Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Trending Technology

In my lifetime the advances in technology are almost beyond belief.  I think I may have mentioned before, sometimes it's easy to feel like you might be living inside an episode of The Jetsons.  We've gone from rotary dial phones with party lines to smartphones, blackboards to interactive whiteboards, 16mm films to DVDs and records to CDs.  Audio and video can be accessed from the Internet and played on any number of devices.  Connectivity has never been higher.  The keys, in my opinion, are equal access and instruction in appropriate and meaningful use.

The American Association of School Librarians Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2013 under the heading Content Resources, Standards for the 21st-Century Learner2.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information, 2.4.4 Develop directions for future investigations and 3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners selected a website noted for being a one-stop-shop for all things technology for students and teachers.  When first accessing the Edudemic website it's clear the committee's assessment was spot-on.  I decided to begin at the beginning or the top of the page.

Across the top, a tool bar offers:

  • Trends
  • How To
  • Updates
  • Tools
  • Social Media
  • News
  • Submit A Post
  • My Profile
  • Create Account and
  • Log In.  
Trends, How To, Updates, Tools, Social Media and News are separate web pages within the site.  Each is designed in the same manner as the home page.  At the top one article appears in a large box on the left, four others in smaller boxes to the right.  Underneath these are a list of other articles with the title, author's name, date posted and a short description.  This information is revealed in the top boxes with a mouse over.  At the bottom of all the pages are three columns of articles labeled, Recent Articles, Featured Articles and For Students.  

To Submit A Post you must be a registered user.  To register you enter in a username and email address.  A password is emailed to you.  Guidelines for writing a post are given at this page.

On the second tool bar left to right The Teacher's Guide is a portion of the site dedicated to providing guides easy to read, easy to use and easy to share.  Currently Edudemic has gathered links for The Teacher's Guide To:
  • Twitter
  • Flipped Classrooms
  • Copyright & Fair Use
  • Google Glass
  • Badges In Education
  • The Library of Congress
  • Keeping Students Safe Online
  • Choosing The Best Digital Content
  • Digital Scavenger Hunts and
  • Pinterest.
Underneath each guide is an explanation of the contents and an offer to add to the guide in the comments section.

Each guide is loaded with explanations, tips, charts, infographics, videos or links.   For example the guide to Pinterest contains headings such as:  a quick guide via an infographic, how teachers are using Pinterest, other ways to use Pinterest, inspiration, lessons, professional, fun, a student's guide, good boards to check out, education technology boards, home schoolers using Pinterest, social, resources, organization, final tips, education category, creating your own boards, providing reading lists and more resources, finding projects with materials, and student use for research.   These guides will provide educators with enough information to feel confident in using a specific technology.

Included in the tab, The Best EdTech, are suggestions for the best Education Apps (iOS), Education Apps (Android), Tablets For Education, and Laptops For Teachers.  They are listed in numerical order on Listly, curated by Jeff Dunn, with links for access.  Users are again invited to add possible items for each list.

Online Learning, Startups, Social Media and Tools are topics contained within the For Students section.  These pages are organized just like the home page.  All the articles have the same features.  Identical articles appear under the same subject headings in the student and teacher areas, making this site most valuable for upper middle plus students.

Several of the headings at the top of the website, How To, News, Social Media, Tools and Trends are listed in the For Teachers category.  Additions are Online Learning, Startups, and Videos.  You can also do a keyword search in the box to the right of this final tab.   

When opening up a specific article such as The 10 Most Popular Teacher Tools shown at the top of the home page, the title, author and date posted are seen at the top.  Directly underneath are icons for sharing this article on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Buffer and Pinterest.  This particular story lists the top sites and applications with a short description and links to each of them.  At the conclusion of an article are related items headings, links to the previous and next stories, you may also like articles and a comment section.  

If you're not careful you could stay at Edudemic for hours and hours.  There is so much information, valuable and timely, of benefit to educators and their students at all levels.  There is a box for entering in your email address so daily features can be sent to you.  This is a more than worthy additional to the AASL's Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2013.

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