Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thing #23

What an incredible thing for teachers and librarians both! I think all educators should take this because I never knew there were so many possibilities. I really don't have time to go out and search for these different things, so being a part of this was informative and interactive!

I really enjoyed Big Huge Labs. There are so many different things that the students are able to do that would engage the students' learning! The map maker and trading card would both be fun tools for kids to use. Other tools that I found to be beneficial in the classroom and in my personal life that I didn't know about were the google calendar and the Picasa web albums.

This program has opened my mind to so many new and interesting things. Being able to look at the other postings and comments enables me to learn so much more and think outside the box. It also gives me the confidence tow work with the programs. I'm now more willing to go and look for new creative tools online to use with my students. With kids, you always have to be new and inventive.

I figured I would be surprised in many ways, and I was! I learned a lot about the internet and software that is available. I know understand how someone can be on the internet for so many hours because there were many of the activities that I went through and spent a lot of time looking at what all it had to offer. In doing so, it created many new ideas for things I could try in one way or another with students.

After using this program, I liked how I became motivated to learn more. I would try another program similar because of how easy it was to follow the directions. Everything went step by step. It flowed very smoothly as well. I normally do not like online trainings, but this was a fantastic way to learn about web 2.0 tools.

Intriguing-I want to find out more!

Thing #22

As I was looking at the different Nings, I noticed that this would be a great way for students to connect with each other while at home. There could be a grade level ning for students to share with other students in the district as well as across districts so they can write about what they are learning. Instead of having one pin-pal to write letters to, have a bunch that you can share information with about what learning is taking place. It could also be a way for them to learn something about others. If there was a ning set up for librarians across district, it would encourage ideas to passed from one librarian to another. It would be a simple way for new librarians to get information from experienced librarians, just as it is helpful to have a mentor when becoming a new teacher. Collaborating is always better! When I looked at the Ning for Teachers I found there were various lessons that could be searched. I'm always looking for better ways to teach my kids with a hands-on experience. This would be a great way to look instead of searching through thousands of results that pop up when you type what you are looking for into a search engine.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thing #21

Ok, I tried on 3 different computers to install photostory. I have a Mac as my personal computer, so I tried on my husband's computer and my school computer. Photostory is only available to PC users. I kept trying and it told me that the network was unavailable. I'm so upset because I have heard excellent things about photostory. I have used Garage Band and iMovie on the Mac. I had my students write stories, then I recorded them telling their story as a podcast. The kids loved it! Photostory would be great to share photos at the end of the year as a class yearbook. It would be a great way to show the memories of the year with the kids.

Thing #20

I have personally used United Streaming in my classroom to enhance students' learning, but you have to subscribe to Discovery Education. I think that there are some topics that the books can't teach as well as watching it as a video. Using Teacher Tube and You Tube is beneficial because it is free to the public, but that means that the teacher has to make sure the videos are age and content appropriate. Teacher Tube enables the teacher to create a video and upload it to the site, which in turn allows the children to share with the family what they are learning. You Tube and Teacher Tube both require the teacher to do lots of searching to make sure it is exactly what they want since anyone is uploading videos. United Streaming is sorted out by content and then by grade level.

In this Earth Day video, second graders go through the a, b, c's and give environmental tips. The work is all done by the students, and you get to hear them talking. What a great way to discuss Earth Day!

Thing #19

When I looked at the Web 2.0 Awards, I found many different tools that would be useful in the library. I looked through PBwiki and found that it said there was a way to have "unlimited premium wikis for your school." I thought that when building a wiki this would be beneficial. The librarian can share with the teachers how to use a wiki for each class. The basic wiki for the classroom is free! They also list ideas on how to use the wiki in your classroom. The librarian can set up a wiki for the school instead of sending out a newsletter on paper. She can keep the school updated on information by using the wiki. The whole school will be able to see comments and responses about certain topics. It is a great way to get the staff updated and collaborate.
Another tool I found fun to play around with was the widgets. It took me a while to figure out how to insert the one I wanted into my blog, but I finally figured it out! I spent a lot of time just looking through all the different widgets available. If a teacher has a blog, then students can personalize it by picking different widgets as a class.

Thing #18

I researched Open Office. The advantages of using Open Office are that it is free to all users. I work in a Title I school, so this type of program would be beneficial. Also, since it is an open source software, anyone can go in and edit the program. This allows for many different ideas. On the other hand there is a higher potential for a virus to be spread. Also, if there is ever a problem with Microsoft Office, there is always someone to give me technological support. In Open Office there can be a lack of support if there are problems. I have a Mac computer, and Open Office is for PC's only.

Thing #17

Rollyo seems to be wonderful for upper grades. I wish I had more experience in this earlier in the year. I had my students do a small research project over the planets and this would have been a very resourceful way for my students to participate in research. I like how you can search others who have already created a list of sites for different topics. This way I'm allowing my students to be more independent, but still knowing what they are looking at on the internet.