1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I was very excited to take part in this journey since I learned so much from 23 things last year. I loved learning about screencasts and thought of so many uses for this technology. It will help greatly when students want to understand how to use certain technology programs since they can view the screencast and follow it direction by direction. I always wanted to try Skype and have been using it to communicate with my sister in England. My own children like being able to see her face when talking to her. I would love to use this when studying a topic to speak with experts.
2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
I am always trying to ascertain ways for students to use technology since no matter what career path they might take; some use of technology will be necessary. For them to wait until they are older to use these applications will put them behind other students and force them to play “catch up”. Kids love using the computers and the engagement level is significantly higher when they are allowed to do so. 11.5 things has given me some new opportunities to expand their learning environment.
3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I am little surprised that some of these applications are not user-friendly to the Macintosh computer I have at home. Being able to go from one type of computer to another is a must in today’s society where both are so prevalent. I was surprised how simple seemingly difficult tasks like creating a screencast or linking my blog to video sources really was. And downloading does not take nearly as long as in the past. I still feel public websites like PBS do a much better job organizing their materials for searches than the governments websites which I found surprisingly difficult to use (scary thought if you ask me).
4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
I love the way 23 things and 11.5 things are set up so I would not change much. Maybe, you could create a program like this for teachers to have students complete to make them more comfortable on the computers and on different programs. Just as Clue has a Clue Jr., Rock Band has a Lego Rock Band, etc., 23 things should have a 23 kid things and 11.5 kid things that will challenge them in such an engaging way.