Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thing #23 - Reflection of Learnings

As I reflect on my 23 Things experiences and learning I realize I've come a long way but the journey is in no way over. Working through the 23 Things discovery program brought excitement, frustration, agony, success and absolutely no defeat. I really enjoyed this journey!

My favorite discoveries are blogging (quite shocking I must say as I was very resistant in the beginning), Flikr, online image generators, Del.icio.us, and Wikis. I created a wiki, very easy to do, but deleted it due to the fact that students must have e-mail accounts to participate. Del.icio.us has already come in handy when working on a project with co-workers.

This program affected my lifelong learning goals by introducing me to the next generation of web tools and helping me realize I can learn how to use them, find application for their use in education, and encourage me to continue to expand my knowledge and experience in the use of web2.0.

I am very surprised how much I've enjoyed blogging. It is so against my nature and yet I've really enjoyed it, found it so easy to do with little time and effort (compared to many other 2.0 tools), and plan on using it with my students. I've already begun constructing an educational blog. It's still in the design stage but now I know I can do it!

I can't really see that there needs to be any changes in this program. It is well organized giving very specific instructions and expectations allowing Players' to progress at their own rate. After reading some of the other Players' blogs it seems some people might benefit by splitting the program into two separate pieces, 12 Things & 12 More Things. For me, I think it was perfect.

I would be thrilled to participate in another discovery program. I enjoyed everything about this program and thrive on the self pacing aspect. I know that I would only be able to participate during the summer session though as school already takes 10 hours of my day. Participating in this type of program requires me to have a functioning brain which I can't say I have at the end of a work day.

23 Things will stretch your mind, aggravate your mind, lift your mind to new levels of learning and performance.

I think I shall go respond to other Players' blogs now.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thing #22 - Nings

I explored all three of the Nings offered enjoying different aspects of each of them. I will probably join the Texas School Librarian Ning as it offers information and interaction with professionals that are experiencing the same issues I am. The local connection is most relevant for me. However, the global Ning, Teacher Librarian Ning, does offer a different perspective so I might join that Ning as well.

I must say my favorite feature of the three Nings was in "Ning for Teachers," the lesson plans. I read through many of them and found several could be useful and were pertinent to my school population/curriculum.

I would like to see the two librarian nings add the lesson plan component to their site. Everyone is always looking for fresh ideas and approaches to our basic curriculum and I can't think of a better place to collect and share lessons and ideas. I will probably join "Ning for Teachers" as well.

As for creating a Ning for my school....well I have thoughts swirling in my brain and will hopefully form/settle on a good idea for a school literacy ning. It will take a little more mulling and planning time though. I think I will need to play with ning creation first.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thing #21 - Podcasts

Finally I hit a subject I know something about, very little, but at least I've had some experience. I created a videocast this past year and found it to be time consuming. It really wasn't difficult but there are so many steps!! I think if I had time I could get really interested in using this tool. It is fun, easy to use, and a great way to get information to your audience. I can't say that my webcast has been viewed much but it is for a limited audience. See below.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thing # 20 - Exploring YouTube and TeacherTube

It's amazing the number of videos that are available from very amateurish to semi-pro. I found a number of videos that were very useful, some just fun to watch, and others pure torture. I do feel that having such a wide range of educational videos available at the click of a mouse is amazing and quite useful in the classroom. I've located a couple that I might use with classes and I've found a couple that have given me ideas to help me launch/create my own video. After watching what some vidographers have posted I don't feel quite so reluctant to launch my own school made video. I can't it is a tool I will use often but now that I've experienced the YouTube revolution I'm sure that I will utilize some great videos for my students.

It took me a couple of tries before I got the following video embedded. It was actually quite simple, that's if it works once I post it.

Thing #19 - Web 2.0 Awards List

What a cruel assignment! I can't stop playing. Yes, so many wonderful Web 2.0 resources I almost drove myself...crazier.

I explored many of the tools listed on the site and found many personal applications. However, as an elementary librarian I found several of the sites had inappropriate "matter" for young children readily available. So, that issue alone knocked out several tools from my kiddies toolbox. Several more of the tools were blocked from use here at school eliminating them from school use, I'm assuming the same issue here. I finally settled on Biblio.com. It is a great resource for tracking down hard to find, out of print books. I plan on using the site to locate a number of titles I wanted this past year but could not locate through my usual book sources. It is very simple to use and should come in very handy.

Now, back to Web 2.0 playing.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thing #18 - Online Productivity Tools

I selected GoogleDocs to explore. One advantage to GoogleDocs is the share feature. What a great way to create documents and share them with anyone anywhere. It would make a collaborative project a bit easier to share. Also, the programs were very easy to use with excellent features offered. The fact that they are offered free is obviously an advantage to some users. Our school families are unable to afford computers for their home. When necessary students could use public library computers, establish a Google account, save their work, retrieve their work, access their work at school, and more through this free account.

I was surprised that it offered files to be saved as a PDF.

Thing #17 - Rollyo

Customized search engine, how great is that. After reading about Rollyo it sounded so easy to use, and was, somewhat. I created a searchroll quickly but then stumbled around in the Rollyo site trying to figure out all the bells and whistles. I'm not sure this is a tool that I will use often but possibly after I've played with it a bit more I will become more proficient and comfortable using the program. As a librarian I consider myself to be fairly efficient at searching the web but possibly have a customized search engine would improve on the process. I named my searchroll "Book Search", how totally uncreative I know but found it useful for me.