Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thing 23 What a Ride!!!

Q u IMG_5572 IMG_5703_2 IMG_5691_2

      Seems like only yesterday that Dino introduced us to a concept called "23 things" and I must admit I thought it would be easy.  Boy was I wrong.  It was a lot harder and took a lot more time than I thought it would.  Some things were easy to do, others took a lot more time, but all of the challenges were great.  I learned that the web has so much more than just moodles and google.  I even learned many new things that google has to offer.I am now Linkedin, have been Ninged, Wiki-ed, and Widget-ed and have yet to figure where all of these names have come from.
     I envy my many colleagues who have such a flair for writing.  I really enjoyed reading their blogs. Their creativity surprised and delighted me, some made me laugh out loud so hard that my husband kept asking me what I was doing.  I think he doubted I was actually doing homework!  I want to thank the entire tech team for challenging us and helping us along the way.  It proved to be a greater challenge than I had ever anticipated.  But I am so glad that I stuck with it and finished all 23 things!!!
     I have started a page to remind me of my favorite challenges. I particularly liked developing a "prezi"  and can't wait to try another.  Another favorite that I will definitely use again is tonebee because love having a different tone for special callers on my phone. Finding a new source of pictures using Flickr will be a huge bonus for my students and myself.  I am going to experiment with podcasting this summer to hopefully use with a student (Who leaves for an extended amount of time) next year.  I would still like to have grade 8 use voice thread about their multigenre topics and hope to start this in May.  My eyes have been opened to the vast array of tools that are out there just waiting to be used.  Now there is truly no reason for any topics to be boring again--with all of the different ways to present the material!  Just when you think you have learned something new...something else comes along.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thing 22--Our Choice and Wow what Choices there are!

We are almost done with this project and now we get to choose which Web 2.0 element to use....I thought wow this will be a simple one.  Little did I realize that there are 68 pages on just one site alone.  Now what to choose...After about an hour of checking many very interesting sites I found one that I could really  It is a site that allows you to cut a song that you already have in your library to ringtone length for your phone for NO charge.  It is a great tool for those of us who do not have internet connectivity on our phones.  It allows you to make your own ringtones from your own music.  Using to convert my iTunes to mp3 format I now have a vast selection of ringtones to choose from.  I must admit for many of you this would not be a big deal, but for one who loves music and hates the programed ring tones on her phone, this site was made for ME!  Now if I can just find my computer size reader that holds my phone card I will have a ringtone for almost everyone!!!  I am still thinking of possible uses in the classroom, and it might also work for student photostory projects where short bursts of music might be needed, but I am sure we can come up with somewhere to use this very easy to use site.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thing 21 Twitter,Tweets and Retweets?

Sure sounds like Spring is here with all of those Tweets!! I signed up for a twitter account several years ago, and would receive these emails that people were following me...several from our parents. I kept thinking why? And what was I suppose to say? and when was I suppose to do this? I do not have phone capabilities, and forget to even check my twitter account. So I started once again. There were several tweets from people I had never heard of, and I think they were directed at someone else, or least I hope they are. I deleted their comments and noticed that I can follow many other people. I am not sure when I will have time for this, but it is an interesting tool.

A Prezi for my Students!

I can not get my prezi to embed but if you follow the link it seems to work.  It took some time to figure it out, but I think the students woould get a kick out of trying it.  Some I'm sure will make us dizzy watching it, but many will do a great job with it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thing 20 and Slideshare

Here is a slideshare that I found about society in 2010.

I had a hard time finding ones specifically for science from the slideshare site. I have used a wonderful site that I found last year that has PowerPoint slideshows that have been used by teachers. The stie can be found at:

Thing 19 Podcasts....Going where no man has gone say the guys from the Naked Scientists

I had already downloaded some podcasts for my iTouch and listen to them when ever I find myself in a wifi free site. One of may favorites are the two guys from England who do a podcast for the BBC called the Naked Scientists. Their British humor comes through in every episode. I enjoy listening to them, but my students have a harder time keeping focused when there is nothing to watch. Ted is another one that I like to listen to occasionally.  Sometimes I will listen to podcasts when I am driving as there are no other distractions to interfere.  I have found that many on iTunes seem to be more entertaining to listen to, but maybe they are just the ones I am downloading.  

When thinking of how this could be used in school I have come up with a couple of ideas.  Students could use podcasting to explain different concepts possibly to students in other classes or in different sections.  Students love to record and hear themselves, so why not use it to learn or educate others. The students could also use podcasting to help themselves learn a concept better, because when you have to teach it to othersyou must really understand the concept yourself.

Thing 18 - Make your own Wiki

Wiki, Wiki, Wiki...I set up a wiki for grade 8 to use on their electricity project. Each project has a page to talk about, but I am not sure how they will use them. I am thinking that a moodle page might work better. So I am going to rethink how I could use a wiki. I wish that we had better access to the computers so that we did not have to reserve them for an hour when we might only need them for ten minutes or so. Some students have their own computers at home, but many share computers with other family members and do not have access all the time. Some have iPod phones or other phones with web access that they could possibly use, but it puts some students at a disadvantage to those who don't have one. Does anyone have an idea of how I can use a wiki with the 8th grade?

The Machine is Us/ing Us Dance version from Wooster College

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wikis and other Wonders

   Our task was to visit some of the wikis posted and comment on them. I tried several of the posted wikis but felt somewhat like an interloper in that I didn't know what to add. I suppose that if you were part of a suggested wiki then it would make more sense, but they seem to act similar to a moodle of which students already are familiar with. 
   When working in the computer lab after school one day I overheard Angie giving instructions on using a wiki and can see some uses for faculty especially when we do our end of the year goal awards it would cut down on the time spent in our meetings. Many of the sites we have visited have given me some wonderful ideas, but the lack of having computers for each student limits the amount that can be used.    Upper School could probably implement these much easier than the MSG.  I do hope to revisit many of the sites for possible ideas for next year.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Jellyfish tank for your desk ...or classroom???

Weebly fun

I had completely forgotten that I started to design a web page last summer until I tried to set up an account with Weebly. After resetting my password, I began to check out what I had started last summer. The address is and the picture I chose is nice, even the idea of what to use it for is okay, not very exciting though. Do I have time to keep all of these new tools going and making any sense? Well I do have a vacation coming up, maybe there will be time to figure it all out again.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Web Camera in a nesting box of a Barn Owl

Check out this link of a barn owl about to give birth! A teacher in California set up an owl nesting box in her yard. This is the first time she has done this, she set up a web camera in the box so you can watch. the first egg is due to hatch on Thursday, March 18!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


     I enjoyed hearing Sra. Saavedra speak about the baby turtles in Costa Rica and was surprised to hear that the government allows the people to harvest the eggs.  In a way it is similar to the plight of the Amazon forest, with the locals able to cut down trees for crops and yet destroying the rain forest in the process.  
     Voice threads might be a good tool to use for students who will be missing a lot of school for illness or in the case of one of our students, spring training in Florida.  I wonder if we could use this for multigenre?  Each student could post a picture and and give a summary of their oral presentation and then fellow students could go on and comment about their issue.  I think I will talk with Robin and Carolyn about this!   I will make a note of this for playing around with during the summer when preparing for next year. 

Youtube a place to find a video of everything!

I often turn to youtube to find a short video for my class.  I sometimes have trouble figuring out the right keywords to get the video that I would like to view.  Sometimes "inappropriate" videos are shown.  I am trying to figure out how to find exactly what I am looking for without having to watch the videos that I don't need or want.  Another downside I have found is with the resolution of some of the videos especially when shown with an LCD projector.  Sound can also be a problem, as in the one shown below at the beginning of the video.  When trying to illustrate how elements bond, I found this one done by some high school  for a class project. This is one of my favorites.  The students usually want to make one of their own.  Maybe one day I will take them up on it and see what they can come up with.

Glogster and other fun spots

I had fun playing around with glogster trying to One - figure  how to do one and Two - how my students could use it.  I am thinking that as a choice in a differentiated unit might be a good choice as a level C choice in place of a written poster.   I tried to make one about oobleck check it out at

A Pikistrip--What Fun!

Wow what fun.  I made a mini pikistrip-  here is the link to it.  I can't wait to make some more.

Delicious and other fun Social networking Sites

     The premise of saving bookmarks on one computer and being able to access those bookmarks on another computer was an "aha" moment.  What a wonderful idea.  I am always bookmarking on either my laptop at school or my home computer intriguing sites that I might be able to use for my classes.  It never fails...I remember this site that I found and it always seems to be on the other computer.  I anxiously signed up for the account, followed the directions.  Added the toolbar to my home computer and began tagging my favorite sites and some that I had forgotten about.  The tags are an awesome idea that really help to find a site that you have not visited in awhile.  I have already figured out some key words to help me remember what the sites are about and was able to use it this week to find some sources on worms that I had forgotten about.  
     Now if I could only find a site that I found several months ago from a teacher who sets up at home labs for his students each year. I will keep looking.  Who knows someone else might have bookmarked it already.  I thought it was a great idea at the time.  Ugh, I wished I had known about tags then.  Finally, an app that I can really use, then major disappointment...I cannot access my Yahoo account at school.....what a bummer.  So much for that idea.  For me that is a major disadvantage.  Any way around it?    Guess I will have to check with our tech gurus.  

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Thing called Mashups

The video was interesting to watch...I just realized that I have been using a "mashup" for quite a while now.  Every time my daughter decides its time to move, between using craigslist and other realty sites, I have become very familiar with the little map icons used by the sellers.  I never thought that they actually have a name....once again who thinks up these names?  Do they get a royalty every time it is used?  I did try my hand at several of the Flickr sites, including making a movie poster for my daughter from our great trip to San Francisco and the island of Alcatraz.  She got a big kick out of it!
I can see using a type of Mashup with the 8th grade multigenre project with their graphs and tables that are required for their presentation.  Yahoo has a program called pipes that allows one to make a specific mashup, when I get more time I plan to see if I can make my own pipe!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Flickr, What a site!

What an amazing source of photos for friends and others to look at and use.  After taking the tour of Flickr, I practiced uploading some pictures from last summer into an album.  Wow, how easy!  As I travel on this journey called Web 2.0, the names never cease to amaze me.  Who ever thought up Nings? or LinkedIn? or Blogging?  And how did the word google become a verb?  How the language of the internet has changed our vocabulary.

After viewing the many different aspects of Flickr I would like my students to find out all it has to offer.  After reading a blog about the common mistakes of PowerPoint, I can't wait for my students to try and use actual photos for their engineering competition presentations for the judges. What a great way to add some individual  creativity to what has become a very boring way to present information.  Tomorrow its on to "mashups???" 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

one cubic foot

Check out this site to see how many organisms you can find in one cubic foot 

This is a site that one of my colleagues sent me.  I had forgotten, or maybe it was just residing in the background of my mind, all of the wonderful information that the National Geographical Society has to offer.  Whether you are a science teacher, or a social studies teacher it has a plethora of information to share and use by students or teachers. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thing 7 & 8 revisited

After spending time developing my netvibe page, I realized that I look forward to learning new things and what they can do, but feel somewhat overwhelmed as to how to use them to be a  more effective educator.    I am amazed at the amount of information that is available at your fingertips.  You can get feeds from various newspapers from around the country not to mention the world.  I did sign up for the New York Times Science edition feed, which I miss.  I used to have a subscription for the class and enjoyed the articles to share within the class, now having it on a daily basis I can once again use them.

I think that having my students blog about ideas might prove to be a good way of assessing their understanding of various concepts presented in class.  My concern would be the student's ability to have access to a computer.  I suppose though that is not the problem it used to be in the past.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thing 7 & 8

Well after spending most of the evening setting up my netvibes pages and checking out blogs, I suddenly realize that it is almost midnight. I will have to end for tonight but promise to add more tomorrow. 

Thing 6

Over the weekend I discovered a Ning  called "The Flat Classroom."  What a fascinating grouping of people.  Teachers and students alike.  All posting various questions, having to do with everything from the use of uploading, downloading, internet use etc.  Students and teachers alike use the site.  I have a page on it and have put one posting on it as well as answering some surveys.  Check it out at  Now if I can just remember all of my new log-ins and passwords I will be ok! 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Web 2.0 and Linked

After watching the videos about Linked I set off to try...Filling in the form and waiting for my confirmation that never came reminded me of the frustrations that are sometimes felt by all at one time or another with technology.  I am sure my confirmation will arrive any day now from Linked and I may even find a long lost friend on it, but I must admit I enjoy talking with a friend in person. 
I enjoy adding comments to posts within the NSTA communities but did not know how to start a blog myself.    The excitement that Julie (from Julie & Julia) felt when she received her first response, I think will be mine.  To think that people in another state or country could read and comment is somewhat intimidating....What if no one comments???   For now I will look, learn, and listen to all the web has to offer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thing 1

This will be an interesting journey to discover what my students already know how to do.  Hopefully I can learn some new techniques to increase using more differentiation within my classes.  After reading some of the suggested blogs, the one that caused me to pause and consider was the use of mobile technology by students to embarrass both teachers and fellow classmates, with posting the videos on sites such as youtube and flicker. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

23 Things to Learn

We are about to embark on teaching ourselves all of the wonderment that Web 2.0 can do for our classrooms.