Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thing 7

Of everything I've experimented with so far, I found the Google Notebook to have the most useful applications. I can see using the notebook with teachers to share information about and develop research units. It is difficult to set up meetings where everyone can attend and this would make it convenient for everyone to communicate. It seems very easy to use and that means a lot. When I'm developing a pathfinder, I need input on websites and this would make it a lot easier for teachers to share that information as well.

I created a Google Alerts account, but I haven't received any e-mails yet. I may need to check the spam account, but I've received other e-mails from Google through my regular school account so I'm not sure. I'll give it another week and maybe change my alerts topic.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thing 6

I looked around and explored the various Flickr Mashups and found the MAPPR and Mosaic Maker were my favorites. I especially think that the Mosaic Maker could be used in art classes, math classes and reading classes. Students could find pictures revolving around a theme and make their own mosaics. Art may be studying a certain concept that could be illustrated through pictures and grouped for a mosaic, like perception. Math classes could be studying number theory that could be supported by pictures, like fractions. Reading classes could be discussing setting, character, mood, etc. and develop mosaics using pictures to illustrate each literary term.

MAPPR would especially be useful in our Spanish class when they study countries and, of course, history could use MAPPR for many projects. Our 7th grade history classes studied a unit on Native Texans. It would have been great for them to use a map of Texas and incorporate pictures for their tribes on the map.

Language Arts Word Wall

Language Arts Word Wall
Originally uploaded by a.kotrany
Okay! I finally figured out how to post this picture, I hope. Vanston is using word walls for each of the core subjects. I actually created a set in Flickr, but chose the language arts word wall to highlight. I like the creativity the teachers used. The history word wall is very creative also, with maps and modes of transportation pictured.

Thing 5

I am experimenting with Flickr now. Uploading the pictures I chose was easy, but now I'm stuck on how to import them into my blog. I took four separate pictures and made a set. I may have to rethink that, depending on how they load onto my blog. I still do not know how to upload the set to my blog, but I finally figured out how to insert a single picture. Above you will see the results. I know that this feature is helpful when you want a group of people to look at pictures or want to create an album with pictures from many contributors. If you were going to do that, however, you'd have to educate everyone involved about Flickr.

I am the yearbook sponsor at my school and I can see the value of having something like this so that others can contribute pictures for use in the yearbook.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thing 4

This is where my mind needs to stretch. How would I use a blog with students? Some possibilities include: book reviews, an online book club, surveys, and maybe a review/survey of best research sources.

I think that the students would love to post book reviews to a blog. I think I might have to proofread the review first, though. To enhance the book reviews, it would be great to have an online book club. People are so busy that setting a certain meeting time is really hard, but they would probably have time to check in to a book club blog at their own convenience. I would really like to survey the classes on several different topics. For instance, a survey on the ease of using databases, the user friendliness of the library website, and even some schoolwide topics.
These three uses would be the most meaningful to me and that would encourage me to actually put them into practice.

Thing 3

Using the Avatar site in Yahoo was actually a lot of fun. Choosing the appearance and other extras was definitely under the heading of "play". Exporting the image into my blog was a little challenging, but it was do-able. I even returned to the Avatar site and made some changes which was really simple. I felt confident enough to help others, but in a week don't ask me anything. Also, watching some of my colleagues using Apple laptops helped me learn some new techniques.

Thing 2

Life long learning is one of the best kept secrets of anti-aging. The more open we are to learning new things, the better the quality of our lives will be. The students in Mesquite ISD are continually being reminded of life long learning. They are surrounded by faculty and staff who attend workshops and take graduate level classes.
I think that the powerpoint in this section would be a valuable tool for our ICT and AVID classes. The content of these classes focuses on learning how to be the best learner the student can be through many avenues. Technology, note-taking and research strategies, and higher level thinking skills are emphasized, just as they should be for a life long learner. For me, the easiest habit of a life-long learner is habit 2, accepting responsibility for my own learning. I enjoy reading and researching for myself. The hardest habit for me is to use technology to my advantage. I do not go to technology first whenever I am looking for help or information. You would think that I would use the computer freely when I run into an information problem; I still rely on the printed word for most of my information. Just being aware of the 7 1/2 habits is a good start; putting them into practice will be my challenge.