My thoughts on Flickr and Picasa.

Dear EST430,

To sign up to Flickr you need to be a Yahoo user. I already have three emails (work, personal and uni) and I was not inclined to create another so Flickr got missed and I moved onto Picasa.

Picasa is a wonderful program. I have had a lot of fun playing with photos, especially my wedding photos. Firstly download Picasa for free and then with one click and all of your images are uploaded. Picasa allows you to edit and get creative with your photos and images.

The collage function is fantastic. I had a great time playing and creating. I have been meaning to get some more of my wedding photos printed and this program has given me the tool to make my photos extra special. This program is just what I needed and I love using it.

In the classroom you could easily have the students manipulating their own and other images. The collage function would be great for classroom presentations and displays with kids work and school excursions.

 

Erin Z

Our Wedding Day - Collage using Picasa

My thoughts on Photo Story 3

Dear Est430,

Photo Story 3 is free to download and is a lot of fun. What kid or even big kid wouldn’t like this software? The program has you upload your images, order them and then narrate or add music to create your movie. Great way to publish student’s narratives or other writing formats such as procedures. Photo Story does include a variety of editing tools but I personally found it easier to edit my images using Windows Live Photo Gallery, which I already have on my computer. Overall, Photo story 3 is easy to download as well being easy to use. The positives are, easy to use with simple processes to create a great movie. The negatives would be that the screen you work in is very small and that the maximum movie length is five minutes.

See the blog below to watch my Photo Story movie named Hattie and the Fox.

Erin Z

My thoughts on Audacity

My thoughts on Audacity podcast

Dear EST430,

Audacity a simple downloadable software tool that can be used to create sound files by recording your voice or sounds around you. Perhaps a little more complex than the very simple recording device found on most computers.

What Audacity allows the user to do is – record, edit and manipulate its recordings. You can edit your recording by selecting and cutting out sound. You can rearrange by cutting and pasting elsewhere along the time line.  The program is easy and free to download onto any computer. It took less than 2 minutes from hitting the download button to actually recording. The software is visually basic and easy to use. Students from any grade would be able to use the technology. Students would most likely find this to be a fun an exciting tool to use.

Ways of using Audacity in the classroom vary. Some ideas I have come up with are:

  1. Students can record audio responses to a text or activity which can then be uploaded to class’s wiki or alike.
  2. A teacher can post an audio task to complete.
  3. Similar to a listening post, students read along to a book which has been recorded.
  4. You could use a recording the test students listens and comprehension skills.

I like the program but much prefer Garage Band.

 

PS. Read along audio file to follow.

 

Erin Z

More on Edmodo

Dear EST430.

The more I use Edmodo the more I like it, this is probably because I am finding it easier to use thus am finding more and more fun things to use.

In the classroom the calendar and grades function is something that could be easily implemented. The calendar is great for students to follow homework, out of class tasks and upcoming excursion or incursions. Students can access this at home or anywhere that they have internet access. Meaning that not only students but parents can follow what their child is currently doing for homework and at school. The grading system can be used for homework and projects students complete online on Edmodo. No excuse they forgot their homework. However, to be able to do this in our classrooms students must be able to have internet access at home. Furthermore, they need to be allowed to use the internet and for certain amounts of time. Not all families are the same and have the same internet access and rules. As teachers we have to consider these and any other possibilities. Perhaps students need time at school to be able access Edmodo to complete online tasks. Just a thought. However, nonetheless Edmodo is a great learning tool that can be used within the classroom as well as out. I am already planning how I will use it in the future.

 

Erin Z

My thoughts on Diigo!!!

Dear EST430,

I love Diigo! Where was Diigo when I started this degree in 2007? Previously I did a lot of these functions but by printing and highlighting etc by hand.  I love this easy to use and paperless tool. When writing a report or essay quotes and pieces of information I want to use is right there and highlighted for to easily find. No more going through endless paper copy text books and hand written notes when writing and referencing.  Furthermore, this can be used for my own professional development. Like Google Reader I can save information but here I can highlight and save certain paragraphs.

In a school setting, I would like to use Diigo in the same way that the teacher in the film has. I think for researching it is a fantastic tool for students to use. They can search, save and come straight back to the information when they need it for their task or project. Because the Diigo page is shared as a class you have already created a list of information and ideas to help prompt others. This would usually be done on the whiteboard as whole class brainstorming prior to task. I would not use Diigo to eliminate that whole class time but as another tool for brainstorming.

The film can be found here http://2011est430.wikispaces.com/Even+More+Diigo

 

Erin Z

My thoughts on Google Reader

 

Dear EST430,

What doesn’t Google do? Google Reader helps the user follow blogs, articles and other information resources. It can keep track of what you have and haven’t read. As well as share what you have found helpful or interesting and you can follow people of interest. As a future teacher, Google Reader allows me to keep up to date with current theories and teaching practices. My favourite aspect of Google Reader would be the automatic updating of the blogs that I am following. It saves time searching as well as eliminating the possibly of me reading the same thing more than once. The trends tool is a little bit cool. Here you can see what you have read most, shared or rated. It is an easy read format with percentage and graphs.

Erin Z

My thoughts on Edublogs !

Dear EST430,

As a class we then moved onto Edublogs, where you will find this blog. Perhaps like Edmodo at the start I am also finding this a bit tricky but I am sure I will get into the swing of things shortly.

Ok so after half an hour or so of play I have come across a couple of things that I have found cool on Edublogs. Background feature, which is primarily for decorating but I used it to showcase students’ work. Secondly, you can add links to your dashboard. This helps you follow other bloggers. Similarly to Google Reader but I can keep it in the one place and I don’t have to go from page to page.

I have never been much of a blogger, I have a Facebook and have used a travel website to write about my travels, which I suppose is blogging in a sense. I can’t remember the name of the resource but I used it when I went to Europe for 6 months, my friends and family could follow me and see photos and my entries as I went. It saved writing emails. I am not sure if I would blog in the future. Maybe ask me after this unit.

What I do like about the concept of blogs and Edublogs is its capability of sharing. It appears that I am using the word sharing a lot in my blogs. I think it would be a great way to share teaching ideas and lessons. In a previous blog I wrote a short description of an activity I have done in the past. I felt good sharing and hopefully people like the idea and try in their classroom. I really hope people share their ideas too.

Erin Z