Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tools For Growth

This week we discussed the tools we felt were of benefit to a school media specialist. And I have to admit that I have been enjoying the different types of tools we’ve discussed. Google for example is one of my favorites. I use it for email, documents, chatting with family, locating addresses, my own homepage, reader, etc. There is much users can do with Google apps. Case in point, when flights where cancelled a few months ago to the island of Puerto Rico, (due to volcanic ash from the Island of Montserrat), I was able to use Google Earth and see live footage of the eruption. Google has also helped me communicate and collaborate with my family.
Since my sister has dyslexia, I have always had to proof read her papers and then she makes corrections. We use to have to email the document back and forth, which took forever. Now we use Google Docs and can collaborate at the same time. I insert comments in her work and make suggestions on how to make paragraphs flow better. I underline or highlight things that need to be re-written and she changes them. This tool has really helped me, to help her.
I think I have mentioned this before, but I wasn’t too happy about the requirements of this course when I first read the syllabus. I imagined having to be glued to the computer and using these “headache inducing apps”. However, this has been a great introduction to tools I look forward to continue using both personally and professionally.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Learning While Having Fun

I have to admit that I freaked out when read we had to attend all of these presentations. I knew this week was going to be a long and busy one, and I wondered how I could sit still enough to watch them. But boy what a tremendous amount of valuable information did I learn in these presentations. It was like going to a conference in my pajamas. The combination of listening to the presenters and being in the classrooms during the day brought it all together for me. I kept thinking how advanced our children are today. They can Skype with other students from around the world, take quizzes on the smartboard, use Google docs to collaborate on projects, know how to work cell phones, apps and all kinds of Web 2.0 tools. Just the other day my son created a book project with Photo Story 3. I had never seen that before! And I love techy stuff. It was so amazing. My daughter also collaborated with my son and they created a digital movie out of their own drawings. It was so cool to see the still pictures become animated.
This brings me back to Rachel Boyd’s presentation from New Zealand. What an amazing and fun way to teach a class. The children were engaged and actively participating in the lessons. I didn’t see any of the children sleeping or bored. As a matter of fact they spent much of the time moving.
I hope some day we move away from that “sit in your seat with your hands crossed” attitude. Maybe as we continue to find new Web 2.0 tools for use in the classroom, our children will have more opportunities to become active learners. Like Diego Leal expressed in “Kicking it up a Notch”, we have to learn to “entregar las llaves” to the students. And this literally translates to “handing back the keys”.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stellar Presentations

This week I learned new ways of making my PowerPoint presentations stand out. The element mentioned such as logistics, objectives (overt and covert) and topic management, reminded us of how important details can be. I was grateful for the Effective presentation demo. This is a tool that can go in my reference file. That being said, I wish this type of lesson would've been offered in the LIS505 or 506 courses. Most librarians work with PowerPoint at one point or other,and it would've been nice to have this information earlier in the MLS program. Don't get me wrong, this is valuable information and training, and is helpful to me even though I know how to prepare a PowerPoint presentation. It's just that this information on workshops is so crucial that it should have been taught earlier.
Yet, I am grateful for the insights of Professor Allen and Dan. Their collaborative efforts provided me with new things to think about as I prepare my assignment.