Thursday, May 5, 2011


I definitely think I would use Evernote in my personal life. I just think the biggest hurdle would be figuring out how to set it up and what I actually wanted to save (topics for the notebooks). Once that was decided, though, this would be an extremely useful application to keep me organized.

I also think this would be useful for students, particularly when working on research projects. I actually don't think it would take too long for students to set up their Notebooks; for example, if they are writing a paper that has a three-part thesis, they could simply use each point in a different notebook. The sharing function also would make this useful for group projects.

The one thing that might hold me back is that I don't have a Smartphone, so many of the linking applications wouldn't be as useful for me. In fact, because I would just use this on a desktop, the website pretty much fulfills the same function as Delicious. I just like Evernote better because it's easier to save images.

One issue that I had was with the download. It's difficult for me to just take a screen shot of a website and then save it. However, this problem could be because I have only tried using this on the school computers where it's a little more difficult to download necessary applications.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Master Class Final Reflection

Once again, I truly appreciated the opportunity to work on 17 Things - this time with the Master Class.

One of my professional goals is to incorporate technology into all aspects of my teaching, and I enjoyed learning about these tools. We learned about a wide variety of applications, from phone blogging to taking and organizing notes on the computer. I also usually find that what I learn in 17 Things easily translates into my personal life, especially in helping me become more organized. For example, (from last year's 17 Things) I have become addicted to Delicious, and I have a feeling that Evernote also will become a big part of my life.

While I enjoyed participating again in 17 Things, I did find it more difficult to motivate myself to complete the projects. My favorite part was completing and reading the Master Class Projects. I wish 17 Things included more time to work together and plan lessons for the classroom. I feel like I am learning all of these amazing new tools for my personal use, but I have difficulty finding time to plan and implement them in my own classroom. A possible suggestion might be to have the Master Class simply be a strand to use X number of tools in the classroom over the course of a year.

I absolutely think all teachers should use technology in the classroom. It makes it easier to connect with students, and it provides them with more authentic experiences. With the internet and some of these tools, we teachers have immediate access to experts and information that is relevant to our field. Students, too, have the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge to a real-life setting.

If I had to briefly describe this program, I would say it is useful and relevant, and I would encourage everyone to try at least one Thing, even if they don't participate in the full program.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Master Class Thing 4: Phlogging with iPadio

I had a blast with this tool. I found it to be very user-friendly, and it only took a few moments to set up the account, make the call, and download the file. My favorite part of this is that I can go back in and edit the transcription of my phone call; for example, in my second call, the program didn't recognize the word thesis, so it showed up as 'data?' in the transcript. I easily went in and fixed the problem. I also like that I don't have to add any apps or have any special equipment. The only thing that bothered me was that the transcript isn't so good at adding punctuation into the correct places. Again, though, this is not a big deal because I can always edit on my own.

I can really see using this in a debate class. It would be interesting to have students create their own channels and then call in and broadcast their speech about a particular topic. This could be a way for them to practice their speeches before presenting them (I could even have students peer edit the speeches by using the comments function), and it could be a way for students to simply get their message out to a bigger audience. I definitely think I will try this tool before the end of the semester.

Here is the link to my iPadio: My first one is just a test; my second one is about the proper format for a debate case.

Cool tool. Three thumbs up!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Master Class Project 3 (Animoto)

Here is the link to an overview of an Animoto project I completed with my Creative Writing students:

Master Class Thing 3: Diigo

Here are my two links to my Diigo websites/articles: and

Like Alicia, I have mixed feelings about this tool. I feel that it is useful for people who already understand the research process and simply need an internet tool to take notes or highlight key information. Personally, though, I still prefer to print out my articles and highlight on the actual paper. Reading on the computer is difficult for me, and it is much harder for me to concentrate. Also, I found the annotating process to be quite cumbersome. I felt like I could write my notes by hand faster than I could click and type.

One feature I really liked was the ability to send highlights and annotations to others. As a teacher, I think this would make the grading process much easier during major research projects. It would save paper and time (students would not have to transfer their work on the internet to a piece that could be physically turned in). I also think that using a site like this might make the research process more interesting for students ... at least until the novelty of Diigo wore off.

I don't think Diigo is the way to go for students just learning the research process. However, I do believe that the tool might be useful for our seniors. In most college English classes today, few professors require students to turn in all of their research and the steps they took to create the actual research paper (working bib cards, note cards, etc.). Instead, professors just want to see the final product. Teaching our seniors this tool could help them learn how to do research for a college-level course and help them internalize the research process. By this, I mean seniors could start to realize that writing a research paper can be done in multiple ways. For example, most of us teachers have written so many papers by this point that we are able to just look up information on our topic, read the research, and then write the paper.

I might possibly use this tool with my Debate classes when they have mini-debates. The purpose of these debates is to provide students with a brief amount of time (usually less than 25 minutes) to read assigned articles about a certain topic and then present a case about that topic. I could see myself taking students into the lab, allowing them to read and highlight for half the period, and then taking them back into the classroom to begin the debates.

All in all, a very intriguing tool. I'm interested to see what others have to say about it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Master Class Project 2 (Blogspot)

My Creative Writing students all created blogs to share their poetry with others. Here is the link to the description of my project:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Master Class Thing 2: Prezi

Here is the link to a presentation I created in Prezi: The Prezi is about how to correctly format/outline a speech.

I've never used this program before and found it to be an interesting addition to the presentation software that I currently use. As the kind of person who prefers to just jump right in and get hands-on with a program, I didn't watch any of the basic lesson videos. However, I did follow the step-by-step written instructions to create my Prezi.

I found the program fairly easy to use. One issue I had, however, was figuring out how to change the size of the font. The dial tool - even after working with the program and completing the presentation - seemed difficult.

I could see myself using this with a class; I think the students would have fun with it. However (and this could be because I haven't fully explored the site or looked at other presentations), I feel that most of the presentations I or my students create are better suited to a PowerPoint. Even the Prezi I created was still organized in a linear fashion. So, all in all, I'll probably stick with PowerPoint.

Note: As of this point, I can't find any other Prezi projects from 17 Things participants, but I'll keep checking throughout the year.