Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#DigiFoot12 -- Savvy Searching

I spend most of my time trying to convince students of the need to search smartly and evaluate, evaluate, evaluate ALL the time.  Despite the fact that I front load my student's school year with activities that use their evaluation skills to identify the "joke" Web site, I have to continually remind them as they are searching throughout the year.

I'll be honest, I'm not so sure how much using fake Web sites helps in the end but I also have my favorites that I like to share with kids for a fun activity for a 5th grade library bootcamp, if nothing else.

My absolute favorite is the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.  Google It if you haven't about this amazing cephalopod!!!  It is highly endangered because of habitat loss around the Pacific Northwest.  Since my students live in the Pacific Northwest, we always have at least one kid who admits to seeing one in their back yard.

Using the Tree Octopus Web site with my kids as a joke at the beginning of school gives me the opportunity to establish a code word with kids.  For the rest of their time with me, when I'm looking at a Web site with them that I don't like... I'll ask them if they think that it looks like "tree octopus" information!!!

#DigiFoot12 -- Digital Citizenship

I'm trying to catch up on my #DigiFoot12 MOOC class.  We are starting week 5.  So I'm listening to Scott Monahan's Blackboard Collaborate recording from Week 3 of the #DigiFoot12 class.   Here's the direct link to the activities on the Wikispace.

Here are my two thoughts:
  • I like the idea of having "sheltered spaces" where students can practice their digital citizenship skills, especially when students are young.  I work with 5th and 6th grade students.  I think that if teachers can help students use more open social media outlets in a group or anonymous way.  I liked the idea of having students use Twitter on a class account instead of every student needing their own Twitter account.
  • I like the idea of creating Google Alerts to see in what ways your name is out there.  I started my own Google Alert to see how it works as a way of monitoring my own digital footprint. 
  • Two places that I want to go back to and explore more is linoit.com and Kidblog.com 
  • One person that I want to read more from is Danah Boyd.
  • One book that I want to read is: 
    Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out Mizuko Ito 

Review of Catalist Digital -- New audiobook software for Tablets

Check out my review of Catalist Digital.  Read it on VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

#Digifoot12 -- Twitter for Professional Development -- Do I dare???

I'm the person at my school who is responsible for planning six hours of technology training for the certificated teachers in my building.  This is not an easy task considering the fact that there are many different levels of technology capability.  My one guiding principle is that I never want to waste their time.  I want to give them practical ideas that they feel that they can immediately use in their teaching.

I'm taking a MOOC (Massive Online Open Source Course) this summer and I'm starting to see that this is the way that professional development should be.  Teachers need to be willing to put in the effort to find something that targets what they are interested in or helps them with a deficit in their own teaching.  Part of being in a MOOC is communicating with others and finding ways to be inspired by them.

Kim Gill gave a great presentation how how she uses Twitter in her classroom and also in her own professional development.

I'm debating about whether I take part of my six precious hours of technology training to introduce Twitter as a Professional Development tool to my staff.  The pros are that they would become familiar with another social network that I don't think they give a great deal of credibility to. The con is that they may think that I'm wasting their time with something that they never plan on using.

IF I did decide to make it a part of our professional development time, here's some of the points that I would bring out...

1.  Demonstrating my Twitter account, who I follow, my followers, the hash tags that I often search on.
2. I would talk about my experience tweeting during a conference and during sessions.
3. I would impress upon them the fact that I'm not following twitter every day but when I want to see what other teacher-librarians are thinking about, I search on the #tlchat hash tag or I see what the many teacher-librarians that I follow are tweeting about.
4. I would encourage them to try out creating a Twitter account and look at the #edchat hash tag.
5. I would encourage them to try out some of these other educational hash tags that Cybrary Man has collected.
6. I would also encourage them to think about the many large changes coming to our district including the Common Core and how these National initiatives require us to look outside of our district.  The Common Core hash tag seems to be #ccchat.

If you comment on this message, let me know what you think?  Would you feel good about spending some professional development time learning about Twitter?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

#DigiFoot12 Class -- Week 2 is on Twitter

Last week I started taking an awesome online course that is on "Digital Footprints."  I'm really excited about it because it is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).  This course is FREE and you get into it what you put into it.  And you don't have to go anywhere in order to meet up.  The course is using lots of aspects of social media to meet up, including Twitter, which is this week's focus. 

Here is my new Taxgedo on digital footprints.  I love Taxgedo and am thinking of having students create this digital footprint graphic that represents their digital footprint.


Kim Gill gave her Blackboard presentation.  I was really interested in discovering that she's a special education teacher for 4th, 5th and 6th and she does use Twitter with them! She has a Twitter account for her class and has them tweet from her iPads.  Her families then follow this Twitter account.   This is a good use of Twitter for students under thirteen.

For educational technology professional development, she does follow the #edchat hash tag and also the hash tag for events and conferences like #digifoot12.  

The after presentation Twitter chat included a mention of GroupTweet to make group tweeting easier.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Digital Footprints

Ahhh... summer.  Time for professional development if I can squeeze time away from my four-year-old who is also on break from preschool!  I'm taking part in two virtual courses.  The first started on Thursday and focuses on Digital Footprints.  Since I was not there for the actual Elluminate start of the class, I'm trying to ramp up by reading what everyone else wrote as well as getting access to all of the virtual places where people are meeting and talking.

The second course is on the gameification of the classroom as a part of 3D Game Labs. 

So here's the short list of all the places where this course seems to be taking place. 
  • Student 2.0: This is a learning network where people can follow their personal learning interests.  Check out the badge below.

Visit Student 2.0

 The course has a very large digital footprint as you can see.  

My big fun find is What About Me by Intel. 
 What About Me from Intel This online tool accesses your Facebook account and creates an infographic for you to consider.  It tags the words on your wall and assigns them to different categories.  What I discovered about myself is not surprising.  I use Facebook primarily for keeping connected to family and old friends and mainly share information about my travels with them.  So the infographic shows that 20% of what I talk about is travel (red). 

I could see using this with students who Facebook as a way to start a discussion on what they put out there for their friends to see.