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Monday, August 10, 2009

Thing #23 - Summarize your thoughts about this program

You mean I'm finished!!! I can't believe that I made it to the end! Some of my products, like my blog page, are kind of crude and not as attractive or informative as others, but I tried my best. This was a true learning experience in so many aspects. One thing that was reinforced is that I am a visual learner and on-line courses are difficult for me. I need someone to model the task, watch as I do it, and be immediately available if I don't understand. Ironically, this has also been a positive experience in that I became really discouraged, but I didn't give up. For that, I will give myself a pat on the back. Once I get back to school, I will get someone to help me make my blog page more attractive and help me with some of the techniques that I attempted. I'm sure there is an easier way for doing some things. Every "Thing" was a learning experience for me. Almost all of the lessons were new concepts for me. Now that I have received the exposure and some practice, I am ready to start perfecting and utilizing. Thank you for offering this course.

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey

Actually, every lesson was a discovery for me! I promised my librarian that I would enroll in this course, so I would stop asking her so many questions. Wow. I liked several activities: Flickr, Google's Cool Tools, Image Generators, Online Productivity Tools, and Videos. I received great information about Blogs, Tagging, Wikis, and RSS feeds. The feeds are keeping my emai account busy because I'm receiving about 10 a day. I still need to practice on EVERYTHING, so I plan to get with it this year.

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

I knew that I was a dinasaur when it came to understanding and utilizing technology. I will admit---it scares me and the pace is so fast. Even with the cell phones. By the time I get the hang of using my phone, a more advanced version is introduced. This program has shown me a whole world exists outside the doors of my bedroom and I need to join the bandwagon. Technology can be fun and exciting, and there are so many tools to make my life easier and more efficient. This program has really enlightened me.

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

I didn't think I would finish it because I did get discouraged at times, plus I worked most of the summer, so I was under a time crunch. I am taking away everything because everything was new to me. I was surprised that my children weren't aware of some of the concepts, so they couldn't help me. My unexpected outcome is that I feel a little bit of empowerment now that I am understanding concepts. Web 2.0 is not going away. It will just become more advanced, so I need to continue to be a life-long learner.

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

Some directions were confusing and some videos did not work as planned. I would check participant's comments to see how to address a problem. Sometimes it helped because they told me how to do something and sometimes it helped because I realized that I wasn't the only one having problems.

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

I would choose to participate because I NEED to. At this point, it wouldn't be a choice; it would be a necessity.

6. 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?


7. Now go and comment on some of the other Players' blogs.


Thing #22: Nings

I heard my librarian mention this term, but I wasn't sure what it meant or what it did. Now, I see that it is another social website like MySpace and Facebook. I must admit, I do not have either one of these accounts, but it looks like everyone in the world has some type of site. I checked out the suggested Nings, and I really liked the "Ning for Teachers." The format was easy to read, and there was a personal invite for guests. One of the appealing areas was the Lesson Plan area. When I clicked here, I viewed lesson plans for various disciplines. It seems like I need to go ahead and become a part of a social network.

Thing #21 - Podcasts and Videocasts

I clicked on the linked terms because I had heard of them, but I really didn't know what they meant. I really like the CommonCraft videos because they are short and "on my level." I clicked on the book review, and I was able to hear the wonderful book reviews. I wasn't able to view the visual. Since I have never created a podcast, I checked some other blogs. I saw great videos with family information, book reviews, student projects, etc. I wanted to have my daughter engage in a book review or set family pictures to music, but my daughter wouldn't oblige, and the pictures are scattered everywhere (I really need to get photo albums!) I wanted to have something to comply with this assignment, so I attempted to create a visual regarding my experience with the 23 Things training. It's a little rough around the edges, as is the person in the video, but it was fun to prepare.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thing #20: Explore You Tube and Teacher Tube

Trying to figure this out. Will come back.

I'm not sure what happened. The disadvantage about taking this class on your own is---you feel like you're on your own. I don't have colleagues to run to, so I rely on comments to help me through this training. Some of the comments mentioned that they were successful in embedding the video, but it covered part of the blog. It looks like that happened to me.

I wanted to embed videos from both You Tube and Teacher Tube, but this "thing" was too taxing. This is a video from You Tube. Although it was created for a particular school, I thought the message was universal. During out discussion of Web 2.0, we have primarily focused on teachers and students. This video brings parents into the picture by informing parents how the child's learning experience, in and outside of the classroom will change/has changed.

Once I become more familiar with utilizing (searching, accessing, embedding, discussing)You Tube and Teacher Tube, I will make both a part of my curriculum.

Thing #19: Web 2.0 Awards List

This was really interesting. Because I am not techno savvy, I saw so many familiar terms grouped under headings, and I was able to compare their popularity within their group. Now the terms are starting to make sence! For collaborative writing, I love Goggle Docs. When I looked under education, I clicked on DOCSTOC and read an interesting article on dental plans. I wish that I had read this before last Tuesday when we made our annual trip to the dentist$$$. Under fun stuff, I click on One Sentence and there were some pretty creative sentences. Hosed wikis had WetPaint which lead me to the Ghost Wisperer wiki. Yea, GW fans! Delicious (Social News) had an interesting article about textbooks being history in a digital classroom. Once I play with it more, I can select certain groups, then sites that will help facilitate learning in the classroom.

Thing #18: Online Productivity Tools

As with most of these "things." this was new to me. After checking out both tools, I think that I prefer the Google Docs. I reviewed some of the templates and actually saw three that could help me in my personal organization: monthly calendar, monthly budget, and "to do" list. Professionally, I could use this to collaborate with colleagues regarding curriculum, tests, etc. We could be in different locations and still communicate with each other.

I think that it is an advantage to be able to access it anywhere from any computer without worrying about a flash or having it as an attachment to an email. Because it is online, I think it is a disadvantage that there is always the possibility of unauthorized users accessing confidential information.