Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thing23-Last Thing

Last thing is such a misnomer. I feel like I am just beginning to learn about Web 2.0 and about how to teach. I have always advocated and used hands-on, real world learning but this takes it to a whole new level. My goals from this class are small:

  • create a paperless classroom where all assignments are completed in blogs, wikis, podcasts, vodcasts, and other applications
  • convince every teacher in my school to take this class
  • present Web 2.0 ideas to our board
  • have 1 to 1 computers in my school and eliminate traditional textbooks
  • establish WebPals as an international program of cultural exchange between classes around the world
  • develop my own PLN

Thanks Ron, this was the best class I have ever taken. I can never look at any education situation the same.


I think YouTube is a great site to find all kinds of interesting things and kids love it. It is blocked in my district and I support that for students because they would waste lots of time on inappropriate or irrelevant stuff. I do with that they would give teachers access though. It has been explained to me as a bandwidth problem when I ask.

I have found TeacherTube to be a great alternative to YouTube, but I am not sure if it is blocked??? My favorite videos are raps and songs that teachers have made to teach content: Mrs. Burk's Perimeter Rap and 9 Time Table Hip Hop for example. I think kids could learn from these and it would be a great project for students to make their own raps.

I also like this student commercial about what you post on line. It is short, but powerful. I really hope this is not blocked at school. I also found that the Common Craft "In Plain English" videos that we have been using are on TeacherTube.

I know that SchoolTube is not blocked but it did not seem to have as good of resources. I like the videos on TED as far as quality and information, but again they are blocked at school :(

Monday, January 5, 2009


I have to be honest, Twitter does not appeal to me. I do not like talking on the phone or instant messaging. I tried out several searches on twitter and found conversations that do not interest me. I could see trying it to follow a conference, maybe. It seems like a lot of time on trivial information. I do not have a high tech phone to twitter on and it is blocked at school so I do not see myself using it. I am much more interested in reading blogs about useful information or discussions of educational theory and practice.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I created a delicious account under concretekax. I imported all of my links from my home and school computer. It was super easy but it is taking me along time to add tags and share them. I am maybe 25% done. As stated in my last blog I love delicious and have been looking for a site like this.

I plan to use delicious to share my resources with other teachers in my building and with students. I will bookmark certain projects by topics to show students useful websites. I also am bookmarking appropriate sites that they can go to in their free time. It is a great way for teachers to share online resources with each other. I will also use it to find more resources.

I think delicious and RSS feeds are the two tools that I will use daily.


I think tagging is very useful. It works much like a keyword search. I particularly like the idea of tagging my own favorites because they are already classified in my mind. It will be very useful to organize sites by tags rather than choosing to put them in only one folder. When I want to bookmark a site I automatically have categories in my mind. The disadvantages are that people may tag the same site poorly making that site hard to search for if you do not know the tags they choose. One should think about tags to make them simple, accessible, accurate and uniform as opossible for all users. I think the recommendation to agree on certain tag terms would be great to do in my school.

I am excited to use I have previously used, but found it to be unreliable, slow, and would just plain crash if I had a class try to access my account. Delicious seems like a much better site and the addition of tags and sharing makes it even better.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I am feeling a little overwhelmed by Ning. I have already signed up for Classroom 2.0, but have been too busy with this class to spend any time looking at it. I have gotten several e-mails asking to be my friend or trying to get me to join in some research project. I find this to be more annoying than helpful. It feels like another form of junk mail. I am interested in meeting teachers who have the same passion as me like Skype users.

I feel like between blogs, wikis, and RSS feeds I already am being overloaded with information. I think I need time to process and experiment with what I have been exposed to in this class. Based on the blogs that I follow I will probably look to join in a specific social network focused on the Web 2.0 applications that I am using.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thing17-Hairmixer, Colorblender, Swivel,

I love the travel pod geography game! This would be fun for students. I will add it to my list of free time options for students to play.

Hairmixer is a riot! You can upload a picture of yourself and then try on the hairstyles of all kinds of celebrities. I don't know about its educational value, but it is fun. It does remind of an old Apple program Goo that I used to run in my lab.

Colorblender is a great tool for creating a matching palette of colors to use on a website (or anything for that mater!). For someone like myself who can't match anything it is fast, easy, and easy to convert to different applications. It also has an image converter that lets you convert different kinds of files like gif to jpeg, jpg, or bmp.

Swivel is listed under visual arts, but it is actually a site that makes graphs and charts out of interesting data. You can also import your own data. This site would be a great site for real world data for math teachers.

For personalized music on the web I like both Pandora and Lastfm. Both create music stations around your choice of your favorite artist. I had both going at once and would turn the sound down on whichever one was playing the song I liked the least. It turns out on my 2nd try that Pandora requires a free registration but Lastfm does not. Also if you do not like a song on Lastfm you can hit stop and then play to get a new song.

Thing16--Teach Digital

These two videos support changing the philosophical base of education making it modern, interactive, and creative. I think any good teacher already knows and wants to do this. The problem is that because of NCLB and MEAP controlling funding they are also controlling the emphasis schools are placing on core subjects and teaching to the test.

My tech class empahsizes cooperation, collaboration, and problem-solving. Most of my students are not very good in these areas. When I sub for the core teachers in my building, most of them are teaching the same way, read the textbook, answer questions, and take a test. Yes, they throw in a few projects through out the year, but there is very little creativity. Some of them even have new LCD projectors in their rooms. Instead of using them for creative web resources, they show canned outlines that came with the new textbooks the district purchased.

I would like to see textbooks abolished and teachers forced to be creative in finding appropriate resources and materials. It would be more work for teachers, but students would get a better, more relevant education.

Who among you has ever taught a memorable lesson that you would be proud of that came from a school textbook????


I still did not find much in the podcasts that I would use in class. I did find a fun trivia podcast but it was too difficult for middle schoolers.

I could see having students make podcasts as an alternative to writing a paper. Students would be more motivated to write for a podcast than a research paper. That is the key to podcasts: student motivation. I also could make my own podcasts of lectures or student instructions. Students could also make podcasts for morning announcements.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I've known about podcasting but have never listened to them except to messages from my church if I miss. I set up an itunes account which I found to be aggravating. Many of the podcasts were boring to me. I like the RSS feeds better because I can skim and pick the blogs that I want to read. I also can skim an article. Podcasts require you to listen to alot of it to determine if it is worthwhile.

One podcast that was interesting was The Works with Glenn Fleishman Podcast. It is from a local NPR station and discusses the latest technology issues. This particular podcast talks about a move by record companies to release music with out restrictions making it free. Of particular interest to me was a discussion about primary source material being published on the web. It talked about Europeana a site of sources from through out Europe and Google publishing all of the pictures from Life Magazine. This podcast would help me keep track of the latest tech trends and give ideas to use or have students research in class.

I like the professional podcasts like NPR best. The student podcasts on Willow Web are good examples of having students make podcasts.