Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week 4 (#9)

Whew, there is a whole lot of information and people who want to share that information out there!  I am feeling a bit information overloaded these days and, as I searched throught the RSS finder tools, a bit overwhelmed as well.  I will continue to look for feeds to add to my reader and hope to stumble upon a few gems.  I do prefer to look for information when I need it so I as my needs point me certain ways, I will look for the RSS symbol also.

Week 4 (#8)

RSS Feeds-

I have played around in the past with RSS feeds and do think that they are a useful tool for the classroom as well as for general knowledge.  In today's society, information overload occurs easily, and RSS feeds are one way to limit where you get your information from.  I did not make my URL known publicly, however for this particular class I did find it useful to add my classmate's blogs to my RSS feed in order to view and comment on new posts more efficiently.  In a library setting, you can subscribe to the RSS feeds of other librarian's blogs as well as newsfeeds in order to stay current with offerings and help locate subject specific information that patrons may want.  I found it quite easy to import my google reader subscriptions into my blogger account so that everything is in one place and easy to find.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Week 3 #7:Technology

I feel very lucky to live in an age where technology is everywhere and more new innovations are created each day. In "Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the classroom," the authors point out that "Not only does the internet provide access to extensive text and multimedia resources, it allows teachers and students to communicate with other teachers and students all over the world" (95). The amount of use the Internet can provide is unbelievable. Though I was unable to attend the Tapped In session the other day, I have attended a few in the past and have found that it is an amazing resource tool for teachers and librarians. Being able to chat in real time with others in the profession is something that can enhance our collaboration efforts and gives us tools to take back to our own classrooms.I am also a fan of sites such as google earth and a very cool site called google lit trips, which ties in literature to places using a mashup with google maps. Again, how lucky we are to have all of these tools at our fingertips!

Shelly, G., et al. (2009). Integrating technology and digital media in the classroom (5th ed). Boston: Thomson Course Technology, 2008.

Week 3 #6: Mashups

I visited many of the mashup and Flickr tool sites and one of my favorites was The Poster Maker site.  I tried my hand at a poster and you can see it below.  It was easy and fun, and I think it would be a great way to get kids involved in the classroom.  Just as the 23 things blog says, you could use it for many things- I think making a poster that represents novels or part of them, or nonfiction texts would engage students in their learning.  I plan to keep playing around with the other sites as well and see what they have to offer!

Week 3 #5-Flickr

I have explored Flicker in the past and actually have an account with them.  I have created two photo stories on the site and thinkthat it is an amazing resource for sharing photos and is very easy to use.  In classrooms I think that students could use hte site to create photo stories about many things that relate to the curriculum and it is a great use of technology in the classroom.  The photos that I am linking to in Flickr are my own ( itts actually a link to one of my collections), but I have explored the site and found many fascinating photos as well.

Flickr photos

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 2: Blogging reflection

I enjoy blogging, though I have not had too much opportunity to do it unless it was a school assignment.  I did keep a blog of a trip I took this summer to Ghana and my friends and family back home were able to stay in touch with me through it. It was a great tool to document my trip and offer real time updates to everyone back home. I think that blogs are a great tool to use in the classroom and library.  A librarian can stay in touch with the population she or he serves with a blog by offering reading lists, book reviews, and reflections on what she or he is reading, among many other things.  It offers an interactive environment for the student at all times, not just during school hours.  I even have a few blogsites bookmarked for my own personal use because of the information they offer.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week 1: Habits of Life-Long Learners

I feel like I am a life-long learner and very much enjoy adding any knowledge I can to my brainfiles.  We all demonstrate life-long learning habits certainly by being enrolled in college courses, but I also try to gain knowledge by reading and  simply observing and socializing in the world around me.

Easiest Habit: My easiest habit is that I do view problems as challenges.  I think that life is a learning experience itself and that any problem we face is simply a challenge that we should learn from.  I actually have a quote from Helen Keller posted at my desk..."The best way out is through."  This is so true, there is no need to try to skirt around a problem because it will just continue to resurface.  You might as well face it head on the first time you see it and save some time and frustration.  This has not always been my mantra, my own challenges have made me realize this and that's why I find it the easiest habit for me.

Hardest Habit: The hardest problem for me is to view myself as a confident, effective learner.  It seems that I have been in school forever and I earned my Bachelors degree late in life.  Going back to school as a thirty-something year old amidst 18-year-olds fresh out of high school definitely caused anxiety for me.  These kids had fast working brains, while I seemed to take a little longer to process things (especially abstract ideas when I was thinking about practical issues like what to pack my son for lunch the next day :-).  That experience caused me to doubt myself often but as I have moved into Graduate school I feel that this habit is slowly working its way to the forefront as I develop more confidence with each class I take.