Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thing #23

The best about the 23 Things activities was that it gave me a concise overview of many of the Web 2.0 tools that are out there and available to me and to my students on the Internet. Can I pick a favorite? There are three, I think. RSS news feeds have been great fun for me and for use in my world cultures class. Also, the on-line image makers will definitely be a part of my class assignments. Finally, I definitely plan to have my students use wikis next year.

The 23 Things assignments have been a reminder that life-long learning goals must constanatly be revised in order to adapt to changes that are happening in the world around us, specifically in the technology that is so much a part of our educational lives today.

I suppose the biggest take-aways were the many ways of managing the masses of information that is available to us. I knew of some, but I enjoyed the concise presentation of many.

I don't really have any complaints about the format of the program. The only problems I had were including images on my blogs. It would be helpful to include more specific directions for those of use who are less technologically adept.

I would take another program like this, depending on my summer schedule. This summer, everything worked out to make this extended program possible. It has been a great learning experience.

One sentence: The program was challenging, enjoyable, and usable.

Thing #22

With as many social networking sites as there are for teachers, as mentioned in the Ning overview, Ning could help solve some of the problems of ". . .the growing burden of managing involvement in multiple personal networks and ikeeping track of perhaps dozens or hundreds of 'friends across networks." Educator Ning and Ning for Teachers seemed to include many areas of interest for teachers.

An idea from #7 in the 7 Things You Need to Know About Ning would be for students to connect with students in schools in different parts of the country to share ideas on common areas of studies and interests. Teachers could also connect with the teachers of these students to form a network.

Thing 21

This was an interesting assignment. I have some NPR podcasts downloaded to my Ipod, and the information here gave me more insight into how they work. PhotoStory and IMovie are both great ways for students to create presentations of what they have learned. My 6th grade students created both this past year, and they found IMovie more enjoyable and challenging.

This is one student's IMovie on The Republic of Senegal.

Thing #20

On YouTube I found a video of the song "Waltzing Matilda." In addition to just playing the song, an explanation is given for the Australian words used in the song. The students will love seeing this and singing along during our unit on Australia.

Another video I found on TeacherTube is called "Hey, Hey Hetshepsut!" The students will love this when we study Egypt.

Thing #19

It's true--So much to see; so little time. It was very interesting and informative exploring these Web 2.0 award winners. I chose Pandora in the Music category to look into in depth. What a great idea to have your own personal radio station with all your favorite music. I was especially interested since I saw an interview last week with the founder of Pandora. It's clear that what is available now is only a preview of what he will create in the future. I will enjoy using selected music in my classroom while students are working, not to mention my use of Pandora for my personal use at home and, hopefully soon, in my car.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thing #18

I really like the availability of these free online productivity tools. I didn't even realize that Open Office was on our laptops. I especially like the feature of Google Docs that allows real time chat while collatorating. I can imagine sharing in curriculum planning between teachers of different schools. That would be quite a change from everyone meeting at one location to write curriculum. Also, teachers of the same department could work together from their own rooms with their own materials to produce lessons. Another great idea!

Thing #17

Rollyo is a great tool for student research to move students away from Google searches--a huge job! I intend to create a link with search results for each of my social studies. I have included the link to the first unit on Latin America and will continue to add more sites before the unit begins. I will include the link on my web page for the students, as well as on assignment sheets during the unit.