Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing #23 - Comments

This has been quite a journey! I will need to go back and revisit the instructions pages for the "things" that I plan to incorporate, so I'm glad to have the blog as a resource.

1. My favorite activity was Photostory. I had so much fun creating my video and will figure out ways to incorporate it with my students, most of whom are reluctant writers and might not be as reluctant if we're breaking it down into screens of text. I am also intrigued with Wikis and want to explore using them with our dyslexia teachers' group.

2. 23 Things has pushed me to experiment and explore technology and take the time to consider how I could use it. Because we had guidance, feedback, and exercises to complete, I put forth the effort to explore. It also helped that we get 18 hours!!!

3. It has been a lot of fun to see how many things are applicable to both my professional and personal lives, such as Photostory.

4. I thought the format was very well designed. It might be good to go back and try the directions for the various things where we encountered problems to make sure that it is still functioning in the same way that is written; the embedding of the TeacherTube videos, for example. My IT husband ended up helping me with it.

5. I would definitely participate.

6. Empowering.

7. Will do.

Thanks so much for all of the work that the team captains do for this staff development. I think the idea of the face-to-face sessions was a very good one. If there had been some a little later in the summer, I might have been at a better place in the process to attend.

Thing #22 - Nings

Ning for Teachers - Teacher Lingo - was like being in the teachers' lounge - except in cyberspace. And I mean that in a good way. The teachers' lounge can be a place to take your concerns, celebrations, questions, classroom management issues, or fantastic ideas that you need help refining. This is what Teacher Lingo seemed like to me. It could be a tremendous source of inspiration or help that reaches past the physical boundaries of the teachers' lounge on your campus.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thing #21 - Podcasts, videocasts, PhotoStory

I had so much fun playing around with PhotoStory. I had some pictures from our trip last summer that I thought would be fun to put together in a little "video" to use for this project, and to impress my family! I played around with the transitions and the music and the order of the pictures. I have no idea how long I spent on it because I just sort of got lost in it.

I told my daughter that next time we take a trip we should make a little video from the pictures we take each day, and she said that we could put it on a blog so that we could share it with our family and friends while we're still on our trip. That would be so much more fun that just showing them pictures when we get home.

I can see so many possibilities for using this in a professional sense. For the classroom, for group projects, for workshop presentations - endless possibilities.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thing #20 - YouTube and TeacherTube

I will plan on using TeacherTube videos for a variety of activities with my students. They are so much more tuned in to video presentations of information as opposed to getting it out of a textbook or listening to a teacher lecture on it. I think the videos can serve as a very good launching off point for discussions and elaborating on the topics presented. Another wonderful aspect of the videos is the idea of the students being able to make them for a portfolio piece or a way of testing their knowledge or as group projects. Students would amaze us all with their products! I chose this video because I think it represents the basis of 23 Things, combined with how we can use videos, such as the ones found on TeacherTube and YouTube, to reach our students.

Thing #19 - Web 2.0 Awards List

After many searches of award winning websites, I chose to use www.comiqs.com as my tool. I found many of the websites a bit confusing and I was uncertain as to how I would use them in a classroom setting. However, comiqs.com was very user-friendly and offered a tremendous amount of flexibility (use their pictures or download your own) and room for creativity. I thought that students might enjoy using this website for a different type of writing assignment - maybe political cartoons or short strips about something they are studying in a history class, or use textbook photos and create a strip about a scientific process being studied in a science class. Themes, figurative language, figures of speech, grammar lessons - all of these could be made a little more interesting to present to the class through the use of a comic strip type of presentation.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thing #18 - Online Tools

I had a lot of fun playing with Google Docs and exploring Open Office. I watched the video about Open Office and thought it had a lot to offer. I'm glad we've got it loaded on our laptops. I searched through and saved several of the Google Docs. From a personal standpoint, I saw numerous templates that I could download and use for my finances, calendar, etc. and share with my husband online.

One of the obvious advantages of having documents such as these available online as opposed to using Microsoft Office is that other people can access the information and put in their changes. This keeps me from having to do all of the input for a collaborative document or presentation, if I'm the originator. This might be a very good way for our dyslexia support group to update presentation handouts or slides/"powerpoints" that we give. We usually work in pairs or groups of three when we make presentations and this would be very easy to keep updates circulating. It is very difficult for us to find "face-to-face" time because we are at different schools and on very tight schedules. I can also see a use for students who are working on group presentations.

Thing #17 Rollyo

I created a Rollyo for searching to find vocabulary activities and explanations about word origins. I tried searching other people's searchrolls for: "morphology", "prefixes", "Greek root words" but I guess no one had used those tags for their searchrolls so I didn't come up with anything. A good lesson that fit with the previous lessons we'd had about tagging.