Friday, July 17, 2009

Thing 23

I have really enjoyed exploring all the options presented in the Library2Play 23 Things.

1. I enjoyed using photostory to put together a slide show/presentation. This was really easy to use and fun. I also didn't realize how many relevant videos were available through TeacherTube and YouTube. Being able to introduce Algebra Songs into the classroom should add an element of fun learning to the class. Flickr was another great site more for my person use. Docstoc had some nice handouts for Algebra that I can see using next year.

2. It has made me realize that I really need to be better at keeping up with what is out there on the internet. There are a lot of resources. I need to set goals to incorporate some components into each week's lesson or each unit. It is very easy to fall behind on the latest things available. I need to set realistic goals, however, as in many cases alot of searching time is still needing to find the appropriate materials.

3. I didn't expect to get much out of the Nings but reading other teachers' experiences with the difficulties of teaching was very helpful. As a new teacher in a small school getting to read different perspectives was helpful. The ones written with a sense of humor on some of the topics were great.

4. There are a lot of things to explore and it can be overwhelming in keeping track of what each resource does. Possibly covering less material but more in depth would help with this. Also making sure that explicit directions are given for embedding things in the blogs would be helpful or that all components are operating as specified would be helpful. I struggled with this at some points.

5. Absolutely! I learned a lot and enjoyed it.

6. Eye opening.

7. On my way to do so.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thing #22

I really didn't expect much from the Nings. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I explored Nings for Teachers. I explored some of the blogs and found several that put a smile on my face. Several of the authors had a great sense of humor and helped put the big and little problems of teaching in perspective. It was a great way to let off some steam on some the difficulties of teaching without having to get togeather with someone in person which is not always doable do to scheduling difficulties.

Thing #21

I really enjoyed playing around with photostory. It was very user friendly and created a very professional product.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thing #20

I didn't realize how many videos were available on Algebra through YouTube and TeacherTube. In YouTube I found some fun algebra songs on slope and on number types. On TeacherTube I looked at videos on exponents and adding negative numbers. I can easily see using these short clips to summarize the material presented at the end of the lesson. Having an alternate format or way to explain things can be incredible effective. Also it breaks up the class when it is not just my voice or the voice from Holt on line explaining things. It will take time to find and preview the ones that would work best with each lesson.

Below is the link to the video with the song on slope from YouTube

Below is the link to the video on adding negative numbers from TeacherTube

Thing #19

I really enjoyed looking through some of the Web 2.o Awards list sites. I eventually played around with .docstoc from the Education list. I chose this as Algebra was listed as a subtopic and I was hoping to find some new things I could use with my class. I am a new teacher and still building up my repertoire of material to use in class. The students are engaged more when the format is varied. There were a lot of good documents. However, it would take awhile to go through and use them. The titles and tags were helpful for this. I did print out a couple to use this year and will probably go back to the site as an alternate source of new material. It is great that in a lot of the worksheets the problems are worked out. There were also powerpoint presentations included.

My son and I also played with the sample spanish lesson one the Mango language site.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thing #18

I can see some real advantages to Google Docs. The fact that multiple people can edit a file without having to send it back and forth is probably the biggest advantage. Moreover the ability to access your document on any computer is a big plus. It's similarity in layout to microsoft word made it easy to use. There were some great evaluation forms provided for assessing how well a group member contributes to a group project. We had a school tracker file that we all edited and saved on Sweden. This could easily have been done with Google Docs.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thing 17

Rollyo is a great way to guide research projects in the classroom. It was easy to use. Given the overwhelming amount of information available, Rollyo is key for narrowing down the choices so that students can work efficiently. It also ensures that the sites assessed are reputable with accurate information, assuming the teacher has previewed the site first. Teachers should always preview the sites the students access and presumably if a teacher is listing a site on Rollyo he/she has previewed it.