Social bookmarking allows an individual (or group) to keep favourite websites in a place stored on the web/cloud. This allows for several advantages:
1) Access your favourites/bookmarks from any device, not just one computer or browser
2) ‘Tags’ (or keywords) allow you to associate your favourite sites to the way you might use them and/or identify the type of resource they are. I organize mine by the courses, units and topics.
3) They are searchable by Tag.
4) You can set some social bookmarking sites to ‘automatically Tweet’ your favourite sites, or, when signed into your Twitter account, ‘favourites’ are automatically indexed in your social bookmarking site.
5) Access or join other ‘groups’ to allow you to benefit from the knowledge of like-minded folk!
I can’t get enough of this fantastic podcast. When I first started listening, my knowledge of economics was shakey at best. After listening for 4 years, I can understand conversations about quantitative easing, discuss the global impact of cotton subsidies and can identify the “new” ways to hit the top of the pop music charts. The bite-size 20 minute segments twice a week make listening manageable.
This year I asked my grade 12 Challenge and Change students to use analyze an episode and apply a socio-/psycho-/anthro- logical lens. They ate it up like candy. Many have become obsessive listeners. (assignment here: Plant Money podcast analysis.)
This show from NPR is representative of all that is good in public radio. Clever reporting, heartbreaking and heartwarming storytelling and the delightful charm of Ira Glass makes this the best hour on radio ever week. Don’t let the name of this show turn you off, Canadians. These stories are stories of humanity, not just Americans.
bonus: sometimes they have David Sedaris read his stories. *squee!*
The Story Globe is an awesome resource for a geographer like myself. I use it for my Challenge and Change class.
Here are two of my favourite episodes.
#1: Nummi (Episode 403) – if someone had said, “Here’s a really great podcast about a car manufacturing plant, it’s awesome!” I would have laughed in their face. I believe I did (sorry, @gduncanclark). This episode is a testament to the outstanding journalism and storytelling I’ve come to know and love with This American Life. It is a fascinating (and awesome) episode.
I can’t say enough about my favourite website, Sociological Images. This site is curated by Lisa Wade, a professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Numerous other academics contribute to the ever-growing bank of social scientific reflections on the world around us.
I didn’t know I like astronomy. I have @Failedprotostar to remind me daily that space is cool.
Love Ottawa? Love Local History? Love Art? Love local Ottawa artist and amateur historian, Andrew King.
Russell Tarr @russelltarr – This British Ex-Pat in Toulouse, France exemplifies the marriage of History and Technology in the classroom. He loves “sharing creative ideas on Twitter & offending Mr. Gove [British British Conservative Party politician, the Secretary of State for Education].” He can also be found on Tweets as @activehistory and @classtools.
Megan Valois, @msvalois, is a local Ottawa teacher extraordinaire. She considers herself a “21st century teacher/learner.” Check out her Twitter feed or her website at meganvalois.com for great ideas for History and English as well as differentiated instruction, assessment for learning & #edtech!
The Good Doctors:
I’m pretty lucky to know some very intelligent people who have the degrees (and peer reviewed journals) to prove it! Beyond their talents in their respective fields, these Drs are also fascinating and humourous folk. Check out @thejennye (Canadian History, Women and Sport), @postWarHist (Canadian Cold War Military History) and @mittenstrings (Canadian Literature) for musings and links to amazing places and discussion about historical and contemporary issues.
Twitter is a great tool for finding new and interesting resources, a cool way to debate within your classroom and to tell people mundane details about your life.
A wee tidbit: Perhaps we were programmed anthropologically to Tweet. CBC’s Spark did an episode/podcast about this very thing.
So, Why Do I want to have a twitter account?
I’ve managed to find of variety of educators and technology specialists who tweet resources and ideas on a constant basis. I occasionally go on twitter and see what has been shared. Then, I can assess my need for the site or skip it.
You can start with ‘@appledaughters’ iLearn list.
Become a follower to see the variety of specialist I follow. Then, check out what individuals tweet. You may like some more than others. Twitter also offers a ‘Who to Follow’ option once you have a few people you follow. This will give you another variety of people to choose from.
Every day, we ask our students to come into our classrooms and try new things. We ask them to stand in front of their peers and speak, or answer a question on freshly learned topics or throw them into new methods of instruction which are far from the safety of pencil and paper activities. Our classrooms house intimidation!
I once read about a 30+ year veteran teacher who started a new activity every September. She believed it was a way to remind herself about the challenges of being a student. She reasoned that risk taking is hard and learning something new, although exciting, is really intimidating.
I love the image of a grey-haired woman stepping over the chrome engine of a Harley on her first ride, banging away at a drum lesson or leaping into a jazz dance class. She is risk taking. She giving up control. She is experiencing. She lets her self leave her comfort zone and head “where the magic happens.”
Unfortunately, many teachers forget what it’s like to take risks. We become at ease with the topics we cover (our students always seem so shocked, “how do you know all this?” and the answer is often, “I’ve taught it a lot”). We make excuses for why we won’t or can’t learn something new.
Teachers can be intimidated by technology. There are so many variables in selecting iPad, interactive whiteboard, web activity, collaboration, Google Apps etc. Then, we have to worry about managing those activities once we’ve created them.
My challenge to you: pick something. If it fails? Try again. Do something differently. You’ll get another crack at it in the future. What is there to lose?
MOST IMPORTANTLY: Let your students guide you. Let the students who know their way around reddit or tumblr show you how to find .gifs or embed videos. Enjoy being a student. Use the classtime to develop a skill or learn a new web too.