What's IT all about?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hello and welcome back to Clicker Chatter!

I have a question for you....have you ever been asked a question you were embarrassed to answer?

Never fear...clickers are here! I found another great article about clickers on CNET News, New for back-to-school:'Clickers'. This article is pretty interesting and easy to read. Further, it discusses everything clicker, such as how they work, what they look like, and their projected sales.

Part of this article describes how teachers are using clickers to give students a chance to answer embarrassing questions anonymously (one example used in the article was: Would you have your child circumcised?).

I think this is a great idea...especially in health class. Kids are more likely to be honest about their experiences with sex, drugs, whatever, if they don't think they are going to get in trouble for, or be embarrassed by, their answers.

That being said, clickers can provide a way for teachers to find out about the needs of their students. For example, if students admit (through their clickers), that they are having sex, then you know it's time for a lecture about condoms, STD's and teen pregnancy.

Wow, it's interesting to see all the different ways in which clickers are changing education. Can you think of a unique way to use a clicker in your classroom/LMC?

Goodnight,
Alicia

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hello again! This week in class we are discussing social bookmarking. Just so you know, I didn't know anything about them until this afternoon, so bear with me while I try to explain it to you.

Have you ever added a certain webpage to your "favorites list"? Well, the idea behind social bookmarking is that people are creating their "favorites list" and placing them online for public viewing. Add some tags (labels), a variety of search functions (subject, author, popularity, etc.), a bit of blogging and there you have it.

In order to gain some personal experience with social bookmarking, I spent my evening visiting a few such sites:

LibraryThing http://www.librarything.com/

I highly recommend this site to anyone who has their books shelved by author, subject, or dewey decimal classification number, as this site allows you to recreate your library on line. Once you have created a library (it's very easy to do, you search for books by title, author or ISBN, click on the one you want...and it's in your library), you can use it to hook up with people who are reading things like you! I like it because you can use this site to keep track of all of your books, somewhat like an inventory list....oh...if only they could assign each book with a barcode :)

43 Things http://www.43things.com/

When you open this site you are asked a question, "What do you want to do with your life?" Once you have typed in your answer, you are taken to a list of people who have the same goal. Many of these people have blogged about their goals, and you are able to read and respond to them.

Well, after I though about what I wanted to do with my life, I wrote "build my dreamhouse". I opened up to a blog from a user, who, after randomly discussing her plans for her future, her plans for the house and rich people, asks her rich readers to give her $200,000 to build her dream house (because that's all she needs and some people spend more than that on dry cleaning). Interesting, huh?

Anyway, I'm sure you butt is numb from sitting here and reading all of this. I'm going to check out a few more social bookmarking sites and will be posting about them later in the week.

I'm really interested to hear about your experiences (the good, the bad, and the crazy) with social bookmarking sites.

See ya,
Alicia

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

This week in class we have been discussing the International Children's Digital Library. It is a really cool site where you can "read" children's books from all over the world...in their native language! If you've never seen it before, it's definitely worth checking out:

http://www.icdlbooks.org/

Going along with that, I've got some great news for anyone who loves ebooks and/or audiobooks and lives in NYS.

The New York Public Library offers a variety of downloadable ebooks and audio books to members (anyone who lives, works, and/or pays taxes in NY can join for free!). They have a GREAT selection of books for kids and adults. For example, some of my recent downloads include In Cold Blood, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

To get a card:

Visit http://nypl.org/

Enjoy!
Alicia

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Welcome Back to "Clicker Chatter"! One of the things I've been wondering about (and maybe you are too) is how much clickers cost. After a bit of research I have found that, on average, they run between $10-$40...not too bad...I was under they impression that they would cost a hundred or two.

That being said, I found another great article which explains in more detail the ways in which teachers and professors are using clickers. For example, in some classes, students are using their clickers to take tests (which are graded instantly, saving the teacher a lot of time and giving students immediate feedback).

Check it out!
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,68086,00.html

Until next time,
Alicia

Thursday, September 14, 2006

This week in class we have been discussion synchronous communication. Not sure what I'm talking about? Synchronous communication is communication that occurs without delay. For example, communication that is done in person, over the telephone, even the radio and TV!

While synchronous communication is great (and I admit I use it everyday). Does anyone else miss "snail mail"? Why don't you look up an old friend in your address book and write them a letter today?! That would be asynchronous communication...by the way.

Alicia

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Clickers

For the first half of the semester, I have been assigned to research and discuss clickers.

Boy, do I have a lot to learn. When I first opened the email from the professor and read that I had to blog about clickers for 6 weeks...my jaw dropped. I had never even heard of them! At first I thought a clicker was some kind of laser pointer, then I fondly remembered my Yaya (Grandma) and how she used to call the remote a "clicker".

Anyway, I went on-line last night and did some research. The best way to explain a clicker to someone who is as clueless as me, is to ask you to think of the TV show "Who wants to be a Millionaire?". I'm sure we have all seen a confused, nervous, sweaty man ask Meredith to "poll the audience". Well, the remote control like devices the audience members punch their answers into are in fact clickers. And somehow or another (more on this later...maybe?!) they zap those answers to Meredith Vieira's computer screen.

Like I said, I'm just learning! I'm sure my posts will become more and more informational as the semester progresses. :)

I found a pretty good article about clickers, what they do and how they are being used at colleges and universities. Check it out:

http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7002.pdf#search=%22clickers%22

I welcome your questions/comments!

Alicia

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hi and welcome to "What's IT all about?". This blog was created as part of a class assignment for IST 611, Information Technologies in Educational Organizations, at Syracuse University. My goal in creating and maintaining this blog is for us to share our thoughts on and experiences with, various information technologies. As the semester progresses, I will do my best to pass along any helpful information, references, etc., that I encounter. For those of you with little IT experience, I hope this blog encourages you to try something new. For those of you who have encountered these technologies in "real life", I would love to hear your opinions about them. Looking forward to blogging with you. Alicia