Week 5: My Choice

  1. I chose to explore a graphic organizer called bubbl.us.  It is a mind-mapping tool that allows you to organize your ideas and thoughts as they come to you. It would be a great tool to use for independent or group projects. Writers could use this to brainstorm their main idea and supporting details and see their writing project get mapped out right before their eyes. It would also be a great tool to use for vocabulary acquisition (science, social studies). Some of the features include being able to change the size and color of the bubbles, exporting your map to a JPG image, a wonderful UNDO feature, and a really handy ZOOM feature. You can also collapse bubbles by pushing the (-) button. The bubbles sort of disappear so you can focus on another part of the organizer without being overwhelmed with all of the other bubbles you have created. You simply push the (+) button to make the bubbles reappear. This is a really great, free resource that can be utilized in many ways in the classroom.
  2. I learned how to easily create mind-maps that allow the user to organize his thoughts and record ideas. I also learned how to save the mind-maps as a jpeg file and embed the files in PowerPoint.
  3. This will be a great tool for students when they brainstorm for any assignment in class (a writing assignment, steps for a science experiment, vocabulary practice, and steps for solving a math problem).
  4. Very excited. I’ve been keeping a list of ways this could be used at my school. My list is up to 23!! I think this tool is very easy for students to learn. This is a plus.
  5. I don’t want to forget about the undo button, and that you can embed a mind-map into a document or a PowerPoint.
  6. This tool could be used by teachers to plan and map out lessons. Students could use this tool for writing story plotlines, learning vocabulary (write the word, definition, synonym or antonym, use in sentence, part of speech), mapping out duties for a project (writer, time keeper, presenter, etc.), and outlining paragraphs for a paper.
  7. My aha moment was realizing that the technologies we have been studying and learning about can be applied to any subject and any activity in the classroom. There is no limit to the number of applications these technologies can be used with. What I will take away from this course is whatever the subject or subject matter, there is a web 2.0 tool or technology that can be used to enhance the lesson. Students will be more interested in their learning, and it will help them in the future if they are using these tools and gaining experience from using these tools.
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Week 4 Shared Media

Here is my embedded video. I like cats (although I don’t really like the two I have now), and this video is funny!!

Here is my embedded photo from Picassa. (I’m not sure if it’s actually embedded. I did the link and url thing, but I’m still not sure.) Anyway…

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/BVbLDHc6x2_h2N1FsJ501w?feat=directlink

1. I learned about TeacherTube and what a great resource it can be. Great search feature will lead you to anything you want. I also learned how to embed a YouTube video!! Very excited about that. I always wondered how people did that. Now I know.

2. My future blogs can have embedded images and videos instead of having readers copy and paste the url. This makes the experience more enjoyable for the reader.

3. I feel very excited when I think about all the applications. Very anxious to show the teachers at my school how they can also use these features (in class, staff developments).

4. I don’t want to forget how to embed YouTube videos.

5. As I mentioned above. Teachers can use this for in class presentations and for staff development. Students can embed videos or photos into class projects or interactive presentations.

6. Yes, I think these tools should definitely be used. If you embed a video you don’t have to hunt for it during the presentation. You just click the play button. This will save time and make the lesson go much more smoothly.

7. Can you embed a YouTube video in a PowerPoint?

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Week 3: Social Networking

  1. I learned that there are many, many more social networks out there than I could imagine. The list on Google had social networks that fit many niches. There are social networks for those interested in photos, film, parenting, books, music, academic research, and on and on.

One of the articles I read was called “Does Social Networking Impair Learning” by Brian Solis (http://www.briansolis.com/2009/08/does-social-networking-impair-learning/). The article discusses multitasking and asks if people choose to be distracted as they become immersed in all that a social network has to offer. The author also wonders if some users just have a sense of community and feel invested and if this is a new way of learning.

2. I joined Goodreads. This social network caters to book lovers who want to share reviews and thoughts on their favorite books. After signing up, you rate books you have read in several categories (classic books, fiction, etc.) so the site has a baseline of the kind of books you have read and how much you like them. You rate each book (one to five stars). Then you can add titles to your own personal catalog and leave comments and reviews about each. The site is linked with Facebook and Twitter so you can interact with your friends from these networks as well.

I joined this network because I love to read and share my thoughts on books, and I thought this would help me professionally because I am a librarian.

3. I do have a Facebook account. I don’t get on it a whole lot because I know it can be a time drain (reading everyone’s comments about this and that, playing the games, etc.). It is a great way to keep up with what your friends are up to and see photos. I have found some friends from high school and college that I had lost touch with. I really like that aspect. I am also going to a 30th (Uggh!!) eighth grade reunion this weekend that was totally organized on Facebook. I have also joined Twitter recently (after I read the syllabus for this class a few weeks ago). I think it is very interesting to see what famous actors, athletes, or politicians have to say. I have been following John Cleese (Monty Python fame) and several athletes (GO DIRK!!). Some people tweet very frequently but others only once a week or even less often. I haven’t tweeted anything because no one follows me. How does someone develop a following? Haven’t figured that one out yet.

I joined Facebook out of curiosity. My wife and son had accounts and seemed to be having fun with it, so that’s why I joined.

4. I used del.icio.us (now Delicious) for the social bookmarking tool. I really see this as a useful tool!! I always thought of bookmarks as being a personal, private set of information, but it really presents a wonderful opportunity to share with others. Bookmarks are resources and these resources can now be shared by colleagues and friends. If I have found a great site for lesson plans, I can now share that resource easily with others who can benefit from it. I definitely plan to use this to pool and share resources.

5. I see many advantages to using these tools. The Goodreads site can direct me to new and exciting books that my students would enjoy reading. This would influence what books I recommend and order for the library. Delicious can be used to share resources with teachers and fellow librarians. I could find a great website that has activities on tall tales and legends, bookmark it with Delicious, and be able to share it with teachers who also use Delicious. This is an easy and efficient way to get resources to teachers.

I really don’t see any disadvantages for these tools. With Facebook I have read about the bullying that can happen and the mean things people can post to each other. This aspect of Facebook would be a detriment to learning, but Facebook isn’t allowed through our internet filter at school. Also, it is for those 14 and older.

6. The bookmarking would be a great tool in the classroom. I can envision an activity on finding resources. This activity would give students practice finding good sources and then sharing what they have found with fellow students. There could also be discussions on what makes one source of information better that another. Students would be able to see what sources other students have collected and easily compare sources.

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Week 2 Reflection

This is the link to my podcast. Enjoy. You may  need to copy and paste it in your browser. The link icon above is grayed out for some reason.

http://etec561mikedouthit.blogspot.com/2011/06/podcast-for-etec-597.html

1. I chose to use Google Reader. I already had a Google account and use it for e-mail and GoogleDocs. It is very easy to use and figure out. It’s also easy to subscribe to different sites. I read the tutorial and it was a snap.

I subscribe to podcasts from The Ticket, a sports radio station in Dallas and to Mike & Mike In the Morning, an ESPN radio show. I really like sports and enjoy the shows. For the RSS reader I chose The Onion. I think the articles are absolutely hilarious. I also follow The Two Man Game, an ESPN blog about basketball.

2. For RSS, I learned how easy it is to have all of this information delivered to you. It’s like the newspaper being delivered to your house. One of the videos we watched equated it to Netflix (delivered to your house) and a Blockbuster store (you have to go out and find it). So much easier this way. I also learned how to subscribe to various feeds (pushing the feed icon or simple copying and pasting the url).

I already knew a little about making mp3 files with Audacity, but finding a site to host it took a little time. Blogger won’t let you upload an audio file. It has to be an image or a video. So, I made a “video” using an image and the mp3 file with Windows Movie Maker. For simple projects, WMM works well.

3. I can think of many uses for these technologies. I plan to subscribe to some education and library blogs. This will give me instant access to information on education (teaching trends, research), others’ opinions on issues that affect the library, and lesson plan ideas. With podcasting, I can create a weekly update on the happenings in the library, a list of new books that are available, and the library schedule. Students and staff will be able to easily get this information.

4. I don’t want to forget how to post the podcast so others can access it. I read a classmates blog and saw that she used Beanpod. She didn’t have to make a video like I did. She only had to upload the mp3. That sounds much easier. I will definitely want to remember that.

5. In the classroom, students can create podcasts for permanent resources that review what they have learned. That way, they can access them and listen to them wherever and whenever they choose. Students can also use podcasts to share information with other schools around the state or country (current weather or pollen counts in our area).

6. I was trying to figure out how to unsubscribe to a feed with Google Reader. I played with it for a while, but it wasn’t apparent how to do that. Also, will podcasting work with other audio formats, such as wav files?

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Week 1 Reflection

I learned that Web 2.0 includes many tools, such as podcasts, wikis, e-mail, texting, social networks (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter), and blogs. All of these platforms bring ideas, people, and information closer to each other. One video we watched talked about a collective intelligence, and that the internet is a platform to make the world smarter. With so much access to information and ideas, it makes sense that that would be the result. So many resources at our fingertips will make us more informed and allow us to share and even improve on the ideas of others.

I really like the Edublogs site. I have been looking for a safe blogging site for students at my elementary school. This seems like the perfect solution. It is designed only for education, has no adult content, no exposure to other blogs, and class blog management features. It also said that it is accessible by most schools. The filter at my school is pretty “filtery”. It doesn’t let much get by. Hopefully it will allow access to this site. This would allow the students at my school to blog and reap the benefits from this great Web 2.0 tool.  The other blogs, Blogger and WordPress, aren’t as kid friendly, but they really weren’t designed to be. I have used Blogger in the past. I really enjoyed using it, and it is very straightforward and easy to use. I decided to use WordPress because I had never used it before. I like it so far. It seems similar to Blogger in many respects. I will have to explore more of its features as I write more blogs.

I mentioned earlier that I plan to introduce Edublogs to the teachers and students at the elementary school where I work. I am positive that the students would really enjoy writing and sharing their thoughts and assignments with each other and with students at other schools.

Honestly, I selected WordPress because I had used Blogger for another class and the class assignments are on this blog.

Blogs have unlimited uses and applications in the classroom and library setting. For Language Arts, students could blog after each chapter of a novel the class is reading. For science, students cold blog the results of a class experiment and share the data with other sections or with other schools. For social studies, students could blog about their favorite legend or tall tale and make up a story about one of these fictional characters.

I guess the only question I have is can someone read your blog without having an e-mail address? From what I understand, you have the option to let everyone see it or only those invited. If someone you have invited doesn’t have an e-mail address, is it still possible for them to read it and make comments?

 

 

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