Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And now....Thing 23

23 Things

This experience was really good for me. I spend a lot of time with my computer and computer related paraphernalia--cell phone with internet, ipod Touch. What I don't do is learn how to manage all the stuff I do. I tend to stick to familiar habits when there could be an ohsomuchbetter way to do things. I also depend on the kindness of others to nudge me to learn new things. I have those people in my life, fortunately.

The 23 Things class, in my mind, granted me permission to spend time managing all this stuff. I still have a long way to go, but this summer was a good start.

I know so little, but I find that I know a lot more than some of my colleagues--even young ones. It will be fun to dazzle them with (imagine sparkly glitter in the air and whisper...)Magic!

To any who visit...thanks and have fun with your learning.

Thing 22


I convinced my school's parent group to buy a Flip video camera. It's a lot of fun and I found some great uses for it. One of the best was recording student conversations about books. It helped the students see how to talk to each other and it was a great way to share these with others.

It fits in my pocket and I can record on the spot...kids don't even have the chance to make faces or give their friends bunny ears.

It's really hard for us to use this application on the web, however. The school district blocks YouTube and many video applications, so it's just not practical to count on using video in this way. There are lots of other ways, though. The Flip camera plugs right into the computer for viewing on a Smartboard, or into a TV monitor.

It's pretty fun and I want to spend more time with it.

Thing 21


When I first learned about Twitter I thought using it was like talking to myself like a mad woman or shouting into the wind. I went ahead and signed up for an account and I wasn't so wrong. No one really wants to know that I cleaned the cat's litter box today.

I'm kind of a news junkie, though, so I found that following some tweeters was a quick way to keep up to date.

My kids use it, so I know what they're up to, also. I can tweet from my phone and use direct messages to send a text message. It's pretty fun.

One of the things I learned to do, which might be a good way to use Twitter at school, is to link to articles or images I think might interest my colleagues.

Thing 20

Social Bookmarking

There are so many times that I find an article that makes me want to get right up and share it with someone. It's not very practical for me to make a paper copy and slip it into a mailbox and not very likely that a busy teacher could easily overlook it.

Sending a link in an email is another way to send an article to colleagues, but there are problems with that, too. One is--who has time to open and read stuff that comes through email?

I can see using social bookmarking as a way to share some good stuff with others--others who want to check it out. That means I get to check out the shared bookmarks of others, too.

Check out my shared list. My delicious username is jeri.corey

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thing 19

Social Bookmarking

I am one of the people talked about in the Commoncraft video who creates a long string of bookmarks on my computer. I end up having to duplicate my list (or send links) to my home computer so I don't lose my lists. Then my school computer gets ghosted each summer and I always forget to save my bookmarks. Keeping them in a web based program will solve that problem!

Using a site like del.icio.us will be a great time saver for me. I tried using it once, but not to its full advantage. I'm going to give it another try.

The social networking aspect of it is one of the better features. Of course that means the decision making about tags and notes has to be done with some consideration for others instead of my own idiosyncratic sorts.

Thing 18

Personal Learning Network

I have some mixed feelings about the idea of meeting up with other professionals in a format like Ning. I love the idea of a gathering place for ideas and for input from all over--even outside one's school district. We never have enough time to meet as we should to share and create in a professional way. Even when meetings are scheduled, they tend to devolve into conversations that cover immediate issues--putting out fires--and professional development and sharing ideas get pushed back for another time.

I can see a site like Ning being a vehicle for literacy coaches to communicate ideas across the district and get classroom teachers to participate in the conversations. It makes the information sharing more two-way. Professional development tends to be top down, but all teachers know about how many great ideas are thriving in classrooms.

So now the other side. Participating on line takes time, too. We can manage when and where a lot more, but it takes a lot of time in front of a screen. Face-to-face conversation, I think, is very important. Do you ever send an email question to a teacher in the room next door when you could walk 10 steps and ask it in person? The web is a great tool, but relationships will always be where real learning begins.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thing 17


I had a lot of fun playing around with the form creation site, wufoo. I do surveys, sometimes, asking teachers for their input various topics.

A while ago I worked with a student newspaper that was published monthly. We did a survey each month about books or favorite hot lunch choice or pet preferences. If I had wufoo available, we could have done the survey on line.

I thought comiqs might be something I could use with struggling writers to motivate them to use a creative platform to organize their thinking and create some writing. It can be liberating for strugglers to have a limited space to write in. They don't feel like they have to fill up a page, but they can tell a complete story.

By the way, Hair Mixer is a hoot. You should try it out.