Tuesday, March 30, 2010


When I began this journey, I did not know what I was getting into! I did not know what web 2.0 was. I learned so much that my head is still spinning. The time was well spent and I would do it again if there were new things to learn, which there always are.

Especially in today's technological climate, we can not afford to be left behind. When I told my students that we teachers had homework that we VOLLUNTEERED for they said, "Why would you do that to yourself?" After laughing, I explained that we were trying to stay one step ahead of them, or at least, keep up with them. I think they appreciate the effort and like to be on the cutting edge of technology too.

This project was very enjoyable and we accomplished so much. I still do not know how to finesse my blog exactly, but I get by pretty well and am so proud of myself! I liked having the tech-coach/coordinators close by for questions or support if needed. Over Easter break, I will explore more sites and keep the flame burning.


Your Turn, My Turn (Writeboard)

Wow! there are so many web 2.0 applications that I don't know where to start. The names don't make it obvious as to what they do. Even with a search option to sort them out, I don't know how to predict what the tags words would be.

This site is a directory for differnet web apps: http://www.listio.com/
I searched "teach Spanish", "learn Spanish", "practice Spanish" and just plain "Spanish"; unfortunatley, I did not find anything useful for school. I found Spanishpod, a podcast learning program, but it's $9 a month.

I learned from Joyce about Writeboard when she sent the 6th grade team an email to go to her writeboard with the password and directions to help brainstorm a project that we are working on in advisory. She started with some ideas and we just clicked "edit" to add our ideas. Collaborating is such a good idea. No one person should have to do all the work. Good ideas can be born when when all put our creativity together.

It was SO simple that I got the idea that everyone in my family can use it! Every year we make tamales and a flurry of emails goes out about who is bringing what. The web sometimes gets tangled and our communication fails. I thought that a wiki would help to solve this, but I like this better because it's private and no one has to create a new account, except the creator (me). Here's my started writeboard for our big day:


Tweeting seemed really rediculous at first, but now I see how it can be a time saver, especially for the one posting the tweets. For example, Joyce's "Critter War" provides a play-by-play just one post that we can all access.

If someone is out of town, they could tweet some happenings on the trip so that people back home won't worry so much or just to keep in contact.

I did not find myself with any exciting news to post this week, but exciting life happens in spurts, so maybe some other week...

A new mom could have the dad post some things to keep the family up to date - that would be interesting!

I am amina28b on twitter.com, but I don't have anything earth-shaking to tell you about my life, sorry.

Presentations 2.0

Searching for presentations in Slide share was difficult because I could not narrow down my search. For example I looked for "Spanish expressions in the classroom" and all it came up with was Spanish presentations produced by companies selling their language learning programs. Maybe I need to add some punctuation to my searches, but it does not seem too user friendly. Or maybe, there are not presentations on this site that I am looking for.

I did find this presentation that I found interesting and useful for introducing the 5th graders' unit on culture of Spanish Speaking countries. I marked it as a favorite becuase it is simple, short enough and informative.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I have been searching for podcasts for my students to listen to so that they can reenforce what they learned in class. Most of the programs/podcasts I found that they are really slow and use people from Spain who speak with the ceceo (which sounds kind of like a lisp). It bothers me that they have to take a minute or more to advertise their program before they get started with each segment! Discover Spanish, the progam that I like to best so far is broadcast out of Miami, Florida and they sound more like me (for continuity). Johnny Spanish and Christina go back and forth and have the listener repeat or respond after explaining small phrases. They even have interactive lessons online that the listener can listen to on their website, but that costs $46, sorry.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


About two years ago, I started a new wiki just because I took a tech class on how to do it; but I never got my students in the habit of going there instead my school website. Mainly, it was just a tool used to posts links. Well, I thought of a good reason to use a wiki...I thought I could get my students to collaborate on a newsletter article so that one person wouldn't have to carry all the weight. Having more authors would include more perspectives and make the article more colorful. So far we/they have written about our trip to the DIA to see Latin American/Spanish artists and our flamenco dance lesson.

Having a wiki is great fun because it is a group project and it helps to build community. My students were so proud to be published and they were even interested enough to read the posts of their classmates, which was refreshing. A drawback that I found is that the wiki(spaces) doesn't have a spell check and the girls write like they are texting. I like having the blog too because it's kind of like a diary and I don't have to worry too much about responding to the posts. In my mind I imagine that no one is really reading this; I'm just thinking out-loud, which I love to do.

For my personal use, my cousins, aunts and I could organize our annual tamale making evening for Christmas mush easier if we used a wiki. Every year we send a flurry of a-mails around trying to see who is bringing which ingredients and cooking utensils for the tamales.


I have to say, I have been mentally blocking out the widgets on other websites while I am surfing. I never look at the additional, annoying stuff outside out what I am searching for. When I am shopping, Target has grabbed my attention to divert me from where I was, usually to a dead end. They are mostly a distraction and a nuisance. Even the one that I chose (hoping to discover a new artist) is too big and makes the page look a little messy. On the other hand, I like the surprise element of seeing something new every time I open my blog.