Monday, August 3, 2009

Thing #7: Cool Google Tools

In this task we looked into all that google has to offer.   One of the perks of having an account is being able to set up a calendar.  I set up my calendar for school because I feel that this can be a great resource for my parents who wish to be "in the know" as to what's going on in my classroom.  I can use this calendar to list my class moms for the week, when our programs are, and any kind of other Kindergarten-specific event.  I'm sure I'll have many parents appreciative for something like this - especially since many of my parents are so tech savvy!

I also like Google Docs.  If you don't have Microsoft Office on your computer, you can still create, open, and edit documents via Google Docs.  I don't have microsoft office on my personal laptop so this will come in very handy. 

One of the other items I found fun to play around with was google earth.  I thought the 3-D veiw of the earth was pretty neat.  I played around with it looking at my neighborhood and then went to the Grand Canyon!  Now it's only a matter of time before they give 360 degree tours of everyone's homes!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thing #6: Mashups and 3rd Party sites

Wow, that was alot of fun!  I had no idea that something like Mosaic Maker was even out there.  I guess that's how they create those amazing photomosaics of an image out of thousands of similar images.  This mosaic is of my wonderful family.  I had to convince them to let me borrow some of their photos since I'm not one for always having a camera on me.  They are better with their digital cameras than I am so it works.  Can you tell that is my first grandchild?  He looks just like his daddy. I was also instructed to put pictures of my other 4-legged granddachshunds - Oscar and Chloe.  This is also the reason why I have one standing behind me in my avatar.  

I also tried out Mappr.  I didn't follow how to produce anything by reading over the website - it seemed too cluttered to understand for me.  Perhaps I need to spend some more time on it to figure out what's going on.  I don't know, you tell me if you understand Mappr.

Flickr Color Pickr is pretty neat.  I like the fact that it does all of the work for you - you just pick the color your looking for!

Overall, I'm just so amazed at how little I know about how much the internet has to offer.

Thing #5: Explore Flickr

Welcome to the Great Wall of China by edhelien

I sure hope I credited the author correctly - I guess I'll find out if I didn't.  I've looked through other people's flicker photos in links that they send me of their photo albums, but I was clueless about Flicker's Creative Commons.  I guess now days you have to be careful what you use from other people's sites and whatnot,  just like you have to watch how you paraphrase other people's work in your writing.

Anyway, this is great.  I teach about China for the Winds of Time Unit we do at our school (hence the photo of the Great Wall) and I think this will be a great resource to use!  Visuals are some of the best learning tools.  After all a picture can say a thousand words.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thing #3: Set up your own blog

Whew!  Well setting up this blog wasn't too bad - it was trying to get my avatar to display that was so frustrating.  I posted a question on the message board in hopes of getting some help, but for right now I just saved the avatar as a jpg and uploaded it to my blog.  Voila!  Jeannette's bog has been created.  Never thought I'd get this far - the learning never stops.  Now on to Thing 4!

Thing #2: Pointers from Life Long Learners

The 7-1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners:

I feel that there are a handful of these habits that come easy for me.  First thing is teaching and mentoring others.  After 40 years of teaching, this pretty much has become second nature to me, not just in the classroom, but in my everyday life.  I am able to take some of the simple lessons I learn from my teaching and even from some of my young students, and use them them in providing advice to family and friends.  Additionally, I find that by teaching others helps me to teach myself.  Which brings me to my next habit of having confidence in myself as a competent learner.  That's one of the wonderful things about my profession is that I don't think there is a day that goes by where I don't learn something new.  Whether it is something simple or complex like learning how to start a blog - I try to challenge myself everyday.

Now, one of the hardest habits for me is beginning with the end in mind.  Many times I get so caught up in going from task to task that I don't step back to see my individual accomplishments.  I think if I start looking at each task individually instead of a multitude of tasks as a whole,  I won't get so overwhelmed by all of the things I want to achieve as a teacher.