Saturday, November 26, 2011

great book!

I've started a new book that has me blown away, and I've only read the Table of Contents, Foreward, Introduction, About the Editors, and About the Contributors sections.  It's called What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media.  I follow both editors (Scott McLeod and Chris Lehmann) and several of the contributors on Twitter.  It's like I know these people already.

I found a couple statements in the Foreward and Introduction that left me shaking my head and saying, "Yah!  You're right!"  You know you're reading a good book when you respond out loud to something you've just read!!  Here are those statements:
  • "We are rethinking the classroom and the definition of teacher, making transparent the boundaries that defined traditional education.  We are preparing for a new generation of learners within a new information environment for a future that we cannot clearly describe."  -David Warlick (p.vii)
  • "Whether it is the expansion of social networking technologies, the power of digital media creation tools, or the ability to publish to the world instantly, our students and teachers have access to more information than ever before.  We all possess the ability to interact with learning networks much wider than at any other time in history.  We all now have the unprecedented ability to create powerful artifacts of learning.  It is an exciting time to be a teacher and a learner."  -Scott McLeod and Chris Lehmann (p.2)
After browsing through this book, I like that it has short chapters that are packed full of information.  It addresses a plethora of social media topics, and I can't wait to start reading.  Check out the book's Table of Contents and Author Information.  If your school doesn't have a copy of this book already, you definitely need to get it.  It appears to be a great starting point for those reluctant to use digital technology and social media.

I wish I could say I'm getting paid to give a shout-out to the following educators, but I'm really not.  Whether you're new to Twitter or an old pro, here are the editors and a few of the contributors in this book that you should really be following if you're not already:
Scott McLeod: @mcleod
Chris Lehmann: @chrislehmann
Richard Byrne: @rmbyrne
Vicki Davis: @coolcatteacher
Karl Fisch: @karlfisch
Will Richardson: @willrich45
Joyce Valenza: @joycevalenza
David Warlick: @dwarlick

And, if you're an educator without a Twitter account...well, that's a whole new lecture that I'll save for another post!

Friday, November 25, 2011

I Symbaloo--do you?

We all know that feeling of being overwhelmed with 14 new websites and not a clue how to remember them.  I've tried adding them to my favorites, but somehow my favorites keep disappearing into cyber space.  When I find something I like on Twitter, I just click and add it to my Twitter favorites, or will email the link to myself.  I also have a Microsoft Word document with 8 pages of websites.  It's an organizational NIGHTMARE!

That's all changing, thanks to a new website I learned about recently--Symbaloo.  This is the ultimate way to organize websites, and the best part is that it's visually appealing!  Perfect for me!!  I can organize the resources in different folders by adding new tabs at the top of the page.  If you really want to be OCD about organizing, you can even color-code your resources!!

I love the idea of adding student websites to a Symbaloo account and adding it as your student's homepage.  Brilliant!

Apparently I'm a little behind the ball game, because here's a 2010 article I found about SymbalooEdu--a definite must-read!  I have a feeling I've only scratched the surface on this amazing educational (and personal) resource!