My Summer Reading

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Reading Shelf

I'm trying out Shelfari before I introduce it to my students. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


This week I decided to post on  I really like this tool for sharing student work with a more global audience.  I actually used Voicethread with my second graders giving them an opportunity to show the books they checked out from the library and explain why they checked it out.  This came after a lesson on "making connections" with books.  I have some of those posted on my school blog.  The experience for them was as much listening to themselves as it was anything else.  I didn't really think about the fact that most of them had no idea how they sounded.  This gave me the idea to use it to practice reading fluency.  I can upload the pages of a story and have students read each page.  You have to change the settings but they can easily be posted to your blog or web page for everyone to view and listen to.  I really like the ability for students to interact with the topics posted also.  I used my own log in for students and they added their voices but you can add different identities for your students to reference when making comments.  The only problem with this is, only one student can be on at a time.  If you pay for and create a education account, students are able to comment at the same time.  It's too late in the year for that now but I plan to explore that further for next school year.   There are tons of ideas on the site to help you get ideas for using Voicethread and you can also browse to get ideas.  It's also very helpful that there are tutorials that you can subscribe to, available right on the site to learn different features for the program.  They have also released a free mobile app for voicethread use on-the-go.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Second Twitter Chat.

On Wednesday I participated in a twitter chat with #libchat.  Now that I know about tweetchat, I'm signed up and ready to use it next time.  There is a big difference in public librarians and school librarians.  That was quite evident in the chat.  Many of the questions were not related to what I do.  The tweeters were very nice but I didn't feel like I got a lot out of it, except the practice chatting.  After the chat, the moderator did say they would like to add more school librarians to the mix.  I'll join them again this week in hopes that I can relate a little better. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Twitter Chat

Tonight I participated in my first twitter chat.  Thank you #4thchat for being so gracious and offering up all the resources.  What a terrific bunch of teachers.  I really liked being able to communicate with other teachers about a subject I happen to really like, "Poetry".  It was amazing asking questions and getting real answers immediately.  I actually found the chat on a tweet that I looked at then I located the chat on tweetdeck and waited for the next chat. 
I did add a few people to follow through the chat.  I found it difficult to follow all the tweets as fast as they were coming in.  I'm pretty sure that's not possible but I know I'll get better at it the more I participate.  I think it would be helpful to have the hashtag copied so all I have to do is paste it in at the end of the tweet.  For some reason, that seems to take extra time for me.  I also found it difficult to feel like I had something valid to add to the chat.  That probably takes some practice too.  All in all, I feel good about my first chat and I plan to join them again next Monday at 6:00 pm.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

PLN - The Expanded Version

I spent a tremendous amount of time this week checking out other network applications to add to my PLN.  I am now a member of 3 Nings along with the edWeb communities for LMS, and Web2.0.  I found a great site by checking out a pin on Pinterest.  I think when you are planning lessons, you should always think in terms of diversity.  This site has good information about creating technology plans for students with autism.  Students with special needs are a part of nearly every classroom and it can be very challenging for teachers to fulfil their needs.  This site offers the best ipad apps for dyslexia.

I added to my delicious account as a source for really good diversity lessons to use in the classroom and also became a follower on Pinterest.

From edWeb, I received a link to this really neat site that offers some really good resources for teachers. The gadget that I liked the best though was the dictionary widget you can add to your bookmarks bar and have access to a dictionary at all times.  This is such a good idea for our computers at school.  So many times during research, students run across words they don't know or understand.  This dictionary is readily available for students as they approach those words.  Wordsmythnow will even give students real audio pronunciations for the words.  I see this as very helpful for ESL students.

I am learning through my PLN that I really have to watch the amount of time that I spend staring at the computer.  There is so much information and the way one link just sends you to another and another and another........  It's important to set time limits and stick to them.  I'm still looking for that one application that will help manage all the things I want to save in one place.  I have onenote on my computer and that's helped but I'm still in search.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

More Brussels Sprouts and Twinkies

I think there are only advantages to attaining a networked classroom.  This could very well go back to the brussels spouts or twinkies conversation.  There is useful technology and there is fluff.  The point of implementing a networked classroom is to provide both.  I've seen the levels of engagement when technology is implemented and I've also seen the same level of engagement when technology is not present.  What we are trying to accomplish here is to provide our students with an education that prepares them to be successful in a global economy.  Students need opportunities and we need to provide those by whatever means we can.  I do believe that learners can only benefit from technology based activities that are relevant to their needs and their interests.  Networking and sharing ideas and information with other students in our country and around the world can only broaden a student's schema and give them more knowledge by which to build on.  They then have the unique opportunity to think outside of themselves.  I think that before we "jump in" we should consider whether and how Web- based materials will be used and to what degree this adds to the students education.  It can't all be twinkies.

Networked classrooms provide opportunites for students to participate with a larger audience.  We all know that "stepping out of the box" can provide for a greater and deeper understanding.  It enhances our creativity and allows for cooperative and collaborative sharing and learning.  Gaining perspective (brussels sprouts) can never be a bad thing.  We could probably could all use a few more greens.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Twittered up!

My twitter name is @LoriHorner.  I guess that's what it is anyway.  I have to be honest, I'm less than thrilled with it at this point.  I've read through the handbook, set up my account and watched countless videos.  I've even tweeted 4 times but I'm still feeling like I don't like it.  I have found people to follow that have similar interests and I downloaded tweetdeck. (another confusing feature) and attached bitly to help me shorten addresses.  I'm really hoping this will change over the next few weeks.  I feel like I just randomly click on the tweets to see where it takes me.  The language might as well be Swahili for all I understand.  Maybe I'm missing something here.  Someone tell me they feel the same way or maybe give me some tips.  I'm twittered up!