Tuesday, February 15, 2011

George Couros - The Principal of Change

Last week, we had the privilege of listening to George Couros talk about the ways in which his school is incorporating social media in the classroom. He was present via Skype, which was one of the tools that he discussed as being valuable for educators. He explained the benefit of having the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world, in order to listen to their expertise in a given subject mater. I agree with him. The more view points and information we can present to our students, the more opportunity to learn.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear what is going on in George's school. It's amazing how much further ahead of the times some school divisions are. From my experiences so far, even basic technology is lacking, and if it is there, the school division has a tight grip on what can be done with that technology. For example, blocking all social media websites prevents teachers from using these tools for the benefit of ourselves and our students. We need to focus on teaching students to be respectful digital citizens as well as everyday citizens in society. The students at George's school are at an advantage because they are being shown the proper uses of the internet and social media, and are leaving that school armed with an arsenal of resources and tools that will help them succeed in today's society.

As I was browsing through potential resources, I came across another website that has links to various blogs and wiki's used in the classroom, and provides tips for beginner teachers that want to use social media. I quickly added the site to my Diigo bookmarks, and I suggest you do the same:

http://my-ecoach.com/online/webresourcelist.php?rlid=4992#2 - Classroom Blogs and Wikis

Have a good one folks!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More Tips from Mike's Tool Bag...

Mike became the internet magician once again and began throwing out useful links and resources like a friendly passerby throwing bread crumbs to ravenous pigeons in Trafalgar Square. This was a perfect opportunity to utilize one of my favorite social media tools - Diigo. There wasn't time to set up accounts or play around with the websites, so I just bookmarked all the links in my Diigo Library so I could come back to them at a later date. For me, this is a very useful tool to use because I have a tendency to distract myself or forget about some resources I come across.
One of the tools I tinkered with was the picture-video website called Animoto. This site could be used at any grade level, and I think we could find many different ways to incorporate the short videos into presentations or other classroom activities. In order to make longer videos, of course it costs money, but we found that it is actually quite cheap ($5 for a month or $30 for a year membership). Check out my video at:

My Bostons