Thursday, September 30, 2010

Social Bookmarking

It is amazing to witness all the new terminology that has surfaced just in the last ten years related to technology. If you would have asked me what social bookmarking was four years ago, I would have had no clue what you were talking about. Now, as I am beginning to use it, I am very excited about its possibilities.

To be honest, I started a delicious account at the end of last year and wasn’t really sure how to get it going and how to make it user friendly for me or anyone else. Therefore, it became one of those things that got put off to the side. However, now as I learn all of the capabilities it has, I am super excited about some of the things I can do with it. I am just starting the process of making one for my class. I think it will be such a great resource that the children can have access to both at home and at school. I am actually looking forward to including the children in the process of how to tag and organize the sites. Since they are using it, I want them to feel ownership in it as well, and also, I believe they will be able to navigate it better if I have them help me.

In terms of personal use, I am in the process of creating a delicious, but might try starting a diigo, which Katie at Creative Literacy mentioned. Right now I am using a delicious for the blogs, wiki’s, and other sites I like to visit and read. Since I am new to using a delicious, I am still adjusting to how I want to tag sites. However, I know this will work much better than just having bookmarks saved on my computer.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Google Reader

I have known about Google Reader for a while, but through my pre-game activities for PLP, I was directed to start one of my own. I had originally heard about it through my brother-in-law who uses it for his daily reading and my sister who used it for planning her wedding. She just loved checking blogs and sites. I was intrigued by this but never really jumped on board. Well, I have to say I am very happy that PLP has pushed me in the direction of trying Google Reader. I think it will help me with the organization of my reading and allow me to focus in each day on what I am interested in reading.

I have to say that I am still trying to figure out how to keep it organized using the rss in my Google Reader and trying to weed through blogs, wiki’s, news, etc. that I am interested in reading. There are so many out there that I am still prioritizing what is helpful for me. I also have to say that I am thrilled that I finally understand what rss means. The video that I watched and the article that I read were most helpful, and I now feel like I can understand what others are talking about in reference to rss.

I am still working my way through rss in my Google Reader, but I know I will definitely continue to use it. I am enthusiastically looking forward to using it more and more and feeling greater confidence as I further learn.

PLP Reflection

This year I am fortunate to have the experience of being a part of Powerful Learning Practice with fellow teachers from my building, my principal, and teachers from across the country. I am very excited about this experience and am really looking forward to learning and growing as a person and as an educator. As part of getting ready for our very first meeting this coming Friday, I have been asked to reflect and think about what I hope to gain from the coming year.

I have always been one of those students who love being in class. I love learning and furthering my education, and then taking what I learn and applying it. I really believe that this experience with PLP will allow me to do great things with my kids with technology and with their learning. I am hoping this helps me with achieving what I always want for my kids, which is for them to be inspired and to have the desire to be life long learners.

I am particularly looking forward to learn how to use Google Reader. I know I spend more time than I need to going through my bookmarks and reading the regular sites I read. I am also looking forward to extending my PLN. I am always looking for new blogs and articles to read, and I think having a place to organize my information will be a good stepping-stone.

I would like to get better at using Twitter. I have had an account for about two years and have maybe used it ten times. I am a more avid user of Facebook but feel that Facebook is more a social network where I interact with my friends. I want to learn how to make Twitter another resource for me professionally.

I am also wondering how to use my delicious account more effectively. I want to find a better way to organize my websites and access them more effectively. I would also like to create a delicious account for my classroom where I can add sites for them and even figure out a way for my kids to add sites as well.

In addition, I am trying to decide which is better for my kids- a wiki or a blog. I still don’t have the answer. I have started by using a blog with my kids, which has been most successful. However, I am wondering if the wiki is better across curriculum where the blog at this time is just being used for writing. I will have to continue to explore this.

Overall, I am hoping through PLP that I will become a better learner and an even better educator. I know I will be overwhelmed at times, but I feel this experience will clarify and expand my knowledge in supporting my kids and their education.

RSS Reflection

RSS. Another buzz word (or letters?) in the Web 2.0 world. Although, I had heard it discussed many times and even have friends that are huge fans, I had no idea what an RSS was or how it was used. This week, we were asked to start our own RSS for our work with PLP. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a place to organize all the information you consume on the internet (blogs, wikis, news, etc). It provides up-to-date information, all in one place. It's purpose is to save us time from having to go to 10-15 different blogs to only visiting one space where all your personalized interests are organized. We were asked to use Google Reader as our RSS. I started my account yesterday and spent a great deal of time subscribing to my favorite blogs, websites and news feeds. I am hopeful that this will indeed save me time by only showing me blogs that have been recently up-dated or news that I specifically request rather than visiting each site individually.

My questions: How are you organizing your subscriptions on your RSS? How do you use twitter within your RSS? Does this really make you feel less overwhelmed?

I clearly have a great deal to learn about this new tool. I am excited for the possibilities. Who wouldn't want to save time in a world where there is never enough of it?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

PLP Journey

This year, I have the amazing opportunity to be part of Powerful Learning Practice with a small group of fellow teachers and my principal. It will be a year-long learning experience where we'll examine our beliefs and practices in this 21st century learning environment with fellow educators across the country. Our first official meeting with all the participants is this Friday. Before this meeting, we have been asked to reflect on our expectations of what we’d like to gain in our year-long journey with PLP or any questions we may have.

As always, when it comes to technology and learning, I feel very excited and enthused by all the possibilities both in my professional and personal life. I also find myself extremely overwhelmed. I never feel on-top of things (is it even possible?) in my digital life, overwhelmed by the pure volume of inspiring information out there, and lost as to how to contribute to this digital community myself and, in turn, provide my students with the support to consume and contribute as well.

I hope that being part of PLP, I will gain a better insight on how to organize my digital learning and more authentically have it be part of my students daily life inside our classroom. I find that I am a consumer of Web 2.0 resources but rarely contribute myself. I hope that I will be able to find a my voice and understanding of how I can give back. Steve Hargadon says it perfectly, "Because it is in the act of our becoming a creator that our relationship with content changes, and we become more engaged and more capable at the same time. In a world of overwhelming content, we must swim with the current or tide."

Most importantly, I look forward to finding out how this will impact my teaching, and, in turn, my students. I want to make sure I am preparing them to be part of this digital world. I look forward learning more about Web 2.0 tools (Google Reader, RSS, Delicious, etc.) and how it will impact our teaching/learning.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How We Can Help Our World

Since Earth Day my kids and I have been having lots of conversations about how we can help our Earth. They had so many ideas and this video, that we created, was just a few of their ideas.

Each child drew a picture, took the picture with photo booth, uploaded it to animoto, and added text. (I did help with a bit of the spelling.)

I hope you enjoy the message my six and seven year olds wanted to share.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


So, after reading Katie's blog post at creativeliteracy I was inspired to give Animoto a try. Like Katie I am now addicted and am just spinning with ideas about how I can use this with my first graders. I can't wait to show this to them when we get back from break.

I have attached my first try at making a video. It is of the loves of my life, my dogs:) I hope you enjoy.

Create your own video slideshow at