Sunday, January 31, 2010


I joined goodreads. Like I have said before, I read when I have some free time; which, lately, is not much :)

On average, I read 4 books a year. What's nice about this website is that I can "save" the titles of the books that I would like to read. Also, I can read the reviews from those that have already read the book (also, using amazon reviews as another source).

This is a great site to look to as I search for my next travel book. Andy(my husband) and I always buy the Rick Steve's books, but we are always looking for another one that compliments his when we travel. This resource is invaluable, since both Andy and I take forever to make a decision as to what other travel book to bring with us.

My Name: Patty
User Name: Pkady

Friday, January 29, 2010

Yay for Ning!

I first experienced the wonderful world of Ning this summer during my fellowship at the University of Missouri. I met 34 amazing publications teachers; all with different skills and knowledge.

One of the teachers presented on the Ning. We were in the lab (it was a two and a half hour workshop during the morning session), I created the rb16 news site immediately, and she helped me throughout the workshop. By the time it was over I had a very simple Ning page, with no bells or whistles.

When I met with my Advanced Broadcast students before school started, I presented the Ning to them and hoped that they would be as excited as I was when I saw the social network site. To be honest, it took a great deal of time to embed the Ning into our class culture. They liked the idea of it, but it was too new to them.

At first, I assigned work to be posted to it. After awhile, the students were focused more on designing the live program than designing the Ning. I then asked a few students to form a Ning committee to redesign the site and make it work for them; they jumped on it and took over.

The purpose of the site is to make communication easier among the students, document ideas and share successes. With a weekly deadline, it is very difficult for everyone to get together at the same time for a long period; there are at least 7 groups working on different tasks/stories/projects every day. We meet once a week for a round table discussion and for the first 5 minutes of each class period; the students are dedicated to their projects and completing them within the deadline. So, it is imperative that everyone is on the same page and that everyone's ideas are taken into consideration so that the live show on Thursday is flawless. With the Ning, the producers can read it whenever they can, take mental notes, and address the comment/suggestion in class the next day.

It has also helped that I have been in the 17 Things program; since I have been participating, I can already see the RB16 Ning getting more substance in its content. I've been sharing the tech tools with the students and they are running with it. They are really using Ning to its full potential; in the classroom, I'm hearing a lot of "just Ning it" and "can you put it on the Ning and I'll look at it tonight?" One of my students asked if she could add a poll to it...ummm...yes! and I know how to do it! Thanks, 17 Things!

Whole new look on the BLOG

I've been playing around with layouts and colors of my blog. I like the sidebar on the left instead of the right side. I also took some time to play around with the free poll site (which I showed one of my students today and she designed a poll for our Ning).

I added a poll on my blog; in addition, there is a note section of "17 things about me", a magazine cover I created while exploring Flickr, a slide show, and thumbnails and link to my photostream.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I made the above photo on one of the third party sites: Big Huge Labs. I used one of the photos from Flickr and chose the "blog header" to create this.

Whoa! This stuff keeps getting better and better! We can bookmark our pictures to delicious and Facebook and view other friend's photos. It was neat to see Jen W. picture of her jumping out of an airplane. Gorgeous photos of the zebra! What a cool experience, Jen!

Also, the library pictures look terrific! Great lighting, Alicia.

The photos are absolutely beautiful quality. I like that you don't have to change the size of the photos before uploading. I sometimes have to do that for snapfish and ALWAYS for Facebook. I also noticed that we can upload our photos from Flickr and send them to snapfish...awesome, considering it takes a long time for snapfish to upload any photos.

I uploaded the "teacher" picture (of me and two other teachers instructing professional educators on the design of a publication website) and my latest trip to New Orleans (we go there for the food)!

My user name is pkady

Creating a Website

I have built web pages in the past (using Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe Dreamweaver). Although both of these professional software programs are quite complicated, I would have to say that I would rather work with them than these free websites!

I took a great deal of time to play around with Weebly.

Likes: It's an easy set up, you have a free domain name, templates are available to you, new page inserts are easy to add, and there is a variety of different elements to choose from. It would be a great place for students to create a website or digital portfolio. Love how you can easily insert a YouTube video or Poll Daddy poll. It is a very simple process.

Dislikes: I couldn't figure out how to add html links, tags, or link a newly created page from a word on my home page. You cannot modify the template photos or styles once you choose one to work with. It's free until you want to add video to the site, then you have to pay a fee. The snap to "wherever" doesn't allow you to freely move your content around. It took me more than 30 minutes to set up my home page; btw, there is only a few lines of text and a divider box on my homepage. Too many issues with trying to delete a content box.

Maybe, in order to have the free domain, I would create my site in Dreamweaver, copy and paste the html text into Weebly and then it may look good. I'm not sure if that would even work. When I try it, I'll post to let you know.

Here is the website I made for this blog:

Google Reader

What can't Google do?!

Again, amazed at how simple it is to access quick tidbits of information in such a short time. It's perfect for me because I am a multi-tasker, always looking for fresh information.

Now, I'm trying to compare this to Twitter. What I like about Google Reader is that it's easier for me to organize the people/organizations I am following. As opposed to Twitter, it's a continuous feed on one page. Google has the organizations you are following to the left and their feeds to the right. Plus, I don't have to tweet what I am doing every 5 seconds. I like that I can use it as a "one-way" information gathering process and, if necessary, use it as a two-way communication later.

I am following my 17, etc. people, along with some travel, Career and Tech Ed, money smarts, and the New Orleans Saints subscriptions. I am sure that I will access this tool quite often, if not every day. I noticed on Jen W's blog, she uses this for daily recipes. I am going to sign up for the Food Network subscription and see if it is any different from the Food Network Tweet. If not, I will continue to use Google Reader and throw away my Twitter account (unless, of course, we start using it for classroom purposes).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I have been cornered by several people to open a twitter account. I was quite apprehensive due to the security and the feeling of someone "following" me; creepy.

After I set this account up, I realized what an amazing resource it is. I am following 4 people and 6 organizations. I am following Doreen, Sarah, Bridget, and Alicia. I am getting continuous updates from Trip Advisor, Zagat, Food Network, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and BBC world.

I have already received a recipe of the day from Food Network. Sweet!

This is pretty neat. I'm wondering if I should ditch my Facebook account. Is it possible to have so much time to take part in these social network sites on a daily basis?

As far as using it in a school setting: my students have asked me (on more than one occasion) if they can tweet during our live show. Most news organizations provide this service to their audience members; and discuss the tweets they receive instantaneously . Because I do not know much about the safety of it and phones aren't allowed in classrooms, I do not yet allow it. After participating in this activity, I feel I can have a meaningful conversation with them and talk with Doreen and John P. about the possibility of allowing students to tweet during a show (with a class twitter account, of course)

DePaul has a semester course for their journalism students just on Twitter and how to provide instant news to your audience. Convergence journalism has finally evolved. Having the students take part in it during their high school education gives them an edge up when they get to college.

My Twitter name: pkady

Google Docs and Calendar I tried to add an event to the 17, etc calendar. No luck! However, I did add the same event to my Google calendar 4 times! I'm not sure if I have access to the calendar or not. It's okay though because I would not use this for personal use. I love my smart phone and the calendar on my phone is perfect for my needs.

Now, on the other hand, I think this tool would be beneficial for members of a committee (Leadership Council, department members, etc.). Instead of sending mass reminder emails, this would be perfect because the event can "pop up" on your screen to remind you days or weeks ahead of time. I do like it for professional use.

As far as Google it! I've been using it (and teaching my students to use it) in the last two years. What's really nice for the students is that if they do not have the latest version of Microsoft Office or PowerPoint at home, they can create a slide show on Google docs at home and then access it anywhere in our need for a network log-in. I even have some Google class documents linked from the rb16 Ning site.
An example is as follows:

I'm finally on #3 and boy is it ever Delicious!

This tool is amazing! How easy it is to get to your most frequently visited sites in such a short time. What I really enjoyed learning was that I am able to access all of the bookmarks that the people in my network tagged. How cool is this?

What a fantastic way to share resources with each other. It was also exciting to see that one other user was following the rb16 Ning. Yay!

My user name is sarkadyp.