Wordle: Diane

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thing #13 - Tagging

Finally, something to help people like me get organized.  God bless!  I think the opportunity for teachers and librarians to be able to share their research is a huge benefit.  Delicious and Diigo provide a wonderful, free service.  This is a perfect example of "synergizing."  Two heads are better than one.  I know many times the person who I plan lessons with will have found different sites from mine.  The ability to share will benefit everyone.  Plus, think about the time saved.  Time is something that none of us have enough of. 

I think the podcast "Learning 2.0 and Delicious" was very helpful.  It is important, when introducing something new, to provide clear and easy to understand explanations.  From my understanding, we are not able to access Delicious from Katy ISD.  I spent the majority of my time focusing on Diigo.  I really liked the fact that they have a special educator account.  This feature allows a teacher to set-up student accounts for an entire class and they become a group.  They will be able to share information among each other.  Wow!  Imagine students doing Big6 with this tool in their toolbox.  I feel the most beneficial part of this for teachers is that many times we are not at our personal computer and it is frustrating to know that you have a bookmark you can't access.  For example, when I take my students to the computer lab, I can't pull up my personal bookmarks.  Now I will have access wherever I am. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thing #12 - Creating Community Through Commenting

I learned a lot about blogging by reading the articles.  I didn't realize there was an etiquette for blogging.  I found 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog to be very helpful.  The first thing I did halfway through reading the article was to go back and add a question to my last post.  I think asking questions in your blog is a great idea!   I also appreciated what the Cool Cat Teacher Blog discussed.  I truly appreciated "write a meaningful comment."  Too many times people are saying, "Yeah" or "Exactly."  Real communication needs to include thinking or feeling and when people write something they want to know that they have "touched" someone else. 

I really enjoyed commenting on other people's blogs from our class.  I haven't done much of that before this because I have been worried about keeping up with this project.  It was really fun and I will continue doing it.  It really is a neat way to get to know people.

Every week I yell at the tv whenever "Shear Genius" comes on.  It's not the best show, but it's interesting to watch some of the looks that the hairstylists come up with.  The new host is Camilla Alves.  She drives me crazy!  I can't understand a word she says - she ruins the show.  I went to BravoTV.com and commented.  I couldn't believe the nasty things that people were saying.  Mine was very tame.

Thing #11 - LibraryThing

I have really enjoyed working with LibraryThing.  It is easy to use and the site has access to so many books.  I was impressed that it is connected to Amazon.com and the Library of Congress.  Even though I have a Shelfari account, I will still use LibraryThing.  I plan to use my Shelfari account with my students for their reading logs, so I am going to use my account with LibraryThing for personal use.  I enjoy discussing books that I have read, and now I will have access to learn about books I want to read as well.  I looked through some of the groups and I found one that addresses my favorite:  Crime, Thriller & Mystery.  My favorite authors are John Grisham and Mary Higgins Clark.  I can honestly see myself using this.  I also added a widget for LibraryThing on my blog.  This was fun!

Which do you like better? - LibraryThing or Shelfari

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thing # 10 - Online Image Generator

These are  my babies!  What a great way to show them off.  I think Trading Card Maker is a lot of fun to use.  I can see my students using this to create a book review or a new way to do a character map. 

I created a Wordle near the top of my blog to represent me.  Instead of doing a regular wordsplash on the board, I think creating a wordle would be a lot more fun. This would be a neat way to introduce a new concept or bring out prior knowledge before a new unit of study.  The kids could make them for individual characters from stories that they read and then have other students try to figure out what character they were talking about or what story they came from.

Glogster is a really neat program - but I use the educational version, not the regular one.  My students used it earlier this year to wrap up a novel they read.  They were required to have atleast 4 text boxes, along with 4 images.  They were also required to include a new wallpaper and one JPEG from a powerpoint slide that they had created specifically for this project.  The text boxes included information like figurative language, quotes from the book, character traits, and history of the Native Americans represented in the novel.  I found this program to be very user friendly.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thing #9 - Creating Your Circle of Wise

All of this is really new to me.  The Cool Cat Teacher Blog offered a lot of critical information.  The article on "How to Create your Circle of Wise" was very informative.  Being new to blogging, I enjoyed the way Davis broke down the topic into several categories and discussed each.  I never really thought about bloggers in terms of "types" - the conversationalists and the egotists.  Now that I am reading blogs - I see her point.  I totally agree that this information will help me do a better job of choosing those RSS feeds that truly fit my needs.  I definitely don't need to be reading MSNBC when I have access to Fox News.  I wonder if I made more friends or enemies with that statement?  I really like Blue Skunk Blog and ALA Connect.  I enjoy just sitting there and reading what other people have to say.

I enjoyed using the search tool Topix.net.   It was user friendly and it provided a large number of  "results."  I found School Library Blogs on Suprglu frustrating.  At first I couldn't get the link to work.  Eventually I figured out the problem  and was then able to use it.  I didn't really find it helpful and it wasn't visually appealing.   As trivial as it may seem - sometimes visual appeal is important. 

Thing #8 - RSS Feeds

At first I found this very frustrating.  I wasn't really sure what I was suppose to do with this. Then I found a list with some wonderful choices to subscribe to.  I have fallen in love with Joyce Valenza and I really seemed to gel with Doug Johnson's quirkiness.  I think Google Reader can be invaluable.  I believe I will really enjoy using the account I set up.  I never really thought about how much time I spend searching or retrieving the same sites when it is so much easier for it to be sent to me on a regular basis. 

In terms of librarian use, I think it will be wonderful having immediate and continuous access to my most trusted sites for information that is essential to my profession.  This will keep me linked to the most current research and "thinking" in my field. 

I think anytime we, as educators, have access to professional literature, it will help us be more effective in our learning communities. 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thing #7 - Google

I had no idea that Google had so many applications.  I loved looking at all the 3-D clips on Google Earth Blog and the Google earth sightseer offers up-to-date information and fun things for kids to learn about.   

I enjoyed looking at all the neat experiments at Google Labs.  I cannot believe things have gotten so high-tech.  Google shopper could become a real problem for people like me.

I found some great free clip-art while playing with Google - I just can't remember where.  Sorry!

I forgot to discuss Google Docs in my original post.  Wow!  Again, I never realized these functions existed.  The one that really got me excited was the ability to load all the user-safe powerpoints into a google account and then make the presentations from there.  This will increase the number of students truly paying attention during presentations.   If you have ever suffered through kids making powerpoints presentations the old fashion way - you will appreciate this new capability.  OMG it is painful!!  I was also excited about the "share and collaborate in real time" capability.  Whenever you are creating a document that will be used by more than one person, it is great that everyone can see it and work on it together.