Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thing #9: Useful Library Related Blogs and News Feeds

I found all of the search tools pretty easy to use, Syndicate was a little confusing but after going through the tutorial it made much more sense.  I really liked edublog which I found through Syndicate (then I noticed it hot-linked on 23 things!).  On edublog I found the winners list of best education related blogs.  "Hey Jude" is the name of the winner for best library related blog.  Her blog is very good!  I loved the section entitled "Student Tools-Let them fly!"  This has a list of great student resources and an explanation of what they do. I checked out Atomic Learning and thought that it looked like a great source for teachers who are looking for the latest educational technology and tools and how to use them.  I wonder if many districts use this?  It is a company which offers educational tools for teachers for a fee.  I did not find a search box for RSS feeds here however, which is why I went there in the first place. I couldn't enter since I did not have the SBISD pw info. 

Thing #8 RSS feeds and Google Reader

  • What do you like about RSS and readers?
  • How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your school or personal life?
  • How can libraries/teachers/administrators use readers or take advantage of this new technology?
I was excited to learn about RSS and readers!  Now I have a way to quickly get to my favorite blogs and look up news from my favorite sites without being bogged down with ads, searching through pages, and putting in the URL everytime I want to go somewhere online.  I can also put folders together which organize the information I have found and make it even easier to access.  This technology is useful in my personal life as it adds efficiency and saves time in accomplishing several daily tasks such as reading news and keeping up with my favorite blogs,  At school it would be very effective as a tool for teacher directed work which necessitates students knowing about current events, searching through news and finding information from good, credible sources which the teacher can have saved through RSS feeds onto google reader. All educators can take advantage of this new technology in order to easily keep up with the latest information in their chosen areas as well as teach their students how to use it in order to enhance their academic tasks.  It is a great way to share news and information with colleagues and students as well, thereby keeping each other informed in areas of shared interest!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thing #7: Cool Tools from Google

The first cool tool I messed around with was igoogle.  Here I was able to design my own personalized home page with a Japanese Teahouse Theme and personalized gadgets such as Art of the day, Cool facts, Quote of the day, Joke of the day, recipes, and more!  Next I tried out Google Earth's Earthview.  This allows the user to choose any spot on Earth and zoom in to see a close up view.  My aunt is currently on a cruise to the Bahamas and Key West so I tried zooming in on these places to see where she would be going. I was able to get so close I could see the rooftops of the houses. It also gave me options to zoom in on points of interest.  For example, when I zoomed in on Key West it gave me the option to look at Ernest Hemingway's house and several museums.  Google Earth has lots of tools that are fun to use.  One which I thought was really neat was the Explore feature which allows you to go under the ocean, to mars, the moon, and more!  Students could do so much with Google Earth. They could look at the real places which they are studying,  study real time maps, and even explore Ancient Rome in 3D. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thing #6: Mashups and 3rd party sites.

I messed around with mosaic and created a photo mosaic with my photos.  I was then able to order my creation from them if I wished.  I didn't wish to order it from them, but it did inspire me to go ahead and make my own version of mosaic on my own computer where I could print out my own creation.  I also looked at mappr which I found interesting as it allows one to access photos from a particular location on a map.  You can also add your own photos to the site so others can access them,  I think this is so cool!  Finally I explored Flickr Color Picker. With this you can click on a spot on a color wheel and color picker will give you lots of pictures which are focused on that shade of color in the color spectrum.  The photos are BEAUTIFUL!!!

1.  A  Color Picker  2.  A collage I made in Flickr Mosaic

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thing #5: Flickr

I explored flickr and it was wonderful!! So many images, so much to find, and it's fun to share!! I found this picture of a white tiger (a creature my 7 year old son is currently obsessed with) while doing a subject search.  I also posted some of my own photos to one of the groups which I am interested in.   When you search for a subject you can even see the groups associated with that subject.  For example, when I looked up "tigers" and then chose a picture of a white tiger I was able to click on "groups" and I was  given a list of groups that had something to do with white tigers!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thing #3 Creating an Avatar

Creating an Avatar was a lot of fun.  It was hard however, to decide which outfit  to choose.  I thought maybe an interesting historical costume or maybe a wonder woman space suit with me standing in a star filled galaxy. I finally settled on reality.  Me holding my new baby standing at the park where I would take my 7 year old on a Saturday. Creating the Avatar was easy,  putting it on my blog- I'm still working on that!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thing #2: The easiest and hardest habits

The easiest habit for me as a lifelong learner is to have the goal in mind at the beginning.  I have plenty of goals, it is just finding time and making a plan to get them accomplished!! The hardest thing for me is to use technology to my advantage.  I am getting much better at this now that I am at UHCL and learning all about all the latest and greatest technological tools.  Once I learn about them and how to use them,  I just have to practice enough in order to use the new info consistently to help me teach, learn, and thrive!!!

Yahoo! Avatars

Yahoo! Avatars: "Export/Download your Avatar"