Saturday, April 11, 2009

Week 9 #23 Sum it Up

I, like many others, enjoyed the Fair(y) Use Tale. Very clever. That must have taken a lot of time to find just the right words to use in all those movies. That's why the team of creators (in the final credits).
This has been one of my most challenging and lengthy one credit courses. Balancing time to work on the class undisturbed with personal and professional duties was a little tricky. Each #thing took me hours to play and explore. I'd say there was easily twice as many hours involved as the expectation of 36. Even 72 hours is a conservative estimate. I loved every minute of it and appreciated the self paced online activities. I plan to refer back to this blogspot frequently until I am truly comfortable branching out on my own.
I appreciated the suggested reading material (Ch 4 and 5 were good too) and want to keep this book in my professional collection.
Reading others' blogs was one of the best activities. I appreciated the blog comment opportunities as well. I noticed there were a lot more blogs here in the final days of the class. Tee Hee. Thanks, Ann, for all your comments and e-mails.
I don't know that I would change a thing with the exception of updating some of those links which are dated (Week 9 #21)and unavailable.

Chapter 9 reflection

This chapter reminds us everything tech related is ever changing and changing quickly. Already, several of the links we have looked at over the weeks were unavailable or I was redirected to a new site. With that, we need to design our teaching to be able to adapt to the technology advancements and according to Prensky (2001), educators should learn to communicate in the 'language' of digital natives.
It was interesting and not so far in the future to consider web-based educational software will become a type of electronic personal education assistant. Text books could be on wikis, the tool would track a student's progress or lack there of and make or respond to comments and suggestions quickly. School educators could advise and keep track of student's work through educational blogs. It could be quite powerful to be able to choose the software best suited for each student's learning style. The polls and surveys by suggested people believe a school's physical location would be less important. That is true in other aspects of work. As an example, I think of the many realtors who continue to collaborate using web tools with their employers from great distances. (HGTV-House Hunter fan)Personally, I still need the human to human (3-D) contact with students so there will have to be a good balance between physical and electronic learning.

I agree with Jeff Utecht when he says today's kids are probably wired differently because of what they have grown up with. Just yesterday, a first grade girl told me she was getting a laptop and ipod for her birthday. Just, a few years ago, someone this young wouldn't even know what those were. If we want to reach her and her generation we need to teach using web 2.0 tools. You can bet that is where she will be as she grows and understands her computer.
'Learning from Games' by David Warlick provided 5 components of video game activities which made these games so intriguing. This helped explain clearly to me why games, IM, myspace and other social networking sites are so popular. Our continiuing staff development should include ways to tap into the video game mentality and use this for instruction.
Finally, I appreciated the online links to educational conferences about web 2.0. I like to read what others have said and where they feel we are headed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Chapter 7 reflection

As more and more web 2.0 tools develop, school districts will need to be more diligent about monitoring online usage on and off school campus of district computers. Control is a controversial item within schools. When used appropriately, many sights currently blocked by our district could serve educational purposes. I am thinking of Youtube as this is a concern for some staff. It is such a balance act. Filter/not filter. Block/not block. When in doubt, error on the side of caution. I understand that. I liked some of the alternative suggestions at the end of the chapter for school districts such as putting tools on the intranet.
The copyright guidelines by Davidson (2005)were important to remember. This should be clear to all staff during technology staff development training. I learned about Creative Commons using Flickr. Very good. I like their saying, 'share, reuse, remix'.
I read another's blog where they said the acceptable use policy is read (we hope), signed, and filed at their school. DONE That happens at our building too. During open house or the first of the year technology night, this might be refreshed with parents. I feel most of our teachers are still in the infantile stages of using web tools and we also may need a review of those four steps (Warlick 2006b) to help understand the importance of the acceptable use policy.
Parents should be a key player in what their children do online. We can help enforce this again at a first of the year technology meeting by providing parents with guides and online sites which give ideas of how to help them with their children use the web appropriately. The news continues to share stories about cyber bullying. Such a terrible thing to have so many people wishing to harm others in such a cowardly and somewhat anonymous manner.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Week 9 #22 E books and audio books

Free ebooks! I am Scotch and quite cheap so like how that sounds. I was in project Gutenberg and most things required a password. Needless to say, I didn't sign up. I'd like to read some of the Women's Writer collection. Also, the user friendly for kids is important to me. The children's books I found were older stories (some might say classics) but not totally appealing to young children. Librivox was quick and easy. Another e book site was 'Well Told Tales'.
Nothing really caught my attention. Our district subscribes to Tumblebooks and the colorful visuals with simple animation make this site a winner. Many students access site from home. I'll continue to explore some of the other sites for e books which may appeal more to young students.
On another note, how do I move the title in my header off the birds and into the middle. I tried to adjust this in the layout and must be missing something.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Teacher tube

Today we had SBA testing and after some students were finished, they came to the libray. I let them on the computers for some online activities. One asked if they could look at youtube. I said it is blocked but we could look at teachertube. I had a lot of students watching as I navigated. Though the student decided not to go there, I know there was interest. I also shared the three links I put on our catalog home page with both teachers and staff today. The teachers were more excited than the students but all seemed curious and willing to explore more. Bitty steps.

Week 9 #21 Podcasts

This was a long exploratory evening. I love to podcast and have done this with classes already. I have a teacher who loves to incorporate technology and so I collaborate with her frequently. We've been doing podcasts using garage band making the final product accessible within the district only. The parents come in for a presentation and are quite pleased. With new knowledge, we could make this web based for those parents interested in sharing their child's work with the grandparents down south.
My search was quite long because when going to the yahoo podcast tutorial, I had no success. It didn't show. The same for Podcast alley is sure to be blocked by the district. Highly inappropriate popular podcasts on the home page. Teacher Created materials were selling their products on their podcasts. Educational Podcast Network included some very lengthy material and I couldn't sit for the entire podcast. I couldn't see where to listen to podcasts on Techsavy girls. I listened to some library podcasts explaining how their library works. I looked at I finally settled on some book review podcasts which I enjoyed. Children's book radio included many book reviews for children. Easy to find and listen to. Not too long. Another site I had fun with included 'One Minute Danish' podcast lessons. I speak the language and enjoyed hearing a native speaker.
I would use the children's book review site. I'd find books I was reading to children and share the podcast. This could launch the class into creating their own book review podcast. I like adding pictures to the podcast so I don't have to look at the 'swirly twirlies' for 5 minutes.
I want to go back to the language site because Danish was not the only language taught via This would be nice to share with our ESL/ELL teacher. She and I have been talking about some of great things I have seen to date. She is motivated to learn more about the web 2.0 tools.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Week 9 #20

This lesson was a lot of fun. Thank goodness teachertube is not blocked in our district. I enjoyed looking at various videos. It was also fairly easy to embed this video. I chose it because it was quick and fun and related to the library media center. I liked the simplicity of teachertube. I was able to search for topics of interest quickly. Most videos had some sort of educational value. On our older computers at school, it may be too time consuming to download those videos which are about 8 minutes long. It is worth a try. I did create links to several videos which might be helpful for topics being studied currently at our school. I linked these to my library catalog site. Setting up tutorials and uploading them to teachertube might be a nice feature. I might use teachertube as a weekly transitional piece showing different videos which pertain to different grade levels. EX: I might have the states and capital cartoon ready to view when fourth graders come in. It was great to see celebrity videos (Hannah Montana's bones). Kids love to see the stars in an educational setting. Mrs. Burk was really clever with her different raps. I noticed a lot of the same characters in various videos. How did 'Be Kind to your Eraser' get the mouth movement embedded in the rest of the video. Clever