Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thing #23 In Summary....

Wow! This has been an experience. To be honest, when I saw this assignment I was a bit worried. I wasn't sure I had the technical ability to do all 23 things on my own; but I AM patting myself on the back right now. My skills are not perfect, but I did my best and I did it largely on my own (and thanks to Greg for bailing me out a couple times)! I have learned so much, and plan to incorporate many of these tools in both my personal and professional life.

To answer the questions now:

• What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I really liked the image generators and photo tools. I will be using those frequently.
• How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
I stated that the learning goal I had the most difficulty with was confidence in my abilities. I feel really good about finishing the 23 things. I surprised myself!
• Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? That I’m not that bad with technology, especially if I am given good training (Thank you Dr. Bishop and YouTube!).
• What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
Add more Things as new technology appears so we can stay current.
• If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
• How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things?

Thing #22 Nings

Nings are a social networking sites (forums) that are centered around a specific topic. It is a place where members can post questions and comments and chat with other like minded people regarding those subjects. It is a little online community. Librarians are generally lonely individuals, by virtue of being the only one of their kind on a campus! My district goes above and beyond others to link us together via monthly meetings and Pronto, but it is still lonely! This is a way to stay linked to others in our field, whether to get advice, collaborate, or bounce ideas off one another. I am going to join the TeacherLibrarianNetwork created by Joyce Valenza.

Thing #21 Podcasts and Videocasts

I used Photostory to create a short video of my loved ones. This was very easy to do and turned out great. This could be used in the classroom to document the steps of any process, or for any presentation, or by a librarian for booktalks or promotions. It would be good to show off the year in review by any educator. Personally I plan to use it often.

Thing #20 YouTube

YouTube and TeacherTube are excellent sources of information, and have been invaluable as a "how to" quick guide for me this semester. It is very frustrating that YouTube is blocked in the district. I will try out Zamzar the next time I really want to use a video. I will be giving a short staff development refresher on copyright practices in January. I love the following copyright lesson using Disney clips as an icebreaker:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thing #19 Web 2.0 Awards List

I played around with the Widgets, which are fun little applications to add to your networking sites. I found most success with It was fun, they had many choices, and it was as easy as cut and paste. I chose the countdown to Christmas tree for my example!

Thing #18 Google Docs

For this exercise, I chose to explore Google Docs. They offer their version of a word processing program, a spreadsheet, and what looks like a presentation option like PowerPoint. The benefits are obvious in that it is free and accessible from anywhere. Sometimes I work at home, at school, even at UHCL. I usually have to save all my work to a thumb drive or email it. Sometimes this gets confusing, because I have to remember where it was saved. With Google docs, it would be available anywhere by simply logging in. It is also free. I had to purchase PowerPoint over the summer, and it was over $100. I must say that I have not played with the Google docs presentation program, so I am not sure of the quality and ease of use. It would be hard to complain because they are FREE! I will try out these applications in depth when I have more time, because it would be very convenient and cost effective.

Thing #17 Rollyo

Rollyo is an excellent tool for kids to have organized access to prescreened websites. This is easy to use, you just go to the Rollyo website and register. You then create a subject folder/tab and group your selected websites under that folder, then publish it so the kids can access it. It would be great in my school, as I only have a limited amount of flex time (and library computers) in the day for research. However, the kids do go to the computer lab, where there are 30 PCs. They can access the rollyo via the web there, or from home, and continue research in a safe way. It is a good idea, and an alternative to a webquest if you dont have time to set one up.