Monday, April 28, 2008
Today I created a rollyo searh tool (http://www.rollyo.com/index.html). Basically you can create a search engine just for you with websites you like/trust so that only those ones come up. I would love to use this in the classroom. I sometimes have my kids to research projects using the internet. I would love to have a search engine pre-created of websites I know are academic, fact-based, and 6th grade friendly. I think this would be a great classroom tool and I am looking forward to using it with my next internet research assignment!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I feel like I should post about some educational website I discovered, but I have to choose my new addiction/time-waster, guess-the-google. It shows you a collection of images that show up under a google key word search and then you have to guess the key word. It's addicting. It's fun. I can't think of any educational value to it. But I love it anyway. And...it makes you think logically? It familiarizes you with google? Yeah, okay. But it's super fun!
My favorite image generator was definitely the "Warholizer," where you can upload an image and have it changed into the style of Andy Warhol's famous Marilyn Monroe portraits. I love it!
I could definitely see using this in the classroom. During the summer program I usually teach we get to do art (which is rare for me), and we d
o a Warhol activity with pictures of the students photocopied onto transparencies and then they decorated them with marker. I would love to incorporate this website into that lesson.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Well, Thing 9 is to find new blogs that interest you using search tools. I played around with both the bloglines search tool and the google blog search feature. I found a technology in the classroom blog that I really liked on the bloglines search tool. It covers some of the challenges of using technology, but also focuses on the many positives. Very cool.
I liked both of the search features, but was a little preferential toward the google one. Perhaps just because I am comfortable with the google format and the bloglines one is newer to me? But, I can see myself wasting some time on both of them, searching for the blogs of strangers. I wonder if any strangers are reading any of my blogs? Hmm...they should comment to make me feel important. :D
I can also see this being a good way to network with other teachers and to expand my understanding of other people. Blogs are definitely a window into someone else's world in a unique way. You see things from their perspective and can see how people perceive themselves, which I always find fascinating.
I am digging this online class. I am learning new things already, and am relieved that I know what the heck RSS stands for. I feel way less ignorant already!
Today I learned what an RSS is...it stands for Really Simple Syndication. It's basically a way to check several favorite websites all at once.
Lately, I have been checking several of my friends' blogs daily. I love seeing what my friends' adorable children are up to, reading my sister's hilarious and intelligent posts, and reading Bean's blog (yes, I do find it interesting. No, this does not mean I have aperger's syndrome).
So, an RSS is my new favorite thing. I set up the blogs I check daily and it tells me all at once if they have been updated. This way I don't have to check out everyone's to see who has new posts. LOVE IT!
You can also add news feeds and other features. This might need to be my new homepage.
Educational uses...hmm. I'll have to give that one some more thought. But, the fact that it saves a busy teacher some time definitely counts as an educational advantage in my book!
"Yes, I love technology..."
Kip says it right in Napoleon Dynamite. I love technology. I know I functioned without a laptop, cell phone, or ipod throughout college. But I'm not sure how. I feel super spoiled by technology. No need to make hard and fast plans-I'll just call you on my cell phone when I get there. My Thomas Guide collects dust in my back seat because I either mapquest it or use my handy-dandy GPS-a must for someone lost as much as I am!
But, I also know that the technology curve moves along. That is one of the reasons I am doing this class. I have no idea how to make a podcast, or use photoshop, and am just discovering how to make a wiki. Even at twenty-five I catch myself saying, "I have no idea how to do that" when it comes to computers. And I know that this is the mentality that will make me obsolete in the future-especially when it comes to middle school teaching. So, I commit to be a lifelong technology learner. I figure if my grandma can send me an email, I can figure out how to use wikispaces.
This week I learned about mashups-basically when you combine two web applications to create a new one. I used the one recommended by classroom learning and chose a trading card maker: http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/deck.php
You can upload your photo and make a trading ca
rd. Super fun...I'd love to figure out a way to have my students make a trading card. Maybe for a Greek
God or Goddess for history? Or for another historical figure. Hm, I might have to try that one.
But first, here is my trading card:
You love it. :D
I think I was already supposed to do this post...oops.
The first assignment was to listen to an online lesson about the 7.5 Habits of Lifelong Learners and to post about which habits are both easiest and most difficult for you. So, without further ado...
Easiest: Create a Learning Toolbox
A learning toolbox is defined as the tools you need to learn whatever you are working toward. It includes books, technology, classes, mentors, friends, and webpages. This is totally me. When I want to know about something, my first thought is to "wikipedia it!" This has replaced googling it as my go-to, in fact. From there, I tend to seek out friends that are experts and basically force them to explain something to me. If I still want more info, I head to trusty old amazon.com and order a book on the subject. I think I am pretty good at gathering resources.
Hardest: View Problems as Challenges
Well! You didn't say learning a new skill would be hard! I am very easily frustrated. When I am learning something new and hit the wall, I tend to crash into it and then run away crying, rather than find a way to scale the wall. I remember trying to learn to snowboard. Despite my notorious lack of athletic ability, I thought I could probably learn to snowboard. Yeah, not so much. And, when I am not good at something, I tend to be done. I think it comes from being pretty adept at school as a child. I tend to pick up book knowledge pretty quickly, but acquiring new skills is another issue. I need to work on rising to the challenge of the things I want to learn, rather than deciding that "I didn't really want to learn how to do that anyway!"
I feel like I am posting about The Cat in the Hat...but where are Thing 1 and Thing 2?
Anyway, this week's assignment was to explore www.flickr.com, which I could totally get lost on for hours. After searching all sorts of things, I have decided to post about this image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stoneth/133891593/
It's a picture of a homeless man named Walter. You should really look at it, and read the accompanying description. I chose this picture because I am really drawn to homeless people. I am actually planning on starting to volunteer with a homeless ministry through church. But, my post will be about my moral dilemma when it comes to the homeless:
Do you give them money or not?
I generally operate under the philosophy that it is on their conscience what they use the money for and it's on mine to be a compassionate person. If they don't really need the money or are lying, that's on them. But if I drive or walk on by, it's on my conscience. And, frankly, if I were homeless I might occasionally want to buy a beer, I'm not going to lie.
But, recently a colleague mentioned that she does not give money to homeless people because she believes that they should seek out the organizations that can really help them-not only with their immediate needs, but with long-term help to bring them out of homelessness. Her point is that if they are not successful panhandling, they will be forced to get help from an organization (which is where she directs her funds).
So, what are your thoughts? Give freely and leave it up to them, or walk past the person and donate to the organization?
So here it is. This is my blog for my Classroom Learning 2.0 class. I can't imagine too many people will be interested in this, but if there are any Carnegie people who'd like to take a gander or who want help with the class, give me a shout-out!