Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thing #23: Summary of Thoughts on the Program

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
My head is spinning with all the knowledge that I have learned from this course. One of my favorite discoveries was learning to use social networking on the internet to my advantange. Searching for news and sharing information efficiently is so easy, with knowledge of blogging,, google doc, Wiki's, etc.
How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
Technology advances rapidly! In the beginning, I was feeling out-of-the-loop in terms of my knowledge of the internet. I knew how to search and find videos, etc, but this course has taken my knowledge to a new level. I am grateful for this and plan to use what I have learned in my teaching. I feel much more up-to-date and plan to continue learning more about the topics covered in this course.
Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
The information learned in this course can be applied both in my professional and private life.
What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
Divide the course into two parts with two deadlines, one deadline for part one, and one for part 2.
If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities? I will definitely use what I have learned from this program to enhance my teaching.
Now go and comment on some of the other Players' blogs? OK!!!

Thing #22: Nings

I looked at the "Ning for teachers" link,, and reviewed the site. I like the idea of having a site that is designed to connect teacher bloggers. However, I found that the blog search is limited. You have to click on one of the general group catergories to expand it, and then have to scroll through all the blogs in that category as you hope to find someone from your subject. In my case, this was over 100 blogs to look through. On the other hand, when you go to the home page and scroll down there is a list of most popular blogs. Some of these have useful information and comments on the practice of teaching in general. There is also lesson plan tab, however, I found that the lesson plans are very limited. I was unable to find any usable lesson plan for my subject. Overall, I think the site is a good idea, but needs some modifications on searching.

Thing #21: Find, Create and Use Podcasts and Audio Books

OK. I think I have figured this one out. I like the idea of podcasting and vidcasting in the classroom. I hope to develop a vidcast project for my students from this experience. They will love this program. I think that they, like myself enjoy learning about things that apply to both school and personal life.
Photostory is very user friendly. BY THE WAY, WE DO HAVE PHOTOSTORY ON OUR SBISD COMPUTERS! I've read all the comments by frustrated teachers that cannot download photostory do to lack of administrator privledges. You probably don't need to. Just do a file search and it should pop up. Click on the photostory exe file. However, don't forget to go through all the steps. Make sure your file is saved as a wmv. You do not have to use switchpod. Instead just go to your blog page and click on the add video link. It will take a LONG time to "process". So, go take a break!
I created my vidcast using pictures from the creative commons on flicker. I would like to add enough pictures to represent all the major phyla of living things. Here is what I have so far...

Thing #20: Expore YouTube and TeacherTube

I found some really great microscopy videos on YouTube as well as some examples of great student project videos. Below, is an example of a student project that made me laugh! I can just see my students creating something similar. Overall, I found many more useful videos on YouTube versus TeacherTube.

Here is a nice animation review of protein synthesis that I can use with my biology students...

Thing #19: Web 2.0 Awards List - this has a feature that can tell you what celebrity that you look like the most and a feature that can tell you which parent you look like more. This may be a fun introduction to a genetics lesson. The kids will love it! - great blog links and great, useful info in general on health and fitness; allows you to track health and store health info...not sure how secure it is. Another possibly useful site is - looks interesting, but I haven't tried it. It tracks weight loss and fitness invididually and in groups. - lots of useful info here for moms out there

I love the tools below...have already commented on each in previous posts.

Thing #18: Online Applications and Tools

Once again, here is another tech tool that I like! Google Docs is an excellent way to access documents from the web without emailing or putting the document on a USB drive and carrying it around. This past year, I assigned PowerPoint project that had to be presented in class. It was somewhat chaotic trying to open all the different USB drives , and open email attachments on my computer due to Mac/PC and microsoft version differences. Possibly this is the solution. I will have the students upload their docs to Google Doc!

Thing #17: Rollyo

I love the idea of refining searches to several trusted sites rather than having students search billions of sites! Rollyo increases the efficiency of finding information and the accuracy of information by searching only reliable sites.

In this assignment, I divide my students into groups and have them research a specific disease and present their findings to the class. Each group is assigned a different disease.