Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thing Number 3

We are currently looking at the use of RSS feeds. This would be an excellent resource for our students. We like the idea of one spot shop without having to hunt down multiple sites.

We could assign each student an account so that they could have access to their favorites and all of their information no matter where they logged in in the building and at home. An issue with using RSS feeds would be what each student would view as appropriate. The definition of "acceptable" varies from student to student and definitely between age levels.

This would be a great tool to link the students to specific online references, rather than having to access each site individually.

We are currently working on iGoogle because we don't have time to try multiple feeds. We also, as a district, are looking at using iGoogle because most students have already set up Google accounts, which they are using for emailing their teachers.

We were overwhelmed with the amount of ways to access RSS feeds. It's hard to choose the best one because of the numbers available and time constraints.

Great sources would be all of the ELM links and the Public Libraries so that students can access these sites from home as well as from school.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thing Number 2

As we begin to reflect on this process, we are finding that it will take more time and effort than previously thought. Not because it is difficult but because we have scheduling issues. We will strive to complete three steps per week.

Our decision to complete this process was based on the need to update our own technology abilities as well as keeping up to date with what the student's are utilizing. When we looked at the list of 23 Things on a stick, we found many items that were completely foreign to us. It amazed us how little we actually utilize technology in our school. Our hope is that after completing this program that we will be able to make better informed decisions about how to utilize current technology for our school.

Primary use of the internet is within the workplace. Internet use such as online reference sources are being taught to our middle school population. We are constantly fighting a battle of Google vs. Educational Reference Sites. This seems to steer many of our current issues with security, blocked websites and filters. We are also seeing the use of email accounts between teachers and students. U-tube is a very frustrating tool which teachers are encouraging students to use. Also Wikis have to be constantly monitored as to their content and reliability.

We feel that Web 2.0 does not exist within the school setting. The hope would be that after completing this program we would be able to present to our Technology Committee the current trends and create a program which would enhance the learning process in our school. Our current comfort level with the term Web 2.0 is very low.

We look forward to being able to decipher what Web 2.0 should look like in a public school setting and what would be the best way to implement this for our school.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Our first blog-2/15/08

We have successfully completed step 1 of 23 things on a stick. It took 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to this point. The directions weren't real explicit and we seemed to be going around in circles from the main website to the blogging website.

A highlight of this process was creating an avatar, but to have to create multiple accounts through Google and Yahoo was frustrating. We still do not have an animated avator posted on our site.

When we tried to access our blog URL, we found that it sent us to another existing URL. We were really confused about this and tried to delete our URL, but were unsuccessful. After many attempts of using the blog site help tool, we were able to finally create a new URL.

There seems to be so much to learn and we are pumped to continue on to step 2. We will strive to complete 1 step per day.
This is terrytana signing off