Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thing 11.5: Evaluation

WOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO right down to the wire, but I'm done!!!

Evaluation answers:

1. Favorite Discoveries: got better at screencasting - loved that and will use it!
Enjoyed searching for videos, too, and will really try to incorporate those more into my teaching.

2. I am definitely a lifelong learner, and using technology to teach myself things on my own time, in my own home is perfect for me!

3. Unexpected outcomes: I HATED Second Life. I really thought I'd love it!

4. Differently? Ummm... it's way more than 11.5 hours of work... I think it should be a "23-things-type" thing with regard to how many hours it took. Also, I want Second Life to go away. :)

This was great, as always! I'm really hoping some of my staff will get into this next summer, as well. It's a great teaching/learning tool! Thanks for all the hard work!

Thing #11: Digital Citizenship

If I could never talk about anything else in the Library again, this would be my permanent topic. It's so incredibly important to help our students understand how to navigate the Internet, various new technologies, and all that these 2 categories entail.

If I were doing a lesson Digital Citizenship right now, I'd start by helping students understand the importance of "telling the computer who they are"... i.e. make sure you log on correctly. I'd then move to teaching about not telling anyone ELSE on the internet who they are! 2 very different things with 2 very important distinctions!

If my students can get these 2 things in the first few weeks of school this year, I'll be happy! Digital Citizenship goes on and on through understanding privacy, being respectful computer citizens, understanding the student role in today's technology, etc., but my first order of business will be to help them get on, and help them stay private while they're on there!

Thing #10: Second Life

I have spent the better part of a week on Second Life for at least 30 mins per day. I can sum up my Second Life experience in the email I got from them, which I've copied and pasted below...

"You have received a message from Second Life:
Your object 'Ponytail Brown Hair' has been returned to your inventory lost and found folder by Naergilien Wunderlich from parcel 'Wunderlich's historical garb' at ZoHa Islands E 246, 70 due to parcel auto return."

Yes, readers... I lost my own brown ponytail somewhere in 2nd life. I spent the entire week just trying to get dressed. I did not make it anywhere. I tried to fly and kept hitting the walls. I can't even walk.

I'm sure that students love this site, and with careful monitoring, could probably go to some awesome places and do some awesome things. However, I don't really see the point of doing Second Life during the school day, simply b/c it takes such a long time to acclimate to the website. I feel like there's not enough time to do it meaningfully. Just my personal opinion.

I am done with Second Life. I have enough trouble keeping my First Life organized.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thing #9: Slideshare

All students need to find a way to import, manipulate, and present their images, videos, ideas, creations, etc. If students use sites like Slideshare, they can gain access to these projects wherever and whenever they want. They don't have to keep up with a flash drive, they don't have to own a laptop... they create their project, upload it, and it's there for them anytime. In addition, slideshare and other hosting sites would be great for group projects! All students have access and can make changes from home while they chat using their skype cameras, etc. These are great resources that I haven't spent much time with, but for which I'll try to use more.

A slideshare site would have saved my life last November. I had a visiting author come with a Mac laptop, and we didn't have the convertor she needed to use Mac to present. We had to get page by page slides from her publicist and I had to put them together into a power point while she presented to the first group. Insanity.

Thing #8: Screencasting

I am a screencasting novice! After this thing, I've moved up a rung or 2 on the screencasting ladder. I explored several sites, but selected Screencast-o-matic b/c frankly I just didn't want to have to register or download a program, and this one was super easy!

I was planning to create my own movie on how to make a Ringtone for your iPhone, but when I plugged in my microphone (I have an external mike), it didn't work! ARGH! However, I still made the video without audio and it's imbedded (hopefully) below!

Thing #7: Videos

I am guilty of not using videos enough with my students in the Library. I frequently am a person who uses the "teachable moment"... and what I mean by that is, I have lesson plans every week, but I don't always follow them. This means that if I find a cool video on YouTube or another video site that is blocked, I usually want to use it in 30 mins with my students, not in 24 hours... which is how long it usually takes to get ZamZar videos returned to me. I am not a fan of the multi-step video conversion process... I want to be able to take a link and go right to it with no waiting.

That said, this "thing" gave me tons of sites that I think are unblocked in my district to explore and utilize videos in my library lessons. I am so happy to have been directed to some of them! I selected a couple of videos below that I think will be useful at some point this year!

I really like TOTLOL... I think kids will love looking at AAAALLLLLLLLL the animal videos on here.. I got lost looking at some of the puppies and kitties and wild animals! The white tiger video I selected is actually translated from spanish, so it will be nice for my native spanish speakers to enjoy listening to their own language, while my english speakers will have to read subtitles. I think that's cool. :) My only concern is that it's powered by YouTube... will they be blocked at school? I don't understand...

I have heard of Blinkx, but haven't used it. There is a great link on the home page to the "kids" category, and students can scroll through one of a zillion appropriate videos to learn how to do something, explore science, animals, and the world around us. I really love this site! I have provided the link to making tissue paper stars (something tons of young girls enjoy - along with a lesson about Van Goh). I didn't see the ability to imbed the video, though.

Super fun!

Thing #6: iTouch Applications

I have spent several days exploring the last "things" and am going to do one giant blogging session today to get the posts finished!

Ok, to begin... iTouch Applications... I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE my iPhone. I recently upgraded to the 3G from the Gen 1 phone, and it's been an awesome experience in speed acceleration for only $100 bucks or so. However, I hadn't thought a great deal about how to use the iTouch with students until this past Spring. I still think I'm a bit fuzzy on the overall value vs. the potential for loss, breakage, screen crack, stress to "sync" when only 1 computer is allowed to "own" the iTouch. Those "cons" said, though... the iTouch is an amazing piece of technology and it is SO intuitive.

My 2 1/2-year old nephew can work his parents' Applications on their iPhones. It's incredible!! I know that students will love to play the math facts application, the states/capitals application, and even will enjoy some of the music apps and the games (Labrynth, PacMan, Falling Gems) if they were gifted a few free minutes. It's super easy to find and DL an app, although within the app search, there are some questionable applications for young people to use, so application DLing would need to be strictly monitored, for sure.

Ways for multiple users to spend time on the iPhone?
* Work in a small group together to select, download, and take turns working in an app
* Have 1 student do the browsing, 1 student do the typing, 1 student do the application searching, etc.
* Time limits for each student to explore so that all students are given an opportunity
* Each month a different group of students is allowed to use the iTouches for projects/products

I really look forward to seeing how these can be used in the library and classroom setting!