Friday, January 29, 2010

Thing Ten: Image this is fun!

Thing Ten was just plain old fun. Someone I once knew decided that if you added "plain old fun" to anything it just made it sound more fun! I concur! This was time consuming fun; I could have spent my entire day doing this, but figured it was important to take breaks in order to teach my kiddos something, lol, kidding. Today we had library day, hero's journey presentations, and I read to them; it was an all around fun day, but I regress...back on the trail people! I could see this would be fun to show the kids; who knows, we might just have a whole day of image generators. I know we could use it to have kids create movie posters for books they are reading, or for a book talk they might create a magazine cover. I could also use it as a "Get to Know You" activity at the beginning of the year. We could do all kinds of things! I mainly used Big Huge Labs, but the other ones had fun stuff too. I've used Wordle in the past, but it seems like they have changed it slightly since I used it. You can print it, but I couldn't find anything that would allow you to save your image to your computer. The way we found that this might be interesting is to have kids paste their paper into Wordle and see which word(s) are the largest since those are the most used words. It would be a modern revision process for knowing which words you might want to look at replacing. The other sites were very similar to Big Huge Labs, except for Glogster which I did not register to use. I hope everyone else had as much fun as I did. I have attached the three things that I made, and liked, to this post. I guess I should check the instructions to make sure that I answer any questions they have given us. If I missed anything...I vill be back! Off on an adventure...check ya later, signing off!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thing Nine: And the search continues...RSS

Okay, so I have searched through some of the links from this "thing" and I did find one blog that I was really interested in. It is called Classroom 2.0, and you have to be approved to join, but it is free and has some really great things to read about and participate in with the web 2.0 classroom. I did find an interesting blog called "The Journal" through Bloglines. It is a time consuming task for sure! Of all the search tools I found I liked Bloglines the best. No matter what you are looking for you have to either set a time limit, or have a lot of time to sit, search, and read. I didn't like google blog search, maybe because it;s Google. I'm going to think on this tonight to see if I can add anything to this blog later. Perhaps I'm just tired.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thing Eight: R...What? This must be new?!?

Okay! Hmmm...RSS feeds...since I'm not really a reader of internet material, I prefer print text, I don't find this useful. I can see it would be nice to have instant access to new information from your favorite news sites, etc...but I just don't take the time to read that stuff. I confess...I'm a deleter of things without reading. I would think you could use this in class, especially science or social studies, to see current events, etc... If you were studying the planets, you might have a class blog with an RSS feed that your students could easily access for up to date information. As a librarian I could take advantage of this new technology by using it on my own website. I could have feeds for teachers to access, as well as feeds for myself in order to stay current in all the different curriculum areas. As for the optional part....I just went ahead and added the feeds to my blog instead of making my google reader, which I will rarely access, public. I hope you enjoy...I'll add more as I find things. Off on the next leg of my journey...signing off!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thing Seven: I'll just google it...

For this one I went to a well used application. I'm definitely a google user and have used the calendar, google documents, and recently discovered the scholar search. For the calendar you could use it for you class assignments, or within a teaching team to keep track of things in one place where everyone has the right to add to the calendar. Personally I used it for a social calendar in an organization I was a volunteer in. Each age range had their own social calendar and were able to add them so that the social director had knowledge of what was going on. You could do the same thing with a planning platform at school. The documents are nice because he have access to them anywhere you can get internet. This might be useable for students to put their documents, share them, and have access to them both at home and school, easily. The scholar search was very handy for a grad student that might need to search quickly for an article over a specific subject. You could use this with your students to search different topics and see what comes up. You also might use it in the high school setting to find an article, read it, and write as summative response. This would be good practice for college life, and that might be great with the new standards to make students college ready. Okay, off to find something new on this journey...signing off!

Thing Six: Mashups make a difference

So, I checked out the mashups and used the Bookr since I'm an LA teacher and it seemed like something I could really use in my classroom. I made a little book about me, which I am going to post in this blog, and it was really simple. I was able to search directly from Flickr and paste it into my pages, and then add text. I could definitely use this as a way to get to know students in my class. In fact, next year we might start the year with this and have them all paste them into my blog so that we can find out about each other. I'm sure they would love that! I could also use it as a form of storyboarding. They would do a visual book of their story before they actually start writing their story. That is only the tip of the iceberg as to what I could do with a site like this. I hope you enjoyed playing as much as I did. Off to see what my journey hold next...I think it's thing seven? signing off...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thing Five: Flickr

I traveled to Flickr today; I have used it before at school as well as shown many students searching for images on google where they can go to use pictures legally (as long as they give credit). I'm very familiar with it, and it is good for some things, but sometimes as you are searching you realize that you have strayed from where you started and it takes some work getting back. Tags, they are simply keywords that make is easier to find things later. You can essentially search using tags. As for the groups, that is simply the ability to create a group that you can share with. You can make it public or private, or public by invitation only. It does require an administrator, but it makes it possible to share photos within the group. You could definitely use this within your classroom. You could create a group with your students in order to share content. Well, I think that is all for now, oh, I did do some searches within my content area and found a homeschooler that use Flickr to share her homeschool products that she has made. I thought that was pretty cool; as teachers or librarians we could create groups in order to share similar types of content with our coworkers, etc...collaboration is the key after all, right?!?! Off to see where my journey will take me...signing off!

Thing Four: I'm official

Well, it's official, I'm a player! I hope I play well with you? Are teachers the best at playing well with others, or are we lacking in that department? Just a random thought as I began thinking about the word "play." I got the email confirming I am an official player and just wanted to let everyone know. Continuing on my journey, stay with me it's should be a wild ride...signing off!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thing Three: The Avatar

Hello, so I got my avatar all ready and posted it to my blog. It was really easy to create my avatar since I already had about 12 different looks saved. I used to use yahoo a lot, but now I rarely go there. I just adjusted it, updated it, and exported it to my blog. I simply clicked on the export link from the 23 things site and copied the html text. Then I went back to the blogger site, logged in, and went to layout. I just pasted the html text and saved it. It does require careful reading of instructions in order to find and complete the export task, but all in all it did not take that much time. Let me know what you think of my avatar! Off to continue the "thing" journey...signing off!
Yahoo! Avatars

Thing Two: Life-long Learners

As I sat down and started watching The 7 1/2 Habits online tutorial I thought, what is this going to be about? Then, it started, quite slowly I might add, and we were off. Of all of the seven and a half habits talked about I would say the easiest one for me is accepting problems as challenges and not problems to solve. The hardest one for me might be "beginning with an end in mind." I'm a thinker, but I keep it all in my head, constantly changing, and that doesn't always lend itself to progressing through something to reach an end that I knew from the beginning. I am always changing and evolving; I can't say that it is a bad thing to find difficult, but there it is. I will say that pretty much all of the other habits were ones that I consistently do. I'm not so sure about the learning contract as that falls under the "begin with an ed in mind" part of things, and like I said, that is not my best, most used, habit. Heading off to step four...the journey continues..signing off!

Thing One: "It's okay to play in school..."

"It's okay to play in school," is the quote that most stuck out to me. I love it when I hear my students excitedly engaged in learning, with a big smile on their faces, and not even realizing that they are learning. I think some of my most favorite moments are the bunny trails during class. It is refreshing to see, and I look forward to "playing" while I travel through 23 things. What will I discover for me and my students to do? The journey begins...signing off!