Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Smore is a little like glogster. I can't monitor a whole class with smore, but, I can ask them for the link and see the outcome. I like how versatile and easy to use it is. I am going to try it with my French class.
You start off selecting a template for whatever it is you are doing. It has a lot of options. After you pick a template, you just plug information into it. You can input a lot of different things: images, text, titles, video, etc. It makes a really nice presentation. I created one for our student body about using the card catalog. I did screen captures, uploaded them to smore and voila, I ended up with a fantastic presentation in little or no time at all. I copied my text from a doc file that had been formatted and the program let the format for the text carry over. Gotta like that.
If you need a quick presentation for a class, need a project idea, look into this. I can see it being used by several content areas.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Sorry for such a short post today, I am guessing most of the forthcoming will be a little shorter as I no longer have posts pre-written because this time of the year is crazy busy for me.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Pinterest: Can't go wrong here. Pinning is easy as 1.2.3. Find the website, copy the link and Pinterest searches the site for images that relate. You select one, write a little information about it and voilà, all set. I like the fact that you can make as many boards as you wish, follow other people like you can on twitter and be able to go back later and clean-up what you placed. It helps me a lot experiment with new things, refer to articles from a while back, etc. I am pleased with how it works.
educlipper: A lot like pinterest, educlipper lets you "clip" sites. There is a bookmarklet you can add to your browser and as you check out a site you can click it and it posts it to your educlipper clipboard. When you first log in, it is set up a lot like pinterest where you see other people's pins/ clips. I like this because it is very educationally based. You aren't going to see recipes and exercise information, you are going to see topics that are educationally based.
Pearltrees: Pearltrees is a curation site, but it is a little different. I am not sure I would say it is incredibly visual except for the fact that it looks like a graphic organizer. You create a board per se and add pearls. you can branch out from there to other things that relate. One neat thing about this is the collaboration capabilities. You can take other people's pearls as well as join them and add to their boards. It is pretty functional and you can develop organizers that are pretty specific to your needs. There is also an app for the iPad.
Overall, becoming a curator is something I am glad I considered. I think organizing for others as well as myself will help my tech knowledge grow.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
First of all, I tried tweetedtimes.com. I was doing a webinar recently and the presenter talked about using it to curate so I checked it out. It is easy. It looks through your tweets, your friends and your favorites and assembles a paper based on what is there. It then tweets it daily at a time you specify. It also pulls the top stories from your friends and tweets it. You can open each paper daily and peruse articles for later reference. It curates quickly and assembles a vast array of information right at your fingertips. Talk about a simple way to share information with people.
Secondly, I like to use paper.li as a newspaper builder. I select the topics to search for and it assembles a paper daily with the specifics. Example: I could type in ipads, 1:1, etc and it will build a paper with articles around the web with those topics. You can set it to tweet daily and you receive an email when the paper is complete so you can see what is coming. I love it.
Something awesome about these curating sites is the fact that you can use them in your classroom. They don't just have to be for your PLN, they can be for students. You can pull topics that you are covering in class and assemble real time papers about them. Since you can choose news media, you can have students reading authentic materials in class. It's a great way to meet some of the common core standards we are all facing.
There are other ways to curate, we'll talk about the visual ones in the next post.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
While I spent some time home with pneumonia (yes, that was the exciting experience of my vacation) I had the opportunity of listening to a few webinars about twitter, PLN and social media. I must say, I took some time to think about my PLN and how much I have learned from my colleagues, many of whom I have never met.
I am a school librarian, but I am also a teacher. I spend a little time each day on twitter, pinterest and facebook. Sometimes, I am chatting with friends, sometimes I do discussions, sometimes I just stalk people and keep an eye on what they talk about. Regardless of my motives, I am happy to say I am always learning something.
My webinar talked a bit about PLN not just being on twitter, and with so many new forms of social media, the PLN is a different concept than it was even 3 years ago. My PLN is on Pinterest and twitter mostly, but, I have spent some time scanning scoop.it and some RSS feeds I get daily. It doesn't take a lot of my time but the things I learn from people are unreal. I have no one at my school who teaches the same content I do so using a PLN is logic, at best.
Why do I have a PLN? Several reasons. For starters, I am the only French teacher at my school and in the northeast corner of Indiana, only two schools still offer French. Who can I learn from? I need to collaborate with people who teach French and are having good experiences with it. Secondly, I am the only certified librarian in my school. I often have questions, need suggestions or have personal ideas to share. I find posting something on twitter gets me instant results and often more outside of the box ideas. Why not work with other people?
I have decided that my PLN is like a free professional development. Post a topic, get instant results. I have close to 7000 tweets on twitter. Many of them are retweets of people who I follow. Sometimes they post something smart and useful. I find myself going back often.
If you have not started developing a PLN, you should. You will find people all over who know stuff you need help with.