Friday, September 26, 2014

Reflective Teacher Day 26: 3 Go to sites

     We live in a wonderful age where there is so much information out there that, like the students, sometimes as a teacher it can be overwhelming. Where do I look? How do I find what I need amongst all the great information out there??? Here are my go to sites when I need something:

1. Twitter: There is no place on the planet where questions can be asked and then answered in literally under a minute. If you build up your PLN for education on Twitter, then you will realize just like people looking towards the stars: you are not alone! Once you start reciprocating too, then the amount of information and great ideas going back and forth is crazy. But it's a good crazy. In the last 2 years I have had more of my teaching influenced by my friends on Twitter than at any other point in my career. And for someone with 20+ years in, that says a lot. Remember folks, Twitter is not just a place to post selfies and following your favorite celebrities, it is also a place to connect and get help from a global audience of friends and followers! #tweeton

2. Teach Thought: The fact that I am oh so close to finishing this challenge, this gauntlet, by Teach Thought has no bearing on having them on my list. (okay, maybe a little! ;)) But there is sooooo much on their site from Apps to Learning and Teaching that it is a great place to start when looking for resources and help. The fact that there are so many other educators on this site only adds to not only my PLN on Twitter, but it also expands the pool of people I can go to when I am stuck for ideas or need some feedback. If you would have told me a month ago that I would be 5 days away from blogging every day given how busy the beginning of the year is, I would have told you that you are crazy! But this has been really really good for me. Why? It has made me think about what I am doing and put fingers to keyboard to illuminate it. I may include this as a part of my growth plan too: reflecting on learning. Anytime you have the ability to explain and justify what you are doing, the better off you are as a teacher. No pressure. No evaluation, just simple introspection.

3. Free Tech! Are you kidding me??? Have you seen what Richard Byrne has put together on this blogger site? Unbelievable amount of great tech stuff you can use in your classroom. The best part? It's all FREE. That's right. FREE! Why wouldn't I use it? I just finished a 3 1/2 page annotated list of great websites that students can use to present their 20 Time project with and many of the ideas came from Richard's site. There are Google tips and he doesn't ignore the Android market either alongside the iPad/App world too. It is not simply a list of resources, there are ideas on how to incorporate them too into what you already do. This is a great help because it gives you the tools but also the ideas on how to use those tools as well. I have just started to dig through this treasure trove of tech information and I am really glad that Richard keeps this up to date and posts often. Check it out!

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