Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thing # 23: Summarize Your Thoughts About This Program

1)Actually setting up a blog was one of my favorite things, since I never in a million years thought I would do such a thing. Learning about podcasts and their possibilities will be really useful. I also liked creating an RSS feeds account, and Google Docs is something I plan to use frequently.

2)Initially I was intimidated when beginning this program, but I have learned that it is possible for me to gain ground technically speaking even if my pacing is not the same as my younger colleagues. In fact, this program has almost made we wish I was at the beginning of my teaching carrer rather than the later stage because of the difference I think some of these innovations could make in a student's discovery of knowledge and how powerful that can be.

3)To me, one of the unexpected outcomes, is just how vast and constantly changing the sheer amount of material and projected uses the internet holds, and that the 21st century truly will usher in a whole new perspective on education.

4)One of the biggest hurddles of the program was the time it took to complete each thing. I always felt under the gun to finish. Some of the videos were very slow and a couple never did play. A major challenge was keeping up with all the accounts we had to set up and different usernames and passwords. Is there an easy way to do it, like store all those somewhere for easy retrival? Doing it online and not sitting in a class was isolating, because there was no one to turn to and get immediate feedback or help from. Although I have to say, Vaughn was the best kickball captain and never made me feel self conscious about asking for help.

5)Yes, I would probably participate in a similar program.

6)This experience was stupendous,yes, an old dog can learn new tricks!!

7)I plan to comment on some more blogs right now.

Thing # 22: Nings

In checking out the Teacher Librarian Ning, I came upon the Missouri teacher of the year who had some terrific ideas using podcasts, it was incredible, you should check it out,, it also brought out all of the "things" we are discussing here and how we need to change our way of thinking in education as far as delivery of information.

The Teacher Ning has a lesson plan site but few lessons were there, and nothing for science. But I can see its usefullness as a site to vent and pick up new techniques. Being new to blogging, I am not sure of using a Ning over any other blog site. I guess it narrows down replies to your blog, and you might find your have more in common with those responding to your blog and will then have more frequent discussions with the same people, and even become friends.

Thing # 21: Podcasts and Audio Books

This was great fun. And I almost know what I am doing!Lots of possibilities for the classroom. I can see a project for alternative energy sources, or making a podcast that students could download regarding homework, test reviews, short informational podcasts about questions brought up in class,etc.

Thing # 20:YouTube,TeacherTube and Zamzar

I was very excited to see this "Thing" about embedding videos because I tried to use a YouTube video last year on Rube Goldberg and was unable to do so. Hopefully this time it will be succesfull. This is a video about Rube Goldberg contraptions built by high school physics students. There is also a world wide Rube Goldberg contest every year. The basic concept is to show students how the use of simple machines to accomplish a very simple task can be done in a very complicated manner.

The number of sources to search for videos is incredible, and of course when you go to view one, you see other related videos you may not have thought of that can be useful. The well seems bottomless. The following is a Honda coommercial that is a great example of using the Rube Goldberg technique.

I was able to embed the video, but it will not play continuously. Any advice?!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thing # 19: Web 2.0 Awards List

I really, really liked Backpack. Alas it is not free. But it seems great to me, because I always need serious help with organization. And it seems easy to use, which is of the utmost importance. You can share your schedule with others on your team, so you can keep track of one another, making scheduling meetings easier, without running around to find people. You can have reminders sent to your e-mail or phone.

Flickr would be the next tool I would choose. It also is easy to navigate. You can set up groups of the type of photos that you wish to share, so that each class or subject you teach can have its own folder. You can use photos for each unit, to cover vocabulary or basic concepts that you will expand on later. Students can take photos you choose or choose their own and make their own albums to illustrate whatever you wish. And each students' is unique to him/her. I like that they can share these photos with you and you could reply if it is appropriate or not, because you can leave notes directly on the photographs. And depending what your subject is you can place your photo on a map to make it clearer say, where certain elements are most common in the world.

Thing # 18: Online Productivity Tools

It is impressive that Open Office could be used by students making a document by correcting spelling more easily as they go along, not to mention help them with vocabulary that may be new to them in offering alternative choices. Of course you could consider that a disadvantage too. I like that spreadsheet formulas could be expressed in words. Being able to use it on any computer is great.

Back on Thing # 7, I created a couple of documents using Google Docs, and am looking forward to using that when school starts, especially for meetings or sharing common documents with fellow teachers. I think it will take some getting use to, having people able to see and correct or "enhance" my work.

Not sure yet about creating presentations in Open Office vs. PowerPoint. They have some great features. But how will this work in with all the new activboards we now have at our school and are suppose to make daily use of?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thing # 17: Rollyo

What a trip. I have spent all day setting up a searchroll. At least I think I have set up a search roll. I thought it would be easy, and I am sure it is for most people. I did like the video provided by Bruce Goodner. I revisited it several times! I can see how this will save time as students are looking for information on a particular research project or even just questions to answer concerning a specific topic like Newton's laws. My link to rollyo: