Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thing #11.5- Evalutation

1. My favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey were Wordle, Animoto, Facebook, backchanneling, Hulu, and 280 Slides. I guess that's a long list! I really thought that 11.5 Things was a lot of fun and I learned so many new programs that I can't wait to use with my students. In fact, I think I got a lot more out of 11.5 Things than I did out of 23 Things. These sites and programs were more my style. :)

2. These programs have encouraged me and given me the confidence to continue learning and attempting to keep up with advancing technology. Programs like Second Life were frustrating for me, but I know that when I go back and give it another try, I'll hopefully be able to keep up (and put on some clothes!). I'm always amazed by what my students know, so hopefully I can continue to keep up with their thirst for technology.

3. I was surprised by Second Life. However, my frustrations were at their worst, so I was too impatient to deal with clothing. I certainly wasn't expecting to lose my clothes though! On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to make a screencast. It's a program that looks difficult, and although it was late at night and I was having technical difficulties, it was actually really quick and easy. Who knew!

4. Honestly, I loved 11.5 Things. Maybe I just had a better idea of what to expect. Or maybe the programs were better. Either way though, I got more out of 11.5 Things than I did out of 23 Things. My only suggestion would be to have a buddy system or a mentor to go to with help on Second Life. I needed some one-on-one help with that one! Otherwise, I loved everything. Thank you for this awesome experience!

Thing #11- Digital Citizenship

I agree that it's important to discuss/teach/review/stress the importance of being a good "digital citizen," and I like the terminology too. What a great way to explain the concept, much like being a good citizen in society. Makes perfect sense!

I focused mainly on the following articles:
1. National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-T) and Performance Indicators for Teachers AND National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-S) and Performance Indicators for Students
2. "Digital Literacy and the Classroom" on Rhonda's Reflections- Wandering Around the Web
3. The Cool Cat Teacher Blog

I found all of the articles helpful and insightful.

When encouraging my students to be good digital citizens, I will stress the importance of the following tips:
1. Students should always use technology in SAFE, legal, and responsible ways.
2. Students should use technology to find, EVALUATE, and use information. Remember, not everything found on the internet is true or accurate.
3. Students should push themselves to use technology and knowledge to develop NEW ideas. Cheating is cheating, whether off another students' paper or off the internet. Don't plagarize.
4. Students should use technology to COLLABORATE with others for further learning...including collaborating long-distance.
5. Students should be familiar with addressing multiple AUDIENCES using a variety of formats.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thing #10- Virtual Worlds

I am so frustrated with Second Life! And I'm disappointed in myself because I've heard how cool it is. I think I need to take a break and relax, and then I'll give it another try later.

I managed to customize my avatar and to dress her. That took forever, but it was fun. However, I somehow made myself bald and couldn't get my hair back. It only got worse from there. Then, while trying to undo my baldness, I somehow took off all my clothes! Ooops! And while trying to put my clothes back on, I mysteriously managed to make my view of my avatar appear as a white fog. Others could see me (and my nakedness!), but all I could see was a white fog. Who knew you could feel embarrassed in a virtual world?!

I did manage to transport, fly, run, sit, and have a few short conversations with the people standing near me. I tried to explore Campus 3D, but I was a bit preoccupied without clothes or hair, so I'm taking a break. Frustrating!

I'm not sure how I would use this in the classroom. Apparently, I have a lot of learning before I'll teach my students.

I'm going to take a break, calm down, and I'll try again tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thing #9- Slideshare

I think Slideshare, and, specifically, 280 Slides, seems awesome! I love that it's possible to access 280 slides from any computer and that's it's free. What a deal!

This would be great for students. Particularly when students are presenting, it would be so easy for them to open their presentation on a class computer. Last year when my students were presenting their projects, a few students couldn't open their projects due to file errors or problems with their email. It would be so convenient to open it online. The media services would help make the presentations more interesting. And, of course, I already mentioned that it's free! What's not to love?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thing #8- Screencast

This screencast is terrible and completely embarrassing, but at least I learned how to make a screencast. My computer is having technical difficulties tonight, so I figured I'd stick to something easy like the Library Resource Page.

When I try this again, I think it will be really helpful to make an instructional screencast for Eduphoria. Because teachers are going to need to learn a new program, a screencast could be a great way to learn. Again though, due to technical difficulties, I couldn't make it tonight.

I could definitely have my students make screencasts. I can't believe how easy it is! Good find!

Thing #7- Video Resources

Using news clips of current events could lead to interesting writing topics. Short videos can capture the students' interest and allow them enough background information to formulate opinions.

Movie trailers are a great way to get students excited about reading. Clearly, the movie Twilight helped get hesitant readers to pick up a book...and to continue reading the entire saga. Similarly, students who already read the book likely feel a connection with the characters. Thus, they will have more of an opinion about the movie. Anything that engages students in discussing literature seems valuable.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thing #6- iTouch Apps

Although I don’t have an iTouch, I’m dying for one! As soon at the iphone is available with Verizon, I’m definitely getting one. Can’t wait!

Several of my friends have iphones, so I’ve used them several times. They are SO great, both for personal and professional use. Some of the applications I could imagine multiple students using in the library are included in the following:

Graphing Calculator
Word of the Day
Google Map/Earth
6500+Cool Facts