Monday, December 8, 2014

Thing 7:Infographics

I obviously need to spend more time exploring this site. I found it a bit difficult to figure out. I think it is a very cool idea, and it is great to know this resource is out there. I think it would be used more in high school. I am not sure how my grade five students would use it, or if they would even understand how to. You need to have specific numbers. My graph went wonky when I added my information. My map also changed drastically after I added my cities to it. It is a nice way to show information though. Now that I am aware of it, I am noticing other infographics and how they are used.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thing 6: Evernote and Pocket

I explored a bit with Pocket, because is was one of the Chrome extensions I downloaded. I haven't used it since. I mentioned in my earlier post that I didn't see a difference between it and bookmarking. On further reading about it, I realize it is for things you don't want to save forever. That makes sense, because you could end up saving a zillion websites.

I had fun with Everclear. Not sure how I would use it in the classroom, but I can see the potential in my personal life. I think the students could use it to be more organized in their personal life as well.

I can't tell you how much I love my iphone. I took the Franklin Planner training, years ago and I could never stick with it. I just don't want to carry a gigantic planner around. When I had shopping lists I often kept on post-it notes, but I always lost them. One time I was driving with directions on a post-it stuck to the middle of my steering wheel when it got sucked out the window. Being a person with self-diagnosed ADD, having an iphone has help me be the organized person I have always dreamed on being. My calendar is always filled out, my shopping list in always in my phone, I can email reminders to myself. Technology has been awesome for me.

I want to play around more with Everclear and see if I would use it daily. I see similarities between it and Pinterest (maybe I am wrong). There are just so many different apps out there, I am getting confused.

Thing 5: Screen-O-Matic

I liked Screen-O-Matic, because it helped me realize a life long be a Brandy bunch member! I found it easy to use, but had some trouble. I wanted my video to be in the middle of the family. I received a pop-up message that said the video box was too large and overlapping, so it was going to keep it hidden. I couldn't figure out how to make it smaller and I couldn't figure out how to move it. If I had spent more time on it I probably could have figured it out, but had already spent an hour. I love the tools I am learning, but find the time that it takes to figure them out, and how to incorporate them into a lesson is daunting. I know if I practiced more it would get easier.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thing 3: Mind Maps

Oh my goodnesss! When I think of all the time it took me to finish this thing. I am not sure why I got stuck on this one, but I am so glad it is completed. I don't want to be a luddite, but when I think of how much faster this would have gone had I just used paper and pencil and made a brain frame. Ok, let me get to the job of discussing how I liked each one, because there were pros and cons to each. 

Mindmup: The layout is much more simple to use after you figure out what the heck parents, children, and siblings have to do with creating a mindmap. I got stuck on this. My idea of how family trees work seems to differ from the creators at Mindmup. With some experimenting I was eventually able to create a simple map.

Lucidchart: I attempted to use the online demo first, so I didn't have to sign up. The company actually gave me some directions to get started, which I appreciated. Unfortunately when I hit my mouse in the "wrong" way my mindmap disappeared and weird numbers showed up on the screen. This happened twice until I signed up and then it worked...well played, Lucidchart! Overall, I think the students would enjoy using these tools and I am sure they could figure it out much faster than me. I could see using it in writing for preplanning.

I commented on Courtney and Pao's blog.

mind mapping software

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thing 2: Chrome Apps and Extensions

I wasn't aware of Chrome Apps and Extensions, so I had a lot of fun perusing through the different choices. Apps I downloaded are Sumo Paint, DOGOnews, and Stupeflix Video Maker.

I thought Sumo Paint was more of an app to add things to photos, but it was just a drawing and painting app. I remember playing with this type of thing when computers were relatively new. I was disappointed and will not use it, because all I can ever figure out is how to make spray paint circles.

I was excited to find DOGOnews. I couldn't wait to have nonfiction pieces on hand to use for lessons. At first I had trouble finding the articles. The website had a section where kids recommend books, a calendar to keep track of things (not sure why I need another one), and a way to save other favorite websites. I started to get confused and think there were no articles, but the articles are imbedded within the lesson plans. Once I found that, I knew I would be able to use the app in my class. It is great to have interesting, well written articles at my fingertips, as opposed to searching the web every time I need a nonfiction piece. I will use this with my nonfiction, persuasion, and biography units.

The next app was Stupeflix Video Maker. I was hoping for another way to make videos beside iMovie, and I was correct, except they wanted money for an upgrade. I was also given an HD pass to get a plan to make and download as many videos as I wanted. I wasn't sure what any of this meant, so I am sticking with iMovie for the time being.

The extensions I downloaded are Google Voice Search, Pocket, and Strict Workflow.

Google Voice Search is kind of mind-boggling for me. I realize people use Suri, but I am not there yet. My friend swears that keyboards will be a thing of the past soon, so I thought I should prepare myself. I liked it and could see myself using it, but I still had to click on the microphone to get it to work. I will be sad when keyboards are gone, but maybe it will be nice to not get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Pocket is a website that saves your favorite websites. Not sure how this is different from book marking. I guess the difference is Pocket saves web articles, so you can read them later. A cute little icon showed up on my page and I click it when I want to save something. Not sure yet, if I will find it useful.

The last extension is Strict Workflow. The idea of something make me work more productively sounded appealing. You click the tomato icon on your page and it won't let you on certain websites for 25 minutes, then you get a 5 minute break. The bad thing was you have to disable the entire extension if you wanted to stop the time and start over. I just wanted to test it, and got locked out of certain sites for 25 minutes. Some sites are already blocked during school hours, so I will have to add different ones. I thought is was an interesting idea, and wanted to try it out, but I am not sure if I want to use it regularly.

Well, those are my findings on a few apps and extensions so far. I have so many new icons and passwords that I feel my head might burst. There are many cool apps out there, but several of them wanted money to upgrade. I can see that being a drawback. Now, I wonder what else I can find...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thing 1 - Book Talk using Voicethread

Here is a book talk or recommendation on one of my favorite books. We do books talks as a class once a week. Students are up on all the latest literature and share great ideas with one another. 

I enjoyed learning about this site and could see many potential uses. It would be great for students who are not present that day. It took me awhile to figure out, but I should be able to go faster next time. I found the directions on embedding were not easy to follow. I found a video on Youtube that explained it better than the website did.  Better Directions

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hello World

Hi, My name is Holly Elwell. I teach 5th grade English and Social Studies here at ISM.

What I don't like about technology is the lack of it. Having to share laptops means a mad rush to add your name to the calendar. It means teachers being irritated with one another when they can't get access to computers. I also don't like how fast technology is moving and how I feel left behind. I enjoy many aspects of technology. I love having an iPhone, iPad, etc. For the first time in my life I am able to keep and use a calendar, because I can carry it around in my pocket. I love looking for new apps. I love learning new things and realizing it wasn't that hard after all, I just needed to demystify it. This is such an exciting time to be a teacher, but I don't want to use technology just for the sake of it. 

My favorite place in the Philippines is Malapascua.

Here is to lots of new learning!