Thursday, June 18, 2009
I think I'm "portfolioed" out. Just kidding. Versus the other methods of networking we have explored in this class, I like the professionalism associated with Google Sites, Plaxo, and Linkedln (Sorry, I just can't see myself "facebooking" and "tweeting" with associates). However, out of the three sites, I prefer Google Sites the most. It provides the creator with more freedom and opportunities to be creative and expressive when creating a portfolio. And not to mention, it's extremely easy to create, edit and operate. At first, because we didn't have instructions to create a portfolio using Google Sites, I was hesitant and timid about beginning this assignment. But after a few seconds I was amazed at how user friendly the site was. To be honest, I don't think I'll ever use these sites again. Typically, when applying for jobs, I just e-mail the required documents from my computer to the listed contact person. But, it is nice to know that these options exist and are readily available.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Sorry, but I found Technorati.com to be confusing and difficult to use, and it's not because I had a long day and I'm tired. There was just way too many search options. After awhile I became lost amongst the quagmire of searches I had performed. However, not all my searches ended up bad. While searching videos tagged "Kinesiology," I came across a truly spectacular website called "DC Health." This site was loaded with information regarding nutrition, health, exercise, and weight-lifting. Typically sites labeled health or fitness try to sell you, the viewer, something. Not this site. This site was completely free and packed with valuable information pertaining to health. So, I guess I can't be too upset with Technorati.com.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
This is sad to admit, especially for someone who is enrolled in graduate school, but I hate reading books. I can think of a million other things I would rather do than curl up on the couch and read a book. Sorry, I'm just a bottle of energy that's always itching to go. I read books out of necessity, not for enjoyment. For example, I read text books because they're required or to obtain pertinent information. So, what I'm trying to say is this, "LibraryThing" seems like a great tool for cataloging books and making connections with people. However, it's just not my "cup of joe." http://www.librarything.com/home/ssacuskie
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Every time I take a shower I always wonder where the soap was used last. Sorry if that's too graphic. Anyways, image generators are so much fun. I never knew this free technological resource existed. Over the last hour I was able to make a "Lego" replica of myself, take jabs at George W. Bush, and invent my own line of soap. I'm definitely going to use image generators the next time I create a Powerpoint for my classes. If you would like to test out some image generators yourself, please visit generatorblog.blogspot.com.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Being a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, I had to search for strength and conditioning podcasts. While searching on Podcast.com, I came across a plethora of podcasts produced by the Bowdoin College Football Program. Each podcast was a video of a particular weightlifting exercise taught through an easy to follow step by step progression. After viewing several of the podcasts, it dawned on me, these would be perfect for my football players. Weightlifting cannot be taught through oral directions and instructions, the outcome could be harmful to an athlete. Ideally, weightlifting should be taught through visual demonstrations and guided practice. Therefore, before demonstrating a new "lift," I could have my players watch one of theses podcasts as a quick overview of the new exercise and then proceed with my demonstration. What a great resource I have found.
First, YouTube is very addictive. I just spent the last hour viewing video after video. It's crazy how contagious and addicting it is. One video leads to another and another and so on. What was suppose to be a three minute video, turns into a hour long viewing session. Wow! However, don't get me wrong, I truly enjoy YouTube. I'm not a frequent visitor, but I do visit the site periodically looking for a new workout technique or motivational football video. What I love about YouTube is not only does it suggest related videos, but it also suggest other videos from the creator. And this is a great tool especially when you find a producer who's videos are quality. As far as using YouTube within the classroom, I would love to. But, my district has blocked the site from appearing on the school's computers. I guess if there's a will, then there is a way.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wow! I wish I would have known about this site four years ago when I began teaching. I was an intern my first year of teaching and would spend endless hours searching the web for relevant and current information regarding my subject area. Due to fatigue and stress that I accumulated during that tumultuous year, I typically couldn't remember the web addresses of the sites I would visit. I would especially become frustrated when I couldn't find a quality site that I had visited the night before. As I was exploring "Delicious," I relived a couple moments from my first year of teaching and had a good chuckle. All I can say is, what a great tool and I'm sold.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I just finished reading Erin Grave's blog page along with several others and it appears that "Bloglines" is a success. My classmates are ranting and raving about "Bloglines" and how it has simplified searching the net. I couldn't agree anymore, I'm sold.
If you are in need of a good laugh because homework is weighing you down, visit Anthony Pitrone's blog page. Once on the page, scroll down and click on the "Youtube" video of a college baseball game. I haven't seen something this funny in a long time. I needed a good laugh. Thanks Tony.
First, I had to share this picture with you all. The picture has no relevance to my blog, but the warning sign in the picture is hilarious. Poor doggies, RIP. Anyways, the RSS assignment has been the best assignment of the course to date (Course sounds like we've been on a journey, it's only been three weeks). If you've read some of my previous entries, you are quite aware that I do not like to spend a great deal of time on the web. It's not that I'm not technologically savvy, I just prefer to be active and outdoors. However, I do enjoy searching the web for information regarding athletics, health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning. Typically when I'm searching the web for these topics, I become easily frustrated because I can't find what I'm looking for. Not to mention, the time it takes to explore the internet drives me stir crazy. Not anymore, thanks to "Bloglines." What a great piece of technology. In a matter of minutes, I had set up an account and linked up to 29 newsfeeds. This little diamond in the rough is going to preserve my sanity.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I had a lot of fun exploring the Web 2.0 Award's list. After exploring the many sites on the list, I would have to say my favorites are "Revolution Health" and "PEERtrainer." I am a sucker for health related information. It's amazing what these sites have to offer the user. On these particular sites, a visitor can receive nutrition guides, workouts, support/counseling, and much more. As intriguing as these sites are, I'm scared they might put me out of business as a strength and conditioning coach. These sites and others alike have become so extensive and developed that a career as a personal trainer might become obsolete. However, until my services are no longer needed, I will still utilize these sites and others as resources.
For my classes, I use Microsoft Excel to compute my grades. I am a big fan of Excel for it's easy layout and usage. However, I always encounter problems when I want to bring work home and calculate grades. My school computer has Microsoft Excel, my home computer does not. To bring work home, I must break down my laptop and cart it home. Over the past four years, this has become a pain and kept me from doing work at home and staying organized. Not anymore due to the discovery of Google Docs. I never knew this application was available. Having the ability to use Excel from home is going to be so valuable and time saving. Scott, thanks for introducing me to Google Docs.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I've realized that my blogs recently have been attacking technology and filled with a lot of negativity. I might not be a fan of "Facebook" or "Twitter," but I really like this blog page idea. My wheels are already spinning and I'm beginning to brainstorm some ideas for next school year of how to incorporate a blog page within my courses. I think the use of a blog page would prove to be so useful in posting projects and soliciting student feedback on assignments. Also, I think it would increase student engagement and productivity amongst my students. Thank you Scott for introducing me to this particular piece of technology.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
This blog might seem contradictory to my last blog, but just because I enjoyed using "Facebook," does not infer that I would encourage it's usage amongst my high school students. Yes, social networking sites like "Facebook" and "My Space" have many great aspects associated with them. However, in my experience the con's have out wieghed the pro's. Speaking on behalf of my school, the majority of problems and "high school drama" we experience are directly related to "My Space." I don't want people out there to think I'm bashing these sites or technology, but these sites require the user to be responsible and mature. And to my knowledge, high school students struggle with these attributes. For example, this year I had a student create a "My Space" page for me without my consent. In addition to this, they would actually log on as me and post blogs pretending to be me. Something as innocent as social networking turned detrimental. The articles titled, "Examining Social Software in Teacher Education," "Social Networking," and "Teen Services," had many valid and valuable arguments on behalf of social networking. Case in point, the article, "Social Networking," referred to the Virginia Tech shootings and how college students would post messages for loved ones saying that they were okay. This is a great example of social networking's importance. However, the article referred to college students, not high school students. Until my students demonstrate responsibility, maturity, and sound judgement, I will not promote social networking within my courses.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
It's hard to imagine, but today was my first time ever on a social networking site. Today I created a "Facebook" account for myself and to my surprise enjoyed my experience. This is hard to believe if you know me. Prior to this day, I emphatically forbidded to view social networking sites like "Facebook" and "My Space." I thought they were destructive and a complete waste of time. However, after today, I understand the benefits and perks associated with social networking sites. For example, while exploring "Facebook," I came across old high school classmates' profiles that I lost contact with and was able to get reacquainted.
I just "twitted" for my first time, and honestly, I think it's pointless. I'm not a private person, but not everything about my life needs to be public knowledge. Not to offend anyone, but imagine what one could do with the time if they stopped "twitting" and "texting?" I know for a fact my high school students' grades would improve. What's more important, being successful and productive or being up to date with pointless information?
Friday, May 22, 2009
Using "Flickr" turned out to be very time consuming. Let me rephrase that. Viewing my old pictures and strolling down memory lane was very time consuming. While strolling, I came across this old photo of an ankle injury I suffered during my first year of teaching. I suffered the injury while playing games with my students on the last day of school. What a summer. I spent 5 months in a walking cast because of this 3rd degree sprain. I thought you all, my "Kinesiology Buddies," would get a kick out of this picture.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
How come everything happens at once? I received my CSCS certification in February. Was "pink slipped" and celebrated my oldest son's second birthday in March. My second son was born in April. I started work on my masters and took the CSET in physical education in May. And in June, will finish up another year of teaching and begin an internship at Stanford University. What causes this phenomenon?