Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 7, Thing #17

I searched the California Classroom 2.0 Curriculum Connections wiki. I especially liked the sandbox section where my peers had begun to post their lesson plans. I found the wiki to be reminiscent to the discussion board we utilize on Blackboard. The difference is that you cannot edit other people's posts. In addition, the wiki is a little more user friendly because you can view all of the posts without "excessive clicking" like in the discussion board area. Overall, I found the wiki to be a fun way to connect without being too formal.

Modern Day Shakespeare

Modern Shakespeare Lesson.htm (7.326 Kb)
I chose to collaborate with a 10th Grade English Teacher, Christopher Jack, in creating a fun lesson that reviews the elements of a short story and delves into the works and reworks of William Shakespeare.

I thoroughly enjoyed this project. I love writing lesson plans! (crazy huh?) I feel that when teachers are given the appropriate time to work collaboratively, the best ideas for an innovative approach to the subject matter surfaces. I hope you enjoy my lesson.

Week 7, Thing #16

I feel silly even saying this; however, I never made the connection of Wikipedia being a Wiki. My only exposure to the wiki would have been through Wikipedia as well as minimal use in a previous class in my library science studies. I started from scratch and read the text, the 23 Things, watched the YouTube video, and visited all of the websites suggested. I really appreciated in the video the easy explanataion of exactly what a wiki is and exactly why it is quite useful. It really became clear to me when the wiki was compared to a blog, except done by whomever has a thought. The idea of the wiki seems practical, especially if people are working collaboratively from a distance and would like to share with others.
My favorite use, and what I would consider the most practical library use of the wiki was the book lovers wiki. It allowed for book lovers who participated in a club to comment and provide ratings for books in a number of categories. I just imagined how fun that would be for my students to read a book and share on a wiki with their classmates or for younger classmates in years to come. I realize that it would not be practical for students to do this for every book they read, but I think they would really enjoy this process. Maybe the student could even accompany a book report with a wiki rating and comments.
I am most pleased with the ease of the wiki. It does not require a person to sign up for anything, receive obnoxious daily emails, or hand out personal information. It is just a friendly forum where the ideas can flow! I am excited to use a wiki for my future technological endeavors.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 6, Thing #15

Yet another superb learning experience for me. I was immediately engaged by the YouTube video featuring the cartoon characters. My husband even stopped what he was doing to sit, watch, and listen. Though I apprecaiated the refresher course on copyright principles, I was even more enthralled with the topic of creative commons. As I look at my school district I see this principle utilized as teachers in my building share ideas, methods, and resources with one another. Monthly, the teachers from each grade level in every building join forces to formally engage in this same process. Creative commons appears to me to be a global approach to the sharing that we do each day with one another.
Education is the last place where someone should be selfish, which is portrayed nicely in the video explaining the concept. I would like to think that if I had great find, I would want to share it with the world in a controlled way while still protecting my right. (Perhaps, I've already had that grand idea, and I just haven't realized it yet.)
Reading about creative commons really gave me hope for our future. Though we, as librarians, need to be advocates of the copyright laws in times when it may not be easy, I find that creative commons is an approach where people can adjust those laws to be protected yet also inspire others. I also found it quite encouraging that a corporation like Google be involved with creative commons as well.

Week 6, Thing #14

This whole blog thing is still tricky for me. As I explored Technorati, I once again found myself questioning why I would want to read so many opinion-based posts and why anybody would want to read mine. I think Technorati can be extremely helpful when searching for something specific; however, it bears a close resemblance to blind searching on the Internet...there is just some much out there. Chances of high recall and low precision are great. I believe my personal preference will always be to seek out ProQuest over Technorati. Now, please don't misunderstand me, I think blogging can be a great tool when communicating with students via the Internet, and I can absolutely see why it is popular. I also believe that I would use a site like Technorati if I were seeking out other professionals' perspective or opinion of operations or certain books. Though I do believe there are more great blogs than not, I don't think I would feel comfortable having students search through the blogsphere with fears of what they might find.

Week 6, Thing #13

I LOVE! I must admit that this is the first feature we have explored thus far that I felt would save me an immense amount of time. is a program that essentially gives a person a portable favorites catalog. I often take my work home with me and find myself searching for a site I was using on my work computer. Without an internet history, a purple link, or my bookmarks, I am lost! This feature seemed to be a fool proof and more effective version of an application that I already use. I can see major benefits to using this site.

In addition, I loved the fact that I do not have to be limited to my bookmark list. Initially, I felt it was invasive to be checking out the bookmarks of others, but then I realized it is just saving someone like me from reinventing the wheel.

I chose to read the supplemental material for this application because I was so enthralled. provided me with some helpful hints. Sometimes I feel that when I go to a website and explore there are so many features I don't utilize. For instance, I have had the same cell phone for three years. I just discovered yesterday that there is a calculator on it because a friend asked me if she could use my phone to check something. Perhaps if I had a tutorial on my cell phone, I could have exhausted all of its possibilities. I give two thumbs up and can't wait to tell the librarian in my school district about it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week 5, Thing #12

I created a webliography for some William Shakespeare websites that I found to be both easy to maneuver and educationally appropriate. My husband is an English teacher and does a unit on Shakespeare. I developed a lesson plan where the students would first learn brief background regarding William Shakespeare as well as read one of his works. Once they did this as a group, each student, or pair of students, would be assigned one of his works. Their job would be to research the work utilizing the recommended sites, and to present a synopsis of that work and its significance.
I appreciated this site for its novel idea but was not overwhelmingly impressed with it's efficiency. Loading each page took over a minute and with high speed Internet, people are not accustomed to waiting for anything anymore. I believe this website once stream-lined to run a bit faster would be an excellent tool for both students and teachers to use in school and at home. I am hoping to create a Rollyo next for recipe websites!