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Twitter Me This, Edmodo Me That May 29, 2009

Posted by timsparacino in Blogging, Technology Integration.
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You would have to be living in a cave to have not noticed all of the publicity that Twitter has been getting lately.  I won’t use this space to further promote their cause other than to say that I use Twitter as one component of my professional learning network.

I subscribe to others that “tweet” about educational technology and regularly discover resources there that I might have otherwise missed.

For that purpose, Twitter works very well for me.  However, is Twitter the best microblogging tool for classroom use?  Maybe, maybe not.

To answer that question, this blast-from-the-past post takes us back to the resources that I accumulated during the week of September 29-October 4, 2008 that included a link to Edmodo.

Christopher Dawson’s blog post states that, If a teahcer had designed Twitter, it would look like Edmodo.

Christopher outlines the advantages that he perceives Edmodo has over Twitter including:

  • The ability to create groups
  • Assignments with the ability to attach files
  • Students can complete the assignments simply by replying or uploading their own file
  • Teachers can provide immediate feedback and/or scoring
  • Built-in calendar where students can view assignments that are due and/or those that have been graded

In another post, Christopher outlines other uses for Edmodo including using it as a communication tool for school clubs/teams, professional development, project management, and parental involvement activities.

If you’re a teacher looking for a way to help facilitate communication in your class, or an administrator looking to improve communication with your faculty, parents, and community, check out the other Edmodo resources and links that I have collected on Diigo or Delicious.

I also have several links dealing with microblogging (Diigo link, Delicious link) in general.  Happy hunting!

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One Thing You Should Know About May 20, 2009

Posted by timsparacino in Resources & Information.
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It’s time for my next blast from the past installment which takes us back to September 21-28, 2008.  One particular site that stood out among the resources from that week was 7 things you should know about.

This series from EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides information on emerging technologies and related implementation strategies.

Each “7 things you should know” article focuses on a single technology and details:

  • What it is
  • How it works
  • Where it is going
  • Why it matters to teaching and learning

This series could easily be used to enhance professional development training sessions or serve as a springboard for administrative discussions about how these emerging technologies could impact your district.

So the next time you need information about an emerging technology, check out the short, clear, and easy to follow articles from “7 things you should know about.”

A “Must Follow” Blog March 30, 2009

Posted by timsparacino in Technology Integration.
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This blast-from-the-past takes us back to August 17-23, 2008.  There were several noteworthy links on my delicious page that week including several technology integration ideas, iTunesU, and Animoto for Education.

However, one link on August 21st stood out for me.  It was the first time that I had referenced Larry Ferlazzo’s Website of the Day blog.

Since then, Larry’s site has been a constant source of quality information and resources that I link to on an almost daily basis.

If you have not subscribed to Larry’s blog, I would encourage you to do that immediately.  You will have a hard time finding another resource that surpasses Larry’s blog for timely, relevant, and useful information.

It’s All About Web 2.0 March 18, 2009

Posted by timsparacino in Technology Integration, Web 2.0.
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For our blast-from-the-past this week, we go back to August 10-16, 2008.

A lot of resources that I highlighted that week on my delicious page were Web 2.0 tools.

What is Web 2.0?  Web 2.0 refers to the concept of websites that provide tools (usually free) that enable collaboration to create and share information on the web.

Web 2.0 tools pertain to blogs, wikis, document sharing, social bookmarking, social networks, image editing and sharing, etc.

Click here for an extensive review of Web 2.0 tools and links.

The tools that I’ve chosen to spotlight from the week of August 10-16, 2008 are:

Twitter is an online application that is part blog, part social networking site, and part cell phone/IM tool. It is designed to let users describe what they are doing or thinking at a given moment in 140 characters or less.

How does that pertain to education?  Click here for 20 Interesting Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom.

Other Twitter resources:

7 Things You Should Know About Twitter

Twitter Links

Another useful way to use Twitter is to incorporate it into your personal learning network.  Find and follow other educators and/or associations that “tweet” to stay current on issues related to your profession.

Using the Power of Twitter: Building Online Learning

Twitter4Teachers – An extensive list of educators on Twitter  – categorized by subject area / grade level
Who Should I Follow? – Find new Twitter Friends
Mr.Tweet – Discover great people relevant to your current needs

The list of Twitter related tools is growing every day.  Stay tuned by subscribing to all the updates on my delicious page or directly to the new Twitter resources in your RSS reader.

  • VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a powerful way to talk about and share your images, documents, and video. VoiceThreads might best be described as interactive media albums. They are essentially online slide shows of images, documents, or videos that enable viewers to comment on any slide (or at any point in the video) by typing, recording an audio or video comment, or drawing on the image itself.

Teachers have been early adopters of the easy-to-learn technology, which has led to the launch of Ed.VoiceThread.com, a secure site just for educators and their students.

VoiceThread- One Page Guide

VoiceThread Links

Integrating Web 2.0 tools into your instruction can enhance the engagement level of your students and lead to increased achievement.

Tim’s First Blast From the Past March 13, 2009

Posted by timsparacino in Technology Integration.
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I created this blog on July 8, 2008 with the intention of simply seeing how easy it was to create a blog so that I could share that experience with the teachers in our district that are interested in blogging.

Since then, I haven’t posted much…meaning NONE until March 9, 2009 when I posted Creating a Mobile Version of Your Blog.

Now I’ve decided to make regular entries about what I’ve learned and occasionally, on my views about technology and how it could (should?) be integrated across the curriculum .  At a minimum, I would like to post a weekly “blast from the past” of the best resources that I have collected to share with our faculty.

First, a little history lesson.  I decided about two years ago that our district needed someone to fill the role of a technology integration leader.  After much deliberation, I appointed myself.

My technology skills at that point were rudimentary.  I could use basic office applications to fulfill my job obligations.  I had zero knowledge of Web 2.0 products or how to use them.  So, I went to work.

Using the power of the internet and RSS technology (7 Things You Should Know About RSS), I have tried to acquire the skills necessary to help move our district forward in the area of technology.

In the early stages, I created a web page to share links and other resources that I found.  I then migrated all of that material over to a wiki which had some features that made it a little more easy for me to do what I wanted to do.

As soon as I learned about social bookmarking, I started compiling my list of links on my own delicious page.

I’ve tried to encourage as many teachers as possible to begin using an RSS reader and subscribe to that site so that they can easily stay current on the ever-growing (and changing!) technology resources that are available.

Now, I thought that it might be interesting to go back to the first week of the Resources for Teachers social bookmarking site and begin a weekly “blast from the past” to highlight some of the best resources that may have been lost in the shuffle.

Blast from the Past (August 2-8, 2008)

First, my original wiki Technology Resources for Teachers where you can find A to Z resources compiled before I knew about social bookmarking.

The following sites can all be found at my delicious page.

Jing– screen capture program that lets you share a snap shot of a document or web page, narrate a video of the actions that you take on your screen, comment verbally on a students’ work…

Voki– An avatar creator.  How could teachers use an avatar?  What if the avatar was reading a list of spelling words? What if it was speaking another language? What if I had a Web site that had an Avatar embedded to tell my kids what was going on so that the one’s that couldn’t read could hear it? What if kids used avatars to say something important?

Drop.io– create a “drop” to privately share files and collaborate in real time by web, email, phone, mobile and more.  Creating a drop requires two clicks.  Dropio offers a number of services useful for educators: (Example A) Free voice recording for easy podcast creation.  Every drop can be accessed via phone.  Simply call the number and record your message.  It’s automatically posted to your drop. (Example B) Simple method for posting resources that your students might need- recorded lectures, notes, assignments, rubrics…

There you have it.  The first blast from the past (August 2-8, 2008).