Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week #8 - Thing #19

Library Thing
I had set up an account on this site for a previous class so it was nice to revisit it. I am actually hoping to point my students to this site during the research process next marking period. Hopefully, they can find some of my recommendations in our library or they can do an ILL.
I am hoping that all of these online activities, the rollyo, my eboard, my catalog via Library thing, etc. will be helpful to my students who struggle through the research process.
Here's a link to my catalog:

I think that Library Thing is a tremendous resource for everyone who loves books. It is interesting to look into the recommendations of others and be able to form an opinion about whether something would be suitable to my tastes before I actually purchase or borrow from the library. I believe that I'll be using this site often once I'm done with classwork.

Week #8 - Thing #18

Online Productivity Tools:
First, I visited ZOHO Writer and just read about the application. The most convenient issue for me is being able to access my work from any computer. We have all probably had the experience of working on a document at home and forgetting our laptop the next day. If we haven't remembered to email ourselves the work, unfortunately I'm also guilty of this, we have the option of doing it over again on our computers in school or doing something else that day! Not good options at all given the fact that we have lost all that time/effort spent the prior evening. With ZOHO and similar tools, no problem! We just log on, locate our work and print it out or share it online.
Next, I went to Google Docs. Ironically, we are using this at my school for our professional development tasks that I mentioned in Week #7. When I attempted to create an account, it already recognized me and opened the last document I had worked on at school! Amazing!
I explored and it appeared to be very similar. The fact that all of these applications are being offered for free is very surprising. I guess I don't really understand how people make money in these venues on the internet, other than through advertisers, but I didn't notice any on these sites.
Lastly, I began working on a document using ZOHO as instructed. I thought that I even posted my document onto blog, but I can't find it on my blog so I guess it didn't work. I followed all the steps, but I did have my blog open already because I was working on this assignment so maybe that's why it's not here.
Sorry, but I couldn't afford to buy Shelly so I am unable to comment on Chapter 3.

Classroom learning 2.0


I inserted a table - it was even easier than Word!

I changed the font!  Easy again.

I picked a background color!

I changed the page format..but then I changed it back again.


  I inserted this image. 


Everythings pretty easy so far.  Now'll I 'll try to save, etc.

Week #7: Thing #17: Webquest 2nd Entry

Sorry, but please refer to my other post. I inadvertently forgot to label it as "thing 17," and I forgot to post the link to my webquest:

I still cannot figure out how to add my webquest to my blog :(
I added the icon I used.

I think this is finally it!

Research Webquest

Week #7: Webquest

I created the webquest - what an easy process! I plan on adding a link on my school eboard when I am finished this activity.
I wonder if all the other webquest sites are as easy as that was. The only thing that gave me trouble was adding the link to my quest. I usually right-click and copy, but I had to use the control V method. I also tried to edit my link; however, I was unable to do so. I must be doing something incorrectly.
Thanks for putting up with this old gal trying to learn new tricks. I learn as much from my profs and classmates as I do our readings and activities.
One last thing...I found Jurkowski's Chapter 13 to be quite interesting. Our school district has had other faculty members trained in a pedagogy entitled, RBT, Research for Better Teaching. I found the initial classes taken when I was a new teacher to be extremely helpful; however, some of the more experienced teachers felt that these modifications to the teaching process were unnecessary and just a new name for things they did on a regular basis anyway. So, when the district strongly suggested that all teachers go back and take these classes, it found that some more experienced teachers were very unhappy about the situation. This year, we are being offered yet a new opportunity for professional development which I again have found helpful. But as Jurkowski suggests (p. 185), our media center specialists are not as involved as they should be. These individuals are very helpful, knowledgeable, and one of them is a former teacher!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week #7 - Thing #16

This was not my first experience with wikis as they have been utilized in several of our LS courses for a variety of reasons.
Our first task was to look a some library wikis. As usual, it seems that the work done by librarians is always very professional. I looked first at the St. Joseph's Library wiki. It was very information with information on the school, region, recreation, etc., etc. I thought that the "education" link was very well done. There was a homework section that would be helpful for students/parents alike. At my school, we maintain individual eboards for this purpose as well.
I found the "BookLovers" wiki to be quite interesting and informative. On it, there is a five-star reading list - Oh, if only I had more time! - and a great list of new non-fiction entries.
Lastly, I visited the Teacher Librarian wiki. Again, very well done. I loved the link to Free Tech tools, some we had already been introduced to in this course, but others were new. If only I had the time to try all these things. I am keeping much of this information to use over the break, etc. This wiki also had information on Fair Use which was a topic last week as well as lists for different interests and levels, even a high school favorites list.
What can I use this for? I am thinking beginning a wiki where my students could comment on class activities, readings and make suggestions for things they would like to see revised or added. I think it's important to make class as interactive and fun as possible.
Also, on a personal note, my husband's family has a reunion every 5 years. This Japanese American cohort, known as the Shindo clan for our recently deceased Grandma, has been sending tons of emails with suggestions, etc. regarding next summer's reunion. I think we should set up a wiki! It would be so much easier and more informative.
In Courtney, a research guide wiki is suggested (p.28-31). I had not seen this chapter before doing my rollyo on English research assistance, but she has certainly given me some further suggestions for my upcoming webquest and lesson. I am hoping to actually use this material when my seniors begin their research papers in November.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Week #6 - Thing #15

This is such an important issue today for high school English teachers and everyone. Much of my time is spent trying to enlighten students with regard to plagiarism and validity with regard to the internet.

I loved the video Fair-y Use especially since I am a big Disney fan. Even I did not realize that not too long ago, copyright lasted only 14 years but now for a lifetime plus 70 years! Of course, I wonder how they arrived at that time determination. I actually brought up this issue when we worked with Smilebox. Although I enjoyed mashing my own little production, I wondered if I had, in fact, violated any copyright issues myself since I picked from available songs which were recognizable tunes not created by me.

I also really enjoyed the perspectives on library 2.0. I first chose the copyright comic book which was fascinating. I had wanted to watch it via flash but it was taking too long to load so I just viewed the html. but it was still very impressive. I am thinking of showing excerpts of it to my classes, especially sophomores, as they begin the research process.
The other perspective I viewed was away from the icebergs. Three obstacles to progress toward web 2.0 were listed as no future need for "collections," the lack of properly trained and available staff as well as equipment, the former reliance on coming into the library for service. These aren't impossible to overcome in my opinion. We might find ourselves working from a computer in a smaller facility, but with the right programs and connections, we'll still be a vital part of education and and educated society.
The last thing I watched was the Did you know 4.0 "Shift Happens" video. I actually replayed it for my husband. Of course, being an old person, it was amazing but frightening to me. Everything in a single cell???? How fast we are moving....
BTW - I forgot the mention the advantages and disadvantages of tagging which are discussed Courtney, Chapter 8.
I think the biggest advantage us the discovery potential! In our planning center for English when we find a great site we share it with others, and they do the same . It's the same concept here but on a larger scale.
The largest disadvantage I see is the susceptibility to gaming, similar to spamming. Even at school where we use fairly advanced network filters and virus software, we have had issues with this so I think these things will continue to surface and be probematic.

Week # 6 - Thing #14

I was glad to be able to work with this site because I think it was not working on one of my earlier attempts. I was able to "claim my blog" for this class. The process was fairly easy!
I explored both the school library learning 2.0 sites (133 hits) and the classroom learning 2.0 sites (458), and I was actually surprised that the videos shown on the sites were the same however, the postings were very different. Right now, for my purposes, I found more of interest on the classroom learning 2.0 site which I only wish I had time to review in more depth. This might change though once I actually work in a school library.

I love the idea of "tagging." Without some reference system, similar to that used by librarians for retrieval, these blogs and other posting would all just be individual ramblings and it would be extremely difficult to ever join or find an appropriate blog. In fact, tags are recommended in Courtney both in chapter 2 and 8. I was particularly interested in the catalog 2.0 concepts. Although Courtney reports that library cataloging is slow in implementing these changes, many of the recommendations listed appear to be linked with a user friendly services, such as relevancy rankings, customer reviews and user-added tags. I can see where these changes cannot be done overnight, but many of the suggestions made will encourage patrons to use the library even if this might occur from a remote location in the future.

Week 6 - Thing #13

Tagging and
It was good to have some experience with tagging since in our other class we are working on MARC tagging and subject headings. Work on these sites allowed me to see the reason behind uniformity in an effort to improve retrievability.
I was already a member of Library Thing which I joined in conjunction with another class. This is a terrific site for avid readers. I have mentioned this site in my classes; I only wish I had more students who enjoy reading on a regular basis.

I searched SJLibrary and through the student assignment section. I was fascinated with the digital storytelling. I will be using this site in own classes because I think that students would enjoy the writing process more when they could explore the various digital extensions that are available.

I imported my favorites to and was very surprised that that I had 258 bookmarks. I was even more shocked to see how many people actually had bookmarked many of my sites, although I shouldn't have been. For examples, Google Earth is bookmarked through by 41,806 others besides myself. I hope to spend more time working with this site in the near future.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week #5 - Thing 12

I found Rollyo fairly easy to use until it came to finding the URL for my particular site. In fact, I now have one rollyo which is public so my name isn't in the URL, one which I have posted on our DB, and another which I did just to be sure I could do it again.
Here's my URL:
As I discussed on the DB, I hope my students find this helpful with the research process. They always seems to struggle with the process, even as seniors who have been required to complete a research paper every year.
I thought that a very relevant point was made in this week's reading of Chapter 5 & 6 of Jurkowski; namely, that we must be able to evaluate websites accurately. Today, our students believe that everything found on the internet is accurate and reliable. We know differently, of course, and so if we can create lists of acceptable sites which we have previewed and know to be reputable, this will help not only the students but ultimately ourselves.

Week #5 - Thing #11

Actually, this activity was fairly easy. Our school has recently begun using Google Docs. and this has really saved time and energy. We did a school climate survey last year, and one of the issues which was raised was the lack of appropriate professional development opportunities for everyone. Now, we are divided as a staff into areas of interest, mine is using technology in the classroom, and we are using Google Docs to sign up for different presentations and classes.

The other award winning activity we are using is the Ning site. My school ning address is:
where you can see not only my posts but those of other staff members.
This week, I posted links to 2 articles on using technology in the classroom and I also found two websites which other teachers may find very helpful.
I was glad that I could incorporate two assignments into one so I hope this was acceptable.

Week #5 - Thing 10

I had fun working with the image generators, FD toys and Image Generator; however, I was unable to connect to the comic strip generator even after several attempts.

I will definitely use these programs. In fact, I am always looking for ways to incorporate graphics into some of my presentations. I learned a new program at school, it's called Qwizdom/Interact, and I set up presentations similar to PowerPoints. The presentations become interactive through the use of student remotes which look like game controllers.

I also thought that the information in Dr. Farmer's PPT. was helpful. I was not aware of all the image extensions or what they referred to.

I did a snowman puzzle as my image. If you hadn't noticed, I love snow.