Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thing 8

This is a magazine cover I did to represent our school. I think this tool(magazine cover) would be great for students to use to publish for books they had read. We could post them all over the media center and school. It would also be a wonderful way to introduce new staff to the students. The cover could be printed and posted on a bulletin board for new staff.

I played with several tools and found all of them easy to work with. When using the multiple intelligences idea for education, we have to find ways for students to channel their creativity and to still accomplish the task. Several of these tools would work to help students who are not "textually" sound to share their knowledge.

Thing 7

Flikr is awesome, but I can see it being blocked on our network. That will be my first task, to find out, when I get back to school. As I said before I have used Flikr before by viewing my son's pictures, but had never actuall downloaded pics myself. Personally, it will be great for me since we have so many digital pics and so many people to share them with. Professionally, it provides opportunity to teach about copyright and I think it would make an excellent marketing tool. Many times our district puts articles in the newspaper, and Flikr would make a great place to store pictures that the press or administration could use for that purpose. We also do digital announcements and have a class that does video announcements; I think working with my staff to use Flikr for school pictures would be a great way for others to access and use each other pictures for PR tools. One other way, I thought of for sharing, is as a demonstration tool for library orientation or class room instruction. Taking pictures of other students doing the work or browsing the media center would add more interest, than just my talking.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thing 6

Although, I have used Flikr before, I never really "used" it. The picture I downloaded is of a flower that I have in a flower bed I inherited. No one, including my two best friends who KNOW flower, had any idea what it was. When it first started to bloom the flowering portion actually looked like feathers and then one day all the little hair like buds bloomed and it is a bright red. The hummingbirds are all over this plant and they drive my cats nuts because it's right outside the window. I love the color, the different flower, and the way Mother Nature's other creatures use this beautiful plant.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thing 5

The RSS feed was fairly easy to set up, although I did put my folders in the "clippings" area instead of the "feeds" area. I fixed that and get extra credit for being honest. Adding new folders was easy. RSS feels a lot like using a bookmarking site except you will continue to get feeds. I like being able to categorize the feeds and can see this being valuable to keep personal and professional information separate. I wasn't really impressed with the "Technorati" site. It seemed to just be one paragraph on any given subject and no discussion or additional information. Hopefully feeds will help me stay on top of current issues and keep me focused as opposed to continually surfing the web. This is a new tool for me and I will have to get more comfortable using it before I actually make recommendations to others. I did find one site that is a husband and wife blog on building their log home. Since I am in the beginning stages of that activity, I RSS'd that one just to see what steps them went through.

Thing 4

I have long awaited the real instruction on how to use RSS. I am an avid reader of the Internet and have used several web-based bookmarking tools to save and access websites and this is the perfect fit for the next step. I am looking forward to using RSS feeds to stay current and to receive timely information. I am only concerned that my district my have network blocks that will prevent this from being smooth. I also use two emails since many times I cannot access my network or things are blocked/hung up in our spam filter. I am also concerned how that will work. For the time being, I am trying to think of how I want to set up my folders, i.e. by content area, by teacher, or by project. What ever way it is, life will be smoother and faster than having to do the searching for information. This is one tool that I feel is finally taking me forward in my learning.

Thing 3

Blogging will enable students to have access to information as well as to comment to me in a safe and timely environment. I can see many uses for blogs in my area. It would be nice to start a reading blog to have students see the new materials that are in the media center and to let them write reviews for those materials. I also would like to have a blog for each class that I instruct, to give students some assistance with difficult activities and for them to have a chance to question directions. I realize it would be time consuming, however, I would make sure that they realized the time factor and my response time. I think the collaboration factor for blogs is a critical one. Many times students can ask a question and get an answer from another student which helps both to learn more. I don't feel the need to be the "sage on the stage".

I also think that blogs would be a great way to support professional development. Giving teachers the option to explore a particular activity or site and ask questions, on their own time schedule is much more productive. I always find it amazing that students are expected to do work at home and we are getting the idea of 24/7 learning online; however teachers are expected to sit in a room and have someone speak to them or hover over them for them to learn. Blogging could also be the tool for both groups to facilitate questioning and exploration with out peer pressure or humiliation for asking the "wrong" thing.

I can see myself having multiple blogs for a variety of reasons and audiences. I think even education parents on the activities in the media center would be a terrific tool. Many time they only get bits and pieces, but this arena would allow them not only to know what their students were doing, but would also allow them to communicate with me.