Friday, July 30, 2010
Is there anything better than that? I'm scared to buy a used one, so, I think I need to get brand new with new updated software etc.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
•What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I can't think of any of the things I didn't really enjoy. It was all a new exciting journey for me. Each day was a new adventure into 2.0 world I had not ventured into before. I enjoyed the VOKI gadget, loved all the Google Apps, enjoyed the Library Thing and the Google Book Search, enjoyed the You Tube and Teacher Tube, and the most recently learned Classroom 2.0 social networking is cool. I already have some comments from one of the Groups I joined. I'm thrilled with the fact I can now embed, add links, post pictures etc.
•How has this program affected your lifelong learning goals?
It shows me that I probably need to keep taking classes such as these every so often so I don't get so far behind technologically speaking. There is so much to stay up to date with. The students will be up to date before me if I don't. Having access to some of these tools will also keep me in the tech loop (like some of the news feeds and google alerts I get now).
•Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
YES - I was very surprised to see all the social network sites that I had no clue about. I also was so shocked to see all the different applications of Google when I thought it was just a search engine.
•What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
Hmmmmmm - Well, I didn't have access to a printer, but it would have been nice to have a hard copy of the Things instead of writing it all down. But, I know it's better to save a tree and have it on the computer. The only other thing might have been a little more communication or comments on blogs from the teachers letting me know I'm on the right track.
•If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
Probably so. I REALLY like the fact that I could do the work on my own time vs. having to show up for a class, spend time driving to and from, using gas, etc. Although it might have been hard for me to do this during a regular school year (which is why I took it in the summer).
•How will what you have learned influence your practice as a teacher or school librarian?
I will use so much of it in my communication with parents and other teachers and administrators. I will also feel more in-the-know with my students and be able to offer suggestions to them on using the computer for learning, sharing, communicating, READING!!!
•How do you plan to keep up with new developments in web 2.0? Recommend a way that you have found to be useful.
It would seem to me that the Classroom 2.0 I joined would keep me informed and up to date on any new developments. Several of the RSS feeds we joined during the first Thing we learned about RSS were on technology, and I kept those, so hopefully reading those articles will help keep me updated as well. Then, there's always the other teachers (especially C-techs) who inform me as well.
Maybe by continuing to blog the comments and things shared will help too.
And, I have subscribed to the Learning 2.1 feed - so I can see what's new.
I have really enjoyed this class and am excited about all the new things I have learned.
Thanks so much for sharing this class with us and for the continued educational journey we will share as we continue in lifelong learning.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
This article was from one of the forums that I found very interesting especially since I just attended a staff development for gifted training in which we discussed divergent and convergent thinking. I think educators would enjoy this read called Creativity Crisis.
Here is my Classroom 2.0 Badge.
Visit Classroom 2.0
Then I watched this brief video about how to use vocabulary on an iPhone - way cool. This would be an awesome use for the students.
Here is my Ning Badge.
Visit 23 Thingsters
Then here is a widget I added since I'm a yoga teacher - this is a Yoga Poses widget.
I am certainly impressed with these educational social networking sites and how easy they are to access and follow (just like facebook). I have found several valuable resources already (like the ones I shared above) and know there are more to come as I continue to visit the sites. I plan on sharing these sites with my friends and fellow teachers (I have already added them to my facebook page). I especially plan on adding the brain research and dyslexia articles to my monthly newsletters (via email) to parents as well as my dyslexia colleagues.
Monday, July 19, 2010
So, about a year ago I finally gave in and set up a facebook account. I quickly added school teacher friends, principals, old high school friends, and family. It was very cool at first and I was checking it daily. I never got "addicted" and certainly didn't like any of the games. I actually got a little annoyed at the invites to play these games and the comments about them. That seems to have tapered off now. I don't check FB everyday anymore. I hardly ever check it to be honest just due to time (and not having my OWN computer right now). But, it is a nice tool to keep in touch and stay in the loop of friends that I wouldn't normally talk to or chat with everyday, but this way I can sort of know how they are and what's going on in their lives.
It's also great for getting answers pretty quick. I asked a teacher friend one time if she still needed my fair ticket and that was cool to get through on FB since I didn't have her phone number. Then, I asked all my "friends" on FB if they knew a good A/C company and it's good to get the advice and referral of a trusted person.
Here is the link to my Facebook. Come visit and if we're not friends, request. :)
It seems to be a very important thing for teachers (and parents) to know about the social networking because the kids are absolutely hooking up through it and sending pictures (not always good ones) and sharing homework (and answers). If it's not monitored, it can get out of hand. But, it can be used as a good thing too. I love my oldest son's profile and the description of himself. Then, there's my youngest who is not supposed to be able to have a my space until he's 13 and he tried lying and getting an account when he was 10 and said he was 14. Silly boy. I have deleted two of the accounts he snuck by me. He has a facebook account now too that I'm letting him keep. He turns 13 in August. I will monitor it regularly.
There are so many GROUPS you can join and keep up with special deals or happenings. For example, my high school I graduated from has a site and keeps me posted of people who have passed away or reunions coming up.
One thing I do not like about the social networking is the pictures people post (often time nude or nearly nude). I don't want my kids (or students) having access to that. It makes my job as a parent much more tedious to keep up with. You trust them to a point, but they are boys!!! And these girls sometimes don't have a clue what they are doing posting those pix!!!
I prefer Facebook as opposed to My Space - basically because more of my school friends and teachers are on that network. I haven't tried any others- like the LinkIn.com that was mentioned on the Common Craft Show.
I can see how the social networking would be useful and helpful to students to a degree. I wonder, though, how distracted they become or consumed with it they could be instead of doing other productive things. But they could have homework buddies or ask teachers questions or at the very least, get practice spelling, typing, putting thoughts into words on the comments. It does have positive qualities.
I'm sure we will see more positive changes on these social networks as time passes and technology increases. It will be interesting.
So - remember - find me on facebook my 23 Thingster friends. :)
On my Dyslexia Resources site there are several GREAT tools for teachers to use to teach reading. This particular link is for a code chart for vowels.
I have Google Health News as one of my feeds and I thought this article might interest not only teachers but anyone who has to eat in 30 minutes or less and doesn't have much time to pack a lunch. I grab a Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine or similar frozen dinner and head out to work. So, this article lists the top 12 HEALTHIEST frozen dinners. I can testify that they are good. I've had almost all of them.
It's awesome to have these daily feeds and not have to go searching for the things I'm interested in. :)
Friday, July 16, 2010
Then I went to the Google Calendar. It could be used for my aerobics schedule (even if it's just one for me personally to keep up with the classes I teach) as well as personal dates/events. Click the link to see an example of one I created with the rest of July's classes on the calendar.
Then in less than 30 seconds I made my own iGoogle home page with MY interests on it.
Then I went on to the Picasa Albums and looked at several photos. I don't have my own digital camera yet nor do I have my own computer to download pix to my own file, so I will skip this one for the time being - but am glad to know about it.
I love Google Book Search. I can read through the books as if I were at the book store and decide if it's worth reading or not. I can also read my kids favorites books right here on line. I LOVE THIS!!!! Here's one of our favorites, Love You Forever. Oh my, I spent sooooo much time on this book search. That is probably going to be a new hobby for me.
I hope the students are able to check it out as well. They won't have the excuse of not having any books at home - if they have access to a computer.
Google Earth was really cool too and I'm sure the students would love to go anywhere they are interested in on that site. They can read it in a book, but seeing it on the videos or the 3D images this site offers would really catch their attention.
I didn't delve as deep into the Google Sites or Google custom search at this time but I'm sure glad to have it as a resource to come back to later. I might be interested in starting an MTA class page for my students, the parents, the regular classroom teacher, and other dyslexia teachers on the Google Sites.
Google Sketch Up is not a tool I can see myself using, but my husband probably would love it. So would my own children. Sometimes, dyslexic students are gifted in the right brain talents; therefore, they would probably enjoy this site and create amazing sketches. I'm passing this one on to them.
I share publicly to MISD23things a couple of things I tried. I also added links to them in this post.
I checked out several of the Google Labs as well. These are the ones I thought were interested and could be used either for my students or for me personally: Google Transliteration, Google City Tours, Google Aardvark (ask any question to be answered), Google Listen (can listen to news/magazine), and Google Squared (this one is certainly worth you checking out).
I was amazed at all the great tools Google has to offer. I never knew it was anything more than just a search engine until this class. I'm feeling more empowered and tech savvy now. COOL.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
This would be good for students that have a computer to be able to do certain homework or projects at home without having to have a flash drive or disc.
I wrote a letter to my aerobics class that I then forwarded to my school email and was able to send out all from google docs. I also played around with the spreadsheet (which I'm a little embarrassed to say that I have never used a spread sheet before - I tried and gave up and still am not sure how to keep 5 pages worth of the extra lines all the way to "T" or "Z" whatever it goes to from printing out. I just want the one document). I made a behavior points sheet where I can just add the students names and then place checks or tally marks for good behavior. The winners get prizes.
I could also use the Spreadsheet for classroom attendance, sign in for aerobics class, or any type of list with check off spot.
I also played around with the Google presentation and did a brief slideshow of my favorite things. Since I'm on my son's computer, I couldn't access any of my personal pix so I had to use the ones in my son's file. That's why there weren't as many as I would've liked on the slide show. (Like my husband, step daughter, and other family members). I did link some of the pictures from Flickr Creative Commons.
Students could use the presentations to do the same thing - share a few of their favorite things. This would be good for the beginning of the year for the kids to get to know one another - like an "All About Me" presentation.
I also uploaded a file from my documents to see what it looked like in Google Docs and was surprised at how easy it was to do that and how it looked the same as in Microsoft Word.
These apps can be used both in my personal and professional life. I can share Google Presentations with personal friends on email and just link the site. I can also type letters/flyers to parents/students from the Google Docs and send it through email.
It would be cool for my students to use the google docs in the computer lab with the regular classroom teacher and then email the finished product to me. (the MTA teacher). Then I could collaborate with the student and the regular classroom teacher.
I can see how the regular classroom teacher could use these in a gazillion ways. I'm a little prohibited in what I can do in the program I teach, so I will have to be creative in how I get to use these things I've learned for my dyslexic students.
I'm looking forward to seeing any collaboration that takes place with the Google Docs I shared. Although I couldn't find the button to click that was supposed to say "Invite Collaboration." I just typed in the email address and hit the Share button.
Here is the link to my Google Docs:
Summer Aerobics letter, Positive Behavior Points, A Few of My Favorite Things, and a quote uploaded from my docs.
I'm enjoying all the things I am learning. Thanks for teaching the 23 Things class. :)
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Be sure and keep clicking the bottom right arrow to view the entire Voice Thread. There are about 36 pages. You can just scan through them unless you are super interested.
This is an idea of how I would use Voice Thread personally and maybe even for my students as well. It's a parent reading a poem "A Wish for My Children". I would love to read it and other books that were my children's favorites and send it to them through email or facebook or my space, or send them my blog with it embedded for them to watch and listen. I could also use it with pictures of my students and share my wish for them and let them respond as well as their parents.
Here is the VT.
Some other ideas I have are reading books and letting the dyslexic students just listen and enjoy. Then, have them retell in their own words what the story was about and their favorite part.
I would also like to have some spelling questions, such as "How would the (k) sound be spelled if the (k) was in initial position before an e, i, or y? Then have the students share their answer. Then I would respond after all have shared their answers.
Students might also be able to take an oral spelling test, give oral book reports, share what they did over summer break as well as other holidays during the year. I especially like the VT I saw for cards, such as for Mother's and Father's Day. Parents would adore something like that.
It would also be great if maybe I could read a book on Voice Thread and have the student follow along with his/her own copy of the book in order to practice fluency.
I'm thinking I can do pictures of key words and the letter sounds for the students to practice their letters/sounds on voice thread.
It seems that the possibilities are endless. This is probably easier than producing a You Tube ??? I'll have to try it out (making a Voice Thread - and eventually making a You Tube broadcast also.)
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Here's another one that I have shown to my dyslexic students in class about the author Stephen Cannell's story about having dyslexia.
I also watched a Zumba Steps
to add to my Zumba routine since I'm an instructor. I watched several of those type You Tube videos.
On Teacher Tube, I watched a video from Lucy Calkins about Teaching Reading Workshop and what we need to do TODAY to teach reading (A GOOD TEACHER!!!! - TIME to read, time to talk about what we read.)
For fun, I am interested in seeing the movie The Shift by Wayne Dyer, so I watched the trailer for it.
I will always be on a quest to find appropriate material I can share with my dyslexic students to help them become better readers, overcomers, thinkers, have a positive attitude, and be encouraged. I think You Tube and Teacher Tube will be a great added resource to be able to achieve that goal.
There are a lot of related dyslexia videos with students sharing their own success stories and those would be cool to share with my class.
This has been probably one of my favorite Things to do yet. :)
Monday, July 12, 2010
I previewed all of the podcasts listed on our Thing # 17 list. I liked a few of them, but as the MTA dyslexia teacher, I didn't find many that would apply to my field or something I can use in my class; however, I can certainly pass a few on to the regular classroom teacher. I did subscribe to the Grammar Girls and the PBS John Merrow feed for Learning Matters.
I'm sure the others listed that I looked at are great sites and some of the things I saw were interesting to me, just not something I can really use at this time professionally.
One idea that I have and am REALLY interested in trying this next school year is doing my own podcast of my dyslexia MTA students reading a book and podcasting it. They could also do some spelling lessons explaining the phonetic rules or situation rules for spelling words on a podcast. For example, there are so many different ways to spell the (k) sound and my students can tell you all the ways and the reasons why: (k,c//ck,k,ke,c are all the ways.)
This way they can sort of "Show off" their skills and all they have learned in MTA.
I am an "itunes" user and have downloaded songs to my ipod which I use when I go jogging as well as when I'm doing yard work (mowing, weeding), and sometimes when I'm doing house chores (dishes, vacuuming, cleaning). I absolutely LOVE my ipod with all my favorite songs and NO commercials or having to go change the CD.
I have not done any podcasting, but I can see it in my future. :) Well - I take that back. We did do a podcast for our secretary who retired this year and I said my farewells on the Garage Band type of podcast that one of our teachers created for the retiring secretary. So - does that count???
Podcasting is awesome. I have listened to MANY things on podcasts such as sermons, radio broadcasts, lectures, how to plant certain types of plants/flowers, how to do certain yard projects (like building a pond). You tube and podcasts are here to stay I'm sure, and they can only get better. :)
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thanks for sharing this site.
I joined the Library Thing after taking the tour and am looking forward to what comes from this.
This could be good for my students as well, but I would like to check to see if any of their favorite books are an audio books since my dyslexic students would prefer to listen to the book vs. read it.
This would be a great way to share books within the classroom - teachers could share books with students, parents, other teachers. It would also be a cool way personally to share with others the books you have read and recommend or not.
Especially during the summer, sharing a good book to read while laying out by the pool would be fun.
This was a fun THING. :)
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I like the fact that I now have a way to organize my bookmarks with tags. The list was growing larger each day and when I needed to look up something it took a while to scan through the list.
I also found it very interesting to see how many others have tagged the same sites I have. That might be a way to social network with teachers in my specific field.
I also added a few new RSS feeds to some articles I found.
My computer has gone to computer heaven so I have been using my sons. Until I get a new one, I won't be able to do the stretchier task yet, but am certainly going to try it once I have my own list of bookmarks once again.
BTW - I sure do like those common craft guys videos. Simple, short, easy to follow. Thanks for sharing.
I'm planning on using the Delicious dyslexia sites I follow with parents and the students who are technologically savvy as well as with my teaching buddies. I will also use it with all my friends who take my aerobics classes so they can stay up to date on the latest health/workout articles. Here's one on Zumba. If you don't know what Zumba is or would like to check out this you tube, watch this.
Here is the link to my delicious site http://delicious.com/vickiemontoya.
Check out my first few bookmarks and watch them grow. :)
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I chose to do the PollDaddy tool so that I could make a survey for the people who attend my aerobics classes through MISD Wellness. I already made a post with it on there if you're interested.
I thought that I might could use it at school for my students to share different things such as who their favorite author is or favorite book or favorite famous dyslexic person. The possibilities are countless.
The PollDaddy site has places you can share on facebook, twitter, email, and several other places I wasn't too familiar with. It is certainly shared because you want people to answer your survey or vote.
I also tried the Weebly tool and created my own website. It was VERY easy. I sooooo very much appreciated the demo that was right there on the page and easy to watch and follow. So, here is the website I created http://vickiesweb.weebly.com.
This would certainly be something I could create and keep up with during the school year for the parents of my students (and of course the students too). I could share things with my aerobics class as well.
I gave the Weebly site to my husband because we wanted to make a web page for the home business we are starting. He is so excited at how easy it is as well.
It also has a way to share your web page with friends on facebook, twitter, email, etc. It also has a comment area you can add to your web page.
I'm learning sooooo much through this class. COOL.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.
These people overcame their struggles with dyslexia. Someone believed in them. We can do the same for our dyslexic students.
I can hardly wait for the students to see this and then maybe start making their own videos of things that interest them or sharing their own family photos or summer vacation or their favorite people/teachers/friends, etc.
I also am ready to get my wedding pix out and do a little video/slideshow of my favorite memories. Cool!!!
It was a little frustrating at times and time consuming, but enjoyable.
Friday, July 2, 2010
I think this could be useful in the classroom on many different levels. For one, teachers could share places they have visited - maybe even take the kids on a mini field trip. So many students have never been to the places they read about in text books or stories or social studies, so, sharing the pictures could give them a little more prior knowledge/background info.
It could also make the teacher/student interaction a little more personable. Students could share their own pictures of places they have been or replace the old "What I did over the summer" essay/journal with a slide show.
I am a little bit unsure about all the confidentiality stuff and the hackers and stalkers and just plain weirdo's that could look/lurk at the sites. ??? But, I'm willing to try it.
The theme that I chose to search was "Dyslexia" because I teach students with dyslexia. I'm always looking for new ways to encourage them and let them know they are not alone in this struggle to overcome. I am also looking for ways to remind them that they are talented in so many ways, maybe just not reading, writing or spelling. So, I was excited when I found several pictures that I think I can use to share with my class, such as the famous people dyslexic mosaic.
Then, as you can see on my blogs, I went a little crazy with posting to my blog several photos I found related to the dyslexia topic. Helping these kids believe in themselves and become successful is certainly a passion I have. I just absolutely LOVE seeing them light up when they figure it out or those light bulbs moments for them or at the very least, when they see that SOMEONE really does believe in them and sees their potential.
Okay, back to Flickr. The photographer of the "famous people - dyslexia" is aeckel. He has a page of his own you can check out on this link, aeckel.
There were other personal interests I searched on Flickr while I played around on it too that I liked such as sunsets, beaches, lighthouses, and waterfalls. I also looked at all of the suggested sites for classroom uses and further resources listed. I am not in the regular classroom but I was for 13 out of my 20 years of teaching and I certainly could have incorporated these resources into my teaching and the students learning. I will pass on this info to my fellow teachers who are not taking the 23 things class (and tell them to take this course too).
One tool in particular I thought would be helpful for students was the vocabulary flickr where it showed some visuals of similar words such as stroll, wander, toddle, trudge, stride, and march. What an incredible way for the kids to get this in their memory bank and have it for life. I LOVED this.
I'm ready to move on to the stretch activity to see what else I can learn. :)
Cool stuff!!! (My dyslexic students are VERY visual, typically, so these would support their learning so well!!!).