Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thing #11.5 Evaluation

Yes, I am done. It took me a long time to do 11 things this time, but I leaned a lot and enjoyed every bit of it.

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

My favorite part was the screencast, facebook and the virtual world. I think screencast is something we can use and show it to our students and students will enjoy making their own. The next thing I liked was Facebook, since I have joined facebook I am connected to some of my old friends that I have not talked to in ages. Second Life was another thing that was fun, I don't know how this can be used in school, but I loved it.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

I am always open to learn new stuff and get new ideas. I learned tons of stuff here and there is still lot more that I have not explored yet. This program definitely helped in staying current with the new technology.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

Second Life surprised me, I did not expect this to be part of the things, but I had lots of fun.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

I think you guys have done a great job with this, and I hope you will continue this next summer, so we will enjoy, learn and will be ready for the changes in technology. Thanks.

Thing #11 Digital Citizenship

In this day and age, majority of people including me use internet for news and information. Digital citizenship is very important for anybody who is using internet. We as a teacher need to learn this and instill this into our students.

5 Things that I might tell my students in my classroom would be:

1. Online Safety: Students should not give personal information, such as name, age, address, phone number, school etc. They should not share their password, and also not to trust people online
2. Digital Etiquette: What behavior is expected of them when they are using the computer? They need to respect and not misuse the computer equipment, and when they are online, treat people with respect and not use bad language.
3. Evaluating information: Lot of students when researching looks at the first resource finds the information and they try to do as quickly as possible. Not everything on the net is correct, so they need make the decisions based on multiple resources and through thoughtful research and critical analysis.
4. Fair Use: Students need to be careful about Plagiarism and copyright laws. They can not just copy from the internet and use it in the research paper. Also they need to cite sources in their documents.
5. Virus and spyware: Students need to careful in downloading software from the internet, and also be very careful in opening up emails from unknown sources. When doing business over the internet, they need to make sure it is a secured site.

Thing #10 Virtual Worlds

What an interesting journey! It was easy to download the software and to make an avatar, but after that it was hard to get used to the controls. It was very confusing in the beginning, I did not know where I was going or doing. I found some other people on my way to somewhere.

It was fun when I got to Daden Space. I touched few things and got some space equipment and clothes for space travel, like space shirt, pants, shoes, gloves, helmet etc. I also found someone named Solace Beachcomber, he was very helpful and he showed me two foot prints that will transport us to surface of the moon. He just asked me to follow him and so I did. We transported us to the moon, where I saw Apollo 13, and our earth from the surface of the moon. The scary part was you don't know who you are meeting with, their background etc. I was very skeptical about accepting friendships. Once that person started asking personal questions, age, location, and sent an invitation for friendship, I thought it is time for me to go.

I just looked around touched few things and once I saw the landmark that will transport me back to the earth, I touched it I was was back. This is very-very addicting, the students are definitely going to get addicted to this.

I have seen my kids play ruinscape and in Wii also they have their avatars, where they buy and sell stuff, but I don't know how this will help them in education. I tried the link Education in Second Life, and read that lots of colleges and universities are using second life in education, but I still don't know how I can use this in my school.

It was very interesting experience for me and I am definitely going to go there again in a different setting find new people and will try to see how this can be used in education. Online safety will be very important to cover, before introducing this to the students. Students of course will love it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thing #9 Slideshare

SlideShare is great idea to collaborate and share with other teachers across the world. In SpringBranch ISD, we do have a collection of PowerPoint Presentations on the C & I Intranet that we use. We also have flipchart repository where we share our flipcharts within the district.

SlideShare will be great for teachers as well as students. Students can use this as an additional resource to get information and ideas. They can also share their presentions and that will benefit other students. And it is all FREE!!

I also like the idea of adding audio and making it into a webinar.

Here is presentation I enjoyed from slideshare in the Humor/Education category.

Thing #8 Screencast

Screencast was fun to do. It looks so easy when you see others screencast, but it does take time when you are making your own.

I tried doing Jing first, and started downloading the software, it was taking a long time to download software, so I stopped installation process in the middle. Then I was thinking doing my screencast using Goview, but when I saw Screencast-o-Matic - Requires no download, I decided I will use this instead.

Here my screencast using Screencast-o-Matic on how to balance a chemical equation in four easy steps.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thing #7 Video Resources

I watched the video on Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend, the documentation on fair use and the FAQs about fair use and video, but it did not tell much what guidelines we should be using. It took me a long time to watch the video, as my laptop is becoming very slow these days, it takes a long time to buffer and then view a video.

I really enjoyed Hulu and Blinkx. I did not know there could be so many videos out there, I usually search YouTube, google or yahoo for videos. I found lots of cool recepies on Hulu, here is one for "How to Make Apple Raisin Bread Pudding."

I also watched the How to make the lava lamp, it was fun and easy. There were lots of how to videos. This is "How HDTV works" in simple terms.

It does take a long time to open embeded videos. I use united streaming videos in my classroom, but now I am going to add some cool science experiments that I found on Blintx. I am going to embed the video clips in my flipcharts or just show it to my students from Blinkx, that will be good variety for the students.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thing #6 iTouch Apps

I don't have an iPhone, so this thing was little hard for me to do on my own. I went to my friend's house today, so I can use and see the special features of her iPhone. Her phone was already loaded with stuff, she uses her phone for everything: emails, music, stories, pictures, games, GPS etc. She had so many pictures and video clips stored on her iPhone. I like the feature that when you rotate the phone, the picture rotates by itself.

I did not download any stuff on her phone, but she showed me how it can be done. My kids are after me to buy an iPhone, if T-mobile comes up with something like that, I am definitely going to get one.

I like the multitasking feature, where you can make a phone call while emailing a photo or surfing the web over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

Students are definitely going to enjoy using the iTouch in classroom or library, they already know more things to do in there than us.