Friday, July 31, 2009


I worked within the constructs of my school moodle--that way I can use it with Nagel students this year. The Moodle has a nice orderly set up that I think Middle School students could follow. The home page is not cluttered. I have the capability of highlighting the current assignment or class. I found it has lots of possibilities--quizes, surveys etc that can make this an interactive site. I like that you can be linked within the moodle or have outside links. It was relatively intuitive to set up. I had the most difficulty linking a PowerPoint but that was due updating PowerPoint. It is neat that you can have a wiki right within the site. I was wondering if this would be easier for Middle school students to use than a webquest?
I set my moodle up to be a back up to the required classes I teach in the media center to chat about reading and technology. I know that covers a lot but I do a lot and it is nice to have one site that will contain all elements. I have links to my wiki's and blogs--one stop shopping! I have used moodle for our TABLET cadre--it was a great way to have the self-directed learning and discussions.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Okay Okay So I Had the Skills Within Me!

Alright--so I go to a colleague who has used this before and she says--you're are doing it correctly. A few little property changes and I am on my way. So I think I have linked everything I can think of--except addtional resources--I will do that Sunday and I an going to upload it to Lunar Pages to our server at school. This is a lot of work. My tech person said, asked me why I didn't just use a site that has a template--that's what I would've used. Okay but know I am trying to prove that I can do this and I am sure I will have better problem solving skills because of this!
Now I need to do a little research on what the URL should be. I won't make the same major mistake twice--putting a "dot" in beteen 2 and 0 threw the whole html code into a tizzy! It is starting to come together! Karen :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dream or Nightmare?

So, I am moving along in Dreamweaver and now I can't link my pages within my website--so now it's time to collaborate with staff that has used this software. I have watched many tutorials and now am a little concerned about pulling this whole website together. More when I get some HELP! Karen :0

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dream On!

Okay so I contacted someone to help me to get started on Dreamweaver last week and now find out that we could use a template site but now that I am started on Dreamweaver--I guess I need to see it through! Perhaps extra credit points! The biggest problem I see right now is that my overall look as a first time web site will not look as good or professional as template would have! Oh well!

Here's what I know so far. In Dreamweaver you work in Tables. Everything is set up in tables. You can even have "nested" tables--tables within tables. Once you set up tables you can merge the cells to make bigger spaces. The text is really weird too! Everything is shifted to the left.
I can not just click my cursor and start typing. The cursor starts in the middle of the table--agh! And where is that really pale blue color that I wanted for a background? Not available I guess.

So dream on if you think this is going to be exactly what I want! :0

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Podcasting Terms

So here's what I found out:

An encoder is a device or programs that is used to encode or compress an Audio or a Video file so that it can be stored or transmitted.

WAV format is the format for storing sound in PC’s—can be used on all Windows software.

MP3 is another encoder that has 3 layers—that has the best resolution. It also removes sounds that we cannot even hear!

Unless the MP3 was chosen because it may have the better resolution.

I will be curious to see if all the kids will be able to open and play the podcast!


Podcasting has a lot of possibilities! I have used audacity in a couple of other classes for other projects. In Dr. Kovalik class we took PowerPoint and audacity and dropped them both into movie maker for a great looking presentation. In Dr. Harper's class we podcasted a book chat. Dr. Ingram used them in his design for feedback.

It was fun to decide what to podcast and then write a script. I think the key to a good podcast is practice, practice and more practice! I know when I have practiced enough--I don't have a lot of ums in my finished project.
My podcast went out to my summer readers today--I can't wait to hear what they think!

I still struggle with putting music in--not always easy! I am not sure I understand all the different files that music can be import/export. Now I did remember that we do not save this file but we export the file to be used in other software. For audacity to stand alone, this time we needed to export as an MP3. This was a little more challenging as well. I guess I neeeded to get a LAME encoder to export as a MP3 file. So I am off to Webopedia to get some definitions of these WEB terms. BBL Karen :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Switching Gears

Okay--since the website assingment overwhelmed me today--I switched gears--going to focus on podcast first. Did all of the readings that Dr. Ingram posted and used a book called:

Best Ideas for Teaching with Technology by Justin reich and Thomas Daccord (2008)

It has great application ideas! I think I will email Dr. Ingram with possible ideas!

Then a little down time--another 6 hours in front of a computer screen should be my limit!
Karen :)

A Daunting Task

Designing Your Web Site for Instructional Effectiveness and Completeness: First Steps By Albert Ingram and Lesley Hathorn. I wrote my website proposal and have the green light to go ahead.

Focus: Using web 2.0 tools in the classroom

Audience: Teachers

So after reading the above article I decided that I would reflect here as to keep my focus on the next step of desingn.

First I have to keep the characteristics of my learners in mind. How do the read and process on the computer/internet and How do beginners navigate through complex materials.

An important fact was to break down information into smaller chunks--always important in anything that I do with students. Each web page should stand on it's own and write short pages with one or two main points.

There are 3 major functions of web pages
1. Present information
2. Offer interaction
3. Provide connections to information and interactions elsewhere on the web

Okay so the information that most rang true to me from this article, "Producing one's first instructional website can be a daunting prospect for many people..." This is where I am for sure!!!!!

Off to write up a table using the information in this article! Karen :)

WebQuest Now Behind Me What Next?

After looking over classmates WebQuest's I am in awe of their awesome, creative and instructional abilities. I like being able to look over the different templates that they used--I used zunal--easy to use template for a beginner but limited in color and text capabilities. Zunal was easy to navigate which I think students will like. Breaking it down on to different pages made it seem more manageable.

Some of the quizes and videos that my peers choose were very good and age appropritate. Once again I found that to be the most time consuming part--finding the perfect resources!
I did bookmark them all in Delicious--which gave me easy access to them when I was ready to link them.

I learned that when I link I need to have them all open up in a new window so that navigation will be easy for the students. So next time I will do that as I go along! I need to make my title of my links hotlinked rather than listing the title and then the link.

I enjoyed looking at the webquests and now it is time to start focusing on podcasting and website formation! Karen :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

First Web Quest!

That was a big job! That took me several days longer than I thought.

My first thought was: I was in the hunt for the perfect websites. Finding no perfect match--I searched a lot longer than I thought humanly possible. I was also in the hunt for age appropriate music, video and articles.

I was disappointed how my links worked and that I could not make it a paperless assignment. Google Docs kept dropping my links. I would try the link--it would work and then the next day it would disappear. Now I have my Google Docs permanently frozen! Can even go into create a new one.

Here's my WebQuest link:

I think after sitting for another 6 hours today on this web quest I need to go outside and do something physical! Yea! Karen

Sunday, June 21, 2009

WebQuest--A Major Production

Okay--now I have done some readings on WebQuests and I have looked at many different examples of WebQuests and now I am feeling a little overwhelmed! I think I have settled on for my template. It seems to do a nice job on walking me through the steps. I am just awaiting an okay on my revised proposal so that I can jump right in.

In many of the readings on WebQuests they emphasize that using a webquest allows students to use information rather than looking for it.

So while I am waiting for my proposal I need to finish collecting my online resources. Then put together the worksheets and the activities.

Feeling a little overwhelmed--but this too shall pass! Karen :0

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My First Encounter with Web Quests

According to Thomas March Article, Revisiting WebQuests in a Web 2 World, a web quest is a "scaffold learning structure that use the world wide web to motivate students to investigate." He also said that, "scaffolding, motivation, thinking and compelling online resources stand central to every web quest".

So I thought wow a web quest is going to be a great higher level thinking tool to use with students. So I was with a veteran teacher who really loves to use technology and she said she does not like web quests--didn't see the value in them. A science teacher who use them fairly frequently thinks they are great for inquiry learning. So now I am on the quest to see if web quests can be an effective web 2.0 tool to use with Middle School Students.

There are a couple of great ideas that I got from this article:
First the Thinking Routines.

I want to make a poster and start practicing thinking with students.

Thinking Routine
1. What do you see
2. What do you think about it?
3. What does it make you wonder?

1. Make a claim about the topic
2. Identify support for your claim
3. Ask a question related to your claim
What Makes You Say That?
1. What's going on here?
2. What do you see that makes you say that?
The goal is to move students beyond learning as "knowledge" to view learning as "understanding".
So often I see learning going on with no understanding--so my question to ponder today--is that the students fault or the teachers? And can a web quest move students to understanding?
Til later------Karen :)