Library Byte by Byte

Library Byte by Byte is a blog about my adventures in the technology world!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thing #3 - Skype the whole wide world!

To be honest I have been using Skype for the last 2 and half years. My husband works from home for an Engineering software company and he has a team in Pakistan that he works with as well as talking to clients all over the world so he discovered Skype probably 4 years ago and has been using it ever since. Many times his Skype connection is much clearer than our cell phones at home! Anyway, when our district got laptops for all teachers I installed Skype and would use it to talk to my hubby at home from the different locations where the tech and library teams were doing "laptop rollout" --- it worked great! I actually told several folks on the tech team about it and had many of them using it by the end of that year.
So back to using Skype in schools --- a place I had managed to wander from!
I can see many uses for Skype in the classroom. It would be a wonderful way to communicate with students in classes from other schools all over the world, kind of like "real time" pen pals! Because you can also use a webcam with Skype it would allow you see your class friends in their own atmosphere and encourage real discussions about differences in education in various countries. Another great way to use Skype was demonstrated by the Texas Association of School Library Administrators at their annual conference this past June. Although I had to miss the conference due to other district commitments, I did get to hear all about it both from my esteemed colleagues and through the comments left on the TASLA back channel. What happened is that one of the presenters was able to present to the group and exchange ideas from Australia via a Skype connection. How cool!!! Just think, with Skype your class could participate in presentations and class discussions with professors, researchers, and others all over the world!
In conclusion, Skype is waaaaaaaay cool!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thing #2 - Voice Thread, Animoto, and Bookr

Before doing this professional development I have used both Voice Thread and Animoto. I haven't created a Voice Thread but below is one that I really enjoyed.

Voice Thread on Teaching with Technology

Here is an Animoto that I created a couple of years ago when my son got a new puppy, it is still one of my favorites.

Both Voice Thread and Animoto are great tools for education! I have both used and seen them used for student projects, introducing a unit in a classroom, getting students interested in a topic, and as a way to summarize a classroom or student experience. I have seen an increase in the use of these image generators this year and I think that will only increase next year!

Bookr is a great tool for creating a product based on a topic or subject. I think this would be great for language arts projects because it would require the student to combine both images and words to create either something original or an interpretation of literature. I played around with creating one of my dogs(of course :) but couldn't get everything set up in Flikr right. I'll have to try this one again later!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Thing #2 - Glogs and Voki!

The next two things I played with are Glogster and Voki.

Here is the Glog I created for my dogs:

I think one great way to use Glogs would be for a school project. I can just see report on a person(biography), science topic (maybe landforms), or even a book being presented in this unique and fun way!!! What a cool tool!

Voki is the newest version of the old Avatars and boy is it fun!!!

Get a Voki now!

I can see some uses for Voki's also, students could use them in Facebook to avoid putting a picture of themselves on the internet. They could also be used for creating a "character" to use for narrating a project that is posted in either a blog, wiki, or ning!
Fun, fun, fun!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thing #2 - Wordle and Wordshift

I played around with Wordle and made the one below using the student reflections from our Problem Based Learning Elem. Summer School pilot project. The result was interesting and very visually affective.

This is a great way for students to see the power of words and understand the connection between reading the words and visualizing the meaning of those words.

Then I played with Wordshift and used an Emma Goldman Speech on "What is Patriotism?". Here it is.

Both were easy to work with, and saving them was simple because I used PowerPoint and screen capture to save the image as a jpg and then uploaded it to here.
Both of these tools would wonderful for showing students the importance of words and how they interact together. Because both enlarge the words that are used most frequently they are a great way to visually analyze any passage from a book, famous speech, or even website content! Great tool!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thing 1 - the networked student

This video is what we should all aspire to for our students and ourselves. The 21st century will be the age of information management and use for our students and our children. As such, we need to be the connectors, modelers, and guides for them --- if we don't do this we are failing our students. This video helps even network beginners understand the potential and responsibility our profession holds for us in the 21st century! Great video!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

11 1/2 Things Begins!

Okay, new journey, same old blog.
But I am hoping to use these new tools to spruce up my old blog and get back into the habit of posting to my blog again!
Soooooooooo the Beach Trip begins!!!