Monday, July 28, 2008

Thing 23: Final Thoughts

Completing the 23 Things brought about a perspective change for me. In the past, I have shied away from new technologies because I feared they were too difficult or too time consuming. After completing 23 Things on a Stick, I realize that it is not difficult to try something once and it does not require a lot of time. I found that I had fun trying out the new technologies and hope that I can utilize them in my classroom. I really enjoyed Flickr, the research project calculator, and the online collaboration tools. I think that if more programs like this were offered, I would definitely take advantage of them. I feel that it is important for me to be aware of the newest technology and how to incorporate it into my classroom.

Thing 22: What Did I Learn Today?

I really enjoyed completing the tasks for 23 Things on a Stick. I feel that I've learned many valuable things that I can incorporate into my classroom. My goal is to try to incorporate at least one new technology each quarter (hopefully I will be able to do more than that). I plan to start by either having my students create blogs or efolios to showcase their work. I think this is especially important with the new Project Lead the Way curriculum. The community will want to know what is happening in these classes, and what better way to show them than by utilizing a blog or an efolio. Incorporating the blog or efolio will also force me to use tools such as flickr to upload photos of student projects. I hope that if I start with a small goal, such as incorporating one new technology each quarter, that I will eventually utilize all of the things I have learned through this class.

Thing 21: Other Social Networks

Visit 23 Things on a Stick

Find more photos like this on 23 Things on a Stick

I am not currently a member of a social network, but enjoyed searching some of the networks for Thing 21. I found to be appealing. My husband and I plan out a menu each week and are always looking for recipe ideas. I think that I could find some great ideas at this site. I also like the Classroom 2.0 Ning network. I think that I will refer to that site for more ideas on how to incorporate Web 2.0 tools into my classroom.

Thing 20: Libraries and Social Networks

I looked at how libraries use MySpace and found that they use MySpace as a means of communication. They mainly use it to connect with their teen audience. Some of the things I found were reading lists for teens. One library encouraged teens to read ten books and vote for the best book in October. The libraries also create surveys for teens to take to find how they could better serve the teen population. Libraries also used MySpace to communicate upcoming events such as poetry month.

I love to read and found the book lists to be the most interesting. I think that I will probably check the libraries' MySpace pages for books lists before I visit the library next time.

Thing 19: Podcasts

I listened to a NASA podcast about student opportunities. It was an interesting podcast and something that will most likely apply to the flight and space portion of the class I will be teaching this school year. I may subscribe to this podcast so that I can provide students with current events at NASA. I could also encourage them to listen to specific NASA podcasts. Perhaps I could create a link to the feed on my Edline page if I find something that applies to our class.

I found that and Educational Podcast Directory were very easy to use. I like how they both create a list of topics. If a person is interested in the topic, she can click on the link to find podcasts related to that topic.

Thing 18: YouTube and Other Online Video

I was amazed at the number of videos available on YouTube. I searched for subjects that I didn't think would have videos available such as "training for a half marathon;" yet I was always able to find at least one video. I decided to find a video about Project Lead the Way, since I will be teaching that curriculum next year. I found a video that gave an overview of the program and included student opinions.

I think that YouTube can be used in the classroom. Teachers can find videos to supplement the curriculum or to make students more excited about a topic. I think that care needs to be used when searching YouTube; however, because anyone can post videos. Some of the videos may not be factual or appropriate.

Thing 17: ELM Productivity Tools

The "Electronic Library for Minnesota" (ELM) is a great resource for students, teachers, and any other adults who need to research a specific topic. I could definitely use this site to research topics for my Master's final research paper. I like how many search options are available and that users are able to specify what type of source they want (newspaper article, journal article, etc.). I also think that the folders are great. It is nice to have the ability to save an article to a folder and read it at a later time. In the past, I would have printed the article if I didn't have time to read it on the computer. I think this feature will save a lot of paper.

I think this website is a great resource to introduce to students. I often find that when students are conducting research, they rely on sites like Google or Wikipedia. These may be good starting points for research, but students need to take their research to the next level. This site enables them to get scholarly articles about specific topics.

I also think this a great site to share with teachers. Many teachers require their students to conduct research and an awareness of this great resource would help their students to perform higher quality research. Teachers can also use this site to search for education related articles to share with their colleagues or for curriculum based articles to share with their students.