Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Time To Let Your Voice Be Heard!


 (click before reading)

As you "Wander" this weekend I would like for you to "wander" into the world of voice recording.  We will touch on this later in the year when we discuss podcasting, however I would like for you to explore a website this weekend that will allow you to put your voice on your blog!  How cool!

You can use this for many things but remember that your blog is professional and the people who read it want to hear the information you are putting out there. You can use this tool to do the following:

1. Read the post aloud for your readers to listen to as they read (make sure to place a "click before reading" notice by your vocaroo recording,  like above)

2. Provide additional information about the topic you are discussing by letting your readers listen to you talk about it.
 3.  Create a "Topic Talk" that allows readers to hear your opinion on what you are blogging about.

...And much, much, more! Be creative, professional, and have fun with it!  I am excited to see what you do with it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Edison, New Jersey and Van Meter 6th Graders...Let’s Build a Bridge With Shelfari!

Have you ever read a really great book and wanted to share it with everyone you know?

Have you ever wanted to start a book club, but didn’t really know where to start?

Or if you are like me, have you ever wished you could take every cool book that you have read and keep it on a shelf in your room?

Well, I have a Web 2.0 tool that will give you the power to share, connect, and keep a neat little shelf of all the books that you read in one place. It is called Shelfari! Shelfari is an amazing global community of book lovers. It is a free social network where users can create a virtual bookshelf to feature books they have read, see what friends are reading, and most of all discover books they want to read through collaboration with other friends in their network.

There are several unique characteristics that make Shelfari stand out! Shelfari members can add other individuals as “Friends” to their network and create or join “Groups” that interest them. In the photograph above, you can see my Shelfari Friends that make up my network. If you look closely, you will see Mr. Poole is a friend of mine in my Shelfari network. ☺

Books from your shelf can be critic-rated and reviews can be added to share with others in your network. Once you start building a virtual shelf it becomes important and personal with the beautiful covers and extra details like “read it, plans to read, or is reading now.” It is also fun to show off your shelf with a Shelfari widget on a blog or website.

Last Sunday, Mr. Poole and I were talking over Skype about how we could connect our students in Edison, New Jersey and Van Meter, Iowa using Shelfari. We decided to create a Shelfari Group called “Kids Bridge.” This will be an exciting place for all of us to connect, collaborate, and share our favorite books, authors, and most of all our thoughts.

Although we are in two schools over 500 miles apart, Shelfari will give us a place we can all come together to share and learn. Next Monday, we will be connecting our two schools through Skype. Once we meet, Mr. Poole, Mrs. Prouty (our 6th grade reading teacher at Van Meter) and myself will explain how to sign up for Shelfari and start adding to your very own shelves. You will also connect to Mr. Poole’s Shelfari , Mrs. Miller’s Shelfari, and the other students at Herbert Hoover and Van Meter. As you build your network, you will discover others that enjoy the same books and authors as you, get ideas on what to read next, and have fun letting your voice be heard through book discussions and critics.

We look forward to seeing where this bridge will take us and having Shelfari as a place to come together will make it an even more exciting journey!