Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Texas Long Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020 Teaching and Learning

The Teaching and Learning area of the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology has a broad vision that impacts learners of the 21st century. The No Child Left Behind legislation required that all students be technology literate by the 8th grade. Curriculum alignment and opportunities for educators to visit and observe effective classroom technology is essential for educators to be prepared for 21st century learners and classrooms.

Students must must have 24/7 technology tools and resources to be global learners. The learners must also be given real world problems and the opportunity to solve those problems collaboratively. Educators must follow research based plans and goals to increase student achievement.

Analyzing four elementary campuses in my district, I discovered that 50% of the elementary schools were at the Developing Technology standard. In looking at the 07-08 statewide standard summary the majority of campuses show to be in the Developing Technology level of progress. Therefore I believe the trend In the area of Teaching and Learning is at the Developing Technology level, but making strides of quickly moving to the Advanced Technology level.

To reach the Target Technology level it will take work and commitment by not only school districts, but from teachers along with funding by the state. It is my opinion that the state and local district must provide laptops for each student to have on demand access in order for the Target Technology level to be reached. It is also of my opinion that teachers will need more training and /or experience to reach the technology comfort level to have the ability to seamlessly integrate technology into all core areas of education. This goal of reaching the Target Technology level is achievable and in sight with the cooperation of all stakeholders.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing 23 - The End

The ending of this course it only the beginning for what I will be able to do this school year!
I am so excited about everything that I have learned and have had the opportunity to play with this summer. From my summer experience I will be able to continue to "play" and share these wonderful experiences with both fellow professionals and students.

1. My favorite discoveries have been photostory and rollyo. I had heard people say how easy photostory was but I was skeptical...not any more! Being a librarian on multiple campuses and working on research units for different grade levels and school I find rollyo to be user friendly and very practical. I am very excited about including these two discoveries into my school year. Personally I have really enjoyed the rss feeds. I don't know that I will use this as much professionally as I will on a personal level.

2. This class has provided me the opportunity to stretch my wings with technology in a very practical and comfortable setting. I found being able to work on my own time frame to be very helpful and non -intimidating which is very comforting in learning new things. As a life long learning goals continue, I can see that I will look back on this program and recognize how instrumental it was on my growth in technology.

3. I was unexpectedly surprised when rollyo was my choice over delicious. I had used delicious before and was familiar with it. Therefore I went into rollyo thinking I would never really use it. However once I started playing and exploring rollyo I quickly discovered this was my choice! I was amazed that I switched my way of thinking and will only be using rollyo this year.

4. Library2play was a very pleasant educational experience. When I did have trouble with uploading my photostory a comment was quickly posted to help me. I never found myself in a panic that I couldn't make something work. I knew that the support I needed was available.

5. I would LOVE to take part in another discovery program like this. I especially enjoyed it being over the summer where I actually had time and didn't feel rushed. This has been a wonderful opportunity.

6. This learning experience has been like the heartbeat of technology.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thing 22 - Nings

Maybe I am on technology overload and everyone just needs to find their own niche. I found Nings to be very similar to wikis and blogs which today seem to be easier for my mind to grasp. I think for students who are open to more technology and ways to communicate with others Nings would be good. I do like the idea of trying to tie them into educational formats, but then again that could be done with Blogs or Wikis. As an elementary librarian I really see Nings being used more in the middle to upper grades. I can see myself exposing Nings to fellow teachers and students and let them run with it if they chose to. I think as librarians it is our job to expose students and teachers to many different formats. Just like books of different genres and we all have our favorites technology is the same way. But just because we don't care for a certain format doesn't mean we shouldn't try it and even share it. Who knows, maybe it is like your taste buds and some technology can be an acquired taste!

Thing 21 Podcasts and Vidcasts

I have heard about photostory and had never used it. NOW I am so excited and my mind is racing with all the things I can do with it. I'm also thinking about how the students will enjoy using this for book report and or various projects. Photostory is very user friendly even for the novice!

I have a friend who lives in California who went and took pictures of all the Michael Jackson tributes after he died. I asked if I could share these photos with everyone and of course the answer was yes. I hope that everyone will enjoy this.

I have tried for 2 hours to post my photostory. I keep getting a message that I've listed below. The only customer support I have found is to post a question which I have done. I think my brain is fried today so I am going to move on and try this tomorrow. I am going to go ahead and post this to keep things in order and will come back and edit...hopefully getting my photostory uploaded! Aarrrrggg

Sorry, there was an error uploading your video. Please contact support and include the following information:
Blog Id:2378420211455348434Video Id:edeb014a0828e5f3

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thing 20

Of course, I am familiar with Youtube. I think this is every teens favorite site! I know at the elementary level we are not able to access Youtbube. I heard of Teachertube this springs but hadn't looked until today. Constitution Day is a subject that is wanted one day a year. I have a few books that of course teachers have to share. I have used United Streaming in the past but Teachertube will be a great resource to use.

Thing 19 - Web 2.0 Awards

I had to go to something fun first....music! Of the listed music sites I liked Last the best. I liked the free downloads and videos to watch. I have a friend who owns a radio station and I asked him his view on the sites listed...Last and Pandora. He told m that most station owners are not big fans of these sites since they prefer for people to be going to their websites and use the streaming.

I became familar with Urban Spoon this spring. My group at TLA didn't want to eat anywhere we could eat back home. One of the librarians was familiar with Urban Spoon and it was fun. I was in LA this summer and also had fun using Urban Spoon . I think Urban Spoon is a great source for people traveling as well as for those who like to try new foods and or restuarants

I was interested in self publishing and checked out Lulu. My mother self published a geneology book my grandmother had written before she died. This book is a family treasure. I would like to take the stories from my mother and other family members to publish for my family. The cost is not absorbadent being $500 to about $1,500. Obviously this cost would be prohibative in most school settings.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thing 18 - Online Productivity

I started using Google Docs this last school year. I go to multiple campuses and work with another librarian. I like that we can not only share but collaborate on a project. Using Google Docs is great resource when you travel from computer to computer and work with different people on a regular basis like I do as a traveling librarian. Sometimes we have had difficulties getting google documents to print the way that they preview, but overall I really like using it. In fact getting other teachers to use Google Docs is something I am planning on encouraging this year.

I was not familiar with Open Office but found it exciting. I think there are many students and adults who could benefit from this free resource. There are many that do not have the resources to purchase microsoft office. I like the templates that are readily available with Open Office. This will be a benficial site to share with many to be able to use wherever they are....work or home! I'm sure there are probably some drawbacks to Open Office although I have not played with it enough to find them. But as with any software or freeware there are pros and cons.

Thing 17 - Rollyo

I like the idea of creating you own search engine. I was more familiar with Delicious so in the beginning I was lost. I enjoyed watching the video of how to use Rollyo. It was very helpful! After watching the video it was very simple for me to go in and create. I realized that being on different campuses I could have search engines for each campus since I am always doing something different. This is something I will play around with more. I think I can see me becoming a Rollyo user!

Thing 16 - Wikis

Wikis - oh how my group of librarians have tried to get this going! We have been so overwhelmed with many more campuses than librarians it just hasn't happened! I like the community wiki. A community wiki would be a great way for a campus to communicate with the librarian about what they have going on in the classroom and to work on collaboration. I also like the idea of a group of librarians being able to use a wiki to share information about books as well as lessons. I would personally love to have a wiki to share with my multiple campuses to use for research lessons. Wikis will help me be able present and share information with not only fellow librarians but also with teachers, students and the principal.

Thing 15 - Library 2.0

I love my profession! Education is constantly changing, but I believe that librarians are some of the few that acutally embrace change and are ready to accept and learn new things. We don't like being in the dark ages we love continually learning and sharing all the new experiences with others, be it teachers, students or parents. I loved it when I read that Librarian 2.0 listens! We listen to the teachers and the students. We understand how to incorporate what is going on in the classroom to learning that will be relevant to students. We also understand that playing around with new technology is the best way to learn it. So many times others don't want to allow that "play" time. But that time to just play with something new and allow ourselves and others to mess up and try again until we get it! We celebrate those attempts that may be looked as failures by others because we know those unsuccessful attempts will turn into success after enough time is given to keep at that new concept / technology. Teachers are much more fearful of those unsuccessful attempts at newer technology than students. It is that fear that keeps many teachers from branching out and making learning relevant to today's students. The only way to become proficient with the ever changing and new technology is to play! So as Librarian 2.0 we get to reach our hand out to teachers and let them know it is alright to not be successful the first few times they try something. Students aren't afraid to try and part of our job is to bring the teacher and student together in their learning and making it relevant to them and to this generation it is with technology!

Thing 14 - Technorati

What a great way to find specific blogs on specific subjects. I liked being able to narrow the search by using tags. This advanced search was very helpful. I found the date and time reference of current post a wonderful asset. This would be helpful and a time saver when looking for newer and relevant posts on a topic.

I wasn't surprised that I didn't follow many of the popular blogs. I always liked the "hole in the wall" type stores and restaurants and I guess blogs are the same way! I couldn't resist and had to search MJ (Michael Jackson). Yes, there were an overload of blogs! There were a little over 141,000 blogs on Michael. I have to admit it was fun! Something I would not have done during the school year! But it is fun to learn about things on a personal / fun level! I will be more likely to remember.

#13 - Tagging

Over the years of having multiple campuses I have simply saved websites to the network at school so I could access them on my different campuses. I became familiar with Delicious a couple of years ago. This last school year I really took a look at this site and realized how helpful this could be to me and also save huge amounts of time. With three campuses last year I didn't even have time to "play" with this site. I am planning on moving everything over to Delicious here in the next few weeks.

I can see where having an account for students / schools to use would be helpful for research or lessons. This is a great way to organize that would save time for me as a librarian, but also for students and teachers! Tagging reminds me of a card catalog for websites!

When I went to Magnolia it was under construction and I couldn't play with it. The Furl came up diigo and that was interesting. However other than Delicious I found Digg to be the most user friendly and the easiest to use. Digg is a tagging site that I can see recommending and sharing with professionals and students.

Thing 12 - Commenting

I really enjoy reading varioius blogs. I find it heps me to broaden my views. However, like many, I am a lurker. I hesitate leaving comments. I think this is because I feel my comments won't be useful or enjoyable to anyone.l I know if I will try to leave short and relevant comments I might actually create a dialogue...wouldn't that be fun!

I have a friend in California who is an avid blogger. He is also an author ready to bloom! I think blogging helps him in his writing. I follower his blog and find it interesting on what he chooses to write about..just about everything from politics, architecture and sports. Even though I have known this friend for years and feel comfortable commenting...I don't. As I continue to follow his blog, I am going to force myself to leave comments and see what happens. I will keep them short and relevant.

I also have a video blog that I follow of a musician/singer. This is quite fun! If you have never heard of Imogene Heap...you need to follow her!

#11 - LibraryThing

This site is awesome and I will be using it. I like the ability to be able to keep a list of books going and be able to access it from my phone when I am at a bookstore! The ability to join an online book club with those that share your interests could be fun! Everyone in your club can share at their convenience! This site will be good to find information on new boks and authors. Readers are given a wonderful opportunity to share comments on the message boards with those that share their interests. This site provides something for all avid readers of all ages!

Thing 10 - Online Image Generator

My kids and I had fun tonight with the comic strip generator. As you can see from what I created above, I had some fun! I liked that this was free and you didn't have to register to use any of these images that you were going to post. I also like ImageChef.com. I think teachers and students will use this. There are many things students and teachers can use fron online image generators to be creative and have fun. Who says students can't have fun with learning. Poetry is always popular in the spring after TAKS. I can see students and teachers being open to using poetry images.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thing 9 - Blog Search

I didn't really find Edublogs very helpful because it seemed to be just a voting on blogs that individuals find useful. Bloglines was intersting to look at, but there were WAY too many results. Although I enjoyed looking through them, I can't imagine having the time during the school year to actually find that much time to browse. If I had the time I think it would take too long to sort through to find something specific to use at school. I can see using this site as a recommendation to those professionals that simply have the time (no children) to just browse and enjoy browsing., I found the Technorati was easy to use and was easy to self direct myself through. This is a blog search I can actually see my using and recommending to my friends and fellow professionals.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thing 8

I love the idea of the RSS and readers! I can see where this will save me so much time. Instead of me going to the blogs....they come to me and at my convenience! I can see where this is going to save me so much time and help me grow professionally. I can see where the RSS and readers can also be enjoyable just for personal interests and followings of those things.

I think for me I need to set up a reader for my personal interests. This way I will keep my personal and professional separate. What I like about the idea of the RSS and readers is that I have one location to go to when the time is right for me! I can see where the idea of creating folders to help me keep things organized will also be helpful. I am also thinking that I should set aside time once or twice a week when I go and take the time to catch up on the blogs that I have subscribed to. In doing this I will devote a specific time to professional growth. Of course doing this for my personal interest blogs will be much easier.

I think sharing the usage of RSS and readers with others at school will also help in their professional growth. It can also be used as a huge time saver. Once teachers have practiced this on their own I think they will be much more open to setting up a classroom blog or grade level blog and then these could easily followed. So much of new technology I feel is getting a comfort level. I believe, at least for me, that once I have achieved that level on a personal basis it is easy for me to share it with others. I think this will be the same for teachers. I know after this summer I will feel comfortable sharing this new tool with fellow educators. I already have an idea of a few teachers that I am going to really work with as soon as school starts. I am hoping that I will then be able to persuade them to try this blogging and google reader as a classroom project. I even think about pulling a few students out of each class at each grade level and starting something myself so the teachers can see how easy it is!!!

I think lifelong learning is all about keeping your mind open to new and different ideas. Not being afraid to try new things and even to mess up is a part of being open minded to new ideas. None of us try without messing up in some particular way. I think as we take these new ideas to our fellow educators and let them know that is okay to feel like they can mess up and it isn't the end of the world. In keeping a sense of humor along with an upbeat spirit, I think I can get many of my fellow professionals to attempt blogging and using google reader to follow blogs.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thing 7 - Google

I already had an igoogle and was using this a little but not to the fullest extent that I could.
I am a librarian for several elementary schools and also work with other librarians in my district. This year we used google documents a little but we had difficulties sometimes opening them up. It could be because we didn't use the email address for sharing. Today I created a document for computer usage at one of my campuses in google documents and then shared it with a fellow elementary librarian in my district. We have also used this for other documents like "Reading Off Your Fine" and Bluebonnet ideas that we have. This makes it very simple to share and we can even make it where we could change the documents to make it a work in progress between the two of us.

I also created a google calendar. Again, I travel campuses...this year it has been three different campuses but next year will only be two campuses! YEAH!! For right now my calendar is very boring with mainly personal stuff but a few school / library items. I can see how this tool can be very valuable to my group of librarians. Most of us travel and have many things on our agenda and it is hard to keep up with. Using the calendar and sharing it with our group will make it much easier to keep up with each other and what we are doing. What is also cool is you can only allow those you share this with to only view certain items....like school not personal.

I also put a couple of pictures in the Picasa Web Album but I'm not sure if others can view them. I'm still going to work on that. Again, this is another great way to share what is going on from campus to campus with others. It would be a great way to share pictures when putting together a district powerpoint or some other type of document or brochure.

I can see how Google will play a much larger role next year with me professionally. I am sure with our growing number of librarians in the district we can use this format to share as well as stay in touch with what each other is doing. Using new formats is just a matter of practice and trial and error. That is one reason why practicing with these different formats and ideas over the summer is a good way to start. At least for me, I don't have all the pressures of the school year and so my frustration level is low and I am enjoying experimenting!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thing 6

Don't know what happened here....I uploaded the wrong picture and I can't seem to get it out!

I loved playing around with the mashups. It was a lot of fun. I can see how this could be used to really get the students interested in being creative. Wouldn't it be fun to use the trading cards for book characters! Students could create them to help promote their favorite books! I can see using the calendar as well especially since I am a traveling librarian. I couldn't get the pictures to upload using Flickr but I will keep playing with it. This is all opening an entire new and fun world!!

Thing 5

I enjoyed looking at the pictures on Flickr. Animal pictures are always some of my favorite. I am a huge dog lover! This picture I though showed a playfulness between two pets. It looked like they were both having fun.

Flickr was easy to browse and look for pictures. Saving a pictures was also very simple. This blog also had simple access to being able to upload the picture that I chose.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thing 3 Setting up a blog

Setting up a blog was easy. Anyone who is not tech savy could easily follow directions to set up a blog and avatar. It is fun being able to choose something fun for your avatar. Doing something like this where very few people actually know you makes it easy to have a fun or even outragous avatar! For those people who don't know you having a fun avatar helps them get an insight to your personality.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thing 2 - Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning allows individuals to stay current in their career and the world around them. It also is a way of connecting to younger generations. Lifelong learning also keeps the mind active and creative juices flowing. Learning new things can also boost self esteem and self reliance. As a librarian lifelong learning will allow me to keep up with those librarians fresh out of school as well as with those students who are already current in many of the new technologies that are up and coming.

In lifelong learning the most difficult thing for me is setting a specific goal. My goals are usually too broad and then I easily get off task. I have to make myself select a specific goal so I am unable to veer off in a different direction or get distracted. The easiest thing for me as a lifelong learner is to teach others. That comes very natural to me. I am an outgoing people type person and enjoy working with other. I am always happy to work with others teaching them and demonstrating new ideas as well as mentoring others.