Should I Bookmark This?

I feel like the battle over organization of information has persisted through all the ages.  The question is not new to the technology information age.  Just look at the variety of types, styles, and sizes of notebooks, index cards, flagging tags, post-it notes, binders, etc.  Now though, the question is if we are supposed to be able to reduce our paper load in light of the ability to store huge amounts of electronic information how to do we organize it in order to find it again when we need it.  How do we share it with others?  Furthermore, if the information is all already online how do we access it without moving it to additional locations?  Many web-based tools continue to become available to bookmark, cite, and note information online.  Some include Del-i-cious, Google Bookmarks, and the tool I tried this week, Diigo.  I will say, as with everything else, there are pros and cons to everything and this is no different.  The learning curve can always be trying and I know on at least one occasion I seemed to have LOST my comment, post, or sticky note.  I also am not sure about the whole tagging thing.  For someone as heavily dependent on the Internet as I am to survive, I still wonder if I will remember the tags I used or if I will then need bookmarks for those.  Hmmmmm….

Some of the things I think Diigo is useful for include sharing articles or information on the web with colleagues.  The problem I found is that I wanted to share things with others Continue reading

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Screencapture Review

So, I have completed it.  My first screencapture review is complete and I am glad that I had some thoughts previous to actually doing it about these three tools (notes in previous blog), screenr, screencast-o-matic, and jing.  I opted for jing.  It required a download onto my computer, but I am enjoying the little sun in the corner of my computer. Maybe it’ll be like sunshine in our dark Pittsburgh winters. :o)  I also think for me, it is nice and easy to be able to just click on the sun and get started when ready to record.

Per my comments about the time allowed for  recording, Jing only allows for 5 minutes per recording.  I found that to be really restrictive.  This time limit would really need to be considered based on what you were trying to accomplish. If you just wanted to handle peer or student submissions one area at a time, it might work, but there also might be some back and forth and multiple copies. Continue reading

Creating sanity in insane schedules

Two things have been placed in my path this week and I can see both as a tool for adding sanity to a teacher’s life.  The first is a review of a new book, Off Balance, by Matthew Kelly.  While I haven’t yet read this book, it is one of the first I has seen where the author acknowledges that there is no way someone could actually create true “work-life balance.”

I was thinking of this book when I was responding to a post in New Lit class about the increased communications available today and how it impacts teacher/student/parent relationships and the time they expect to be able to reach eachother   I do not know that is it really possible to create or expect continued and permanent balance.  While few of us expect achieved balance to be permanent, I do not know that I myself will ever even achieve a moment of balance!  Instead I more or less feel I live in a world of the game Don’t Spill the Beans where beans keep getting added and removed to each side of my life, work and personal, and with any luck they will be added or removed slowly enough or with enough care that the whole darn thing doesn’t topple!

Continue reading

Our Community

This VoiceThread is based on our social studies lesson about our communities, smaller and larger, and our addresses.  I really enjoyed preparing this for my students and while it would still need work, it would be a great way to prepare a lesson that involved many computer files in order to reduce the time it takes to move between them while trying to work with the students.  It would also offer teachers things like ways to handle either reteaching of a topic for some students, or to differentiate lessons for all students by offering different leveled work.  It could also allow teachers help with differentiating instruction in the form of small groups.  This would allow a teacher the ability to manage instruction without having to be with a group of students at that time.  Aside from listening to my own voice on the recording, it was a great tool to learn.

http://voicethread.com/book.swf?b=2312629