Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thing # 23

The Final Thing...

This was an awesome experience for me and I look forward to using what I have learned this next school year. Hopefully, I will be able to continue my learning and there are definitely "things" that I want to go back and explore in more detail. I can't wait to get started on my new adventure in Web 2.0 integration. In response to the questions posted on the Library2Play blog please see my posts below.

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

I really liked the mash-ups because they provide great opportunities to showcase science topics to students in a variety of formats. Also they would be a great way to have the students summarize their learning. The nings are interesting to me because I can see some personal applications as well as following a few educational nings. Another thing is the image generators because I can use them to show concepts to students and teachers in new and exciting ways.

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

It has inspired me to seek out ways to learn more about Web 2.0. After finishing my Masters degree in Educational Technology I have had a thirst for technology learning and integration and look forward to helping express my love and passion to the teachers on my campus and beyond.

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

I learned some cool things, but that is expected when you are looking at new information. I really liked getting to know how to include a hyperlink in text by using the html code (I learned it while digging through blogs). This new knowledge was unexpected. A take-a-way was that I am definitely interested in some new things that I will be exploring in more detail in the near future.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

I really like the format of the program. I enjoy taking online courses and this was set up similar to my graduate courses. I like the fact that the learner controls their own pace and learning. The added face to face interactions are a nice feature so that if you do have questions or problems you can meet with someone to get help. I would not change any of the format of this learning experience.

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?

Most definitely! I am already comtemplating of tackling the Library2Play 2 thing over the course of the rest of the summer (I ahve to weigh the options of being able to complete the 11.5 things in the amount of time left).

How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities?

An adventure into new technology and learning in a fun and interactive way!

I look froward to posting my thoughts on other players blogs over the next few weeks and will definitely keep adding to this blog in the future so that I can keep it as an electronic journal into Web 2.0 and beyond.

Thing # 22

Nings

WOW! I never knew I could start my own social network. I will definitely have to look into this in more detail when I have time. I can see so many possibilities out there for various applications. We could start our own church network, a network for my wife's business, a elementary science teachers network. The possibilities are limitless. One ning that I found that I am definitely interested in is Classroom 2.0. It is a ning about web 2.0 applications in the classroom. I have really enjoyed reading it and have joined it too. I think that it will be a valuable resource in working with teachers to integrate technology into their teaching. You can check out the Classroom 2.0 ning here.

Thing # 21

I really enjoyed creating podcasts and videocasts for this assignment. I had not spent much time with PhotoStory before this assignment. I had spent a lot of time using Audacity to create podcasts for graduate school and personal use. My PhotoStory is one that I helped my teaching partner and our group of students create this past week at summer school. It was a great experience and I really learned a lot about PhotoStory and how to put multiple projects together into one collaborative PhotoStory project. Check out my videocast!

video

Since this was a student created PhotoStory (with teacher support) I can 100% see the implications for classroom use. Students enoy creating technology rich projects and this is a great way to show off their learning and summarize what they know.

Thing # 20

You Tube, Teacher Tube, and Zamzar

The following video from You Tube shows the history of educational technology from the past 100 years. It is a great reflection into where we have been and a look at where we are going in the future. Check it out!



Teacher Tube is a great resource for content specific videos created by educators for educators. I have used this site many times in my work to demonstrate a topic to both students and teachers. I have included a video on the water cycle that I have used with students in the past.



I did not know about Zamzar until recently. A friend of mine and I were working on a project and we needed to convert a file to a format that we could bring into another software application for editing purposes. She suggested I use Zamzar and I was curious so I checked it out. What a cool resource. I no longer have to google file conversion applications to find one that I can use to convert. I have been using Zamzar for all my conversions since. One drawback is that sometimes it takes a while for them to notify you that the conversion is complete - plus the limit on the size of the file is annoying. I am not to a point though where I am willing to pay for the site yet (I just don't have the need to convert that many files).

Thing # 19

Web 2.0

I decided to discuss two networking applications. The first one is LinkedIn. I discovered this networking site about a year ago while in graduate school and I have built an online portfolio with my skill sets, previous employment history, and aspirations. In today's ever changing job market you never know when you could use this information to benefit the advancement of my career. Also I have found other specialists throughout the US that have the same interests as myself and we have connected through my network to share technology and science ideas.

On the flip side, personally I have enjoyed using facebook to reconnect with old high school friends that have moved away. It is a great way to catch up and explore what is going on in your friend's lives. I have also posted links of interest that I have found as well as videos I have created. I do not waste time with all the games and other things that facebook users can access, but rather use it as a way to stay in touch with old friends and current ones. Who knows where this may lead?

As far as classroom and educational uses of these sites - I have already mentioned the use of LinkedIn as a way to network with other professionals that share the same interests as you and can also serve as a way to market your skills to other educational entities. I am not sure what the educational benefit of facebook is, but I know that personally I have posted links to things I have experienced in regards to educational technology and several of my friends are teachers and I have shared resources with them in the facebook environment.

Thing # 18

Google Docs

Some of the advantages to Google Docs are that you can work on docs from any computer with internet access. It allows for collaboration (multiple users can edit simultaneously). Another advantage is that edits you make are see by everyone immediately and it automatically saves so that you do not have to worry about losing your documents. You can also "revert" to previous versions of google docs if you experience trouble with the current version.

One major disadvantage is that you have to be on a computer with internet access to work on your documents.

I have had experience in using google docs for collaboration projects while I was in graduate school. It was a great way for my teams to share the editing responsibilities on projects and to work together. We have also started using it for planning at church. We have a google log-in for our children's ministry that we put up a basic outline of special events in google docs and then all of the leaders log-in and share their thoughts and expertise on the subject and when we are finished we have a document that sums up everyone's collective knowledge in a usable document.

I would like to use this next year with the science SISs in the district to collaborate between meetings on staff development or topic ideas. I think this will be a good idea that will improve sharing among us.

Thing # 17

I am not going to comment on Rollyo because I already have a way to quickly search my sites that I frequently visit. If you are a Firefox user there is a plug-in called speed dial. You can find it at Speed Dial

Within Speed Dial you can create different tabs that allow you to quickly switch between websites that you have added to speed dial. Within one click you are taken to the website. I have utilized this feature to set up tabs for my blogs, social networking, personal, and weight loss. In the near future I plan to create a page for science where I can add my favorite science sites that I use in teaching.

Check it out to see what I am talking about. I have included some pictures from my speed dial so that you can see the tabs and what this feature looks like.

Tabs



Sample Speed Dial Page