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 . . .