Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thing 11.5 - Evaluation

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

I would have to say Facebook was my favorite discovery and one that I will use personally. I have known about it for a long time, but just didn't investigate before this. I also think that making screencasts will be useful in my teaching. To explain how to do things on the computer once, rather than doing it personally over and over!

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

Like I mentioned before this class forced me to investigate Facebook. It will be something that I continue to use. I probably need to go and discovery My Space on my own. It seems that my students prefer that social networking site over Facebook, so I need to get familiar with it. I also needed to learn more about the I Touch since we are due to have a set of them in the near future. There is so much that students can do with them!

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

The screencast programs were something I had never heard of before and I know will be useful to me in the future.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? Each thing in this second part of Library 2.0 Tools take more time to investigate and create.

I think we should be given more credit! Also on the Microblogging Things, My Space should be investigated along with Facebook and Twitter. But all in all I had a good time and learned about many tools that I probably wouldn't have delved to on my own.

Thing #11 - Digital Citizenship

1. All student should be required to sign an AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) before using school computers. This should spell out exactly when they are allowed to use computers, for what reason, what they can or cannot do while on the computer and also copyright infringement &/or plagarism. I feel that this doesn't really happen. Students are forced to sign one, but they are not necessarily explained well enough to them. Also consquences should be addressed.
2. I feel we have a responsibility of keeping our students safe. If elementary or middle school students are allowed to access such sites as My Space or Facebook, they could be circumventing parental rules. They could be possiblity be opening themselves up to online predators. So a lesson about online safetly is crucial!
3. Credibility of data is also something that doesn't seem to be taught to students. They are not able to tell the difference between a credible site and one that isn't.
4. We also need to make sure students understand copyright. Many students copy and paste, thus infringing upon copyright all the time. They are under the false misunderstanding that because it is posted on the internet it is available to anyone that wants it! Especially using pictures from Google!
5. I also feel that students should understand that using a computer at school is a privilege, not a necessity. If district or class guidelines are not followed, then the student needs to have definite consequences. It is not really any different than any discipline issue in the classroom. Although teachers seem on the whole not able to know how to handle such computer misuses! Certainly losing the computer privilege is a just consequence!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thing #10 Virtual Worlds

What to say....this is sure something to experience. I felt so newbie once I arrived. I couldn't figure out how to get into the orientation - you needed access. I found several people who were very helpful, but never could get into the orientation! I was able to teleport to the country - saw stables with horses and then flew to the ocean. I was on Australia where there were supposed to be beaches, but couldn't find them...
I kept trying to change my appearance, but it sure is complicated!
The whole thing is quite complicated. You can spend hours here. I will keep popping into to discover more when I can.
I had heard that developers have created virtual worlds that you can discover. Go to distance lands or back in history. What a great, unique concept! I don't exactly like to read history books, but love to learn about history through historical novels. This is somewhat of the same idea. You can be a part of the time period and learn by being there. I know this would be of great interest to students.
I would be interested to see what the Teen World is like.
Thanks for making me experience this.

Thing #9 Slideshare

Well it looks simple enough. You can easily upload, embed and search for other slide presentations of interest.
Having a presentation on Slideshare enables more people to access it. You don't have to worry about compatabilities. Also, once posted on Slideshare you can easily embed the presentation in wikis, blogs, etc.
I'm not sure of the exact benefit it would have with students. Although we know that anything that is on the web seems to be of more interest to students so that might be a plus. Also the compatability issue of their home computer being able to view the presentation could be a problem, so viewing on Slideshare would eliminate that.

Thing # 8 Screencast

I chose to do my screen cast on Screencast-o-Matic. I wanted to use a program that didn't require downloading onto my computer. I was able to create a screencast pretty easily, however I had a few errors and confusion on my part in downloading it to my computer. I also would go back to preview it and sometimes it wasn't there! I was scared I had lost the whole thing, but in the end it is downloaded to my computer and also on the Screencast-o-Matic site for sharing. (I doubt anyone would be interested though because it is very specific to SBISD libraries!

I think that the one I just created will be great to use with my new 6th grade students. It is a lesson that I would normally have to do four times in real-life and now I can just bring up the screencast and push play. How easy! This is great for those lessons that you find yourself doing over and over again during various times of the day. I definitely will be using this tool in the future!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thing # 7 - Video Resources

I did a search on Dewey Decimal and found this fun, campy video. I could see showing this during library orientation for fun!

I also have had favorable results in showing book trailers to students. I showed them some at the end of last year and for everyone I showed there was at least one person that asked if I had the book and could they check it out! Here is one I is for the book, The Hunger Games and it was found on SchoolTube. It is another site for educators to find videos!

I watched the Fair Use video and find it all so confusing! I even taught a copyright class and still don't really know what is appropriate and what is not! The guidelines are very vague.

Thing #6 I Touch Apps

This one was EASY! I have had an I Touch for the library since this past spring. I wanted to go ahead and get one to play and experience it. I was loaning it out to students at the end of the last school year just to see what they liked to do with it. Of course what they wanted to do it play games, but don't they have valuable skills associated with them???
Here are some of the educational apps I have downloaded that I think have potential for core classes to use in centers.

Dictionary - great because it also gives pronunciation of word
Hangman - can choose levels of difficulty and also themes for the words
USA Factbook - has info on all sorts of US facts and questions you on state capitals & locations
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire - I forked over some cash to upgrade from the "lite" version,
Love Art - takes you through the National Gallery of Art; beautiful pictures
TCT Lite - a periodic table website

Also I need to purchase a voice recorded so kids can do podcasts. I hear there is a Thumb Tack that will work for about $13. I also want to see what I need to do to get my ITouch to Skype. There is something tricky with the microphone. Target used to sell something that would work inexpensively, but it doesn't appear to be available anymore. There other alternatives are more in the $30 range...

I love the I Touch! It does have many possibilities! I do wish it took pictures - that would make it more useful.