Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thing # 11.5 - Evaluation

I cannot believe I made it this far!!! I am ecstatic right now!

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I had several favorites - the most recent would have to be the Second Life. I surprisingly really enjoyed playing around with a few of the different features and I look forward to learning more about it. I also liked the Image Generators - I had fun with that as well. Animoto would probably have to be my all time favorite because I have discovered a new way to keep up with all of my online photos!

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
It has reminded me of all the technology that is out there that I am so unfamiliar with and that I need to stay updated for the sake of my students and my own young children. I don't want to get left behind and it is so valuable to stay on top of the latest technologies even if they take me completely out of my comfort zone.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
After completing the 23 Things last summer - I knew that I would have another great experience. I think that it is such a wonderful opportunity to have this offered and I look forward to completing something similar next summer!

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
Extend the time if possible...I know that isn't really feasible, but this felt like a lot of work in a short amount of time. It was great though!

Thank you!

Thing # 11 - Digital Citizenship

Well, my initial first impression of Digital Citizenship is that it is a form of online etiquette. I hope that is correct. I would want to teach my students the following:
1) Danger associated with online social networking sites - their identity can be traced - school computers are the property of the school and anything inappropriate they may be looking at can come back to them.
2) Online bullying or written threats of any kind can get a student into a lot of trouble, possibly even legal trouble.
3) Plagiarism is illegal and will earn them a zero on an assignment - anything that is copy and pasted must be documented.
4) Learn to distinguish reliable sources versus unreliable sources - don't always use the first site you find. Check the credibility of the site.
5) The internet is a vast resource - use it wisely.

Thing # 10 - Virtual Worlds

So, this is my first time hearing of this and when I first read the directions, I felt totally overwhelmed! What the heck is this? Very interesting. After playing around with it - I had a lot of fun. One downside, I feel like I would have to have some serious extra time on my hands to fully explore what all the Second Life has to offer. For the short amount of time that I played around with it, I had fun creating my new persona. I dare not tell my husband about this site - he would become addicted! There seem to be some really cool things that you could use it for. I love the idea of a virtual classroom - I would really like to try this out with my students, but I have quite a bit of learning to do before I venture out on that idea.

Thing # 9 - Slideshare

This was interesting - I think that as a classroom teacher there is a great desire to have shared powerpoints; I don't know that kids would find it quite as useful or interesting. After reading Stephen's Lighthouse, it looks as though there are other web based sharing sites that might work better than Slideshare. 280 Slides would be excellent for those that do not have access to many of our students may not at home.

This one on advertising would be great to use in the classroom for a persuasive writing assignment - it was interesting to watch.

As for the students using it, I suppose one could create a useful assignment to get the kids involved...I'll have to think on this one. I would love to be able to use it in the classroom though.

Thing # 8 - Screencast

I used Screencast-o-matic because it didn't require me to upload anything to my computer and it was super easy to use.

I will be teaching the novel Montana 1948, so I chose to do a screen shot of an essay about racism against the Native Americans in the novel - students could go here and read the essay and make comments that could lead to a very useful classroom discussion.

Thing # 7 - Video Resources

I had no idea there were so many great video resources out there for free! I browsed through several of the sites, but I have to admit that I'm not a big online video fan. Nonetheless, I did find some useful videos that could be used in the classroom.

These videos about the Great Depression could be used if you were teaching anything from that time period for an English class; it would certainly fit well within a history class. They were excellent videos. If you could find one for the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression it would work well as an introduction to the novel Out of the Dust.

Thing # 6 - I-Touch Apps

Pretty cool phone! I have an Eternity touch phone, but it doesn't compare to the possibilities this one has. There were lots of neat apps to play around with, but all at a cost...that I would prefer not to spend! I could see how kids could really get into the different features and spend a lot of time using the various applications. As far as using it in school for instructional purposes, I think there might be problems monitoring what the kids are navigating. If on their own they would use it to create calendars, set up reminders, do the math games and the reader apps; it would have lots of educational potential.