19 Things for Hamden Hall

Week 6: Learning

Posted on: May 26, 2011

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.

Thing 18: Professional development resources

What is it?

There are a ton of professional development resources available to teachers, from blogs to online journals to podcasts. Here are a few that you may find useful:

  • The Independent School Educator Network is a social network just for us. With roughly 4,300 members, you can interact with and get ideas from educators all over the world. ISEnet offers discussion forums, a calendar of events you might be interested in, videos of presentations and events, and blog posts on a variety of topics. The ISEnet Wiki is a comprehensive guide to a number of topics relating to independent schools.
  • Free Technology for Teachers is an awesome blog where its author, Richard Byrne, posts daily – and sometimes more – about different technology resources that can be used in the classroom. The best way to use the site is to check in as frequently as you can, but because that’s nearly impossible for most people, you can bookmark the site and visit it when you need ideas. Use the search at the top right of the page to search for certain terms on the site. I often will search by subject, like “planets” or “geography,” as opposed to searching for specific technology… because I might not know what I’m looking for yet.
  • Another favorite of mine is iLearnTechnology, another educational technology blog. Like Free Technology for Teachers, the author of this blog updates frequently on new tools. The best way to search for resources on the site is to use the search box at the top right OR to use the drop-down menus on the right, where you can look for resources by subject, grade level, and resource type, among other parameters.
  • To find blogs that you like, start by browsing through the winners of the Edublogs awards. Here are some categories to get you started:
  1. Best resource sharing blogs
  2. Best library/librarian blogs
  3. Best educational technology support blogs

Try it out!

Spend a few minutes browsing through one of the sites above to see if you can find a resource that you’d like to explore more. Post that resource in the comments!

Thing 19: Twitter

What is it?

Twitter is a social networking site where users share short updates with their network. Updates must be 140 characters or less. If you use Facebook, a good way to think of Twitter is as a collection of short status updates. While many people use Twitter purely for social purposes, many teachers and librarians are using it to share resources with each other, make connections with other educators, and keep up on what’s happening in the world of education and technology.

How can I use it?

To get an idea of how some people are using Twitter to learn and share, visit the Twitter accounts of some of these educators:

You can also follow the Twitter streams of specific sites, tools, and organizations, like:

This can be a great way to get updates on tools, hear about educators who want to collaborate, and see examples of how other teachers are using these tools in the classroom.

For advanced users: Twitter allows people to “chat” using hashtags – the # symbol on your keyboard. By using hashtags, you can organize tweets, just like adding a keyword to categorize information. One chat for you to check out would be #isedchat, a weekly chat for independent school educators (Thursdays at 9 p.m.).

Try it out!

Visit a couple of the Twitter accounts above. Click on a few links to see what resources people are sharing. If you find one you like, share it with us in the comments!

If you would like to sign up for a free Twitter account, click here. Here are some of your friends and neighbors who are already on Twitter:


9 Responses to "Week 6: Learning"

Earlier this spring, I attended the “Twitter For Professional Development” workshop, so I decided to focus on “Thing 18”: about other tools for professional development and sharing. There are a lot of great choices, and I’m so glad that Sarah was able to collect them in one place for us. I think that this as an area of the blog I’ll have to return to multiple times to visit and re-visit. There’s now way you could absorb it all…but everything looks good.

I had heard of the [ http://www.freetech4teachers.com/ ]Free Technology for Teachers site before, but hadn’t had time to explore it properly. I plan to return many times and start following it regularly. I especially zeroed in on the part page that addresses building and maintaining blogs and websites. He describes the potential of the blog/website becoming a “hub” for the class. This brought me back to Week 2’s topic of sharing and the potential of using edublogs (or similar platform) in the same we we currently use FirstClass. I like the fact that he has organized tutorials and plenty of resource on how to do this.

I’m thinking about experimenting with developing such a sight as a “Hub” or “Home Base” next year where I can share information, links, homework, and many other things with the students easily. If I decide to, I can also use it as a blogging tool if I decide to require students to comment and share ideas in that way. It will be an interesting experiment. Still, I’ll have to start working on it now and perhaps over the summer. September isn’t the best time for finding extra time to add something new!

Thank you so much for participating in this – I loved reading your comments, and it was a great jumping-off point for working together this spring. I look forward to doing it more next year!

T. Porto
iLearn Technology looked great. However, it is not very direct and requires some searching before you have what you want.
Sarah, I really would lik a list of the sites that I have previously mentioned. Thanks, Terry

Hi Terry, I will be posting that list very soon! I’m so glad you participated in this program and I hope you got a lot out of it. Thank you!

5/31 T. Porto
Just looked at Gloster edu. This was easier to search and found a great way to innovate the “reading list”. Wonderful,talented teachers willing to share.

There is so much for me to learn. I look forward to spending more time with iLearn Technology.

Thanks for taking part in 19 Things, Monica!

I would like to further explore Free Technology for teachers and iLearn Technology.
Twittering is not something that I feel a need to pursue.
Nineteen things has been a world wind advantage.

I hope you’ve enjoyed it! I am so happy you took part. It made it even more fun to work with you. 🙂

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