Friday, September 25, 2009

Week #4: Educational Feeds

I forgot to mention on my RSS blog that I also subscribed to the Philadelphia Inquirer Breaking News and front page feeds. This would be considered my local paper even though I live in NJ.

For Activity #8, I reviewed both the search engines and educational feeds. I was disappointed to find that the link to Feedster was not working either time that I tried it. I had great success with the Technorati site which was easy to use. Although I should not have been surprised, I tried searching to see if I could find my own 2 blogs, the one I opened for another class and use for school when we begin research papers and the one I created recently for this class, but I had over 4,000 hits for blogs on citations! It is truly amazing how many people are using the net! This week at the school where I work, in addition to our Twitter, we now have a ning and believe it or not, we have homework for school on it also! It's all a little overwhelming even if it is fun and educational.

I also checked out the school library 2.0 blogs and was impressed that I could automatically subscribe to those already I wasn't in Google Reader at the time. I subsequently subscribed to classroom learning 2.0 as well.

As far as using RSS feeds, I think I will be using them to notify me of updates to issues important to me, like book talks on subjects, certain genres, using technology in the classroom, etc.
The library could set up RSS feeds by subject in order to help teachers keep abreast of current trends and techniques. I guess this should have been on my RSS post.

I can't comment on Feedster because I couldn't get it to open, but I thought that Technorati was pretty easy to use. I still had trouble refining my search terms though to get exactly what I was looking for. Actually, I even thought the tool right on the Google Reader site was easy also; once I got the hang of it.
One problem I experienced in Google was when I search for "Web English Teacher" thinking I would come up to the website, I actually came up to related blogs, twitters, etc. I clicked on one thinking it would be useful but it was about purchasing different types of literature and not what I expected at all. Since I had already hit the subscribe button - after this I was more saavy - it took me a few seconds to figure out how to unsubscribe! Eventually, though, even that was easy.
I was even able to set up folder for "teaching English", News Items, Library items - I put the Unshelved in here - I enjoy the cartoons, and one for our classroom blogs I am following.
These are the only tools I've used so far, but now that I know what the RSS symbol looks like, I'll be adding others on a regular basis.

Week #4: RSS Feeds

I opened my account with Google Reader. It was very easy to set up the account, but then I had some trouble adding feeds.
Initially, I tried search like you would on the Web for sites I use often like Web English teacher. I was originally under the impression that it would it inform me about changes to the site. I was surprised to find that there are so many blogs, twitters which are connected/related to Web English Teacher and its creator Carla Beard. I subscribed to one of those blogs.
I was really impressed that it also automatically subscribed me to the blogs I am following for this course. Both blogs are maintained by other students in our course.
Next, I search on the site for teaching English, and I came up with a few more interesting feeds, namely one by the National Council of the Teachers of English (NCTE) of which I am a member. I also searched for literature and teaching writing and again was able to subscribe to additional feeds.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Back to School MashUp

After viewing one of our classmate's mashup of her beautiful baby, I was encouraged to create my own. It is posted on my school eboard if you care to visit. Here's the URL:
I hope you like it.

Week #3 Again/Things 5 & 6 or 6 & 7/Trading Cards

Sorry - I think I have been using the wrong labels on my posts. I will try to do better with this next week. Thanks to those I am following, for getting me back on track.
I did visit the trading card link; however, as I mentioned in my previous post, I was very hesitant to post my photo online. I know it sounds crazy, and many of these sites say that unless you mark photos as "public," only those you allow can actually view them, but I am very skeptical. And like Dr. Farmer commented, we should be asked before someone posts a picture of us; however, I know for a fact that my husband's family are great Facebook enthusiasts and they have posted several photos of me without asking.
I was thinking of trying to use these at BTS night as Dr. Farmer suggested; however, I really didn't care for any of my photos enough to give them out. Additionally, we only have 7 minutes per class to meet with our parents, and in this time, we must so over our class expectations and the curriculum for the year. I really talk fast!

Thing #4: Week #3/Flickr, etc.

I did set up a Flickr account and had great fun exploring the site. In fact, this is just what my family needed! Being on the cutting edge of technology (LOL), we purchased and haved used digital cameras as soon as they became available. That is exactly the same time that my photo album ceased to be updated. Unfortunately, now we have a collection of those little "disks" with many, many photos and that's as far as we got! I probably don't have the time to address this issue now, but maybe next summer!

Flickr is great! I only wish I had had time earlier this week to read our homework because I would have liked to do activity B where we take a photo of our school Media Center. Ours is beautiful and the two specialists are good friends of mine who are bright, enthusiastic and so helpful.

Oh, well - first some comments. I noticed that most of the classroom images were from elementary schools. I guess because in secondary settings we move around so it's difficult to decorate every room we enter.

Another issue I wanted to mention is privacy and school policies. I know that Dr. Farmer mentioned we should upload personal photos and this is certainly a policy at our school as well. In fact, I am very fearful on these sites because our school is so strict about with its social networking policies, that I fear if I accidentally do something which violates a policy or is seen and commented on my a student or family, that my job will be in jeopardy. It took me many years to become a teacher, and the last thing I would want to do is create a problem for myself.

I couldn't find the Blogger's image uploading tool. I received a message saying that this information could not be found.

It took me so long to decide on an image for this week! I love holidays, snow, Christmas so I searched through these points. The photo I chose appears at the top.
Thanks again to all who commented.
BTW - I probably look somewhat similar to my avatar! She might even be prettier and more nicely built! Janet

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thing #3

Well, here goes. I actually have another blog, but I didn't want to edit and use the same one because I use my other blog with my students.
I will be updating this blog as part of our Clarion Course, and just for the record, I recorded information on Thing #1, which was really Thing 1 and 2, on the online discussion board.
I am still not sure about adding an avatar or registering but I'll be working on it now.