Sunday, February 28, 2010

What technology tool could you not live without?

Shelley Terrell (Teacher BootCamp) posted this question on her blog,

Which technology would make you feel a sense of loss if it completely disappeared? E-mail is my favorite of all tools. Facebook keeps me connected with relatives and especially through summer breaks when my co-workers and I are away from each other for two months. I often wonder what new technologies will become a habit? Google reader has become a daily check-in...So I ask you, how would you answer this question?

The Lit Maven

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Modified Version

After watching a workout video, I got thinking about the people in the video that do the modified versions of exercises. Differentiating is the most important strategy in our web 2.O classrooms. Everyone in the class should have an entry point where they feel comfortable. So next time you present these tools to a group think, "how can I make sure everyone feels safe and confident?" Make sure there is always the modified version available.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Seek Criticism?

I buy books in the most unusual places…clothing stores! In the advertising book It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be, Paul Arden suggests, DO NOT seek praise, SEEK criticism. WOW I thought, good for you Paul. But then I reflected, "How can you get better when there is no room to grow?" If everything is perceived good, awesome, does the learning stop? Teachers and Students need constructive feedback. Where do they hit the mark? Where do they fall short? And where can they push themselves further? In this course I am pleased with the amount of "nudge" factor. So next time you blog, think…perhaps I can do this even better, if not, tell me how I can!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Scarcity Creates Value

In his book The Dip, Seth Godin talks about scarcity creating value. Basically, the fewer people with a certain skill or ability, creates demand and therefore value. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Olympics. These athletes are the best, they are rare and they are valuable because of it. Shaun White demonstrated a couple of nights ago on the snowboard half-pipe, an amazing performance, untouchable. His moves were far above the rest. It seemed natural effortless. This morning I read in the paper about his private training half-pipe, complete with foam chips, to try out these amazing tricks. Is it any less amazing? No. But at least we know he is earthly bound. However it is the extra hard work and training that has created value, 8 million at last count. "So what, Lit Maven, does this have to do with you?" Well, we need to realize that behind every great performance is a struggle. As teachers we need to be ready to struggle with these new technologies, to really get a handle on them. I would argue that students need to see this struggle too. In the end, if it's scarcity that creates value, wouldn't you like your students to be the ones getting the gold?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Google Buzz on watchdog's radar

Google Buzz on watchdog's radar

What's that BUZZ? Tell me what's a happen'in!

SO Google BUZZ is up and running. Of course this means Canada's privacy police are on the case. Normally I gloss or even glaze over references to privacy. But in an Edmonton Journal article today, the new BUZZ is receiving some bad buzz. (See the previous post). Apparently, users can follow people on BUZZ without their permission. This includes access to pictures, images and personal comments. In one case, an abusive boyfriend starting following his ex-girlfriend. This is an issue. A serious issue. Social networking, has it reached uncomfortable limits? But on the other hand do privacy settings inhibit the functionality of these new tools? I can remember in the old days we had to ride by a "crushes" house and hope they were on the front lawn. But now our youth is privy to a lot more. Is it too much? When is it too much? Have social rules changed?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finding Your Tribe

I am a noticer. I notice when regular people look like famous people. I notice when signs are spelled wrong. I notice the color of someone's eyes. I also notice coincidences. Recently I have come across several gurus Seth Godin, Sir Ken Robinson, and yes,Drew Barrymore, proclaiming how to get better at being better. The overwhelming message is to find your tribe. Surround yourself with people that share your bowl of chicken soup. This week my fellow graduate students and I have had a week off. I miss them! I need their chicken soup for my tribal soul! SO my advice to all you bloggites is to find your tribe, light your torch and fill your bowl.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Post #3: “In Good times, in Bad times. I’ll be on Your Side Forever more”…that’s what Social Bookmarking is for…..




Imagine. My mom is from a family of 13, my grandpa a family of 12. Duggars…please…so passé. How big is big? We rent a hall for Christmas. We never stop talking. We are a family of teachers. We can fill up half a church.

So there I was 5 years old, parent night at school. I was asked to thank the parents for coming. SO I walked to the front in my cute little dress. My mother all proud like, sitting straight, wanting to point…that's my daughter! We practiced my tiny speech for days…

Cue teacher: "Brandi will now thank the parents." I stood up in front of the mike. I took a deep breath. I shouted "I'm SHY!" and ran back to sit on my mom's now, hostile lap.

I have been a dichotomy ever since. I have always been chatty and friendly in public, but at home I am Ted Kaczynski in a log cabin. Please don't phone me. E-mail is good. So this whole week of making me seek out friends has made me feel like Shrek. You know the part at the beginning of the first movie, ambushed by the other fairytale characters. Shrek says "What are you doing in my swamp." Well, like a good grad student, I set out to make friends and return to my swamp.

"Start at the very beginning, a very good place to start….When you read you begin with ABC…but when you bookmark you begin with DEE-LISH-US…. DEE-LISH-US." (Reflections on Learning the Tool)

Okay. I admit it now. I click the 'favorites' button any chance I get, which I tend to mark and then leave for dead on the side of the virtual road along with the Tim Horton cups. It quickly dawned on me that De.licio.us and Diigo (pronounced DEE-go) not to be confused with Diego are internet based versions of 'favorites'. Clearly it would not be a stretch to use them, but how would I ever find a reason to return to my collection of hostage bookmarked sites?

This I know, all web 2.0 tools are socially based. But bookmarking? Would I meet the right people? Is it time consuming? Are there hidden social networks? Are there cliques? Are these artificial networks? How are they better than other networks? Why is it important? How do they support the other web 2.0 tools?

I read the required readings and was pleased to follow the ideas in Richardson's (2009) book to explore both bookmarking sites. I tried Del.icio.us weeks ago. I like the name. Cleverness gets points with me! I like the ease of use. In fact I found cool links by clicking on other people's tags. Really it's a no brainer. The access online is really something that I can use if I am somewhere else.

Diigo on the other hand was kind of awkward. This felt more like trying on rollerblades for the first time. It has much more baggage although more options too. As with all weeks in this course, I created a log in and usually agree to every additional add on, then hope for the best. My toolbar looks like it was custom designed by Orange County Chopper.

Del.icio.us is my first love so Diigo would have to woo me.

I decided to look up tags/key words and find groups to join. What I wasn't expecting, was the application process.

"Tell us why you want to join our group…"

"Ah… because Joanne said so!"

(Really I just want to sit in the back row, like a good Catholic. "Back off. You should be so privileged that I want to join your group.")

I also felt like I was leading them on, kind of like the main character from Avatar.

"My name is Jake Sully. I will join your tribe, learn your ways and then come April the Army is going to come in and take out your cybertrees."

Needless to say I picked some groups. Pilfered some bookmarks. "Thank you for the hard work." "Give it to me."

But I was not prepared for the freakiness to follow. My Google home page was covered in stickies. Yikes! If my husband looks over I will have to think of something clever. My frantic mouse discovered the feature that allowed me to not show annotation on this page. I had no idea I had said I" I do!" to all these changes. Well… I annulled the feature. However it still continues to happen. I understand the annotation feature is for classroom use, but generally the page feels sullied. It's like underlining in textbooks or bent corners of pages. I was impressed by the "snag it" picture feature and the annotation. I tried it on Seth Godin's page. I could not view my annotations at first and realized that I must have picked private view. I really only see this as a public feature for academic use. Privately, I might still print out a page for safe keeping.

Life Hack also suggests 10 other ways to use Del.ic.ious. Here is what I tried.

1. Del.icio.us Bookmarklet
I added the bookmarklet. Initially I forgot the tag button on my toolbar which is essential.

2. Increase Your Search Powers

Of the search strategies I chose this URL. http://del.icio.us/rss/popular/TAGNAME
Popular placed in front of a tag, brings up the sites that have been bookmarked the most under that tag. I looked up rss/popular/web 2.0 and ended up subscribing to the feed in Google reader.

3. Tag Bundles

This actually helped with my problem of not revisiting tags. Bundles are much more efficient to review. I bundled my tags that pertained to Web 2.0. When I click this bundle I get those bookmarks. This is like having a permeable file folder and the flexibility of the bookmarked sites is maintained.

4. Publish Your del.icio.us Bookmarks on Your Website.
This will take some practice. I can publish as a post, but I wonder if there is a way I can have it as gadget and continually refresh like my blog roll?

5. Creative Tagging

I tried this one, renaming a tag that you want emphasized, by placing @ in front of the tag. This may prove to be useful.

6. TagCloud

I was able to put a tagcloud on my blog. When you drag the mouse overtop, the tags become active, click, and you are at the bookmarks that contained that tag. I love this feature. So direct… so easy.

7. Subscriptions

I got over my shyness and subscribed to some other sites.

All in all, I do like De.licio.us and Diigo for different reasons, Diigo for its collaborative and academic possibilities and De.licio.us for its user friendly and sharing capabilities. I think I will be faithful to both. Sigh…

"File this under….what?"(Reflections on the Tool for Personal and Social Use)

Tagging is the glue that holds the bookmarking together. This feature seems ubiquitous now. I was unaware that tags were so important. The collection of tags or folksonomies, becomes more powerful as more users, use them. The old traditional categories for information, established by the knowledge authorities, are making way for a different look on how information is organized.

One thing that occurred to me was my filing cabinet at work. Really it is more like a final destination cabinet. I have information filed by place, or theme. Richardson (2009) stated how our old systems of organization have to make way for the new communal approaches. I have not looked inside my filing cabinet since September and I have not filed anything new. Similarly, at home, I have clipped many recipes, pictures, ideas, etc but have not returned to use them. Why do I continue to keep them? Is my system of organization the problem? Do I really need a filing cabinet? Is paperless the wave of the future? Would I want to save my collections in a fire?

As a language arts consultant, books are my mainstay. Earlier this year a 'newbie' at work, without consent, took all the picture books and classified them, Wordless, ABC, Halloween, etc. I have not touched them since. I view books as multipurpose I would never lump them into one category. My old method was by author, this worked for me. Instead I keep the books I have used close to my desk protected from the land of categories. This week's focus on Social Bookmarking has got me wondering how I can bring the idea of tags back into my real life organization methods. How do I keep track of the 'paper' things?

Additional questions I still have: How can I improve my organizational systems? How do I retrieve it and how do I attach meaning to it? Will I remember my train of thought when I tag? Is the key to tagging, making multiple tags so that it increases the chances that information can be found again? How I connect to information, can affect how I tag? Will I ever be in the same frame of mind again?

As a parent, I see the value in collecting children's school's website. The newsletter is now available only online. As a new parent I would have collected more sites on parenting. Not that I am an expert now, but I am at the point where I feel that yelling their Christian names seems to correct most misbehaviors. Here are some other suggestions for using Diigo personally and professionally.

In an exciting turn of events, I discovered that the Edmonton Public Library has features akin to LibraryThing.com. I looked up Seth Godin's book Linchpin. I created the tags nonfiction and organization to see if it actually worked, I would list more. As you can see there are many choices on this screen. I created a list called Web 2.0 and added this book to my collection. On the left is my user name 2 1221 01190 1961 and other user. I can click on the other user to see what's on his list. I can see many applications for this interface.

  1. Create a book list for my Web 2.0 course.
  2. Create a Book Club list.
  3. Create a next read list of books that sound interesting but not for Book Club.
  4. Create a list of library materials, based on theme, and collect text, audio and video.
  5. Create a list of books that a character in a book you are reading, might read themselves. What might Bella read? Edward? (What do you recommend a vampire who has read everything?)
  6. Share books on Facebook and Twitter.
  7. Add comments.
  8. Add ratings.

As for my current social groups, my friends might be interested in the library feature. However, I am geek that is surrounded by friends who get together to watch the bachelor. I am not one of them; I would rather read a biography of Bill Curtis. However, if I changed the definition to include cyber friends, which I think is the aim of Web 2.0, then I see great value in sharing ideas. The more courses I take the more at home I feel in my geekdom.

( Clay Shirky) "Does the world make sense or do we make sense of the world?" (Reflections on the Tool for Educational Use)

What impact does Social Bookmarking have on education?

Cindy Stephenson lists six ways to use De.licio.us. There are many other sites like this, giving basic and obvious reasons for the tool. As a tool, Social Bookmarking provides the opportunity for students to collect information from any computer, and keep it in a single location. This will open the doors to collaboration and research possibilities. No longer is research a solitary activity, it now has a group work component that does not involve arranging a meeting space. Trier's (2007) 'time' and 'space' shifting argument apply here as well. Richardson & Mancabelli (2007) question how can we assess students work. What do we mean when we ask them to do their own work?

The reality of Web 2.0 is that teachers are no longer in charge of information. Teachers are no longer the gatekeepers of the textbook with the fancy answer keys and teacher guides. Richardson & Mancabelli (2007) stated, "The traditional curriculum has been built on the idea that knowledge is a scarce commodity. But in the world of the Read/Write web, knowledge is abundant and widely shared. As educators, we have been used to holding a pretty secure lock on the content that we deliver to our students"(p.16).


 

We can collect information, easy, we can create tags, easy, but how are we getting students to process this information. NCTE 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment Framework position statement lists the various ways students can critically assess media texts. How can we utilize these standards to prepare students? DesRoches (2007) brings up the point of validating web author's credentials. Teachers' traditional roles expand with these new tools. How can teachers keep up and validate all the information that the students collect? How can do they know what meaning a student has created and what they have borrowed? Yeo (2007) states that teachers are also approaching these web 2.0 tools from their educational perspectives. Yeo (2007) adds "The past is neither annihilated nor venerated as a foundation. Rather it is reread, wisely and with eyes open, for the purpose of living now, in the noise and clash of the fray" (p.128).


 

Forbes (2004) suggests features of Diigo, specifically annotation, create the possibility that teachers can enhance online reading material and suggest certain directions of thinking. As a kid, we all went to the library to collect books. The amount of books available limited our searches but the internet is limitless. What does that mean for education today? How do we teach students when to stop? Rheingold (2008) adds "Although a willingness to learn new media through point-and-click exploration might come naturally to today's student cohort, there is nothing innate about knowing how to apply those acquired skills to the processes of civil society, scientific or scholarly innovation, or economic production"(p.26). I would agree that the challenging part is the thinking. It's natural to feel a sense of confusion when pouring over collected information. What is the true goal of today's education? Is it to know a whole bunch of facts or to demonstrate thinking? Are these really the same? DesRoches (2007) suggests that students are more likely to thoroughly evaluate links and resources if they know fellow students will be seeing them.

    

Another concern I have for bookmarking is the emphasis on popular searches. Popular does not mean superior of representation of best practices. For example, we have a teacher collaboration space on our portal. Teachers can add their lesson plans. Many teachers might come on and borrow these ideas, create traffic and the appearance that these lessons are good. In reality if no one vets what is posted, the collective, the teachers, may decide for themselves based on subjective rather than objective judgments on the value of the work. Students themselves might also be confused that the most popular tags or bookmarked pages are the best ones.


 

In my role as a consultant, I see value in continuing with bookmarking sites but choosing tags that might represent subject, grade level, and specific literacy components. In addition, the tag bundling feature might also provide groupings based on my current needs. For example I may choose to bundle the tags that include reading and web 2.0 and another bundle for writing and 2.0, if I were going to present on these different topics. The concern over proper tagging was reassured by these words from Shirky who said "There isn't in fact a binary condition of a tag that can or cannot survive any kind of long-term examination." Really there are no perfect tags. I think I will continue to use the suggested ones given upon bookmarking.


 

So this leaves me with, how can I organize my information besides bundling? I did subscribe to my bookmark feed and one that I searched for under rss/tags/ popular/web2.0. But other than that I have over 70 bookmarks and the overwhelming feeling is coming back. Do I bookmark too much? Will I really need to keep everything in cyberspace?


 

The Shrek in me wants to go back to my quiet swamp but then there is the Donkey in me that says, "I just know, before this is over, I'm gonna need a whole lot of serious therapy. Look at my eye twitchin'"


 

Non linked Resources


 

DesRoches, D. (2007). All together now: Social bookmarking offers a new way to store and share web sites. School Library Journal, 53(1), 33. Retrieved from ERIC database.


 

Forbes, L. (2004). Using web-based bookmarks in K-8 Settings: Linking the internet to instruction. Reading Teacher, 58(2), 148-153. Retrieved from ERIC database.


 

Rheingold, H. (2008). Using social media to teach social media. New England Journal of Higher Education, 23(1), 25-26. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Richardson, W. (2009). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Richardson, W., & Mancabelli, R. (2007). High-tech inspires the read/write website. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 72(9), 14-18. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Trier, J. (2007). "Cool" engagements with youtube: Part 1. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 50(5), 408-412. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Yeo, M. (2007). New literacies, alternative Texts: Teachers' conceptualisations of composition and literacy. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 6(1), 113-131. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Post #2-The Lit Maven Presents: Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten, But Video Sharing Back Then Was a Flip Book.

Jan 25th, 2010. Just opened the trail fire, seared my eyeballs, and went to bed. The high of posting on photo sharing was followed closely by the realization that I had to do it all over again. Sort of like, Hotel California, you can check in but never leave. Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in. You get the idea?

My memories of video sharing involve a Friday afternoon in the 80's, spotting a huge film canister on my teacher's desk. The "A.V." kid would go and retrieve the projector. The teacher would break into a sweat as the kids watched the threading of the heavily man-handled film. "Does anyone have scissors?" We did; child friendly scissors. Friendly because all they cut was tissue paper. Needless to say the film was 'trimmed'. After a few attempts, another teacher would come in to assist. Finally, the blinds were drawn the dusty portable carpet breathed a sigh of relief that there was no popcorn involved.

Film back then was exciting. Not because of the information but because we could watch things backwards when the film was rewound. Imagine the laughter of watching a film of the Quebec Carnival backwards as the once chewed snowy toffee comes back out of a boy's mouth. Hilarious!

Now fast forward from Beta, VHS and on to YouTube.

Video killed the Celebrity Star (Reflections on Learning the Tool)

The topic of video sharing has brought down many a celebrity. But if Paris can do it…Good for her! I on the other hand was excited to start but again unsure of my subject matter. The first thing I did was sign up on YouTube. Imagine my delight to discover the possibilities of customizing your own home page. How many home pages do I need? Is this how celebrities feel with the multitude of homes?

Similar to Flickr, I assumed that these sites were just a dumping ground for videos. But much to my surprise, they have a community of their own. My first YouTube experience last year was to look up We are the World and Tears are Not Enough. Why? Because I enjoy watching 'the husband' squirm and think, " 'E-Harmony' not a match!"

Logged into YouTube, I sat there, waiting for the Web 2.0 fairy to create some magic. I am not sure if I am comfortable with being a member of YouTube. This may sound snobby, but Flickr feels more academic, close-knit, goal driven, more my style. Perhaps there is a noticeable shift in quality. Really YouTube feels like a being in a Junior High hallway, should I even be here? Whatever the feeling, I did search for other video sharing sites and found them. Teacher Tube is a collection of educational videos. Immediately I felt that the community was tighter and more along the same wavelength. Sort of like the option classes in high school. I was impressed by the variety of teacher materials. The other one, Watchknow.org, was created as of October 2009. I appreciated the indexing and the ability to search quickly for what was needed. The sliding age scale helps to refine the targeted age group. The site administrator admits that not all videos are indexed this way but that it should get better. I was not blocked from this site at work but was only able to get one video to upload. Still not sure why that was, at home there was no trouble. The third video sharing site is Discovery Education Streaming. I have had experience with this one from prior years in the classroom. The benefits were a vast array of videos, especially science and health. The challenges were the subscription fee and the videos had to be carefully matched to curricular outcomes.

Playtime! So I had to get in touch with my Inner YouTube. I wanted to create a video to share. What would be the subject? Not a tree, in the winter, they freeze on camera. I chose my cat. I have a weird cat. He must lie down to drink. No arthritis. I think he has mommy issues. I set up an amateur looking Photo shoot. The children said, "Mom, why is the lamp over there." "What's a photo shoot!" I said, "Watch out…stay over there" "This is for a course!"

The cat participated and I got the action shots. Now to upload! The Blackberry is out of memory, the digital camera is full. So I used 'the husband's' deluxe camera that takes close up pictures of dust. Uploading was interesting…well it's called a Canon Rebel because it will rebel…just well, because. Picasa and Moviemaker were also experiencing some 'tantrums and tiaras', so at a loss I signed up at ANIMOTO, a lovely video creation site. What fun? My husband spent the rest of the evening trying to ignore me but giving in when he heard the incredibly Euro trash music that comes for free on ANIMOTO. The 1-2-3 process was a miracle.

I had fun! Free does mean budget. Only 30 seconds in length. You can add text to separate frames. But the font size, shape and color cannot be altered. There is no preview button. So it is difficult to know if all the slides will show until you view it. The product is much better looking than a slideshow. Once you start it is difficult to stop. I would actually consider a subscription.

As a parent I loved it for the video creation possibilities, perhaps working with my children to create neat little vignettes with their toys etc. As for my social networks, I have always shared photos. This week was my first time sharing a video. In addition to last week's discussion about long distance connections with relatives, videos serve this purpose too. Here is my first product Mac , uploaded on YouTube. Note limited views. All mine. No ratings. No shirt. No shoes. NO DICE.

Humpty Dumpty sat on the Wall, Humpty Dumpty YouTubed His Fall! (Discussion of the Tool in terms of my own personal learning)

YouTube does seem to be a good place to share quick videos but I think I would do a lot more work in preparing a video to share with my colleagues. I think the personal and the professional are very different. If teachers decide to record their own presentations, an added benefit mentioned by Young (2008), is that the quality of the presentation actually improves. Just think back to those first year teacher evaluations, or perhaps not.

YouTube is perfect for learning. The amount of "How-to's" makes it a one stop shop for instructions. The multitude of perspectives also allow for content to be differentiated in terms of ability. This summer I looked up knitting videos. If you have ever tried to knit using those freaky drawings in books you will relate to my joy of have a 'video' granny seemingly sharing the rocking chair with me. I can say that YouTube changed my life and provided me with knitting lessons that actually made sense. A fingerless glove in an hour; totally true!

People at work send me videos. This one, the Muppets: Ringing of the Bells makes me laugh. Don't we all have an inner Animal? Who can forget the Paul Pott's audition video? Without video sharing, that might have been a last minute edition to the evening news.

Again I felt that creativity is difficult at the start. I find the pressure each week to create something of my own. I am beginning to understand that the tools add a new dimension to what is already there but just not discovered. The images of my cat were nothing in isolation but with the addition of text, music photo manipulation, meaning was created. I do have more of an issue with privacy in regards to sharing online. I think that I would be more comfortable showcasing my art than my family.

I learned that I could be using video sharing more. When you look at the world it makes you want to yell, " I Screen! You Screen! We all Screen for I Screens!" Have you seen screens? Well I am sure you have like the time you were blinded by a mall sign and nearly drove off a cliff or distracted by the 'dolled up' up van next to you with the DVD implants. Screens are one of the ways children are receiving information and we need to get on top of this. Videos are much more layered and multidimensional than images. I do believe that pictures are worth a thousand words. But videos have to be at least 1001. Music changes the tone and the added effects of writing also can create new and altered meanings. Are we as parents and educators ready for this?

Also, mentioned on WatchKnow, ratings are important to video sharing sites. The rating feature is encouraged and heavily influences what is viewed. I admit to this bias as well. When I see that a video received poor ratings I am likely to choose a different one. Similarly I am influenced by the number of views the video received. Those with high ratings and views are profiled on the home page. The social community determines what gets viewed. Thus the demographics play a huge role in determining how these sites are used. Perhaps there should be YouTubeY , YouTubeX, YouTubeBoomer and YouTubeSilver to account for the span in generations.

Finally, one of my favorite video sharing sites is TED; inspiration on daily basis and wonderful discussion starters. You cannot add to this site unless you are accepted by a board of prestigious people. However, it would be amazing to have students create their own 20 minute video presentation on a defining moment in their lives.

There Was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe, She Video Shared, You Can, Too! (Discussion on the tool in terms of Teaching and Learning.)

The opportunity to use videos for education is a huge discussion, bringing with it a multitude of concerns. It depends how video sharing is used. Is it teacher directed, vetted and viewed or are the student's in the driver's seat? Richardson (2009) provided my favorite quote on the subject, " YouTube is already having an enormous disruptive effect on our society, and it's also becoming a place where more and more of our students go to publish the artifacts of their lives" (p. 119). An intense quote about the equally debatable celebrations and challenges of video sharing.

Perhaps one of the big benefits to video sharing is its flexibility for education. Trier (2007) discusses this in terms of 'time and space shifting'. 'Time shifting' allows students to access teacher specified videos from anywhere they have an internet connection and similarly 'space shifting' refers to the fact that students do not have to be in the school building. A great example of this is Wallwisher. This is essentially a virtual bulletin board. The access can be real time in a lab or from a student's home computer. Here is an example that I posted. Sir Ken Robinson is one of my favorite speakers on creativity. I thought that having students view a quote, image, or video and then have them respond on a virtual stickie. (If you are reading this, please leave a comment on my Wallwisher). Of course after I worked through this process I found a link to these additional ideas. This approach to gathering student responses is more motivating and informative. In addition students are privy to read what other students are thinking. Also weighing on Wallwisher is the blog, On
an E-Journey with Generation Y. Here are list of additional features and limitations.

In our Digital Storytelling PD session this week, my colleagues and I used a PREZI. This provides for a more dynamic and flexible presentation than the usual linear aspects of a PowerPoint. Our tech consultant, Rob M., created this one. It includes four video links along with text. The teachers also were lent Notebook computers to practice on and preloaded USB's with preselected images and audio. Following the presentation we sent the participants the link to the PREZI. Now they can have many other glances at it and perhaps share with their staff. Of course, the big issue with Professional Development is access. As Will Richardson mentions in his Weblogg-ed article "'continual, collaborative, on the job' learning isn't very convenient for professional developers or for teachers in classrooms. It means re-thinking what learning looks like." Web 2.0 tools have a lot to offer for providing ongoing supportive professional development accessed on site or at home.

Mullen and Wedwick (2008) describe an example where a teacher had students gather YouTube videos, to represent a theme the class was studying. For example, nostalgia can be defined by having students gather videos that represent the shows they watched as children. Davis and Merchant (2009) stress the importance of vetting content by having teachers gather videos to post on their YouTube account and allow students to view them there. If there is not already a school site block on YouTube, I would consider it unwise for students to have free access to YouTube. Although guiding them through as a whole class would be a valuable alternative.

Viewing and Creation are two different sides of the video coin. (I have no idea if this coin actually exists but it sounded good.) Media literacy provides a huge issue in regards to what students understand and learn from. Media Literacy sites such as these provide opportunities for teachers to capitalize on what they know to be true. A classic video for me is the House Hippo. (I actually would have liked one of these and was devastated at the final reveal.) Davies and Merchant (2009) stress the importance of teachers providing instruction in how to deal with videos that have unpleasant messages, even if they tend to encounter these surfing at home. Essentially topics do tend to travel back and forth from home to school regardless of where videos or images were viewed.

In addition Ohler (2009) refers to a "shift from text centrism to media collage" (p10). Students today are not just deciphering meaning from text but many combinations of images and words. Teachers need to decide what best fits the content areas they are presenting. As teachers we do not need to be ultra tech savvy, but we do need to facilitate understanding for our students. Ohler (2009) asserts, "It is more important for instructors to learn how to articulate the nature of quality in the new-media domain and to help students express themselves clearly, regardless of the media used" (p.31). As mentioned in my previous posts, Web 2.0. tools are meant to facilitate the learning that is already happening. Successful integration of new tech tools is impeded when teachers view them as unnecessary add-ons or just 'cute' activities.

Digital storytelling is part of our Content Literacy AISI initiative. Strassman and O'Connell (2007) suggest that combining images and writing on the computer, increases motivation due to the possibility of enhancing the experience for the viewer. Of course, a key to any tool is availability. The teachers have been given introductions to ANIMOTO and StoryBird. These are both online video creation tools. But like in the previous posts the issues of blocking and basic internet connections can be an issue. Moviemaker is on all of our district computers, this makes is a great option for students to use.

Whatever video creation tool students use, the undeniable fact, as Richardson (2009) points out, students and teachers can share their work with a wider audience. Web 2.0 tools enhance creativity, communication and collaboration. Besides being fun, video sharing in the classroom is becoming a respected addition to instructional practices without being relegated to Friday afternoons or a time when the A.V. man shines in his black leather vest. If you need any more proof check out this amazing top 10 list of reasons to use YouTube in the classroom.

There is so much to discuss with video sharing. The layers and the depth of involvement for teachers and students is a learning continuum. Over time the medium will become second nature. In closing, here is a link to my ANIMOTO of my video sharing process this week. Enjoy! Remember to take time and enjoy the View.

Non Linked Resources

Davies, J. & Merchant, G. (2009). Web 2.0 for schools: Learning and social participation. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Ohler, J. (2009). New-media literacies. Academe, 95(3), 30-33. Retrieved from ERIC database

Ohler, J. (2009). Orchestrating the media collage. Educational Leadership, 66(6), 8-13. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Richardson, W. (2009). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Mullen, R., & Wedwick, L. (2008). Avoiding the digital abyss: Getting started in the classroom with youtube, digital stories, and blogs. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 8266-69. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Strassman, B., & O'Connell, T. (2007). Authoring with video. Reading Teacher, 61(4), 330-333. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Trier, J. (2007). "Cool" engagements with youtube: Part 1. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 50(5), 408-412. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Young, J. (2008). YouTube professors scholars as online video stars. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 73(9), 14-16. Retrieved from ERIC database.

10 Reasons to Use YouTube in the Classroom