Monday, September 28, 2009

FYI Google notebook

Never having used Google notebook I thought I would give it a try...

Google recently stopped development on Notebook, which means it's no longer open to sign-ups by new users or being improved.

I would be interested in a short tutorial on how to use online note taking (being quite old-fashioned and loving my paper and pencil...)

Search Methods

When I think of doing research online I get overwhelmed...and that worries me a bit because if I want to teach my kids how to navigate the web to find accurate information in an efficient way I need to be able to do that myself!!

In chapter 2 Beach describes some of the difficulties that arise when searching online - one of which is getting overwhelmed with the amount of hits one gets when using a search engine like Google or Yahoo. This made me think of the new Bing commercials I have seen on tv lately. I love how they show people having an "oral" search overload (like this link of a pregnant woman overloading on hits about what you can and can't eat when pregnant). It's funny because IT'S TRUE!!

And now I'm sad because I think I deleted by reflection relating the search methods to my fourth grade class...!!!

Summary: I think I wrote about kids trying to search out information online pertaining to Minnesota. It has been hard to find sites that are kid-friendly with relevant, factual information. If I have trouble searching for information online how can I help my students research effectively and efficiently?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blogging experience

Blogging experience...what is blogging?? Just kidding, but that about sums up my blogging experience!

I have followed blogs of friends. My best friend Trisha taught abroad in Ireland a few years ago and kept a blog to keep us all updated. I wish blogging had been around (or I had known about it!) when I studied abroad in 2000. It would have been way easier to keep a blog then to try to email individuals to describe my experiences.

I also have friends (Mary and Dan) with a 13-month old daughter who keep a blog. Their family lives near by but they post photos from trips they have taken or funny updates about their daughter.

For my class project I plan to create a personal blog about my "journey" being pregnant. My mom keeps asking me to send her pictures of how far along I am and I think it might be fun to look back at the process.

I plan to have my blog resemble Mary's blog about her daughter, Anya. (Click on Anya to see the blog). Mary updates it with pictures and funny stories. If you scroll down to the bottom there is a hilarious picture of Anya looking like Wolverine!

Blogging in the classroom:
I am definitely interested in blogging in the classroom I just don't have a good idea of what that should/could/would look like. I also am concerned about my students doing it in a second language. The most authentic audience would be their pen pals in France but I worry about students taking enough time/having the right process to help them write a blog (or other digital venue) that is well written.

I'd definitely be interested in hearing what second language/ELL teachers do with their students.

In the article "HOT Blogging" by Zawilinski (this week's primary reading) it references a "Showcase Blog" used in second language classrooms to practice English. However, when I went to the site it first asked for a password, but did let me in. Honesntly I wasn't too impressed with the site and didn't find it to "showcase" the students' work. There are activities/quizzes but I guess I was looking more for a portfolio type of blog.

Monday, September 14, 2009

1st blog

What I want to learn to do with digital writing...

As a writer I would like to:
  • easily connect with family and colleagues to share ideas/life
  • learn more about myself (I've never really been a journal person)
As a teacher of writing I would like to:
  • learn authentic ways to use it (for myself and students). I don't just want it to be an extra "task".
  • incorporate digital writing into my curriculum - in a meaningful way
  • learn ways to work the writing process into digital writing
Resource Link:
This article is about a 4th grade teacher who created digital comics with his students.