Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thing 7 TV

Hurricane season is here. Maybe we can use this. I am troubled that the commercials that come with the video are for things like prescription drugs and a bit with Ellen Degeneris that is just before being inappropriate.

Imbedding is fairly easy from Hulu.

I've always liked Ben Franklin. Quite a guy.

I had a lot of trouble finding anything I wanted. I did find a lot of popular TV, but I don't think we need it in class.

The quality of the images seems to be quite a bit better than YouTube.

The National Archives was very difficult to negotiate. I finally went back to Hulu. I did find a number of movies I want to see.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thing 6: iPod and Apps in Education

Up until June I thought the iPod was strictly a toy. Then we got the Thumbtack microphones. We use a microphone app to podcast with our limited English learners, which is what most of our kids are.

During Summer School, Hector's group was tasked to research Cameroon. Then the kids paired up in the library with two kids and an iTouch. They proceeded to interview each other and recorded the information they had learned about this African Country. Took a day for Hector and I to be able to upload the voice to the mother ship (iMacbook #1) and then on to his own laptop. But soon he had a treasure trove of podcasts of kids who had never heard their own voices.

The next day, I was out, and the library was on automatic pilot. A dozen little kids are crawling around on the carpet with iTouches when who should appear but the Harris County Education lady, here to see if TFE is complying with the summer school grant, which required technology and PBL. She stooped down and asked a couple of brown eyed cuties just what they were doing with the iTouches. They told her. They showed her. They discussed Cameroon! They showed that learning was going on and that really liked what they were doing! They they went back to casing the bank for the next day's robbery, but that's another story.

I am convinced that some of the better Apps cost a few bucks. Many of the free ones are only demos, or even empty shells. You really get what you pay for.

I use the Balloonamimals (free is only one animal) to break the ice with the little onew the first time they come in. l also use it to make friends with the pre-schoolers who show up with Mommy for various reasons. After 10 minutes with the balloon animals, they will talk with me. I am no longer so scary.

I have a few Archie comic books Apps, but its really too small for me, and I haven't been able to put them on the (virtual) bookshelf yet.

And I noticed that there was some mention of Wikipedia on this thing. I use it a lot. I find it useful for a first look at many subjects, especially popular culture that is not in the World book. I mention to the kids that it is people-written, one 4th grader wanted to rewrite a major article right then and there! Danger Will Robinson!

Thing 5: Facebook and Twitter

Microblogging. Facebook. Twitter.

I now have a Facebook account. As soon as I signed up, Facebook gave me two friends who I kind of talk to at school. It was kind of scary because it really looks like Facbook wants to snoop in my email for addresses. I felt violated.

I can see that this communications media is everywhere. I know many people are there, but I'm not sure anyone is saying anything. I have enough trouble staying on task (wittness how long it is taking me to finish this 11.5 thing chore!). Ask me to do Facbook and Twitter, at work, sure. I get little enough done now.

It kind of seems to me that all of this is letting people distance themselves from others, rather than communiate. So much of this is so shallow. Hiding behind screen names and obnoxious little devices, like the clowns that would rather talk on the cell than talk to the teller or cashier in person. This is not communications, its rude and egotisitcal.

I am working real hard to get out from behind three computers and tons of papers so that I can get down to the level of a 2ns grader who barely speaks English and has yet to master his lunch number. I look him in the eyes and try to learn what he wants. If I tell him to go twitter me, I may as well put a wall around myself.

Besides, if you want me to set up all these networks and twitter everytime I think I had a thought, what do you want me to quit doing? I ask because I am already so busy in the library trying to meet student needs that I have blown off this course for over a year. My customers get to deal with me in person. I don't need to hide behind several layers of technology.

Yes, in college, Twitter may be great. I saw pictures of a vacation on Facebook that I really don't care about.

But this is not a very big prioity for me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thing 4: You Tube and others

OK, boys and girls, I think I done it.

You Tube is a very good way to showcase student product. The Thing is ubiquitious now. Anything of any value at all is there. Everyone knows how to access it.

This video was created by a third grader in our afterschool program. The idea was for the older kids to provide alphabet videos for kindergarten.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thing 3 Skype

OK, Skype has some real possibilities! Video conferencing is really here! I remember going to the 1964 New York World's Fair and Bell Telephone was showing the video phone. Yeah, but it never caught on. But now it has!

Several ideas I liked. Using Skype to link homebound kids to the classroom. Great idea, if the kids have high speed Internet. Most of ours do not. But, what a concept!

I like the idea of Skyping to the author after the class finishes the book. I guess the librarian's job is to set it up, and do a trial run, but if the author could even give us 15 minutes, WOW!

From a techno/curriculum interface standpoint, I can see conferencing with professionals around town to discuss careers, and maybe explore problems with science experiments. This may alao be easier than asking the guy to drive 30 minutes to our school. Have to try this.

I tried exploring a site this summer that facilitates schools wanting to skype with each other, but they had EVERY request ever made, including several that were years old. In June, I only want to see June projects. I sure would like to put a class in touch with a class in another country.

I think we have all the equipment we need. Now I need the gumption.

Thing 2, Finally

Thing 2. Look to an earlier posting for my stumbles on Wordle.

Voice Thread looks kinda complicated for me, but after viewing several projects I think it has real possibilities. One of my teachers, taking this same course, emailed me that we needed to do this one! Story Telling and other projects. I really enjoyed several such as "Interesting Pants", "Getting a Haircut" (I AM a grandfather!) and the Three Little Pigs". Internet Safety is a real concern, I think this is the way to go.

I used Animoto this Summer at our church Fine Arts Camp. I had a class of 12 youngsters. We did Animoto and Trading Cards. I have seen about all the pitfalls, but I have also seen the successes. I like the new features but have not yet tried video. The link is to a project done by a middle schooler.

bookr. We can use this!

This could be neater than PowerPoint, and certainly looks cool. This could get a certain person to quit complaining about the ubiquitous Bird Project!

Anyways, I'm going to hope the link works.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Flip Video and summer school

I know this is not part of Thing 2, but I just wanted to see if I could lind this thing. And I really can spell Podcast; I just cannot type!