My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Sunday, February 20, 2011


If you've read anything I've posted in the past, then you should be familiar with my love of Mashable, a site that posts news about social and digital media, technology, and web . . . stuff. I've been a little slack about posting anything lately, so I'm going to attempt to be better. We'll see how it goes!

One great site that I follow is Free Technology For Teachers. Recently (Feb 19th to be exact) Richard Byrne posted a small story about a site that teachers can use to filter YouTube videos to watch in their classrooms. Apparently, VuSafe allows teachers to take the videos they find on YouTube and other sites, post them to their online video libraries, and watch them without worrying about the safety concerns that YouTube raises. The videos can be tagged and organized (from what I understand) and placed into categories. Students can even access the videos with a password given to them by their teachers. It's a free service and allows IT to still block direct access to YouTube, while allowing teachers to use those videos. It obviously has to be approved by administers in order to be granted access, but the benefits (and the fact that it's free) seem worth it. Oh! You do have to apply for an account.

To learn more, check out their about section and visit their site! If you use it, please let me know how it worked out for you.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I haven't posted anything in a whiled, but I have a list going of the things I want to post, so stay tuned! (I promise it will be within the next week). Until then, anyone have any cool or worthwhile applications for iPads? I got one for Christmas (because my family ROCKS!!) and am still trying to figure out what exactly I should have on it. I LOVE flipboard ( - and as soon as I figure out how to navigate everything in safari, I'll add links. Until then, sorry for the addresses. Hope everyone had a good holday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Google Apps for Education

I had no idea that Google offered Google Apps for Education!  I'm not going to list everything it has to offer, but it seems like has the same benefits as a personal google (gmail) account, but with higher security and a few *extra* educational tools (it mentions lesson plans and curriculum/training resources).  Granted, it's a school-wide implementation, so you'd have to have everyone on board, but the possibilities of collaboration and coordination between teachers and students are ginormous!  I was looking further into it at Classroom 2.0's group, Google Apps for Education, and found a comment from Roger Nevin, expressing these benefits of using the apps:

1. Teachers can see an assignment being created and comment on it before it is "handed in"
2. Students have same software at home as school - so always have access to their work
3. Nothing is ever lost
4. Assignments can be kept for at-risk students to see if they are making progress (our grade 7s keep there logins all the way to grade 12 and have their English assignments saved with teacher comments and marks for future review)
5. Teachers can use their Blackberries or I Phones to access students assignments or any document. Teachers become much more efficient.
6. Saves money - less photocopying
7. Teacher Assignments and resources are search-able on-line. Both parents and students can access course resources.
8. Good for the environment - less paper
9. Saves teachers and students time

Anywho, I just wanted to share!  Google's Apps sound like they would save the time of the teacher and students, allow easier access, encourage collaboration, and keep things better organized.  I wonder if I'll be lucky enough to end up at a school where they're being use?! lol

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A 2 minute video about graphic organizers

Thanks to SimpleK12's Kimberly Warner for her "How to integrate technology in just two minutes" podcasts!  This one is with Dave Dodgson, who explains ways he uses graphic organizers with ESL students in Turkey.  If you haven't checked out her posts before, you should!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thing 23

My adventure through Library2Play has come to a close, but I intend on keeping my blog going in the future.  I've thoroughly enjoyed every inch I've explored of this digital jungle, including getting sucked down and stuck in my only pitfall.  My favorite moments were creating this blog, learning more about Google Tools, learning about RSS Feeds and adding different blogs to my Google Reader account, learning the benefits of commenting on people's blogs, rediscovering Delicious (I absolutely LOVE this bookmarking site!), exploring youtube and teachertube further, creating a vidcast (even though I was embarrassed and had no idea what to do mine on), and exploring and requesting to join Nings!

While hashing my way through the digital jungle, I came across small and large networking communities that I can't wait to visit in the future!  They will be such wonderful resources for lifelong learning, keeping me up-to-date with current technologies, offering me avenues for advice when I'm hard-up for ideas or feeling overwhelmed and confused, and providing me with a place for sharing and discussing topics.  I intend on including digital resources in as much as possible and using them as often as I'm allowed.

Alright, I'm done with the jungle metaphor.  I absolutely loved everything about this program.  I didn't, however, expect to have a desire to continue blogging about technology or educational "stuff."  I kind of figured that I would finish my 23 things and then my blog would float away down the "Never-to-be-read-or-updated-again" river.  Instead, though, I find myself joining networks and reading other educators' and librarians' blogs, wanting to know more about current trends, and wanting to share what I find with others.  I even started tweeting.

The only suggestion I have for this program's format is that the links in the "things" need to be checked and/or updated.  There were a few that didn't work, and considering the content of this course, they probably need to be eliminated or fixed.

If I were offered the chance to participate in another discovery program like this, I would JUMP at the chance to participate!  I have gained so much usable knowledge from this course, and I also have a large variety of resources at my fingertips.  It was definitely time well spent.  I'm even tempted to join the 43 things website and start my own little "to-do list."  Or maybe I'll just attempt some of Stephen Abrams 43 Things.

How would I describe the 23 things?  Hmmm . . . "Exuberant lifelong digital learning skills neatly wrapped up in a little blog."   *insert giant grin*

I am extremely grateful that I was given the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful, enriching experience.

Thing 22

Ning has so many opportunities for networking and collaborating among educators and librarians! I think I ended up bookmarking five or six more sites about either Library 2.0, teaching ideas, and Library 2.0. Assessment FOR Learning is all about using practical assessment everyday to maximize student learning.  There are some great assessment ideas and strategies, along with explanations of why we assess and when we should.  Teacher Lingo is a way for teachers to connect and share through blogs, lesson plans, resources, and other related items.  I really liked the diverse amount of information available here for all levels.  Ning in Education is and educational social network, connecting educators through special interest groups (such as content area or grade level).  It has a lot of resources and a wide variety of blog posts to browse through!  Classroom 2.0 really peaked my interest.  It's a network for educators interested in using Web 2.0 and social media in the classroom.  One group is "Google Apps for Education" and its forum has some very interesting posts (check out Using Google Application in the Classroom).  I actually sent in a request to join the network.  Another network I requested to join was Library 2.0.  It's nice to know that there's a network available for when I begin my Librarian 2.0 adventure!  Another Ning I really enjoyed was the Content Literacy Ning.  I love that there's a network for teachers who advocate the literate approach to teaching content.  One of the things we discussed as part of my undergrad was Writing Across the Curriculum, which basically means including writing in all content areas to promote better comprehension and retention.  While not too many people have heard of that concept in Texas (I think it must be a term used in North Carolina mainly), Content Literacy is a concept that is widely known and includes Writing Across the Curriculum.  I love that there is a place to go to discuss and share resources and ideas concerning this topic!

While these Nings are all for educators, I wonder if it would be possible to create Nings for, say, high school math students, where they could go to get help with concepts.  I tried to find a Ning for Struggling Readers, but to no avail.  I think it would be a really good network to create - one that focused on reading strategies, advice, and suggestions for both educators and parents.  I've had quite a few friends ask me how to get their children more interested in reading or help them raise their comprehension.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to give them a network to pull ideas from and to discuss what has and has not worked with parents going through similar situations?  There are so many options for Ning - you could even create a classroom Ning, since you can choose to have members only join by being invited.  I think students could really benefit from a site where they could collaborate and discuss ideas and questions with their peers.