Assignment 4 Reflection

 Looking back at the assignment completed for Module 4, I am very fortunate to have been able to tie this into what I am currently teaching.  My Honors English 9 classes are currently working with Literature Circles.  Lit Circles are where students are given five choices of novels and they must select one.  Then, they are grouped together with the other classmates who chose the same novel.  My sections have five groups of six students.  My content team was trying to come up with a better final product to assess their understanding of the novel.  Right now we use a 50 question assessment, however, this prevents students from getting to share their novel with the rest of the class.  Since only six out of thirty students read the book, it would be beneficial for the rest of the class to get to learn a bit more about the other novels.

 
At that point, I thought that using the VoiceThread would be a neat way for Lit Circle groups to share what their novel was about.  The reason that the VoiceThread appealed to me for this purpose is because the VoiceThread reminds me of a Lit Circle meeting.  Members are expected to conduct group discussions centered around a particular topic connected to their selected novel.  The way that my students take turns sharing comments while sitting in their Lit Circle group reminded me so much of the VoiceThread when multiple classmates would add a comment to the slides.  I loved watching how my classmates would transform my VoiceThread by adding their own comments to add to the presentation.  This was the basis of my idea.
 
Working with Wikispace was very new for me, but it was not quite as challenging as some of the other new technologies I learned during this course have been.  I am not sure why, other than the fact that Wikispace seems to be more user-friendly.  I found the steps to be easy to follow and the edits were not difficult to complete.  I enjoyed creating multiple pages and links.  I plan to actually use this assignment in early January, as indicated by the due date that I placed in the Wikispace group pages’ calendars. I am going to divide up the lesson a bit more by starting this Friday.  I will be teaching my students how to create a VoiceThread and introducing them to the program.  Their homework for tonight was to take an appropriate head shot and e-mail tit to themselves.  This way, when we go into the lab on Friday, they will be able to register for an account and upload their profile picture.  Since the VoiceThreads will be presented to the class, it is important for the students to have their own profile picture because it will be nice for students to see which classmate is making the various comments.
 
I enjoyed creating the lesson plan and this assignment.  The Module 4 assignment was by far the most in-depth because it really dives into lesson planning!  However, I find it to be the most helpful, since I am going to actually use my lesson very soon.  I look forward to seeing my students’ VoiceThread projects!
 
If you’d like to view my final assignment, please visit my Wikispace page
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Social and Collaborative Media

Social Media in Classrooms

VoiceThread is a collaborative media tool used where a group of people can hold a discussion regarding one topic via comments that are added.  As opposed to other online forums that use comments to add to a discussion, the VoiceThread comments actually become part of the presentation.  After everyone has made their comments, you can watch it from the beginning and it is truly like watching a digital group discussion.  The above hyperlink will open a new page so you can see the VoiceThread that I created for my grad class.

Twitter Created

I created my Twitter account for SLM508.  My Twitter name is CVukmanic – I decided to post it on here so that my classmates could easily find me and follow me.

Assignment 2 Part 3

For my second module, I have reviewed new technologies relating to digital storytelling.  Of the programs I reviewed, I enjoyed the PhotoPeach program the most.  I would use this in my classroom to present new ideas or tutorials to my students.  I would also like to encourage my students to use PhotoPeach for their argumentative presentations instead of PowerPoint presentations.  The reason behind this is because PhotoPeach allows students to have access to their photos and images during their presentation without the lengthy wording posted behind them.  I have found that the downside to PowerPoint presentations with my students is that they simply write their entire speech onto the PowerPoint slides and just read it during their speech.  PhotoPeach does not allow as many words because the caption area is smaller.  The focus is more on the photos as visual aid, which is how they should be used for a speech.  I have created an example speech visual aid for an argumentative speech on cheerleading being a sport.  Here is the link to my PhotoPeach presentation, which is the example I will be showing my students before their speeches:

http://photopeach.com/album/dnv6nl

Librarian Blogs: A Peek into the Career

Truthfully, I have never really had much of an interest in blogs until I began looking into them for my SLM508 course. My general lack of interest created a lack of understanding that there are so many different types of blogs and even among the different types, there is such a vast variety of posts available to the public. It is so interesting to read the thoughts and anecdotes of others through their blog posts, especially when the content directly relates to a potential career. This leads me into my findings from investigating blogs created by librarians. I looked at three very different types of librarian blogs and their reviews are below:

 

In the Library with the Lead Pipe: The murder victim? Your library assumptions. Suspects? It could have been any of us. (http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/)

I was attracted to “In The Library with the Lead Pipe” because it was voted the Best General Blog by the 2012 Salem Press Library Blog Awards. Rather than having a single author, this blog is run by six regular authors, along with various guest authors. This is nice because it contains various points of view on one blog. For example, there is one post titled “Our Philosophies of Librarianship” (http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2012/editorial-our-philosophies-of-librarianship/), which contains different philosophies of librarianship from librarians who have very different personalities and are in different places with their careers.

This blog also contains many posts that discuss current topics of interest for librarians. The post titled “Are you reading YA Lit? You Should be” (http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2011/are-you-reading-ya-lit-you-should-be/) evaluates Young Adult literature as a genre. The article discusses its popularity and the benefits of reading YA Fiction, while also comparing the genre to Adult Fiction. This is a wonderful post for high school librarians in particular because YA Fiction is so popular among the high school students. Another significant topic for all librarians is the struggle with increasing workload and decreasing budgets, which is explored in the post “Running the Library Race” (http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2012/running-the-library-race/) This post describes the importance of librarians to pace themselves as they tackle all of their duties and responsibilities.

 

The Adventures of Library Girl (http://www.librarygirl.net/)

“The Adventures of Library Girl” is a blog written byJennifer LaGarde the lead librarian for New Hanover
Schools, Jennifer LaGarde. Of all the librarian blogs that I explored, I believe that this one did the best job of providing helpful, useful suggestions for new concepts to incorporate into my teaching methods. LaGarde travels to present her innovative ideas and this blog details those travels and ideas. In her post “Game On! Using Video Games To Ramp Up Your Instruction!” (http://www.librarygirl.net/2012/06/game-on-using-video-games-to-ramp-up.html), she explains how to integrate common themes from video games into instruction to motivate and encourage students. LaGarde even includes the slides from her presentation, which provides colorful visuals to accompany her ideas. I could see myself frequently visiting this blog to gain more knowledge about what other methods librarians are using to continually improve upon their instruction and presentations.

 

Screwy Decimal: Tales from an Urban Librarian (http://www.screwydecimal.com/)

“Screwy Decimal” is written by Rita Meade, who is a public librarian in Brooklyn, NY. This is such a quirky blog of funny stories and awkward situations that librarians might encounter throughout their career. Her posts had me laughing as I read them. I think it’s a refreshingly different type of librarian blog because it is simply there to provide readers with entertaining, amusing antidotes about being a librarian. It is also good because it shows the lighter side of the job and it might even provide suggestions for fellow librarians on how they should, or should not, handle similar awkward situations.

In her post “Kids Say The Darndest…Well, You Know” (http://www.screwydecimal.com/2012/10/kids-say-darndestwell-you-know-4.html) Meade provides blog followers with many humorous comments said to her while she works as a public librarian. These funny little stories and conversations would be just what a fellow librarian would love to read after a rough day on the job. Not all of Meade’s posts are amusing because she also includes heart-warming stories. For example, her post “Moments” (http://www.screwydecimal.com/2012/10/moments.html) describes a short exchange she experienced with a little girl that confirms why she still loves her job.

 

Reflection

These three very different librarian blogs helped me see how I could use a blog in my school library or for professional development. I could develop a blog for my high school library that takes different aspects of the three blogs I reviewed. If I created a school library blog, I would write posts about current happenings that students, parents, and school faculty members would all enjoy reading. I would also use it to feature new books that students would enjoy checking out from the library.

In addition to the current events and books, I would have a tab for faculty professional development that incorporates the newest methods of instruction, research tips, and any other tools I thought the teachers would benefit from reading. I do also think it could be fun to have a tab containing posts of stories from the library. Of course, I would obtain permission from the students involved in the anecdotes before including them on the blog.

This entry was posted on October 31, 2012. 2 Comments