Wednesday, April 21, 2010

thing # 23

When I started the 23 things I felt quite overwhelmed and not very confident that I will be able to get through, but now that I am at the end it seems like it was not that difficult. Many of the things are a lot of fun, and in the meantime I have used several with my students. I did not always get everything right on the first try, or even on the second or third, but eventually it worked out. This assignment has definitely given me a lot more confidence in dealing with technology and I know 100% more about how to use Web 2.0 --- in other words, I was absolutely clueless when I began 23 things.
The biggest hurdle for me had been trying to find out what happened to my postings after thing #16, because no matter how often I posted, nothing showed up in my blog. Vaughn to the rescue: it took her under two seconds to see what my problem was. I had somehow managed to create two identical blogs, and posted after thing 16 on my second blog, but kept looking for my postings to show up on the original blog. All is well that ends well. Thank you Vaughn!

thing #22

Of the Nings, I really liked TeacherLingo. It offers everything from Interactive Whiteboard resources to lesson plans and even fashion advice specifically for teachers. I think this is a great way for teachers and librarians to stay in touch, collaborate, support each other, and build networks.
When I looked at the Texas School Librarian Ning I discovered that our class mate Erica Finley is already a member. Now the rest of us just need to follow her lead.

thing # 21

When I started thing #21 I was convinced that there is no way I can figure out how to create a photo story. It turns out, it is not that difficult and a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I have 'big plans' for all sorts of photo stories now. My husband wants an iPad primarily for his photos. Wouldn't it be nice if our sons gave him one for father's day and it had a number of photo stories on it? I better get busy.

The photo story I did for thing #21 shows a few pictures of a trip my sons and I took last summer. We went to see my family in Germany and took a two-day trip to Paris with my sister and her son.

thing # 20

YouTube is fun, and the choices are endless. I watched at least 30 different videos about librarians, some funny, some not so funny, some that were inappropriate, some that were boring, and some that were actually okay for a school assignment. The one I chose shows a young librarian defending the Dewey decimal system.

On Teacher Tube I found a video on Metaphors: Star Wars Metaphors. I am teaching metaphors to my ESL students right now, so I will use the video myself.

There is just about anything a teacher or librarian could possibly be looking for. To make it even more perfect, links to worksheets, lesson plans, assessments, and more are provided at the upper edge of the video.

thing #19

I fell in love with Lulu, a self-publishing tool. For $0.02 per page, one can publish a paperback book. There is also the option of selling the book online. Other options are hardcover books, and ebooks, although I forgot to check what the cost is for those formats. Students and teachers could publish their own writings at very little cost. I know of a student who enjoys writing and illustrating children's stories. What a perfect tool for her!
How I needed Lulu back when I wrote my master thesis --- around the time when the dinosaurs went extinct, before computers and Internet. I still have a bound copy of it, but it was expensive and complicated to get it done. I am totally giddy about this discovery!

thing # 18

At the recommendation of my sons, I downloaded Open Office a while back on my home computer. I have never used it, because I had already purchased Microsoft Office. Taking another look at it, I must say that, all in all, I see only advantages to Open Office. First of all, there is no purchase cost --- a huge advantage in my opinion. Secondly, updates are available without additional cost, and there is not much that can go wrong with Open Office. I noticed that the district has Open Office on our school computers, but we also have Microsoft Office installed. Why do we have both? I must admit, that I have been using Microsoft Office consistently for all my word documents, Power Points, etc., probably out of habit. Rumor has it, that SBISD is going to discontinue the use of Microsoft Office, so I guess we need to get used to the --- good --- idea of Open Office.

thing # 17

I created a search engine for Young Adult Literature, and in the process I found out that my friend and class mate Lili Suchoff had created one with the same title. However, she has completely different web sites in her search engine.
While Rollyo is obviously useful for any number of applications, it will be particularly helpful to students. A specially created search engine can be used for research projects, so that students may go straight to the sites that the teacher/librarian has selected and approved.