Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Children’s Book Apps November 14, 2011

Filed under: apps — bestbookihavenotread @ 11:43 am

Here is one of the newest ones:

Courtesy of Publisher’s Weekly

This week in children’s apps features Mysterious Benedict Society, an app for kids and adults that will test your wits. Also, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me, tells the tale of the shell with feet that lives in a piece of bread. Next, there’s Tacky the Emperor, the story of the penguin without a fashion sense, who makes quite the impression when the emperor comes to visit. Finally, there’s A Duck in New York City, which follows a prairie duck coming to the big city.

 

Technology in Review part 1 September 4, 2010

Filed under: 21st Century Technologies,technology — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:40 am
Tags: ,

One of the things I did this past week was to help interview candidates for our district’s opening for a Technology Director. Listening to the responses of the candidates also caused me to reflect on just how far technology has come since I started in the education field over eighteen years ago.
When started teaching in 1992, there were no computers in the classroom. I didn’t have a computer at home. There was a computer “lab” that had fifteen Apple IIe’s in a trailer known not very fondly as the “portable”. It was well out to the side of the high school football field where it met up with the elementary playground.

I had several disastrous attempts to take my class to the lab to use software on a floppy disc. You know. The big 5 1/4 quarter inch soft floppy that was first out. There were some copies of Oregon Trail and some math game. In teacher education, we had learned to write a program that could make a turtle icon up and back.

I got my own computer later that year when I started my master’s degree at The Ohio State university. It was a heavy Mac-I don’t remember the exact model but from looking through images, I’m 95% sure it was the MacintoshII. I think it was around $2000 when it was all said and done. I was darn proud to have one as it was expected that we have access to one for our master’s degree work. I remember going to Micro Center to buy a dial up modem so I could do some online research. It was a beast of a machine that I carried from the student union at OSU to my car some far distance away. The modem came with AOL and used a search engigne that I think was called Gopher.

My third year of teaching we each got one big dinosaur of a computer for our classroom. I don’t remember any software that came with it, but I was able to type my newsletters and create study guides or tests in an “word” like program. It used the 3 inch hard “floppies” to save, as did my home computer. Some files I worked with in grad school might span five discs. There was still no Internet at school.

Sometime  around 1997, SchoolNet money from the state brought upgraded electrical wiring and internet wiring to the classroom. Large conduits on the inside of the classroom walls were run and it was a big deal to decide where to have your outlet put, as it would decide your classroom configuration for years to come. Before that electrical upgrade, there was one outlet in the back of the room and one outlet in the front of the room.

 

Twitter Thoughts July 29, 2009

Filed under: adult learners,technology,Twitter — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:38 am

Get your twitter mosaic here.

Let’s start with the basics. People who don’t Tweet have no idea what Twitter is or why you would want to use it. I was one of those people a year ago. I remember sitting on the couch having my husband explain it to me one more time and why it might be good for my blog for me to begin to Tweet. I’m sure I looked at him as if he’d grown another arm.

According to Wikipedia Twitter is “a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers…”

Franki at A Year of Reading started the conversation (Check out her Choice Literacy article in the Beyond Gadgets series. Get a subscription to Choice Literacy as a gift to yourself for the new school year.). Her blogging partner Mary Lee followed with her Love/Hate Relationship with Twitter. Myself-I go back and forth between the two.

Things I like~

I can get book review links from bloggers, authors, publishers, and just plain people I don’t know, but have similar interests to me…

I can get cooking advice from Christopher Kimball or Chef Ann any time he/she feels like giving it to me

I can get an instant answer to my “Is my tongue going to fall off?” question

I can get news updates from Columbus

I can win books! (Three times lucky!)

Things I don’t like~

The biggest would be how author’s Richard Peck’s keynote made me feel about how Facebook and Twitter are to paraphrase, “Going to end civilization because we aren’t supposed to stay in touch with our elementary school crush and know what our teen-aged child is doing every moment of their lives!” I think he mentioned something also about it being a form of “peeping Tom”. I’m pretty sure I was sending Tweet updates at the beginning of that speech.

Getting updates on people’s moods

I’m also in complete agreement with Mary Lee about the time sucker it can become. I feel the same way about my $#*& e-mail!

Still trying to explain how it looks like I’m on Facebook all the time (I have my blog and Twitter hooked to my Facebook account).
I tried several Twitter helpers to help me manage all my Tweets and Tweeple, have settled on TweetDeck. Before that, I might have someone send me a direct response and not know about it. It has also helped me categorize so the Tweets from Blogging world people can be separate from all the general Tweets that might not be something I have time or interest in reading.

The biggest challenge for me with Twitter, moderation! Finding the sweet spot between TMI/time sucking and useful up to the minute updates.

The end of my ramble…

 

Social Media crash course November 1, 2008

Filed under: Facebook,school,technology — bestbookihavenotread @ 2:16 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I have had a huge crash course in social media since starting my new job in July. I have to say that I’ve gone from being very disturbed by what I thought it was to, to fascinated, to slightly obsessed.  It seems so many parts of my life end up leading back to something that is somewhat related to social media. 

I recently joined Facebook when I needed to be able to do some research on it to see if I could determine which student(s) had started a false page for one of our administrators. I have to admit that I was initially really creeped out by it. As a friend and I started started researching, I started an account while she ran to the restroom. I have to admit I didn’t even really know what Facebook was, much less how it was set up, until getting on the site. For those familiar with it, you know the sign-up is pretty quick and even before my friend was back from the restroom, I had a post on my page from my youngest brother, complete with a photo of my niece! Yikes-how did that happen? Well he has an iPhone and received a message notifying him that I had clicked on him as a friend. From the same iPhone, he sent a text and photo to my Facebook page through his Facebook account. 

Here’s what I found initially creepy:

  • the speed with which people can be connected-instantaneous!
  • the content on some younger students’ Facebook pages
  • the fact that the iPhone got around all the school’s filters since it is a wireless mobile device
  • that I could tell that students were posting to their Facebook page from their phones during the school day, even though there is a policy against cell phone use during the day-my brain instantly went to all the naughty things students could do at school with Facebook, iPhone, etc.
  • do I really want to be “friends” with someone if we knew each other twenty plus years ago-isn’t there something sociologically that thinks that you move on from different points in your life and not reliving them? 

Here’s what I now find fascinating!

  • That this blog can be linked to Facebook
  • That I easily communicate (for Free! unless you count having the internet at home) in brief spurts with my brothers, my college roommate, friends from high school, or teachers from other schools-complete with photos of their children in almost “real-time” 
  • That I can find other KidLit bloggers, curriculum coordinators, teachers, moms, etc. who are like-minded through Twitter, JacketFlap, Facebook, Ning,…
  • Now the NCTE site even has a social networking community of people who will be attending the conference in November 

      

 

 
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