Friday, March 19, 2010

Thing #22- Nings

I can honestly say that I had never heard of Nings before today. Nings are social websites much like the most commonly known Facebook and Myspace. Anyone can create a Ning to network with other people that share a common interest. I looked at several library Ning sites to see what they had to offer. To me they are much like a wiki.
One of my favorite features was the video section. When looking at the Teacher LibrarianNing, I enjoyed watching the videos of book talks. There were so many cute ones!
I also found the group feature beneficial. I found a group called Building a Culture of Collaboration where librarians can discuss their success stories of co-teaching with classroom teachers or ask questions. Check out the great discuss about flexible scheduling here.

Thing #21 Podcasts and Videocasts

Photostory is quick and easy! It is a great tool to use and I only wish I would have known about it seven years ago when I was planning a wedding and paid big bucks for someone else to make a slide show of pictures! I first downloaded the free software and within a few minutes I was in business! It was very easy to upload the pictures and simple enough for a child to follow. For my sample videocast I chose to use some pictures that I took when we spent last Christmas in Iowa. All that snow helped us remember why we move down here to Texas!
video



I really enjoyed creating this videocast and can see many uses for then in schools from creating book reviews to making a video of classroom events throughout the year to show at our end of the year celebration!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thing #23- Reflection

Well it's time to reflect on this whole journey:
  1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey? This is a hard question because there are so many things that were fantastic! I would have to say that one of my favorites would have to be playing with the online image generator sites. Big Huge Labs was a blast! My other favorite thing was using Photostory. What a fun and super easy way to share information.
  1. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? Completing this “23 Things” journey has made me realize how important it is to continue to learn and search for the newest “things” out there. There are so many new applications and programs that if you don’t educate yourself, you’ll miss out on so much!
  1. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? I think something that surprised me the most was that I have become more of a self learner. I have never thought of myself as someone who would enjoy this type of self discovery learning. I was a bit nervous that I would not really learn from this type of program and I was excited to realize how much I did!
  1. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I truly enjoyed learning about each of the 23 things. If I were to change anything I would see if there was a more updated list of Web 2.0 Awards, although it still has some great sites on it!
  1. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate? Absolutely! I would recommend EVERYONE to take this journey and I would love to participate in another program like this in the future.
  2. 6. 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?

The “23 Things” motivate and excite you to be a better educator!

Thing #20- Teacher Tube and You Tube

Before these 23Things, I had only used You Tube for personal use and had never really used Teacher Tube. I spent a lot of time looking at different video that I could use as a teacher or librarian. There are so many neat things you could use! One of the videos that caught my eye was the Pike's Peek Library District video promoting their summer reading program. This could be a great way for a school librarian to encourage children to keep reading through the summer months. I also found several book review videos that would be a fun alternative to writing a traditional book report.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thing #17-Rollyo (Updated)

Well, I have been trying for a couple of weeks now to get on Rollyo but every time it tells me they are going through maintenance work. I hope it comes back up sometime soon! I'll keep checking and edit my post when it does!

I was finally able to get on Rollyo today! I love the idea of selecting creditable sites for my kids to search through. It have always worried about sending my kids off to use the internet for research. There are so many great sites out there, but the trick is to find them. Rollyo allows you to eliminate this step for your students.
We are currently researching animals in class so I created a search roll for each of the animal groups we cover in second grade for them to use. Click here to see my search roll.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Thing #19 Web 2.0 Awards

I love this site! On a personal level, I was immediately drawn to the music section where I found Last.fm. When I cool site! I set up an account and started searching my favorite bands. I was able to select them as my favorites and also select their radio station. The radio does not play just their music but music from other artists that are similar. I love to find new bands and this is a great way to become familiar with other artists with similar styles. I have also used Pandora in the past, but it seems like Last.fm has more of a selection of Texas country music.
I had also heard about PBwiki through my school and decided to take a closer look at it. It was super easy to use and it had several online training videos to explain all the features. It can be a challenge to find sites that are not blocked through our district and I was pleased to find out that PBwiki is one of the few that are allowed! As a librarian creating a wiki can be a great way to share lesson ideas with other district librarians or even set up a page for students to post book reviews.
I noticed that the Web 2.0 Awards were from 2008. Anyone know if they have a more current list?



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thing #18- Online Tools

Google Docs are fantastic and I only wish I would have explored them long ago! I had heard about them but never took the time to see what it had to offer. I chose to use Google Docs because I already had an account and I'm not sure I can remember yet another username and password!! It was easy to use and I immediately realized one major advantage of using this program verses Microsoft Office. No more making sure I have my flashdrive everywhere I go! I can simply upload my documents and access them from any computer with internet. There have been many times when I forgot to grab my flashdrive and I was stuck without something I needed. Not anymore!
You can also organize your documents in folders to easily find what you are looking for or create new documents. Sharing documents for collaboration is easy too!
The only disadvantage I can see is that you would have to have internet access to pull up your documents.
I can definitely see myself using this tool in the future. I have already upload some documents so I can access them at school!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thing #16- Wikis

Yippee for Wikis! I was first introduced to wikis about 6 months ago when my husband was taking a technology course for his masters program. He showed me the Common Craft Video and my mind started thinking. My very first wiki that I created was made for collaborating with my team at school. This year we have been taking grades on all of the same assignments and it's been difficult for us to know how we are grading them, what name we should enter them under in our gradebook, ect. This wiki provides a location where we can post this information and reference it at anytime when there is a questions. It has been a great help!
While look at the links I came across the Grand Rapids Public Library Wiki. I love how it is organized by audience. I found some great books under the kids section on dyslexia. I work with many dyslexic children and I was not aware of these great picture books to share with them. I have already ordered a couple of them!
The possibilities with wikis are exciting. They can be a wonderful way to share what you know with other professionals or learn from others as they share their expertise. This could be a great way for librarians in a district to communicate and share lessons they are using or even ask questions.