Friday, July 17, 2009

Thing #11.5 - Whoohoo!!

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I was excited about the free screencast programs but will have to find one that works right for me. Bookr has promise and I hear worked for others so I'll have to revisit. I was just happy to be back in the know even at a low level.
2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
Again, I like that someone else (or several someones) has combed through all that is out there and said these things are worth your time to learn. When there is SO much out there and more every day, it can become to daunting a task and difficult to know where to jump in. This guides the journey though the journey is what you choose.
3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I was surprised at how often things didn't work for me. I also guess I should also be surprised at how it didn't phase me this time around!
4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
Oh, you've got a good thing going as far as the participants are concerned. I know it's a HUGE undertaking for the lifeguards. I do hope that the PR gets ramped up so more people become aware of it and take advantage of this step by step guide.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thing #10 - Virtual World again

I signed my daughter up for JumpStart's Virtual world and then looked over her shoulder as she began. Not enough clear directions so she didn't get to actually dress/change her Jumpee (avatar) as she clicked on the wrong arrow which just took her into the world. It was a little frustrating trying to figure out what to do and sometimes we just didn't but then she landed in something that she was able to do and eventually found a way to change her Jumpee and dress it, make it blond, etc. She spent about 1.5 hours and I'm sure she'd enter again. They definitely would like you to become a member but aren't very public about what that entails and I have yet to click to find out. JumpStart supposedly uses skills to ready kids for preschool and my daughter is approaching 1st grade so it was not difficult once she understood how to move and do what was being asked. This was not a virtual world where she interacted with others.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thing #11 - Digital Citizenship

The question posed was what would you tell students during orientation about digital citizenship. I think it really needs to start before the students arrive. The ISTE documents, NETS-S for students and the NETS-T for teachers are a good starting place for discussion with teachers and administration. We've had schoolwide semester goals for new behavior modification guidelines. Why not pick a few things to accomplish school wide from these? I would consider copying these for each teacher, maybe highlighting some things that they already do so it isn't so daunting. Need to think more but they are good places to start the conversation.

From Cool Cat Teacher's post I would say we need to concentrate on the modeling. Not just showing the website, database, etc, but talking through our search, our decision making process, much like primary teachers talk through, model, the reading of a book and the internal questions a reader poses and answers. I know that too often, due to time restraints, I dash to the site and don't always show them the journey, or the journeys, I took on the way to deciding to use that site.

Validating a source is a hard concept for elementary kids. They think everything they find is real, fact, there for altruistic reasons... I once suggested to a group of third graders that if they are not being honest, (some had already admitted to lying about their age to use My Space and others), others could be dishonest too. The cute 13 year old boy/girl they are chatting with could really be a 52 year old man. Seeing the realization and then horror that slowly crept over their faces was a powerful experience for me. I can only hope it was for them too.

The Digiteen Wiki was also interesting. I thought I could use the Rights and Responsibilities section with the students. Telling them that it was written by students would gain a little interest and then we could discuss statements from it.

A lot of what was discussed as digital citizenship really mirrors much of what happens in SBISD elementary schools during the first weeks. Classes discuss and work on community building, behavior expectations, respect, teamwork and consequences for not adhering to the community's guidelines.

I had a lot of other thoughts as I read through all of the writings. I especially like the notion of explaining that digital footprints don't wash away like footprints in the sand. There is a book, Feathers by Heather Forest that could go along with this idea that once you say or write something, it's out there and you can't take it back.

I think I was supposed to come up with 5 things to talk to the kids about during the beginning of the year. On Educational Origami, the tenets were respect yourself, protect yourself, respect others, protect others, don't steal, honor intellectual property - seems like a good place to start.

So much to think about, so little time...

Thing #10 - Virtual Worlds

#1 - Anything with this many directions is usually something I choose to do without!
#2 - I'm anti-social, in any world.
#3 - If I wanted to fly I'd be a gymnast or a pilot not a librarian.

OK, got that out of my system.

I think it will be like learning to enjoy reading fantasy. The first time I HAD to read one, Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey, I put it down after 2 pages because I didn't want to learn new words, new rules, etc. It takes work. Since I didn't have a choice, I picked it up again later and plowed through it and eventually was able to enjoy it and many more since.

After even more reading of directions (I mentioned I was a librarian...), Cool Cat Whitman instructed that I not go in alone so I won't. In RL, I will teleporting to IAH and I will get SL with a friend. More later. (Photo by Rhaaga - used through Flickr CC)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thing #9 - Slideshare

I first heard about slideshare at a conference a few years ago (or maybe it just feels like years as fast as new things come up!) I was excited to be able to revisit a presentation that went by too fast or too far away, or be able to see a presentaion that I hadn't gone to. authorSTREAM is exciting because the audio goes with it. In slideshare you can see the main points but aren't sure what was said! Anyone doing research or a presentation would be wise to at least search these sites for their topic. I'm not advocating theft but it's always good to get ideas, both pro and con.

Students, and I'm thinking elementary, may not currently find a lot for their use. I think using their slides in a photo story and creating a movie to upload may be better. Now I'll go read what the rest of you thought!