I dedicate this post to my co-workers and friends at Westwood Schools. Although lately I've been snagging lunch in my room a lot due to a heavy workload, I admire them. I respect them. I believe they are the greatest group of teachers in the world at the greatest school in the world! I am honored to be among them.
This is a post about where to get started with all of this overwhelming Web 2.0 “stuff” and is designed to be a “menu.” Select the things that interest you and leave the things that don't. And remember, you cannot possibly take it all in.
1) Peruse best practices in your subject area.
I've been going through my del.icio.us links and working to categorize it by teacher or profession. I will be cataloging and going through them more in the future, but take a look at the websites that you can use or what other teachers are doing. Keep a notebook handy to jot down your ideas:
2. Set up your own delicious account.
- If you cannot figure it out, download and print out these how-to instructions.
- Then, go to my bookmarks and add me to your network — you can now share bookmarks with me and follow mine by going to delicious and clicking on “your network.” This will show you all of the bookmarks of those you've added to your network.
- Add to your network some other great places with great links – the Wow2 show (where I webcast) and the edtechtalk channel are two of my favorite places for links.
3. Listen to an audio show or two while you're grading papers.
Just click on these links and click the play button. These will help you see what other educators are doing. Here are some specific shows that I have favorited, pick one that interests you:
- Blogging and understanding the emerging network of educators — This show from EdTechBrainstorm literally had educators from multiple continents, a preservice group of teachers from Western Australia, a group of presenters in Thailand and some of the best blogging educators in the world like Cathy Evanoff, Cheryl Oakes, and Jo McLeay talking about blogging. If you want to get excited and SEE why you need to get connected, this is it!
- The future of libraries – This was the Wow2 Show last week with Doug Johnson and Joyce Valenza — just amazing discussion of the future of libraries.
- What is happening in education and why we need to change – David Warlick and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. This has always been one of my favorite conversations.
- The first double amputee to complete an Iron Man, Scott Rigsby – If you just want to be inspired, my friend Scott has an inspirational story. (The teachers at Westwood may be interested in this one, because they taught him.)
- or — go to http://www.edtechtalk.com and just find a show and listen.
It is important to hear voices because you will see that there are people out there like you who are scared but are jumping in and getting started too!
4) Take time to write down 3 goals of things you want to learn more about in the next 7 days! I call this my “big three” and I always take away a “big three” from all presentations or events that I attend. Here are some suggestions.
- Learn how to use RSS and customize your start page – this tutorial has videos about what it is and how to use it. We'll come back to this in future posts, but I challenge you to dive into this page.
- Learn more about Wikis by viewing my k12 online presentation and watching the video which shows you how to set one up yourself. (See PC users right click, Mac users control click to download for viewing …
http://k12online.wm.edu/k12wikipresentatation_LowRes.wmv 18 MB
http://k12online.wm.edu/k12wikipresentation_highres.wmv 41 MB)
- Buy David Warlick's book on Classroom Blogging: 2nd Edition to learn more. (This was one way I got started.)
I will share more with you later. This is just the post for this week! This should give you one week of things to work on and think through.
I plan to make this a beginners series because so many people forget about the beginners! See you soon!
And I so much hope and dream that some of my fellow teachers at Westwood will take a look at this post and find something new here for them!
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