Posted by: sherryvalenti | September 18, 2011

Blog benefits

Now that you have had a chance to view various teacher blogs, student blogs, blogs about blogs, etc..why should we use blog with students?  In a comment, incorporate the new ideas you learned tonight.  Link and cite the blogs you refer to in your comment.

 

Posted by: sherryvalenti | June 27, 2011

My podcasts are not like fine wines!

My first attempt at podcasting:
http://sherryvalenti.edublogs.org/files/2008/04/jamestown.mp3

Could Captain John Smith ever imagined that we would be podcasting his trials and tribulations 400 years after he arrived in Jamestown? I taught a long unit on Colonization of North America in Social Studies, and Jamestown was one of my favorite lessons to teach. I found this podcast after reading a NEA magazine article about students creating their own podcasts about Jamestown. Another site I mentioned is the History Globe site, which has a great role playing game. Learning about Jamestown and early colonization is an interest of mine.

Looking back at my first attempt at podcasting, I want to cringe.  Unfortunately, like a fine wine, it didn’t age well.  I can’t stand my hearing my own voice, I paused too much and spoke too slowly.  I should have practiced it more so that it sounded more smooth. I did get better with more practice, as you can see in this example of a more audio recording.  It still needs work.  Are we ever finished?
http://voicethread.com/#u751648.b905449.i4819749

Posted by: sherryvalenti | June 27, 2011

Flickr: Getting more than I give

I have used Flickr more for taking photos than in putting my own photostream together.  I decided to put some photos I thought teachers could use, and I didn’t put personal photos on because I want to keep the account open.  I don’t know many people on Flickr personally, and I don’t think want to place pictures of my children for the world to see.

I hope people use the photos.  I would like to know if any one does, just for curiosity’s sake.   In the past, when I have used others’ photos, I sent the person a message asking permission and stating a reason why I wanted to use the photo.  People have always given me permission, and this is why I think Flickr is a great online community.

Photography is not my strong point, but I think this is a great site for those that have photography as their hobby to share their photos and get some recognition.  I wish I had more to upload.  My main subjects are little ones these days, so I don’t have much else to share!

Here’s the link to my Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sherryvalenti/

Posted by: sherryvalenti | June 27, 2011

I love a good renovation story!

I came across this link about blog renovation from a past blog of mine.  One point I liked is that the blogger, Vicki Davis, explains her reasons for giving her blog a face-lift.  I mentioned this, as many of you did, I have tried blogs on various sites, and I see benefits and disadvantages on all. She has some great tips for making a blog more streamlined and clean.

Thought you could get some helpful tips from a serious blogger!

Posted by: sherryvalenti | June 27, 2011

Assessing our assessments

You all really had me thinking this week about assessments, from Kerry’s blogical discussion to other posts I read, I began thinking about the way we currently assess students and how this does not match with the Web 2.o tools we are exploring here in BCE.

Personalized Assessment, a post by Dean Shareski, discusses an issue many of us have faced: How do we assess students as assignments become more personalized?  To bring this to Web 2.0 tools, how can we accurately track and assess students progress on a skill?

Of course, the focus nowadays is on standardized testing.  To me, this seems out of touch with the push for differentiated learning that I am experiencing in my county.  How can we change the way we assess students to fit more personalized, differentiated learning?  How can we integrate assessment on these Web 2.0 tools with the assessments required by our districts?  We may not know the answers, but I think it’s important to think about before we all end up doing the same things the same way as we have always done.

Realistically, creating differentiated assessments for all students would be extremely time-consuming and nearly impossible, especially in middle and high school.  Perhaps, though, there are ways to differentiate the assessment and allow more student input.

What are some of your thoughts on personalized assessment?  Have you ever tried to do this?  What were the results?

Posted by: sherryvalenti | June 15, 2011

Is blogging out?

I know!  You just spent a week of your life on blogging and now I am asking if it’s out?  I have heard people say that blogs are out, and I found this study by PCWorld that supports this idea somewhat.  Blog use is declining among teens and Millenials (ages 18-29).  Blogs are increasing with adults age thirty and over (many of us I presume!).

What is catching on with the younger set is Microblogging.  Twitter is an example of a microblog, where you have to use 140 characters or less.  Why do you think this is catching on so quickly with the younger generation?  What is to come?

I use Twitter for news and entertainment purposes. It’s really just fluff for me.  I don’t check it as regularly as Facebook, but my husband is a Twitter addict.  He is a huge sports fan, and he gets constant updates from writers, players, fans on his favorite teams (Phillies, U of MD Terps, and Eagles).

Anyone else use Twitter?  What are your likes and dislikes, and how do you use it?  We know the down sides (Anthony Weiner), but what are the benefits? Do you think microblogging will replace blogs as we know them?

 

Posted by: sherryvalenti | June 6, 2011

Blog, Version 3… at least!

This is a new blog for me, so I will be “playing” with it as you play with yours. I used a different blog service, but decided to switch to WordPress.  I have an appreciation for bloggers, because I find the more I learn, the more changes I want to make.  The picture is my three-year old, one early morning in Maine.  Reminds me of pure happiness!

Posted by: sherryvalenti | June 6, 2011

Tech Addiction?

Anyone else have a technology addiction?  I have an iPhone, and sometimes I find myself checking in on news, email, etc. several times a day.  Luckily, I have my kids, so there are many times when I am so busy I don’t have a chance to check in at all.   It’s almost subconscious, the way I reach for my phone.  I did sign Oprah’s No Phone Zone pledge, and I really do think it helps me commit to being phone-free in the car.

After looking around, I found some information that suggests tech addiction might be a real thing, with real side effects.  Check out these article from WebMD and The Telegraph.

Throughout this course you might experience “tech saturation”.  I identify with this article by Steve Holt of Technorati.  How do you manage the amount of information out there, and how do you stop it from becoming overwhelming?

Posted by: sherryvalenti | May 29, 2011

Facebook About Face

It seems that Facebook has been around forever.  Everyone seems to be on Facebook, including my mom!  I never put much personal information on the site and I keep my profile pretty generic.  I am not terribly concerned about my settings, but I do have everything set to “Only friends” because of the pictures I occasionally post of my children.   I find I post less of these pictures and interact less with Facebook as my friends list has expanded.  Many people on there are not my friends, so do I want them to know everything I am doing?

I recently saw The Social Network, and it really made me wonder if having a profile was the right thing to do.  After all, it seems that Zuckerberg didn’t give credit where it was due for this billion-dollar idea.  My brother-in-law deactivated his account after seeing hte movie, and I considered it as well.  I ended up keeping it because I’m “hooked”,  I guess.

I feel like they have us where they want us: we’ve been hooked in by finding long lost friends and the trade off is our personal information.  I found another post called “Farewell Facebook” that discusses this issue in more detail.

Do we take the good (collaboration, marketing) with the bad (privacy issues) with Facebook?

Posted by: sherryvalenti | May 29, 2011

Tech Pet Peeves

I came across this article from Real Simple, which discusses some tech etiquette.  I know I am guilty of a few of these “rules”.  I find more and more, I am constantly checking email and trying to stay connected. It’s almost automatic, the way I grab for my phone.

Something that drives me crazy as a teacher is texting during class.  They text under the table like I won’t be able to tell!  I know students say they can pay attention and text at the same time, but I know they are not fully attending.   Is it automatic for students, too?
What are some of your tech pet peeves?

 

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