Friday, September 30, 2011

Week 3 of CED535

What did we do this week that you can apply in your school or job and how might you use it?

This week we examined RSS readers, photo sharing, google sites, and twitter. I found all of these resources to be useful for either professional development or student use.

Google Reader - google reader is a RSS aggregator. This means that it collects all of the posts from the blogs that you subscribe to into a single location. This is a huge time saver. Instead of checking numerous websites/blogs, you can just check your google reader. I found this to be a beneficial way of following useful blogs that discuss educational topics. I primarily follow science or educational technology blogs written by quality instructors or professionals. Google reader has allowed me to do more professional reading in the last month than I have done in the last year. It is such as easy way to obtain and filter useful information and I know it will help me grow professionally.

Google Sites - Google sites allow users to create their own webpage and control who has access to it. It is incredibly user friendly. The best part is how easy it is to incorporate any of your goole apps (documents, spreadsheets, forms, etc.). Google sites has removed the fear of creating and managing a webpage. I recently created one for our girls basketball team. It was easy to set up and is a great way to share information. If I didn't use moodle and edmodo, I could see myself utilizing google sites as an easy way to create a class webpage. I can also envision students creating a website to present their research projects instead of a powerpoint. They could then share their knowledge with the world and obtain feedback from others. What a great alternative!

Photo sharing - I created a flickr account a long time ago. I have finally started to utilize it. It is a great way to store, organize, edit, and share your pictures. I can see my students taking pictures/videos of labs or demos and then having them post comments. I believe that they will enjoy this more than doing post lab questions. It also makes students more accountable because their work is public and can be viewed by others.

Twitter - I have continued to utilize twitter as a source of professional development. I have increased the people I am following and I am starting to get updates on some really useful information. It has been another easy way to obtain new resources. I could also see using this as a way to mass communicate with students about information that is relavant to class.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

CED 535 - Week 2

This week we needed to explore twitter, photo sharing, and continue to read about wikis and blogs. The purpose of today's blog is to discuss how we can utilize these resources in the classroom.

Twitter - I have had an account for twitter for over a year. I am excited to actually take the time to utilize it. I originally thought of it as just another way of sharing personal information and I disregarded it because I am not that interested in things like that. Since then, I have been taking technology courses and I have been talking to other teachers within my school. I have realized how useful it can be for professional development. It is a great way to find out what resources are out there and how technology is being used in the classroom. This has given me a purpose to use twitter. I could also use twitter to communicate with my students and parents about class events.

Flickr - I have also had a flickr account for years, but again I have never taken the time to really utilize it. It is a great way to store, organize, and share your personal photos. I am actually planning on utilizing it with our girls basketball program this year. I am hoping to have parents upload photos of their daughters to the site. It is a great way to share and discuss all the great things that these girls do. I can also envision using this within my classroom. I think it would be cool to have students take pictures or videos of labs and post them to our class' group. The students could then post comments about what they learned. I think they will enjoy it more than doing a lab write up.

Blogs and wikis - I had the same sentiment about blogs as I did about twitter. I can now see the advantages of utilizing these resources for professional development. I am also interested in utilizing these resources within my classroom. I hope to have the students create posts about a variety of topics that relate to our course. I want them to post lab write ups, questions/concerns, and updates about what they have learned. Since their work will be shared with others, they are more motivated and the quality of work is higher. It is a great way of obtaining authentic and quality insight about the student's content knowledge, thoughts, and needs. It is an awesome way to collaborate and grow as a class.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Here is a google site that I put together for our south milwaukee girls basketball team.

It was nice to use things we learned such as google sites, google forms, and flickr to make a practical and useful webpage. Hopefully others will find it useful as well

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 1 of CED 535

This was our first week of CED 535 - Facilitating Collaboration through Web 2.0 tools. This week we have to read the first 3 chapters of Blogs, wikis and podcasts. We also need to research bloging websites such as: edmodo, ThinkQuest, 21Classes , Blogger, Wordpress, EduBlogs, CoveritLive, ePals, Blogcheese, Global Teacher / Student, MySpace, Xanga, Friendster , and Posterous.

I have had some experiences with these bloging websites. I have used edmodo, blogger, and posterous. Last year I used edmodo for my classes. It was a really great way to share resources with my students and provide a place for the students to collaborate. I have used, and obviously am using, blogger. I used posterous in a different class and I really liked its ease of use. You simply send an email to posterous and it changes it into a post on your blog. Like all the other blogging resources, it is a great way to share and collaborate. This year I really hope to have my students start blogging about their classroom experiences, specifically labs, and what they learned. It is a great way to reflect about their experiences and allows students to make connections to the material.

This year, I am utilizing moodle. It is far more advanced, and subsequently more complicated to set up and use. Moodle is a Learning Management System (LMS) that allows teachers and students to share resource and take assessments. I am really excited to develop my courses and utilize this to it full potential. It is a great way for students to receive extra help, assess their knowledge/abilities, and share and collaborate.