My World and Welcome to It!

These are my thoughts and opinions about life in general. I also get daily prompts from DSP which inspire me to write. If I throw in some scrapbook pages I've done, photos I've taken, and stories about me, you will have an idea about my loony life!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Cell Phones and Teaching


It has been years since I have upgraded my cell phone. Lately I’ve been reading about all the great ways to use a cell phone in the classroom and I realize that I was being left behind. I feel like when I was a little kid and just learned to ride a bicycle. I had a small heavy bicycle while my friends were riding 10 speed bikes and going much faster than I was. Now I have to pedal hard to catch up.

I now have a Droid Incredible and I can only hope that it will do incredible things. I have never used the internet on the phone or checked my email. Apparently this has a GPS system and lots of other toys on it. It has been years since I have sent any text messages or even taken a picture with my phone so I need to get back to all of this and it is exciting.

I think I will start by learning how to use all the “stuff” that comes with the phone before I start downloading any apps to play with. I need to learn how to use the basics before I start adding anything. I also want to do a lot of research on the best free apps to get and the implications of getting them.

Sometimes I wonder if I forget that I need to teach this way. I need to make sure that my students have the basics before I start adding all the bells and whistles. This can be overwhelming to them because I know it can do the same thing to me.

Of course, I am impatient and want to skip the basics so I can get to the bells and whistles but I need to hold myself back. I need to do the same thing with my students and not let their excitement let me push them too quickly. Like surfing, it is easy to get caught up in the tide but if we don’t know how to get on the surf board, we can easily get swept away and drown.

I can see this new phone being a great tool but if I don’t learn how to use it than it won’t be as effective as I hope it would be. I need to learn how to use it in the most efficient and effective way in order to get the most bang for my buck. But if I get frustrated or discouraged, I won’t use many of the things on the phone that may benefit me. In this same way, I need to help students come to the same realization about their learning.

If you have any suggestions or know of any good free apps for the Droid Incredible, please share. I would love any tips that you can give because I am a firm believer of not trying to reinvent the wheel and would love to learn from your mistakes/learning curve/ or whatever you may call it. Hopefully by modeling my new learning experience, my students will be able to see the importance of taking one step at a time and also asking for help when necessary. We all need to be open to suggestions and ideas from others because we can only benefit from someone else’s experiences.

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Picture: Droid Incredible by Pat Hensley

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection (Book Review)

TRICKSTER I recently read the book Trickster: Native American Tales, a Graphic Collection Edited by Matt Dembicki which was mentioned on The Picnic Basket. This is the review that I gave the book (I am not being paid to give this review):

I would definitely give this book a 5 out of 5. I love the whole book! First of all I love graphic novels and I love Native American Tales so to find a book that combines them both was wonderful! The illustrations were magnificent and would really appeal to readers of all ages. Of course the stories were entertaining but also could be used as a springboard for classroom lessons. This book could be used to teach reading, storytelling, art, social skills, science, and many other topics. I think this book would be a great addition to any school or classroom library. In fact, I can’t wait to take this book camping this weekend to share it with family and friends.

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

June Photo A Day Challenge

JunePAD I have made it a half of a year continuing with the Photo A Day Challenge on Flickr. If you haven’t done this before, you might give it a try. You might try it was a week challenge or a month challenge. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t start at the beginning of the year. The reason that I suggest this is that I have found so many benefits for this and want to share them with you.

I look closer at the world around me. I am more attentive to the little things. When I first started, I mostly looked at the big picture. This project has helped me look for the details.

I try to find something interesting every day. I’m not talking about just interesting to me but thinking about what might be interesting to others.

I am collecting photos that I may use in presentations that are more interesting than clip art. I think about photos that I have looked for when I am creating presentations and when I see something that might fit; I take a photo of it.

When I am at a loss for an idea, I got to The Daily Shoot which gives an assignment for the day. Sometimes that can inspire me.

It can get others involved in helping me look for good shots too. When I’m with my friends and mention that I am taking pictures for this project, they get caught up in the hunt too. At times, they will call me over to take a photo of something they think would make a good photo of the day. At the end of the day, I have lots of photos to choose from.

At the end of the month, I like to look at all of the photos I took that month to see what caught my eye and if I see any trends or themes for the month.

Original Image: June Photos of the Day by Pat Hensley