Monday, August 3, 2009

Thing #23

Really was impressed with Creative Commons. I want to share it with others. Would really like to put together a similar type lesson. All the library resources that I found. Learning how to work with my blog – adding video really helped me. Atomic Learning…all of the similar sites – really enjoy self-paced learning. The sites and blogs that we were introduced to will help me keep pace with the technology that I need to be using with our students. I am a life-long learner – enjoy learning new things. Now know that I've been given the tools to make the learning easier and more meaningful. As soon as my blog graduates I will re purpose it for the library. Have had one in the past but never really knew how to use it effectively - now I do. I considered myself fairly knowledgeable about all things technological. Was surprised by how much I did not know. The program was more time consuming than I imagined it would be, but (and I mean this sincerely) I learned so much more than I ever expected. Being taught how to do something and then having to put it into practice on our blog, Flckr, Photostory – great. The format worked for me. On the right hand side of the page I would have liked Rules Sheet to have been a link to a sheet that listed dates, how to graduate, and other info in a brief bulleted format. I definitely would participate in another 23 Things. Because I have family that lives out of town it is often hard to schedule staff development in the summer. It’s great to learn at your own pace, in your own place, and be part of a meaningful learning experience. Unexpected is the one word I would use to describe my experience – exceeds expectations, the phrase. Highly recommended, two thumbs up are others. Thanks.

Thing #22

My favorite of the Nings was the Texas School Librarian Ning. I think Nings are special because they get like minded people together who are passionate about something – profession, hobby, etc. They love sharing the best of their knowledge. In their collaboration they grow, inspire, and encourage others to do likewise. Just browsing the Nings I found two videos that I can use to help my students. Here's one

I would like to use a Ning for a Reading Circle. Have invited students talk about what they’ve been reading – critique books and recommend them. Have students vote on favorite all time books (funniest, scariest, etc.) and post the results for all to see in our library. At school teams, departments, subject areas (district), grade levels, and classrooms could effectively use Nings.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thing #21

And what a thing this was, whew! I have used Photostory before but only added narration once. I really need to work on this. Getting the pictures in went fine; I added too many though. Won't make that mistake again. Looking back I should have used fewer pictures and scanned some of the pictures from the book to give students a real 'feel' for it. This was very time consuming. I will be able to work faster and more efficiently once I get more practice with syncing the audio with the video. I should have typed in my script in the space provided but read from a printed page instead. I've been using Animoto lately to make book promos for the broadcast system. I like it, but I don't think the free version of Animoto offers the narration feature. I will use Photostory more often thanks to this lesson. I'm going to put together some lessons for the library and share what I've learned with our teachers.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thing #20

Had a great deal of trouble accessing TeacherTube. Finally got into searching videos and had a ball. I love this stuff. They have everything you can imagine pertaining to a library, from a clip of Mr. Bean in a library to some pretty good lessons. They vary widely in quality and content. Some have great content but the sound quality or picture quality is poor. I saved several that I will weed through later when I have more time to use in my library lessons. Found others that I think our teachers will use. I would never have thought that YouTube would be such a good resource for the classroom. The more specific your search the better, but you still have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. There are so many videos to go through on every topic, and many that look promising at first, aren't and vice versa. But I think it's worth the effort. I want to make some videos of my own but there's no sense in reinventing the wheel. We are fighting for kids' attention, and we need tools just like this one for our 21st century learners. The video that I embedded is a Dewey Decimal rap. It's hilarious, and the kids will love it. A great way to begin and end our lesson.

Thing #19

I chose to explore Writeboard. It’s a collaborative writing and word processing tool. A document can be shared with a select audience, and they can work together adding, editing, and commenting on that document. The unique feature is that all former versions of the document can be seen. All editions are listed with the time they were made; a dot (by its size) indicates whether the edit was extensive or not. Items deleted from the version of a document are greyed out and struck through making it easy to see where changes were made. This is the feature that sets it apart from a wiki. Documents can be exported, and print can be copied into a document. Email addresses of those who will share the document are added, and they are sent an email with the web address of the document and the password needed for access. An RSS feed can be set up and alerts sent when someone makes changes.

This would be great for student work. Students could work in groups to produce a paper, and teachers could see who made changes and when. Or the whole class could participate in a project. It would be a great tool for planning school events, working together on lesson plans or schedules, and last but not least committee meetings. The only drawback I saw was that codes needed to be used for italics, bold, numbering columns, etc. There’s a formatting guide that can easily be seen when editing, and if some find that too complicated they can just leave out the formatting.

Thing #18

Decided to try OpenOffice because I've already done some work with Google Docs. The download took longer than expected. Some advantages: it's free and the updates are free, looks very similar to MS Office, if you use MS Office on a regular basis it shouldn't take long to learn the in and outs of the program, liked the different templates it had for its presentations, you can go to file and then export your documents to a pdf file (one of my favorite features - no muss no fuss), under file, new, you can choose a new word, database, presentation, spreadsheet, etc. document (don't have to leave Word to go to Draw or any of the other applications), and you can open MS Office documents with this program.

Disadvantages: worst of all I saved some documents and MS Office would not open them(so I'm concluding that OpenOffice would need to be installed on any computer where these files would be used, majority of people use MS Office-sharing documents would be difficult, I thought that it was a bit slower than MS Office, help feature not as easy to use as that of MS Office (was trying to add a background in draw and never found the help I needed), and it's not as slick and polished.

I do think it is amazing that this is freeware - powerful, so much like MS Office, and it's free! Can you imagine the possiblities if more people were using it?

Thing #17

Rollyo was easy to use and we'll use it in the library to make searching more efficient for our students. Anything that will help them get to the information they need faster without wasting precious time trying to wade through irrelevant info. My searchroll will be used to help students get started with their science projects. Some have direct information about putting together a project and others have videos and other information that will help students choose a topic.

I was so impressed with the video by Bruce Goodner. I want to get a video lesson put together before school starts. The Common Craft site and Bruce - great examples of what we should be doing. Lessons like these would definitely get the attention of your audience, and they could be shared.