Monday, August 2, 2010

Thing #23

Wow! I have finally finished. The 23 Things kept me on my toes all summer.

My favorite exercises were probably Photostory and the mashup, Bookr--although I really liked LibraryThing and YouTube too. The Photostory was really easy to use, giving step by step instructions. I thought I had done something wrong at first but then realized that my blog wasn't letting me view in Preview mode. I had uploaded it correctly the first time but didn't realize it until several hours of work trying to view it. Even with this trouble I love the things one can create with this program--reading a book aloud for our PreKers, making a show of them acting out a story. The possibilities are endless. I found some time lapse videos on YouTube and I think some of those will be great in class too.

In regards to lifelong learning goals, I realize that they are constantly changing. I am in charge of my own learning and the 23 Things helped me with that this summer. Every day that I worked on it was a new experience. It gave me a chance to experience things that I had never heard of before or was only vaguely aware of. And I was enjoying it, often asking my much more computer savy children if they had ever heard of this or that!!

The unexpected outcome was that the Thing that I thought would be the hardest for me--commenting--was not so hard after all-- plus I looked forward to getting on my blog to see if anyone had left comments for me. It really is about building a community.

I think the format of this program is just fine. I knew if I had a problem with something that I could ask Vaughn for help or even another blogger. And I learned all this from the comfort of my home and at my own pace, keeping in mind my deadline!

The 23 things was much more time consuming than I thought it would be. I'm sure that in part was due to my computer illiteracy. I had time to do it this year, but would need to make sure that I would have the time before I made a committment to another Things.

To sum it up in one word or maybe two--Library2Play is Fun! And Habit forming. I plan to keep in touch with all the new technologies that I have learned. They will be helpful not only in school, but also in my personal life.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thing #22

I went to Educator's Ning and Ning for Teachers and explored the sites. I was impressed with how teachers were sharing their lesson plans and also talking with each other about solutions to problems in the classroom as well as successes. I think this could be a great tool for educators. I did, however, click on one site that had lesson plans geared to Kindergarten students and it was a series of worksheets, which we do not use with our students in Spring Branch.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thing #21

I just returned from Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. It was my first visit to the area and you better believe that I took lots of pics! Photostory was very easy to use. It leads you through the process step by step! I decided to make a story with all the wildflower pictures that I took. My photos don't do the beautiful scenery justice, but I hope you enjoy!

Actually, I thought it was easy until I tried to play it back after I uploaded it. I worked on it for several hours, but no luck. I've even tried to save it in different sizes but continue to get an error message. I will keep working on it but have emailed someone who I hope can help.

Finally, success! It looks better if you view like this instead of full page. With all the trouble I was having, I finally saved it with a smaller resolution.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thing #20

I found this video of the life cycle of a butterfly and loved it. In PreK, our students study insects and even have Painted Lady caterpillars in the classroom. We release them when they have turned into butterflies. I think this video or any others like it would be great to use in the classroom.

I"m also going to show you another fun one--of my dog singing. My son posted it several years ago and it is still there!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thing #19

I went to the Web 2.0 Award sites and investigated several winners. I'm going to share one of the sites that I liked--recipes!

I'm Cooked

Another one I checked out was Urban Spoon, which gives map locations and reviews of restaurants in your area. My search popped up in Houston.

I also checked out Craigslist. I had no idea that it also posted jobs.

So many sites!! I really like the way that the Awards page is set up. It was very easy to use.

Thing #18

I went to Google Docs first and played with some of the templates. I thought the scrapbook ones were cute and easy to use. They already had the background--you just add your pics. It also has anything that you could want in a spreadsheet, word processor, etc. I tried to download Open Office next and it was taking so long that I was worried if I had enough space on my hard drive so I cancelled it. I did take a look at the introduction and it looked like it would work as well as Microsoft Office. My family is currently trying to decide on whether to purchase MS Office for a new laptop that we just purchased and I want my husband to take a look at both of these programs instead. He does most of the spreadsheets in the family!! One thing I'm not sure about. If I create a document in Google docs, can I access it from any computer? Anyone know?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Thing #17

I've been working on Rollyo for a couple of days and even though I created a few search rolls, I just couldn't figure out how to get them to my site. I have been searching sites for an upcoming vacation to Yellowstone so I Rollyo'd them! Hopefully, what I have tried now will work. I absolutely can see how this could be useful in upper level grades--making sure that the students go to appropriate sites. I can even see how this will work in PreK-- to give your co-workers sites that you have found to be helpful with curriculum.