Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reader Gargoyle

Reader Gargoyle
Originally uploaded by niznoz
While searching for some art for a first grade class, I came across this "Reader Gargoyle" that I think closes this Web 2.0 class with the message that reading and art do go together.

Chapter 9 Reflection

new schools

I agree with Marc Prensky"s (2001) statement, "digital native students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach." Today's educators need to use the same tools in the classrooms that the students use at home. A prime example of one of these tools is the cell phone. My teenager hasn't used the notebook type planner since it was required in sixth grade. He instead runs the risk daily of having his cell phone confiscated every time he keys in his assignments. The has also shown me photos of assignments that were written on the board. This digital native has taken the technology available to him and used it as his planner. All the information he needs is in his phone - which could be taken away from him because we as educators haven't accepted that it can be used for this purpose. This is just one tool that hasn't been embraced by the educational establishment. I have seen teens use YouTube and other Web tools just as effectively to make the world work for them. I'd love to see the students learning how to use their cell phone calenders more effectively.

I like to dream, along with the authors of this chapter that someday students and teachers will be able to choose from an endless supply of content and tools that address individual student's needs. That's differentiation! There is a huge gap between what is and what should be when it comes to technology integration in our schools. Unless professional development is effective, the change will be slow. Web based classes (like this one) taking place online with peer support
is a great way to start.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Week 9, Thing #23

Fair Use and Copyright is something that I talk about and people around me laugh off. Young students seem to understand fair use better than most adults. I enjoyed the Fair(y) Use Tale and will share it with anyone I can get to watch.

Creative Commons is something that I had never heard of. I liked the idea of Creative Commons being "created to save the world from failed sharing." This is a site to go to that easily allows others to use your work with the limitations you place on it.

Closing thoughts,
What a class. I have learned more about what's on the web since I signed up for this class than I ever thought imaginable. My head is swimming with ideas. Through the connection to other's ideas in the Raven About Web 2.0 Blog I have more to do than I can ever hope to accomplish. I have found out that there are Web 2.0 tools that I am comfortable with and other tools that I others that I want to explore further. 

I never would have completed the 23 things without the looming deadline for credit. Thank you, Ann, for making sure we were able to get continuing ed credit for this class. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Week 9, Thing #22

eBooks and Audio eBooks. 

I have long desired to find out how to use eBooks for a truly selfish reason. I love to read and other things often go undone while I am lost in the latest title I am reading. If I could an find audio books site - free if possible - I could multitask without neglecting the world of books. 

I explored the Project Gutenberg website and browsed the human-read audio books. Although there is quite a list of books available, I was unable to download an entire book. I did listen to the beginning of several titles. I would love to find a tutorial on how to use this site. I'm sure membership is required to be able to download the free books.

The next site I looked at was LibriVox. This site includes directions on how to listen. Using the easy to follow directions I was able to download an entire audio book (The Treasury of Beatrix Potter) to my iTunes library. (I believe that I will be able to apply this new-found knowledge at the Project Gutenberg site.)

Week 9, Thing #21

I was unable to access either the Yahoo: What is a podcast tutorial link or  the podcast.net link. Blocked? Podcast Alley opened for me, so that Is where I started this exploration. I searched the education genre in Podcast Alley and found numerous interesting titles, but I was looking for podcasts done by students. The next exploration site I went to  was Podcasts for teachers, techpod. I learned that many podcasts are actually more like a radio show.I found a great quilting podcast to which  I may subscribe.

EPN, The Educational Podcast Network took me to student podcasts where I found many podcasts created for and by students. Techsavygirlz was my overall favorite site in all my exploration of podcasting. The site was simple to navigate and contained many examples of how many different types of curricular connections could be made using student podcasts. I will like to try a podcast something like the digital art portfolios found at this site.

While looking at what other scholars of Raven About Web 2.0 were discovering, I found posted from Youtube a video that is created by the same author as a Wiki YouTube video that I had posted earlier. This one is Podcasting in Plain English. (I wish I had found this at the beginning of my podcast exploration!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Week 9, Thing #20

I have been using TeacherTube since the district blocked   YouTube and the video that I used every year as an attention getter for a self portrait lesson. The new block was a surprise and disappointment for me, until I discovered TeacherTube.  The same video was available, and easier to use than YouTube in a classroom setting. I now go to TeacherTube first when looking for video clips to introduce new concepts or review past teaching. 

The video that I have posted here is one that I plan to use with grade level groups of teachers to introduce them to the idea of communicating and planning with wikis.

Week 8, Thing #19.1

Creating an Ebsco folder with Alaska's Digital Pipeline was a new experience for me. It wasn't long before I had added more articles than I need to to read later.   I decided to add the SLED toolbar to my computer because it is easy for me to neglect this useful tool available to me and my students because it isn't in front of me. I do find this site difficult to navigate. It does take time to locate specifics. With time and use I will become more familiar with how to best use it to meet the need of our school. It is loaded with information and it is easy to be distracted form the subject at hand.

I looked at the school interfaces and found that they each contained the following: facts for learning, search options, Novelist, and live homework help.  As the grade level of the interface increases more choices are offered.

The upcoming changes to the Ebsco Host flash video  include: a simplified search screen, breadcrumb trails, related results, a preview articles option with the ability to add articles directly from preview, and a search history tab. I am looking forward to these changes hope that these new options will make the site easier to navigate.

I did a Kid's Search powered by Ebsco Host. I was looking particularly for articles that have a relatively low reading level. I was disappointed to find the reading level (Lexile) listed in only a few of the articles I searched. 

After all the snow that I have shoveled this winter. I am definitely adding a snowthrower to the garage by next fall. With that in mind, under the small engine repair, I searched snowthrowers. This is a site that I will run to before I lift another shovel full of snow!