Get Rid of All the Junk and Get What You Need

How do you get the information that you need? Do you turn to a Google search? Do you go to YouTube? When we do, we often have to search and sift through information for meaning. Sometimes information is easy to find and other times it's very difficult. If there was just something that could piece related videos together and give me what I need! 

One of my colleagues recently shared a site called MentorMob that does all of this. Say you want to learn something, you can create a playlist of related websites or videos on this subject area. There are tons of already created playlists to search through as well. Below is a quick video on what this site does: 

Excellent Guide to Digital Learning

We are bombarded with digital learning each day that we walk into our classrooms. Think about how school was when you were is school. Having a computer was probably a privilege and having the Internet meant your district was rich! But now the field is changing. 
After reading Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat, I can most understandably understand why. Technology and the ability to connect to the Internet are becoming cheaper and cheaper each day. 

With the decrease in price, comes a simple (sorry for using an Economics term) increase in demand for use. iPads, Moodle, Edmodo, Schoology, Flip Cams, iMovie, iPod, iPhone, Aps, YouTube, Google Docs....ugh! This list goes on and on.

Here is an excellent resource to keep it all straight and help you better understand the technologies that our digital natives are using! It's the 60-Second Guide to Digital Classrooms found on Edudemic's website.

 It is a great tool to help you keep things straight! You also have easy access to download this picture in PDF format. Even if you don't use this for yourself, it may be a valuable professional development topic. 

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Failing the Social Media Test? Need a Cheat Sheet?

Social media is everywhere isn't it? For many of us, it is a little intimidating to see all of these social networks all around us. What's the difference between Facebook and Google+? Is a hash tag an illegal substance? Why would anyone want to Tweet? 

For our students, these terms and concepts are as common as the Dewey Decimal System and PB&J were to us, while we were in school! Many teachers are using social media in their classrooms to help students learn. Brain research has shown that when kids are engaged with something that interests them, they express considerable effort and attention to learning. Social media is way that gives students a chance to express themselves. 

The fact is, social media is here to stay and is connecting people worldwide. You are reading this blog, right? Well, then you are connected with a group of people who are interested in educating kids. But how do you keep on top of things? I mean...the world of social media is constantly changing. How do you keep up with the lingo? The symbols? The purpose?

The Search Engine Journal recently ran a post (January 31) on a Social Media Cheat Sheet designed by Flowtown. Although directed to small businesses, it can help us as teachers. Each of the major social media platforms are listed with brief definitions, pro's and con's. Confused on how to begin using Facebook or Twitter? A brief description is listed, as well as key "lingo" you may need to know.  I really enjoyed looking at the info-graphic on the number of people who use each social network. What a great discussion tool for your students! 

You may also want to check out these resources:

Happy Safer Internet Day!

February 7th marks Safer Internet Day, which is a worldwide event organized each February to increase global awareness of Internet safety. This year's theme is "Connecting generations and educating each other." Countries all over the world are participating in this worthy cause.

One of the sponsors iSafe has provided video clips, documents, and lesson plans for teachers, parents, and other community members. iSafe is one of the leading publishers of digital citizenship educational materials in the world. Check out their site here.

There is an expression "it takes a village to raise a child." Unfortunately many of the people in that village are not around or aware of what is really going on in the "digital realm." From cyberbullying to texting dangers, we need to share with our kids the proper ways of using technology. So on this Safer Internet Day, what are you doing to be as Ghandi said "the change that you wish to see in the world" (or Internet)?

Check out these surprising statistics from Safer Internet Day.

If you are interested in more Internet safety resources, check some of these out:

5 Tips for Engaging Learners with UDL

Phillip Schlechty (2011) theorized that the highest levels of learner engagement require learners' full attention and commitment. While ...