Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top EdTech Items: my personal list.

Last week, someone asked me what my top five to ten best educational technology take-aways were. I recognize that they were asking me about the Tech and Topics class in general, but I thought I would share my top five EdTech tools / skills which I use regularly. In no particular order, they are:

  • Screencasts
    I have to say that at first, I found it incredibly difficult to hear myself speaking through instructions on a computer, but my students continued to tell me it was valuable to them. I found that I had less people asking the same questions over and again, and instead people would direct themselves to my website to get a refresher.
  • Prezi
    This alternate presentation tool has really changed the way that I organize information for my students. I like to be able to provide them with the big picture and then allow them to zoom in on pertinent details.
  • Blogging
    This bit of online, public journaling is a great way to provide an authentic writing experience to our students, especially since the audience can be just about anyone in certain circumstances.
  • RSS Readers
    The ability to pull blogs, twitter feeds, news sources, and other online content into one place for my perusal has been invaluable. This tool is part of not only my classroom (tracking student blogs), but also my own PLN (personal learning network).
  • Google Apps / Google Docs
    The Google suite of tools has been invaluable in getting my content online for my students to access when they are outside the school building. These programs also allow students to collaborate on projects even when they cannot be in the same physical space at the same time.
That is a brief explanation of each, and I hope you will take some time to think about your top technology tools or skills. It really is a great reflective exercise.

See you soon!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Personal Learning Networks 101

Where do you go when you have a question about something in education or in your content area? Many of us, as educators, are told to continue taking courses and to continue to accumulate hours of time at conferences where people speak at you about things which may or may not help you. What about the people around you (physically and digitally) who can help you? Isn't it a good idea to use the brainpower of other people who you know, can rely on, or trust in general?

That is what Personal Learning Networks are for.

But don't take my word for it...

Let's discuss!