Blog by Laura

the thoughts that fuel my future

Coming to an end…

August25

Due to a busy, busy weekend ahead, my blogging journey is about to come to an end (for now). I have enjoyed exploring the inner workings and benefits of technology and the vastness of websites available. It has certainly opened my eyes to a whole world of opportunity when incorporating these types of technologies into the classroom. I have always known about blogging, but have never attempted to do it myself. I don’t think I will continue on with it just now, but it could be something I come back to in the future, as I now have better than basic navigation skills with it. As far as the other websites are concerned, I had never heard of any of them, and didn’t even consider the possibility of some of them existing. I mean, I always thought attaching a slideshow to an email was an easy way of sharing, but Animodo can make that sharing so much easier, and have a wider audience as well.

I have enjoyed learning about some of the resources that are available when I am wanting to employ technology into my classroom and I don’t feel quite so technology illiterate. The blogging adventure ends here for me, for now, but I hope to continue further down the track with a focus on learning….

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Background Battles

August25

So, I got onto a better connection and have spent a good few hours trying to figure out how to customise my own theme/background, and am starting to wonder whether it was all worth it. It seems that if you type ‘free blog backgrounds’ into google, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are free, and I had a few issues with security settings when I went to apply my preferred image. However, after some searching and fiddling, around I have managed to get it to work with an image that I quite like, what do you think?And now that I am finally happy with my background I have forgotten how I changed the colour of my font, and white doesn’t really work for this one.. hmm perharps I will have to keep exploring the features of edublogs. As confusing as it was to change my background, I think it is great that you can customise the look of your blog, I know this is the norm for most blogs but, I’m an amateur, so I’m impressed.

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Picasa in action..

August25

I had a play around with Picasa and was pretty impressed with all the editing features it has, was also impressed with the way it detects all the photos on your hard drive and you can select which ones you would like to insert into the album.

For this photo, I fiddled with, contrast, colour, glow, shadows, highlights, and colour temperature. I have very limited design experience with computers but, I found this extremely easy. I was trying to make the image look old, and this was an easy task.

I enjoyed the simplicity of editing the photo and the end result.

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Flickr or Picasa?

August25

This week was all about images and playing with them. I started by looking at Flickr, and to be honest, was fairly unimpressed. It is seemed to be an online storage for your images in which you can share with other users by tagging them. There was no option of editing or personalising your image, seemingly you had to do this before they were uploaded. Although it isn’t always neccessary to edit your images, it can sometimes be a nice touch and there are already so many other ways already available to share original images. Maybe I just had the wrong expectation on what it was going to be..

Moving on, to Picasa. Picasa is a photo manager run by google, that you download onto your computer and  work from there. It offers many editing features including, adding text, cropping, adjusting contrast and colour and a variety of effects. It also has a new feature called ‘FaceMovie’ which allows you to create a slideshow quickly, complete with transitions, music and captions. It enables you to save drafts, which can be a handy feature on a busy schedule.

In terms of using these websites in the classroom, I think they could be of value. Just using it as an image storage space could be an easy way to share visual inforamtion with a classroom, rather than having to print them off, or email individual students. Having access to these websites would have to be aimed at the higher primary school years, as they might be too hard to naigate for the younfer years. Time saving is always a positive when I think about the pressures of planning as a teacher, so I think these image sites could be employed into the classroom.

 

 

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Continuing to Customise

August25

 

After having a look around at everyone else’s blogs I decided mine was in need of a make-over. This is the third or fourth time that I have changed the appearance of my blog, and I have to say, I thought I was finally happy. Although, I noticed I hadn’t been quite as creative as some of you (by selecting my own background and completely personalising my own), so I decided to have a go at this myself.

But need better internet, so watch this space…

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Attmept Number One: can only improve

August25

mucking around

Okay, so I had my first attempt and creating a video on Animoto. Please do not expect to be impressed. My lack of fast internet has limited me to only being able to choose images and music from what the websire has to offer, and can not upload my own. With this, I decided to go ahead and have a go anyway. The website was incredibly easy to use with step-by-step instructions on what you were meant to be doing next. As I said, I could only use the images and music that the website had to offer, but this was far short off a small collection. There are many images to choose from, with different categories and an endless choice of music. Although, in saying that, I wasn’t able to listen to the music clip before I selected it (due to my less than impressive internet connection at the momemt), so I have no idea what you’re in for when you have a look!

I realise my video will be very unimpressive and boring this time, but it gave me the chance to have a fiddle around with Animoto and explore its features. I think Animoto could be a very valuable tool as a teacher, and also getting the students inolved in recent technologies, it goes beyond the usual ‘powerpoint’ and makes it easily accessible for all, which can be a huge time saver. Creating a video using Animoto, on a set topic, as an assessment task would be a great way to incorporate technology into the classroom.

I was impressed by how easy it was to use, and with better internet connection bringing the ability to upload personal images and music, I would be interested in having another attempt at creating a more interesting and meaningful video.

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Animoto, any good?

August23

 

 

Animoto is a website that enables you to make and upload personal videos and slide shows, this is a handy feature but, it also has an education tool that increases its value to teachers. It seems easy to use with many help options and explanations on its several features. Due to lack of time, I wont explore it fully and have a go myself just yet, but I will in the near future. Hopefully it proves to be another helpful technology resource to use in my future classroom.

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Technology, in the classroom?

August23

As I have said, I have just come back from my two weeks of teaching rounds and it was a real eye opener to the use of technology in the classroom. Based on the information we have been told in uni classes, I was expecting to see an increased usage of technology in the classroom setting, but this was not the case. The classroom I was placed in had a fully functional smartboard, a collection of flip camera’s, a classroom computer and access to a computer room. During my time there, these devices and opportunities were not used to a great extent. The smartboard was sometimes not activated for the entire day and the flip camera’s were kept in the bottom draw of a desk. From this, I have come to realise that it would be hard for an existing teacher to change their methods and integrate technology into their teaching, and maybe technology wont be a huge contributor until the students that are going through study now get out into the teaching environment, as they’re the methods we have been encouraged to use.

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Busy Two Weeks

August23

So, I feel a bit slack as i have been so busy with teaching rounds and haven’t really had the chance to keep up with my blogging. On a good note, I thoroughly enjoyed my rounds and am very  much looking forward to becoming a teacher in the not as distant future. Now that I am back to uni classes I am hoping to get right back into the swing of things, so keep posted for more blogging.

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Auditing Audioboo

August13

So this week has been pretty full on as I’ve had my teaching rounds but, I managed to get onto Audioboo and sign up. I only had a brief look around but, from what I can gather it is a website that allows you to upload your personal audio onto the web for others to view. I think this has the potential to be a useful tool in the classroom when presenting an oral is a set task. Having the ability to upload an audio of a speech could save a lot of class time, which is usually taken up when presenting orals. It did concern me that the audio uploads cannot be privatised or monitored, as this may be seen as a breach of security in some school settings. Audioboo is also available as an application to the iPhone and iPad which I think is fantastic as it makes it easily accessible for schools that have iPads in their school setting, and makes uploading and recording super easy. Audioboo seems to be easy to use and navigate and could be another technology time saver.

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