Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I enjoyed creating and exploring the Picasa Web and Google Translate web pages. Picasa Web reminded me of Flickr in the sense that it dealt with photos. I have used Google for quite sometime now and have never known about that nifty tool. I now have a place to upload and save some of my photos without worry of possibly losing them. Google translate was my favorite of the two. I have two close friends who live in France and Finland. They visit m every summer, but their english seems to worsen the longer we are apart from one another. This special tool can help me communicate with them in their native language. I'm sure it will be entertaining for them to read it as well. These tools can both be used inside a classroom. Picasa Web can allow teachers to upload photos of their class so that the parents and outside world can see what the children are learning. Google Translate can possibly be used for language classes. Also, if a class has a "sister" classroom from a different country, this tool might be a neat way to communicate with them to show interest in other cultures.
The Edublogs Awards Blog was the easiest method of finding feeds. It had everything broken down into organized and interesting groups. The easiest search tool for me was Google Blog just because I am so use to Google. The others were not really confusing, just new to me. However, I will try to use them throughout my teaching career because one is never enough. I found a blog entitled “Dan’s 5th Class”. It showed what the students were learning, what projects hey were doing, and even fun facts about their class. Some other search engines that I use are bing and twitter.
I like how RSS and newsreaders allow one to stay up-to-date with information specific to what he/she is looking for. Using this technology for both my professional and private life will allow me to become more aware of what is going on in the world. I could use it in my classroom to gain ideas for projects, lessons, or any information on a topic. I could use it is my private life to find new DIY (do it yourself) crafts and or new food recipes.
Generators such as the ones I used can be used for just about anything. In the classroom one could use the 'Post It' generator for assignment reminders for the students or parents on a classroom website. The word generator that puts words/phrases into a shape is something that can be turned into a fun learning activity for students if they are needing to know certain terms under a specific category. I enjoyed using these tools because they allowed me to show some creativity.
While on Flickr, I found numerous photographs that appealed to me. It wasn't very hard to do so because I love taking pictures, buying them for my apartment, and posting them on Facebook or twitter. the first word I searched to look for photos was 'ballet'. I have been a dancer for 11 years now so anything to do with dance will always appeal to me. The results were beautiful. I then typed in 'Greece' because it is my ideal vacation spot. I want so badly to travel the world, and Greece would be my first option. The photograph above was taken from an apartment balcony that overlooked Greece. I can visualize myself sitting in that blue chair, sipping on tea, and beginning a day of new experiences. Flickr has proven to me to be a very useful resource for finding numerous images for whatever the occasion. It is very simple to use and allows for an entertaining time.
Commenting can help create a sense of community and interaction by allowing others to take part in a discussion. A community is based upon several people not just a single person. By opening others to discuss a topic at hand, one is indeed forming a community. Interaction amongst peers is essential in expanding the knowledge of others. Two points about commenting that I found important were to criticize kindly and write meaningful comments. These appealed to me because numerous times I have encountered comments that agree with what the author is saying, however they do not let him/her know how their post affected that particular person. The more feedback the better! Also, criticism is always needed but rather a constructive manner than a destructive one. The seven blogs I have chosen to read are Hannah Stone’s “Hannah Stone’s 23 Things”, Abbey Thompson’s “Abbey Thompson”, Chelsea Ninness’ “Chelsea Ninness’ Blog”, Jodi Farmer’s, “23 Things for Teachers”, and Stefanie Tate’s “Stefanie Tate’s 23 Things”. I chose to follow each of the five blogs at random. Each of their Thing #1 posts allowed me to learn about them and even relate to some. Another blog I have selected to follow are “Fashionista” because I like to keep up with what is in style, and there is also a fabulous article on nail art that caught my attention. I also am following “the Inspired room” blog because it has a lot of DIY (do it yourself) crafting ideas.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Flickr is a fun and easy way to use photography as a learning tool or for a decorative use. I enjoyed selecting different forms of each letter in my word. There were big, small, tall, short, colorful and dull selections of letters. This would be a fun tool to use in the classroom at the beginning of the year. Each child could create their name with the numerous designs given, and that could be their name tags for their desks for the year. It would be a way for each student to express his or her own individuality. When it comes to sharing photos online, I'm on the fence. Photos can be a great thing to share if done appropriately and for a good reason. If it's for school, say to show parents what projects their children are doing for the day, then yes I believe it is a great thing to utilize.
The tool I chose was Pandora Radio. This is a tool that allows one to access all types of music to fit whatever one might be wanting at the time. I liked using the search bar in Pandora because one word opens up to so many possibilities. However, with those possibilities comes difficulties. It might take awhile to find the station that suits you best. Pandora could definitely be a useful tool for school. Music teachers especially would find this tool useful. For example, if you are teaching a Kindergarten class and need a fun and creative way to teach ABC's there are multiple songs that do just that. It not only helps a teacher to be more effective, but allows the students to have fun while learning which should be an ultimate goal.
Pandora Radio tool
Pandora Radio tool
While reading Web 2.0: A Guide for Educators and Web 2.0 is the Future of Education several things came to mind about the world wide web. I have never taken the time to consider all of the infinite possibilities of how one can achieve anything through the web. Our world has become the web. People are making their mark on the web every second of every day. The statistic given from Web 2.0: A Guide for Educators about over half of adolescents ages 12 to 17 use social networking sites to communicate amazed me. I never would have guessed that many young people use social networking. Also, I enjoyed how Web 2.0 is the Future of Education gave a place for teachers to blog about what's going on in the classroom or special things they have done, view forums, see magazines, and even enter contests. Before the web teacher's had very few ways of sharing new and/or creative ideas for the classroom. It was kind of, well, boring. Now with things such as "School 2.0" all teachers and future teachers can learn new ways to do things inside the classroom and even share some things with their students. "School 2.0" is important in my life because it is a new innovation that will allow me to bring in new ideas, techniques, and teachings into the school that I will be employed. Being a school who has teachers that are utilizing "School 2.0" means a more diverse learning environment for it's students and also a rise in using more advanced technology down the road.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Using a blog in my future teaching profession can be substantially helpful to me, my students, parents and/or other colleagues. I can use a blog to create a dynamic teaching site, posting not only class-related information, but also activities, discussion topics, links to additional information about topics they are studying in class, and readings to inspire learning. A blog can also be helpful for parents if I were to post pictures of activities being done within the class room for them to see. Finally, posting a weekly newsletter allowing both the students and parents aware of what to expect throughout the school week can be very helpful.
I am a very simple person, so that is why "My Blog Spot" felt good enough for me. Creating my blog was not quite simple to say the least. It wasn't that it was difficult, it just took some time due to my indecisiveness. I tend to spend quite sometime on choosing what makes things look good. The over all process was not difficult just time consuming. My avatar reflects my personality because love wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and my hair down. I wanted the ballerina tutu because that reflects what I love to do most.