It feels really good to be at this point. I had my doubts at times that I would get here. I took the online survey but I don't think it ever successfully uploaded -although I did try and do so two or three times.
1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I enjoyed making the trading cards and playing with the image generators. I also enjoyed using Photostory 3 to create videos. Looking at the Nings was interesting. I think reading other people's blogs so I could leave comments was the most interesting and enjoyable. It was always intriguing to see other people's take on the same 2.0 lessons. Sometimes I would wonder if we had even been at the same website because the opinions were so different from my own. It was often humbling to read other people's enthusiastic praise and numerous future plans for a tool, website, or concept that left me cold or completely eluded me.
2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
This program has definitely assisted me in learning about Web 2.0 technology. It provided structure and support during my learning quest. I really liked all the background information and resources that were given with each lesson. I have been pursuing information about Web 2.0 for several months now - this just provided a framework to work within. It was very helpful. I hope you will offer additional technology training - you know, the next 23 things for Web 2.0. I would absolutely be interested in taking such a course. I've always been a lifelong learner.
3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I didn't expect to find so many good resources that I can draw upon in my future pursuit of knowledge or technology training. The commoncraft tutorials are great. I love it when new concepts are presented in simple english. Finding so many other people who are attempting to learn about Web 2.0 and apply it was also heartening. Working through these lessons has given me some confidence to pursue topics that in the past might have seemed very intimidating or impossible to learn on my own.
4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program's format or concept?
It would have have been nice to have had a "Help Desk" to contact for those occasions when I was truly lost. You might give new users the suggestion of keeping a written journal near their computer to record the myriad of passwords, user names, web addresses, and other secret codes that seem to fill those early lessons. The same password or user name can't be used all the time and it gets complicated trying to keep up with that data. Having it all in one small notebook that I stored near my computer was a solution that helped me out.
5. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
Yes. I think this was a very useful and effective staff development workshop. I learned a great deal and the format in which it was presented (online at your own pace) was great. I want to thank you for offering this workshop to participants outside of your own school district. I have really enjoyed this course and I have learned a lot (even as I complained about what I couldn't master).
I really enjoyed the Region IV workshop presented by SBISD on podcasting this summer. I hope you will consider offering more hands-on courses like that. It was really helpful to learn about a topic and then use that knowledge to create products or projects that are going to be useful in the upcoming school year. It is really nice to explore new technology when you have experts present to answer questions or boost you through the places when you get stuck. I would love to see some workshops on topics like digital booktalking, setting up effective library web pages, using technology to aid students in carrying out research projects, exploring new equipment and gizmos (play-aways, smart boards, ebooks, MP3's, Kindle, etc.), integrating technology into everyday library operation and student lessons, what's new with bookclubs and other student reading groups, online audio books, and other similar topics. Workshops tailored to the age level of the student population would also be helpful. The interests and needs of elementary, middle, and high school students can be very different.
6. How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could promote 23 Things learning activities?
23 Things provides a fun, self-paced, well-researched introduction to the Web 2.0 technology skills every educator needs to become familiar with.
7. I hope these blogs don't disappear before I get the chance to look at more of them. I have really enjoyed reading all the different opinions and future plans for using this new technology.
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