For today’s Website Wednesday I want to invite you to take a fifteen minute journey on my Personal Learning Network. No, I’m not asking you to spend fifteen minutes reading through this blog entry, I’m going to tell you about the great resources I found through my PLN in just fifteen minutes today.
First, I started with Twitter. It’s more than just something celebrities use to share their opinions on things, or people use to tell what they ate for lunch. There’s actually an entire professional education community out there, communicating and collaborating through Twitter. Every time I pull it up I learn about new and useful sites and resources to share with you. Today, less than three minutes after pulling it up to see the chatter among education professionals, Lucy Gray, a technology integration specialist at the University of Chicago, tweeted a link to a video series on How to Use Google Documents. I clicked on her link and spent a couple of minutes looking at the videos. I learned that the series breaks the skills and components of Google Docs down into 40 videos, allowing you to watch only what you need/want, skipping the rest. BINGO…in less than five minutes I’d learned about a great resource we can use here!
From Twitter I moved onto Delicious. Delicious is a tool that allows me to keep my professional bookmarks online. (Look down to the bottom left of this blog and you can see my most recent bookmarks!) Not only can I access my bookmarks no matter where I am or what computer I’m on, I also have a network (sort of like a friend’s list) of other education professionals who share their bookmarks online. Today I looked through my Network’s bookmarks to see if they have anything I don’t have, and might find useful. I actually found a number of things of interest to me, but not right for Website Wednesday. I knew I’d found sites on other days, and looked through my bookmarks. I saw some that I had added a note to, designating them as possibilities for Website Wednesday. After a quick glance through those, I decided that the four below were the best ones to share.
Favorite Read Alouds is a list of stories from teachers who shared their favorite books to read aloud to their students. The list includes titles for all elementary grades, and even has the reason the teacher gave for liking the book. Sadly, my favorite read aloud, The Great School Lunch Rebellion by David Greenberg, didn’t make the list.
Crocodoc has to be one of my favorite finds recently. It’s a great FREE web tool that allows you to highlight and make notes on pdf documents. This eliminates the need to print out long pdf files so you can write a few notes on it, then file it away. It saves paper and ink, too!
YouTube has so many great educational videos that you can use in the classroom. I recently found the Hooked on Phonics channel, which is great for primary grades. Cute cartoons and catchy songs help students learning to read.
Math Live is a site out of Canada with videos for older elementary students. A number of videos can be found on a variety of math subjects. Each video window includes links at the top for parent notes, teacher notes, and assessments. At the bottom of the window is a link to an activity sheet.
So that’s fifteen minutes with my Personal Learning Network (or part of it – there’s more to it than just Twitter and Delicious). I was able to reach out to other educators, ones who I think are some of the best online, ones that I’ve selected to follow on Twitter and add to my network on Delicious. Did I mention that they’re scattered across the globe? Pretty neat to network globally in only fifteen minutes!
Just imagine what building a Personal Learning Network could do for you!