Saturday, August 11, 2007

Week 9 #23

# 23 My goal was to finish the 23 things before I had to start back to school. Now here I am on thing #23, reflecting back on all I've learned and all I hope to continue learning.

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

I'd heard about so many of the Web 2.0 things, but didn't really have a working knowledge of them. Now I feel that I at least understand what some of them are and can glimpse the possibilities for using them in an educational setting.
RSS Newsreaders: I subscribed to both Bloglines and Google Reader and am able to skim through local, national, and international news, favorite library blogs, new recipes, sports updates, and Unshelved in minutes each day. And I have a place to keep and listen to podcasts.
Library Thing: Such a fun way to track my summer reading and to see what others are reading and talking about
Ning: There's a social network for school librarians and recently a new group was created for elementary school librarians to discuss issues, ask questions, etc. It seems more personal to me than a listserv. No more wondering which computer I bookmarked a particular site on or getting home and discovering I didn't have the URL for a site I wanted to use
Wikis: I see lots of collaborative possibilities
Zoho docs: So many options for collaborative work, stored online, accessible wherever I have internet access
Podcasts: Finally, I have some understanding of how they're created, how to find and access them, and how to play them on my computer

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

I knew that there was so much about Web 2.0 that I wanted to learn, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. The structure and guidance offered in this program kept me focused; making my own discoveries and reading about others' discoveries kept me motivated.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I didn't expect to find so many things that I could use in my personal life. I've used RSS feeds, wikis,, Zoho docs for myself as well as for my professional growth. I've even been able to share things I've learned with my tech savvy husband and children!

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
I liked the week-by-week learn at your own pace structure, especially during the summertime when vacations and visitors can disrupt schedules. I also liked the way one or two people were readers/cheerleaders for participants. Sometimes you wonder if what you write on a website or blog is actually being read or just floating with millions of other words in cyberspace.
I would have liked some more direct way of connecting with others in the program. (Maybe a group on Ning?) I tried to look at others' blogs, but so many of us are in the program that I couldn't go back regularly to see what others were continuing to discover.
I read through all the suggestions on the wiki when I did that lesson, but haven't gone back to explore it again. Maybe a reminder link at the end or on the things page to remind us of it.
I also forgot about the tips page; I'd glanced over it when I started the program. Perhaps the appropriate tips could be on the specific pages for the different things, so that you could use them as/if you needed them.

5. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?

6. How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote CSLA learning activities?
It was a worthwhile challenge to explore new ways to communicate and collaborate using Web 2.0 technologies. STIMULATING!

I'm not entirely sure how much of what I've learned this summer I can use in our school as our district has concerns about and/or bans on certain things like student email, social websites, blogs, and wikis. But, at the very least, I plan to talk with my colleagues and staff about these things and do what we can. A recent blog by Joyce Valenza with data from a National School Board Association report on how students are using social networks primarily for learning may help.

Finally, thank you to all of you on the team who made this program possible. I've enjoyed learning as I played with each of the things.
This is truly a beginning and I plan to keep on growing in knowledge of these things-and others that come along.


IrmaPince said...

Congratulations! You did it.
Thank you for participating. Your blog has been a delight to read. I hope you keep it up and that as you find ways to use the 2.0 tools in school, you will post them to the curriculum wiki site

Anonymous said...

Yay! Congratulations on completing the 23 Things...and all in time for school to start next week. How does time go by so fast?
I hope that you continue to investigate the school uses of these 2.0 tools. Now that you know about podcasts, you can make some as well as listen to them!
Enjoy your first weeks of school!

Jackie S, 2.0 project manager said...

Congratulations! You are now an official member of the CSLA 2.0 Team and your blog has been moved over to the "Congratulations - 2.0 team" list.

Hope you will continue to cheer on your colleagues and in so doing, learn about their discoveries. The best way to keep on learning 2.0 tools is by teaching or cheering on others. Who would you like to recommend this course to at your school?

Best wishes!
- JackieS
CSLA 2.0 Team project manager