Sunday, September 19, 2010

Living Water International

About Living Water International
Living Water International helps communities acquire safe, clean water... loving the poorest of the poor in the name of Jesus.

Over 20 years, we have completed 9,000+ water projects in 26 countries, serving millions of people every day. Our goal is to ease the global water crisis while addressing root causes such as injustice, oppression, and abject poverty.


For more information please visit Living Water International.






On January 30th my dad and I will run the Houston 5K and have each set a goal to raise $500 for Living Water International. Please help in raising the money for this worthy cause. Your donation is tax-deductible and will make a tremendous impact. Click here to go to my personal fundraising page.

Every donation - large or small - brings me one step closer to reaching my goals.






Monday, August 23, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Facebook Unveils Service to Announce Locations - NYTimes.com

Facebook Unveils Service to Announce Locations - NYTimes.com

Interesting . . . is this crossing the line into too much information?
What about those reports of people being robbed when their status says they are away?

Monday, August 16, 2010

BLOGAPALOOZA

BLOGAPALOOZA

anyone up for it? Sign up and blog once an hour for 24 hour period. If you do (and are one of the first 100 to sign up) you get a free Blog2Print book.

Blog2Print is a pretty cool idea, they take your blog and print it in a hard cover book for you. A great alternative to scrapbooking!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Users Spend 23 Percent of Their Online Time Social Networking | Geeky Gadgets

Interesting article 23% of time on social networks - what do you think? Is it true? How much time do you spend clicking through your old roommate's new boyfriend's pictures?


Users Spend 23 Percent of Their Online Time Social Networking | Geeky Gadgets

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



COYFD 2010 Web Graphic

Houston

August 6-8
Reliant Center

Friday - 3-9
Saturday - 9-7
Sunday - 10-5

Bring your donations of frozen, wrapped and processed game to the Hunters' Harvest booth outsideReliant Center. Donations benefit Youth-Reach Houston, Victory Home and Open Door Mission.


Donate meat and register for a free processing from Midway Deer Processing


You can help us feed the hungry:

Spread the word - forward this newsletter or link to Hunters' Harvest on Facebook, Twitter orLinkedIn.

Details: www.huntersharvest.org or ttha.com




Thanks to our Sponsors:

New Lost


Polyspec logo

Blue Northern AC



Make a 1-time donation to Hunter's HarvestMake a monthly donation to Hunter's HarvestSubscribe to the Email Blast of Hunter's Harvest

Announcing Edmodo Weekly Webinar Series

Looking for more info on how to use Edmodo in your classroom? This is a great place to start!

Announcing Edmodo Weekly Webinar Series

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Edmodo Podcast




Monday, July 5, 2010

Technology in the Classroom



Integrating technology in the classroom was once thought to be a luxury but now is not only an everyday occurrence but a necessity. In order to prepare students for the outside “real world” they must be equipped with computer skills, critical thinking processes and the required content. Gone are the endless days of searching, we now have information at our

fingertips.

Integrating technology in the classroom allows teachers and students to work on all three of these areas at one time. Teachers present students with a task and equip them with the appropriate technology to solve the problem. A quick search will give you numerous articles full of lists on how to integrate technology in all disciplines. Students can do anything from researching a historical figure to examining the life cycle of a snail. As students search and pull their information they are learning to evaluate what they find, a very important skill for later in life.

In recent years social networking has been a hot topic. Some are nervous about putting too much personal information out for the public, while others see it as a learning opportunity. Teachers are now incorporating blogs, Wikis, and networking sites such as Edmodo to enhance the learning experience in their classrooms.

Allowing students the opportunity for social networking experiences allows the class time to extend beyond the regular school hours. Students who are less inclined to speak up in class may feel comfortable posing a question on the internet. Edmodo allows students a place to organize class notes, a class calendar and turn in assignments. Teachers can give students feedback quickly and easily by grading work online.

Social networking also has benefits for parents as well as students. A teacher blog can post information that is being studied in the class giving parents insight into what their student is doing all day. Teenagers don’t want to talk about school, but if parents are equipped with information to ask they can get those conversations started. Applications such as the Edmodo calendar help students work with time management and planning ahead.

Higher level thinking involves creating products. Students go through all the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy when asked to research online and create a product for a class Wiki. The problem solving skills used to seek out the needed information and determine what product to create are life-long skills students need to learn. Group projects are made easier because students can meet virtually to create a final product.

Integrating technology in the classroom has many benefits. Students are given a set of important skills needed to be successful in the work place. Parents are connected with the classroom. Most importantly students are empowered to be in charge of their learning.


Never heard of Edmodo? Watch this video to find out more.




Facebook for the classroom? This slideshare presentation created by Kevin Lim takes an interesting look at this famous social networking site.




References

Edmodo: a social network that works in the classroom #mace2010 « Moving at the Speed of Creativity. (n.d.). Moving at the Speed of Creativity. Retrieved June 20, 2010, from http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2010/03/05/edmodo-a-social-network-that-works-in-the-classroom-mace2010/

Klopfer, E., Osteweil, S., Groff, J., & Haas, J. (n.d.). The Instructional Power of and How Teachers Can Leverage Them. using the technology of today, in the classroom today. Retrieved June 19, 2010, from education.mit.edu/papers/GamesSimsSocNets_EdArcade.pdf

Starr, L. (2009, August 11). Education World ® Technology Center: Technology Integration Made Easy. Education World® The Educator's Best Friend. Retrieved June 19, 2010, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech146.shtml

Vrehas, J. P. (2005, March 22). Integrating Technology in the Classroom. tripod.com. Retrieved June 19, 2010, from http://vrehas.tripod.com/wp.doc

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thing #1 - Inspiration and Registration

I'm excited to get started. The summer feels like it is already flying by!

What a cool video! That would be great to share with parents so that they could see just how the classroom is changing. What stuck out to me about the teacher was that she was encouraging new ideas, and motivating the student to keep searching. I 100% see a librarian taking on that role. I love that the student was taking ownership of his knowledge, seeking out information and organizing it in the way that best suited him. Instead of memorizing a list of preselected facts. BORING and how much do we really learn when we do that??

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Soooo Excited!

My principal is going to let me present 23 Things to the whole school next week at our faculty meeting! Hopefully I can get everyone excited and organize a good group to participate this summer.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What? Free Food!

click on picture to go to Mision Burrito site and get more info.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Searching for textbooks?

It's almost time for summer school, and we all want to get the best deal for our textbooks. CollegeSwapShop.com searches the web and finds different sites where books are sold to compare for you. Simply type in the ISBN number and BAM you have options. It does all the seraching and comparing for you.



AND it's not just for textbooks, it will search and ISBN.
I added a widget (right below my avatar) for easy use.
Saves me time and money, I'm all for it.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Thing #23


Wow I can't believe I made it to Thing #23!! This has been a very interesting and entertaining ride. I have really enjoyed reading all the other blogs and sharing in this journey together. I am going to take away confidence in trying new things. I really enjoyed just exploring! I took away many new skills and lots of resources. As new things come out, and others go away (or start to charge) things might need to be updated and revisited. I wouldn't change the format at all, just make sure it adjusts with the times. I could definitely see myself participating in another project like this.I will tell others that this is FUN and rewarding!

Thing #22

As some of you have also commented free Ning's will soon be a thing of the past.It's a great idea to build a social network around common interests. I know the 7th grade English classes at my school created a Ning so that they could have discussion across the grade not just in groups of 25-30. Great way to host book discussions!
I did some looking around on the Texas School Librarians Ning and could see myself checking back there to read some of the discussions.

Thing #21

This was the first time I really played with Photo Story. It's very simple and easy to use. I did have some trouble uploading my video because just like BJ (BJ's Bubbles) I did have the video icon. Her post saved my time and troubles and it was a quick fix. Last weekend we redid the landscaping in our front yard. We now (after living here for a year) have met our neighbors. I guess we just had to prove that we would try and make things look nice and keep the street up to get their approval. So my vidoecast is about my yard. (Can you tell I'm excited about it??)

video

Podcasts or vidcasts can be used in many different ways to promote what is happening in your library, preview books, recap events etc. For classroom teachers they make great attention grabbers or reviews.


I took the same pictures and made an Animoto slideshow. Even easier than Photo Story and I just embedded it right in. You can pay for a "pro" account and have the ability to download your slideshows. The librarian at my school uses Animoto with her book talks. And my students have made some GREAT slideshows for class.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thing #20

This is one of my FAVORITE history videos. My students always laugh because I end up singing along. :)


TeacherTube is such a great resource! Thankfully it isn't blocked at school. Videos can give a great introduction to a topic or wrap up what you have been covering. Now that many sites make the embed codes easily accessible  it's much easier to use videos. I like to send my students videos on Edmodo as a review of what we have discussed that day, or I send something out a few days ahead of time to prepare them for class. How great would it be to stay organized and keep an updated class blog full of videos that students can refer back to. Someday I'll be that organized. . . I hope.

Thing #19

I could waste SO MUCH time looking at everything listed in these awards! My first reaction . . . thank you for organizing everything so nicely. :)

For personal reasons I love MyHeritage and all of the cooking sites listed.

I was looking at LuLu a site where you can publish your own books and it reminded me of Bookemon. This is a really cool site that allows you to upload your own content to make books that can then be printed and purchased. Bookemon is cool because it automatically creates a book widget and allows for you to read the "book" online. Content is easy to upload, you can transfer a word document page by page. Thinking as the history teacher my classes could work together to create a book about all the people we study in the year. Each student would be responsible for one person, write one page report, add it to the book. If we wanted a printed copy could be purchased and kept in the classroom as a study tool. Art teachers could scan in student work and keep a portfolio for each year. Students could submit book reviews and create a reference book on what's in the library. 

We started a cookbook at my school . . haven't add that many recipes, but it gives you an idea of how the online viewing works. 




Make books online at Bookemon

Thing #18

OpenOffice or Google Docs . . . . I went with GoogleDocs because I like that you don't have to download anything. I've been using Google Docs for personal stuff for a couple years. I love being able to have access to documents on any internet computer (even in Katy now that the firewall has changed a little).

When training for marathons my husband keeps record in a GDocs document. That way even if we go out of town for the weekend he can access it and track his progress. The best part is that you stop e-mailing documents back and forth to yourself. How many times have you worked on something at home, emailed it to school, only to e-mail a newer version home again? Then you waste time trying to figure out which copy is the most updated.

This is great for students because they can smooth the transition of working at school to working at home. I'm so glad that Katy now has access to Google Docs. I also enjoy the share feature allowing multiple people to edit the same document. My sister and I were trying to plan a wedding shower and it made our lives so much easier to share a document and each update as we wet.

You do have to have an account with Google which is the only "drawback."But if it's creating an account versus downloading OpenOffice I would go with creating an account.

Thing #17

I hadn't heard of Rollyo before but I really like the concept. Sometimes you  know a couple good websites to gather information from and this allows you to create custom search, searching your chosen sites. Just playing around trying to figure it out I creating a search-roll for knitting patterns. I have a couple sites I usually go to looking for patterns but I always have to spend time searching each one. Now I can go to one place and search several all at the same time. This would be great in the library if you have students working on a research project. The librarian I currently work with always creates a list of suggested websites for students doing research. She could make a search-roll including those sites and send students there. I've been told that you can create custom Google searches before, but I'm liking this better. And for some reason I am really craving a fruit by the foot. . . .

My rollyo profile.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thing #16

Ahh wikis. Wikis are GREAT. We started a class wiki earlier this year and it has been a great asset to our class. The students have really taken charge in posting class information and updating our info. It has been helpful for the parents as well because they can clearly see what is happening in class.
In my class I give students the opportunity to pretest and test out of upcoming units. If a student can pretest with 90 or above they have the option of then completing an alternate independent study project. We created an independent study wiki for those students to ask questions and post their finished products.
As a school the staff created a wiki where our principal can post updated information, articles she enjoys, and lots of other stuff.
My husband and I even have a "family" wiki. It's great that both of us can update it from any computer. We make our weekly menus (and sometimes link to recipes), shopping lists, and to do lists. Very helpful. Surely there will be something new and better by the time we have kids but I'm thinking if I had kids I would have section for each child to keep track of schedules, and other needs.

These are all made using PBworks, and I love that just last week they introduced nesting folders. Now you can have a folder in a folder! I think this will really help with organization and make it easier to navigate.

Our family wiki is members only :) but below are links for all the others I mentioned.

Class Wiki
Independent Study Wiki
WCJH Wiki 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thing #15

Library 2.0 . . . this ones tough. It means so many different things to so many people. To me it's an interactive library that utilizes many different online tools. Online book clubs, a library blog, the skies the limit. It's hard to put it into a box and define.  To a temporary place in time gives great ideas on what the future holds. And A Vision of Students Today is almost frightening to watch. I see the truth behind it, but to say students will have jobs that aren't even created that's frightening. Away from the "iceburgs" is very thought provoking as well. We need to go to our students and make ourselves available to them.
I'm working towards classroom 2.0 with many new things we have begun this year. I see how it putting information "out there" actually draws students in. It's something that will constantly be evolving but isn't that what we are supposed to do? Change and grow as our students and world change and grow.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Teen Book Convention

Check it out . . . .

Teen Book Convention

This Saturday - Alief Taylor High School

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Life


Wow this is amazing!
Are you watching LIFE on The Discovery Channel?. The time and effort put into capturing all this video is inbeleivable. Definitely getting a look at events we as humans have never seen before. Very interesting!



Sunday, March 21, 2010

When is a book good?

To me the sign of a great book is when you are still thinking about it days after finishing. I only finished Sunday but it will be a while before I stop thinking about Hannah and Clay from Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

I've been putting of my thing #15 entry about library 2.0 and when I Googled this book it hit me. We are beyond library 2.0 and we have entered book 2.0. The link above allows you to ready the first 44 pages before you ever purchase it. I read the back of the book in a bookstore, then downloaded the sample on my Kindle. Had I not read the sample I don't know that I would have purchased it. Then once I finished I immediately updated my bookshelf on Shelfari and started reading the discussions. I had to know if others thought the same things I did. But I didn't stop there, I found the book's website. Books with their own websites? Yup, it happens more than we think. Book sites don't just give you a short synopsis and purchasing info they are so much more. I don't to give to much away, but this book's site includes a map, and videos that go along with the story. It even has Hannah's blog!

The story doesn't have to end when you finish the last page. And you know the author had a lot more to say than just what is in the book.


I "highlighted" quite a bit as I was reading. I'll share just this one thought quote with you.

"And when you mess with one part of a person's life,
you're not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can't
be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a
person's life, you're messing with their entire life.
Everything . . . affects everything."

So what is your sign of a truly good book?
I would love for some of you to read this book and let me know what you think too!



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thing #14

Technorati is cool! I found things I never knew I was looking for! What a great way to boost readership for your blog. Tagging websites and blog posts allows for a different kind of searching.


I searched for blog posts about knitting and found all the information about how to purchase this pattern for this dissected frog. I would have enjoyed this much more than a real frog back in biology.


Thing #13

How many times do you find yourself looking for something online, knowing that you have seen it before but no clue where to find it? It seems like every time I start a new unit in class I am searching for some online resource that I never can seem to find. Why didn't I come up with social bookmarking?!? This is so cool. I have been using Diigo for a few months so I have more experience with it than Delicious. I was surprised to see Diigo has so few users (compared to some of the others) according to this list.

The idea of "tagging" sites, or even pictures as we checked out on flickr is fabulous. It is quick and easy organization. Now I quickly tag sites whenever I find a good source. With Diigo I organized even more by making lists. Each unit for the year has a list. I save resources which can be used to that list, then tag for more details. My lists can very easily be shared with my team members or students who are researching. Diigo even lets me highlight and annotate information!

You can create an educator account through Diigo to easily share with students.

This is a great research assistant. I have admittedly searched public tags to find resources. The time I have saved piggy backing off of the work of others. Let's all help each other and tag tag tag!

Check out my Diigo profile here.

Thing #12

Hmmmm . . . commenting. I have a tough time with this one. Admittedly I am part of that 90% of blog readers who lurk and never comment. I have a hard time feeling like I am adding to the conversation. Now that I have been blogging it is really nice to get comments and know that people are paying attention to what I am doing. We always want feedback on how we are doing and with a blog comments are pretty much the only way to get that feedback.

This presentation "Bling your Blog" was presented at TCEA. You can find it and more on the presenter's library blog. It has some great ideas about how to boost your readership and get more comments from students.

Cool Cat Teacher's "How to Comment like a king (or Queen)" had some good tip. You definitely see a lot of "Darth Commenters" out there. Thankfully you have all been nice so far! I don't understand how people can be so mean!

I have been following I Hate Green Beans for a few years now. It is always an entertaining read. Come to think of it's really the only reason I started watching The Bachelor. Another blog I now enjoy is Free Book Friday. They also have a teen blog.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Group Work??

Fun new site we started using tonight. PrimaryPad is a web based word processor that allows groups to work together in real time. You type on your computer and it updates everyone else's screen! Work can even be color coded based of off who writes what. Fun fun! Great for collaboration and team work.

Favorite New Site


Have you heard about Edmodo yet?

It is the coolest thing ever! In short, it is facebook for school.
You create groups (basically your classes) students then join those groups. You can send out assignments, have students turn stuff in, and grade it all through this site. It automatically updates a calendar for students, and you can even set it up to recieve text alerts!

The best part - my students are enjoying it and actively using it!


view original video posting here
image courtesy of edmodo.com

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thing #11

I had never heard of LibraryThing before this list. For the past couple years I have used WeRead, mainly because I could attach it to my Facebook account. I have several friends that use GoodReads. After a discussion in class the other night I checked out Shelfari and it is now my favorite.

Shelfari is easy to use and it just looks cool. I also enjoy that Shelfari includes when you read each book with your review. Sometimes it is nice to look back and see when you read something.

All four sites allow you to make bookshelf widgets to display on your blog.
All four connect to Amazon for easy book purchases.
WeRead and Shelfari both connect to Facebook.
Librarything and Shelfari allow you to "tag" books.

No matter which site you choose to use I think personal cataloging is a great idea. It gives a great outlet for discussion and gathering of new ideas. Students who wouldn't necessarily recommend a book in front of the class might be more comfortable posting one to a group bookshelf. There is something very gratifying about looking back over a shelf and knowing you have read everything on it.

Now if only they will make one that connects to my Kindle and allows me to write a review right when I finish . . .


Google Apps

Great Presentation on different Google Applications.

Thing #10

Image generators allow for hours of fun. There are many uses for image generators in the classroom and library. Imagine a Wordle created about a book, or using the titles of several books in a specific genre.
Photo Fun
Dumpr - Photo Fun


Take pictures of different events in the school, or library and use online generators to display them in fun and different ways.


Check out this slideshow I made for my sisters upcoming wedding shower. She thinks I spent a long time working on it, took me about two minutes.



Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Widgets!

From Random House Publishing
Read the first chapter of a book right from your blog!
Some publishers have audio widgets too!

TCEA

Still processing everything from this weekend at TCEA. A great weekend AND library2play was mentioned in one of my sessions. I'll post some of the different blogs mentioned, and online session notes later. I'm excited about all the new ideas!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Thing #9

I used to just have a few blogs in my reader and could catch up once a week, now I am checking in multiple times a day! I added all the blogs from our class and the blogs we discussed in class on Thursday. Then I started having fun. I like the "explore" feature in Google Reader. I'll admit that some of the stuff it recommends isn't for me, but I have found a couple enjoyable/informative reads that way.

Topix has way too much going on. I was distracted before I even tried to search.

One "search" I have found useful is checking out what other people are following. I added a blog roll so you can use my blog as a search too.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thing #8

I'm getting better with RSS feeds. Google reader is very well organized, and I love having quick reads available on my iGoogle homepage. It's one of those areas where I definitely have a lot to learn still. I see the potential for using this to stay up to date on all the latest breaking news, personal and professional. How great would it be to set up an RSS feed for the school library and send information directly to parents/students/teachers? I don't always have the time to search the web for the latest and greatest but if it is sent right to me, well then I might take a few minutes to read it.

Thing #7


I LOVE google. What did we ever do without it?



I use google for just about everything. I love sharing calendars. My husband and I update individual calendars but with the share feature are able to see each others plans. The public calendars are great as well. Just a few clicks and I was able to add schedules for the Astros Texans, and all U.S. Holidays.








The iGoogle homepage is great for keeping organized and seeing everything fast. I have gadgets for gmail, movie times, weather, google reader. I love my knitting background too!




The map feature is great for directions, but it does so much more. With just a few steps you can create your own map and save it along with pictures and video. Google Lit Trips gives readers a whole new take on what they are reading. Students could also use this in a geography class, or to show westward expansion on the Oregon Trail.


Using the timeline display and wonder wheel displays are helpful when searching.



















Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thing #6

This was fun! I love to take pictures and play with them.
Check out Mr. Gatsby as a jigsaw puzzle.



I'm loving the trading card idea! The classroom/library possibilities are endless. How fun would it be to have your students make a personal card as a "get to know you" at the beginning of the year. So much better than a boring "all about me" survey.
Bookr looked like it was very user friendly. It reminded me of blurb, which I used to make my wedding album.
I'm working on a lesson where students will make a vuvox timeline of the events leading to the Civil War. I'm glad I worked on thing #5 and #6 before assigning the project. Now I can tell them how to use flickr and several of the mashup sites to help.

Thing #5

I used Flickr for a while a few years ago and found it frustrating. It had a limit on how much I could upload and tried to make me upgrade and pay to have more storage. I switched to shutterfly, mainly because my sister uses it for everything. In exploring it today it looks like a lot has changed since I last tried to use it. Several friends have created groups so that wedding guests can easily upload and share wedding pictures. I love that idea.





The searchable creative commons sites are great. It would definitely be useful for students who are putting together presentations, or teachers creating virtual field trips. I love this picture at the Library of Congress.


Thing #3

It was fun to create my avatar. Wouldn't be nice to just sit in the knit shop all day and create things? I guess for now my virtual self will have to do it for me.

Setting up the blog is quite simple. It is nice that it has become so user friendly.

I got excited and started looking at other things just for fun. It will be nice to go back and write out my experiences, and remind myself how everything works.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"You are my writing idol"

Last night I went with a friend to hear a reading by David Wroblewski.
I went thinking I would gain some insight on his novel, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and left inspired to draft my own masterpiece!
The event was sponsored by Inprint Houston and held downtown at The Alley Theatre.
A great night, my friend left not only with an autographed copy but a picture with her "writing idol."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thing #2 Lifelong Learners

7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners

I love the idea of making a contract with yourself. Halfway through the presentation I was trying to figure out how to work it into my classroom.

It's easy to set goals; following through on them is a completely different thing. Goals can be little, limit the number of snoozes in the morning, or big, run the Boston Marathon. Whatever the goal may be you are more likely to get there if you right it out. I like to set goals for myself and checkpoints along the way. There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment you feel when checking something off your list.

The hard part for me is the little problems that come up along the way. Habit #4 is to "view problems as challenges." It's easy to throw in the towel and give up when a problem comes along. When I face a problem and battle with giving up or pushing through I think of this poem, a favorite of my grandfather.


Isn't it strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me,
are builders for eternity?

Each is given a list of rules;
a shapeless mass; a bag of tools.
And each must fashion, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.
-R. Lee Sharpe
What a great mental image! Those "problems" along the way are really helping us get closer to our goal. The hard part is remembering that in the moment . . .