Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Day After

No it wasn't the craziest birthday I've ever had, but truly one of the more enjoyable.

I am finding the tools easier to navigate and am beginning to see how I can practically applicate them to things I need to be doing NOW. I can link important beginning of the year information to the school website through google docs. or perhaps portaportal. I think I could even utilize a blog as a means to provide links to pieces I want kids to listen to, along with some directed listening activities. With 150 students, I don't think I want everyone to comment, but maybe I could rotate the activity through the grade levels and require a comment over a window of time. Listening is an important skill to develop and practice, and we simply don't have time to do much in class. This is something we can start in class for modeling purposes, but then move to "outside class time".

I also find great implications for some items of interest in RSS feeds and delicious. Music advocacy is a big topic with lots of updates. Chasing the latest findings just got a lot easier, except for the time factor. Hey, is there widget to create time?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, cards, gifts and delicious cookies! Speaking of delicious...

I love it! This is a tool I am finding myself lost in, but in an enjoyable and productive way. The icons and pathways make a lot of sense and it appeals to my strong desire to organize everything--despite what room 201 looks like after most concerts!

I'm not at the point of going "out there" yet to save too many sites, as I had quite a few to sort through on my bookmarks (time to delete!), but a quick search got me where I wanted to be in a manner that made clear sense to me. Can we stay here a while?

Hump Day

Based on how we all dragged ourselves in here this morning, the heat is taking it's toll on motivation. Heading to the river in Windham after class has provided a good way to beat the heat and to talk through some of our new learning with other teachers...we're lucky we can hang out riverside and chat!

Certain applications are starting to look more like a natural "fit" for the music classes, although the value of blogging seems very apparent--this is a change in attitude from day 1!

I will have to admit however, that the format of the class does not always work for me. Maybe I don't have the attention span I thought I did, but I find the time on task practicing and exploring tools can be a challenge for me. I get distracted by other information online, find the quiet a bit uncomfortable (I don't want to bother others!), and would like to hear more from other classmates--their questions and comments are really helpful in clarifying my understanding--and lack thereof!

Gee, the band director is challenged by quiet?! Maybe it's time for school to start after all...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Here is my attempt to link a site!

Shade Gardening

Here is my attempt to link a picture...:)

Deeper in the Muck

Well, 3 hours have passed and we've since learned about RSS, opened reader accounts and linked some feeds to our accounts! Wow!

It's great to learn about a tool that can help filter all the information swirling out there in the ether, but I must admit to still feeling overwhelmed by thought of it all out there. Remember the scene in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", the real one, with Gene Wilder? Mike T.V. sends himself through space and returns as the teeny version of himself. That's how I picture all that information out there and I need a good way to reach out and grab the good stuff without coming up with 105,000 possibilities. if I could only work chocolate into this analogy....

A New Day

On the radio driving home yesterday was a timely discussion of accuracy (and manipulation) on the internet. The information in the discussion provided such a seamless transition from our class work to the night's reading...this stuff really is everywhere! The horizon is wide open...

Today I am hoping to narrow the focus just a little and start to feel a little more capable of navigating some of this information a little more independently. RSS Feeds sound almost too good to be true!

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Impressions

I have come to the 12-21 class with some will be interesting to review in the next few days and weeks what opinions I still hold.

We have read some blogs as an initial task and the ones I chose ranged in topic from technology use in the classroom (Ann Davis), the subject of brevity in blogging, to the concept that our educational system suffocates creative thought. Nicely organized for easy browsing, all accessible by a mere click. This is where I start to lose my balance. The scope of information "out there" is overwhelming. The fact that one can also throw out their thoughts for the world to read and comment on expands the possibilities to the point where I cannot comprehend navigating this. Good thing I've got such great guides!

The blogs I read were very different but shared one common characteristic; the were very well written and each was written in the writer's unique voice. I love to read anything, and when starting with the newspaper I head to the editorials first. I found reading the blogs similar in tone. Having the opportunity to read others' comments heightens the reading experience by including other perspectives and further information. I did find some comments distracting--commentators sometimes went off topic or directed their comments in a familiar (?) way to the blogger. My preconception? I expect professional comments?

Connie and Steve are masterful at making this easy for us; will I be able to do this when I'm sitting in room 201 by myself?