Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Chapter 5 of Connected Educator

This week we went over Chapter 5 in the Connected Educator. The chapter went over several topics relating to Documenting,Connecting, Micro blogs, Social Networking, and learning in the classroom.

There are many tools that can be used for documenting and archiving things that you find if the internet. On the World Wide Web today there are over fifteen billion webpages and everyday more and more webpages are added. Organizing and archiving this sites not only mark the ones your interested in but, cuts down amount of information you have to go through. One website that is helpful for this is Delicious. What Delicious does is store any website that you bookmarked or tagged in a single place. You are able to set tags within your Delicious account. Tagging the websites like this makes it easier to find the information you want. Also on Delicious you can search any tag that might be found on the website. With searching a tag you can find  more information on the topic you are looking into.

One way you come connect with other people to help build your Personal Learning Network (PLN) is blogging. Blogs which is short for weblog are websites that have journal-like entries that are continually being updated. Blogs are places where ideas, information, and experiences can be shared and talked about. These discussions are a great way to grow your PLN. More and more blogs are being created everyday on popular websites like this oneWordPress and Tumblr.

One of the more popular micro blogging websites is twitter. Twitter is a great places to share ideas among other things with other professionals and friend along. Another website for Micro blogging are Wikis. Wikis are websites where groups of people can come together and work to bring thoughts about a certain topic to the same website. A great example of this is Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a online encyclopedia that anybody can add information to. Thousands of people have volunteered information for the website to help it grow.

Two websites that can be used for both Social Networking and Learning in the Classroom are Classroom 2.0 and TeacherTube. The first website being Classroom 2.0 is a site for educators to share their ideas with each other. The website has over fifty thousand members so, it is never hard to find someone to share your thoughts with. Along with ideas being being thrown around discussions about those topics are going on as well. So, this website is a great place to help expand your PLN with other educators if you happen to be one yourself. The next website is TeacherTube. TeacherTube is just like YouTube but made just for educators. It is a place where educational videos can be shared among teachers. Making it easy for educators to find videos that can be shown to their students or videos that can be used to better themselves. 



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chrome Extensions

Extensions for Google Chrome are all pretty cool. I have been using Chrome for years now however, I had never gotten that deep into extensions. I never noticed them and thought about using them. They were just another thing I did not know about Chrome. For example, in the interview we had with both David Malone and Meredith Martin we talked about some cool Chrome extensions like Too Long  Didn't Read (TLDR), Snagit, OneTab, and Extensity. TLDR lets you condense longer articles into smaller and easier to read articles. When I don't have time to read a lengthy article about whatever topic I'm looking at, I normally just skim through it and miss most of what the article is talking about. Since I downloaded TLDR I've been getting the best of both worlds. I get my short article without me having to miss a beat. Snagit allows you to take a screen shot of anything on a website and lets you share it with others. OneTab brings all of your open tabs into a single tab making it so your computer isn't wasting energy running multiple tabs. Where as Extensity there here to collect and group your extensions together. The more extensions you get the harder it is to manage them. Extensity makes it easy to handle as many extensions you wish to have.

Other Chrome extensions out there are Save to Google Drive, Clearly, and ShortenMe. Save to Google Drive is an simple extension however, that is what so great about it. It lets you save images and even webpages right to your Google Drive without having to save it to your hard drive first. Not only is this a time saver but, to make the process of getting images to your Drive easier. Clearly does as the name might state and, that would be to clear up a webpage. Where as TLDR shortens articles, Clearly keeps the article the same length but clears up anything that might be around the article itself. Ads, videos, and side columns all go by the way side with Clearly. All that is left is an easy to article. With it being created by Evernote Clearly lets you highlight and mark things with the article and copies it over to your Evernote account. So this makes it easier to take notes while reading something online. Lastly but certainly not least is ShortenMe. I love this extension when it comes to sharing links to social media. By clicking the ShortenMe icon in the top right of you browser, it creates a shorten and social media friendly URL link for you. 

Also in our interview last week we went over iPad/iPhone apps with Katrina Keene. A nice app we went over was IHomework. It isn't a free app costing $1.99 however, depending on the type of person you are it could be very helpful. To put it simply, it is an app that organizes your homework. You put when papers, projects, or any other school related things are due and it keeps track of the due dates for you. Along with that it also keeps track of you schedule and other little things you might forget about your school life. By far the most useful app we covered would be EasyBib. EasyBib has always been my go to for when I wanted to make a citation for a paper or project. However, I only knew about the website for it. With that you had to punch in everything you knew about the source material and hoped it was enough to create the right citation for it. The app is awesome because it can scan the ISBN code on the back of the book and load up the citation to your phone. It keeps all you citations together and you are also able to put the citation in MLA, APA, or Chicago format. The last app I will talk about is ZooKazam. It is basically a zoo that you can keep in your pocket. Just print a cut out of the animal you want from their website and it lets you see an augmented reality version of the animal. Also with the app your are able to add weather to see a hippo when its raining, snowing, or sunny out. It also has about 40 animals in total so, there are plenty of choices for every type of person.                 

This past week we also presented our Social Media Etiquette projects. My project was about a man named Stuart Maclennan, a politician from Scotland who ruined his political career through the use of Twitter. If you are interested i'll put the presentation below and it will give you a quick summary of Maclennan's story and a warning to be careful on Social Media sites. 

Stuart MacLennan - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Digital Stroytelling

Animoto is a cool website that we learn about last week in class. It lets you create a short video about anything you what. I mess around with Animoto and made a video, which was fun to do. They give you all kinds of options to work with for your videos. Different themes, layouts, and you can even put music in the background. Every one of these features gives each one of your videos a personal feel, it is also make it fun to mess around with them. Teachers  are even starting to use it more with their students. Creating videos and sharing them students and other professionals. Animoto is just a fun and simple way to tell a digital story.


A different tool you can use to create a digital story is Voki. Voki takes an avatar that you can choose and brings it to life. You can customize your avatar just the way you to match your personal style. After you make an avatar you can record your type, use a phone, or a microphone to put your message into your avatar. From there you can put it on a blog, website, or in a classroom. Teachers can use it in a classroom as a different way to teach a class. If there is a sub in the classroom, the sub can play the Voki as a fill in for the regular teacher. I myself use Voki a couple times in high school for different projects. It was a simple way and a little different substitute for a video.

The last thing way I have for you to create a digital story is GoAnimate. Unlike Animoto and Voki, GoAnimate uses slides, backgrounds, and music to create an animated video. You can choose from a number of models and backgrounds to set your story up. From there you can type or record your voice and put it into the video. GoAnimate can be used in different ways by both teachers and students. Teachers can use it to present something to their class or have their students do projects with it. While, students can use it to help each other out, like student-to-student interactions. One student can create a video about something and share it with a student who does not understand that subject. GoAnimate it as safe to use by teachers and students. The videos can not be found by searching on the web, teachers must approve the video before it goes public, and you can use social media with it. I have never used GoAnimate before, but it looks like a cool video maker I could use in the future.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Evernote is a pretty cool website that I learned about last week. What Evernote is in a nutshell is a place where one can store all kinds of items. Whither it be notes from class or a meeting to pictures and documents from other websites, Evernote can keep track of it. Evernote can keep everything in one easily spot that one can never lose. There is also an Evernote app that syncs everything from your computer and ones phone. Any time I need to share my notes I can do it right through Evernote. As a student this makes keeping track of my notes every easy. I have a folder for each one of my classes and other sub-folders within though folders. I can find any note I wrote in no time, which makes it very easy to study for tests or looking up references for my papers. It is also nice for teachers because they can share their notes and/or other work that they might want their students to know. With the tags in Evernote organizing notes are simple and easy to see for students.     
A couple tips that I would use while using Evernote are simple and easy for anyone to use. For just $5 a month to be a premium member, one can use the presentation option on your Evernote. This can be used instead of power point. This is easier because all your notes are on Evernote instead of creating a power point from scratch. If there are to many notes in one notebook, one can merge there notes together. When one merges their notes then it condenses their folders even more, making it easier to organize ones notes further. Evernote also has also has a two step verification when creating and keeping an Evernote. This makes it Evernote a little safer and secure. Knowing that ones notes and other information they gathered online is safe can be a lifesaver. 

Emailing Evernotes can keep people within ones circle close and up to date with information. It makes it easier to get ones resources and references to other people. Also this way of working also lets one set reminders for not only oneself but, the other people ones working with. Reminders help remember due dates and keeps one on track. If information is put on the back burner, reminders will pop up and remind one about the due date. Along with emailing, there are also different means of connecting with professionals. Social media can be an important tool with learning and finding other professionals within ones field. One can keep in touch with people one might have meant at conference or anyone one can not meet in person. Twitter is a good example of a how one person can lead to more people. One can follow someone in there profession and then through there followers and people they follow one can find more people they might want to know. Finding hash tags are also helpful when trying to expand ones network or finding ideas they like. If one follows a hash tag then one is able to talk about that idea, Throwing out ideas with other people can make it easier to expand ones own thoughts and ones scope of their profession. To summarize social media can be a powerful tool not only finding other professionals but, learning from them as well. 


Untangling The Web Chapter 3 is about different ways to challenge the status quo of using power point as a way to show slides. SlideShare is one sure option and a pretty cool option at that. SlideShare is a social hub that educators and students can use to see presentations from around the world. It can be link to Facebook and Linkedin making it easier to share and find SlideShare presentations. VoiceTread is also pretty cool. The concept is simple in the fact that it is just a site to share photos and videos with the ability to comment on them as well. The site has mainly been the same since 2005 with the only differences having an IOS app and being able to import pictures fro Facebook. It may be a "simple" site but, it is still an other option one can use that is different from power point.