I have been experiencing an information overload over the last three weeks. I liteally feel like I have been doing eight to twelve hours of reading for my classes and literally I have. That doesn't even include class work or assignments. So for my blog post this week, I am going to comment on a little of this and a little of that.
In past teaching experiences, I get very frustrated trying to make concise lectures and discussions with my students. I have so many great ideas flooding through my brain, that I have a difficult time staying organized. One tool that will help me better organize my thoughts and provide instruction to my students will most definitely be Podcasts. I plan on maintaining a wiki or blog for my library or classroom and I will have a direct link to my podcasts. For our class, the Podbean has worked quite well. I opened an iTunes account and subscribed to the podcast. I then download the podcast and listen to it as I travel to UB on Tueday nights. I also began downloading the NPR education weekly podcast and other talks given by Wil Richardson. I taught myself how to open an iTunes accoutn, download music, organize my music and podcasts, and how to put them on my iPod and take them off. I could do none of that before taking this class. It was a frustrating task at first and the directions to do this were not great. But, I sought out tutrials on the Web and looked up info in Richardson, and now I can do it all by myself. Yayy!!
I watched a couple extra webinars a few weeks ago after finding the first one I watched to be so informative. I found a website that has pre-made avatars that allows you to make your own short videos, with limited editing and work. The program does most of the work for you, but it does not allow you full movement of the avatars and it takes an awful long time to download. It was made especially for history classes and as a history teacher I was immediately hooked. This would be a great way for students of middle and high school age to teach information to the rest of their classes. Teaching another person a concept or skill is the best way to learn the skill your self. Several techniques in the class have used this model and made me personally more knowledgeable about computer applications.
I am very excited to learn more about this new technology. I observed it being used at the webinars a couple weeks back and I loved how it blended voice narration with actually showing instruction on the computer. I have found and bookmarked lots of great sites for tips on the most effective way to screencast and where to locate a freee download. The webiste is user friendly and helps you learn to screen cast with simple and straight forward directions. I have read the directions and hunted all over the site for useful information. I hope to make my first screen cast, as practice, before Fall 2010 classes begin.
Like many students in our class, I feel bombarded with computer applications, web technology, and emerging digital resources. At the same time, I feel eager and excited to experience them all. I wish I could really sink my teeth into more of these tools and strategies, but I have a great start thanks to this class. The day I can respectfully resign from my waitressing job because I have been hired to work as a school librarian will be amazing! I'll be getting paid for being an information junkie, but I'll have the time, talent, resources, and need for using all these great tools instead fo just learning about them.