Two-year Anniversary

by   Posted on June 28, 2010 in POST WEB 2.0, Uncategorized  and tagged , , ,

I’m back, and if Imust say so, better than ever! I plan to investigate the post-Web 2.0 world and report

to you on what I find. TBC

Thing 2300: And I think to myself…

by   Posted on August 1, 2008 in Uncategorized  and tagged ,

What a wonderful world! That reminds me of an old song. Let’s just stop for a minute and listen to Louis tell us about it:

Yes, it is wonderful, my friends. For a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is the growth we have achieved because of this Web 2.0 course. This course has given me a new respect for the Internet as an unlimited resource for educators. This course has fueled my enthusiasm for all things technological. Above all, this course has taught me to be bold and creative in the area of technology as I enter this new school year as a teacher of American Literature.
I feel as though it's the last night of summer camp. Tomorrow I will travel home with my parents and leave behind all my new friends. But I won't forget you and knowing that we can stay in touch via the vast Internet, eases my heavy heart a bit. "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch," as Garrison Keeler would say.

Video credit: http://www.youtube.com/user/davidnob

Thing 22: Networking has definitely gone digital!

by   Posted on July 29, 2008 in Uncategorized  and tagged , , ,

I must start by commenting on Steve Hargadon’s Classroom 2.0. Wow! This blew me away. Talk about collaboration. Talk about connectivity. Classroom 2.0 is an impressive digital social network with infinite possibilities! This is definitely where I will get ideas as to how to engage my students in using blogs, nings, wikis, photo sharing, podcasts. Anything I can imagine is right here with interactive help and impressive models. The sidebar features directories by subjects, areas, and tools. This will be an excellent resource.

Ning in Education gets right to the heart of what teachers are most often looking for: specific subject & grade-level collaboration. As I perused this site, I found several English-related groups at the high school level that I might join. I searched “literature” and found two interesting pages of posts. At my school, Jr. English teachers introduce Realism in American Literature by showing the film Dead Poets Society. I found one teacher’s using a segment of this film to help explain to her students what literature is all about …just as Robin Williams did in the film.

Thanks to Menchu for this terrific idea! This is one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

I am pleased to say that at GACS we started a ning during the last school year. It took a little while to get people into it, but I believe it has caught on and will be a very useful networking tool for teachers and administrators. One group on our school ning is discussion Daniel Pink's book, A Whole New Mind. Check it out. 

 Digital networking is definitely the way to go. Again, the Internet has provided a way for us to network 24x7. And not only is time on our side but virtual meetings and interactions can happen in a flash without physical restrictions. Networking has definitely gone digital!

 

Thing 21: Look outside! I see Flakes …and the drifts are the size of pagecasts!

by   Posted on July 28, 2008 in Uncategorized  and tagged , ,

You sign up. You begin customizing your own page. One flake leads to another and then another. And before you know it, you need a shovel to clear a path!

What came first? The flake or the pagecast? Just kidding. But it is interesting that picking and choosing flakes and then customizing them can result in a pagecast that could prove very useful for family, friends, students. There seems to be no end to the choices.

I can definitely see this for personal use. Everything on one pagecast! Groovy! For my American Lit. students I’ll need to do some thinking. I found 2-3 possiblities and added them to my page. They had to do with American authors, classic works, famous quotes, etc. It would take some time, but I do believe I could create a useful and entertaining page for my students. Flakes for the flakes! Just kidding, of course.

Watch your step! We need to check our inventory of shovels, salt, sleds…I think we’re in for quite a storm!

Thing 20: One Doc + Multiple Viewers and/or Collaborators; How Bad Could That Be?

by   Posted on July 28, 2008 in Uncategorized  and tagged , , , ,

If you want to create for viewers …or initiate a creation and then solicit collaboration from others, Google Docs is for you! I played around with Word and Powerpoint. The Word document has to do with my course content. This would be a much easier way to collaborate with my colleagues as we tweak the next year’s curriculum.

I also practiced with a PPT presentation for parents at our August Open House. I had never inserted a video into a presentation, so that was a neat experience.

Finally, I liked Shelley’s list of possible uses for Google docs. I would really like to try the peer editing. My students produce a literary research paper. They work on it for 5-6 months. Online peer editing could really help them and it could be done any time 24 x 7. …Google Docs is just another way to keep the classroom open and available for students and teachers any day, any time. And what could be better than storing a document in one, safe place to share with others?  …Well, eating chocolate while you’re storing the document to share with others, but that could be arranged!

Thing 7c: Am I teaching my students to learn?

by   Posted on July 28, 2008 in Uncategorized  and tagged , , ,

I have been following the blogs at techlearning.com. The last one I read was posted by none other than Vicki Davis, one of my main heroes in this Web 2.0 adventure. Her post is in response to a recent Google article “Our Googley advice to students: Major in learning.”  According to Vicki, Johnathan Rosenberg, Sr. VP, Product Management at Google, suggests that we should be graduating students who are focusing on: analytical thinking, communication skills, a willingness to experiment, being a team player, and becoming passionate leaders. He suggests that the challenge for students goes well beyond graduation, so we should make sure they know that. “Learning, it turns out, is a lifelong major.”

Thing 19: In the Mood for Tubing?

by   Posted on July 18, 2008 in Uncategorized  and tagged , , , ,

rafting

Well, before you pack the car, consider how much time you have for this journey, how skilled you are at avoiding slippery rocks, how comfortable you are with fast currents, and if you’ve done your homework not only to arrive alive, but to arrive at your planned destination.

Take YouTube for example. It’s about as exciting as it gets, but you’d better be prepared for twists, turns, probably river levels of 7 and above, and surprising outcomes. If you can handle all that, pack your car and get on down the road. …I’m a first-time surviver of You Tube. I found it relatively difficult but exciting. It appealed to my sense of adventure. Please take a minute to view this cool video by nobrainerproductions.com entitled “American Literature Intro. – American Pie Revised.” This would be a neat way to introduce an American Literature course.

I bookmarked several content-area videos along the way in addition to finding an interesting "how to" dialogue about using Web 2.0 resources for research and teaching. Yes, this trip had enough excitement but a bit difficult for a first-timer. Maybe next time I will be more familar with the river's topography.

In retrospect, perhaps I should have planned the TeacherTube trip first. Oh well, we live and learn. I found this experience more comfortable, very productive, but I must say the thrill was just not there. I found useful videos on engaging students in Web 2.0, created by university professors, for example. I will most definitely repeat this trip as I know I will return home with lots of valuable experience and information. At the end of the day, however, YouTube gets my vote. I would like to create informational videos to help my students, and at the same time, entertain them a bit. Easier said than done, I'm sure.

YouTube boasts helping people watch, produce, share videos for the purpose of connecting, informing, and inspiring. Hard to believe it has only been around since February 2005. ...TeacherTube, on the other hand, has as its goal "to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos... [seeking] to fill a need for a more educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners." A goal more lofty than that of its tubing sister. TeacherTube was launched in March 2007. Seems like yesterday.

In the mood for tubing? You need look no further than the adventures offered by YouTube and TeacherTube! Happy Tubing!

photo credit: http://flickr.com/photos/randomurl/

Thing 18: Audio Podcast Debut

by   Posted on July 17, 2008 in Uncategorized  and tagged , ,

My 49 seconds of fame! Man, it went by so quickly, but at least it’s recorded for posterity! Shelly Paul is correct in telling us that the hard part is in the preparation prior to creating the podcast. Afterall, we must say something worth listening to. Am I right?

As Emily Dickinson once urged her readers:  ”Judge tenderly of me!”

Thing 17: Revived and Doing Nicely…Thanks for Asking!

by   Posted on July 17, 2008 in Uncategorized  and tagged , , ,

I’m not sure how long I was out. Maybe 5-10 minutes. Probably no longer than that. All I remember was that I had begun exploring the second podcast directory Learning Out Loud, and I began hyperventilating and passed out. When I came to, I felt a sort of euphoria like I have never before experienced.

I had just begun listening to a selection from the Lit Podcast Summaries provided by this directory. The selection I chose was The Scarlet Letter. What an excellent source for literature teachers and students! Learn Out Loud boasts the sharing of “Podcasts You Can Learn From.” Please take a minute to explore the Podcast Directory at learnoutloud.com.

At the NPR Podcast Directory, I found an extensive listing of topics. I chose the “books” category and from there settled into  WFIU’s The Poets Weave Podcast, a weekly focus on both local and nationally recognized Poets.

I used the GRAZR widget to explore the English category as well. The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for July 17, 2008 is:
superannuated • \soo-per-AN-yuh-way-tud\  • adjective
1 : outmoded, old-fashioned 2 a : incapacitated or disqualified for active duty by advanced age*b : older than the typical member of a specified group

As a result I have three new subscriptions added to my Google Reader. And because of the flexibility that podcasting allows, I can listen whenever I have the time, or download a particular file and take it with me! How amazing is that? …I know that my students will be introduced to the Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day Podcast, perhaps as a “stretch” activity. And from my quick review today, my head is just spinning with ideas which will make podcasts a regular part of my literature curriculum. How could I not include them now that I have gotten a taste of what’s available at no cost!

No, I didn’t actually pass out, but I could have. I did feel a bit light-headed for a while. Thanks for asking, though.

Thing 16: I Never Met a Library I Didn’t Like

by   Posted on July 10, 2008 in Uncategorized  and tagged , , ,

And Library Thing is no exception! I had played around with Shelfari before because I wanted to add a custom bookcase to my wiki and blog sites. Check it out: My Shelf.  But I left it behind for greener pastures. That’s the problem. There’s always a greener pasture that turns my head. Anywho, now I’ve added some books to Library Thing: My Library. If I ever stop spinning long enough, I hope to focus on one or the other for a bit longer. At first glance, Library Thing seems to offer much more to the user.