Monday, September 28, 2009


I have been wanting to find a way to change the background of my personal blog and fancy it up a bit...and I finally figured it out. Below is a great website Leelou Blogs. A friend of mine introduced me to it. When you go to the site, there are TONS of different blog templates that you can have/use for free! When you get to the site, go to 'free stuff' and then blog templates. Find one you like, then follow the directions to change yours. It is fun and lets you personalize your blog! There are some REALLY nice ones, but you have to pay for them. I changed my professional blog template (what you are looking at) and my personal one as well. The only thing that I am not please about is that my links are not highlighted or a different color. In order to tell that I linked to something, you have to move your cursor over it...bummer, but give me time and hopefully I will be able to change that!

Leelou Blog Templates

Now, I just have to figure out how to add video...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

You Mean There is Life Outside of Google??

When I need to to know more information about something I usually just hit up google, type whatever it is I want to know about, and then I am overwhelmed with amounts of information. Sorting through everything that is brought up, I generally find what I need or refine my search to something more specific. Google has never really let me down so I can't say that I have much experience anywhere else.
As I prepped to write this entry, I started to question what in the world I was going to write about. You certainly can't go on and on about the magnificence of Google without boring people to death in just a few words.
The more that I thought about it, the more I realized that I really did not have much experience with any other search method than Google....what other ones are even out there? I decided to use my trusty Google method and typed in 'List of Search Engines' and was instantly connected to this great site that lists more than I ever could have imagined existed. Who knew there was a search engine that you can use to find out information on more specific categories? There are probably millions of people who knew that, but this Google addict is not one of them.
In our class we have been talking about all these wonderful blogs and how we should be finding ones that connect to us, read them and learn from them. I was stumped on how you find them!
Using my 'new' searching skills I have discovered a few different sites...

Now, I have not had a chance to fully look through and use all of these, but they will be something that I explore as I get farther into my professional and personal blogging. I feel like I could easily get sucked up into this blogging world and have to force myself to come up for air! I really enjoy reading about other people's life experiences and through these search engines, I know that I will be able to submerse myself in reading!

When searching for information, although the web has made it that much easier, it is also frustrating to know what information is good and what information is bad. I recently did some research on autism and became frustrated at the amounts of information out there and a lack of understanding what was credible and what is not.

When teaching my first and second graders about research, the topic of credible sources on the web does not really come up. We have certain 'kid friendly' search engines that are linked to our website and the kids use these when learning to research on the web. This is their first taste of researching on the internet at school and it is heavily guarded. We do teach internet safety (somewhat) to the kids and we talk about how somethings on the internet are not safe, but we do not address that some information is not true. Reflecting on it, I think it is something that we could easily add to a lesson. Why shouldn't we plant that seed in their head now for later when they are exposed to larger, less protected searches?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Started!

I started my family blog and I must say that it is SO MUCH FUN! I am completely taken in by it and get frustrated that I do not know how to do all the things that I want to do! I think I might need a private tutoring lesson Candance! I am linking to it below...Please remember, I just started!

Miracles, Milestones and Magical Moments: The Davis Family Website

Consider Me Unexperienced...

I have no experience with Blogging...Unless you consider my random snapshots of what is going on in my head, at the time I update my status on Facebook, blogging. Using FB has allowed me to connect with many people that I otherwise would never have talked to again. It is not that I did not want to talk to them, it is more that our lives took different paths. I recently reconnected with a friend of mine from highschool and saw her family blog. I was instantly drawn in by her stories of her daily life as a stay at home mom and the trials and tribulations that go with that experience. By reading her random stories, it was like I was reconnected with her in the way we used to share with eachother at 16.

Here is her blog: Shades of Motherhood

It was through her blog, that I developed the dream of creating my own for my family. I feel like this is an amazing way to connect with family and friends who would love to share in our family experience of becoming (and surviving) first-time parenthood! I have realized that most parents LOVE to talk about their kids. I know that I could go on and on about what he has done, what I have done and what amazing things we have learned along this path together. Writing about it and chronicling this tremendous chapter in our lives would not only give other people a glimpse into our ever changing life, but it would serve as a tool for myself to reflect on and share with my son later.

Here is another family centered blog that I love to read...Sickler Family Website

I have decided that creating a blog, much like the ones I have linked, will be my digital writing project. It will be a gift to myself and my family. I welcome any ideas, experiences, or pieces of advice that anyone has to help me get started!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hopes and Dreams for Learning

I hope to leave this class with confidence in digital writing. Mostly, at this point, I think of how I would use it in my personal life, but know that it could benefit my class of first and second graders as well. I would like to develop a greater understanding of tools that would be simplistic enough for first and second graders, yet complex enough that they would be challenged while using them. What instantly comes to mind is a digital story tool that my kids could use to tell their creative stories. At this point I would not know where to start. I found an online resource for great lesson plan/units of study for digital storytelling. Although I have just skimmed through it, it seems to have great ideas for teaching students about digital storytelling. The site does not specify a grade level, but a teacher could pick and choose and change what they needed to in order to suit their grade level.

Lesson Plans for Digital Storytelling

As a writer, I would like to create a family blog that chronicles the life changing experience that I am going through in the journey of being a mother. It seems like each day in my son's life brings momentous experiences that I want to capture and share with family and friends. Creating a family blog would allow me to tell those stories through my eyes and share them with the people that mean the most to us. It will also work as a gift for my son that he can read as he gets older. (Assuming it is still available.)

I look forward to this class and am excited about the personal learning I will have.