for it's basic idea and ease. As with other sites (it goes without saying), I think students should approach a poster project on Glogster with the prior knowledge of what the objective is and of what opportunities are available at the website. I can easily see my second graders either individually (preferable) or in with a partner create a poster related to economic concerns, civic responsibility, or posters related to good health and gardening.

I used Storybird to create the following story. Students will absolutely love this site. It's easy to imagine the creativity derived from the great illustrations from the website and the ideas the children will come up with. Mimi, Teach Me About My Food by linsleyi on Storybird

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

11 Tools, Tool #4: Google Apps

Google Apps has a lot of potential beyond what we're currently doing. Google Docs can be used for communication between teachers, teachers and students, and students with other students. Tests can be created, students can place writing pieces here that are intended to go to the "publishing" stage, questionnaires and surveys, as well as group projects that students can work on together. Blogs may be readily incorporated into the classroom. Google Reader would give students easier access to the websites they visit regularly. Perhaps some of the websites will allow students to connect directly to their account in the websites found in Reader? Older students can use Google Sites to create internet sites. Students have greater control over finding sites they can use to access photographs, videos, and BrainPop. Students, in general, are more in control of navigating the web through discovery rather than having continual teacher assistance. I am excited about after-school children blogging about the garden and nutrition program that is starting up in the fall. In the regular classroom, I look forward to students having their accounts accessible and learning the Internet "layout of the Google Apps land". Some students are just wired to be tech-savvy and they will be the ones to be able to navigate different sites and use them independently. This gives teachers additional time to work with other students, as well as peer tutoring on how to be more fluent with the internet. Incorporating academic learning projects into the mix will be motivating, more interesting, and require more skills used simultaneously. I would like to see students also using email to communicate and online test taking.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

11 Tools Tool #3: Online Video

Of all the online video sites available to teachers I love most Discovery Education, which has provided video and video segments for my students in so many academic areas. I have also used YouTube and some of the traditional news services to show current events, the Japan tsunami being one in particular that significantly affected student understanding of geography, natural disasters and their impact of human life. For this lesson I explored TeacherTube, but I will have to visit the site another day because I could not get much to work there. I did, however, find several interesting videos for students and teachers on SchoolTube. Here is an example of a video benefiting students on what to consider before leaving a digital footprint.

The presentation of video categories and uploading procedures in SchoolTube is user friendly. Attaching a video to the blog was easy enough. The only problem with linking the video to ActivInspire is one that is common with other sites with links to flipcharts, that is the uncertainly of which web browser the video will open up in. No new surprises in copyright and fair use. There is no exaggeration in saying that it can be time consuming to note the source of the photograph or video being borrowed. It is time well spent, I agree. I love Flickr Creative Commons! I would like to have this quote here for future reference. From 21st Century Learning, 11Toolssbisd blogspot, "To download YouTube videos to your computer, use KeepVid or saveyoutube. Then, use Tube Chop or" I created a Dropbox account on my laptop and installed the app on my smartphone. Assuming one can easily add netbooks, ipads, etc. to the account, it makes teacher work more convenient. What comes to mind is how it is different or better from a wikispace in a teacher's point of view when considering getting pictures or files into student hands.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

11 Tools...Tool #2: Creating a PLN

 I have opened up my Google Reader to see where I left off from before. Several feeds have been deleted and new ones are in the process of being added. I'm still looking around on how to share some feeds for organic gardening because two other teachers and I are learning the Seed to Plate requirements in order to start a program at Woodview. I like Google Reader because it is convenient to move from place to place in search of the information I have stored or requested. It's like another brain...I wonder about the synaptic paths I am creating in my own brain that help me to recall where I am going on the internet and why I am going there. Then, remembering what to get and how it has to be used in the physical space. I'm Little Red Riding Hood trekking through the woods in hopes the Big Bad Wolf doesn't sabotage my trip.

Meanwhile, I left comments at the ELL literature blog and at Technology Integration In Education. I am still fairly unsophisticated at the whole aspect of making communication convenient for me because it's usually hindsight teaching me what's important and why it's important. It then becomes which site is more important because of the number of reasons WHY it's important. That is the problem derailing the learning process. oh well... I'll wait to see if one of my comments warrants a reply from the blog authors. That's a whole new twist to what's important. Ha! Talk about short term relationships, acquaintances, two ships passing in the night...long term relationships are yet to happen.

I just submitted a subscription request with, acceptance granted. So much to do, so little time. I feel like the Mad Hatter. This is a network I will follow, along with, but that's a newsletter I get at my email account. Hmm.

Here are my thoughts on building an education network through a PLN: it's really, really vast with a lot of advertising, and quick changes and technological advancements. It's hard to know the audience you're interacting with and sometimes difficult to evaluate the value of the information being consumed. Responding appropriately requires not only careful consideration of what is written, but also internet etiquette when responding. 

11 Tools...Tool #1: The Blog

I am familiar with Voki, but have not yet had children use it in the classroom. Perhaps next year will be THE year for having students create one, if for no other reason, just to have it on their wikispace page. But, truly this will give students some idea of what is out in cyberspace and how to manipulate tools. Also, the practice alone will make students more internet savvy. I wish there had been more time for this last year. With a change in district five-year goals this might be much more doable because there is now less emphasis on standardized academic performance and more on being college-bound. And what kid wouldn't want a Voki tool in their tech toolkit.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Thing #11.5 Evaluation

From this web2.0 exploration I particularly like screencasts, Bookr, and sharing videos. Second graders will find Bookr fairly user friendly. Screencasts will be valuable for training sessions that students can control to accommodate their individual needs. Sharing videos offer additional sites for teachers to use to access resources for students to learn from. No doubt virtual worlds has enormous potential, but I can not accept my students accidentally being exposed to a predator/prey scenario while exploring a virtual world.

Library2Play2 has provided me with the ability to learn technological skills that enable me to create tools that students can make use of. My students will be much more technologically savvy as a result of this training program. What student doesn't need that? In addition, my sense of responsibility to teach digital citizenship has significantly increased in that not only do students need to know what to say and how to say it, but how to avoid dangerous situations, be it personal safety or protecting a computer from spyware, etc. I look forward to Library2Play3.

I am delighted with the opportunities I have been given through this program. I particularly like sharing this blog with other people rather than trying to verbally explain what is available online. A better understanding of the online communication processes has come out of all of this.

What could Library2Play2 offer that would improve on this self-paced training? That is a difficult question. Library2Play2 is so well thought out I can't think what would improve it. I need some time to think about this some more. My thank yous to the creators of it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

2Thing #11 Digital Citizenship

Here is a list of lessons or discussions I plan to have with my second graders this year. The list is compiled from information found at the digiteen2008 wikispace. Digiteen2008 also contains a very nice list of vocabulary terms that can be used to support lessons on computer etiquette. I plan to use the vocabulary terms as time allows this year. Here is the list of lessons the children will need to be introduced to and practice.

1. Never share your family's information or your information: full name, social security number, address, telephone number, age, passwords, or pictures without your parent's permission.
2. Never talk with people you do not know and never arrange to meet someone in person.
3. Only visit protected websites, and with parents' permission.
4. If you are bullied, tell your parents or an adult you trust.
5. Write short messages, saying exactly what you mean, and be polite at all times.
6. Do not plagiarize, download unknown applications, and do close out other people's accounts if they are left open.
7. Limit your time on computers, get physical exercise, and interact with family and friends.

In addition, I plan to introduce my students to Woogi world, where they can learn more and practice the skills I have identified above. See

CoolCatTeacher wrote on these topics, as well. Both sites emphasize additional skills: literacy, communication and learning skills. I completely agree that digital citizenship cannot be taught by one teacher during one year of a child's school years. Rhondda adds that students must be guided through digital literacy and to differentiate between good and bad digital technologies. Good point.

2Thing #10 Virtual Worlds

There is enormous potential for students to learn at a more memorable level when using virtual worlds. In the reading there is discussion on the ability for students to experience different weather situations, places, and discoveries in a way that a textbook could never provide. Once I get the hang of it with my avatar, I can perhaps take students to different places via virtual world and an Activboard. Absolutely tremendous!

After reloading java, I was able to create an Avatar in Twinity and navigate around London, meeting a few people along the way. As CoolCat Teacher suggested, I had someone take me into the virtual world so that I wasn't so lost. It was night there and few people were mulling around the area. Twinity seems limited in places around London, Singapore and Berlin. Just as another blogger mentioned, there was adult content in the dialogue between Avatars. I'm not sure what avenue I'll take with this with students, but avoiding Avatars might be necessary when visiting one of the virtual places of interest. I think I will try Second Life as well as Twinity. I don't think you can fly in Twinity. Let me know if it's possible.

I have an avatar now on Second Life. It is pretty amazing where and what you can do. I visited a few places and do see the potential for students to explore places as if they were there. Virtual immersion. I was bothered when a dialogue box popped up and I was witness to a conversation between two people, one a predator on the lookout and the other responding to questions. This would be an incident for a lesson in digital citizenship (Post #11) in the classroom, at the very least. How do you prevent the dialogue box from appearing...just explore silently?

2Thing #9 Slideshare

Adding life to Power Point makes a lot of sense, it is a useful tool for presenting information. Slideshare enhances not only the quantity of available presentations, but also allows students to learn additional skills for presenting information. The human imagination will probably recreate Power Point by replication and innovation. Students learn in a "two-fold manner", the material in the presentation and the manner in which it is presented, with maybe inspiration for how it could be improved upon. I notice when joining Slideshare you are prompted to get your friends registered, then to upload files to share. I doubt elementary school children will have many to upload. They might find themselves searching on a topic as a resource for information gathering, with concise textual organization involved in what they find.

2Thing #8 Screencast

I like this feature to Web2.0. If each student had a copy of the screencast on their desktop, they could follow instructions step-by-step at the needed pace. I can't think of the number of times I have used ActivBoard to demonstrate the steps to working on the class's wikispace, only to have students be at many different places at any given moment. It usually means leaving the board with an image and then rotating around the room according to students' hands in the air asking for help.

It appears at first blush that Camtasia could be used to create video texts that could be "read" to students and then annotated in a way where students could see and hear how to refer back to a text to capture information for a reading objective (main idea, summary, cause and effect, etc.). This would save teachers from repeating lessons on a topic and would allow a great lesson to be created and saved for future use. It could then be embedded into a wikispace (maybe?) or blog so that students could refer to it as a tutorial or review, if needed. This application has a 30 day free trial, then purchasing option. The option to download a free key isn't available either. The tutorial is not so user friendly that I would pursue this any further. However, it does look like a great application.

I think I will go with the FreeScreencast, which doesn't require a download and is supposed to be simple. This too isn't proving to be easy. I downloaded the Recorder (no downloads?), then attempted the also necessary Windows Media Encoder. This would not download because of Windows Logo testing failure, claiming the encoder incompatible with Windows XP. Windows is incompatible with Windows. I think I'm drowning and will search for a lifeguard.

I am going to jot some notes I appreciate from reading Sue Waters' blog.

1. Camtasia lets you record and edit your screencast without the use of another program. However
2. Recording entire desktop okay for PowerPoint, but a fixed region (640 wide by 480 high) will give a better image.
3. Set the screen recording to autopan, which will move the recording in response to mouse movements.
4. The video format is important:
Consider using the .mov format, with a medium setting, when uploading to video sharing websites.
5. These tips may be a medicine for your sanity.

Note to self: It takes a good focus to keep size under 100 MB for the blog's requirements.

Argg! I am unable to upload a video, although I have followed protocol.

So, now I am trying Jing...the download isn't even going well. By the time I do get something published I will probably be pretty good at making videos!

My problem was java related. My latest Camtasia production worked!

2 Thing #7 Sharing Videos

There are some very good sites out there that offer incredible resources for teachers to use. I like NeoK-12, where I think I could find something to use everyday in the classroom. and Google appear to offer video producers and publishers opportunities to do so without difficulty. Here is an sample video from NeoK-12:

Types of Polygons - Geometry Help
More math videos on Geometry at

With the advent of ActivBoards, the technology is very user friendly, saving teachers a lot of time and frustration. Remember the days when perusing the catalog for videos, then ordering the videos from the state Educational Region Service Center, waiting for them, then using them within the designated amount of time, replacing them in their canvas bag, and taking them to the front office for an educational region center representative to come and pick the videos up? Those days are definitely GONE!!

Here is another video. This one if from U S National Archives Channel:

Frank Capra and Dimitri Tiomkin had a part in this series of films from the Army's Office of the Chief Signal Officer.

Might I add that I really like the PBS site, as well?

2Thing #6 ipod Apps

I'll be very lucky to scratch the surface on this topic. The topics will be narrowed down the elementary school: Use of an itouch by multiple students while in a library. Let's see there's Facebook Chat (this amends 2Thing#5), ibluetouch for mind mapping your thoughts while on the go, WeDict for a quick dictionary reference, Ifbyphone to collaborate amongst students, Stanza for digital books, as well as Classics and Bookshelf, Word of the Day, Wikipanion to get to the class's wikispace. Geopedia (finding places) and WorldCat (finding books in a nearby library) are two other freebie tools than can be used in elementary classrooms.

After looking at another section with actual game-like activities in language arts and math I want to conclude that I might just "play around in the sand castle" of the librarian on some of the apps she sees students benefiting from. After a trip to the Apple store to play around with an itouch and education apps, as well as talking with a store salesman, maybe I will have better sea legs.

Further investigation suggests that Stanza and Bookshelf will be helpful to students in that they can enhance literature that is in hard copy in the library. While working on a project in the library, students have greater resources of literature in their hands by using either Stanza or Bookshelf.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

2Thing #5 Microblogging

These were much easier experiences than YouTube. But, then the media is not as complicated. Random Comment: The book Bowling Alone could use new chapters in that now people are together and alone at the same time, rather than just isolated from the various communities around them. Facebook has a lot of potential, as does Twitter, for students to learn about the world of actual two-way+ world of communication. Facebook is a good place to share information and embed items of importance or interest. A Facebook account following a relevant news feed could be used as an item for students to respond to and discuss with others. This will be fun to try with elementary students. This gives teachers an opportunity to instruct students in the differences in elaborated text and short responses that must make a point. The more I look at Facebook the more I like it. I still have some more to learn, though.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2Thing #4 YouTube

Teacher created videos that are shareable with other teachers reminds me of having Promethean for sharing of ActivInspire creations. The sites are a time savings for teachers and a potentially valuable resource for not only actual lesson videos, but also ideas for teachers' future creations. As an aside, I lack created videos, but with a webcam on the "to buy" list, the process will be more familiar. I was unable to upload an Animoto video to YouTube. Suggestions? I think older students could have fun adding annotations to their videos, as well as experiment with psychological effects of different types of audio on a video. Student-created pieces are a bit more multi-dimensional than some of the other sites for those reasons. The process is more involved and complicated, in general. Probably, student pieces would work well for a small group, and then shared with other students. Here is the only video I have (argg...for now), with annotations and an audio swap. You can catch it also at the beginning of the blog from last summer. Thank you to those who commented about uploading YouTube to this blog. I am working through some kinks on the video. I notice there are some time issues when doing audio swap and modifying annotations during the audio swap process. The saving process is quirky. These notes will help when my poor memory falls short. What is seen below is not the same video that I have edited. For some reason the edited version is not the same as the this one, from the video page.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2Thing #3 Skype

My brother used Skype a few years ago with family located in the UAE. It was a real saver, especially playing chess together. In the classroom there is much potential. I read the 50 Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom and found it very helpful and inspiring. Edublogger offers ways to perhaps network with other classrooms around the world. I have heard of middle school pilot programs in south western Louisiana with areas of England where social and geographical issues were worked on to resolve issues of erosion and other like concerns. Rather than debates or conversations on issues, the students worked in their local communities on similar geographical concerns and then discussed the steps each took to resolve the problems. This entailed using science, social studies, writing, math, graphs, charts, and much, much more. I think a similar project on a local issue could be used in elementary school, on a smaller scale, for a civic project benefiting the local community.

2Thing #2C Bookr

I love Bookr. Students could create a character analysis of a fictitious or historical character, solve math problems or explore a science concept using this website. The published books could be added to a teacher's student's wikispace to be shared with the rest of the class, etc. Students could also use their books while giving an oral presentation of a topic. VERY nice!

Monday, June 14, 2010

2Things #2 cont

Voki is fun, I suppose. I think students can use images and text to enhance a presentation. The video on TeacherTV was fairly interesting and informative. Here is a Voki character I created. I would like to investigate the possibility of finding additional facial characters to use. My Voki character is seen above. You can hear what she has to say about the summer 2010.

Click here to comment on this Voki.
Get a Voki now!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

2Thing #2b

Students who work on Glogster may find it, I think, much more exciting to create posters for school. Opportunities for creativity are plentiful. Students will have to know where to go get accurate resources and how to import them successfully. That shouldn't be too difficult, and if it is, a student can merely go to another location to find something similar, or create their own text by quoting a difficult to handle location. What might be more difficult is for students to know when and how to narrow or broaden their topic so that a glogster poster is manageable. No more goes the thinking that "once I glue this, that's pretty much it!" Students can move items around and redo them at will, which means they probably need to know more about time management and doing what NEEDS to be done, not what is just fun guised behind needing to finish the project. I think this is something I would like to try with students next year.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2Thing #2

I like WordSift, but with caution. I pasted in Texas's treaty for independence from Mexico and immediately found links to Anna Nicole Smith in Texas. Not a good call, I am not sure how I would prevent this from happening. Preview text, prevent student independent control? I really like the Visual Thesaurus. The introductory reading on WordSift rightfully notes the value of this site for use with ELLs. This site makes it easy to help students sort through valuable and unnecessary information. It is a great way to build vocabulary and develop concepts. But, how would students take notes from this? And check the validity of an entry? It seems like accessing information is easier, but now time has to be spent validating it.


2Thing #1 - The video for how students can access information via Internet is interesting and a bit overwhelming. I worry about some students lacking sufficient technology in their homes and families. We have to start somewhere naturally, but for some children it will be like a home where the parents do not speak English, or in this case Internet. I also worry a bit about the ADD students because there is an abundant amount of information to sort through and connect together in almost too many ways. There is a flood of information to make contact with and many opportunities for students to become creative in connecting to it and with it. Librarians, let's just use elementary school librarians, are certainly a group of educators that can be an excellent resource for students and teachers, especially if from their repertoire of ideas a student can make use of one, then another for learning, thus limiting that feeling of being overwhelmed. But can an elementary school librarian do it alone? One shouldn't have to. Teachers have a role in building up ideas and resources for use, but, it goes without saying, secondary to good first teaching. However, that teaching is significantly enhanced by opportunities to employ Internet resources to gather additional information and to make use of it for presentation purposes, enhancing learning, demonstrating understanding, etc.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thing #23

My favorite discoveries on this learning journey through Library2Play would have to be those that can be utilized by elementary students to enrich their learning and prepare them the new directions of literacy using technology. In particular, I like trading cards, Wordle, sites like these that are kid-friendly, but also Photo Story. Young musicians or orators can make good use of Audacity.
My lifelong learning goals have taken a new turn in that many mysteries are solved and tools have been made available. They will freshen the learning/teaching in the classroom. I hope to continue learning about technology and to really get a grip on the networking aspect of it.
What surprises me most about this program I suppose is how far it has brought me along in learning. I have learned more here than in many other programs I've participated in. It takes some effort to manage time and rein in the imagination. Or, is it really the imagination runs away, I stop and then shut everything, but one or two ideas, that can be used in the fall?
The creators of this learning opportunity did a really good job of putting all these "things" together. I do not know what I would do differently. There is no doubt I would participate in additional training. Twenty-three Things teaches MUCH more than 23 things.

Thing #22

Ning in Education reminds me of a blog template that is very user friendly for educators. I set up an account and looked around my site a bit and the obvious use of it might be to communicate with educators that can provide insight, share ideas, etcetera. It would also be a good place to stay in touch with old pals in the field or network to make new ones. The readings discuss the value of creating one's own social network and development of a community that converses in one professional domain. Group participation around a topic offers new users to connect and participate in the discussion. At first blush it doesn't look like a tool I would use with children.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thing #21

Podcasts are not new to me as I have downloaded a few for various reasons. Today I created my first Photo Story. Students can do a lot with this and so far it's fairly user friendly. Once it is quiet around the house I can create sound by sampling the Photo Story I've created....Well, it's Thursday and everything is ready, but the Photo Story loads not. Trying again.... Yes! I got it. I selected the document I saved on my hard drive rather than the one recreated by Photo Story and saved on my hard drive.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thing #20

At this point in my continuing study of Web 2.0 I am learning more about YouTube and TeacherTube, with hopes of being able to post a video onto Thing #20. I have seen teachers showing web videos to their students and it is VERY cool! So far it hasn't gone exactly as I would have liked. Of course, that doesn't mean I'm not learning. Au contraire. This is actually quite fun, which probably is of no surprise. The battle's not over yet. Tomorrow I WILL have a video here, hopefully the rap Continents and Oceans (songsofhigherlearnin)that I found on TeacherTube. I haven't been able to open the downloaded video, but it appears to be loading to the blog. It failed after several minutes of trying through Html (at editing of blog)and uploading from a file saved ("All files") on my desktop. My daughter even can't get this to work, and we followed Eblogger's suggestions for typing in code, adding the video URL and more code. It didn't work. I can't believe I'm actually showing on the blog the incomplete's! As my daughter would to say to a fellow blogger "Awkward".

Thing #19

Web 2.0 Awards list provides access to the "epitome" of the Web 2.0 sites for each year. It gets me distracted a little bit by activating my thinking about a variety of tasks that I have somewhere on my horizons. For example, while considering teaching next year I found and played with Lulu and now feel motivated to author a children's book. Many teachers have already published, perhaps not on Lulu. It is noteworthy that Lulu, like the other award winners, bring users closer to the necessities for bringing to life users' projects. It reminds me of a cartoon I found several years ago: A man types at his computer while alone at a table by a draped window. The caption reads "Solitude for the sake of communication." It other words, relying on person-to-person communication is limited, probably to a level where actual conversations are more sophisticated. There is certainly much to be had by way of websites like Web 2.0 Awards.

Thing #18

OpenOffice is a surprising place for computer users to turn to, especially with all the different language options for downloading. I don't readily see a purpose for opting to use it rather than a Microsoft product, but I do like the idea of it being there. It would certainly benefit anyone recently purchasing or building a computer and not yet having an office suite to use.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thing #17

Rollyo is a very clever tool for limiting the sites you want to access on any given topic. It serves as a filter, if you will, of the sites you might want students to use when searching information for a topic of study. I like it a lot and know that I will use it next year. This seems relatively close to what I was thinking to do in Tag Bundles and Network Bundles in Thing #13. What are noteworthy differences in the tag bundles and Rollyo as far as students' investigations on any particular topic? Here is a link to my Rollyo:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thing #16

Today I read up on Wikis, what they are and how they can be used by teachers in the classroom. Only time will limit incorporating them into instruction. I am curious about Wikis' limitations, however. I can appreciate the differences in Wikis and blogs, and probably will even more in the future. Which would be better to start with in a classroom of third graders? I have to take a moment or two and remember two of my cats showing affection for one another. This original photograph was taken today.

Thing #15

(Original photograph from the Freedom Over Texas Festival on July 4th)
I read several documents by creators and engineers for Web 2.0 while waiting for my daughter to go through her classes at Rice University's Summer Enrichment Program. There was so much interesting information on the first five of the readings that I took notes in order to comment. The readings clarify who is behind Web 2.0 and why, as well as future directions. First, Kirk Anderson (Away From the "Icebergs") presents a compelling argument in favor of updating literacy resources to primarily online materials. This is as we know already happening. In my case, it's not been a necessity to invest in technological tools that provide more than a computer, a telephone or music/podcasts. Now that I fear less the ocean of information out there I see the need for more sophisticated tools. Second, Michael Stephens (Into a New World of Librarianship) writes on "librarianship" and although he like Anderson has much of value to say, I will comment on one particular item: Controlling "techno-worship". Putting resources to the test gives teachers and librarians filters to assist with planning and implementing effective instruction via technology tools. Even the best of these tools, however, has its place in the classroom, right? Further, my daughter has used ipod Touch for a few years now as a toy and tool. Isn't it great to have knowledge and experiences that can be shared with each other, adding to personal moments with family members or students with talents in areas of technology? Third, Chip Nilge (To More Powerful Ways to Cooperate) writes about better Web 2.0 technologies, providing interesting information and provoking questions. He certainly discusses how the internet is getting more organized and efficient, at least it appears that way to me. What I'm curious about is Open WorldCat. Also, RSS has come in conversations on several occasions. I may have underestimated it? Fourth, John Riemer (To Better Bibliographic Services) discusses bibliographic services and the use of metadata. I can appreciate his comments on better ranking techniques of websites. In general, I feel like there is greater direction for managing resources and providing skills and tools and it is identified by key features by all the authors of the various readings. It's like moving to a better neighborhood. I wonder though, which types of personalities of the Myers-Briggs groups would be good candidates for helping "streamline metadata creation[s]" (if looking beyond the library sector as mentioned by Riemer)? Just think - blogging like this could save hours of searching for an answer to a nagging curiosity! Riemer mentions a single metadata creation effect? Order out of can that be bad?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thing #14

I'm waiting to hear back from Technorati. Technorati's waiting for a plane.... It's a few days later, I'll spare you the details, and must mention there was some prerequisite communication with Technorati before I could just register like I did at other sites. The wait is worth it though. I visited Technorati and like the features it offers me. The learning goes on.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thing #13

I think Delicious would be beneficial for small group projects where sites are already selected. Each student needs a Delicious account and to add me as a member of their network, with me as a member of theirs as well to assess if they have found other sites to use. Each student has access to my network and the sites chosen for them to use for their project. By creating a network bundle I can manage which students are working together on a project. I can also create a tag bundle to manage the sites serving as a resource for each group's topic. This makes Delicious a great tool for managing groups. Teachers conducting research can tag bundles to manage organizing resources on different topics within the research. Hum, using Delicious as a social bookmarking site might be of benefit to evaluate or update information (like Wikipedia)? I could benefit with feedback on this one. The social networking part is relatively new to me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thing #12

I think that using the same alias for your blog and your comments to other blogs reduces confusion to fellow bloggers. It also provides a certain amount of privacy. I can appreciate the humor and creativity that goes into an alias, especially one that is not indicative of a brief moment in time, but rather one that might say something general about the author....I am intrigued on the growth of etiquette in the world of internet. You have to truly love and admire mankind for the collaborative and collective leadership that has brought blogging so fully to life. My oh my, I never thought about lurking on a website (not that I have)! We are a wonderfully creative and delicate species of animal to tackle our beasts, tame them to serve a higher purpose, and then define within ourselves what is acceptable and what is not. Lurking to me (a newbie) equates with shopping, if you're going back to a garment again and again you should probably go ahead and get it, same with a blog. Comment, and I would think not with a response from the author each time.... Okay, it's later and I might have second thoughts. To continue with blogs I found several that I really like: Running4women - because I have been a runner (with age now a jogger) since the late 70's and can use all the help I can get to maintain vigor and enjoyment of the sport. I also like Fiddlefreak Folk Music Blog because it connects me to a world that too often is overlooked by daily responsibilities and routines. I love all kinds of music, but as of late have discounted it some. Kudos to all the young musicians creating pieces that evoke us as great music can. I searched these blogs out using Blog Search, another site I will surely visit again.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thing #11

Library Thing is very user friendly. Children, as well as teachers, could participate in a new experience of literature group...this might reduce intimidation of talking in a group. Assessment could be enhanced if comments among readers could be printed out. These comments might be interesting to share with other groups of students reading other books. I suppose you can follow a book study by looking at the group. Nice. Also, I looked under Your Books to the far right of one of the books I am/have been reading and found other readers to converse with. Another nice. I learned how to publish my books onto this blog! It was easy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thing #10

I think children will be even more creative than any suggestions that I could add. The drop of water was made on Word Mosaic. This site, as well as Poetry Blender, will give children opportunities to merge left brain and right brain thinking into one project, using science or social studies concepts. Photo cropping broadens resources and thinking outside the box. The trees photo is original, taken at the trail around Rice University. I also like that there are options to make puzzles.
Wordle is great fun, also. Summarize text with it.

Thing #9 reminds me of this Tennessee waterfall (original) much to take in and it's always moving. This will take some work on my control issues. I like the Edublog Awards site because it's so organized and looks like it's selective. What is confusing to me is how people can actually keep up with blogs that daily produce several entries to read and ponder. Maybe an education blog significant to my field, but general news, well a newspaper is still fun, too. Old school? I need to grow with this new learning or it's a case of: I taught it, she just didn't learn it. I'm not sure I see a place for these in an elementary classroom, but I still have some "yet"s left.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thing #8

A few comments about trying RSS:

What I like about RSS and readers is that I can read text that I might normally forget about when it gets busy. Also, if I find a new great site I won't overlook it just because it is one of many already out there that won't get managed. Now, they will come to me. RSS might be valuable by sending information related to teaching or continuing education. In my personal life there are problems to be solved and information might be accessible this way. I need to investigate this further!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thing #7

Google Notebook is pretty cool, especially if working on a long term project or have an interest that requires gathering information and making personal notes. Google Alerts will provide updates to information that is posted. That's a lot of information that is readily available and easily organized. This makes for easy consumption and production of new creations in light of new learning. Children will have to learn managing a LOT of information, sorting through its quality and accuracy, synthesizing information...meta-something?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thing #6

Big Hugh Labs has many sites that students can use for any of the four core academic areas, some sites offering products more on the creative side, others offering creation of products that can be used in small groups. For example, Captioner could be used to place factual information on an animal or famous person, as if it were talking or thinking. These can be printed and shared.

This was an adventure with a reward that has enormous potential in its applications. I had to save the Flickr image as jpeg and click off most of the default options and save as a progressive jpeg. I really like this toy.

I had to try another. This was easy to do. I tried avatar image yet to appear.

(This is from Picasso Kossack by Professor_r on Flickr)

Thing #5

CALENDAR by LizMarie
Using Flickr is straightforward and exploring the photographs was an experience (if a picture tells a thousand words...). Saving a photo was easier than selecting one only because of all the choices. However, when I imported choice onto this posting the picture was too large for my liking (it was medium). I clicked the back button and chose to not save the image. Now I cannot use the picture option for this posting. I'll have to try leaving it and then editing it later. Hope it works. I went back to Flickr and saved the image to small, but then cleaned up the list of posts also as well as some other clicking around. It worked!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thing #3

Creating my blog was fun, but importing pictures from avatar hasn't been quite as much fun. It has, however, been a learning process that isn't yet finished....I got some help with Avatar, she was able to get an image by saving it as a jpeg in my pictures. This means no changes via Avatar...(07/10/09)...THIS IS NOT OVER!!

This is what should be in the gadget for Avatar...summer fun, no not done, on the run, before school's begun!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thing #2

What's easy: Habit 3: View problems as challenges....reduces stress and allows a sense of humor

What's not: Habit 6: Use technology to your advantage. What with upcoming ACTIVboards and now this, exciting times are ahead!