Friday, August 7, 2009

Thing #23

Ok, I made it! Luckily, I stretched my arms so that I didn't pull any muscles reaching around to pat myself on the back. (having the summer to stay in shape helped with that also).

I have enjoyed reading up on the 23 things and learning about some of the things available to us as educators. It was also fun reading various blogs and seeing which of us got into it and let our personalities come through, and those that apparently were only in this for the pdlc credit and quit working on it once the things got more in-depth.

1. My favorite discoveries were how easy it can be to create podcasts, as well as learning what the RSS feeders are. I always noticed the RSS logo, but had no idea what it was for, until this program.

2. This program pretty much underscored the quote I listed in Thing 15, that the more we know, the more we know the less we know. I consider myself proficient in technology, but the more I learned from this, the more I realize there is so much more out there that can be used. I now know that I need to keep searching and broadening my computer horizons.

3. I wasn't totally surprised by anything, it was just good to see the different capabilities we have to enrich the students' learning process by using more technology as final output of projects instead of just plain-jane papers.

4. I don't see too much you can improve on, other than just finding different "things" that you haven't had in the program. That shouldnt' be a problem, as there should be many more things created in future that can be used by librarians and teachers.

5. I would consider participating, but would look at the things first to make sure it wasn't justt more of the same I'd already done. I would want to learn new things.

6. This program was great because not only did I earn some flex hours, but more importantly I learned alot of great ways to use technology immediately in my classes that I hadn't known about before.

7. I'm on it!

Thing #22

After looking at the three Nings listed for us to look at, I think a Ning could work in a high school setting. Majority of students are used to Facebook or Myspace, but are also wary of/turned off by older people (i.e. teachers and administrators and parents) having accounts on there and being "Friends" with them. They see their privacy disappearing. So, if a teacher or school set up a Ning, they can create a network just for the school relevant to school environment. Kids would see that its ok for adults to be on it, as the presence of the adults is relevant to the ning, yet would still feel secure that facebook/myspace was still "private". Its just another way of utilizing technology to reach the kids on level they are aware of and use it to benefit their education positively.

As we saw in the video back in Thing 15, students today have so many distractions from technology; Nings are one way to use one of the major technologies (the social networking) to our advantage.

Thing #21

Creating a podcast was fun, and I can see how great it can be to utilize this tool. I have already heard of professors posting lectures online in colleges. (iTunes U was created by Apple to take advantage of the great technology of the Apple iTunes store; lots of college classes utilize this to enhance the education of students).

Student groups could use this tool to teach a lesson on a particular topic to other students; they would learn about their subject, along with learning about how to use technology to publish it.

Ok, without further ado, here is the podcast I created.

Thing #20

Its great to have all these potential video sources available to refer to. YouTube obviously is a little tougher, because even though you might do a search for a legitimate subject matter, sometimes people posting videos can use titles that are misleading, so you have to be a little better. (Its also tougher to use since our district blocks Youtube on the firewall, although students daily find ways around the firewall via proxy sites). I did find a couple of good videos posted on YouTube by an American teacher in Korea on how to teach English. There wasn't much good I could find on youtube for teaching business classes, so I ventured on over to Teacher Tube...

Where I found a great video by a teacher on Formatting a Business Memo. He talks in background while showing computer screenshots while teaching. Basically, it allows students to follow along and do it on their own computer; great for visual learners! So, get your laptop ready with MS Word, fire up a bag of popcorn, grab a drink (but with the cap on, as we don't want to drown our keyboard when we inevitably spill due to sheer excitement of the moment) and enjoy this video.

Thing #19

Seeing as how I like Awards shows, or rather, just seeing list of winners (must come from my athletic background as a coach), I had most fun at first just scrolling down and seeing the winners, and seeing if any of the ones we have gone over thus far were listed.
  • Delicious was number one in both bookmarking and social news
  • Google Earth was number 3 in maps
  • Library Thing was honorable mention in Books
Its funny that Twitter has already overtaken Facebook for first place in social networking. I just never got into Twitter (I do have facebook profile, but I don't do much with that either). I don't see the point of letting people know what I'm doing every minute of every day that I feel like posting a status update.

Ok enough rambling, and on to the purpose of Thing 19. So I browsed through some of the award winners and chose to concentrate on .Docstoc which was number one under the category Education. I found this concept to be rather interesting. You can upload documents to it, so that others have access. Its a way of publishing information you want others to be able to refer to. Its basically like an online library of relevant documents, broken down into several categories. Want to find info on how to write a good college essay? They've got documents on that subject. I think this tool would be useful in a class setting, as students could upload their good works to be seen. Could also do a group project on a how-to type setting, and the students "publish" their final answers by uploading to this site.

Thing #18

I'm pretty much of mixed opinion regarding the online productivity tools. In this day and age, with so many people having laptops that already have microsoft office already installed, it seems like overkill to have Open Office as well as any of the MS Office applications.

(I don't like the fact that you have to register for googledoc as that just seems a way for them to include your email in their mailing lists and send more spam mail crap, so I'm concentrating on Open Office)

I would say the main benefit is that you don't have to worry about which version to install on which computer, as its all the same. For instance Mac users, such as myself, wouldn't have to buy office for mac in order to be able to use this software. The fact that you have a large choice of application types to save documents as is also a benefit; for an executive in a foreign country without internet access, they could use this instead of MS Office if there was a glitch in MS Office software and weren't able to download patch or whatever.

I'm curious as to what Microsoft thinks about this. I'd think that software companies that feel truly threatened by this would work hard to discredit it. On other hand, maybe this creates good competition and forces them to come up with better innovations...

Bottom line, mixed feelings on this one.

Thing #17

Is it just me, or does the concept of Rollyo seem somewhat similar to Technorati (Thing 9). They both have to do with setting up way to find information relevant quickly. But I digress...

Rollyo is an interesting concept, and I enjoyed being able to set up a custom search with info my students in a personal finance class could use. It is rather easy: just open up another window, and google search for sites relevant to what you want, then copy and paste the URL into the Rollyo search creator window.

In order to be able to post the link, I registered with Rollyo. Here is the link to the search I created.: