Friday, August 7, 2009

Thing 11.5 Evaluation

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning program?
I am excited about using a Screencast to help with my faculty instruction as well as our student instruction. I know that our LA SIS is interested in using Bookr. I"ll have to find a good way to sift through the Video Resources.
2. How has this prgram assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
Last year, I was able to present some Web 2.0 ideas to our faculty when they were writing their tech goals for the year and I hope to do that again this year. It gave some new options to teachers that had been doing the same old thing for the last few years. The students loved to see their Animotos, Wordles, and Smile Boxes sent to their parents' e-mails.
3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this that surprised you?
I always ask older students that I encounter what they've been doing in school technology-wise. My 18 year old nephew was with us for a few weeks this summer. He spent a lot of time on Facebook chatting with his girlfriend. I asked what kind of technology applications he uses in school. The answer was pretty much just PowerPoint. He had never heard of most of the Web 2.0 topics in our courses. His high school is huge and has a 50% dropout rate, so I don't think they have a lot of access to technology.
Also, I asked three graduate students (23 years old) at UNC if they had ever heard of Glogster, Bookr, Wordle, Word Sift, cloud computing, etc. They all said no. They are so busy researching they don't have time to just explore the web.
4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program's format or concept?
The program is SBISD's best technology offering and I appreciate the time it takes our lifeguards to read all the blogs.
I do think that both 23 things and 11.5 things are worth more hours. I already had experience with at least half of the content in this course and it still took me way more than 11 hours to complete.

Thing #11 - Digital Citizenship

Using Web 2.0 applications moves students and teachers from an “Acceptable Use Policy” to a “Responsible Use Policy” as technology shifts. The online publishing and shared documents create an entirely different set of criteria. The whole world can see what you publish. And, you can stitch up your whole group on a shared online project.
The idea of using the iPods, iTouches, FlipVideos, etc. at school and possibly sending these hand held devices home relates to development of Digital Citizenship. To me, Digital Citizenship not only covers the content on the device but the care of the device. (ISTE#5) In the ideal, we would eventually issue one portable device per student. “If we encourage students to put their own work on the iPod, the device seems personal to the children as opposed to it just being another school device. If it’s personal to the child, then they’re going to take better care of it. They will make sure it’s charged, because it’s theirs….What’s important to you are those things that are personal to you.” (GoKnow interview from Tech and Learning Magazine, June 2009)

Thing #10 - Virtual Worlds

I was first introduced to Second Life at a TCEA workshop. (I would have to say it was one of the worst presentations I have ever sat through - which probably biases my attitude as a whole.)I had to go back and take a look later to try to make any sense of it at all. I found the whole site to be very time consuming. Why bother to "walk" up a flight of stairs and down the hall to find information? Give me a link to click on any day!
Meeting and chatting with other people on the site could be beneficial.I just could never figure out how you knew who was supposed to be when and where. It seemed to lead to random success.
Also, the concept of broadcasting conventions could be useful. It would be difficult to gain access to all breakout sessions, but at least the keynote speakers could be online.
Virtual worlds for kids have been around for years. My own kids played them at home for awhile. At school, our students would let us know the latest fascination, but if we played them with any frequency, the sites would soon be blocked by Tech Services. Which was okay by me. Most of the sites were really more of a gaming venue. I really prefer for the computers at school to be used with a clear learning objective in mind.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thing #9 - Slideshare

It seems that there are a wealth of slidesharing sites available. Of the sites listed on your page, I ended up bookmarking AuthorStream and 280. Having free access to 280 would be a cost saver to the district. It would be a quick way to "author" student work and get out to a wider audience. And there are some good examples of PowerPoint design that could be deomonstrated to students.
For now, I am not sure how much we would use these at school because we already save to the student server for shared projects and post finished PowerPoint projects on our web page. (Although is would be easier for the majority of the teachers to post to AuthorStream.) Students don't work much on projects from home anymore due to our new homework policy so school access is sufficient. Also, we would once again be back to user name and login issues for the shared sites. Does the district have a policy for posting student work outside the district?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thing #8 Sceencasts

This was a lot of fun and so easy! I used the Screencastle site to make a short video on using templates in Google Docs. I used a Math Quiz template in the video. Unfortunately, I can't get my home computer to recognize my microphone right now, but when I get to another computer, I'll redo the video.
This tool will be great to use for spreading new information to teachers and students. I also would like to make a video for parent access to Gradespeed since I am responsible for that project. I think I will download the Screencast and post them on the MDE website to make sure they don't disappear on me in the "cloud" world.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thing #7 Video Resources

I had not looked at the PBS site for awhile, so it was good to see all their latest. With so many of their shows online, there is a lot of material that can be presented. This is a link to a program on how Grand Central Station was built. (Trains are a favorite topic in our house.) I did not see any links to embed the video.
Grand Central Station on PBS
The amount of video online is staggering. I spent two hours browsing through the sites and didn't watch all of any one piece. I see that Google Video has identified their main problem as making sure that all videos posted are searchable. I agree with that assessment. You can spend hours looking for just the right content for a lesson. I think that United Streaming has done a good job labelling their videos which is why it is so popular with our teachers. They can find what they need in a short amount of time.
I will have to use some self-discipline to complete the reminder of the course. Now that I know I can watch Antiques Roadshow on PBS online, I can see myself easily distracted.....

Thing #7 Video Resources

This video is on Compost Tea for your garden. It is from Blip.TV. It mentions the soil cycle - we always talk about cycles. And, it is on plants - every grade level grows plants sometimes during the year.