Welcome to my Tech Tool Box

As an educator I have discovered the wonderful potential Web 2.0 Tools have to empower student learning. This blog is a place to discuss and share strategies and discoveries that assist educators in their goal of educating each learner to their fullest potential while creating a curriculum which is rich, diverse, and engaging for students. Join me in my quest to get and keep students excited about a lifetime of learning.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Social Bookmarking, a great Web 2.0 Tool

Social Bookmarking, wow what a great research and collaborative tool. As an educator I'm always sending colleagues links that I find are great or relevant, however, it's been a one-way street, I don't get too many back in return. After exploring delicious.com I was hooked, I found a community of learners who bookmark and tag sites that are relevant to my own interest and research. The big misconception is that most people think, "Oh I know how to bookmark," well this app is an eyeopener, and full of potential so don't pass it over. Using delicious.com is wonderfully simple and Diigo.com another bookmarking site has wonderful features that let you categorize your lists of bookmarks, allowing you to refine and categorize your searches and information even more. I will be setting up a group or two with my teaching colleagues in the near future as a educational resource, enabling collaboration and sharing of information.

So how do you use social bookmarking in the classroom? You could probably Google that and create a bookmark and tags to start collecting ideas, making it easy on yourself, why do the work if it's already been done. Being an art educator I would use this as a classroom research tool. What a fabulous way to introduce a period of painting. Set up a social bookmarking site, create a buddy group or limit who can view the bookmarks and tags to protect your students, then let them loose. They can all explore the web for relevant sites, bookmark and tag them. By creating a research tool for the period of art; such as Impressionism, Fauvism, or Contemporary Art, students will easily gather information for a project, wiki, blog, or presentation regarding the information collected. Students will be using their Research and Information Fluency skills a NETS standard by evaluating, locating, and organizing sources and information using digital tools and technology in the classroom.
I hope you enjoy and discover the potential this super Web 2.0 Tool has to offer.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Web 2.0 RSS and Other Feed Readers in Education

So what are the benefits of using RSS or Feed Readers in education you might ask like I did. Well being the curious person that I am I went out searching for what I can do with this Web 2.0 tool and found some great ideas and resources. Adding the RSS Feeds to my blogs was a few clicks and they were up just add it under gadget on your design template.
Feeds are great for gathering research, especially if you set up an interesting activity or research topic that once subscribed to feeds will gather information until you are ready to implement it into your curriculum. Feeds give you the information you are searching for as opposed to you having to sift through information being pushed out to you. Feeds are also a fantastic way to monitor student blogs or your favorite education or technology news feeds or blogs. Using feeds in the classroom integrates NETS-S Standard of using "Creativity and Innovation."  Feeds encourage learners to use existing knowledge and apply it to a new process while identifying trends regarding the topic they are exploring. NETS-S Standard of "Research and Information Fluency" is also integrated when the learners strategically guide their inquiry by collecting information and acquiring knowledge through the use of feeds.
So use this great Web 2.0 tool to its full potential and FEED those hungry minds in your classroom.