Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thing 23: Final Thoughts

I am so glad I took the time this summer to explore the facets of Web 2.0. I knew about them in a vague way, but now I feel more familiar with them and even able to teach others. I can’t wait to see where this takes me in integrating technology into my life in and out of the workplace.

Thing 22: What Did I Learn Today?

I had maintained a blog for the past 6 months for my job; however I was limited in my use of it. I really think I learned a lot of ways to do so much more with my blog. It does take a commitment to work on updating a blog. Since our department plans to use a blog format instead of a paper copy of a newsletter I will work on it at least once a week. So instead of a Friday newsletter I will have an update to my blog. Over time, I hope more of my parents use it as a reference and resource for locating information.

Thing 21: Other Social Networks

I don’t really consider myself part of any online social network. I did join GoodReads this summer, and I signed up to try Shelfari. These two aren’t exactly as easy to use as I thought, but I like the concept. I am part of a book club, and I would really like to try and get them to try to use something like this so we could discuss books online as well. We’ll see if that really ever happens since my group isn’t so techie.

Thing 20: Facebook and MySpace

Okay, so I made the leap into trying out social networking. I created an account on Facebook and tried to add some friends. It took a couple of minutes to do because I had to wait for the confirmation email. I ended up locating some family members who I asked to be friends with online. Then I felt like I need to add a photo of myself so I did that, but I didn’t do much more to add to my site. I could see how you could hang out online for hours talking to friends online instead of one the phone. We’ll see where it takes me?....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thing 19: Podcasts

Okay, I was really excited to do this Thing because I have wanted to do podcasts with my students all year long. In fact I almost submitted an Ed Fund on this topic of technology integration. I would like to have my students submit podcasts of book talks. I thought students would like to post their talks and listen to other student’s ones. I think it has leadership potential and I am going to start it next year.

So to test it out, I went to Minnesota Public Radio’s Podcasts and I clicked on Grammar Grater. Grammar Grater™ is a weekly podcast about English words, grammar and usage for the Information Age.

First I had to download Real Audio, but then it streamed very easily and I ended up adding the RSS feed to my blog along my side bar.

Another podcast, I happened upon when using Yahoo Podcasts searching using “children book chats” I found the Horn Book Podcasts and I linked up an RSS feed to my site. I am getting more comfortable with adding these all the time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thing 18: You Tube

I have been on youtube before for personal reasons, and I have tried to locate resources online to help me teach a concept in math. This morning, I did a search on "book clubs for kids". I came across a video from the Today Show's Book Club Series with Al Roker and it also has a an author visit. I am going to try and insert a video into my blog now too...Wish me luck!

Thing 17: ELM

I visited ELM today and I think it would be helpful for me to search for current online articles related to my professional field. I ended up doing a search for "Gifted Education", and I tried to insert an RSS feed into my blog. I really want to help raise the achievement scores of my gifted readers and especially the scores of my gifted boy readers. So I might also try to do a search for boys and reading.

I also saw a link on the right hand side for Kids: Grades K-5. I would like to introduce my students to this research tool, and I am making it a requirement that all of my students have a library card, so they would be able to practice searching on this at school.