Monday, January 30, 2012

Tooling Around #4

I created a document to share with my Eng III AP team because we are trying something new this year and we haven't met to discuss it; this document will give us something to chew on and edit.

I created a pop quiz question FORM for my students to make sure they are keeping up with their reading. Feedback involves questions of efficacy - how much easier is it to just post the same question on the Active Board and have the kids write the answer down? I'll have to figure out how to tap into this.

My team often shares documents through attachments, but particularly with the one I shared today where I could use input and help, I can see how googledocs would be valuable. We always allow ourselves some room to be different, but we're always very much interested in what each of us is doing.

Tooling Around #3

"Race continues to be a volatile and divisive subject."  60 minutes interview

Well, the directions on embedding You Tube were actually for embedding a gadget, not into a post, but I poked around, saw the Edit HTML button and here we go...My juniors recently wrote to the censorship issues raised by a new version of Huckleberry Finn where the N word is replaced by "slave."  You tube remains my favorite.  I'd love to have Netflix streaming, but the district doesn't have the band width.  I teach a Film Studies class, so that's a real shame....

Ironically, the SOPA piracy issues got my students' attention, so I'm copying and pasting this here:

Which reminds me, I need to comment on my understanding of the legal ramifications of using this material on my blog.  If I were using this in class for educational purposes, then it would be legal.  If I'm your student, then I suppose it's legal for us to use it here.  It is quite liberating to know that as long as it's meant for my students' consumption and education, I'm good to go.

As for Dropbox, I'm not confident about commenting on that.  Recently a professional development presenter sent us her handouts through dropbox, but right now I just link my handouts to my school website, so I don't see that happening now.  Perhaps when the students do image oriented projects as they are now - animoto and Prezi - they could create a drop box to share their group contributions.  I'll have to work on that.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tooling Around #2

I'm feeling growing pains.  I've visited a few teachers' blogs and have been dismayed to learn how behind I am...when their blog opens they are announcing TOOL ELEVEN.  When I scroll down to their Tool 2 I feel much better because it looks like it was tough for them too.  Their discoveries in the later tools are too mysterious to me at this point to be meaningful.  I'm comfortable speaking out publicly in this arena.  It's much more difficult to speak publicly in person.

I'm not sure we can value our comments just yet - looks like everybody is trying hard to just finish.  I know I'm having a heck of a time getting to this and keeping up with my grading.  I wish we didn't have such a ferocious race to the finish because I could spend a lot of time trying to make my way around Google Reader but there just isn't time...I'll go back and visit it when I've watched the tutorial and begin to collect sites I want to follow.  I subscribe to an AP Listserv and I harvest a lot of information and helpful website from that source.  There really is such a glut of information and tools and I'm a very shy shopper.  I prefer a quiet trip to a small boutique where I can spend an hour.

When I captured my journey through the mountains of the Lake District on a blog in 2008, I was always thrilled to see a comment (even if it was usually Mom).  On another blog I started on being vegetarian in Houston, the lack of comments lefts me uninterested in working on it; then I checked the stats, and it turns out I had a shocking number of hits.  A lot of people read and don't comment!  So if audience matters, check that.

I am enjoying seeing all the techy sites out there, but I don't have time to learn how to do much now.  I have 9 tools to go.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tooling Around #1

I already have a blog for my classes that I prefer as well as a personal blog , so  frankly I don't have my heart in this and was quickly discouraged when the template I first picked didn't show easily where to add gadgets (I use  I gave up quickly, picked another template where the Add Gadget bar was obvious, and then went to work on my Avatar.  Quite frankly, I find Voki irritating and the images disturb me - I'd rather just be me, but I ended up liking the one I put together more than I thought I would.  If it were up to me, I wouldn't use one.  I have't figured out how to see everybody elses's blog, so I want to work on that.