Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thing 23:

Yes, the last Thing is here, but I have mixed feelings. I am happy to have completed the list, sorry that it is late, glad for the challenging assignments, and sad that it is over.
1. My favorite exercise was setting up my very own blog and avatar. Something changed inside me once I was actually blogging. It gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment that I could do something this cutting edge. It literally gave me a voice.
2. I will never be afraid to try technology again. I may still get frustrated with it, I may put it aside for a bit, but I will always come back and find a way to tackle it. I will persevere. And check my Google Reader for all my cool feeds that I found.
3. The potential for iGoogle home page with Google calendar, email and Reader right there. I haven't set it all up yet and integrated it with my life, but it is an exciting prospect. The surprise of the fun and relative ease of Photo Story. Wouldn't that be a great getting to know you assignment for the first six weeks? Maybe. Wikis, trading cards and Glogster will all be a part of my class from now on.
4. Maybe have milemarker suggestions or deadlines along the way.
5. I would be very interested in another similar program.
6. Embrace technology and inspire your students.

Thing 22:

Nings are an interesting way to peruse a lot of information, ideas, and opinions on specific topics. I spent several hours looking through each of the suggested nings. I found postings featured on the Teacher Librarian Ning to be a bit negative and scarcastic. The Educator Ning was my favorite. I found Scott Habeeb's blog about helping freshmen transition to high school and later, life. This is an excellent blog and inspiring man and I look forward to hearing more from and about him. I also heard about a Facebook account for educators that is asking for people to voice their concerns about keeping Nings for educators free. Good idea, I hope they listen.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thing 21:

Ok, now I understand the beauty of PhotoStory. It is fairly intuitive and easy to use. I took my team to the state competition last weekend and I just picked out 5 photos to tell the story and for me to learn this application. Here is my photo story of the trip.

I will have to also try out Audacity in the near future. I loved the book trailer idea and that is something I will definitely do as a librarian. Our librarian at Morton Ranch did a trailer for the book Unwind which was well received. This was for a promotion of our Read It Forward program.

Thing 20:

I had so much fun looking on YouTube and TeacherTube. I have seen several of the videos I found from my own teenagers who share fun things with me. I found this video on TeacherTube and was hit with my own musings about the generation of kids that we are teaching now. I have read a book called Generations (Howe & Strauss, 1991) which shows that in the United States has 4 distinct archetypes of generations that repeat themselves in a cycle. This generation is another Civic generation. The last Civic generation fought in WWII. They follow rules and do what is expected of them by the last older Idealist generation. The Baby Boomers are the most recent Idealist generation and this video is very clearly a new Civic generation. They are all doing this together (reading and singing) at the encouragement of their teachers and the Idealist generation beliefs. It does warm the cockels of my heart to see all these junior high students reading books and singing together. Flashback to the Coca-cola commercials singing "I would like to teach the world to sing"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thing 19:

I chose to research LuLu. This is a self-publishing website that helps you publish, sell and market world-wide if you desire. It is a little overwhelming to me, but I know students and have a daughter who aspires to be published someday. This is a great way to encourage would be authors to just try it out. You can even order an ISBN so that you can sell to bookstores and libraries. Books are not the only venue. Music cds, artwork, photo books and perhaps even dvds are out there to create. They have a network of people to help you along the way as well.

Thing 18:

Google docs is far superior to Open Office in my opinion. Google docs is online and can be used from any computer vs. Open Office has to be downloaded to each computer you may be on. Google docs can be used to create presentations with slides, vectored drawings, spreadsheets, rich text documents. You can embed images, you can design web forms which allows you to store information. My son is the webmaster for his Boy Scout troop and uses these forms for camp sign up. You can upload any type of file at all.
Lastly you have the ability to truly collaborate and edit these Google docs in real time. This would be a boon for teachers planning together or students working on a project.

Thing 17:

Rollyo is very helpful. I rolled my own search engine titled "collaboration". I couldn't help but adding several of the ready made scroll rolls offered. Travel, books and authors, armchair scientist, you get the idea. Wait until you check out the collaboration search engine. I got over 4000 hits when I entered "librarian teacher". My rollbar is linked for your perusal. Oops when I tried to link to my rollbar, I got this message from rollyo: Hmm.

The link you came here on appears to be from a 'link spammer' trying to promote their site through Rollyo. These links are a nuisance to the community, a nuisance to our site, and ultimately not very nice. If you think you are getting this page in error, drop us a line and we'll try to get to the bottom of it.

I will follow up and see if I can fix it.

Thing 16:

Wikis are wonderful things. They are useful planning arenas for teachers, departments, schools, or even districts. For example, all Biology teachers in Katy ISD could participate and add comments, lessons, webquests, musings, etc. It would be a wonderful way to get together and collaborate besides the random horizontal team meeting once a year. We could even invite all of our librarians on our campuses to join and collaboration may finally begin in science. I feel this could be the start of something great and a wiki is just the tool needed to facilitate it. On a personal note I would like to have a Lambert Home wiki. I have 3 teenagers and a husband. We could plan outings for the summer, a camping trip, next year's vacation, household painting projects, sleepovers, menus, and whatever else pops up.

Thing 15:

It is an exciting time to become a librarian. There is so much information about how things should be or are becoming. I relate to Rick Anderson's ideas about navigating our library around the icebergs. We truly must rethink the services we provide and how accessible they are to our patrons, our teachers and students. This is a snowball getting bigger and bigger and there is a lot more hill to go. By collaborating with teachers and keeping our finger on the pulse of other librarians, we can get through this and keep evolving to meet the information demands to come.

Thing 14

Technorati is an interesting company. I enjoyed "meeting" the staff and hearing how they got started. When I searched for "school library learning 2.0" on this site, I did not find a hit under blog posts, tags, or blogs. I was disappointed and double checked it because I thought there would be something out there. Also the the popular section is currently unavailable. Tagging your blog and comments on others blog would be helpful for you to find things again and to lead others to these places so they can share what you have found. We are all in this together but it is OK to lead and/or follow at different points along the way.

Thing 13

A tagging we will go, hi ho the dairy-o..... Well I see this Thing to really be useful in my life. First just as a teacher, I can select and tag all those site that I use for just one lesson and all those I think are interesting and want to go back to. I usually save the sites I use in my browser and I loose the others or have to search anew each time. As a grad student I can't even believe I haven't used this before. I actually did have a diigo account that I did not utilize. I just peeked in at other's tags occasionally without realizing the potential of sharing and building an awesome network.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thing 12:

I thought that cool cat teacher had such a good point about teaching kids to comment. We teach so many things, but taking the time to validate someone else's ideas or thoughts is such an important skill to teach. I have success reaching and connecting to "tough" high school kids by using this method. I have to be genuine, but really it is not hard to find something good to say about students. Another great post today on a blog I am following called Learning is Messy talks about making someone's day with a positive post. I branched out and actually commented on his sight. I was nervous and accidentally posted twice. But as I am learning, it is not the mistakes you make that matters, but that you are learning from them. The blog on edublogger's etiquitte makes the point that if you do not reply or comment you are not giving the blogger any verification that someone is out there and he is being heard. In other words lurking is only half of the experience. Don't cheat yourself and others from your ideas.

Thing 11:

I have already set up an account on Shelfari but I went ahead and looked at LibraryThing. I set up an account and added 5 books for the experience. I found a group on historical fiction which had some very interesting opinions and posts about this genre. I think that Shelfari is easier to use and has a nicer look to the book collection with the bookcase where the book covers are displayed. I am currently in a book club and I am pretty sure the other members do not know about this technology. When the semester ends, I plan on adding lots of books to my shelf and sharing with them. It will be nice to have a place to share my reviews and show what I have read. I hope to entice them all to do the same with me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thing 10:

The image maker is a lot of fun and I can see adding these into power points, on quizzes, and really anyplace a bit of humor or fun is called for. This sunny picture was created with the Happy Face Generator. I found it fairly easy to produce the image and easy to insert as a picture. I played around with Wordle but did not save it on the gallery. I made an image with paint of my Reader subscription list that I hope to figure out how to insert it in my blog. I used the directions that I found on google under "how to copy part of a webpage". I am already using Glogster with my students. This is a very creative virtual poster website that banishes last minute runs to the store for poster board for that project that your kids don't remember having until you are already in your jammies.

Thing 9:

I was able to find very interesting blogs using several of the search tools. Google search was easy enough, but edublog's award winners was very nice. Being a science teacher, I found a blog called Using Blogs in Science Education that shouted for me to subscribe. It was nice that each blog was nominated for an award so my confidence in finding interesting, pertinent posts was very high. I did find several there to add to my Reader and also tried School Library Blogs on Suprglu. I found the "pipes" idea was a bit confusing, but I added yet another blog from this site about Young Adult Library Information. My favorite way to find blogs is through a trusted blogger's blogroll. I figured that Cool Cat Teacher's Blog is used to teach this Thing and I loved the idea of a circle of the wise, so borrowing blogs from Cool Cat's blogroll was honoring her wisdom.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thing 8:

Rss feeds are very useful. I can now get the updated news from all my favorite sites. It really saves time by getting the update and not having to open each site individually. As a teacher and librarian I would have feeds from several sites about books, best practices, and new ideas about lessons. There is only so much time to research and this brings it to you.

EDIT: Two blogs that I am following are The Weather Channel and Science News.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thing 7

Google aps have certainly changed my mind forever about Google. I have always enjoyed the simplicity and accessibility of the search engine, but I had no idea of the many applications that were available. Two of my favorites are Google Calendar and Google Scholar. I have 3 very involved teens, a husband, and now my own schedule includes work and grad school. My calendar was challenging to say the least. I just started adding events and asked my 10th grade son to send me his Google Calendar to merge with mine. I have grandiose plans of having all 5 family members' commitments in one place. The best part is having it available on the web to the family. I plan on adding my wall calendar events to this new Google Calendar and having each family member create a calendar to share with mine. Right now I have made this public in order to share it for this post. After the grades are in, I will go back and make it private. This picture shows a sample of the great beginnings. The educational uses of this application might be to have a class calendar that is available to students and parents. I would also encourage students to set up a calendar among classmates to coordinate time available to work on projects or have a study group. My Destination Imagination team could certainly have benefited from a merged Google calendar to set up practice times.
Google Scholar has already helped me out with research for reliable articles for some of our discussions in this class. This would be a preference in research over students using just plain Google which responds too broadly for most students who need help in narrowing their focus.
Just an aside, I have started using Google Chrome as my web browser. I am amazed at its speed compared to Internet Explorer. I am learning more benefits of this browser every week or so, but it is not allowed by the Katy ISD web application for lesson plans.