Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Week Five Thing #11

As I sat on my couch tonight to tackle my homework, I could not help but turn on the television to have as background noise. One of my casual shows is "The Biggest Loser." I can't say I'm a religious fan; however, I do watch it when I find myself home during the time that it airs. Once I had finished thing #10, I felt motivated to work on #11. I felt this assignment gave a little element of choice between professional and personal websites that a person would enjoy. I chose to review the short list after I was so overwhelmed with the Google Blog search from our last week. I appreciated the alphabetical order of categories and could not help but choice a health site entitled: PeerTrainer. It has been a goal of mine to stick with a specific health regimen, and I found this website to be a wealth of information as well as motivation. I also enjoyed that the majority of this websites offerings were free. With so much information, I found myself engrossed in the articles. The final verdict: I signed up for a membership and am looking forward to the changes that it ensues. On a final note, though the website I chose to explore is not directly related to library or my current profession, I think it is of paramount importance that sometimes we do put our well-being first. Trying to stay on top of every new concept, technology included, can be exhausting and time-consuming. To truly be fantastic teachers or librarians we have to find the balance between work and home.

Week 5 Thing #10

How fun this project was! I chose to "Warhol" this photo from FD Toys because I live in Pittsburgh, the home of the Andy Warhol museum. The entertainment value of the image manipulation programs is high; however, I can easily see myself getting sucked in playing around, rather than focusing on the goal. As a music teacher, I often try to do cross curricular activities such as developing a comic strip to go with a classical song or telling a story that coincides with a particular song. I think utilizing technology might be a nice change to the students drawing their own pictures. My concern at an elementary school would definitely be the ease of inappropriate pop-ups to appear on their screen as well as the discovery of lude images. I do think utilizing these resources would require some serious screening but would be worth it. As for the moment, while I am still experimenting, I will utilize them by creating visuals for student learning rather than allowing them to begin creating until I can fully investigate what these programs have to offer!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Week Four Thing #9

My assignment was to investigate different strategies for finding feeds. My absolute favorite resource was the "Edublog Awards." I felt that this site led me to some quality resources with high precision and low recall (I learned that vocabulary in my research class.) Some of the other sources, such as Google Blog Reader, provided me with far too many hits that were not of interest. I do find this whole searching for quality blogs quite overwhelming. It is difficult for me to develop online relationships or want to read from strangers...I guess I'm a bit old-fashioned. :0) If I encountered more fool proof sites such as "Edublog" I would be quite interested in investigating these sites further.

Week Four (Thing #8)

I joined a few RSS just to find that I was already subscribed to a few feeds. I chose some personal ones that I would be interested in, such as Itunes top 25 songs. In addition, I added the Reader's Club Latest Feed. I must admit that I am not an avid searcher simply because of the time constraint. I have very few if any websites that I visit on a regular basis other than my local library, school district, and multiple email accounts. When time permits, I hope to explore more feeds that I could keep up with and retrieve information that I really desire. The readers that provide book reviews would be an excellent resource for a librarian. Students could read them and investigate possible book purchases for the future.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week Three, Thing #7

Both in this class and in my professional life I have found myself being swarmed with technology. I have decided to embark on a few technological journeys this year to hopefully enhance the elementary music program at my school.

First thing is first, I am the proud caretaker of a wall-mounted SMARTBoard in my music classroom. For those of you who do not know, a SMARTBoard is an interactive whiteboard. I utilized the mobile one so much last year, I was rewarded with my very own for this school year. Though it is not 100% operational, I have been anticipating its arrival by producing visuals and scanning traditional paper worksheets that I can now use with the smart technology. I will keep you posted as to my progress!

Also delivered this week was my new Ipod. I had used a personal Ipod in previous years and was very much looking forward to an Ipod that could hold all of my exclusively school music. I had been developing the playlists for over a year and was thrilled with the ease of plugging it into my stereo system and scan through the endless possibilities.

Finally, my newest goal for the year is to utilize the school website as an opportunity to publicize my program. I have periodically taken pictures of my students during special performances but never during regular class time. My goal is to use the digital camera to catch learning moments in the classroom. I plan to use those photos both on the website and to create a Powerpoint presentation for Open House so that I can show parents exactly what their children are doing in my classroom.

Though I do not consider myself technologically impaired, I am continually shocked by all that is out there! I look forward to learning more to continue to enhance my students' classroom experience.

Week 3 Thing #6

I will say that this was not my favorite of activites. While I appreciate the idea of photo sharing, I barely have enough time to upload my photos in order to get them developed, much less play around with graphics and what not. I did explore mosaic making and what not and just did not find a ton of value in it. Was it fun? Yes. If I had a little more time on my hands it would definitely be something I would be interested in doing; however, for right now, I am going to stick with this blogging business and learning other aspects of technology (as you will see in my next post) that I find to be a bit more relavent to my technological goals.

BTW, if you happen to have some practical ways that you use these photo websites in the classroom, please feel free to share as I would love creative ideas to incorporate this feature in my classroom.

Week 3, Thing #5

Book Worm
Originally uploaded by boopsie.daisy
This woman actually removed each one of these books off of her bookshelf to dust...and put them back. I don't feel nearly as guilty about the two bookshelves we have stuffed in our basement after seeing this photo. I will say, I am not sure where she plans on putting any new books. She may have to consider doing do weeding before next spring!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 2, Thing #3

Wow! This wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I actually enjoyed creating my Avatar. It was definitely a nice change from reading about cataloging and classification. I must admit that the homework in this class is going to be a bit more enjoyable.

As I was creating my Avatar I began experimenting with all sorts of crazy hairstyles, outfits, and outlandish jewelry. When it was all said and done, I ended up looking exactly like myself: long brown hair with glasses and less than exciting clothing. It's funny how on the Internet you can totally transform yourself if you so choose...or you can be completely satisfied and content with being exactly who you are. Though somedays I think it would be fun to be blonde wearing a mini skirt and big earrings, I think I'll stick to being myself...on and off line.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

7 1/2 Habits of Successful Lifelong Learners

I am so excited about this new adventure into the 23 Things! I loved listening to the 7 1/2 habits of successful lifelong learners and found myself already reflecting while I was listening to it.
I would say that my strenghth is definitely #1: Begin with the end in mind. In each endeavor, I always try to preaccess the situation and discover what I plan to accomplish. I produce lists of both short term and long terms goals and find that it helps me to remain focused on the task at hand. With that said, I am very task oriented and do not care for hiccups in my day to day activities...so...#3 View problems as challenges is my weakness. I hate when things go wrong and get very frustrated at times when I have a different goal and get side-tracked by dealing with a problem. In hind sight, I always appreciate those types of experiences; however, I prefer to plan my learning. For instance, I would prefer to learn how to change a tire before that occurs rather than be stranded on the side of the road fumbling to figure it would out!

Test Post

I have created my first blog and am checking to see just how easy this whole thing is.