Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thing 23: Reflections

I think 23 things is a great thing. I would definitely do it again. I would love to learn the next 23 things. It really has not changed my opinion about Web 2.0 tools, but it made me really experiment with them. I really enjoyed and I learned so much that I am integrating into my own teaching. It is definitely the way of the future. Some of my favorite tools were blogging, mashups, netvibes, flickr, and podcasting. To me it is a miracle I even found this self-paced exercise. I have learned so much. Please let me know if you add to the 23 things. I think it will help us all be better teachers in the 21st century.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thing 22: Your Turn

I am working with a teacher on how to integrate Voicethread in the classroom. She has really enjoyed it and will continue to use it. Her class has been working on biographies of people that have contributed to our great country. They each have to create a page that represents the person they have chosen to study. Their classmates have to comment on their peers' page either by typing or leaving an audio message.

I have also been looking for a powerful Web 2.0 tool for a time line. I think I may have found one, but I need to peruse it more. It is XTimeLine. It is a collaborative time line. You can actually collaborate with other teachers or students anywhere at any time. You can upload photos, videos, web links, and text. You can invite others, like maybe an expert, to discuss, add, or comment to the time line. I think this is an excellent Web 2.0 tool for a history/social studies lesson. I looked at many of the Web 2.0 tools at the hot links, and I think it is endless what we can do now as teachers. There are so many ways to support our students. I think it is also very necessary for the teachers that enjoy the new tools to share and support the teachers that are afraid of the new tools.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thing 21: Twitter, Tweets, and Retweets

I have been on Twitter for about a year. My name on twitter is ceceliaoconnell The main thing that I do is follow people. I realize that I need to get myself out there, but I don't even know what I would say. I do read a lot of good articles on teaching and technology and web 2.0 tools to integrate into the classroom. I guess I could start with that. I have found a plethora of information on Twitter. That is where I discovered this 23 things. At this point, I am basically reading the posts. I did do hashtags today for the first time, and I need to experiment with retweet soon. To me twitter is a great way to collaborate with other professionals. I am sure if I asked an educational question I would receive answers within a few seconds. I think it is a place for professionals to have stimulating conversations. There are always great links to see. I use Twitter in my professional life to learn more as a teacher. It is becoming part of my professional learning network. I need to post more. I do have tweetdeck, and I think it is neat how it organizes everything. Sometimes it gets annoying because it makes a sound every time someone tweets. I also have Twit Pro on my iphone. It is very basic, but it is easy to use. After reading about Tweetie, I am thinking about switching over. The bottom line is I use Twitter in my professional life but not in my personal life. I feel like I am following a great group and learning a lot. Soon I will be posting myself!

Thing 20: Slideshare

I have used Slideshare before when I was in grad school. I used it to present a PowerPoint presentation I had made. It worked out great! I have also used Slideboom, which is very similar to Slideshare. I really don't use Slideshare in the classroom unless there is a particular Slideshare I want to share with them. If I have made a PowerPoint to present to them, I just show the PowerPoint on my Promethean Board. I did find some great Slideshares to show my class. The library has really grown since the last time I used it, and it is easy to search.

I chose the Slideshare "Go West." It was pretty good, and it also gave me an idea to create one of my own on Western Expansion. I will show this to my class and see what they think. Maybe as a class we can create one of our own. Here it is:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thing 19: Podcasting

I really do enjoy making podcasts in my classroom. We recently made podcasts in the classroom. We just finished studying Texas Indians. My class was separated in tribes and they become the experts on that particular tribe. They then wrote a script together to podcast. They added jingles and pictures. They really enjoyed this. We also started to edit them and delete any audio where they may have made a mistake. It was a great learning curve for all of us.

I found itunes to be the easiest to work with. On Educational Podcast Network, I found it very hard to download. When I tried to add it to my Start Page, I had a very difficult time doing it as well. I did download some podcasts and have been listening to them.

These are the ones I downloaded to my itunes.
English through Stories
Tech Chick Tips
Grammar Girl
Math Dude
Princeton Review Vocabulary Minute
Joel Osteen

I really enjoy Tech Chick Tips. I find them funny and motivational. I also enjoy Grammar Girls and Math Dude. They are both very practical. I also enjoy Joel Olsteen because he is so positive. I have really enjoyed this assignment because I have never downloaded podcasts before. I know that I will enjoy listening to them and learning!

Thing 18: Work with a Wiki

I enjoyed playing around on the wiki. I thought it was very easy. I then did the medium assignment. I signed up to join Wikipedia. I added a little to the school article, but I am not sure that it went into the right place. I am going to research this more when I have more time. I read some other articles that interested me, and I edited one for a grammar mistake. I then went to the medium to hard assignment. I really enjoyed Wikia. It looked like people were writing about their passions. I loved the one on recipes, because I enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. I did not sign up for an account yet, but I probably will. I just want to peruse it a little more before I do.

I think it was easy to contribute, but I just wanted to make sure that I was doing it correctly. I thought about that later and realized that if I added something that was not correct someone could edit it for me. When I was in Grad school, we used a moddle a few times for discussions and to upload our work. I really don't see how the wiki and the moodle are alike. People did not go and edit my work on the moodle. It was more of a discussion forum that we had to contribute to. I think if you taught older students you could have them edit wikis for an assignment, or they couldlook for information that is not correct through their research. I use Wikipedia in my classroom when we are doing a quick research. I do like the idea that wiki are open for collaboration.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thing 17: What is a Wiki?

I really enjoy using Wikis because I think they are a great place to collaborate with others. I like the fact that a Wiki is not necessarily about adding new content daily or weekly, but improving the existing content over time by people adding to it. The biggest difference of a blog and a wiki to me is that a blog is usually maintained by one person. A wiki is more of a platform that anyone can add to or update at anytime. I think it is easier to access archived information on Wikis and update that information. Blogs can get confusing at times because the entries are in reverse chronological order. I found some great Wiki ideas from the ones I perused. There was one on Western Expansion that was awesome. I think I am going to model my own Wiki after that one. As I have mentioned in earlier posts my team is starting a new unit on Western Expansion, and I was planning on creating a wiki for this unit. This has really spurred me on. Another wiki I enjoyed was one called "Welcome to the Webster Class Wiki." It was a Wiki that consisted of second and third graders. They had lessons and comments from the students in each discipline. It also spurred my thinking. I also loved Greetings from Around the World where the students used Gloster to share about their home countries. Last but not least, I really enjoyed the Kindergarten Counting Book. All of these wikis are very motivating.

I also looked at Wikihow, and I really enjoyed it. I never knew about that Wiki before. I think you can learn just about anything from that Wiki. I thought the Simpson Wiki was pretty funny if you are into the Simpsons. There are some great Wikis out there! I enjoy learning from them.