Time for a quiz

In Free Tools Challenge #2 the challenge was to create a quiz using the forms selection in Google Docs.

Just a few months ago I had used this tool to create a survey for education students and faculty regarding their opinions of technology.  The results were used in an evaluation of our technology plan.  The biggest challenge was choosing the right question to ask to get the results I needed.

For this challenge I created a short quiz about Web 2.0 tools.  I wasn’t aware that you could put in formulas to calculate averages or scores.  That piece of information would have been nice to know for my first tech survey, because I’d have liked to calculate percentages on some of the answers.  Also, it was difficult to see all the verbiage on the page so I hid the answer response columns.   Now  I can focus on the scores and it’s much easier to read.

I look forward to exploring Google forms more in the future.  Here is a list of sites with ideas for using this tool.

It’s on the Wall!

Finally I find the time to complete the Kick Start Your Blogging challenges.  Today’s activity involves exploring Wallwisher.

One of the activities asked us to come up with three topics for a wall and post them to our blog.  My first wall called Technology web tools looks at the different ways that people use web tools.  Once it gets crowded–lofty goals–I can make a wall for each tool.  I have seen this done using Google docs Excel.  Wallwisher presents the information in a more visual format and I really like the option of moving stickies around.  Great organizational tool.

My second wall is a similar concept, but for a fun topic.  I really enjoy creating candy Survival kits for staff and family, but I find myself sifting through the websites over and over again.  Here’s an place where I can organize the information according to the sites or the specific item.  For example, that little bag of M&Ms can be used for surviving a birthday or surviving finals week.

My third wall is for my son.  He’s getting married soon and I thought I could gather well-wishes from friends and family.  I’ll be posting this to my Facebook page for all of the family and friends to see.

It’s an interesting tool and one that I will enjoy adding to my digital tool belt!

Below is a listing of other sources exploring WallWisher.

I’m a Tweezer!

What do you call an old person who uses Twitter? A Tweezer!   OK, so it was funnier when it was said in a room full of Twitter techies at the 2011 Ohio E-Tech conference.  This particular conference presentation was guided by Twitter experts Chris Carmen and Nikki Marchmon.

I was introduced to Twitter a few years ago.  At first, I just lurked about trying to see what this tool was all about.  One hears tales about Twitter; how it is just people saying whatever pops into their head in 140 characters.  Meaningless fluff sort of stuff.  Well, I had to see for myself, and what I found was a gold mine.

What I found were educators from all over the world collaborating and lending support to each other.  They were asking questions and finding answers.  They were sharing ideas and concerns.  They supported one another in times of frustration and in times of celebration.  I’m grateful for the connections I’ve made through Twitter; Shannon Miller, Jabiz Raisdana, and hundreds of other educators who are passionate about educational technology.  Through them I’ve learned about new technologies and how they are used with our students.  Twitter has been a fantastic professional development tool.

I believe that no matter what the technology, there has to be a way that educators can incorporate them in the classroom in meaningful ways.   Here is a list of some sites that show how some people are using Twitter as a teaching tool.  I’ll be adding more to my Livebinder as I find them.

Teacher Challenge Day 1

Today I began the teacher challenge hosted by Edublogs.  I’ve tried blogging a few times, but it never really took hold with me.  My greatest challenge was finding something to write about.   Now, it’s true that I have my opinion like everyone else; it’s just that I’m not a writer by nature.  I much prefer the short and quick conversations of Twitter.   The introspective nature of blogging is not my cup of tea.  I have set up a blog for my office, but it is more of an information board than a discussion board.  This blog is the start of something more substantial.

I’ve explored different blog hosts.  They all seem fairly easy to set up and use.  For this project I’ve chosen Edublogs.  Creating a user name was easy; coming up with the title not so much.  It has already undergone several changes.  I’ve several reasons for starting a blog at this time.  First, I needed a place to keep track of all the technology that I am in the process of exploring.  A blog seemed like a good base to keep track of my discoveries.  Second, I want to be in a position of guiding teacher education students; it seems that to do this I need to practice what I’m to preach.

One important aspect of setting up a blog is thinking about your reason for writing.  You need to have some goal in mind or you’ll find the whole process a bit frightening.  I joined this challenge to develop my blogging skills slowly.  Too many times I see instructors integrate technology without really taking the time to teach the mechanics of the tool.  Immersing myself in this project will really help me to understand the process.