Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thing 24 - Is it the end or just the beginning?

This class, this “Thing,” was by far the most fun and useful college course that I have had thus far.  While I considered myself very well versed in Word, I didn’t know about the drawing tools.  I happened to use them in a Math lesson I was teaching a few weeks ago.  My little first graders commented “you made that!?” and “you must have used a computer”.  You know I did.  The night before, I went online, did a few screenshots, typed my text, added arrows so as not to lose the little ones focus and in a matter of minutes I had whipped up something that helped my students LEARN.  And to think I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express that night.  

Seriously, I so wish that I had taken this course during my first or second semester.  It would have made life so much easier and prettier.  Some of my PowerPoint presentations prior to taking this class were BAD!  Now, I’d put my PowerPoint against yours any day – and I’d bet we’d both be winners and still learn something. 

What about LiveBinder?  Now, that is an organizational geeks dream come true.  Add the Google auto fill and Bam! You have the makings for a good lesson plan, or remediation games, or “I need to spice up my lessons” Thing.

RSS – now that is something that I never knew about, but now I use every day.  The news I want comes to me.  I feel so powerful!

Playing on YouTube and Animoto were so fun!  And to think that it was actually homework.  I’m going to miss that I no longer can waste away hours every night (or in the wee hours of the morning) and honestly say, “Honey, I can’t believe how much homework I have in this Technology course.”  In case you couldn’t see, the inward smile in that sentence, here you go :-).

Regarding my technological future?  I signed up for the Learning 2.1 blog RSS.  I will not have cobwebs grow on me.  I’ll grow with my children and students until I’m no longer on GOD’s green Earth.  Thanks for the interesting, exciting, time intensive ride, Dr. Wall.  I’ll remember it forever in every day that I use this great tool call Web 2.0!  You are awesome!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thing 23 - Creative Commons

Here is my proof/attribution that 23 Things was based on someone else's work.  It is only fair to give credit where credit is due.  We learned about Creative Commons while creating our copyright and fair use tutorial for our project, so this was just a refresher.  As a teacher, I will encourage (and enforce) fair use and teach students the correct way to use and credit (re)sources.  Students will be more inclined to do the right thing if we, as teachers, appeal to their sense of fairness.   By asking students to think about how they would feel if someone "stole" or copied their work, they will be more inclined to do the right thing and credit and quote their sources. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thing 22 - Livebinders

LiveBinders is awesome!  I only wish that this had been Thing 3 or 4.  Now I'm going to have to go back through my Diigo library and tag all of those websites to place in my binders.  I created three binders thus far, but will definitely go back and make more.  I shared my Great Depression binder with you all (use "miss" as the password if it asks), as that is what I've based my whole project on this semester.  I also made a Technology and an Ancient Egypt binder.  My girls and I love anything to do with Ancient Egypt, so it will be fun to fill that binder with cool stuff.  FYI.  The Frist Museum in Nashville has an exhibit on Ancient Egypt until early January.  We went the last time it was here and it was terrific!  We plan to go back over the holiday break.

I'm an organization freak -- years of secretarial experience has made me this way -- okay, honestly I was born that way.  Now I have a technological tool that can make me as organized on the Internet as I am in all other aspects of my life!  Yeah!  What a Thanksgiving treat!  Life is better when you are organized.  I can't wait to use this tool more.

As an elementary teacher, I can make a binder for each subject and include tabs such as content, games, lesson plans, supplemental assignments for students who need a bit more help, the list goes on and on.  I'll be saving the school money because I won't have to buy so many filing cabinets to house all my stuff.  I'll have them in my LiveBinder account.  Yeah!  I am so happy to have had to do this Thing!  LiveBinder will make my technological life so much more organized!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thing 21 - Animoto

Animoto is the coolest!  I created this video on the first try with only a minor modification to make it a final copy.  It was so easy to add music.   Simply choose a category of music, listen to find the exact  music-to-photo fit,  then choose.  How easy is that!?  I plan to sign up for the upgraded version once I finish school.  I know I won't have time to play with a tool like this until AFTER I'm out of school (or it's assigned for a class, as this one was).

This video shows our family fun this Halloween.  Let me know what you think!

Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thing 20 You, Too, Can You Tube

YouTube is such a great website.  For my Math 1410 class, I was required to upload a few teaching videos, but I didn't dare bore you with such muck!  Anyway, it was fun looking through the videos.  I chose the Charlie Brown video above as it speaks of the power of teachers.  Teachers need to show students that we care, perhaps by choosing them to pound erasers, like in Linus' case?  We also need to remember that we are powerful people in little people's lives.  Did you see Linus' face after the teacher scolded him for acting like a doctor?  Teachers must remember that our students often hold us in high regard, especially if we hold our students in high regard first.

So what if you are having a bad day and just can't seem to be the positive teacher that you usually are?  Go to YouTube!  Look for funny videos and turn your attitude around!  I'm a dog lover so this video made me smile.  I worried about the health aspects of the furry friend, but the constant reassurances by the trainer and final long pat at the end of the routine made me comfortable about the care of this canine friend.  Anyway, enjoy!

I also found plenty of videos to supplement my Great Depression unit plan.  I spared you that video, as hey, I just got you on a positive track with the dancing dog.  You certainly don't expect me to DEPRESS you with a Great Depression video, do you? 

Serious note:  It's advisable to go to YouTube with a plan in mind.  Otherwise, it is a total time waster, like Facebook.  If you go in to browse, you'll end up spending hours!  Have fun, view wisely, and set your timer!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Extra Thing - The importance of a positive attitude

CoolCatTeacher shared a great poem to remind us that our attitude, be it in the classroom or our home, sets the tone for everyone.  If you have a second, check out her poem.