Sunday, October 25, 2009


My Web Quest is for art history. I want the students to do some investigation into how things were done in the middle ages. What was it like to be an artist in the medieval time period? What materials did the work with and where did they get them? How did they make things? All these questions and more are for the students to investigate and present at the conclusion of the Web Quest. It is entitled How's They Do That?

Here is the URL for the Web Quest. I hope that it works. I had difficulties getting it to link in the sandbox. I hope it is working because I did it twice since the first time it did not save correctly.

web quest html.html

I am not a librarian and did not collaborate with another teacher. I am a classroom teacher (high school art) and decided to do my web quest on something I can immediately do with my students.

week 7 thing #17

The wiki sandbox was not my favorite, I will be honest about it. I guess I am just not really seeing the difference between a sandbox and any other wiki. I went to the classroom connections wiki sandbox and scrolled down through. It seems very disconnected. Aside from everyone in this class posting their webquest, it has a story about cats and dogs. I guess I do not really get the point.

I can see the use of a wiki as a virtual discussion or a place to post links and information you want a group of people to use. It could be for a book club or a gaming group or a bunch of people trying to connect on a specific topic. It could be a way for a class to work collaboratively to write about a topic and post findings so that the group can edit. The classroom uses for a wiki are only bounded by the people in the classroom. It is sad that wikis are absolutely blocked at my school.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

week 7, thing #16

Well, I found with this tool exploration as I have with several others, I can get lost in all the information that is out there. By that I mean, I click on one interesting thing, just to click on another and another and before I know it, I have lost track of where I started and why. There are so many ways that this could be used in the classroom and not just in the library. I can see lots of cool ways to use a wiki as a reading group and never actually have to meet face to face. The Princeton library was a cool example of that. Members posted reviews of books which were organized by category.

I also liked the blog that was done in the school. Anyone could read it but only the teacher and here students could post to it. They kept track of good wikis about technology and made their own wikis about technology. awesome.

The other one that was a hub of articles about all things library was really cool too. I liked that anyone could post. What a powerful tool to have at your fingertips! Why reinvent the wheel all the time, learn from others experiences and modify and adapt to the situation you are in. Do what you are able to do.

All of these wikis strike me on one thing. If say, I wanted to find talk to another librarian to try to start a particular program in my library, lets say a gaming program, but I don't know any other librarians that are currently doing that, what do I do. Find a wiki about it. It provides instant connections with people who you would probably never come across otherwise because it is just regular people putting out what they have done. It is not necessarily "published" but it is none the less available. What an amazing tool!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Week 6, Thing #15

Copyright. What a sticky subject. The video was cute but after a minute or two gave me a headache. I actually closed my eyes and just listened. I know as a teacher, I copy all kinds of stuff for the classroom. I appreciate when I grab things from the web if they have the little disclaimer at the bottom that they may be used for educational purposes though that is not always spelled out.

Creative commons was an interesting video as well. I think it is important for students to understand the idea of sharing and the rights that they have to their own work. They "borrow" stuff all the time and I feel that most of them have very little idea what the term copyright even means. An example would be in my art classroom when a student wants to bring in a logo or a picture of Nemo and make it into a stained glass window. When I try to explain that it is a copyrighted design and they need to make their own version, they think I am crazy. Some really interesting "discussions" have ensued.

I read the five perspctives and the one that struck me the most was from Michael Stevens, "Librarian 2.0 gets content This librarian understands that the future of libraries will be guided by how users access, consume and create content. Content is a conversation as well and librarians should participate. Users will create their own mash ups, remixes and original expressions and should be able to do so at the library or via the library’s resources. This librarian will help users become their own programming director for all of the content available to them."

As a teacher in a public school, not yet a librarian, I think that this idea will be the hardest to sell. In many ways, the educators hands are tied by the "safeguards" that are installed for the students. At my school, which I think is pretty typical, there are so many things that are blocked when using the web, it makes it almost laughable that the school claims it uses technology. We can not use or access any blogs or wikis, there are many companies that are blocked, cell phones are forbidden as are mp3 players or ipods. That pretty much eliminates a great deal of the 2.0 tools that are out there. The entire educational community needs to wrap its head around the ways that kids today function. I feel that schools are on an entirely different operating system from the students. We are becoming a foreign land to them and if we don't start adapting to the tools that they use and the way that they seek and process information, we are going to loose them. This is true for the library, the social studies department, science, English, just about everyone. We need to embrase, not block the 2.0 world and find a way to punish those individuals that abuse the tools, instead of locking everyone out.

Just my two cents worth.

Week6, thing #14

Technorati must be a serious bloggers dream site! It was fun to poke around in the site. I can see how you could get totally lost in the site. I started to get really sidetracked from what I originally was looking for. I did register my blog so I guess I am now official. With the tagging, you can really direct specific users to your site and help to filter out the people who might come across it accidentally.

There are lots of uses you could put this too in a library setting. You can use it to set up a page of useful library informational blogs. Because there are so many ways to track the blogs, almost any teacher could use this tool in their classroom. You could help an English teacher have her students find and track blogs of authors. You could help the art teacher follow the current art scene with blogs on artists or musuem exhibits. I'm pretty sure you could use Technorati in just about any subject area.

Week 6, thing #13

Finally a thing that I have used before! My husband uses and got me into it. He even uses it in his classroom. He has a set of laptops for all the students to work online at once. They are all connected on delicious and when he or one of his students find a good site to use for their porjects they bookmark it on delicious. I don't have a set of laptops in my classroom but I do use delicious for myself. That way I can access the same stuff from home and school.

I have not looked at other sites. I will be adding the RSS feed from the SJLibraries delicious page so I can keep up to date. It was interesting to see which articles were viewed the most and how they were variously tagged by others.

What a powerful resource!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

week 5, thing #12

Here is the URL of my Rollyo:

My list is of sites, mostly museums, that can access medieval art. I am hoping to use this eventually in helping my students find out how medieval art was made.

I had a lot of difficulty with this site. I think that the concept is great but I do not really think that the site is very easy to use because of how long it takes to load anything. Personally, I'd move on and try to find a site that is quicker to use. I just don't have the time to wait for this to load and half the time it doesn't work. I had to try to register twice and then it would not take my sites the first time either. To get to my list, I had to try three times, I kept getting a weird connection message. Hopefully, it will be accessible to those who wish to view/use it.

Just in case, here is the list of sites that are on my rollyo:

week 5, thing #11 - whoops!

I forgot to add the URL for the site, though I think you need to be invited to view it.


Week 5, thing #11

I joined Ning and set up a site for the club that I am hosting at my high school. I was pleased with the way that I could add a lot of personalized information to the new network I had created. I was able to add privacy settings so that only members can view the network. I think this is important to protect the privacy of my students in this area of creepy cyber predators. I was able to add events and photos. I will add the students to the blog. I posted guidlines for the posts by the students and was even able to set it up so that I have to approve new posts before they show up to the rest of the members of the club.

The one thing that was frustrating me is that Ning is using my first name to sign all of my posts and activities and I would prefer to keep it more professional and have them all from "Mrs. Elford" but haven't been able to get that to change. If anyone knows how, please let me know. Thanks. I am looking forward to checking other people's posts to see what 2.0 tools they explored.


Thing #10, week 5

It worked! Sorry guys, my seven year old son chose the photo. I can see a lot of fun coming from this sort of site. I did try several things. I just find it amazing all the cool doo-dads that are out there to play with. I could use this sort of site in my art class to try to get the kids to do some collages with the site. It could be really interesting. I will have to see if this site is blocked at my school. Hopefully not, at least one of these will hopefully be available. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Thing #10, week 5

Trying to upload a photo directly from Image chef, it is not appearing even though I pushed the button to get it here. Hmmm.....