Evidence of Learning
Just another WordPress.com weblog

Aug
01

I’m a bit late getting to this, but my favourite podcasts are:

The One Minute How To – where individuals come on to the show, which is only about 2 -4 minutes long, and they tell you how to do something that they know very well, in one minute. The diversity of topics is up to the individuals, and I really like how the “how tos” have incredible variety.

I also like Just Vocabulary, because I use it with my classes, and they love it too! I stop it after they give the word context, and let the kids guess. It gives them great practice in using the sentence to help them determine the meaning.

I really like CNN Student News, and have watched it for years, way before it became a video cast.

Lastly, I like Tech Chick Tips, and The Tech Teachers.

Jul
31

This is almost embarassing to admit, but what the heck – here goes!

I’ve been a podcast listener for a long time now so I was pretty relaxed about our third assignment.

BUT… it has been a LONG time since I bothered to check out the podcast listings on iTunes, and there has been such an explosion of offerings that I felt like I was in a warehouse when previously I was in a corner store! So, the good news is that I’ve discovered some new podcasts that I need to follow, and the bad news is that I’ve discovered some new podcasts that I need to follow! No… that’s not a mistake. I know it says the same thing, but I know those of you who listen to podcasts can understand what I’m saying.

As to how a library could use podcasts… obviously there’s some great content for listening and viewing, but more importantly, I think it would be cool to create your own content.

I’ve used Audacity and had kids create mP3 files that we burn to a CD and play over the PA during announcements, but it would be neat for students to know they potentially had a much bigger audience.

My explorations recently led me to discover gCast, which allows you to record a podcast using any kind of phone, and I fiddled around with that until I got it to work. I’m already thinking of some kind of “on the spot” reporting that the kids could do. I have visions of student reporters armed with a cell phone interviewing kids as they exited the library after an author visit. It would be great PR to post their responses on the school web site.

Alan November at his site, http://novemberlearning.com/ in a section called Community How-Tos has a GREAT pdf explaining exactly how to use gCast. He suggested how neat it would be to use it while kids were out on a field trip. If the parental group leaders had a cell phone, then periodically, the kids could be required to report what they were doing and what they were seeing.

The other reason I’m excited about gCast is because this year we purchased five $40 USB microphones because the cheap dollar store mics were not working with our computers. The front microphone jack is defective in the computers our school board purchased, and the microphone wires were not long enough to reach the back jack…. Anyway… of the five microphones only two survived the school year because kids disconnected them without properly ejecting them… So the exciting thing is that this would help decrease the need to have expensive microphones – most people have telephones. Wahoo!

I'd rather learn than sleep!

My learning curve is so steep lately, it’s a right angle!

I’d rather learn than sleep!

Ciao,

Janice

Jul
29

“Magic is just technology that someone understands”

I don’t know where I read or heard that quote, but I can’t help but feel it sums up perfectly my thoughts. I am awestruck by some of the technological things I’m experiencing lately. I’m not talking just about the blog and the RSS that we’ve been using… I’m talking about other things I’ve been experimenting with such as creating a Playlist that will start automatically on my blog or being able to take a survey using cellphones and have the results appear on a web page, updating live as people vote, or using a plain old ordinary phone to create a podcast. (I haven’t quite been able to make that one work, but I’m hoping I’ll get the kinks ironed out soon.)

My point is that, to someone like me, who doesn’t understand the coding behind what I’m doing, or even the mechanics of how why it works, most of this stuff really does appear to be magic! I’m just so enchanted by technological wizardry that sometimes I feel like I’ve been dropped into a magic world. (Mind you, I’m still amazed by the concept of radio, and the fact that sound waves can travel through the air and not get disrupted by birds or blocked by buildings!)

My son, who is seventeen, doesn’t feel my amazement. He can’t remember a time without text messaging, and iPods etc. because by the time he became interested in such things (a teenageer) they were already in place. I ALMOST feel a bit sad for him. When I was trying to describe the process of creating a MIXED tape, which we used to do for special occasions, I could see that he was struggling with the concept, and he said, “It’s a lot easier just to create a playlist and hook your iPod to some speakers.”

Yes… it is. Easier and therefore, for me at least, so much more magical!

I’m dating myself, but click on this link http://tinysong.com/18Ft , and then choose Play Song from the right hand side IF the song doesn’t start right away. It will sum up my feelings.

Janice in Wonderland

Jul
27

Since it was suggested that we reflect in writing on these tools we are using, I’ll continue to try to do that here. I’ve persisted with Netvibes even though I use a different aggregator, and decided that I’d use the Netvibe one to gather the Learning Altogether Blogs of the people who sounded interesting. I’m really enjoying reading people’s posts so I’m glad I stuck with it. 

The other thing that occured to me is the entire issue of logins and passwords! As we use more and more tools, it becomes necessary to have more and more passwords and logins. I keep an addresss book JUST to record all my passwords. I now enter the site title as the last name, and then I record all my information. I know that pundits suggest you not write down passwords etc. but I’m at the age where if I don’t write it all somewhere, I’m not going to remember it later!

Jul
26

I’m finding Netvibes a bit overwhelming, and feel like I have a much better understanding of Google Reader, however, to be fair, I think one of the reasons is because when I used Google Reader, I only brought in a few feeds, and on the Net Vibes site, I’m seeing more than 50 peoples blogs. I wanted to be able to read what everyone was saying, but I wasn’t able to do that – there are just too many! I will persist in learning however.

Jul
26

I JUST looked at the clock!!!! It’s 5:22 A.M. I was so engaged in fooling around with a new blog creator (I usually just use  iWeb on my Mac) that I completely lost track of time. Talk about flow… 

There’s almost no point in going to bed now. I have to be up at eight, and 2.5 hours of sleep is almost worse than no sleep at all! Wish I could say this is the first time this has ever happened to me, but it’s not! It has happened LOTS of times. I love summer when we’re supposedly all not doing anything! (“You teachers – having the whole summer off”) Really, it has always been the time that I learn the most! 

Okay – night all… or I guess I should say … morning!

Jul
26

I’m not new to RSS; have been using it for a while now, but I really liked the look of Netvibes, and intend to pursue some mastery of it. The main reason I found it attractive is because I subscribe to several different kinds of feeds; librarian stuff, leadership stuff, book advisory stuff, etc. and I liked the suggestion that I could set up tabs to sort the feeds. Initially I used Google Reader, but then when I got my new computer the RSS feeds were set up within the mail program, and I’ve been using that instead of Google reader.

Jul
26

I was having trouble getting my blog to show up, so I decided to try creating one using WordPress to see if that worked more easily. 

I‘m a late joiner to this Learning Web 2.0 Together group, but I’m still excited to be here. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know which sounds depressing, but isn’t meant to be! Looking forward to learning! 

Ciao