Participate 2- Collecting Reputable Digital Resources

ParticipateThis post is an updated response to a prompt* for Collecting reputable digital resources section of the Participate module of Georgia Open Teacher Training.  Our aim is to be familiar with effective and efficient methods for analyzing and gathering the information, tools and content essential for an effective digital learning community.



Web based Walkabout

The aim of the web walkabout is to collect and categorize digital resources including sources of embed code, software, web tools.  These are the services that make online teaching more engaging, efficient, and effective.  Please click on any tile of the Symbaloo below to go to  the web sites I bookmarked after my web walk about.

 

Three most useful tools or resources resulting from the web walkabout are:

  • Google Classroom a one stop shop for an educator to streamline classroom activities, encourage active student participation and have a school to home connection.  Educators can create classes, assignments, surveys, and quizzes; students can collaboratively work on projects and get real time feedback from peers.
  • Stop Badware a website aimed at fighting malware, spying and viruses.  Go to search box and enter a name of any website to find out if this website is infected or contains malware.
  •  How to embed code in an online class from YouTube

 

Teaching Students how to safely collect tools and Resources that can help them maximize their Learning

Best part of being an educator is sharing our knowledge with students and equipping them with tools for success.  

Teach students NEVER to share their private / identifying information including address, social security numbers, full name etc. online. Teaching them about online predators is a must. 

Using a web quest, I will teach the students the difference between domains ending in .com, .edu., .org, .net, etc.  We will use Wikipedia entry for the list of Internet top-level domains to review the information about the types of domains associated with reputable information. 

Web of Trust

We will utilize Stop Badware and  Web Of Trust to avoid any harmful websites and to expose questionable URLs.  By crosschecking sites with .edu domains (along with websites bookmarked in the Symbaloo above), guided practice, and researching the websites together, I will empower the students to collect and use reputable digital resources.    

Teaching students about reach of social Media is an important part of being today’s teacher. what better way than showing the students this tweet from Mr. Marple, a 3rd grade teacher? Go ahead and click on the tweet symbol to see the reach of this tweet and the analysis of tweet symbol in right hand corner of the tweet.  Along with 228K retweets within five days, it shows tweet data analysis from tweeter HQ showing retweet from places as far as Antarctica.  Antarctica?? Wow!

Policies or procedures to maximize student Learning

 We must make sound policies and procedure such as: 

  • Using ongoing dialogue, encourage students to make informed decisions.   
  • Restrict access to harmful websites and social media to students during school hours by setting  parameter and safeguards on chosen Learning Management system.
  • Have clearly defined rules and consequences for deviating from the established rules. Be firm and fair when exercising the judgement.
  • Allow students to take personal responsibility for learning;  make learning to be a quest, not a drudge.
  • Involve all stockholders – students, teachers, parents, community -at-large in learning.  Discuss and make fair use policy for online learning available to them. Let us look at how one school district is making sure all stack holders are familiar with their Personalized Learning device guide by placing a link on the school website.  By reading and signing the device usage form, the onus for using the device for learning is on families, not just the teachers and administrators. 

 


* Prompt: 

Name this post: Participate 2 – Collecting Reputable Digital Resources

Next: Include the following in your blog

Research: Complete the web-based walkabout and collect and categorize sources of embed code, software, web tools, and services that make online teaching more engaging, efficient and effective.

Artifact: Describe the walkabout experience in your blog and add a link to the list of social-bookmarked resources compiled during the exploration.

Reflect: Based on the information learned in this lesson, answer the following questions.

  1. What were the three most useful tools or resources resulting from the web walkabout? Explain why you found them useful and include a link to each resource.
  2. How can students be taught to safely collect tools and resources that can help them maximize their learning?
  3. What policies or procedures might need to be in place to make the above item possible?

Georgia Virtual Professional LearningThis post is one in a series for a MOOC.  You can find similar posts by searching under the category MOOC or searching for hashtag #eteachertool

Create 1- Time Management

Georgia Virtual Professional LearningThis post is one in a series for a MOOC.  You can find similar posts by searching the category Georgia Online Professional Learning or searching for hashtag #eteachertool for more about this MOOC.  

Here, we will talk about five time management tools, their use and relevance to the online world.  We will look at how each of these tools is used and if it is used for personal or professional use.

 

 What is Time Management ?

Why should an educator care about it.

 

Until We can Manage time, We can manage nothing else. - Peter Druker

Time turners and science fiction tales aside, regardless of one’s’ station in life, each person has only 24 hours in a day.  I am no exception to this fact of the life. Time management allows an educator proper work-life balance. There are many online time management tools available: some are specific to the educators while others are available to any interested digital citizen. These tools, when used efficiently will allow an educator to maximize their time while planning lessons, establishing schedule and collaborating with colleagues to deliver the content and become a proficient educator.  The tools I am sharing below are used by me in both professional and personal scope.

 

Google Calendar:

Google Calendar Logo

Google Calendar is master calendar; I have a school calendar and personal one aggregated in a single calendar by using it.  I can share it with others and others can share their Google Calendars with me which makes creating an event which fits everyone’s schedule an easy job. It is integrated with Gmail.  As it is available on anywhere internet is available, I can use it on different platform including on my phone.  I can use it for task list, appointments and get reminders to keep me on track. It has a search feature (Not a big surprise as the Google Calendar is a Google product after all).  

 

Daily Planner:

Daily Progess

Time Management- 7 minutes a time

With Google Calendar, I prefer to use a daily planner for creating lists and checking them off  to keep everything on track.  After using many different planners over the years, I came across a complete time management system developed by Allyson Lewis, 7 Minute Life Daily Planner. Though I use the notebook version, it is also available as an online device.  This planner focuses me to prioritize my goals, keeps me connected with my stakeholders and energizes me to take care of my health. Which other planner on market has a space for tasks you need to accomplish today,  list of emails you need to send, the expense tracking, the calls you need to make and daily appointments?  It fits both my personal and professional needs.  I heartily recommend this planner to everyone. 

Note taking & Content Management:

Not long ago, you would have found me lugging a rolling cart to and from the school each day.  Not any more. Now I use Dropbox. 

 

Dropbox LogoWith Dropbox I can share large documents securely which is not always possible via  email. The basic Dropbox account gives me 2 GB space for free with choice of update for a monthly or yearly fee.  I can sync files across the devices giving me freedom to work on them from home or work without worrying about saving documents and bringing them from one place to another.  Finally, with Dropbox, I can shared folders and links with colleagues and collaborate with them in real time.  As a mom, an educator & a learner, Dropbox is an essential streamlining tool.   You may also wish to consider OneNote and Evernote- other good tools that is used to take notes, clip website material and carry them across the windows and Mac platform on different devices.  ‘s October 2017 Computer World review may help you to decide   if Evernorte or OneNote is a better choice for you.

 

 

Staying connected with Parents on Short Notice:

Parents are integral part of success of my students. Using Google for Classroom allows me to stay in touch with my parents.  Access to Skyward,  E mails and newsletters are good But what if we are on a field trip? What about if we are coaching a team or planning an event? I recommend Remind app for classroom use and First Touch app for coaches.  Both remind and First Touch requires parents/ students to receive a class-code to activate the account.  Both allows for use of phone for contact between the educator & 

Remind App is used more for classroom use. It is safer as Personal contact information stays private. Phone numbers aren’t exchanged between teachers, students, and parents. Students below 13 years are required to use their parent’s contact information rather than their own. 

Remind App
Image Source: Remind

Sending real time text messages to phone of an individual, selected people or everyone in the group 

Allow the educator to see who has or has not read the messages 

Send attachments with the messages & Receive replies from the group.

 

 

First Touch App for Teams
Image Source: First Touch

 

First Touch is more geared toward Teams.  Team or organization must be registered for First Touch.  The app protects privacy because only coaches, players and family members have login access. It may be less secure than Remind App. Lets look at its features at a glance.  

 

 

First Touch App at a Glance
Images Source: First Touch

Creating This Blog

Hello,

Welcome to my blog.

Though I have often think of creating a blog, it had remained just a wishful thinking and ideal thought till today. I am creating this blog as a requirement for Georgia Virtual Learning Open Online Teacher Training. I chose to create my blog on edublogs as it was easy to navigate and manage. I will write this blog from perspective of an educator, a learner & Mom of my Awesome, Amazing kiddos.

As a mom, I want my kids to do their very best regardless of if they choose to be a bricklayer or a neurosurgeon. As a teacher, I want each one of students – the whiz kids and the struggling learners- to experience little successes so they can build on them. Being a student not only keeps my brain sharp, it allows me to keep things in perspective. When I am sitting on other side of the desk, as a student I experience the anxiety and uncertainty of waiting for the grade after submitting an assignment. As a learner, I experience joy of the light bulb moment and euphoria of acknowledgement from my mentor. Being a student allows me to empathize with my struggling student. My struggling to learn a front stroke in swimming is not any different than a kid leaning to master fraction, Na?

Therefore, once again I am a student, a learner, a seeker of new knowledge. I want to do well, get good grades and learn just like all the students in our classes. I want to add in my knowledge toolbox. There are some assignments I will sail through, while for several I will have hard time comprehending and will need assistance. At times, I will agree enthusiastically, while other I will ask what purpose this assignment serves? I will ask for guidance, look for collaboration, dance with joy upon succeeding and shake my head in frustration when struggling.

You, my reader, are an important voice in my journey. We can engage in positive dialogue with respect and without any negativity. Feel free to give a feedback and come back often.

Best wishes.

Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba