Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thing #23

Number 23?! I can't believe it! I guess all good things must come to an end!

I have really enjoyed working through this program. I have learned tons of valuable information that can help me in the library and information for me to pass on to the classroom teachers.

My favorite discovery?
One of my favorite discoveries was on Glogster. I was vaguely familiar with the tool before 23 Things, but I was able to experiment and learn more about it during this program. I have used Glogster with my students and am also planning to use it to present information to my fellow library classmates in a couple of weeks!

Affected my lifelong learning goals?
Completing this program has brought to my attention what forms of technology our students are using every day. If we as educators are going to engage students in their learning, then we must understand and implement these kinds of technology into their learning.

Unexpected outcomes?
I was absolutely DREADING Thing #21 on podcasting/video casting. I was surprised how much I enjoyed seeing the completed assignment. I know that I will take what I have learned from this assignment and find a way to use it in the library with my students. Not only is it a lot of fun, but you feel such a sense of accomplishment with the final product.

Do Differently?
I don't think there is anything that needs to be improved upon. I think the program does a great job at introducing the different kinds of technologies out there. It's up to US to take what we have learned and implement it with our students.

How would I describe my learning experience in ONE WORD?

Thing #22

The only thing I have ever known about Nings is that they were free social networking sites that were private. A lot of educators use Nings in order to promote community and discussion in their classes because firewalls prevent teachers/students from using Facebook or Myspace.

While I was preparing for this post, I found an online article from Wired that discussed co-founder, Marc Andreessen, not being able to keep Nings free any longer. Besides being able to create a content-specific network, the cost of creating a Ning network is one of the major benefits of this platform.

Instead of paying for this service, educators need to look into Facebook and take down the firewalls! On Facebook, groups can be created that are private and can function very similarly to that of the Ning...without any kind of cost.

I reviewed the Texas School Librarians Ning. Although it has 317 members, it does not look like an active network. On the forum tab, there are lots of questions, but only one has any responses! I did find some really cute book reviews/story tubes posted under videos.

Find more videos like this on Texas School Librarians

I think I'll stay with my Facebook network...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thing #21

Podcasting and Videocasting are both things that I have shied away from in the past. They always seemed so difficult and scary to even think about creating! Although I was able to complete a video cast using Photostory, I did not find it very user friendly. I had to use the "help" button often during the making of my vidcast. Also, there was no upload straight to Blogger. I had to save the video to my hard drive and then upload it into this post.

Now that I have completed this assignment, I feel a lot more comfortable about creating another one. Although it can be intimidating, it's feels really good have created it an original video!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thing #20

Youtube and Teachertube are video sharing websites that allow users to upload, share, and view videos. The difference between the two is that Teachertube is designed to allow educators to share educational resources such as video, audio, documents, photos, groups and blogs.

These video sharing websites allow educators the opportunity to access information to supplement their curriculum. Although youtube is blocked by most school districts (since there is no way to control the types of videos that can be uploaded and viewed), teachertube can be accessed and used in lessons from inside many schools. These videos can provide students with information on various subjects, as well as, provide instructional information and training in different areas for teachers. For example, this teachertube video by Lucy Calkins gives teachers some great information on the importance of great teachers and of The Reading Workshop.

Thing #19

Time for Twitter!

According to Wikipedia, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers.

Twitter is a great tool to update information in a concise format since the user is only allowed up to 140 characters in each post. When you follow another person, their updates are posted onto your home page. This is a convenient and efficient way to quickly get up-to-date information.

Libraries and educators in the schools can use this tool by creating profiles and following other libraries, authors, and educators. The teachers in your school can follow the school library Twitter page and be up-to-date on the happenings in the library such as changes in the library schedule, new books, author visits, etc.

Let your library Tweets be heard!

Thing #18

Open Office is a free multi-purpose office suite.

Open Office is an easy to use tool that takes the place of Microsoft Office. Open Office is free and allows students to download word processing, spreadsheets, and databases to their home computers without having to pay the big bucks for commerical products. Also, this tool runs on multiple operating systems (Linux, Windows, and Solaris). Open Office is also open source, which means that the software can be customized to individual or organizational needs. This software also allows students to import Microsoft Office documents.

However, the downside to Open Office is that the common office suite standard throughout the world is Microsoft Office. Since it is not as known (and has not been around as long), Open Office is competing for users.

Open Office allows students to practice and learn technology skills at home and in the classroom without having to spend money on the software.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thing #17

This was my first experience with Rollyo. Rollyo allows you to create a custom type of search engine using only the websites you select. I created a Searchroll for my 4th grade students on Famous Texans. They are currently researching Famous Texans for a research project. Parents and teachers are often concerned with the types of information that students are exposed to when they are researching online. Rollyo is a great tool that allows students to only retrieve information from creditable sources that were selected by the teacher.

Here's a helpful youtube video that shows how to use Rollyo and the Rollbar.