Texas Bluebonnet Writing Project Blog

Monday, December 31, 2007

My Favorite Photographs of 2007

While we focus on design being important in educating our youth (or their learning), I have begun to pay particular attention in how things look around me. I think that giving our students the opportunity to understand and appreciate the elements of design will allow them to create better finished products to display their learning. Photographs will also allow them to generate tons of writing. Have your students share their photos with the rest of the class. Give them time to create a storyline about what is happening in the photo. Then allow the owner of the picture to divulge the truth. Vote to see which storyline is the favorite. You can even create a bulletin board out of this project. The kids will love it!

While I am at the earliest stages of caring what my photographs look like, I am at least trying to get better. Following the tips of others, I think I will show some improvement over the next year. I am getting to the point where I can visualize what I want the photo to look like. Now I just need to get the skills to adjust the camera accordingly. If I start this post as an annual event, it will give me a little inspiration to get better as well.

I had the opportunity to play with several different digital cameras over the past year. I have many favorites of family members, yet they (the family members) remain shy about Internet exposure. Following the lead of educators such as Dean Shareski, David Warlick, Brian Genier, D'Arcy Norman, Ewan McIntosh, and others, I thought I would join the "sharing" group. So with that being said, here are the photos I have chosen. Feel free to give me suggestions to make them better. I generally use an Olympus E-Volt 500 now.

My son anticipating the waves at Gulf Shores, AL, USA:

My son enjoying the rodeo in Gladewater, TX, USA (my personal favorite of the year):

I took this one at a church camp during a men's retreat outside of Tyler, TX, USA:

This photo was taken while picking strawberries in Hallsville, TX, USA:

Of my nature photos, this is one I really liked because of the different perspective. Taken in my front yard:

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Top Web 2.0 Tools for ESL/EFL and More

Larry Ferlazzo shares his Best Web 2.0 Applications for Education from an ESL/EFL educator's point of view.
I decided to start putting together various “Best Of” lists for this year, and am starting out with my picks for the best Web 2.0 applications for education. I’m taking the broader view for this list, so I think these sites are the best ones for students across the board — not just for ESL/EFL students.
I think this list is a great start for those in education looking for some unique tools to incorporate into their curriculum. Take a look, give them a try, and then post your own list to your blog and share the link here in the comment section.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Google Reader and Sharing the Love

My Twitter bud @ijohnpederson created a tutorial for sharing your Google Reader finds with others (among other nuggets of Google info in there). Thought you might find it handy to help you build your own personal learning network. Enjoy.

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