Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying, unfortunately, is a 21st century problem that is here to stay. I created a VoiceThread that defines cyberbullying, lists the signs, and discusses the actions schools and teachers should take. Also included are two videos dealing with cyberbullying.

http://voicethread.com/new/share/6745528/

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Blabberize!

I recently reviewed and used the Web 2.0 tool, Blabberize. Below are my findings: Ease of Use- Very easy to use. The login is simple. The page is easy to read, and there isn’t a lot going on in the page to cause any confusion. Site Support- There is a FAQ section, but there are not very many questions. Most of the questions deal with bandwidth. There is a place to send email if necessary. Appropriate for what Audience – Any audience. Probably will work best with younger kids because it basically has a mouth moving, which is funny to watch. My first grader was able to easily create his own. Is there an educational version – I found a blog on the Internet saying there was an educational version, but I couldn’t find it. Strengths- Very easy to use, younger students could create easily, and it is fun. You can use cartoon pictures, historical photos, or actual photos. Weaknesses- It’s a talking picture, so finding ways to use it for an entire project may be difficult. I had trouble loading  the website at one point. Ideas for use – Historical speeches, students can create their own to teach the class about a topic (animal, historical person, themselves), Foreign languages, Teachers can blabberize themselves talking to class if a subtitute teacher is in the classroom for the day.

I am choosing Blabberize for a second grade class. The students are learning about Presidents of the United States of America. Each student will choose a President, and study about the President’s life, things he was famous for, and famous speeches made by that President. The student will then find a picture of that President that would be easy to Blabberize. Each picture should have a Creative Commons license attached to the picture. With that picture, student will create a blabber. They can choose to recite a famous speech, list accomplishments made my that President, or even share little know, but interesting, facts about that President. The choice is theirs.

Here is a screencast that I created on how to use Blabberize.

http://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cofXVBeRfK

Here is the finished product of a student who chose Abraham Lincoln as the President, and recited the Gettysburg Address.  

http://blabberize.com/view/id/1269231 

The student was also asked to produce a script using a word processing device.

Indicator 1.1.2 – Grade 2 – Share what is known about a topic, problem, or question

Indicator 1.1.4 – Grade 2 – Select and use appropriate sources, including picture dictionaries, beginning encyclopedias, magazines, maps, and globes, to answer questions.

Indicator 1.1.7 – Grade 2 – Summarize or retell key points.

Indicator 2.1.6 – Grade 2 – Create a product with a beginning, middle, and end.

Indicator 3.1.3 – Grade 2 – Use a variety of ways to present information and main ideas; use oral and written language in a variety of formats.

Indicator 3.1.6 – Grade 2 – Distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable use of technology

Indicator 4.1.8 – Grade 2 – Use technology tools to create and present ideas.

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Library Blogs

It has become almost a necessity for a school library to have a website of some sort, but having a blog is even better. Media Centers have really become the technological center of a school, and to keep up with the newest technologies for education is essential. These three Library Blogs demonstrate what a modern school Library should strive to be, and their blogs are great resources for any teacher or librarian to use as reference.


Mrs. Lodge’s Library

http://www.mrs-lodges-library.com/blog/

Mrs. Lodge’s Library blog has been up and running since January of 2012. Mrs. Lodge is a librarian in an elementary school in Massachusetts, and the purpose of her blog is to invite people from around the world to have an inside look as to what goes on inside her school library. She uses the blog to post information about the many centers she has in her library, and she does an excellent job about giving credit where credit is due. She is an active user of Pinterest, and she has a link to her Pinterest account on the blog. Pinterest is an excellent place to find ideas for media centers, and she is open about many of her ideas coming from it. Mrs. Lodge’s blog is a great place to find ideas to use in your own media center, and she posts about how the teachers, administrators, and students react to the different ideas that she implements. One of her blogs, http://www.mrs-lodges-library.com/2014/08/found-friday-5/#.VRWFRlJ0wdU, goes over a few of the apps she uses in her centers. It is definitely an example of great information that her blog provides.


Life in the Library

https://dborck.wordpress.com/

Denise Borck is the media specialist at William James Middle School in Georgia. She has been in the education field for over 20 years, and she has been a media specialist for 15 years. She loves books and technology, and it is obvious from her blog that she takes her role in the technology field very seriously. I love that her blog is neat, clean, and easy to read, and the information she provides is useful and honest. My favorite portion of her blog are the book reviews.  In my future blog as a media specialist I believe that having book reviews will be essential. I haven’t seen many book reviews from the other blogs I have visited, and it really does make sense to provide students with opinions regarding books. The library was first and foremost the place to gain a love of reading! Here is a link to one of her blog posts about the media center’s book club: https://dborck.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/book-club-receives-the-eighth-day/.


The Unquiet Librarian

https://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com/

The title of this blog, “The Unquiet Librarian” caught my attention right away. Media Centers are no longer the places where everyone must be extremely quiet. They have become technology centers for many schools, and reading isn’t the only thing taking place in a 21st century school library. The Unquiet Librarian is the school librarian for Norcross High School in Georgia. Her blog includes the many activities that her library has, and she is honest about how well each activity works or doesn’t work. Her blog includes cool charts and lesson plans, and she asked for feedback from those librarians who read her blog. This blog, https://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/circuits-curiosity-and-inquiry-physics-and-team-nhs-learning-studio/, is a great example of how active she is with her students, her blogs, and their works, and she even uses video as an extra way of getting her points across.

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Classroom Blogs

Classroom blogs are my favorite blogs! What better way to teach children that their voices matter than to have them share their own creations with the rest of the world. Below are three examples of classroom blogs that I find to be creative, informative, and fun. Included are blogs from an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school.


Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog

~Third graders learning and sharing together~

http://yollisclassblog.blogspot.com/

Mrs. Yollis has been teaching for 28 years. It is obvious from her blog that she understands the importance technology has in the classrooms of today, and she stays up-to-date with blogging, coding, graphics, and any new gizmo available to teachers. She has an excellent YouTube video explaining why she blogs, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWESkdrd_gc#t=149, and she even includes her students. Mrs. Yollis feels that giving her students a worldview is important, and her class even Skypes with classrooms from all around the world. Each student participates in the blog, and contributions include artwork, history, and even blogs about their vacations. Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog is an excellent example of how fun blogging can be for both teachers and students.


Mr. Miller’s Class Blog

http://mrmillersblog.com/

This blog is created by Mr. Miller and his 7th grade World History class at Chalone Peaks Middle School in central California. Mr. Miller posts about topics ranging from Japanese poetry to Medieval English villages. He uses Minecraft in several instances to teach his students, and I found this to be an excellent way to get the attention of his classes. As we all know, Minecraft is huge among kids (and adults), and I loved how he found a way to incorporate this popular video game. He also has students in his class create their own blogs, which he shares on the classroom blog. There is a live tracker on his blog which keeps up with the location of each visitor, and I found this to be a really cool feature. One of his blogs featured him being interviewed by a puppet named Wokka, http://mrmillersblog.com/2014/09/27/mr-miller-meets-wokka/, which was pretty funny. I researched more about Wokka, and found the website http://edupuppets.com/, which is also worth a visit.


Head Outta the Book

Where reading a book is just the beginning

http://deborahharris.edublogs.org/

Miss Harris is a high school English teacher, and she has had this blog since 2010. She created the blog for her to connect with her students and for her students to connect with each other. She posts the assignments for each day, as well as what was done each class period. I like that her students can connect to the blog to find out what they missed if they were out of class or even to just get a reminder of what is expected of them for homework. The students blogs are also shared on the main classroom blog page. Miss Harris updates her blog on a daily basis, and she has her Flickr account connected to the blog as well. This is a great example of a blog that brings the class together, and keeps everyone from the students to the parents in the loop of what is going on day-by-day in her classroom. I like that she also posts personal things in her blog. I think it is a good thing for students to realize that their teachers are people, too. I feel that it is easier to connect to a student once they realize that teachers have faults just like everyone else. This blog post from Miss Harris, http://deborahharris.edublogs.org/2013/07/01/the-teacher-i-try-to-be/, posts a link to a talk that describes what kind of teacher she strives to be.

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And so I begin…

This is just a trial run to see if I am capable of writing a blog (even a tiny one) before gearing up for Assignment 1 of SLM508. Quick facts about me: My name is Sumer Carpenter, I have a seven year old son named Daniel, and I want to be a school librarian. The class for which this blog is to be created is in Learning Technologies, and in just a few short days I have learned an abundant amount about said subject. Exciting times to come!

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