Thursday, June 18, 2009

Google Site versus Plaxo & LinkIn

Of the various sites utilized for portfolios, I preferred the Google Site. While the instructions were not too difficult, I was not able to reorder the pages and had to use many as sub pages to get things into the order I wanted. The site appears more professional. It was easy to edit and had multiple layouts as well as a variety of colors and themes to make the site more attractive.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

LinkIn/Plaxo compared to Facebook/MySpace

Thinking about the types of social media sites we've utilized, I find LinkIn and Plaxo to appear more professional than Facebook/MySpace.  Examples on the sites are more formal, not as casual as Facebook.  Topics seemed more directed, not the casual conversation seen on Facebook.  It is understandable that professionals might use these sites, however, I really don't understand if you are suppose to direct a potential employer to your site, or if employers looking to hire, find people through the site.  If the latter is the case, which I am led to believe, then I really don't understand how they do the search.  I was surprised at the number of people I know who were members of these sites, but I wonder how much they utilize the site or keep it updated.  Just some thoughts . . .

Saturday, June 13, 2009

LinkedIn and Plaxo

Looking over both LinkedIn and Plaxo, I personally preferred LinkedIn.  

On Plaxo, it provides the entire address book for contacts and you have to eliminate those you do not want versus LinkedIn where you select from your address book.

LinkedIn has a number of other applications you can utilize for work related activities and job hunting.  It also includes a poll, slideshare, travel link, google presentation, and others that are linked to your profile so they become more easily accessible.

Neither site gave clear instructions for first time users.  It was a lot of trial and error to complete tasks, especially when you are not familiar with these types of sites.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Revisit Web 2.0 Site

Revisiting the Web 2.0 site, I checked out some other things, however, I still like YouTube the best.  I like the fact that sites are identified as being in the top three with an honorable mention. Saves time looking through pages and pages of things if you search yourself.  I found it interesting to find drink mix recipes, philanthropic organizations, and educational sites all located in one easy to find spot.

Utilizing Photo Sharing Sites

After setting up and utilizing a photo sharing account, I have been thinking about how I would utilize this in my teaching.  I would first experiment with my dance class and as part of what I send home for signature, I would include a consent form to photograph.  With that in hand, the pictures that I take throughout the year could then be stored on the photo share and used for a slideshow for my final Family Showcase in the Spring.  This would allow students and parents to see the year's work.  I might also make it available so students could download pictures of themselves.

After working with it, I would then move to my PE classes and do the final presentation for each of the classes to enjoy seeing and reflecting on the year's work.

Web 2.0 Expands Horizons

Learning about the concept of Web 2.0 has expanded my horizons and made me realize the magnitude of possibilities and the ease with which collaboration can be done, items can be shared, resources can be obtained from a multitude of places, and multiple forms of media can be utilized - audio, video, document, etc.  While I will have to spend more time practicing to more easily be able to utilize all that Web 2.0 has to offer, I will definitely be going beyond what I have done in the past.  I am anxious to utilize some of these skills in my teaching.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Image Generator

 Practicing using the image generator.  Found this on 


I found LibraryThing very interesting, though I doubt I would utilize this site. Of interest to me, however, was that I found that there is a newer edition of a book I use a lot.  Knowing that, I will make a point of purchasing a new one.  Mine is so tattered from years of use. 

Locating a particular edition sometimes took a little time looking through the lists.  Interesting that if you didn't find it in one list, you could check another library listing.  I wish they had this for the CDs I use for class.  I'm always looking for new music, but hard to remember all the CDs I do have.  

I think this would be interesting for language arts classes.  The reading list could be posted and members could not only follow threads of discussion about a book among their classmates, but also from a world of readers.  I'm sure other media could be used for this as well, but looking at the various threads of discussion, it seemed like a different slant.

In our district, reading is a a big part of the district action plan and utilizing this site, students could post books they've read and watch the list grow.  Having an opportunity to interact with others and see how many other books by the same author, etc., could possibly excite them to do more reading.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Online Image Generators

Playing with the online image generators is fun and addicting. I always wondered how these were created when I see them on various sites. Now, I know. This can definitely enhance materials whether online or hard copy.
Catching the attention of students is half the problem sometimes. Utilizing this, you can be creative in your presentation of online work for students.
Among professionals, again, utilizing tools like this can capture their attention.
It did take a little time figuring out how to post. The direct post did not work. I had to drag the image to the desktop. Then , it became figuring out how to get the image to the post. Nonetheless, this is something I will utilize. It's fun knowing how to utilize all these amazing things.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

MAT Analysis & Podcasts

Utilizing the MAT analysis tool was interesting. Not sure when I would be able to use it in the setting I'm in, but should the need arise, it's nice to know that there are tools available to do the job. Jill, Jasmine, and I worked together as the programs would not download on my computer. Only part would download on Jill's, and Jasmine's was the only one that had all the information we needed. But we all experimented with it and noted that none of us came up with the same figures on anything.

On another note, I've been trying to download music to my ipod. Apparently, the computer it was on (PC) doesn't support the nano ipod I have so I could not transfer. Trying to upgrade that program so I can transfer. If that doesn't work, I will have to copy the music to CD's and put it on my computer. I don't want to go that route as I really have a lot of music I've collected for class use.

On a positive note, the podcasts I selected are already in my itunes ready to download. At least I can listen to that during my flight if I don't figure out how to deal with the music issue.

itunes and ipods

Been downloading music onto my ipod and looking for some podcasts. If I have more time when the music finishes, then I want to find an audio book, as well. Anxious to listen to the podcasts and check them out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Podcast Directories

Interesting what appears. I immediately found something that I felt would be great for for a colleague that teaches health. I would like to explore this further and see what else I can find for use in class.

I want to try downloading some podcasts of specific interest to me so I can listen to them while flying. When I head to the States in a couple weeks, the flight will be over 12 hours and I can enjoy more than listening to music and watching the in-flight movies.

The other use I see immediately is to catch up on information listening to podcasts while driving to and from school.

Great tool!


I love this! It took a little time while Jill and I located the embed and figured things out, but once we did that, wow, right there. That is neat and I would love to use this when I have internet access, hopefully when the new school is built. My question is . . . when you pull a YouTube video to your blog, will it play places that restrict YouTube? Can you put it on a thrumbdrive and play it that way? The site is restricted at school and there are so many things I would like to show my dance students.

BYU Summer Ballroom

Libraries of the Future

I can totally see research in libraries utilizing Web 2.0. The ability to collect and share information from multiple sources, as well as, from mutiple media sources, will expand research possibilities and cut down on the amount of time to gather that information. As with all the social networking technologies, I'm sure there will be monitoring of information placed onblogs. Library rules will definitely change.

But, I think libraries in the form most of us know them will still be around. It's hard to curl up on the sofa in front of the fireplace with a good "computer."


Technorati is a great search tool. It would be fantastic for research projects, for self or classes, because you can access a huge number of sites for information and then refine that search by utilizing blogs, and even further with the use of tags.

I think I would find this particularly useful locating and updating information for my classes. But I see this as an excellent tool for students to learn how to narrow down information when researching topics. was interesting. Currently, I have very few sites that I utilize as computer access is very limited at school, especially in PE. However, this site really makes it easy to access sites you use often. Multiple tags make it possible to access the site in varying ways and also allows to see the popularity of a site. Through blogs, you can find out what people like or dislike about it and whether or not it is recommended.

I think this would be especially useful for research by oneself or students. It makes it possible to post sites that you want to explore and do further research. The tags make it easy to gather all the sites together to explore rather than hunting through site after site.

Sharing of the sites could be done for a group or class that is working on various aspects of a single topic.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Never Ending . . .

Spent quite awhile today working on my podcast. My never ending saga . . . At the point of meltdown, I moved to checking out some of the other things we have been doing. In the process, voila', I found the presentation I had tried for practice. It never occurred to me I would find it in my own mailbox. I guess I'm so use to emailing that I expected a place for an address box to appear when I sent it.

The other thing I realized today is that all of these social networks are addictive. This is not something that particularly appeals to me, but I find myself being drawn to the sites to see if anything has been added.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Utilizing Technology in Teaching

After learning and experimenting with several types of technology, I know there are several I would like to incorporate in my classroom preparation or teaching. I definitely will utilize Doc Sharing and many of the things it offers. I love the presentation setup with notes right there with the presentation. I definitely will use this when I work with other educators in professional development or presentations at conferences I attend. The forms, spreadsheets, etc. are handy as well, and the fact that I can send among department members or colleagues in other states for review is great.

I like widgets. I had no clue what they were before, but they can liven up whatever it is you are doing or provide, in my case, quick access to YouTube for something I want students to watch.

What I'm still struggling with, but definitely want to use, is the podcasting. For my students struggling with timing or remembering routines, I can provide the music and cuing for them to use on their own time for practice. My more advanced students can improve their cuing by listening and practicing. My ESL students can be provided with test questions that they could listen to as many times as necessary so that instead of failing exams because their language skills are poor, they could take the time they need to understand what is being asked.

In classes where I have a few students needing specialized testing or a make-up exam, the podcast would be excellent to give the verbal instructions and even questions so that I can focus on the larger group, but still have the few individuals are well taken care of.

While I can bring up YouTube videos, I am anxious to add the video portion to the podcasting. It has a lot of possibilities and while I like for my dance students to aim high, most are no where near that level seen on YouTube, nor does it necessarily focus on what I am trying to teach. However, particular footwork with music and verbal instructions could be shown so that one student having difficulty with a step could go review on his own and repeat and repeat until he has it down. Watching a skill and repeating can be utilized with any activity, not just dance.

Additionally, students can watch themselves and do self-assessments of their skills. Set up a rubric and verbally on the video podcast ask if certain things are occurring.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Google Docs

I just finished trying out a number of different document creations on the Google Docs. That is really something practical that all of us can probably use immediately. I tried out the form. I think if I worked with that some more, I could use it for a committee I'm on. What I really liked was the presentation set up. You can set up the slides for a power point, pull in picture, draw, add text or titles and move them where you'd like. It's easy to use and has a lot of capabilities. And if you are presenting somewhere, you can send the presentation so that should there be any technical difficulties, the presentation is also on another computer as well as your own.

I tried sending my practice form. I'm hoping it went to some of you. Otherwise, it is somewhere out there in cyberspace. I just pulled any picture down to try it out so the bag pipe players really have nothing to do with PE Standards Revision.

The Goggle Reader is Neat!

After posting several RSS feeds onto the Bloglines, I switched to Google Reader.  That is neat!  Wow!  I got carried away when I typed in dance.  So many different possibilities.  And with all the classwork and school, I have hardly kept up with what is going on on-island, let alone the world so now I can easily contact the local paper and television station as well as ABC or FOX and do a little catch up.

I can see the possibility of providing students with particular feeds to information you want them to watch or read after school hours.  

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Neomillennial User

Students have definitely changed as have their expectations and learning styles. Today's youth start at a very young age utilzing technology and the features that keep their interest. They want to be actively involved and can through many of the social networking technologies and they can move at their own pace rather than a pace set for them. The idea of learning by sharing of information with a group through social networking technologies has great potential. This also changes the way we teach and the way lessons are designed.

Once again, student safety is an issue. However, providers are beginning to address these issues and hopefully will provide some of the help we need in education to be able to take advantage of current technological advances.

Social Software

In the Editorial: Examing Social Software in Teacher Education, numerous ideas were mentioned on uses of social software. What I found particularly of interest and concern, if that not only do we research and best practices on how to utilize these technologies, but student safety during their use. For many teachers, keeping up with all the technology or even catching up is is difficult. Students today easily utilize the technology and continue to forge ahead. It can be frustrating whe n sites are blocked at schools, but perhaps that is our window of time to get some of these things in place. And if you learn to utilize the technology well enough then you can screen what you do bring into the classroom.

Examining Social Software in Teacher Education

The editorial, Examining Social Software in Teacher Education, while discussing the use of social networking softwares, indicates that research is needed on how to utilize these technologies for teaching, learning, and social networking while keeping students safe. Students utilize many of these social networking innovations and oftentimes are more saavy than the teachers. As we struggle to stay up to date, or even to try to catch up, students forge ahead. While it is often frustrating to not be able to access various sites at school, perhaps it provides educators a window of time to find ways to safely utilize the technology that is available, teach young people appropriate use of sites, particularly in regard to pictures, vulgarity, and other inappropriate postings. We have to move faster in this area than we are going!
Using Podcasts as Audio Learning Objects brought out some excellent points regarding use in schools and the fact that it has instant application for education. Our reading scores here definitely indicate that it isn't something that students do a lot. Utilizing podcasts can help prevent students from not learning information because they can't read it. And certainly, many people don't want to sit for hours and read information that isn't for enjoyment or their own choice.

Producing educational podcasts definitely goes beyond just talking into the microphone. Interesting, all the variables for assuring that the podcast is able to keep the attention of the listener and assure there is retention. A lot to consider to do it well and assure there is a learning objective and educational value.

Of course, podcasting can have a place in education, but it needs to be utilized properly and as an enhancement to classroom learning.
The History to Go: Why iTeach with iPods was quite interesting. Among the challenges, it was mentioned that a lot of time needed to be spent guiding students through the basics to achieve the outcome desired. I'm sure that is frustrating as I struggle to try to understand what I'm suppose to do with all these new forms of getting and receiving information, but it seems that the positive of that is the change of the classroom environment. If students are spending more time in exchange of information prior to class, then class can go into greater depth in the subject and utilize higher order thinking skills.

Though the group wasn't large, it was interesting to hear that a student listening to herself on the iPod was able to learn better organizational skill for her writing and improve some of her writing problems. I

At a minimum, I believe I could use the iPod to provide kids with music to practice various dances at home. And as my skills at Podcasting become better, I could provide the cues for specific routines with music so that students could practice and more advanced students could improve their ability at cuing dance.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Need to figure out how to use Entourage. Can't send when it pops up.