ED 667 Module 1: Resource Guide

May8

Here is my resource guide to some basic online tools that are essential for a Technology Coordinator. First, I’m doing this assignment using two Web 2.0 tools, this blog, and social bookmarking software (Diigo). Blogs are an easy way to publish and share information. For a resource list like this, you could also use a wiki, a social network, or any number of other Web platforms. This blog is my “hub”, so it’s where I prefer to share resources. I’ve separated my list into three section, tools for sharing, resources for information on “best practices”, resources for curriculum and teaching, and technical resources. These are not comprehensive, but instead focus on my top two tools.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is not only a fast way for you to save bookmarks, and have them available on any computer with an internet connection, but they are an easy way to share and find great sites, articles, and posts with others. The key part of social bookmarking is that you can “publish” your bookmarks, but also that the taxonomy, or indexing, is done by anyone who “saves” that particular URL, so we are all collectively defining the purpose of the resource. This is being referred to as “folksonomy” which means that “folks”, rather than professionals, are organizing materials. This has both a plus side (you can create a index that is easy and intuitive for you to use), and downsides (one person’s intuitive is another person’s obscure, and typos can complicate things whether you share or not). Here are my two picks:

Deli.cio.us was the first major social bookmarking tool and is still the grand-daddy in this category. Its advantages are an easy interface, and ubiquity (lots of other people are on it, so you can easily share with friends).

Diigo is my personal favorite for social bookmarking. I’m fortunate that most of my online professional learning network uses it as well. I prefer it because it allows for highlighting, sticky notes and other notations on pages you’ve saved. I’ve used this tool with students a few times, and it’s very slick. In addition, it works with the delicious API, and I can have any bookmarks sent to my delicious account when I save them to Diigo. This keeps me in two networks, not just one.

Research and Best Practices

Why use technology and why use Web 2.0? One of the tasks of the Technology Coordinator is to convince others to use these tools, both for themselves and in their classrooms. You will need to show that it is not just “fun” for the kids, but improves instruction. You will also need to have a source of standards, and best practices to share. Here are my picks for this category:

The International Society for Technology in Education,  is the organization education technology professionals. It has a annual conference, which I’ve attended for the last two years, that attracts from 15 – 20,000 participants. They are the source of the standards guiding this course,  NETs or National Educational Technology Standards. As education technology has moved towards Web 2.0, so has ISTE, and they have a blog hub, ISTE Connects, which can keep you up to date on both formal and informal discussions on topics in the field.

My next resources is EduCause, which has a great series of short, easy to read flyers on different Web 2.0 tools, called 7 Things You Should Know – 60 Resources. These are in a handy PDF format, and are short (7 paragraphs) and sweet. They make a nice “handout” or online resource to use in trainings on Web 2.0 tools.

Curriculum Resources

These are resources for use in classroom instruction with students. As a current computer lab teacher, this is “where I live”. I need to keep up on resources for six grade levels, and locate resources for research projects, etc.  This is the area I have the most background in and I could list lots of different pages, but for now I’ll share my top two:

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… is a blog that my friend, and fellow Sacramento teacher, Larry Ferlazzo maintains. It includes multiple daily updates. The links are largely geared towards high school ESL/EFL students, so many are appropriate for younger students too. His work is not only prolific, but has been recognized by the IRA (International Reading Association) where he was the Grand prize winner of the 2007 Presidential Award for Reading and Technology.

Instructify is run by the LEARN NC out of University of North Carolina. I used to be a freelancer doing articles for them about a year ago. They do really nice short reviews of Web 2.0 and other education technology topics. Most are nice little nuggets of around 200 words, but they also do longer Instructifeature posts that going into more depth on a topic.

Technical Support

This is the area I expect I will learn the most about, and I’m looking forward to concentrating on these links in the review of extracurricular links. For now, these are two of my favorites:

Giz Explains: An Illustrated Guide to Every Stupid Cable You Need is a handy article that lists almost all the common (and a few not so common) computer cables you are likely to run across. Since I grew up with an old school programmer for a dad, I’m used to knowing the right name for tools (like cotter pins, instead of that whatchamacallit) I loved this article. Clear photos are provided which make it all so clear.

My experience with web pages goes back to coding in HTML. A little bit of code knowledge can go a long way, and HTML Basic is an invaluable reference. Your web editing tool may provide not provide the strike through and replace tag, but they can be very handy when you need to show that a web page or blog post has changed since it was first posted. This article, focuses in on just a couple of great tags to have in your back pocket.

Links

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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