If I had a hammer….more communication tools

I hope you have finished your commercials.  If not, get them done today.

Make sure you check the blog post from last Monday to ensure you have all of the required components of this task available on your “Communication and Collaboration Tools” webpage. We’ll show our videos to our small groups, and then pick the best ones to show to the class.

Your Jing infomercial counts as one of your exploration tools. Some of you told me you had trouble linking or embedding the file. If you’ve not been able to embed your Jing, watch this video to learn  how. If you used Screencast-O-Matic and uploaded yours to YouTube, watch this video instead. We’ll spend a little time in class making sure this works for you.

If I had a hammer…more tools.
There are other tools available that support communication and collaboration in K12 classrooms. I want you to know about as many tools as possible. On Friday you’ll start your first Think Like a Teacher activity. In that activity you’ll design a lesson activity that uses technology to teach a content standard. So, the more tools we talk about, the more choices you’ll have to work with for your TLAT #1.

Blogs are a tool I use to communicate with you every class. I use WordPress because it allows me to put a calendar of posts for easy archiving. I’ve also used  Blogger for other blogs. My brother uses a paid tool for his professional marketing blog. There are blogs for everything – just do a Google search for your favorite topic and add the word “blogs” (ex: news blogs). You’ll find a long list of interesting sites.

Wikis are tools that allow you to collaborate on a website with other people.  Your Google Site that you are using in our class could be considered a wiki if you chose to add collaborators.  Here’s a video for more information about wikis. Everyone’s familiar with Wikipedia, but have you ever contributed to an article?

I’m sure you’ve heard of Twitter. But most of us don’t quite get what it is or why anyone would want to use it. Here’s a video that will help to explain. Lots of famous people have Twitter accounts. Rumor has it that Kim Kardashian can make up to $10,000 per “tweet”. But having that many followers can also be costly.

Podcasts allow you to record or listen to audio from a class, an event, a renowned speaker, etc. If it includes video it is often called a “vodcast.” Searching iTunes will show you a huge list of what is available. You can view this video for more information.

An important part of blogs and podcasting is RSS (really simple syndication).  This really simple tool allows you to create an RSS reader that can search the internet for you, and bring in updates from your favorite blogs, podcasts and news sites while you are off sleeping, going to a football game, eating out with friends….Don’t understand what I mean? Here, we’ll watch a video. A good rss reader is google reader, and the good news is you already have an account.

We didn’t have a chance to visit the Go Web 2.0 site. This is a great place to find even more tools for all sorts of activities. Consider the “kids,” “collaboration,” and/or “communication” tabs for your first Think Like a Teacher activity.

FOR Friday:

1. Finish your commercials.  Please post them to your page by the end of the day.

2. Explore some of the tools listed, especially the Go 2 Web 2.0 site and find a few more tools that our class might be interested in using.

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