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Blog like a pirate

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November 2011

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One of my job responsibilities (and personal interests) is to vet digital resources for the teachers of our district.  I typically  blog about specific apps and websites.  While I know this is helpful for our teachers who are short on time, or on the knowledge as to where to find these resources, I don’t want to give the impression that this is what innovative learning is about.  I have thought through different directions I wanted to go with today’s blog post, and in the end decided to steal and plunder from some great educators in my PLN.  Justin Vail and Joey Till of Education Shift have fantastic resources on their website.  I have been to one of their sessions on Discover, Collect, Create, and that is what I want to write about.  They have a great list of resources on their website under each of these headings.  Learning is really just a series or combination of discovery, collecting information, and/or creating.  I am only going to highlight a couple of resources from each area that work the best for me.  Not all of them are on Justin and Joey’s lists, but since I am using their session title, I wanted to give them credit.  I believe in the spirit of collaboration to work towards the common goal of best meeting the needs of today’s students.  Since we all like to learn and teach differently, feel free to check out their Google doc to see more resources.  Oh – and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter @ed_shift.

Discover

  • Twitter is definitely one of my favorite professional resources.  By connecting with the right people on Twitter, you can discover any number of helpful resources for your classroom.  The key is finding the right peole and best hashtags.
  • YouTube What can’t you discover on YouTube?
  • Google Search & Google+ – We all know how to do a basic Google search.  Check out Education Shift’s website page on Google, though, on how to do advanced searches.  This will save you tons of time if you know how to correctly refine your search criteria.

Collect

  • OneTab is a new favorite.  It’s a Chrome extension and has just endless possibilities.  It is a place to curate websites into common themes, or just minimize the amount of tabs you have open in your browser at one time.
  • LiveBinders is an old favorite.  I’m pretty much a LiveBinder addict, but OneTab is giving it a run for it’s money.  LiveBinders are exactly what they sound like.  They are digital binders that hold curated content.  The best part is that you can share a binder with someone else giving them access to your collection.  I have over 200 binders from Differentiated Learning to Twitter in the Classroom.  I know a teacher who collected websites about authors and then shared the binder with her class to narrow down their research sites during an author study.
  • Google Chrome & Bookmarks & Google Docs

Create

  • iWork and iLife apps.  If you have iPads, there aren’t much better apps for creating than those in iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote), and iLife (Garage Band, iMovie, and iPhoto).
  • Animoto is a favorite in our district.  Students of all ages love using it to create book trailers, but it can also be used to review for tests, present specific information to the class, etc.
  • Google Sites & Maps & Docs

“Technology doesn’t make teaching easier, it makes it different” @chrkennedy

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6 Comments

  1. “Twitter…. The key is finding the right people and best hashtags.”

    And I’ve found that, over time, as certain hashtags gain more and more popular traction, they can become more spammy and less useful. It’s at that point where the key stakeholders in a hashtag might want to “reboot” by switching to / adding a new, more focused and less used hashtag.

    Like

  2. “YouTube…what can’t you discover on YouTube?”

    I have recently been pointed toward the resource of Crash Course (link below) by a colleague. I have thoroughly enjoyed using this resource as a review tool and even as an introduction to new material. They have materials on a variety of different disciplines including; U.S. History, World History, Psychology, Biology, Literature, just to name a few.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse?feature=watch

    Like

  3. Justin says:

    You are too kind! Thanks for the kind words and mention. Its a pleasure having humble innovators like yourself in my PLN!

    Like

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