Thursday, January 5, 2012

11 Tools # 1--Creating an avatar

This was fun and easy--liked all the options of outfits and backgrounds! yee-haw!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thing #23!

I'm still working on a few bits of the other Things, but they're pretty small, and I can answer these questions!

1) My favorite discoveries were the sheer number of tools and how they all work together, but mainly the Rollyo seach engine and then how to use an RSS feeder.

2) I think I have received a boost in my technological and learning abilities, since I didn't know much about almost all of the Web 2.0 tools. And I guess I still don't, really! But I've liked what I've tried. With more practice, I can post my own videos to TeacherTube and share with all the teachers and librarians out there!

3) My main unexpected takeaways were just how many things out there a teacher can use, and how many things are already set up to help us (like TeacherTube). It's exciting to see educators being so actively involved in new technological developments.

4) I think the concept is good, and I think the format is good...some of the sites/videos don't work, but most of them are flagged or have a note by them at least to that effect. Otherwise, it was very easy to use.

5) I would like to be told about any new programs coming up.

6) 23 Things taught me a million great ways to become a better teacher!


Thing #22

A Ning could be very useful as an outside source to connect all of my classroom parents. They're currently connected to the goings-on for school things, but since many of the students also do extracurricular activities together (or have friends that do), a Ning for each class would not only allow parents a non-affiliated way to be in touch, but it's also something they could keep using throughout the schoolyear and beyond, as my students become someone else's students. Miss S's Ning would be useful during the schoolyear, but it would also give that group of parents and students a way to stay in touch in the future if they wanted.

More important, it's a pretty easy thing to set up, and I could do one for each year to keep my new class plugged in!

Thing #21*

Photostory is a really easy way to make a multimedia presentation! It's so simple to use, and even comes with some effects and things to put on the pictures. You can make a slideshow about anything in just minutes! Easy cheesy! And a lot of fun! I liked it.

But I couldn't get my photostory to upload, so I just took some of my recent pictures of random things, added some effects, and since I don't have a microphone I uploaded a song as the background. Not as exciting, but still fun! It definitely took the video FOR-EV-ER to upload, though.

*I came back to this post, so I changed the time stamp to keep them in order.

Thing #20

Wow! Obviously, videos have been an important teaching tool since I was in 3rd grade, but instead of checking out a VHS or searching for the right DVD, you can pretty much find anything you need online.

Youtube has a lot of silly or frivolous things, but it also has a number of learning resources on educational technology (not to mention all the how-to's on Web 2.0 tools)!

I found the following video on TeacherTube. This is a speech from a 9-year-old prodigy/author named Adora Svitak, discussing her book "Flying Fingers" at Stony Brook University!

Thing #19

I did not have to look far down the list to find my winner: #1 in collaborative writing and word processing, Google Docs! It really is amazing what you can do online, and even for free, which so recently was limited to what you had on the computer. I remember my parents working on an old computer with Windows 3.1 and the first versions of Word; now, I can co-write a paper or make a spreadsheet with friends in real-time, online, with just a few clicks.

It goes anywhere you do with an internet connection, and obviously has many useful academic purposes. For students old enough, it allows them a fast and easy and FREE way to write papers or work on group projects. For me, it is a useful way to stay on the same page with my coworkers and even friends on a variety of projects.

Thing #18

I actually read a news story about this recently... the rumor is that the next version of MS Office will be web-based, and that they will eventually be migrating to an all-web format. Maybe the situation was that you can get a "free" web version of Office that has ads and reduced features in it, and the desire to get more features and get rid of the ads will inspire people to buy the real version. But why do that when you can get them already??

I am more familiar with Google overall, so I prefer Google docs, but it looks like OpenOffice is more in-depth. Obviously some disadvantages are that if you lose internet you lose access to the online materials. But I think there is major advantages, in that 1) things are migrating to open-source and online anyway, and 2) open-source and free beats paying a whole lot of money for something you'll just have to pay to upgrade in a year or two anyway!