Even as the Hillcrest IT/Computer teacher, I am guilty of not using technology to any kind of limit-pushing point. Though I'm on FB, I don't yet Twitter. In the classroom, I've covered pretty standard applications and, Digital White Boards aside, have not really pressed the envelope with getting cutting technologies discussed for implementation on campus. Now granted some of those reasons are due to the financial climate while others have to do with "free time" (an oxymoron that I'm learning in this first year of teaching, is probably well understood by most teachers) . Even so, in this position I feel it my obligation to share what I do learn about Information Technology and how it affects K-12 Education as we currently experience it.
Last night I spent some time online seeking something to write for this posting area. I came across the concept of Personal Learning Environments > Personal Learning Networks. The concepts are not "yesterday-new," (emerging I think around 2008 or so as it relates to K-12 education in the states), but new to me as I'm fairly new to teaching technology. On one site discussing the definition (which I'll leave you to discover with a few links below), I appreciated one reader comment that stated: "We've always had [them]. We just didn't call them that."
Well with the rapid pace of technology evolution and emerging social network tools, I started to get excited about what I was reading, wanting very much to FIND the time to delve into developing mine, and exploring many of the (often free) online tools and apps that are out there for teachers to improve their craft by incorporating the latest and greatest technology has to offer (listing some below). I think it's going to take multiple parents who take time to understand the importance of converging technologies into their digital-native-child's school experience in order to ensure her future occupational success, to start nudging teachers to embrace the new ways of learning. So if any of you are reading this (?!), please take some time here, then spread the word and do so!
For a great overall concept of what a PLE can be from the eyes of a 7th grade science student visit "Welcome to my PLE!"
(just don't try on campus since the district blocks YouTube--a typical concept developing PLEs/PLNs butts heads with).
- Totally awesome concept, got me really excited about the possibilities . . .
Other apps/sites which teachers may already be familiar with . . . (I haven't checked them all out in depth but found them initially compelling to post)
- A course management system helping teachers create quality online courses
- An educational community to connect teachers from every level
- training and resources to ensure student success in 21s Century
- A simple tool to save web pages for reading later
- Capture anything, access anywhere, find things fast
- Privately (or publicly) share photos, videos, ideas via email, mobile, web (free).
- Communicate and collaborate in real-time (with chatting, video, photos, links)
- Building a better education experience - online
OK, that's the longest entry you'll see from me. I'm building my PLN, clearly! Think I'll create a Teacher Technology Resource section to the left with all these links listed so that they're always available to interested teachers, not buried in this post.