19 Things for Hamden Hall

Welcome to the last week of 19 Things for Hamden Hall! Thank you SO much to those of you who stuck with it through the grueling last weeks of school. I think that this project has been an overwhelming success, and I’m so happy to be part of a community where we are always striving to learn more.

And now, onto the last week: professional development. You’ve spent five weeks learning about a plethora of new tools, and maybe some of them were intriguing, while others probably weren’t. Now that 19 Things is coming to a close, how can you continue to keep up on educational technology? Here are some strategies for continuing the learning process.

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This is the second-to-last 19 Things post. This week is about getting organized and being productive. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information out there (including all of the stuff I’ve been telling you about on this blog), then these tools may help you sort through it. You’ll learn how to save and share links, access documents anywhere, and keep notes on anything you want, from grocery lists to thoughts on new textbooks to resources you learn about in a workshop. So here goes…

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OK fine, last week was a doozy. This week will be better! Only four things this week (pick two), and they’re, let’s just say, a little more fun to play around with. Week 4 is about presentations. Presentations are a staple of any classroom, and we all know the traditional ways for students to present materials: posters, oral reports, PowerPoint slide shows. But what if you want your students to explore new ways of presenting their work? Check out the following four tools.

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Week 3 is devoted to Research and Using the Internet. The tools I will share with you this week are intended to help you help our students be responsible online, use virtual resources efficiently, and join the global community. This is our biggest week with SIX things, but you only need to choose two to explore (of course, you’re welcome to look at more!)

Another reminder: you do NOT need to click on every link, or take part in every activity, to participate. Even clicking on one link per “thing” is a great start!

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And now it’s time to begin! Week 2 is devoted to writing and sharing. The following resources might help you share resources with your students, encourage them to write, or allow them to better collaborate. Each “thing” will guide you through tasks that show you what it is and how you would use it, and then you can try it for yourself. You do not have to complete all of the tasks, but they are designed to help you get a feel for each tool.

Remember: you should choose two “things” to explore fully, and then reflect on them in a comment on this post. In your comment, tell us which two resources you looked at. You might want to discuss:

  • Challenges you had with using the resource
  • Questions you have about it
  • If you think it’s appropriate for your students to use
  • If you can think of an application for it in your curriculum
  • If you enjoyed using it, didn’t like it, etc.

A few sentences about each resource is all you need.

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Welcome to Week 1 of 19 Things for Hamden Hall! (If you want to know what this is all about, click here.)

Week 1 is your Introduction to this project. All you have to do this week is:

1) Register for a WordPress account. This account will allow you to comment on these blog posts. You may also want to use your WordPress blog later on, either as an individual blog or as a place to share with your students. See below for detailed instructions on how to do this.

2) Comment on this blog post, so that we know you’re here! Let us know:

  • what you’re hoping to get out of 19 Things for Hamden Hall
  • if there is a particular tool you’re hoping to cover

How to register for a WordPress account:

WordPress is a web-based blogging platform. Some others are Blogger (Google’s blogging site), Edublogs (like WordPress, but built for school use),  and Tumblr (best for short, frequent posts).

To set up an account with WordPress, you can use any username and password you want. Just make sure it’s something you will remember! You will be using this account to comment on these posts, so try to pick a username that will clearly indicate who you are.

You will be asked to choose a name for your blog – but don’t stress out about it, because you won’t be using your own blog right away, and you can always change the name later. If you need help with the sign-up process, let me know!

We’ll talk more about blogging next week, so don’t worry too much about how it works this week – we’ll get to all that!

For your reference, here is the schedule for the coming weeks:

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We started 19 Things to help our faculty learn in small bites about new tools. The structure of our project is based on the Learning 2.0 project developed for the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

Every Wednesday, I will post about a topic to this blog, with links and web tutorials for you to explore. In order to participate, you must learn about at least two of the “things” and then comment on the blog post to reflect on them, ask questions, etc.

To supplement the blog, I will offer two ten-minute sessions per week, times to be determined. This will be an opportunity for you to have hands-on experience with the tools and ask questions in person. At the end of the series, those who have participated by commenting on at least ten of the “things” will receive a thank you souvenir, as well as be entered in a raffle to win a Kindle!

The Week 1 post will appear on Wednesday, April 20.

Thank you for participating in 19 Things for Hamden Hall!

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