Saturday, August 14, 2010
Thing 13- Glogster and Final Reflections on "13 Things"
One Final Thing for the 13 Things class
One final "thing" I came upon is the website Glogster. As with most of these applications we've been learning about, it seems like there's a lot you can do with glogster that I just don't know about yet. So far, I'm in the middle of editing and updating a page which is to serve as a data base for both my students and fellow teachers. I put in a few links- one to the school's website where I teach, one for an upcoming English classroom blog, and one for my in-progress wikispaces page. Basically, you create your own page and you can upload images, videos, audio, and text. It's full of fun, practical, and even funky designs to customize the look and feel of your page. If you go to their homepage, you'll find a multitude of student examples to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. I've heard it mentioned a few times on Twitter, and Glogster has won a few awards...so it's worth checking out.
Reflections on "13 Things"
As far as websites that I've used the most...Blogger, Delicious (now Diigo), Twitter, and Bloglines (which I came back to after using twitter and reading excellent blogs) take the top spots. What I've enjoyed the most about Twitter, is deciding to randomly click on a link tweeted by someone, and then finding out how cool or thought-provoking or practical that link is. I've noticed by reading someone's blog or checking out a new application, I usually end up on about three more webpages before I'm done. And then I don't remember what link I clicked on in the first place! I'm finally catching on to Twitter. (and spending way too much time on the computer! Next, I'll need a class in computer time-management : ). I find it very inspiring and motivating to hear what other educators are doing all over the country and the world. It's a reminder that we're only limited by our own creativity and innovation.
I've managed to tag over 100 webpages using Delicious, and now they're all on Diigo, too. Such a constant exchange of information, followed by convenient methods of organization, has given me SO MUCH material to sift through and explore. Knowing that is a comfort, relief, inspiration, and challenge. I actually don't feel overwhelmed because I know that I'm sure to stumble upon something great. I welcome the change! It scares me to think of teaching the same way I do now for the next 30 years! A thought like that makes me reconsider my profession, but all the technologies I've been learning about change my outlook of the future of education. That outlook is no longer fearful. Some teachers are afraid that computers will replace them; I don't see that happening. I've heard colleagues state that we shouldn't give in to technology just because students use it....to me such a statement is a testimony not to the lack of technological skills that some teachers have, but rather just proves that they simply just don't know what's out there. I've already talked several colleagues about the 11 Things and 12 Things courses when I was taking those.
Getting completely off track.....back to answering the questions for class.
Yes, I've shared many of these sites with family and friends. I intend to share them with colleagues once the school year is back in full swing. One of the most important things I've shared is the TTS/STT technology with my mom and younger sister. My little sister has trouble reading, and I think this technology could help her out. I've learned that a few of my friends have a Skype account, which I didn't know about. I've shared some tweets that I thought were interesting; particularly this one: What happens if you give a class of 8 yo an iPod touch ea? video: http://www.l4l.co.uk/?p=835 #mlearning #slide2learn.
It's hard for me to pinpoint why some sites are easier to navigate then others; I guess I'd say good organization and links available on the home page tend to make things easier.
I'm still working on making new PLN friends, but I'm up to 45 followers on Twitter and I'm following 125! It's nothing to brag about, but the numbers are growing, and that's what matters. Although I will say, I've surprised myself for being bold and leaving my thoughts/comments on a few blogs. At first it's intimidating to read professional PhD blogs or tweets. For example, someone will say he/she just lead a conference on Skype...my initial reaction was, what could I possibly have to say to that person?? My thoughts changed though; if I want to ask or share, I'll do it now.
These websites have changed my computer routine. I used to check my gmail, hotmail, facebook, read some news, and maybe check my bank account. I still do all of that, but now I also log onto blogger, twitter, and have a yahoo email to check on. Plus, I have a lot of unfinished sites/projects related to this class that I would like to expand on- let the work continue!
Most of all, this class has changed my approach to creating lesson plans. I'm a practical/planning kind of person. I'll try to integrate one or two new things each trimester (that's do-able) and see how they fly. That could be a total of six new things by the end of this school year. I would like to continue to blog about my experiences using these technologies with my students- should be fun and I'm looking forward to it.