Sunday, February 28, 2010
TeacherTube is an online community for sharing instructional videos; a mixture of classroom teaching resource as well as others designed to aid teacher training. TeacherTube was launched in March 2007 and was initiated by Jason Smith, a veteran teacher from McKinney, Texas. TeacherTube is a free resource and seems to be mostly geared for teachers.
Launched in November 2006, SchoolTube is a teacher monitored video sharing website. It is dedicated to supporting educational institutions and all of their students to broadcast, and share original videos through a web experience. SchoolTube provides many opportunities including: free SchoolTube Channel for your classroom as well as video hosting for educational and scholastic organizations. You can sign up for a free SchoolTube account. This site has a different “feel” than TeacherTube. There seems to be more content dedicated or created by students.
Discovery Education Streaming has 5,000 full-length videos segmented into 41,000 content-specific clips tied directly state and national standards. Discovery Education Streaming requires an annual subscription; the Academy has such a subscription. When you view a video there are several tabs – segments, related materials, citation of the video, and quick access to more videos in the series (if there are any). Teachers can save a video (or segments), create lessons, writing prompts, and quizzes which students can access via a uniquely created URL.
TED is a small nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”. This movement began in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: “Technology, Entertainment, Design.” TED Talks, widely disseminated on the internet, are subject to a strict time limit of 18 minutes. I found many TED Talks on YouTube. More than 500 TED Talks are provided for free viewing online; I found many TED Talks on YouTube.
I have used all of these resources plus Google videos and Yahoo videos to supplement my classroom teaching and my professional development. I know many people are concerned with the content on YouTube – some is disturbing, but here in the US we operate under the right to free speech. If I come across content that I do not want to see then I stop the video. Sites like TeacherTube and SchoolTube have content that is monitored. Discovery Education Streaming content is of high quality plus there are many tools that educators can utilize to enhance the viewing. I have a high opinion of TED Talks. These are my personal free professional development opportunities. The fact that our school does not block these sites is a testament to our belief in Goal V – “personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.”
If you did not take the time to watch An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube – you should do so at some point. I found the video very informative. I was fascinated by this comprehensive study of people and their interactions with YouTube.
My blog is written and now I need to decide which of my favorite videos to embed in my blog plus determine whether if am willing to try my hand in uploading a video. I thought about which videos I wanted to share with this audience…there are several. First I thought about some of my favorite Tex Avery cartoons: Symphony in Slang, The Farm of Tomorrow, The House of Tomorrow, Car of Tomorrow, TV of Tomorrow – but many of the readers of this blog are too young to even know about these classics. Then I thought about some of the powerful message videos: Did You Know 1.0, Did You Know 2.0, Did You Know 3.0, Did You Know 4.0, Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us, and If the World Were a Village. Or I could just do something for fun like: Honda Commercial - Choir FX or the Honda Civic Musical Road or Sound of Music in Belguim. I finally decided on a TED Talk by one of my favorite authors, Daniel Pink. I was able to find this video on YouTube and TED. Pink is talking about the surprising science of motivation; this is the heart of his latest book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, a fabulous read.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Of the listed Web 2.0 tools in Thing 12, I have used several: Gliffy, Glogster EDU, SlideShare, Weebly, and Wordle. I played and explored many of the others: MixBook, Picnik, Pikistrips, PollDaddy, Quizlet, Ta-da List, Timetoast, ToonDoo, and Writeboard. There are other Web 2.0 tools that I have used that are not a part of this list:
- Diigo - Diigo is a social bookmarking website. It allows users to highlight any part of a webpage and attach sticky notes to specific highlights or to a whole page.
- Doodle - Doodle helps scheduling meetings and other appointments. Doodle is simple, quick, free, and requires no registration.
- iKeepBookmarks – iKeepBookmarks is a web-based bookmarks manager.
- jott – Jott’s voice-to-text services let you capture thoughts & reminders, send emails & text messages.
- Line Rider - Line Rider is a fun online game where you draw tracks and ride the lines.
- mosaickr - mosaickr is an online service which allows creating great looking mosaics from flickr photos, download them or even print them on posters.
- My50 – My50 allows you to create a list of things that you wish to do in your lifetime, set deadlines, add pictures and descriptions, read our suggestions and other peoples lists.
- Prezi - Prezi is a zooming presentation editor.
- Protopage - Protopage is a free RSS news reader and start page.
- rockyou - rockyou.com is a social media site that allows photo sharing by adding music in slideshow format.
- Thumbstacks - Thumbstacks is a bare bones but functional application that allows users to build presentations online and present them via a permanent URL.
- Vyew - Vyew is a live collaboration and web conferencing tool.
- Wetpaint - Wetpaint is a web page that a group can edit together.
One of new favorite Web 2.0 tools is JigZone. Completing the digital jigsaw puzzles allows me a few moments to forget what I actually should be doing and relax doing something I really enjoy – jigsaw puzzles.
Now all I need to do is share my Delicious page with my friends.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Both Compfight and Morguefile are excellent places to locate pictures for classroom presentations. These are also great places to direct students who are looking for images. So many times students simply go to Google Images. There are other choices; we simply need to share this with them.
I receive lots of daily or weekly newsletters as an email from the various professional organizations I belong to – ASCD, NSTA, ISTE, NMSA, just to name a few. If I just received one email every day from all of my professional groups, my mailbox fills up quickly. Most of the time I do not have time to read the news until the weekend – by then my inbox is overwhelming. I have discovered that much of the daily news is repeated so it would be so much easier to go to one location and just read the headlines. It has taken quite some time to set up all this information on my Netvibes pages, but I think the payoff will be worth it! One of the queries posted for this Thing was how Netvibes (or Pageflakes) compares to Google Reader. My Netvibes page is pulling news, daily newsletter articles, as well as my e-bay, craigslist, and local area info together in one location. Also in one location, My Google Reader is tracking the blogs that interest me. Both are designed to help reduce my time in the digital world and still keep me informed of what is happening in the world.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
If we, adults, feel this excited about feedback, I am beginning to understand how students feel. I have experienced collecting an assignment from students and the next period they want to know what I think about their work. I know I have said something like “are you kidding.” But there are adults in the ASH 23 Things project that want t know if I read their blog minutes after they posted it. I think it is just human nature to want immediate feedback. In this day and age this has come to be the norm for many experiences.
I read and belong to many online learning communities, almost all of which relate to education, science, and/or technology. However, up until now I have rarely commented online. I am passionate about learning. I love the feeling of discovering something new or validating something in which I believe. I even comment to myself as I read. It is a risk to put your thoughts and feelings “out there”; I think I have the same insecurities I try to help students overcome. This project is helping me rethink how I approach my online learning.
I can’t begin to count the number of times I have heard that the youth of today are “digital natives.” What I appreciated about Betchablog is that this might be a flawed perception. It is true that my son can manipulate all the technologies of his cell phone faster than I can. This is partly due to the fact that I simply do not spend as much time on my phone as he does. As tech savvy as I think he is, he is still challenged with printing the assignments that he completes on his laptop. In Bob Sprankle’s Blog, Bit by Bit, he suggests that “Perhaps we need to set a date for our education to switch entirely over from analog.” I think we are already moving at a speed that I can barely keep with. I think we are on the very outer edges of an educational explosion. In the past decade there has been a slow shift to more integrated technology in classrooms, teachers moving to the role of facilitator of learning, and learning for the sake of learning; but in the last couple of years this shift as increased exponentially.
There was line in the blog A Simple Desultory Dangling Conversation that struck a chord with me, “life is an open-book test”. I cringe when my son tells me he had a quiz over a chapter he was suppose to read. I can tell his teachers that they are turning him off from learning. But the simple truth is that it is easier to create a five question quiz than to help students think and engage in learning. Creating The Upside-down Pop Quiz is more time consuming and requires more effort in the set-up on the part of the teacher. I would not thrive in this type of learning environment. I relate to David Truss’ Blog, Pair-a-dimes for Your Thoughts about Googling (is this even a real word??) a question. When I am at a conference or workshop I Google everything that the speaker presents and create hyperlinks in my notes. I feel lost then I cannot verify a fact, look something up to stretch beyond the original idea, or to make connections in my learning. I can only imagine that students feel trapped and stifled in learning. It is amazing what students can do if allowed. I wonder if we are holding them back with our own insecurities with technology. Clearly students are capable of articulating valid opinions about learning. One has to be amazed by the Students 2.0 blog.