Friday, May 30, 2008

Thing 21-YouTube

YouTube is an addictive site where a person could spend a lot of time. I think there are many useful videos for teacher on YouTube and TeacherTube but you have to hunt for them. Its easy to get distracted and clicking on links to different clips and forget what you were initially looking for. Surprisingly, YouTube is not banned in my school district. One of my fifth grade students wanted to show me a harry potter clip so he accessed it. I hadn't checked before that. Amazing!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thing 20-More RSS Feeds

I am embarrassed to say that yes, checking my feeds is becoming an obsession everynight. I have found an eclectic selection of feeds on a variety of subjects that I am interested in and I look forward to checking them at night. I have found that instead of reading each one, I tend to scan for information I am interested in. The big benefit as I see it, is that you can keep up on many topics with little searching. This is definitely a tool I will continue to use long after 23 Things is finished- Thank You!

Thing seems very easy to set up and use. I currently use google to bookmark rather than using favorites on one computer. With google bookmarks, I can access my bookmarks from any computer but they are only mine and the social part is not included. It was interesting to see if others had my favorites also bookmarked. My username is nmarko if you want to see what I have bookmarked. I have bookmarked therapy sites that I use frequently. I am an itinerent therapist, working in many different locations during the week so an online bookmarking tool is very helpful to me. I could see it as a helpful tool to share with other therapist who do the same thing I do since we all work in an isolated way. It would be useful for additional ideas.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thing 18- Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking was something that I had heard about and explored but didn't really get the underlying idea. I am an itinerent therapist so bookmarking on one computer never worked for me due to the nature of my job so I discovered and have been using Google to bookmark. I really liked this way to access my bookmarks from many different locations and sort them into several different files, but the idea of tags and sharing your bookmarks with others is new and I'm ready to try it. It seems like a useful method to organize and I think it would be useful to see what others found. I change my labels or files periodically as you fine tune the sorting and I can see that this would happen to your tags too.

Thing 17-Slideshare

I liked exploring Slideshare but I had looked at previously too. I wasn't able to spend much time looking at it before so it was nice to be able to look closer this time. I think it would be very useful to any classroom teacher to provide another way of learning for the students. Is there any copyright issues when using another persons slideshows? I think it would be pretty motivating for students to create a slideshow and post it in slide share for others to view.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thing 16-OnlineTools

I explored the Library organizational tool because I am an obsessive reader. I have been keeping track of what I read for years and thought that this tool might help me organize my reading list. Currently, I organize chronologically, which doesn't work well when I want to look up something that I previously read. I think the Library tool might help with that but you have to enter all the books and add "tags" to them to sort them into categories. But it also is like a giant book club too with discussions on books you have added. I have also used previously and like the tools it has- my children use this online brain stormer.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thing 15-Google Docs

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I give presentations at the county level to teachers and I do this with another occupational therapist who works in a different location. We have been using Google Docs to manage our handouts and powerpoints presentations because we were frustrated that our schedules limited our time together and we couldn't keep track of our latest revisions. We found Google Docs worked perfectly for this problem. I am trying to get others on board with it for other collaborations. I have been trying to get teachers to use in for classroom projects and setting up a classroom account which would be separate from their own personal account. It seems like a perfect method to share the work.

Thing 14-Creating a Podcast

Podcasting is an interesting area to explore- I am and already was a consumer of certain podcast but I have to clarify that I was not subscribing to any "educational" but rather interesting topics from the Discovery Channel, which I found interesting. I do not see myself as a Podcast producer but I am a teacher of teacher, so I do see myself as a disseminator of information. And teachers are interesting in podcasting. I see it as an easy method of presenting and preserving content for teachers. Obviously, the biggest obstacle is the existing technology department which is reluctant to try new things- seems like an oxymoron, doesn't it?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thing 13-subscribing to podcasts

There were so many podcasts that I was interested in and subscribed to- now I'll have to carve out some extra time to listen to them. I can see why people like podcasts though and feel like I will be bettering my self by listening to something useful rather than just morning radio on my way to work. My good friend subscribes to several so I got some useful suggestions from him too. I subscribed to Grammar Girl, Quirks and Quarks, and Nature on PBS.

Thing 12-Podcasts

I enjoyed listening to the grammar girl and merriam webster word of the day. I am an avid reader but sometime am not sure about pronounciation of new words so I like the pronounciation in the dictionary podcast. Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day And I think we can all learn about grammar. Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Tip for Better Writing I think the math and science podcasts would be quite useful for accelerated students or home study on specific topics. I am teaching teachers so will definitely touch on podcasting and links to good ones.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thing 11-My Wiki

I have already been using Wikis for a teacher inservice I have been teaching. I was a "self taught" wiki user and designed this wiki with my colleague
We looked at pbwikis and wikispaces and decided to use pbwikis for ours. It is quite easy to set up a wiki and easy to inbed the links and videos. Students really like to edit wikis and especially like the widget that shows who is reading their wiki. What could be more motivating for a student than to see people from other countries reading their wikis?
I see the difference in a wiki or a blog- a blog is really only one person's thoughts and ideas but a wiki is an interactive tool where anyone can add and edit. Seems like a better tool....

Thing 10-Wikis

I greatly enjoyed searching the educational wikis and bookmarked many of them to further explore and share with my educational colleagues. I have been using a wiki already and can see many uses for them at school. I have introduced them to colleagues and many objections that I hear are that students will write inappropriate materials but after they are shown how to monitor the content and can determine who added to the wiki, most teachers see the immediate value. I especially liked the wikis that were cross country classrooms or across the globe. I have found that if you want to have a good wiki, it requires a significant amount of time to monitor it and there are many wikis that people have "abandoned". I definitely think they are worth the fight.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thing 9-Online image generators

I spend a lot of time online and I have never seen many of these things. I'm glad to be taking this online mini class to learn about all these things. The online image generators were fun and had many options to explore but I was frustrated because many of my photos that I tried to upload to the website were too large of a file and it was time consuming to try to find photos that were smaller in memory size. I think students would have a great time with these tools and it would be fun to see what they come up with. I tried both of the links you gave but this photo was from using the body mix-ups. Go Redwings!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Thing 8-Flickr Mashups

What is there to say about these except "very fun". A person could spend a lot of time just messing around with these. I have been teaching classes to other teachers and will include some of these in my next class. Kids would think they were fun too and might be more motivated to work on a project if there was some time for creativity.

Thing 7-Photos

Uploading photos to Flickr is easy and I like how you can "tag" the photos to search for specific subjects. I have used other online photo storage websites but have not seen the ability to search for subjects. I like the idea of having students type in a "tag" and be able to view photos related to topics such as travel photos to different countries, current event photos, biology topics, even specific chemistry photos. We have to be careful about the photos of our students that we post and of our classrooms. Flickr will definitely get more visits from this teacher.