Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thing #23: I'm Outta Here!!

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey? I enjoyed setting up the RSS's and getting more news than I can shake a stick at. I also liked the web 2.0 award winners. I found lots of that stuff amusing and very useful, although in a personal way.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? Yes, in this aspect. I realized in the last year or so that there have been so many new things going on that I had no clue about, so I am thankful to get an opportunity to learn these things and get credit for them.

Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I wasn't really surprised by any of the simplicity of these things. I figured that much. I was surprised at the number of blogs and people out there posting.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? Not much. I found it very easy to use and help was there when I needed it.

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate? Yes

How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities? I learned 23 more things to do in the class and every day.

I enjoyed this and it didn't kill me. Thanks for making 18 hours of credit worthwhile and easy to get.

Thing #22: Nings

Now this is a site that I will use. Although my first glance at the topics list in the teachers' Ning made me feel like I was at a virtual teachers' happy hour and the locals were getting surly. Wow...but then I looked past that stuff, as I try to every year, and found some rather professional minded sites that caught my eye. I subscribed to one on classroom management, something all teachers can always improve on, so we'll see how it turns out.
I love the idea, and it keeps me from having to deal with Technorati for now.
I'm changing my mind about blogging. I'm willing to read what others have to say in a professional atmosphere, as long as they're professional about it.
It would be very easy to set up one for school issues, make it available to teachers and students, and see how it goes. It could be a very good lesson in debate and persuasion. Gee, I sound like I want to teach LA again...No!!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thing #21: The Thing that Almost Killed Me (and the wife)

This is becoming rather arduous. Maybe it's because I'm so close to being finished with my 23 things that my brain has turned to more mush. Here it is, 11:05 at night and I'm still trying to get my podcast video to show up on my blog...let me take care of other stuff first and maybe the solution will come to me...
My podcast experience is limited to "Wait Wait Don' Tell Me", the NPR comedy news show on Saturday mornings. If I miss it, I have a subscription through iTunes and get it later that day. With all the technology available today, everyone should be poscasting. I could even podcast myself to my students if I was absent. I'll have to try that sometime. It's an incredibly easy way to share information, and to really personalize it by making videos.
I think I figured this out. If so, I shall celebrate with a bowl of cereal before bedtime. Here goes...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thing #20: YouTube and TeacherTube

I have been using online video in the classroom for a long time. As a former social studies teacher, online video saved my life a couple of times (also ended it on some days when the web wasn't cooperating) and made planning much easier. I remember having to request videos from a catalog and waiting a week or two from ITV to get it. So when United Streaming came along, I jumped on that train. One thing I learned out in Humble ISD last summer was to use MS movie maker to take only the segments that supported your lesson. My former teaching buddy and I downloaded all the videos we usually use and store them on our I drive at school. No more depending on the net.
I searched teacher tube for relevant reading videos, but there's a preponderance of elementary stuff there. I decided to use the Texas History video from UNT. Very cool, so I'll be an advocate for the site. Just hope my embedding works...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thing #19: Web 2.0 Awards

After checking out local eateries on Yelp, finding the wife's plane ticket to Norfolk on Farecast, looking at color palettes on the color place, I finally found a site I could use to create lesson plans appropriately called Backpack. This site would make it incredibly easy to collaborate on lesson plans with anyone else on the net. I usually tried to get people together over coffee or food to plan, but not everyone would show up, or family stuff would come up, whatever. This site puts my notes and ideas out there and people can add text, files, pictures, anything they have on their computers, right on to the page I created. It's very simple, and I'm going to give it a try ASAP.

Thing #18: Open Source Tools

I love it!! Anything that brings the power of computers to the masses for free. This needs to be plastered on billboards outside every store that sells computers. I hated the fact that Office Suite 2ooowhatever costs hundreds of dollars, when it should be part of the computer.
I also love the fact that on google, I can save stuff online and open it and use it anywhere. Apple has something like that, but it's a subscription service. Now we're getting somewhere. How much could the district have saved if we just went open source?

Thing #17: Rollyo

Alright, I think I got this right. Let me try my link first
Hey Hey!! It worked. Excellent. Now I can finally finish this thing.
Liked Rollyo very much. Is it Roll-yo or is Rolly-o? Regardless, this would come in very handy for student research. Teachers could limit and veryify sources so much easier and keep the kids away from all that garbage out there. Is there a Rollyo for images, or is that Flickr? If anyone else out there knows of other news sites that start in the middle or stay in the middle, let me know.