Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thing #23

Yippee!! I made it to the end. For a person who is almost 70 years of age and one who retired over ten years ago, this has been a big challenge. I am definitely in the bottom of the group, but I am absolutely sure that I had farther to go than probably anyone else in the class. I am so pleased that I took a deep breath and signed up for the class. I definitely know that each of the things that I accomplished does not give me the skill to be able to teach that skill to a student, but at least I now know where to start. I was thrilled when my Superintendent told me about a multi-discipline activity that we are going to do in the high school this year and I was able to give him a suggestion of a technique that I had learned in this class--I am scheduled to meet with the technology teacher to implement that. Thank you so much for that!!

1. Picking a favorite is hard, but I suppose that knowing how to embed a YouTube or TeacherTube into a blog is up there at the top. You didn't ask for my least favorite, but that would be the mashup exercise, because I was not very successful at that--I would love to be able to do a map project and I was not able to master mappr and importing it into the blog; I had to settle for a beginning Mosaic project.

2. Doing projects like this definitely keeps my mind active and, hopefully, continually learning. I am going to love knowing how to do some of the projects that I have seen the students attempting to do; now, I think that I can help them.

3. Lots of unexpected outcomes, but I was thrilled to be able to locate the Billy Joel TeacherTube presentation after reading another blog. I loved reading other blogs--they gave me some wonderful ideas for future projects.

4. I'm not sure that I know enough to really answer this question, but one of the problems that I had was that I was hesitant to ask a question about something that I did not know how to do. I suppose that I am like so many students that do not ask questions because they are afraid it is a stupid question with an obvious answer--so the problem was with me rather than with the course.

5. Yes, I think that I would take another course. Our world is changing so quickly and when you live in a remote area, it is difficult to find courses that you can take without driving long distances and at great expense. I am envious of all of you in the Spring Branch ISD system who know people that are taking the course to personally ask questions about something that you do not understand and/or to bounce ideas around with someone else.

6. AWESOME!! or "A mind-expanding class".

7. I have commented on several during the class, but I will go back and add comments to two or three of my favorite blogs.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thing #22

Nings--I had heard the word, but did not know anything about them. I subscribed to TLC and LM_Net after being out of the loop for over ten years to try to keep up with some of the latest trends and/or problems. I have really become attached to those two services--have even ventured out into asking and answering some of the questions posted even though one of the Nings that I read said that those two were intimidating. I looked at the Texas Librarian Ning which I had read about on TLC and I liked what I saw--I like the fact that you can post videos, photos, etc. on a Ning--it does make it seem more personable because you can connect a face and a name. When a discussion question is posted all the replies are with the question--on TLC and LM_Net that is not the case even though the groups are usually very quick about answering a question. I also checked out the Teacher Ning and found some activities that I can use for the younger groups--I am always looking for exercises to use with the younger children since I had always been a high school librarian prior to taking this part-time job in a PreK-12 school. Definitely something I will check out--BUT, I will probably be a lurker for a while.

Thing #21

I do not know what is wrong with the audio portion of the video. I even purchased a new microphone for my computer, but still no luck; will have to make do with background music for now. I think students would enjoy being able to put videos into their presentations. I can hardly wait for the new project that we are doing this year in the small school that I am a part of to get started. With the new smartboards that we have and some of the techniques in this class, I see countless possibilities. If I am not very proficient in the techniques, at least I now know what they are trying to do and perhaps, I will be able to help them make a better presentation.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Thing #20

Thing #20--Part 1

What a blast!! I don't know how I can use this YouTube in class, but on this Fourth of July weekend, I can't think of anything better to put in my blog. I love the Cactus Cuties singing at one of the Texas Tech basketball games. I realized after I did it that I had placed it in the wrong place, but I saw the Billy Joel TeacherTube on another blog and realized that this was the one that the history teacher had asked me about last year--so I located it on TeacherTube and used it instead of moving the other one!! Success!! I love this! I love both of those videos and I think kids would love using some like these in classes. I'm not sure that I know how to give copyright credit for the videos if the creator is not listed at the end of the video--will need to find that out before I use them for school.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Thing #19

Getting to select the best from the best--great!! I selected MyHeritage and checked out an ancestor that I have been looking for--received hits in 39 different lists--much easier than searching the web for sites for genealogy. My son is always talking about Craig's list so I had to check it out--much like ebay except you can pick from items in your own town. I also checked out Wikispaces--there are free spaces offered to schools this next year. I think that would be a good deal for a school, but since I am only part time, I need to find a cooperating teacher to use the site for her or his class--I will check that out. I also checked under education (.Docstoc) and found documents on teaching library skills in school that might be helpful. I would think that having a list by categories would be helpful for teachers to select one that would fit their area.

Thing #18

I downloaded OpenOffice and it looks almost like Microsoft Office 2003 (which I loved). I now have Vista and Office 2007 which really frustrates me because things are not in the same place that they were--oh, well, that is another class. Google Docs gave me a chance to get back to several other things that I had subscribed to during this class. Having Docs, Reader, Calendar, etc. all in one place seems as if it would be a time saver. After watching the video I can see that this would be a wonderful feature if you had a group of teachers or students coordinating on the same project--much more efficient than email. I really like both of these features and I think that I will probably use both of them. Microsoft Office has gotten so expensive that I can see the real value of a free comparable program.