So, as 2013 comes to a close, it's time to reflect upon the many tools and tricks I have found this year. There are many of them... but, some of them stick out in my mind as my best tools of 2013. I am only posting six, but believe you me, there are many many more. These are my go to tools.
1. YouTube I never really realized the power of a good video. YouTube has changed the way I have taught a foreign language. There are so many great videos out there, why reinvent the wheel? I say, check there first and then expand as needed. Kids will remember the videos and they will learn from them. It doesn't take a lot of time to find the videos either.
2. Pinterest/ Learnist/ Educlipper I have added all of these into one because they all accomplish similar things. They create a bulletin board for sites, images, and links. I use all three of them and I have gotten so many ideas from them. I spend a little time (maybe 10 minutes) a week scanning the three sites/apps to find ideas for the library. It is amazing the things people in my PLN are doing. I have borrowed a lot of tools for my class via these sites.
3. Twitter Need I say more? The best PD in the world comes from Twitter. I have found so many connections and so many people who share my experiences. I am the only LMS in my school and I am the only tech coach in my district. I have built a strong PLN and have learned more from people here than from any PD offered to me elsewhere. Every single teacher needs to be on twitter, even just to scan other people's posts.
4. OneNote I have started inputting information left and right into OneNote. I use it on the Skydrive and sync. I love being able to work anywhere on my items and having access to it at all times. Collaborating is also a great part of the program.
5. Google Forms I have built a lot of surveys using google forms. I use them to establish tech tickets for kids, to log my personal hours doing tech (it helps the treasurer decide where to budget my salary) and I have forms for library surveys. I have found that they are easy to make and easy to share and the instant results and graphs that can be built right on the site are easy ways to share data immediately.
6. Dropbox Last, but certainly not least- Dropbox. I use it daily. I share folders with students, coworkers, family and friends. I love having it on my phone, iPad and computer. Everything I do is added instantly into one place. I store photos, files and even whole ebooks there. My assistant and I work on files together and Dropbox helps make that happen.
These six tools have been an integral part of my daily life. I have used them often and honestly don't think I could live without them.
The next two weeks of my blog are archived stories. I am taking a few weeks of much needed rest to read some books, watch some movies and spend time with the kiddos. Maybe even go sledding a little. Have a safe and happy holiday season!