Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tool 5: Web 2.0 - Production (When Is 3.0 Appearing?)

Here's a word cloud I made using Wordle:
I would like to use this as an introductory tool so that students may become familiar with the necessary vocabulary. It's visually engaging and will help them organize new information.

I also made a Google Site that would be a helpful supplement to my SHS faculty page. This way, all of my students with a Gmail account can access class information more easily.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tool 3: Online Video and Image Resources

I visited several of the video hosting/streaming websites that were mentioned.  YouTube  has a plethora of videos though this means there is a lot of junk to sift through before you can find the golden ticket.

As a math teacher I often recommend Khan Academy.  The math videos are usually well done and thorough, however, the videos involving subjects outside of the mathematical world are not nearly as good.  (Sometimes downright bad.)

Copyright and Fair Use.  I must admit nothing was new to me.  I will add, however, that I plan on only using music that was created before 1923.  Public Domain!

Dropbox.  I am not signing up for Dropbox until I am able to better understand what Dropbox plans to do with the data I drop into their laps.  (Isn't it slightly disconcerting that SBISD seems so willing to say: sign up for this, sign up for that, create an account here and there?)

Two videos that might be useful resources in my classroom:

1. Sometimes my students like to doodle when they are bored.  This video gives them some doodling ideas that allows them to take a mathematical journey, too.

2. And to keep the students on their toes and thinking, there's always Schrodinger's Cat.

Tool 2: Building Community Online

I visited at least 5 blogs.

The (at least) 5 that I visited were:

1. dy/dan (Math math.)
2. Always Learning. (though it appears as if she hasn't posted anything new since 2012. Has she stopped learning?)
3. The History Teacher's Attic. (I'm always looking to sneak other disciplines into my math lessons.)
4. Vi Hart (Math to keep you up at night.  Beautiful.)
5. Ms. A's Blog. (Because seriously: walking across the hall to talk to her in person is sometimes too much work.)

My coworkers have wonderful ideas and they are doing effective things I would like to incorporate into my own teaching.  But talking to them can be such a chore and that's where online commenting offers such an advantage (plus in person, we might get distracted and talk about non-educational things like how we're doing, family things, the weather...).  In addition to the seriousness of losing face-to-face contact with coworkers, the advantage of an online learning network is that it is much easier to see and interact with people in Beloit, Wisconsin or Gary, Indiana, or Toledo, Ohio and get ideas from outside our Stratford bubble.

I'm still quite iffy on sharing things online. I am hoping to reduce my online footprint, but it is getting harder and harder to do so.  Is this something I will have to deal with or is there a better way to share information with other people without opening it up to the entire world?  (I suppose I could walk the halls of my school and talk to people.)

I commented (in person and online, too) to Ms. Argeroplos about a website she came across.  Padlet.  It looks so much more user friendly than the Stratford teacher web pages.  I plan on visiting it some more.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tool 1: Experience To Date

Setting up the blog was easy.  I am a little troubled because the video said I would need to agree to terms and conditions, but didn't mention actually reading the terms and conditions.  As it turned out, I didn't have to click a box and agree to anything... the blog was simply created.  So that leads to: what are the terms and conditions of having a blog through Blogspot (read: Google)?  What have I agreed to?  Has anyone at SBISD taken a good look at Google's terms and conditions?

Google made the claim years ago that they would "do no evil" but I am a bit concerned we seem to have jumped on board the Google ship without examining what they are going to do with all of the information we're providing them.


(I'm not entirely up for creating an Avatar even though the directions demand that I do so.)


Challenges: Since websites change, YouTube videos of how to do something on a website may quickly become outdated.