Friday, May 22, 2009

Thing 17 - Nings and Microblogging

Coming soon! Under construction!!!
My Twitter ID = scottkingnc
My Plurk ID = scottyking

Hey, guess what? I created an Interpreters' Ning at:
I really need to work on it, but I can use it for interpreters that I train everywhere. It is exciting!
Created another one for medical interpreting:

I've started using the Plurk account (, very slowly at first, but I have a few Kansas friends already, thanks to a "shoutout" from Caroline today!

Now, on to the reflections:

* What was your first impression of Classroom 2.0? My first impression was that it was huge (# of members unbelievable) and overwhelming, but as I explored more, I saw that you can narrow down considerably your needs and interests fairly rapidly!
* Was it what you expected? How did it differ from your expectations? Was more than I had imagined was "out there"!
* Did you find any discussions or resources of value? -Well, yes...I just bought an IPod Touch as it came free with the new MacBook I bought, and so I found a discussion about how the IPod Touch could be used in the classroom helpful to orient me to the new "gadget" I have!
* Would you benefit from participating in a Ning related to your professional practices? Yes, I have already started to benefit from joining the ning! I found a great textbook!
* Were you able to find a ning at this site related to what you teach? If so, did you check it out? - Also, here I struck gold! Foreign Language Resources abound! as in this discussion
* How could participating in a social network such as a Ning improve your instructional practices? I created a Ning for a class I teach for UGA. It's for Medical Interpreters. It should aid in the presentation and feedback from these adult learners, and mainly to gleen from their personal expereinces. I want to assign them topics to research and post to the network.
* For those of you who teach older students (middle school and above), would you consider creating a Ning for your classroom? Do you have any ideas for how you could use it? Definitely I can use this for adult learners!!!


* What is your past experience with microblogging and sites like Twitter and Plurk? None whatsoever!
* Given the testimonials above from others who use microblogs as a part of their PLN, could you identify with any of their reasons? Yes, I thought the need for finding quick answers to questions very instant research without all the work!
* Could you see microblogging becoming a component of your PLN? Why or why not? It already has!
* For those of you who teach older students (middle school and above), would you consider using a private microblog community such as Shout'emor Edmodo in your classroom? How could you use it? I hope to start using Edomodo, and have it set up now, and I am exploring it furtther!

Thing 16 - Social Networking and PLNs

What do you all think about the following quote? Apply it to the use of Web 2.0 tools in instruction:
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
-Albert Einstein

Now, on to the task!

* What were your feelings on social networking before you took this course? Were you active in any form of social networking before you took this course? If so, was it personal or professional? I really had no exposure except to Diigo, and that through Caroline here at the PDC, to social networking. I had heard of MySpace, and didn't like what I had heard! I was not active at all in any of this. That certainly changed just before I took the course. Facebook was and is my "Rock of Gibraltar", where I first discovered what this was all about!
* If you've never gotten involved in social networking for professional purposes, had you ever considered using web-based tools as means of networking with other educators before? NO, I had never heard of this except just bits and pieces from people who seemed to be able to do that through "magic" ! Hahaha! I never imagined I could learn how to do the same thing. Now I am realizing just how useful it could have been as a classroom teacher!
* Regarding PLNs (Personal/Professional Learning Networks), what are your initial thoughts about them? I am amazed at them. They seem to take a lot of time, though! How do you decide when to plurk or tweet and when to stay quiet/ Is it considered rude to not tweet or plurk for a few days? My questions are many. But I love the PLN concept. I would have loved to have set up a PLN with Spanish teachers across the world. Wow...such an opportunity to grow your art and style in teaching. Is this what it felt like when they first came out with radio, then TV, then tape recordings, etc.?
* Looking at your own professional practices, do you think building your own PLN could benefit you? Why or why not? I will try. What does it hurt to try? :) I can see that ideas about interpreting, family engagement, and serving at a District-wide level from others doing the same would potentially encourage me a great deal to stay open to new ideas! I don't want to grow stale in my profession!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thing 15 - The Library Thing

I signed up for an account on Library Thing (my username is "scottyking")...but I only listed about three books. I am a boring, boring book reader I suppose. I just don't spend much time in that arena. It varies from season to season, but not an avid reader of anything that is fiction. I prefer to create avatar movies on "xtranormal"!

However, I do see how you can have great assignments on LibraryThing and discover more interesting books about a topic. It looks like it is a very useful tool, and just as soon as the "xtranormal" novelty wears off (plus slideshows and YouTube help videos), I will revisit Librarything! :) Smiles!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thing 5-C Google Reader Discovery

A quote I found that I like:
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will. -George Bernard Shaw

I just discovered a great site with medical animation videos from the University of Pennsylvania that will help with my Medical Spanish Interpreter's class with UGA! It's a Medical Animation Library ...really cool!

Also a hometown video from jamestown school is in it and more...

And, now, another thing that came through my reader. I just created the video below using xtranormal :

You just type in your script (can have two animated people in there if you choose!) and create their actions, facila expressions, etc. You like? I think it's pretty cool! I am already starting to incorporate the idea as a way to enliven my Professional Learning Activity that I am developing for Interpreter Training here at BCS. I will work more on this but so far I have the following:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thing 14 - YouTube and TeacherTube

I have also had a lot of fun exploring YouTube. I had, of course, seen a few YouTube videos before, but I had never really searched for videos. I found a couple of videos of Spanish lessons (some much better than others in terms of quality and methodology), several videos about Quakers that both annoyed and interested me, and the following video on Native American Flute playing (a "how to" video that is to tell you how to make certain grace notes and other notes on a flute...I have about 10 flutes and this is my hobby!):

There is a lot of potential to supplement your lessons here, and also to provide additional remediation in your subject material. Let's say in Spanish class:

I am just amazed that all of that is out there! Of course... I see theses and think to myself (I confess) "I can do better"! So I need to start creating videos in these topics and put them on YouTube I suppose. And I did see that there were a lot of pitfalls to just jumping into searching for videos without filtering! Even words like "Spanish" yielding some bad things at times. I am interested in redaing and seeing what others found!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thing 13 - VoiceThread

This was a very interesting "THING" ! It was my very first exposure to a voicethread, and I love them. Now the first part was the playing with it...I really loved what I would call my typical first response always to each new thing: a "neat", technological sort of awe of creating such a thing and then posting it to a blog or to my wiki.

Then comes reality. Not disillusion, but simply being overwhelmed. I wanted to put a voicethread on everything!

So, I created a voicethread to go on a family blog I created...with some old photographs of family...and my comments about the photos. In checking it, there are some issues with the audio...I am suspecting that it was my home interenet DSL on my laptop which seems to regularly go out briefly and back on. So, I am trying to fix that before posting it.

I am also working on a voicethread to send out for interpreters in the School District and other locations. I will post that here as soon as I have completed it.

In comparing the slideshow options...I just like the idea of being able to make comments in the voicethread option. This seems to fit best for instruction and "distance" training.

By the way, a success story...briefly, I teach a Cont.Ed. class for UGA...I created a wiki for the students which not only gave them a great source of communicating with each other and me, but also served me well when I needed a substitute to come in and teach/guide the class...I wrote all of my lesson plans and activities for the day I would be gone on a page of the wiki (see the link to the left side of the page). This made a hugely positive impression on the Administration of UGA! Hooray!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Help request!

I need help again....can you all tell me how you find it easiest to save an image from Flckr and yet save the title, link, and the credit information for that image in a convenient way. I think Caroline mentioned using that what you all are doing?