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!