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Sunday, July 18, 2010

11.5 Things. Thing #11.5

1. What were your favorite discoveries of exercises on this learning journey?

There were many cool things on this journey, some of them I was already familiar with, others only partly, some, new and fun, and some ,new and not so fun. One of the things I found new and fun was the screencast. I found this very useful as a teaching tool in teaching things that have to do with a computer, including access to the Internet and Web 2.0. I also found that I liked the image generators. I was already very familiar with Animoto, but was surprised to learn about Voki, Bookr, and Glogster. I can see many uses for these in education. I also liked Wordle and Wordsift as they give meaning to text that might not jump out at you without it.

2. How has this assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

I see this as a catalyst to seeing the possibilities. Without teaching tools like this, we might become stagnant. This tool actually gave me a boost in wanting to see what else is out there and how I can use it in my life and my work. I don't see this just as a boost to my teaching credentials but also a boost to my personal life. While much of what is out there might appeal to other people, there is still much that appeals to me and this exercise helps me achieve accessing these opportunities.

3. Were there any take-aways or any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

Well, surprise is a strong word. I don't really get too surprised when it comes to new technology. I am a person fully aware of technological advances. However, that beign said, I still was surpried at how advanced virtual worlds have become. Many people are in the system at any one time and one can "run into" another just like in the real world. Scary.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program's format or concept?

I'm not sure you really couls improve this in its current form. This is a great tool to introduce people to the Internet and Web. 2.0. I think that you could improve upon this format for a differnet set of objectives and that is to realy make the player more involved in the process and create actual working products that directly relate to education. I know that there is a 6.75 things and that this might address this but I have not looked at them yet.

11.5 Things. Thing #11

Digital citizenship is all of the things that have to do with Internet access, from etiquette to literacy. I noticed that many of the blogs focused more on literacy than the others. I can see why since they are teachers and in education our primary focus is on how to use the Internet in teaching and research. I think that I would probably share that focus more with the other facets as the Internet is fast becoming a primary form of communication and information gathering tool for these students both formally and informally. I would probably start with the less "dry" part of digital citizenship to catch their attention. These would ecompass digital etiquette, communication, law, and security. We would cover how to properly use the Internet and how to not properly use the Internet covering things such as cyber bullying, putting too much personal information out, legal ramifications of plagerism, etc. Then I would move into digital literacy and talk about checking resources and not relying on Google, etc. I would finish with some of the more "sexy" parts of digital citizenship such as commerce. I could be fun to look at sites such as ebay, Amazon, etc. and how to trust them as well. Digital citizenship is pretty encompassing and might take more than one lesson.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

11.5 Things. Thing #10

I joined Second Life and another one I can't remember. I know I had to deal with a bunch of British girls. These sites can be fun for many but do not do much for me. I would much rather spend my time in the real world. That being said, I can see this technology finding itself in the educational technology of the future. In fact, I worked with a librarian in my district this summer who already uses it. She showed us how it can be used to bring people to many places that they would not be able to visit in real life. A geography or foreign language class can use this to visit foreign lands. There are also places like the Capital of Texas to visit or under the ocean. A teacher of librarian can use these places to augment an already existing lesson.

Monday, July 12, 2010

11.5 Things. Thing #9

Slideshare, Slideboom, and others are social networking sites that focused on presentations. A person can upload a presentation to share with others. They can be grouped by category. One can also sign into a like minded group to share and network. I see students using this as a way to share their work. For example, a science class has a project that has students make a presentation on ecology. Students could upload their presentations to a group that is the class and be able to share the presentations. They can do a voice over as if they were actually doing the presentation in front of a live audience. The site also will create an embed code to upload into blogs or other social networking sites. They can also comment and share ideas online. This could be a useful tool for specific projects.

11.5 Things. Thing #8

Well, certain things can be taught using this tool that could free up the librarian such as the one I made teaching how to use the OPAC. But a video could be used to teach how to access EBSCO and use it. Also, students could make some screencasts for other students to watch. In Spring Branch, students are required to do a "How to" speech. This could be a way of facilitating that project. I used Freescreencast to do mine. Below is my screencast. It's a bit subdued but it still works.

11.5 Things. Thing #7

I'm not sure exactly how to use many of the videos on totlol for the really young children except as a way to show them how to use technology as the videos really serve no educational purpose. However, I found some very appropriate videos under the tween filter. There was a bunch of videos on how things were made, such as gum, peanut butter and cheese. I would definitely have these videos available for science classes to watch, especially for students who might be doing a project. The students could link to them in a PowerPoint presentation to enhance the multimedia aspect of the presentation. totlol is powered by YouTube.

I also like
PBS Video, Nova. I can see some of the videos being showed on a projected screen for and entire class to watch. There are videos on different aspects of space and astronomyand the Sphinx in Egypt.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

11.5 Things. Thing #6

I do not own an IPhone or an ITouch or and IMac. I have, however; played around with other peoples devices. I like the idea of having particular applications to do specific things. One only has to push the button of the app to access a certain vehicle for information or guided research or play. Rather than having to go to different websites, the application is already at your fingertips. I think that the library can use certain applications on ITouches to facilitate learning. Applications such as USAFactbook can give students immediate information on the U.S. states. GoogleEarth is a great application for geography. WeatherBug is great for science. NetSketch is great for art. In LemonadeStand, the students can run their own lemonade stand from advertising to sales, etc.