Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thing #23

1.What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
Podcasting was much easier than I had thought before, and I look forward to using it in the classroom. I am glad to know of places to do this other than Macs b/c many of my students are not comfortable on them.
2.How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? It has helpfully reminded me that learning by DOING is so much more helpful in the learning process. At the beginning of the project, I thought I just wanted a list of websites, but the step by step process was great.
3.Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I am pleasantly surprised at how easy everything was. The steps/instructions helped me get really comfortable, so I feel confident in the classroom teaching it.
4.What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
There were some points where I felt specific technical instructions were absent....but I cannot remember specific Thing #s.
5.If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to
participate? Yes.
6.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? Efficient use of time.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thing #22

I learned about Nings earlier this year. I signed up, never did anything with it, and dont even know which group I was intending to be a part of. I think an old friend was trying to tell me that it was a good way to keep in touch with people. I am too overwhelmed with ways to keep in touch with people. I dont really even do Facebook.

BUT I do like the idea of communicating with people in your field. This makes sense and seems less redundant. It seems kinda like a Rollyo for networking instead of searching. I dont think this is anything I would try to use with my students, but I am always glad to know what something is in case they ask.

Point #7 in 7 Things You Should Know About Ning seems to suggest that teachers could create a social network where teachers and students could communicate together without it being too social (like Facebook). I dont really see my 8th graders getting into that (unless there was extra credit behind it), but maybe I am underestimating them. This would have been great in graduate school for communicating with classmates and professors.

Thing #21

This year my students created Book Trailer imovies. While the end product was neat, it took an amazing amount of time. Part of that was probably because I did not break it down into small enough steps. So my advice to anyone having students create a podcast is to break it down into detailed steps for them to help stay on task. Some parts of PhotoStory were easier than imovie. But the older Movie Maker in Windows I thnk is the easiest. The podcast I created is hilariously pointless, but it is something that I have been meaning to do for a while. I could have spent more time fixing the words to chime in on time, but I will consider this a rough draft. One thing I intend to do this year is having students create podcasts of them reading their own work. I think this will help them understand the idea of ownership.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thing #20

I loved using YouTube in the classroom this year. Instead of just bringing in song clips, I would bring in music video clips. Students even got super excited when watching historical clips to see what things looked like in various time periods. I have just started exploring TeacherTube. The channels are a smart idea. Both of these are so handy in the classroom....especially when something unexpected happens! At one point, while introducing the Holocaust, some of my students were just not 'getting it.' I realized that with my other classes, before I said anything (I did not even explain terms) I let them watch a few short clips from History Channel. This really helped to get their ears perked up.
One thing I have found TeacherTube useful for is finding student examples. I am a new teacher, so I had very few end product examples. Here is a modern summary of Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream."

Thing #19

After visiting the Web 2.0 Awards, I was pleasantly surprised at how many of these sites looked familiar (and not just from 23 Things work).
I love Craigslist, Youtube of course, and Pandora; I recently got into Lulu

Today I explored
ColorBlender (which I could fool with for hours before going to a craft store)
This Comiq creater looks better than the previous one I saw.
Mainly today I looked at the "fun" ones. But the comic one could be useful for a project. Also, Laurie's blog reminded me of how useful Pandora can be in the classroom. I was a floater this year, so creating room atmosphere was not something I focused on. I plan to have relaxing music in my room while students work (especially when doing independent reading/writing since 13 year olds have such a hard time sitting still).

While I would not encourage my students to ask certain questions on YahooAnswers, this could be a helpful tool for them...kinda get them started. Or when they want to know a random answer. But they must be reminded of who is answering, not necessarily a reliable source.

Thing #18

My opions on using free online tool like GoogleDocs instead of Microsoft Office:
One nice thing is that you do not have to deal with what version your document is in. My home computer has one version of Office and my school computer has another, so working on the same document from either can be a hassle. I also appreciate that you can convert from a PDF....I dislike dealing with PDFs although I know it can be helpful to scan something into a computer.
The sharing can be helpful as well. More so in professional life....BUT I might try to convince my mom to use this for family recipes. She likes to keep a running document of family recipes as she comes across them or someone asks for them. But she does not want to have a ton of documents, so she just keeps adding to the same (very long) word document. It becomes messy. I bet she would like this.
GoogleDocs could be helpful to students when they are writing a paper together! I find myself staying away from group papers because the logistics can be difficult, but this makes it much easier. And I am so excited that every SBISD will have a school google excuses!

Thing #17

Rollyo is way better than I expected.

Bruce Goodner's how-to video was wonderfully helpful, not just in how to set it up, but in how to use it with your students.

The Rollyo I created is similar to Goodner's Holocaust example...not because I am being lazy though. As an 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher, I teach a Holocaust unit, which includes research on the history. Many of my students come to my class with very littel background info. Research on the topic can feel overwhelming to them on the web.

My Rollyo: MsMurrayHolocaustIntro