Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thing #23 - The Finish Line

Well, I made it! I really did not think I would be blogging about the 23 Thing experience already. My goal was to complete this by the end of Spring Break and I did it! That does not mean that I haven't had sleepless nights, late nights, and early mornings, but the experience was AWESOME, AMAZING, and EYE OPENING! I know my daughters and husband will be happy to have their mommy/wife away from the computer and not hearing me say "Let me finish just 1 more thing."

My most favorite discoveries have been PhotoStory, YouTube, TeacherTube, 2.0 Web Awards, Comic Strip Generator, and Library Thing. This experience has positively impacted me in my mission to be a life-long learner. No matter how old I get, there is always something I can learn. I really didn't not know in the beginning how this experience would impact me or my classroom. I was nervous to be bombarded with new technology and terminology, but was willing to give it a try. I'm glad I tried and have succeeded. My classroom and my life have been positively impacted by this experience. There is really nothing that I would improve upon for this process. If given another chance for an opportunity like this, I would DEFINITELY participate. Now I can sit back and comment on others' creations - I really enjoyed reading the comments posted about my experience/creations.

One sentence to describe this experience: AWESOME, EXCITING, CHALLENGING, EYE OPENING, AMAZING

Thing #22

Nings are very interesting, like SO many other things during this experience. I think Nings are a great way to network/collaborate with others in the library field. Valuable information can be gained by reading postings. Having a place to discuss library issues is a must, especially since most librarians are the only librarian at their school. It is also a great way to see what others are doing in their libraries and possibly adapting it to your library program. This is an excellent way to share ideas, thoughts, feelings, and concerns especially since libraries are rapidly changing.

Thing #21

I used Photo Story to create a Vidcast from this past Halloween. I had so much fun creating this for Thing 21, that I can't wait to make others to commemorate each birthday, holiday, etc. I think my daughters will love having their memories shared in another form besides photographs.

I had difficulty getting my microphone to work, so this one does not have vocals, but it does have music. I will try again tomorrow and see if I can get the microphone to work.

Classroom and library uses are endless. I plan to use Photo Story when my class learns about habitats and types of clouds. I think it would also be an awesome way to share what the library or classroom has done throughout the year (at Open House, end of year party, book fair).


video

Thing #20 - TeacherTube

On TeacherTube, I spent hours looking for educational videos in different curriculum areas. The amount of videos available is amazing! I finally decided to embed "Library Infomercial" http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=7567ce6b0475a63bf700 because it is about the importance of collaboration between the teacher and the librarian and how student achievement is impacted. It is somewhat silly; however, it's message would be a "fun way" to introduce/reinforce the importance of collaboration. I also enjoyed "Land in Water" http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=4281b7c95cd7e7462349 as it deals with peninsulas, isthmuses, islands, and archipelagos.





Now, I have tried to embed these two videos (for the past 2 1/2 hours) from TeacherTube the same way that I did with YouTube, but I'm not having any luck. If you can help, please send me a comment. I did include the link to the videos so you can still view them.

Update - Thanks to VWB for helping me to embed the videos from TeacherTube - Your suggestions worked and thanks so much!

After exploring both TeacherTube and YouTube, I think this type of media is very powerful and an excellent way to "tease" or to stress/reinforce a lesson. What I found to be the hardest was trying to decide which video was the best to show, since so many excellent options were available.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thing #20 - YouTube




Well, I started with YouTube and searched "library" and found about 41,800 videos with this tag. I really enjoyed "Sesame Street - Rock N' Roll Readers." It is really cute and would catch younger students attention and hopefully make them want to be "Rock N' Roll Readers"! The amount of videos available on this site was surprising! I can't wait to see what TeacherTube has to offer.

Thing #19

Wow!!! It was nice to see sites we visited during the 23 Things process (Goggle Docs, Library Thing, Technorati, Wetpaint, Ning, Flickr, Piscasa, Rollyo, and del.icio.us). There were so many sites that interested me, I didn't know where to start. So, I scrolled through the list and noted the ones that seemed to appeal to me.

I first tried SpringWidgets. It looked like a neat site to "add some fun" to my blog. I went to the widget gallery and created a count down widget for summer vacation. Yes, I truly am counting the days until the end of this school year. School uses could be to create a timer until a project is due, a teacher returns from maternity leave, or when a grading period ends.

Next, I visited Minti. This was a site for me, as a parent. I liked how it offers advice from parents, as well as articles about different aspects of parenting. This site will be one that I continue to visit as my husband and I raise our 3 princesses!

Finally, I visited DonorsChoose. This is a site that lets donors choose where their donation money goes. It profiles teachers who need particular items for their classroom, why they need them, and the donor can choose which teacher/project to fund. Donations can be any amount and the site calculates how much money is still needed in order to completely fund a given project. This is amazing - impact of student learning is so far reaching. I have read several profiles that have touched my heart.

I found several other sites that I interested me: Be Green, picnik, Med Story, One Sentence, and Wufoo. When I have some downtime, I'll be looking at these sites to see what they have to offer.

Thing #18

Well, I did not like OpenOffice.org. It took SO long to download and once it was downloaded, I had a very difficult time maneuvering around the application. I hope that with more practice, I will become better at using it.

Features: Writer is similar to MS Word; Impress is like MS PowerPoint; Calc is like Excel.

On the other hand, I LOVED Goggle Docs. I found it very user friendly and easy to maneuver around the site. It too is similar to MS products. I'm planning to upload some of the files I created in MS Word to see how that function works when I have more time to "play."