Nov 22, 2009

Where do we begin?

After watching this video last Fall, I felt fear. I did not know where to start my online learning journey, but felt it was essential to start getting connected. Here are a few ways that I started to connect with the world outside my physical space.

3 Tools to Begin to Connect (with the world)

1. Delicious

Delicious is a social bookmarking site. Social bookmarking is a way for you to SHARE, organize, search and manage bookmarks of web resources (Wikipedia). I personally LOVE delicious because I can access my bookmarks anywhere, anytime and on any computer. I bookmark sites at home and then have them for when I go to work. I also can see other people's bookmarks, which saves me time and gives me a lot more information than if I searched for sites by myself.

2. Youtube/Teachertube

Yes, Youtube is number 2 for me. Whenever I want to learn something, that is the first place I go. For example, I wanted to learn to play a couple songs on the violin last summer, so I went to youtube. I used "expert village" to help me learn to play "twinkle, twinkle." Fun stuff! I also love youtube for the classroom. I love to use short clips from youtube to capture my students attention.

3. Blogs

A blog "is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video" (Wikipedia). I use blogs to stay on top of what is new out there in the digital world. I would recommend that you find a few blogs that interest you and enjoy! Definitely look for blogs that are updated frequently, so you stay on the cutting edge of what is going on in the web! ;)

My favorites are:

Free Technology for Teachers: This site is so cool! You need to bookmark this one for sure!

2¢ Worth David Warlick is an edublogger (writes about technology and education) and poses interesting questions that challenge my thinking.

Web-blogged Will Richardson is an edublogger who also writes about teaching!

Eide-Neorolearnng Blog This one is a just a personal interest as I am fascinated by the brain.

Mary Castle's First Grade Blog (I am trying to blog this year with my class, so I followed this teacher for over a year)

I recommend that you fiddle around a little bit with these applications and see where it takes you and who you meet!

Nov 21, 2009

Will Richardson Inspires Again!

I played around with twitter a few months ago when Ashton Kutcher challenged Larry King to a twitter popularity contest. I did not do too much else with twitter because I felt that my facebook social network was enough for me to keep up with. However, after listening to Will Richardson, a top edublogger and author of "Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts", at the Leading and Learning Conference in Red Deer today, I realized I needed to give tweeting another try. Richardson contends that Twitter provides "passion-based learners" a way to connect with each other. He inspired me once before to start reading blogs and then to blog and I am back in the swing of things as I begin tweeting.

Mr. Richardson talked about social networks, and how, as educators, we need to start teaching digital learners in our classrooms about their presence online and how they can connect with others outside their physical space to learn. He mentioned the new literacy, which is the "literacy of learning" online. Indeed, there are lots of ways to connect with others who have similar interests and passions. From groups of municylcists (yes, they really do exist!) sharing daring adventures on youtube and various forums, to individuals seeking answers to questions on youtube, twitter and facebook, there are lots of ways to connect.

Here is a video that Mr. Richardson showed to illustrate how powerful social networks can be as we learn to connect with others online.

After watching this video of a 12 year old boy searching out an answer to his question, you realize that this is no longer about technology, it is about culture. Digital natives are growing up in a digital world and the reality is that the internet is a way of life.

What networks do you connect with to learn outside your physical space?