Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thing 23- The Journey Continues

As I go back and review the different topics that I have learned about over the last few months, I am blown away with the new things I have tried. This was the perfect introduction to a lot of possible resources. Now my job is to go back and explore the ones I feel will be most useful to my students. As I said in a previous blog, I need to rethink how I am going to teach my curriculum, and Web 2.0 gives me endless avenues.
I believe this is the "theme" of this class- to "rethink" . In the last 18 years, how students learn has changed dramatically. If I am going to reach my students, I must change too. They don't need to memorize as much information, but they need ways to manage and process it.
I need to make sure I do not get overwhelmed. I have a tendency to want to do everything at once. I need to start small and expand as I get better with the technology. I appreciate the fact we can revisit these resources and videos even after we are done with the course.
Next week I am going to have the students start writing stories on the wiki. I also want to create a wiki book review page. I plan on keeping up with my bloglines and podcasts.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

Thing 22

Yeah, I did it! Creating a wiki was fun and easy. I am going to have my 2 advanced English classes write a continuous story. I am giving them each a day that they must log on and add to the story.
It should be fun. They will be my test rats. My Wiki is called davidisonmiddleschool. The link is

I think a blog would be used more with a single author, and a wiki has the advantage of being edited by multiple users.

Thing 21

I loved looking at the Wiki's that different classrooms made. The Comparing Hemispheres one blew me away. It was such a simple format to explain hard to get science laws. I could tell the kids really understood. I wonder how long it took to make and plan that wiki.
I think this would be an awesome tool. I already have a plan to work with the librarian next week and make a wiki on which students can upload audio book reviews from the library. She is setting it up and I am providing the students and then we are taping together. I would like to continue this each trimester and expand it to my teaching website.
I also see the potential to create 2 other wikis. My sister is a Kindergarten teacher in Indiana, I would like to set up something with them, or my own children go to school in my didstrict. Maybe their teachers would like to collaborate on something.
The 2 major stumbling blocks I see are the use of computer labs in our school and time. Lab time is at a premium at our school. Also, because our school district went to Trimesters, I need to add our already existing curriculum into the wikis instead of creating more.

Thing 20

Well I guess I jumped the gun. Yesterday, I subscribed to the College Humor Podcasts and the Fresh Air Podcasts. I also used both the EPN and the Podcast Alley to search for podcasts. I thought EPN was harder to use than Podcast Alley. I had a harder time using keywords with that one. With further exploration, I found an audio podcast called "Mugglecast" because I love Harry Potter. It is produced by a young man that lives in LaPorte In where my sister lives, who created an early and famous amateur website. I even logged on and am listening to it as I type this. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thing 19

I have used podcasts before, mostly through Resa. I thought that the Resa video was very informative.
As I was searching for podcasts, I was on educational overload, so I searched for things that I would enjoy instead of things for my classroom. I remember riding in the car with my Dad as he listened to NPR and I always liked the Fresh Air program. When I googled Podcasts: NPR was one of the sites that came up so I copied the link to that.

I also used itunes to search and subscribed to one called College Humor Originals which takes pop culture and satirises it. It was very funny. Pokeman- Gotta Buy them All was one of my favorites.

My goal is to develop a podcast lesson plan for my Advanced Language Arts Classes next year as a pilot. This year one of my students won a national essay contest sponsored by Samsung and 5 new mini camcorders were delivered to my room today!!! Another coincidence.

Thing 18 Slideshow

5 Common Grammar Mistakes

Five fatal mistakes in English usage
View more presentations from mumphrey.

This looks very beneficial to me for my classroom. I use powerpoint a lot for presentations and notetaking.

Thing 17

I joined Library Thing. This is a widget from the site.

The Library is a Personal Online Book Shelf. I love it. It catalogs the books into personal categories, tags books and allows the user to look at other user tags, shows clouds, has ratings and book reviews, and member forums. It is very easy to add books and categorize them. (I added 3) It is also easy to create a widget.The only thing I had trouble following was the "conversations". They have many called book clubs or reading groups but because they were written in blog form, it was hard to follow. I bookmarked this in delicious too.