Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thing 23 - Final Thoughts

I have finished all 23 things, and I am very glad that I chose to embark on this technological journey. I learned about many things of which I was not familiar, and took some time to explore some things that I've wanted to, but haven't had time to. Technology is always expanding, changing, and growing, and I'm glad I was able to broaden my horizons through this program. I would definitely do a program like this in the future, if it was offered. There are a few "things" that I will definitely use in the future, such as Facebook, Flickr, RSS, and iGoogle, to name a few. There are other "things" that I'd like to take more time to explore, and possibly use more regularly, I just need to be disciplined enough to devote some time to doing so. Overall, I learned a lot. This was a great opportunity!

Thing 19 - Podcasts

I listened to the St. Cloud State podcast--an episode with Sara Martini from Talahi Elementary, regarding the Maud Hart Lovelace award for children's books. I also listened to MPR podcast regarding the music of the day.

I felt all of the podcast sites were fairly equal in ease of use. I really liked,, and Yahoo!Podcasts.

I don't think that I would feel comfortable doing a podcast, but I can see myself subscribing to one. I'm not sure which one at this point, but I think if I found one that was relevant or interesting, I would be willing to subscribe to it and listen to it regularly.

Thing 21 - Other Social Networks

It is simply amazing to see how many networks are out there. There truly is a social network for EVERYONE! Whatever your interests may be, there is a network out there for you.

I am currently a member of MySpace and Facebook. I have most frequently been using Facebook much more than MySpace. As I explored the other networks listed... I felt that "Gather" was a website that really focused around a certain theme, book, etc. "WebJunction" seems like a terrific tool for library staff to utilize. I also did some of the tasks for the "Ning" network, which seemed very similar to the social networks in which I currently am a member of.

I searched and explored a few other networks that I will likely use in the future. The 3 that I think I will use the most would be Classroom 2.0 Ning, Project Playlist (as I love music), and Bake Space (I love to try out new baking recipes).

Thing 17 - ELM Productivity Tools

This "Thing" was slightly confusing, but I think that these tools would be very beneficial for information searching...for myself, as well as for my students. I'm sure that as I use them more, they would become easier. I think that the Kids InfoBits, and other Gale/Cengage Learning databases would be great for student research.

Collaboration is huge in the teaching profession. I feel that NetLibrary would help to share and collaborate information with my colleagues.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thing 18 - You Tube

I decided to explore some YouTube videos about Trinidad and Tobago. My brother's girlfriend is from there, and he will be living there all summer. I found some really interesting videos about the culture of these island nations. A couple of the videos I found weren't very relevant, they were just personal videos of a person's vacation.

I've seen other YouTube videos before... some comedians, one of my sister's students singing a song, and others. I'm sure there are some very informational ones, that would be beneficial to use in the classroom.

Thing 22 - What I've Learned

I've learned a lot about the technological world in the last few weeks. I'm glad I took this challenge... it has opened my eyes to many tools that I never knew existed, and gave me experience with some that I've been wanting to explore, but never took the time.

Some of these tools I will use more frequently than others, like Facebook, Flickr, Skype, Puzzle Pirates, and some others. I hope to take some time each week to explore these tools more. I also am hoping to bring some of what I've learned into my classroom, and allow my students to explore technology as I have.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thing 20 - Social Networks

A few months ago, my husband helped me to set up a MySpace account. It was alright, and there were some cool features (backgrounds, questionnaires, flickr, photosharing, networking).

However... All 3 of my siblings have a Facebook account and convinced me to set one up a couple of days ago. I have used Facebook more than MySpace in just short time. I have my 10-year high school reunion coming up, and I have been able to locate many of my former classmates on Facebook. I have been "catching up" with many of them, and we've been able to email each other, share pictures, and more. I have really enjoyed Facebook so far. It was extremely easy to set up and navigate. I have made numerous contacts with family and friends over the past few days via Facebook.

There are many fun things that you can do with Facebook as well... questionnaires, groups, etc. I have joined a Marketing group for a friend's psychology class, and also a group for my 10-year reunion.

My brother will be living in Trinidad with his girlfriend this summer, and this will be one way in which we will be able to keep in touch, and let him be able to see pictures of his nieces.