Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thing 11 1/2

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
Many are favorites:glogger, Skype-although it would be even better if we could build a "network" of users to communicate with, YouTube/Teacher/Tube-and the many video sites using these tools; Touch apps-using my LG Vu; screencast; slideshare; and digital citizenship.
2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
Taking part makes me explore areas I would never find either due to time or interest. It forces me to step outside that box of comfort and explore.
3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? Yes, I had tried Skype before but wasn't successful. However, I enjoyed conversations with a couple of my fellow colleagues this time and really enjoyed using the program. Now, I have encouraged my son to load the program so we can stay in touch easier when he deploys. Also, I've been reading how more and more authors are willing to visit using Skype. Screencast was fun, easy, and so useful and I will be using it this year for sure.
4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
I would like to continue the summer learning - it is such a convenient and sensible way to learn new skills while getting flex hours. If we can work on building learning communities that work together on projects that might be very interesting.

Thanks for another great learning opportunity that keeps us ahead of the pack.

Thing 11

I spent a lot of time on this topic because I plan to improve the lessons I taught last year on Digital Citizenship. My goal was to find student friendly sites where I can have students actively participate while constructing their learning. While many sites were good I found Cool Cat Teacher and
(thanks to VaughnL) to be the most useful.

Digital Citizenship covers so many teachable topics such as:
Internet safety-surfing safety, personal safety, courteousness, and cyberbulling
ethics-plagiarism and copyright
literacy-finding and using information AND evaluating resources

While I believe that as a librarian it is my responsibility to educate students about being digital citizens I also believe that students need these ideas re-enforced by their classroom teachers and most importantly their families.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thing 10

Virtual World has been around for awhile but I have hesitated to explore prior to this summer. I joined a list serve to get ideas that I could use in our school library and it was an email from the ALA that enticed me to go out and explore SecondLife. Because I was interested in the book The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger I wanted to hear the short excerpt from the book created by SecondLife. In the process of going to Story Hour Garden I created my avatar, Elana, and learned how to walk, sit, fly, and move about different locations within SL. While I am sure students would enjoy the adventure, the sites I looked at required a minimum age of 13 to actively participate, which prohibits my elementary students from creating a SL. However, that doesn't mean they couldn't enjoy short presentation of books using the same idea. I am just not sure I am ready to dedicate the time needed to become proficient at SL, instead I think I will wait for them to simplify the process or for me to learn more technology.

Thing 9

PowerPoint was new when I was an undergraduate and I remember presenting one of the first student created PowerPoint presentations in one of my classes. At that time we saved things on floppy disk and after creating the PP and saving it I still wasn't sure I would be able to play it on the computer in the classroom because it may not recognize the program version I had used. Well a lot has changed since then and PP has become a widely used media tool for presentations. In the classroom I often had my students create PP presentations about the materials they were learning. A common problem with PP presentations was the ability to share the created PPs because of differing versions or computer platforms. Well Slideshare will help eliminate this problem since those I share a PP with will not have to be concerned with the version or platform I used because they will be able to access it online without a problem. Tools like Slideshare will make it easier to import PP presentations to any location that has Internet connections without having to take a file with me on some form of storage device. Students today will find this useful as they collaborate with classes around the world on various social network sites. They will be able to borrow ideas from others student PPs or even collaborate with students from around the world. It's that "flat" classroom idea where students around the world work together to construct their learning.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thing 8

WOW, I had so much fun with this and I can't wait to put it to work this fall to create tutorials for students and teachers! Last summer I took a technology course that required me to download and use CamStudio for one of my projects. I found it to be complicated and intimidating. Not so my experience with Screencast-o-Matic! Not only did I not have to download yet another program onto my computer, it was so very simple to use, re-record, save, and download. I enjoyed the whole experience and I can imagine students and teachers will find it easy to use as well. The hardest part for me is knowing what I want to say, saying it without error, and then being able to be ok with my voice-well, it's hard to listen to yourself! What I've attached is the start of a tutorial I plan to forward to one of our new librarians so she can easily edit her school webpage.

Thing 7

Well I spent too much time exploring videos but I enjoyed watching them and getting ideas of things to do with our students. While exploring a video site for the youngest viewers, totlol, I found a video on shadow art. When I tried to copy it to put into my blog I was sent to YouTube. Since YouTube isn't viewable within the district yet I had it converted using Zamzar.

Later I tried a and I found a video my kindergarten teachers might be able to use for their five senses unit the first of the year.