I thought Ning would not be my thing,but as I checked out some of the stuff it is not so bad. I am not that social in real life so I am really bad at social networking. Ning was good because I found groups with many of my interests. There were groups discussing professional on line development, Math and Technology,MS honor committees,Bulling in schools and even how to use you tube in the classroom.(no way) I can see this being used in classrooms especially in social studies with the national election this november. Other than that I seee it more useful to teachers who are not so creative like me throwing out a question and looking for help in the social network. Ning was a good place for a shy,don’t want everyone to know what I don’t know kind of guy tool to get answers.
My google reader has been interesting. The greatest revelation is that I must remain a lifelong learner. Sometimes it is easy or difficult in my position to just deal with the daily struggles of being a principal dealing with teachers, parents and students. I do not know if I am too tired or whether I think I know it all but neither is correct,I need to find time to be a learner everyday. The google reader is a quick way to get up to date new info quickly. A good tool for us sometimes too busy to learn principals.
Is the end in sight? Pageflakes was a cool way to make your own webpage with all your neat stuff in one place. I still like to do big searches but if I ever got really savy on the computer pageflakes would be a good way to quickly inform yourself about your favorites. Pageflakes are better than snow flakes!
Google docs is the topic. David Widener and I just created a google doc that we will use to have teachers sign up for after school study hall duty in the WAMS. I also created a google doc for summer algebra teat results. Hopefully we can use these more in the WAMS when we discuss exam results.
My first you tube experience. I know you tube would say I am a you tube virgin! Everything on you tube somehow become sexual or violent. In my search for school principal, I found principals with sex changes and principals beating up students. When I searched for amish the top viewed video on the topic was the sexy amish. Woow dangerous!! I did enjoy the funny animal videos but other than that it looks like any idiot can put anything on you tube.
Podcasting is a great tool,but I did have a few problems(an hours worth) trying to get my podcast to record properly.
Podcasting very cool. I found some really good stuff with some neat science experiments and some about sports psychology. I think it will be a little more difficult to keep peoples attention podcasting about algebra but I am sure someone more creative than I can get it done. I also liked the foreign language lessons that could be very helpful in trying to learn something new in your spare time like a bus ride. Very neat stuff. It appears one could learn just about anything thru podcasting.
I used my library thing to list all the travel books we have and some I wish we had. We have had a problem with loaning out our travel books to our friends, kids and kids friends and they never seem to come home. Is there a way we can sign out these books like a real library?? Oh well at least they are being used. I also found several books that i would like to purchase and tag them as “I want” so the next time the kids need to get me a gift they know what to get without asking me!! This could also be used as a professional library in the WAMS teacher lounge where we try to keep a professional library.
In checking out all the tools, I am most drawn to letter Pop. I think this could be a useful tool for a couple of reasons. I could see the faculty of the WAMS using this to keep each other informed about ourselves. I miss the days in the WAMS when I knew all of the faculty very well. I know we are all busy and diverse and it is difficult to get us all together, but if each of us did a letter pop about ourselves and our family it may bring us closer together as a faculty. I could also see letter pop being used on parents day to inform parents and make them aware that we are committed faculty but we also have lives. Sharing too much info could be dangerous, but making parents aware can be helpful. I have also played with skype and like the idea of a cheap way to communicate with friends who are separated from us by distance.
I attended the Me Blog-No Way a Voki presentation
This conference was great. It had seven different parts that basically re-enforced all we had learned in this class. it started with old hard head old school teachers like myself who ask why do we need this to learn/ The old way worked in old times. I am suresomewhere back in time a parent told their kid they did not really need to learn how to read. they did not know how to read and they were successful in life!!
They also talked about the excuse of safety. it is our responsibility as educators to help our students navigate these new experiences. The example was given you can’t really teach water safety without getting wet, same with blogs and wikis.
Another excuse is the one I like to use TIME. How will we ever find time to grade and monitor the kids/We as educators must find ways to have students collaborate much like how we grade algebra homework assignments in class.
Copy right rules were also discussed as a fear teachers have, but as we have learned in this class teachers should be modeling for our students proper usage of flickr, creative commons and pod safe music.
Finally we must be careful not to become tooo enthusiastic and jump into all this new stuff. We must keep parents,students, fellow teachers and adm aware fo what we are doing and share as much as possible.
This was a great conference and I did not have to leave the Academy to participate!!