23 Things

I’m thankful for this course for pushing me to try so many new “things” that I would have not tried on my own. I’m going to continue staying up to date with my RSS reader and hopefully with my new twitter account.  I’m looking forward to the new ideas I will discover. I also feel more confident that I will be able to implement these ideas.

There is a lot of sharing about having passion in the classroom. I think, you can’t participate in the Web 2.0 world, without being caught up in having a passion for teaching. I hope to stay involved and to stay passionate.

Thing 22 Tweet

I have to confess that I was pushing back a little on twitter.  I find the brief snippets often ambiguous and I barely have time to skim my reader, let alone  twitter posts. However, the  more I look at it, the more I’m interested in following some people, especially those that have encouraging words. I think the real telling will be if, or when, I use it to get information to share with the classroom. I will have to come back to my blog and update any break throughs I might experience.

I know twitter will be a good source of pointers to useful and current information. I also can see it as a way to stay connected with peers, especially when teachers rarely have time to sit and type an e-mail. I will continue to explore and try twitter for a while. I’m curious to see if it’s something that will become part of my daily routine.

 

Thing 21 Google Maps

I created a map of my recent visit to Roswell, GA with company from California last March. I had so much fun, I brought another friend to the same locations in the spring. It’s not quite a walking tour, but it has some great walking trails noted on the map. For the first time I uploaded photos to Flickr so that I could use them for my map. That was a bit of a challenge, which I’m glad I did. I like the idea of students creating maps that have information from a story they have read. This would help them look at the story in different ways and be more interested in the story.

Here is the link to my map: A Day in Roswell, GA

Thing 20 Google Docs

For  my sample Google Doc I started a brainstorming list to help create a Web Site for our 1st grade team. I am curious how it’s going to work out and what type of feed back we’ll get. I think it will help the process of making decisions go a lot faster. I think Google Docs is perfect, for working together on a project.  I also think it will be great, along with Diigo,  for working on individual projects both at home and at school. A few years ago I was helping to retype, multiple times,  a student created script. It would have been a lot easier with Google Docs.

I like the forms too. These will be useful for getting feed back on a project from the students, or from the parents. Also, for making planning decisions among a group of teachers. They will be great for planning a school baby or wedding shower too!

Thing 19 YouTube

Let me catch my breath as my fun search pulled up a 15 min. cardio, yoga and weights work out. If you want to have a quick pick me up try out  Wake Up and Go-Kickboxing Book Camp by The Balancing Act. Actually, until our Thing 19 lesson, I have used YouTube primarily to listen to music or find fun exercise routines. This is a new one that I’ve not seen before. I liked it, but it did have zero transition from the cardio portion to the yoga portion.

I’ve been looking for a yummy blueberry cobbler recipe,. I had never thought to look on You Tube for recipes before.  I checked out a couple of video recipes and I think I’ll try this very simple recipe: How To Make Blueberry Cobbler by Howcast.

Back to  classroom videos.  It took me a while to find student created videos. I did find one I liked on cooperation called Girls vs. Boys presented by Big Picture Alliance. I think this is a great example of a project for students. How better then to have them learn how to get a long then by having the students create a video on cooperation.

For professional and classroom development I was curious about the types of videos that will help  me create our classroom wiki site. (Yes, I still have that in the planning stage). I found a few, however the best videos were created by Greg Reichelt from Maine West High School: Part 1 of 3 Create a Website for Your Students using Google Sites. You can find links to parts 2 and 3 on the page of this video.

In conclusion, I think YouTube is one of the best realms in which you can learn how to create, teach others how to create, and see how creative students and teachers can be.

Thing 18 Making a Podcast

It was a bit of a challenge to record a podcast that sounded half way decent. I had a nice sense of accomplishment when I was finished. It is definitely a good idea to make a Podcast first, before teaching a student to do so.  I think creating a Podcast add to a student’s awareness. This awareness would include how they write, how they communicate and how they can share with others.  Students can practice editing and creating while having fun at the same time. Also, all the  children I’ve worked with like to hear themselves in a recording.

Thing 17 i-tunes

I use to think I would have to have my college age daughter walk me through i-tunes. Now, I was able to check it out and demystify my i-tune barriers. One of the fun Podcasts I subscribed to was  produced by San Jose State’s School of Library and Information Science. It is called Cool Web 2.0 Tools. This was where I did my graduate work. Not only is it fun to see their Podcasts, their tips are useful and applicable for the classroom too. I also subscribed to Steve Hargadon’s EdTechLive. It’s very current and I knew I couldn’t go wrong with any of the information he would share.

For fun I subscribed to an exercise and health podcast called The Fitness Boost. I’m always looking for new ideas to get my heart rate up. I also thought I’d enjoy listening to Hillsong’s I Am Sisterhood Podcasts. I listened to one that encouraged people not to neglect their spiritual and physical health. It was fun and encouraging.

In our classroom the students have given book reports in a podcast. They enjoy doing Podcasts a lot. I think it would be educational for a group, of three or four students, to create and give a podcast together. I’m very glad to learn more about Podcasts and i-tunes. Now I’m ready to purchase an MP3 player.

Thing 15 Bookmarking and Tags

It took me a while to grasp Diigo, and what it can do. Or rather what I can do with Diigo.  I do like the bookmarking, it will be great, once school starts, to access saved searches at school and at home.  I think it will also be useful when working on projects, so everyone can be adding to the bibliography and there are not a lot of duplicates in the library. So far I’ve not put a lot of bookmarks in my library, but you can see my collection at http://www.diigo.com/user/lindajh

As far as searching for information in other libraries, I did not have a lot of success. Perhaps it was the tags I was trying to use. I will need to spend more time exploring. I’ve noticed we receive  a daily update from Diigo, via e-mail, from the Group Diigo in Education. I think a quick browse through these may prove to be useful.

 

Thing 16 Social Networking

What I feared would happen happened. Once I get on a social network site, I’m browsing deeper and deeper into all sorts of interesting conversations and sites. It will take some discipline to learn the skill of utilizing a social network, without it taking over my time. That said, I really liked Classroom 2.0. I like how it is organized and can see how it can be very useful. Just 10 min a day and I will learn something new. In the hour I spent browsing through, I came across a number of interesting tid bits.  Under the Forum there was a discussion on  different math games which could be very useful in the classroom. I also read a number of classroom management tips, as well as first day of school tips from Harry and Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching. (This was only 4 links away from a Forum entry, ie a link that led to another, that led to another….is there a name for this? going further and further away from your starting point). I  am digressing with this blog, just like I did while browsing the social network site. Maybe that is the point? Hmmm Moving away from the site, but staying on the topic your are trying to learn more about.

I was also happy to see a group called Classroom 2.o Beginner Group!  I think this will be a good place to hang out for a while. There are some conversations going about Wikis. Speaking of Wikis, I was also glad to see a discussion forum about Wikis. I should find a fountain of information to help me with my classroom Wiki. Thank you for the introduction to social networking.  No more fears : ) just learning and practicing.

Thing 13 Going to a Conference in PJ’s

I really enjoyed my online conference. I think this is a great way to learn, and if I miss something, I can go back and watch it again. I viewed Options for Building Your Teacher Web Site and Why You Should, by Wesley Fryer, Presented by Cyndi Danner-Kuhn. I was encouraged to get a move on in making a class Wiki page. I learned about a number of different sites to make free Wikis at, and saw different examples at each site. I’m going to go back and look at each one more closely. I’ve still not made a decision about which kind of Wiki I would like to make. I would love any comments/recommendations for a particular kind of Wiki. I was excited to learn there are digital scrap booking downloads, I’m sure I’ll have fun playing with those.

I need to remember about the children’s privacy rights, and make sure we have their parents permission to put any photographs of their children on the Wiki. Also, to only use the children’s first names. Ms. Danner-Kuhn talked about being able to save sections/blocks of a wiki, and put them on when it’s time to add a specific unit, at different times during the school year. I think this will be very useful, and I need to check this out further.   She also provided a number of sites to find out more information. In particular a resource Wiki she created with Mary Frazier called Opening Minds With a New Set of Keys.  It looks like this Wiki will be an excellent support site for when I create my own class Wiki.

Cyndi Danner-Kuhn gave another great tip that I’ll try.  After you create your Wiki, have someone else check it out and tell you how easy or difficult it is to navigate. I think the best way to start is to make a very simple site, then as I gain more experience, add more materials to enhance the site. Great online session, I highly  recommend it : )