Monday, June 29, 2009

This was my cool web discovery of the day. Interesting philosophy and a cool web 2.0 tool too!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thing 47: Evaluation

That's it. I have run out of time to complete all of the More 23 Things. I looked at each one of the ones I didn't complete and plan to work on some of them at some time in the future.

This round was different for me. I skipped around a lot. I started by reading all of the "things" and thinking that I really wasn't too enthused about any of them. They all looked like they would take much more time than they would save. I don't really think that my opinion has changed after working through the majority of the things.

I think that screencasting has a lot of applicability to my teaching. I do plan to make more use of it. I would like to do digital storytelling with my students. I definitely want to explore GoogleDocs with my students.

Twitter -- not so much. I did decide to follow some people. This doesn't seem like it will be a source of more information for me. Maybe I chose the wrong people to follow. I did put a Twitter widget on one of my iGoogle pages so that I can check it more frequently.

Pandora and Hulu might be useful but I don't have time to watch what I already want to watch on Broadcast TV. I can't imagine finding the time to watch more on my computer. The music will be more useful. However, I have my iPod which already has all my favorite music.

It was nice to refresh my memory about some of the BigHugeLabs tools. Again, I want to share those with my students too.

I liked the whole concept of the 23 things. I liked being able to pick and choose which ones interested me and being able to do them when I had the time. Self-directed and self-paced is my favorite way to learn.

Thing 45: Cloud Computing

I'm in the cloud. My personal email is gmail because I got tired of having to switch all my email addresses when I changed internet service providers. I am starting to move my documents into GoogleDocs. I have a Flickr account and a Photobucket account.

I even have a Facebook page and a MySpace page but only because I needed them for the first 23 Things. I check them only when I get a message from them telling me that something new is happening. I did manage to connect with someone on Facebook that I haven't heard from since I graduated from college in 1972. She found me! I think that we are actually going to be getting together soon to catch up on our lives.

I very much appreciate the ability to access my stuff no matter where I am. I have already wanted some information stored in my school's E drive since I got home and wish that I would have transferred that document to my GoogleDocs. Transferring more files is going to be first on my to do list when school starts in the fall.

I would like to teach my sixth grade students about GoogleDocs because I think that would help them a lot in their high school career. I don't know how often kids have told me that the document was at home or, worse yet, on their flash drive but unopenable because it is a different version of the programs we use at school. My concern there is that they need to have email addresses to access GoogleDocs and to collaborate. We don't give the kids email accounts primarily because we don't want to manage or police them. Many parents don't want their young kids to have email for the same reasons. But it sure would be useful!

I just got something from the Official Google Blog about Google Apps for Education that I really want to run by our school technology people. I think that would give us more control without more work.

I think that cloud computing is the wave of the future. I'd rather surf on it than be drowned by it.

Thing 38: Screencasting

I have tried out ScreenToaster and not had any luck with it. I need better directions. I tried to make a screencast of adding a URL to my Delicious account.

One of these days I will download one of the free ones and try again. I can see that this would be very useful as I am teaching students how to do things. However, I will have to download this and create my screencasts at work. At home I am using Vista and at work we are using Windows XP. Things just don't look the same.

I did just order a microphone for my computer as it looks like that will be a useful accessory for a number of these Things. However, my microphone won't arrive for a few days.

This is a "set it aside until I'm back at work" thing.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kids Today

Kids today! How will we keep up? Do we even have a chance to lead? We need to be a community of learners.

I spent a little time this evening searching for Education 2.0 on YouTube and found a number of interesting videos. This one is my favorite so far.

Techspo 2009

KMcElman_090514_T1 e letter C H HETAL S sto P o

Tomorrow is Techspo. I will be presenting a session on 23 Things. I feel that I am still very much an amateur myself at learning about and using Web 2.0 tools.

There are some that I use on a daily basis - iGoogle, Bloglines, Delicious, LibraryThing - and some I haven't used since I finished Round 1 - Gather, Digg.

I am just working my way through More Things on a Stick and am learning to use new tools each time. I haven't had time to integrate the new tools into my thinking yet let alone into my lesson plans for my students. I am slowly being converted to the utility of Twitter, for example. Animoto looks like fun and I want ot explore it more. I think I can see how my students can use it.

I hope that I can provide useful information for the people who choose to attend my session. The 23 Things program comes out of the library world and my audience will be teachers. I think most of the things translate but I have a foot in both worlds. I would like to target the educational use of these Web 2.0 tools so that teachers can see the value.

Maybe we can make our own community and talk about our progress during this coming summer.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thing 27: Twitter Redone

letter T Educational Brick Letter W I letter T T letter E KMcElman_090516_R3

Okay...I'll give it another try. I went to Twitter again last night and customized my page. I also added some people to follow and posted a couple of updates.

I also added a Twitter gadget to my iGoogle page. Since that is my homepage on my computer it will force me to keep up with Twitter.

Now my next step is to learn how to retweet and some other stuff. Always something more to learn! Love it!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thing 37: Phototales

Here is my first attempt at an animoto video. It is just a random collection of images from my hometown -- Duluth, MN,

Thing 43. Online TV and Video

I set up a Hulu account and found a number of things that would be interesting to watch. Time is the major problem.

I have trouble watching all of the things I want to see on broadcast TV as it is. I have sometimes gone to the Fox website to catch the episode of House or Bones that I have missed. I have gone to ABC and NBC to catch up on Dancing With the Stars or The Biggest Loser. I like the features at those websites of giving me the highlights of those shows in a brief period of time.

Friends have talked about the show Ruby which is apparently on the Style Network or some other network not available to me on my cable. Apparently it isn't on Hulu or Joost either. This certainly does provide people with another option to watch something they missed or are just interested in.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thing 36: Summer Reading

LibraryLady2002 created this one.

Thing 36: Comic Relief -- Generate Some Fun

Whew! When I took a quick look at this I thought that I would have to be doing comic strips. I am only slowly being converted to the joys of graphic novels. My students are running way ahead of me on this one and I am feeding their addiction and encouraging them to recommend to each other. I have only read a couple.

I was pleased to note, when I looked more closely, that it was about other kinds of fun generators and some very useful ones. I use CutePDF to convert my files to PDFs when such conversion is necessary. It was a free download and appears automatically as a choice when I go to print anything. It has been useful when I want to post documents on my school webpage and don't want anything changed.

Citation Machine in my citation maker of choice. We have a link to it on our school website and I teach the 6th graders how to use it to cite their sources in the research they do for me. For younger students, I direct them to websites for their research that will make the citation for them. World Book Online does and is a good starting point for research if the topic is something that would appear in an encyclopedia. Some of the ELM databases also have citations for the students to copy and paste. We also use the website which also gives citations for the students to copy and paste. I wait until 6th grade to talk about citation machine mainly because the students need to use it to make citations for webpages. I think those are the hardest citations to make. For some reason, web page creators don't think of some future readers need to cite the page and make information hard to find or don't include it at all. I wonder what they are thinking?

I have used a number of the things at BigHugeLabs and had fun with them. I am looking forward to using Wordle. I like the idea that it is not just about art but is a way of seeing what you are really talking about.

Wordle: Web2.0

A Wordle of my Delicious bookmarks.