Thing 22-Ning!!

Another fun and interesting site to explore. I had such a good time reading some of the posts and following discussion forums.  I read a very interesting discussion about the possibility of using Skype for team teaching. There were a couple of discussion threads on whether to use blogs or wikis for reading logs and response journals. I probably spent half an hour reading entries that were tagged “blogging”. I am excited about the classroom 2.0 Ning -I think it will be a resource I can return to in order to keep learning about all of these web tools. I think the community for web 2.0 beginners will be right up my alley!! And there is a community for those of us who love books-Books that Matter. I am not sure how the Ning would be used in classroom learning–I’m sure I’ll get some ideas as I get more involved but I certainly see it as a useful resource for professional communities and for continuing my own lifelong learning.

I had written down a Ning  to check out-it was mentioned in another blog I read a few days ago. It dealt specifically with special education. That was exciting as well. I didn’t find the exact site that I had noted but I found plenty to keep me busy. I will definitely continue to explore these sites for ideas and inspiration.

I was feeling a little at loose ends thinking about our class coming to an end but the Classroom 2.0 Ning can give me new avenues to explore and support when I need it! We’ve all come a long way,haven’t we?

Thing 17-b-Podcast about Smartboards

I forgot I wanted to add a note about a podcast that showed up in a post from a blog that I subscribe to on my Reader. I know a lot of you are going to be getting into some of the Smartboard technology in the near future. This is a podcast site devoted to the care and feeding of Smartboards–it looks good-just wanted to pass it on. Get SMART with SMART Boards.

I should give you all the website too–it is FULL of ideas. It is called Talking SMARTBoards and Much More. Have fun!!

Thing 17-Podcasting

I was first  introduced to podcasting about 3 years ago when my middle son was in middle school. Daniel was in a gifted social studies class and had a wonderful,innovative teacher. One of their assignments was to interview someone who had served in the military-could be recent or long ago-could have been during peace time or war. Daniel and his classmates interviewed a wide variety of military people-men and women. It would have been a good experience even if that had been the end but the next step was really fun for the kids (and parents). They invited several of the soldiers who had been interviewed to come to the school and be interviewed as a podcast. It added an extra layer of learning to the assignment and we parents were invited to listen to the interviews online. I have also listened to band concerts that were podcast for those of us who could not be at the performance.

Once again, I lost track of time while I explored various podcast and directories. I first went to the tried and true NPR. I listened to a couple of science podcasts,including Science Friday. I looked at some other shows but subscribed to The Prairie Home Companion because it always makes me smile. Not too deep-kind of peaceful in this crazy world. I looked at the “Skip the Tuition” directory–a wonderful resource for professional learning and possibly for high school or college students. I enjoyed CNN’s student news-I believe that could be a regular part of any curriculum. I listened to a couple of just audio podcasts that were very dry–but there is so much out there–just click on another one.

I added a feed to my Google Reader for a program called “Speaking of History” from the Education Podcast Network. This directory had an abundance of interesting sounding podcasts-I chose this one to help refresh my mind on all things history as I continue to cram for the GACE. I think I’ll be adding podcasts to my study materials.

I was also blown away by the website Learning in Hand-the article on iPods in Education! So many great ideas that could enhance your teaching, particularly with high school students. I plan to look more at the suggestions in that article for my own sons. Anything that uses their iPod will get their attention! Imagine if I could say “Have you used your iPod to study for your test? “

Thing 7c-Google Reader

I have really enjoyed using Google Reader-it is definitely a tool I will continue to use and enjoy. One of my favorite blogs is Five Minutes for Special Needs. Sometimes her posts are inspirational or just for fun. Other blog posts are very practical and helpful for those of us in the field. I read a practical,down-to-earth guide to the GAA-Georgia Alternative Assessment.

I also found a yummy sounding recipe for a Blueberry Dutch Baby pancake. This is on a just for fun blog called Foodmomiac. I have enjoyed reading her recipes, even when I don’t have time to try them out.

Thing 21–Pageflakes

Once again-very interesting technology. I had trouble finding the template-I don’t know what I did-I may have just mistyped. Anyway,I made a page from scratch. It was fun looking at all of the flakes that are available. I’ve been having such problems with the sound on my computer, so I didn’t add a podcast. I’m definitely going to play with this a little more! I am one of those people who likes to have my stuff out where I can see it–Pageflakes can help me to do that but in a pretty and organized way. My page is here.

I can think of so many ways to use this in a classroom setting. You could give such great guidance for studying and for adding enrichment to a lesson. My first thoughts were that this would be a wonderful way to give extra information to those students who are interested in a topic-like rainforests or the Civil War. Our gifted students could use Pageflakes to expand their learning experience. A teacher could also use Pageflakes  to add study guides, videos, remedial study sites-whatever would be most helpful to their students.Pretty neat!

Thing 20-Google Docs

I can’t wait to share this Google tool with my colleagues at school. The teachers in our school work on collaboration teams throughout the year. Last year my teacher had to work on a presentation with 3 other teachers. They had a terrible time getting together in the same room to coordinate their presentation. E-mail was cumbersome–they had a hard time putting it all together. I think Google Docs will be a wonderful tool as teachers put together presentations, plan surveys or note sheets, and make summaries. I also making a spreadsheet–it was easy to do! We take a great deal of data in our classroom and a spreadsheet will make it easier to interpret the data for planning purposes.

The document I made and shared was very basic-just a list of things to pack as my son heads off to college. College planning is foremost on my mind these days and I shared the list with my son. He thought it was cool and added some of his own ideas. I like the sharing of the documents-it does seem easier than attachments on an email. Chris and I talked about using  Google Docs at school as he works on projects with other students. The feature that tracks who has edited to the document would allow the teacher to make sure that everyone had participated in the work. He also liked that you could look back at earlier histories of the document.

Thing 19-YouTube and TeacherTube

I have been aware of YouTube in my own house for a couple of years now. My 2 teenagers love the site-I think they mostly look at music videos and postings. I do worry about the content–but try to keep an eye on their computers when they are online. My middle son sat with me as I did my own exploration this morning.I can certainly see that we need to be teaching our students to be wise consumers of this technology. They need to be able to think critically about everything they are seeing.

This was not my favorite task–there is so much information–some of it useful but so much of it is just silly, distasteful or even boring. Even with the search function, I got videos that were not related to what I needed. We did find some fun and very creative works. And there were some wonderful “how-to” videos.  I think part of my trouble is that in my current job, my students will not be using this kind of technology. I did enjoy looking at TeacherTube. We found some great videos, especially in history and social studies. In the blog post by Brenda Dyck she talks about the need to have a very clear idea of how a video will be used and what your teaching objectives are for that video. I think that is a key point in using this technology well.

I wanted to embed this “Harry Potter Puppet Pals” video because it is just fun! We love Harry!

Thing 16-LibraryThing

What a wonderful site!! Besides being with my family,I am probably happiest when I am reading. I like to read almost everything and usually have 2 books going at once. I played around on the site, listed a few of my books-it will take awhile to list them all! I checked out the Zeitgeist–you could spend hours there. A feature I really thought was neat is the LibraryThing authors. You can see their profiles and in some cases,you can see their reading lists. What fun to read the same book as a favorite author. I also liked the suggestions page and got a laugh out if the unsuggestions-especially their disclaimer. I also saw the note that you could access the page from your cell phone.That would be mighty handy for me-I am the one in the bookstore or library trying desperately to remember the name of an author……. I’m sending this site to all my book buddies!

Thing 15-Delicious!

I started out planning to do the “light” version of the task. I am behind and have a million things to do before school starts back in a couple of weeks. But before I knew it,I had tagged 17 sites on my  Delicious list. I had actually been wanting something like this-we keep so many good sites and excellent tools-I didn’t want to lose track of anything. I had added some to my Google Reader but I needed a good place to store the tools I think I will want to use and that I want my own children to explore and use this fall.

I also went ahead and added 2 subscriptions to my account. One for education and one for Auburn football! I liked the way you could add a subscription and then pick and choose how to narrow your search to get what you want. My Delicious list is at delicious.com/spidermom. This account actually makes me feel more confident about Web 2.0–it’s a way to be organized and feel a little more in control.

Thing 7B-Google Reader

<!– @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } A:link { so-language: zxx } –>I have enjoyed my Google Reader–I don’t have as much time as I would like but I have found that I enjoy certain sites-some because they give me ideas or inspiration( I need inspiration as I study for the GACE 🙂 ) Some sites I enjoy just because they are fun to read. One blog that I enjoy for ideas for the future is called Talking Smartboards and Much More. Anne-Marie blogs about all kinds of resources and cool web sites that can be used with a smartboard. But many of the sites she blogs about can be used in other ways as well.Her posts are usually short and to the point. They always have a good overview of the site or tool she is blogging about. If you are looking for some technology ideas, check out her blog.

In one of her posts she writes about a website called Tag Galaxy. On this site you can type in a tag and a galaxy of planets will appear with related pictures found on Flickr. You can keep typing in tags to narrow your search-the galaxy continues to change and your “planet” created by the pictures continues to change as well. This is a really cool, fun way to display pictures. You could use them to start a classroom conversation or to begin a writing exercise. History and science teachers could use a galaxy to illustrate a time period or a scientific concept. Art teachers should love this site. I used musical tags and composers names to create a musical galaxy. Just one more interesting a fun place on the web!