Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thing 11.5-Evaluation

Woohoo! I made it! Here is my wrap up evaluation:
1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
My favorite discovery by far was Skype. It was my favorite for entirely selfish reasons. I now see ways to communicate with my sons with out the use of cell phones and the accompanying bill. I have tested it and it works great. What a find!
2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
I enjoy finding out about new on-line resources. Many of them I can use in library lessons, but even the ones that do not particularly apply to elementary education can be used in other ways---Skype for example.
3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? I cannot think of any unexpected outcomes this time around, but there were two very good take aways that I definitely will use in library lessons: Wordle and Slide Share.
4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
The only suggestion I can think of would be the division of site exploration by grade levels. For example, there was really no application in the elementary setting for Second Life. It is good to know about it, but I would prefer to explore more usable sites for my grade levels.

Thing 11-Digital Citizenship

It is important for students to understand the importance of the uses and responsibilities of of on-line communications and learning. Five important concepts to discuss are:
1. Digital Etiquette-What is appropriate behavior when using the computer? What are the consequences of misuse of computer equipment or on-line sites?
2. Digital Literacy-What are necessary research skills? How can we judge the reliability of a web site?
3. Digital Law-What are ethical uses of technology and information taken from web sites? How do we properly cite our sources?
4. Digital Rights and Responsiblities-Students need to know that they have the right to freedom of speech and the right to privacy on-line, but students need to know how to exercise these rights in an appropriate way.
5. Digital Security-Students need to understand that not everyone on-line is to be trusted. Students need to understand about viruses and web protection along with their personal protection on-line.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thing 10-Second Life

Okay, I explored this, but I am still skeptical. Who has time for this---both in the school setting or on my own time? Since I am in an elementary school, I see no way that I could use this in a class setting. Even the teen version is for ages 13 and up.
I have been told by my much more in tune with what is current sons that Second Life is considered very out now. Maybe I should try it again when I am in a better mood.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thing 9-Slideshare

I investigated Slideshare and 280 Slides. I really liked both sites for several reasons. I liked the creative options that are available. I think that it is great to be able to look at other Power Point presentations for ideas or even to use and modify. I can definitely see students using both these sites for the above mentioned reasons. For students, I can see an advantage to saving presentations to these sites, then being able to access them from any computer. This would be a great help in student presentations to the class. It would no longer require saving the presentation to a flash drive or switching laptops.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thing 8-Screencasts

I like this; however, I have to admit that I had some problems with it. I used ScreenCastle, which was very very easy to use, but I found that my finished screen cast dialog did not match up with the on screen action. I tried it twice and both times I got the same result. I am posting it here anyway. I can definitely see possibilities with screencasting. I could prepare a lesson and not have to repeat the same lesson four or five times for a grade level, I could screencast it. I could send e-mails to faculty members explaining technology changes. Students could create screencasts to instruct other students. The possibilities are endless....
I cannot make the video of my screencast you can see below...hmmmm..

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thing 7-Video Resources

I am really glad to find out about all these video resources! I have used videos in the past in library lessons and they really keep student attention. For example, in the past I have used videos with book talks. For example, in a book talk about Brian Selznick's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I found a video presented by the Franklin Institute about automatons (the subject of Hugo Cabret) which I showed to classes. As a result, The Invention of Hugo Cabret went from collecting dust on the shelf to being the most sought after book of the year.
For Thing 7, I watched a video about space (which I am going to include here) and a PBS video from the American Experience series about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I can see using them as I have in the past in library lessons and teasers to keep students interested.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thing 6- ITouch Apps

I have had an I Touch for some time now and really do like it. I have read all the directions for downloading apps, but have to admit that I have had some problems actually doing on my IPod. I have enjoyed visiting the App Store and am amazed at all the information that is available for free. I can see uses for many of the educational apps---especially the math apps. Students could work in groups to solve the problems. One app about the presidents of the United States could be useful for student research or question and answer sessions. I also like the chess app. Students could actually practice their chess skills using the IPod.