Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thing # 23 Pearls

This is only the beginning. That is the sentence I would use to describe my reponse to the 23 Things experience. I would certainly take this journey again because I believe I have only paddled around in the shallow water.

The only improvement I would suggest is add more!

The biggest surprise for me was how much I learned from my classmates. Their perspectives, ideas, and discovery of other gems enriched my experience and encouraged me to push myself further.

One of my goals was to view this experience through the eyes of a librarian instead of a classroom teacher. I believe that I achieved this goal. I can see so many applications of these tools for librarians. I can also see myself leading teachers to these tools for use with their students in the classroom.

My favorite part of this experience has been interacting with my classmates through blogging. I have enjoyed the community of learners.

Diving in was exhilarating. My old ways of thinking have been washed away with the tide, and I emerge anew covered with sparkling ideas and holding handfuls of pearls.

Is this the end? It can't be. I feel that I have only just begun to swim. Another lap anyone?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thing #22 Never-ending Nings

Once this 23 community completes its journey, what will fill the void of blogging and sharing our common goals and experiences with each other? I can see where joining a Ning would help us retain our sense of community and allow us to continue the conversation we have started. It would also expand our small community to include others at different places in the Web 2.0 journey. We will not be trekking alone. We will travel as a group seeking lifelong learning and leadership as educators and librarians.

The Nings seem vast compared to our current small community. Diving into one of these seems a little intimidating; however, seeing familiar names on the Nings, such as Judy Morellion and Joyce Valenza, made me feel more at home. There are mentors in place that have knowledge and experience to share with us. Maybe one day a Ning community will feel like family to us. I am willing to give it a try. I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go on the Web 2.0 journey. I am going to need guides, and I believe I will find them here. Hey, one day, I may start my own Ning. That's something to think about further.

The Crucible Photostory

video

Thing #21 A Dramatic Story

I finally finished my photostory. Though some of the pictures I used came out a little blurry, I am mostly pleased with the result. I decided to do my photostory over The Crucible since my classes are currently reading the play. I could see my classes completing an activity like this to demonstrate their understanding of a text. The most time-consuming part of this process is the research. I had to search for appropriate pictures that I could use. Since I did not have a microphone, I had to use text boxes for my messages. Some of the photos obscure the words. If I used Photostory more often, I could learn how to choose better photos and music. I would like to spend more time with Photostory in the future.
The results are so drama-tic!

I learned something that may help another struggling player. If you have chosen in basic settings the updated settings, the upload video icon does not appear. I have been trying to upload my photostory forever through upload image, and that does not work! I finally found the information about what to do when the video icon does not appear. I had to change my basic settings back to Old Editor to have access to the video link. So, check your settings before you give up. Now, I am waiting forever for the video to load so I can publish it. Hopefully, I will be able to post it soon!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thing #20 Thoughtful Tubes

I enjoyed watching videos about information literacy and the 21st Century Learner. While some videos are difficult to watch because of blurry pictures and slow slides, others are engaging and thought-provoking.  The best videos are those made by people who feel passionately about their topic and want to reach out and mobilize others to join their march for literacy or learning, or leading.  I can imagine using YouTube and TeacherTube for different purposes: motivation, information, inspiration.  This video on the 21st Century Learner is all three.  It reminds me of the video we watched at the beginning of the 23 Things. 

Thing #19 Function and Fun

I took my time exploring the Web 2.0 list.  Many of these sites, I have heard of and experimented with before.  I have used Pandora radio for my personal use and in my classroom.  I like how you can program the type of music you want to listen to and it automatically chooses songs that fit your style.  Doof provided some needed distractions with games.  I had to assure my family that I was doing my homework by playing games on Doof like WordFind and Mahjong.  PEERtrainer intrigued me for personal reasons, so I signed up for the health tip of the day.  If I could find time to read the articles I receive daily, I might benefit from this decision.  I decided to check out Twitter.  As much as I have heard about Twitter, I do not have an account and have not ever tweeted.  I typed in a topic that interested me and after reading page after page of comments, I came to the conclusion that Twitter is a glorified form of gossip.  Sorry if I offend anyone who sees value in this madness.  Maybe I need to give it another chance, but right now, I have too much to do to read tweets from twits on tedious topics.  Other tools on the list I have used such as GoogleDocs, Flickr, Diigo, etc., and I find them to be worthy of the Web 2.0 list.  I can see the application of these tools in my future as a librarian and even now as a teacher.  This list contains both functional and fun applications.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thing #18 Open Access to Documents

I have previously explored Googledocs and found many advantages to using it over Microsoft Office.  I plan to use Open Office more this year and compare them over time.  The biggest advantage of using Googledocs and Open Office is the accessibility.  I work on my home computer and on my laptop.  Instead of saving documents to my computer and then emailing them to myself, or saving to a flashdrive that I have to be able to locate, I can access my documents from any computer.  I have encouraged my students to use it at home, so they do not have to worry about accessing their email from school in order to print out a document.  Googledocs, though not as familiar and comfortable as Microsoft Office, provides access.  In today's world, ease of access can make the difference in meeting a deadline or having needed information prepared for a meeting.  Most of the time, I use Microsoft Office, but the more I work at home, the more advantages I find to using Googledocs.  Familiarity or access: you decide which you need the most.