Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thing 23- Done? Yeah Right!

Wow! What an experience! The time has flew by, but I have learned a great deal of information and plan on putting it to use. The tools that we used were great and I know we have only scraped the top of the iceberg of technology uses, especially with the ever changing technology world. Our kids our no longer community learners. In order to compete, they have to be able to be global learners and technology is the way to get them there. I agreed with the gentlemen at the end of the video that students don't need to be able to spit back answers. In order for them to be able to compete in the future job market they will need to know how to find information, validate it, synthesis it, leverage it, communicate it and problem solve with it. We have to stop using old ways and start using the tools that are out there to prepare them for the future or we will do them a great injustice. What I plan to do with this technology I learned is to create a PLN, share the class with colleagues, and utilize it in the classroom and along with other technologies that come along. I going to ask my district tech department to look closer at what they choose to filter. Mike Kaechele and I are working together to do a presentation to our district middle school teachers about this class and the various web 2.0 tools that they can us in their classrooms on Feb 13th. I am also work with him to develop the paperless classroom and aligning our curriculum. This was a great opportunity for me. I got more out of this class than I did out of most my Masters classes I took and paid money for. You can never stop learning as a teacher unless you want to do your students an injustice. I can't wait to share these technologies with my students. I am DONE with the class, but not with continuing with learning new technology tools.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thing 22 - online videos

I love YouTube, TED, and TeacherTube. I like YouTube because of the ease of posting videos and that there are such a broad array of topics that you can research and view. I especially like it when I am trying to do something new and want to see how to do it. For instance, how to tie a fly. You can watch videos on this topic and teach yourself. The only thing that I don't like is that some things aren't censored and you could be put on without even knowing it. The ease of that happening is incredible. For instance, you could take your camera phone and take a video of anyone doing anything and then upload it to youtube without the permission of any of the people you taped. I know I don't want my own children plastered all over the web without my permission. This I guess is the scariest part for me and it is the price of have the technology capabilities that we do. I guess you just have to hope that people have some sort of ethics.

I did find some cool videos that I could use in the classroom both on YouTube and TeacherTube. I found two really great geometry videos that I could use in my classroom. One was a group of students exploring the principles of triangles and why they are used in construction of various real world things. They used balloons in their demonstration. The other video that was cool was a video called "Quadrilateral Rap by Bob." The video raped about the principles of a quadrilateral and the video starred a little bobble head of Dwight from the "Office."
The video was really ingenious. These are things that would help students remember about quadrilaterals. I still remember sayings that where taught to me in school to help remember information.

As far as access in our building of YouTube, it is not allowed. However the good news is that we can access TeacherTube. I can see myself using this in the near future in my tech and geometry classes. Technology is Great!

Thing 21 - Twitter

Now that I looked at twitter, it is just like a mini blog or e-mail, with the exception that it is public and using a web base. This I could see being used in the computer lab to respond to questions or even ask questions as lessons are being taught. Students could send feedback to the teacher or each other about what is being presented. You would have to sent up some guidelines though in the classroom. The reason being is you don't want the students to just be chatting about what they are going to do this weekend or spreading gossip. I could see twitter being used to connect with my PLNs. We could use it to update each other on what we are working on. This is much easier than making sure you sent the email to everyone that needed it. We could also give quick feed back to our groups. The other nice thing is that you could cut down on the number of various email accounts you have by using this. You can also connect with others that share similar interest. They may have some great ideas or tips that can be shared easily. This is a nice tool.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thing 20-

My delicious user name is "milesgre". I can see this bookmarking being used in my teaching practice to share website with colleagues and students. The nice thing is I don't have to send a bunch of web addresses to a person when they ask where did you find that. I can direct them to my social bookmarking page and they can access whatever they need. I also won't have to call my wife to send me an email because I forgot to write the website down. I can also see this being beneficial to my students. I can bookmark valuable resources for them when we are doing research on topics or they can even share site they find with me. This saves both them and me time when doing research. Delicious definitely seems like a tool that can save me time and make me a more productive person. I've talked about how there isn't enough time in the day in previous blogs and this will save me time searching. You could spend hours on google and yahoo searching for information trying different keywords and subjects and getting tons of information. With delicious it cuts out the fluff and if you find people that are interested in the same things as you, your research time can be cut down drastically. These tools are too cool!!

Thing 19 - social bookmarking

I think social bookmarking is a great idea. I know there have been several times where I have found great educational site at home and then I go to school and can't remember the web address or the search I did to find it. I've even had to have my wife copy and paste the web address into an email and send it to me at school. Social bookmarking can be a useful way to store information because you and people like you can organize information based on your interests and weed out the fluff. The advantages is that it can cut down on some of your searching and you can access your bookmarks from anywhere. They are no longer just saved to one specific computer. The disadvantage is that you may miss information or people may tag differently than you do. There are many things to think about before you assign a tag to bookmarks. For starters, does your tag relate to the information. For example, if the information is on dogs, you probably shouldn't tag it as elephants. Tags should also be appropriate. You need to remember this is public and you should use some Internet etiquette. (ie. No profanity)Remember once you post it, all can see. I think I'll like using social bookmarks in the next lesson.

Thing 18- PLNs

I thought Ning was pretty cool. I can see this type of PLN being used in our school district, county and even our state. We could set them up as department networks, so we could share our great ideas with each other and bounce ideas back and forth. This is great info. I went to the MACUL site and found it very interesting. People blog, post videos and have forums about various uses for technology in the classroom. One of the other middle school tech teachers and I are thinking about going to the MACUL conference this spring and it was cool to connect with others that are using technology in the classroom. This site had more info on the conference than the pamphlet that we received. Its nice to have a community you can connect with when you have questions. I don't really see any problems with PLNs other than you have to be able to find others to connect with and sometimes it can be hard to find people who share the same interests. I really think they are an advantage because you can pool so many great minds together. I'm going to keep up with the MACUL PLN.

Thing 17 - more web 2.0

Well, I took a look at the Web 2.0 tool called "YELP". It total reminded me of google local. This is a resource for you to find information and reviews about various things. You can type in a city and find out about best places to dine or where to shop. They also have ratings from people that have been there before. It is pretty cool. You can also locate schools and sporting events. The only thing I didn't like about this tool site was that not all the information that they had was rated. This makes it hard to know if a restaurant is good or not. If your like me, then you hate to have a bad dining experience. This site was easy to use though. I could see this being used in the classroom as a way to show students how to locate and find various things that they may need to locate when they go visit a different city or state. You don't always have access to the yellow pages, but more likely you can get access to the Internet quicker with WIFI or Internet on your cell phone and locate what you need. Again we don't know what jobs are going to be in the future, but if we can teach students how to problem solve and give them a few tools of how to find information then their possibilities are endless. So many things out there on the Web to explore and not enough time in the day.