Web 2.0 Course

This was an excellent course-very informative, demanding and time consuming. I am glad I took the course but it took about three times as long as I had anticipated. I am looking forward to going back and spending time using some of the tools. It is well woth the fee charged and should be about double the PLUs!

Thing 21-Pageflakes

When I first tried to access Pageflakes, I could not get in. I tried 8-9 times to no avail on Saturday. I decided I would try one more time today (Monday), and was able to access the site! I spent several hours working on the K12 Learning template and adding and deleting flakes. It is so much fun! I am so glad I could work with it today as I ended up checking email from the site, accessing videos and music, checking weather and local events for my area, changing currency, checking news from different sources, and even trying to check Twitter and Facebook but I did not have my passwords. There are so many avenues where Pageflakes could be used such as the classroom, a business, for sales, for civic clubs, or neighborhood associations. I look forward to spending time to design a new page about a business we have and sharing the information with existing and potential customers. I enjoyed the school page examples shared in the material for a 3rd grade, an AP economics class and a page about a Darfur project. Any teacher could use this to share information about a project or an assignment for a class. The ideas and options are endless. I really cannot believe I have never heard of Pageflakes as it is an awesome tool I will be able to use professionally in the future.

Thing 22-Ning

There are so many aspects to explore in Ning and so many possible groups to join! It was fun to look for people and groups of interest. I realized that I had joined earlier but had never joined any groups so I will spend some time looking for groups of teachers who discuss Web 2.0 topics and high school. It is a fascinating resource to network with other educators in exploring teaching options and tools and common problem discussions. I also checked out the Facebook and LinkedIn  tabs and saw a number of pages to check out as I am a member of each. I think this will be invaluable as the use of technology continues to get recommendations about what works well in the classroom and what does not. I do not enjoy reading technology magazines and this site gives so many options for educators in a language we can understand. Personal and professional learning could be enhanced by forming groups of local educators or classes of students for localized topics of discussion or specific class assignments. The use of Ning gives so many ideas for discussion that one teacher would never have time to explore or develop individually! It is terrific and I look forward to spending many hours in future exploration!

Thing 7C-Google Reader

Using Google Reader, I accessed an article from NPR entitiled WITH DRINKING, PARENT RULES DO AFFECT TEENS’ CHOICES by Michelle Trudeau that offered an audio of the article, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127222042 as well as a written piece about the effect of parent rules on teen drinking.  While many parents feel that loosening the reigns the Senior year of high school is good for the teens, research does not support this view. In fact, heavy drinking in high school contributes to subtle declines in thinking, problem solving and other abilities. Since the brain is developing til the mid 20’s, heavy high school drinking actually causes physical changes to the brain of the young person. While the amount of drinking by the parents is influential, the rules about drinking had the most impact on future drinking by the teen/young person. Parental monitoring pays dividends in high school and later in college. The more the young person drinks at home, the more they drink at other places. Zero tolerence by the parents does not totally prevent drinking but it causes the student to drink far less, not only in high school but in college and later.

Thing 20-Google Docs

Today has been my first exposure to Google Docs and I have sent an existing document to my business partner, developed a lesson plan and sent it to the instructor (Ms Cheek), and developed a simple survey which I sent to a couple of people. I can envison this tool being a great time saver and adding efficiency to many tasks. Since I am not a very good typist, my husband types many documents for our business which I proof and he re-types (many times). I have told him about Google docs and sent a document to him already. I can really see how this tool will be useful in the classroom or school in many ways including (1.) Teachers using it within a department for developing, sharing, and adding to lesson plans which can be used for a commonly taught course and updated each year; (2.) Surveys for parents and students with feedback about a course, a school, or an after school activity or fundraiser and (3.) Student Career Focus assignment where students can develop and share resumes with 3-4 others and a counselor to get feedback and input to assist in developing an outstanding resume. I am really looking forward to using Google Docs extensively in the future for many activities.

Thing 19-YouTube and TeacherTube

I spent several hours watching videos on YouTube and TeacherTube and enjoyed funny videos about teaching as well as instructional videos about teaching, math, and marketing. There are SO many videos available now and any topic I checked had thousands available to watch so I imagine the key is the filter the topic to have a better chance to find a relevant video. Some of them are very professional, with music and sound while others are more amateurish and very unsuitable for students and most others so I know we have to be very careful with using YouTube. TeacherTube appears to be an excellent resource to use to access information to use in the classroom. I feel that YouTube and TeacherTube can be exceptional resources, used well, in the classroom to add variety and diversity to the lessons. One video, which I found in TeacherTube , is a cute video about fractions done by a young teacher which would appeal to many students-http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=24266&title=Mr_Duey___Fractions_Official_Video

P.S. I took a break from the lesson and watched a YouTube video of Paul Mccartney singing and being honored last night at the White House!

Thing 17-Podcasts

One of my fears is that I will miss something! This can be overwhelming as I learn about new things such as podcasting. I have now listened to so many podcasts fromPodcast Alley, iTunes,NPR,PBS, and Grazr. It has taken several hours and I feel like I am just getting started. I have subscribed to several podcasts, including the SchoolSucks podcast:The End of Public Education from Podcast Alley;NerdTV from the PBS podcast;Atlanta Sounds from NPR; and in iTunes I have subscribed to several podcasts including Social Marketing and  HOW TO where the host allows different people to come on the show and give a 60 second overview about “how to do” different things such as peeling an egg or getting into a business class flight. Podcasting is great and so much can be learned by downloading the information and listening on an MP3 device. I have downloaded real estate training for years and listened to it as I walk but did not realize that was classified as a podcast. My only real concern is keeping the free material “clean” and suitable for most people. I was exploring the Podcast Alley and started listening to one podcast (the most popular comic) and it was 2-3 people having a conversation and it was raunchy! I think this will be a challenge for teachers as they recommend podcasts and as the students become more and more aware of using podcasts!

Thing 16-LibraryThing

I LOVE to read and am very excited about LibraryThing. Many times I will read a book I love and the library does not have another book by the author so LT will be handy to use to get recommendations from people who are familiar with the author and have found other authors who are similar or as good. I explored some of the groups and have joined the crime and mysteries group and look forward to recommendations from the other members. Also, I can use this to keep tabs on books I read over time(which I wish I had done since I was a child).

LibraryThing will be fun to use for my personal reading, and social networking with other readers all over the world, and to possibly meet others in the area where we live. If I take another course and need to find references for an assignment, it will be a good source to go to for recommendations. I am not sure about its use in the field of mathematics but, if I teach in a Junior college in business or marketing, I can envision using it to network with other teachers and students-both as a resource and to use as part of assignments. I am so excited to know about this resource and look forward to exploring it further.

Thing 15-Delicious

I set up a delicious account, accessible at delicious.com/bucknerdonna and felt a bit overwhelmed as I found new sources to add (by copying the URL),  moved others from my “favorite” tab and searched for others using the search key in delicious. There are so many items to choose that my best plan will be to choose and save carefully. I will also need to put relevant tabs on the sites so I will be able to find them in the future. I searched for “math” site and found so many that I hd to work on narrowing them down to choose one which would be relevant to me. I really think I will enjoy using delicious as I work with it and link to more users who are working and discussing high school math topics. I also mixed in some personal searches and tabs such as recipes since I am always searching for good ones and then can’t locate the good ones later. I am looking forward to the organization this tool wll offer to me!

Thing 7b- Google Reader Article

Using the Google Reader to track blogs and newspapers is efficient but over 500 items had accumulated since I last checked it. I browsed through the list and saved (starred) the ones I wanted to read. Many of the educator articles list free resources and explain how to use them so I will continue to save the articles until I can spend some time setting up some of the free services. There was one very interesting article in the New York Times,  How Does Technology Affect Kids’ Friendships? by Hilary Stout. The article questtions whether texting, instant messaging and social networking will allow children to become more connected and supportive of their friends or whether friendships are suffering without the give and take of regular face to face time.

While it is too early to make a final decision about friendships, the author quotes experts about the importance of close childhood friendships in helping children build trust outside their families thus paving the way to healthy adult relationships. It is felt by some that children and teens and young adults are missing experiences that help them develop empathy, understand emotional nuances and read social cues.

This topic must have been important to parents, students and teachers because there are already 66 reader responses to the article.