5 Amazing Infographics For the Health Conscious
One of the things I've noticed is that people are sharing interesting things via Facebook more and more. So here is something I did find on my RSS reader....it just happens to have a Facebook feed. It's interesting info and I also love info-graphics.
5 Amazing Infographics For the Health Conscious
I think one of the most important things to consider when using many of these tools, is how are the enhancing, or adding to what you are teaching. I've seen many a tech-savvy people get really, really excited about tools that I personally feel add little to the educational experience. For example, many of the photo editing sites such as Be-Funky, Blabberize and Picknik are most of the time just arts and crafts time wasters. I do think there is a fine line between engagement and entertainment and as educators we need to be aware of this. If these tools help students become engaged in their learning, great! If however, they are just a distraction from the real task we need to beware.
On the other hand, there are some fun and engaging tools that can add something to a lesson. Tools like DoodlePoll or PollDaddy that let you get instantaneous usable feedback can bring a new dynamic to a class or lesson that you couldn't use before. A quick example I could use in the library is to create a poll that asks students what their favorite book genres are. If I've prepared book talks on a large number of books, this poll can help me with each class that comes in to focus on books that they are interested in instead of wasting both our times talking about something no one wants to read.
I also have to give a shout out to Weebly as I love it and use it for my personal site. I think on of the advantages of this is that it really is quick and easy website creation so any student can easily make a website and update it. You shouldn't have to waste time on the web-design piece and can jump right into a usable blog, e-portfolio or any other number of uses for a website.
My Favorite Things on PhotoPeach
I used PhotoPeach to create the above slide show. My favorite thing about photo peach is that ability to link it to a Youtube video to get music that you link. I somewhat stole this idea from my husband who did a 12 days of Christmas video. I was also trying to come up with a way I could use this with my students. I think this would be a really fun project at the beginning of the year to both teach about creative commons, slide show makes and get to know the students. If they each made something like this, we could learn more about each other while work on some of those tech skills. Here is a list of the Photos I used in my slideshow:
I have to admit that sometimes I can get frustrated when things aren't as easy as I would like. For example, I have always found Flickr NOT user friendly. Yes, there are a lot of tools, a TON of photos but I hate to use it.
Every time I go straight to Flickr, I get lost or overwhelmed. I often have tried to search for photos using the creative commons search function, but it's so easy to "wander off" that you soon find yourself with pictures you can't use.
However, that being said, it is a powerful tool that can be used any number of ways. I admit I loved using the Spell with Flickr to create my name and think my students would get a kick out using that for their projects.
There are a ton of tools that would help in many ways it just takes time to sit down and try them out, or even a good friend/colleague/tech teacher who has had the chance to check them out and recommend them to you. Some tools that I recommend are Comfight.com and Flickr Storm for finding great, usable photos. In fact I used the former to find "My Favorite Things" photos that I'll be using in a future "Thing". Here is one of the many things I love:
In fact, after all this hardwork and searching on Flickr, I think it's time to head out and get me one of those! Yum
As a new librarian, I've already had a few times where I've worked with students on using creative commons and of course I have used it professionally as well. The extent of my use at this point, has been more about just using images that others have created and crediting them as sources through the creative commons license. I have not mashed or remixed anything of my own that I have put out under creative commons license as of yet.
I do think that Creative Commons is extremely important especially in the digital world. When it is so easy to copy and paste words, pictures, music and videos it seems irresponsible to think that copyright laws that were written many years ago are adequate. The one thing I wish is that US copyright laws would be updated to reflect something similar to Creative Commons at least for those who want to use it.
An interesting question that was proposed here is who owns our teaching materials? This is something I think is extremely important to think about. Technically in the US, if you create any materials at school or on school property, such as school owned computer, it belongs to the school. Again, if you think about all the content that is being created and shared online these days, it seems ridiculous to say it belongs to a school. Especially since schools are usually no profit and teachers are not trying to profit either by sharing this. Copyright laws are really about protecting content creators and their right to a profit from it. But if we are talking about schools and teachers who aren't profiting there should be some other rules governing this type of work, such as Creative Commons.
So far, I've had several experiences through work and school with Wiki's and I have to say the results have not been stellar. I can see the educational value of them, especially as a collaborative space and a group work organizer. I have even heard of a couple that worked really well. What I've specifically learned from using them and hearing about them however, is purpose and maintenance is very important.
Photo by net-efekt on Flickr
Here is what I'm talking about...my first real experience was with a work wiki that my boss asked me to maintain as part of a curriculum review for the PE department at our school. We used it to store important documents that were needed by everyone access to. This worked well when it came to sharing resources such as example curriculum and templates for the review team to see. The problems arose when the teams were asked to edit these documents. What happened was that I would upload a document to edit, then different people would download the document, edit it and then....I'm not really sure what happened after that. Sometimes they would upload their updates, but then we had multiple copies. Or they would email me versions and I didn't know what was the most current. It all became very confusing. I think the major downfall of this wiki use was that the purpose of using the wiki wasn't clear. We weren't using it to write collaboratively on the wiki, put as a shared document holder. There are much better tools for this use so in the future, if I'm going to use a wiki, the number one thing I'll want to do is define the purpose.
Photo by akahodag on Flickr
Another really important part of wiki's and something that can be very frustrating to me as I'm and organizer, is the maintenance of wiki's. While it's a great collaborative tool, if not monitored, maintained and organized well, like just about anything, it can be really frustrating to use. This wiki is one example of something that hasn't been used in a while and has a mediocre organization structure. I found it hard to navigate and find what I was looking for. I tend to like my ducks in row, especially when working with students.
Despite having some bad experiences and seeing some examples that need work, I have seen many many that seem to work well. One Wiki that I have used that I really do like and can see the potential to go back to again as well as contribute to is this: Elementary Library Routines Wiki. This is great especially as a new librarian to get and try out new ideas on how to run a library. Some routines work in some places and not as well in others. But having a big list of ideas really helps. Also because it is something that has been and will be really helpful to me, I am really motivated to contribute to it as well to help others just like me.
I am a teacher librarian, living in Brazil. I have three beautiful children with my husband, and a pug. I love reading, yoga and traveling the world.