Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That's It!!

I have finished the web2.0 class! And boy am I happy. And maybe a little sad at the same time. What am I going to do with my time now? I have learned so many things from this class. Who knew there was so much free stuff out there! And I am so glad that I took this class now.

I will be interested to see what happens with the school district and how it stays with the movement of technology. As an educational body I am thinking that they should keep up with what is going on. I also know that we must keep the students safe from anything "bad" out there. It is a catch 22.

Who knows maybe I will even keep up the blog and really use some of the things that have learned. In fact I used something, Furl, the other day. What a great thing that was.

Well, that's it. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Digg and Yahoo Buzz

Well, I am not sure I have a preference for either of these two sites Digg or Yahoo Buzz. They both kind of do the same thing, one has the “number” thing, one has many videos. Maybe it was just the topics I chose but probably three out of five links I clicked on in Yahoo Buzz were just links to YouTube. Guess I could just go to YouTube for that. But I think I like Yahoo Buzz better. Not sure why though. I liked Digg ok too. I read some pretty opinionated comments about Digg and maybe that is what influenced my opinion.

I probably won’t continue on with either of these two sites once this assignment is complete. Maybe every once in awhile I will take a look at them because now I know they are there. I am just not to into this kind of internet stuff.

I am sure these tools could be used in a classroom. I am just not sure how at this time. Research is always the first thought that comes to mind, but who knows what would come up with that generic topic. Also, my concern is what pops up sometimes when you type in your ideas. I would have to go with no right now with using this in a classroom setting.

I guess I just don’t see any social implications, good or bad, here. I guess leaving comments could be good and bad depending on what you say. I didn’t leave any comments because it just isn’t that big of a deal for me. But hey if you like to chat with people all over the place here is a way to do it.

Discussion Forums

I actually discovered that it was kind of fun searching the discussion forums. At first I thought what a non useful thing for me because I just don’t spend a lot of time reading stuff on the internet. However, when I started searching for things that I was kind of interested in I found some interesting things. I found discussions on my breed of dog, the Chihuahua, my vehicle, Chevy 2500 HD Duramax, guns, and my cell phone, the LG Voyager. All very entertaining. I did discover that the narrower the topic the better off I was. But the general search proved pretty useful too.

Wow! These discussion forums could prove disastrous in a classroom. I only say that because there is always the possibility that that one “special” student decides to look for something that is not school appropriate. And now there is tons of explaining to do on everyone’s part. May not be a road I would want to travel down.

However, I really see the upside to these forums. What a great way to find information at your fingertips. The searching would have to be highly monitored by the teacher, maybe searching ahead of time and then doing the search as a whole class and not going where a search has not been done. It is just a fabulous tool to find information.

I would have to say that I am on the fence on positive aspects outweighing the negative aspects. There is just too much liability in an educational setting but having all that educational information readily available is certainly a draw.


Hmmmmm……Twitter. Not sure really how I feel about it. I guess if I just sat around with nothing else to do in a day I could follow the Twitter site and zillions of people. I could probably learn a lot. So for this assignment it started out as kind of annoying that I had to go log in and write what I was doing, mainly because I would forget to go in and do it. But now more than five days after I have started I think it is kind of entertaining. It has been fun seeing what other people are doing.

I guess I don’t see a real value in the educational setting. It is a nice way to communicate though. I am sure there are ways to make it useful in a classroom. If you could find a “tweet” from someone in a different state or country and follow them you could learn things about their life style and or customs.

I guess I have no more concern about students using Twitter from their computer or cell phone than I do right now about them using those same devices for email and text. It can be annoying and a battle that is rarely won. But technology is moving forward. I say let’s learn how to make it an educational thing.

Truthfully I would probably bag on Twitter to my family just because “why?” We have cell phones and email. But I would also tell them it can be kind of fun in an annoying sort of way. Basically I would tell them that I would be sending them information about what I was doing all through the day and it could be on their cell phone or their computer.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Online Productivity Tools

I was pretty much impressed by all three of the productivity tools, Google Docs, ZohoWrite, and Think Free, that I perused. I tried word processing and the spreadsheet tools. They seemed pretty much like Office to me. Now granted I just do the basics each time I use them so I guess I can’t say for sure one is better than the other. I tried the presentation one but just had a lot of trouble loading it so I am not sure about that one.

As far as I could tell there was nothing superior about the online productivity tools but nothing bad either.

If I had to give up Microsoft Office I believe that these tools would do the trick for me. I am amazed that they are free and pretty much worked just like Office. I also kind of liked the fact that I could share my docs. if I wanted to. How great that would be instead of emailing everything. I think I made mention of this before in another blog. Right now that is the biggest plus of all.

I guess schools and businesses could switch over to these tools if the tools would do what the company needed it to do. In the schools I would definitely test drive it first just because change is a big thing. And wow freeing up space is always a good thing. But having limited storage space online is also a killer. Free is not always free so you will have to deal with ads on these sites because they have to get their money from somewhere.

I guess paying $100-150 is not bad considering Office is probably more than that. And you have the convenience of having access all the time, unless you can’t get online. And who knows maybe giving a little now could mean more later.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Skype was really cool. It was very simple to download and install. The test call worked the first time and then I said “Hey guess I will use the free 10 minutes for my first call just to see if it works.” And it did!! What a fabulous thing to have.
I really don’t have a need to use Skype in my personal life because of the cell phone but it is kind of cool just to say you have used it. I have a webcam and mic so I am thinking just for fun I will have to get my nieces one so we can chat and see each other. I think they would love that!
I think Skype could be used in a classroom. I see the possibility especially if you do the “pen pal” thing. What a great use of technology to talk to a whole class, student by student and then the teachers. What about calling a classmate that has been out of school due to illness or something to that effect? Video talking would even be better. Same thing with the pen pal thing. Seeing the whole class and what the classrooms are like would be great. What if you were working on a project and wanted to show your “pal class” and you could!
I really don’t know of any real concerns about using Skype in the classroom. It just seems to me that it would be closely monitored by the teacher so that the problems would be very minimal. However, I do know there is always the possibility of something going wrong and somebody doing what they shouldn’t be doing. I also see very real consequences for doing that. I say make it available to classrooms using it for a very real educational purpose.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Online Storage

Both of the storage sites, Skydrive and Yahoo Briefcase, were pretty easy to navigate through. Again follow the directions they give you. I can definitely see value in using both of these sites. How wonderful it would be to have your documents available to you wherever you go. That would have been good for me for this class as I was doing assignments at three different computers and emailing the documents to all my email addresses and hoping they went through. I guess this was save the best for one of the last items to do. I would definitely use them. And wow I could have someone else look at them too!

Ah the thumb drive….. could not give that up. Just got to have it right there in case of……I don’t know what. Internet failure? I just like to have things all over the place that way they are not lost to me.

Well, the next topic is a tough one. I think there is too much that I don’t know to say yes or no to having teachers and/or students use the online storage systems. Those of us who took this class could easily spread the word and see what happens. There could also be a test site. Seems like it would save the districts space but I don’t know all the implications of saving stuff on the web.

I really don’t see any problems with students posting their things to these sites. They can be private. The only thing once again is it is just another opportunity for them to go places they shouldn’t . However, as technology evolves so do people. And probably less and less of them go to where they shouldn’t be. Oh, I know there are still the yayhoos who will do anything just to see how far they can push the envelope.