Blog is really a great tool for publishing thoughts and exchanging information. Blogs have many features the make them appealing for many teachers and students. One important feature is that the individuals do not need to know HTML language to upload their writing into internet. Blog is really easy to use. Also, it is easy to subscribe and make a free account. In addition, blogs have the feature of its ability to organize and archive the user’s writing . Moreover, using blogs in the classroom has positive impacts on students’ learning. While blog allows students to interact with each others to be a ware of their perspectives, it is considered a typical tool for social constructivist learning that makes students’ learning more meaningful and effective, enhance students’ critical thinking, and increase their motivation.
“Reflections on Using Blogs to Expand In-Class Discussion” by Shiang-Kwei Wang and Hui-Yin Hsua (2008)
Here is a running list of links we have tagged "CreamOfCrop" within the EdTechTalk del.icio.us folder. The list will grow as we add new items under this tag.
Whether it's Edublogs or WPMU or just plain old Wordpress, there's no easier way for teachers to have an online presence. Set up an account. Log in. Click "Write". Paste or type in what you have to say. Click "Publish." Welcome to the read/write/web.
The fact that it's a blog makes it extendable. So they can easily do some online discussions and podcasting, and posting of pictures galleries, and interaction with other classrooms in the blogosphere, and whatever else they want to do. But they don't have to. Because it's easy to get started with it, and it's powerful enough to grow with the teacher as her needs evolve, it merits inclusion on this list.
I was just reminded the other day of how far we've come when I saw an advertisement for the Jitterbug phone. A major selling point is that there aren't any long distance fees. Long distance? People are still paying for long distance? Yes, in that phone's target demographic, they sure are.
I use my cell phone for most of my calling. But Skype has been wonderful for conference calls. It has replaced any need for an IM client. Many have used it as a "twitter light". It does video. It just works most of the time. My kids use it all the time without any trouble. They talk to their grandparents, who also use it without needing to ask for help.
Oh, and there's no long distance. Anywhere on the planet. Talk as long as you want. Unbelieveable.
I started using it because it had tabbed browsing. I'm still using it because of the Add-ons. There are little plugins for FF to do just about anything. I've customized my browser to the point that I'm significantly less efficient when I'm not using my own computer. The developer community has created some wonderful things that you're not going to find elsewhere. Best of all, it's free.
Religious wars about Microsoft aside, this is a great product.
Like it or not, PDF is a common format for sharing online documents. Unlike Adobe Reader, Acrobat is a PDF creator that also offers a range of features to help teachers and learners highlight, notate, edit, mock up and provide audio or written feedback within the document. I use it daily as a student. With educational pricing, a copy runs between $99 - $160 depending upon the basket of features you want.
p.s. While there are many free PDF creators and readers out there, I have yet to find one with advanced PDF reading and editing functions that allow you to highlight, add comments, etc. If anyone has found one, please share. Thanks!
Twitterrific http://iconfactory.com/software/twitterrific For Mac only (there are other versions for PC)