Sunday, April 24, 2011

Multimedia and Web Design - Reflections

This class was eye opening. I am not sure I am ready for it to end. I have learned quite a bit about HTML code but think I need to play around more. I definitely know more than when we started, but that is where I say I am not ready for it to end. I feel like there is more out there for me to know and learn. I also felt like I learned a lot about creating both audio and video files and how to embed them in sites. Learning about universal design was also very helpful and eye opening. we work so much with the "mainstream" that sometimes we forget the out-layers. I hope to keep this in mind as I work with web pages and tools. I do hope that after this class is over that I will continue to tinker with what I have learned to build on that knowledge and how I can use it to help myself, my students, my fellow teachers, and my school. I can say that HTML is more of a friend than a foe and I hope to still feel this way long into the future.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Internet Safety

Internet Safety is something we need to always keep in the back of our minds, even after we have taught children as the internet is constantly evolving and changing, so what we might need to do to stay safe could change too. While checking what is out there, I found several good sites.
  • Welcome to the Web  is a site that has several teaching lessons, not only about safety but practical tips on how to use the internet. It comes with downloadable worksheet that can accompany the site. I am going to use this to teach a parent class as so many don't know how to search or use the internet.
  • The Virginia Department of Education has created Infinite Learning Lab  which has  videos, quizzes and application questions for several issues that could face our students today.
  •  I also like Childnet. This is a site from The UK that has some short movies that show possible scenarios and how students should respond to them.
  • Another is Whyville is is a "virtual city" where childrne can learn to navigate in safety. You can become a "citizen" of Whyville but have to earn certain rights by showing you know the "laws" for proper internet usage. this site will allow children younger than 13 to register but not without parent permission. There is also a tool that allows parents to keep track of their child in Whyville.
The earlier we start educating students on how to be safe, in the real world and online, the better equipped they will be to handle difficult situations. And if it is an ongoing discussion, I think children will be more likely to ask an adult about things they are unsure.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thing 20 - Screencasts

Ok so I have already posted on this topic, but found to more resources for this when reading blogs and emails today. Originally when doing this assignment, I could not use my school laptop because I did not have the rights to download the Jing app.Well today I found 2 apps that will let you do the same thing without downloading a thing. I have not formally tried them yet but am hoping to tomorrow. they are Screenjelly and Screenr. I f anyone else has used these, I would love to hear how it went.

Ok here is the update. I used today (at school) and it was pretty easy. I am sure having used Jing helped me. Here is what I did for tonight when I am working with parents.

Multimedia project update

I am moving along with my project and chose to put it in a site called 
This is a WebQuest making spot where you can upload the first one free. It will not let me post it until all aspects are complete but it has no limitations on how many resources you can put in it. I do know that if you use a YouTube video, it embeds it so it does not take you out of the WebQuest pages. I have a few more finishing touches and will let you all know the address for the site when I post it. I am having some trouble with the Glogster site so have also listed the option of using the IWB to make the posters, take pictures, and upload them into VoiceThread for the narration. This might be an easier way of seeing if all students contribute to the narration. I will probably use VoiceThread as my children are already familiar with this tool, I will just have to create a page for each group. I hope this works and I have not gotten in over my head.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thing 21 - Slideshare

I was somewhat familiar with SlideShare as we used it last year when developing classes for parents. We offered Saturday School for many of our students and decided to conduct classes for the parents as well. Since we have many Spanish speaking families, we would have parent classes in both English and Spanish. Many of our original ideas would come from SlideShare and we would modify to fit our needs. We would also make the same PowerPoint in Spanish. I looked to see if I had any of these saved and I found just one. I uploaded it to Slideshare and here it is.

I also created another for how to set up a Gmail account since we just did this with parents this year. I wish I had had the PowerPoint then, but we will use it as we get new parents that are interested. I will also try to create one for how to use e-mail to contact your child's teacher but want to check on using images from Google in the presentation.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thing 20- Jing

This was a cool tool with which to play around. I can see multiple uses for this in schools. It is a great way to give step by step instructions without having to be there. Great way to share with absent students or even teachers. It could also be used to send homework assignments or information to parents. I decided to do a demo on Wallwisher. Here it is. Wallwisher on Jing
I hope to play around with this site some more. I am sure as I do I will discover more uses, both personal and professional.
I am going to try to embed it as well. Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.