Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thing #11.5 of 11.5

This too was a wonderful learning experience and adventure. I guess I'm a little old fashion, but along with my Blog, I kept a learning journal, so along the way I accumulated additional sites, comments, and ideas. As I plan for the next school year, I find myself going back and looking at the things I learned and trying to incorporate these activities into my plans. Even though my new students will have very limited English language ability, I've think I have found new ways to expand their learning experiences using the technology, so as to not limit their learning until their language has developed more. I challenge myself to do and learn more, more, more.
To answer the questions:

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

  • I really liked several activities. Wordle will be very useful in exciting the students about vocabulary. This summer I saw a Word Cloud used as an advertisement for Texas State University on a bus at the MELL Conference in San Marcos. Cool!
  • Of course- YouTube, TeacherTube, SchoolTube and CitizenTube and video hosting. This has great potential to use with the Activboard
  • Hulu and Blinkx- wonderful resource for finding video clips and full length video to use with the Activboard, as well.
  • Screencasts- especially Goview. I can create instructional videos for my students to use at home on their iPods, (I think). I need to make one and try converting the file to mp4.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? It has encouraged me to continue to learn and be adventurous.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? I had never used Hulu or Blinkx and was always limited to the United Streaming videos. This is a tremendous help. I'm still not convinced to incorporate MUVEs, such as Second Life in to my teaching, but who knows, maybe once I'm more comfortable with it.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I would like to see this and additional opportunities offered the entire school year. I know once school starts our time is extremely limited, but we could actually develop, use, critique and share lessons with others. Time consuming-- but fun and educational.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thing #11 of 11.5

Above are 2 wonderful links on teaching digital citizenship. The first is a ning for teenagers where they can get involved in discussions and ask questions and the second is more for elementary or ESL students.

  • After reading information found on many of the sites, I realize that I'm not as informed as I thought I was about digital citizenship. The resonsibility rests not only in parents hands, but in all educators' as well. I found a quote from the digiteen site that said, "We need to teach behavior that allows us to use the best filtering tool that the world has ever seen: the human brain."
  • I have seen my students search the Internet quickly for information and then just look at the very first few sites given. They then either give up or take the information as "gospel" without going any further. Most believe everything that is posted without questioning the validity of the source. We must teach our students how to evaluate sites and URL's for validity. That means I must learn as much as possible about rankings and validity on the Internet.
    Stephen Downes says, "Indeed, a person who reads a website and concludes that it's true, no matter what it says, is dangerously illiterate."
  • Safety of my students is also a major concern. I must teach them personal safety and standards of conduct. I think for my ESL students they would learn this best through scenarios and discussions.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thing #10 of 11.5

Well this one is a real challenge for me. I have played around with SecondLife for a couple of hours now. I even left it for a while, thought about it and then returned again. I am totally intimidated by this. It took me forever to figure out my avatar's clothing. I thought I had an outfit I wanted and then the system crashed-- several times--- I even had problems with login and received a message to wait. I finally did manage to get back on and transported my half dressed avatar to a nice peaceful garden, but everything costs $. Then I found myself listening to some inappropriate conversations, so I decided to fly away to be lost another time! Needless to say---frustration set in again.
I know my students would absolutely love this and according to other posts and some blogs I have read, it can be educational. Maybe I would feel more comfortable with the TeenSecond Life. I'm not sure I could use this with my students until I got the hang of it myself, so I will continue to play with it and withhold judgement at this time.

Thing #8 of 11.5

Screencasts can be very useful and easy to use. I often wondered how someone did that when I saw it being used and now I know. I tried using screencast but couldn't figure how for the site not to show while I was demonstrating a lesson, so I downloaded Goview. This was very simple and the icon stays in my tray at the bottom of the computer. I have a simple flipchart to demonstrate the use of Goview.

I know that there is video record tool on the activboard that probably does the same thing, but I haven't tried this tool out yet. I think it would be wonderful to record each of my flipcharts and then sync them to my students' iPods, so they could use them as a review or if they were absent and missed the lesson. This really is a great tool.
Whoops! After viewing this video on my Blog, the right side is clipped. I'm not sure how to change the size. Sorry!

US Constitution

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Thing # 9 of 11.5

I played around with SlideShare and uploaded an old PP I had created. This site is fairly easy to use. I did have problems with the SlideCast to include music. I think it would have worked if I had waited long enough. Students would be able to collaborate on PP projects from home especially if they didn't have PowerPoint loaded on their computer. I think Google Docs does the same. I believe it would be a matter of which site was the easiest to use.

(I found out that when I posted the PP to Blogger and tried to edit, the PP changed completely to another presentation that was not mine.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thing #7 of 11.5

I had heard about Hulu but never went to the site. What a wonderful collections of videos! I also liked Blinkx, especially U-Zoo The Cutest Pets Ever. Because these sites are free and easy to embed in presentations, I think I will be visiting them regularly and use them in my Flipcharts and podcast. I have used PBS and National Geographic videos before and they were extremely effective. Some of the short clips could be used for discussions or story starters.

Thing #6 of 11.5

So much to see! So many things to play with! So much to learn. When I first got my iTouch and I went to apps store I felt like a child in a candy store. I had to limit my "intake" ($0.99 can add up)and try to stick to the free stuff. I found a nice site that reviews educational apps.
There are many apps that would be useful to students in all the content areas. To name a few: WeDict, Word of the Day, Google Map/Earth, Brainteaser, 6500+Cool Facts, inFactUSA, 3DPanet and the list goes on and on.