Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Friday, October 1, 2010

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Digital Literacy News 10-01-10

Mount Vernon Digital Literacy News

October 1, 2010
Digital Literacy Workshop

Monday, October 4
Google Docs

This is the web 2.0 tool that I use most often. Google Docs is a suite of tools similar to the tools you would find in an Office Suite.  Since Google Docs is free and is web based, it is a very accessible tool which can be used on any web based computer.  Not only can you create, share and collaborate on documents.  You can also share and store other types of files, making it easy to transfer and use files on different computers.  On Monday, we will focus on how to set up, store and share files and ideas for how you can use the word processing features as a tool for teacher productivity, teaching and collaboration.

Upcoming Digital Literacy Workshop: Monday,
October 11: Social Bookmarking

We will explore Delicious and Diigo.  Two Web 2.0 applications that take bookmarking off of your desktop and into the clouds.  You will learn ways to organize and keep all of your bookmarks accessible on any computer and even more importantly, share and collaborate with others on the great ideas you find online.

See a schedule for the year.

Open Lab: 2:30 - 5:00

Resource Instruction: 3:15 - 4:00               
Monday Afternoons, District Office Tech Lab.

Clock  Hours are available.

Links to Explore

Meaningful Homework:  Interesting blog article on crafting meaningful homwork for students.

WorldMapper:  An interesting visual look at the work through a variety of different map projections based on different criteria.

SweetSearch:  A search engine for students.  Several different sites for teachers and students based on categories.
Learning Something New is Sweet!

As most of you know, I love the power of Google and use it for searching, blogging, aggregating resources, creating websites and more.  But Google isn’t always the most efficient tool for students to use when searching.  Students, as well as teachers can get lost in the huge amount of information they encounter.  Google has smart tools that do help you to narrow searches and this is a great skill to teach students. There are also several student friendly search tools available, that help lead students to age appropriate materials.  One such search engine is  SweetSearch is set up with choices for different audiences like teachers, librarians, emerging readers, etc.  This is a good place to help start students navigating search engines.  One great tool on SweetSearch is SweetSearch 2 Day.   SweetSearch 2Day is a a daily curated assortment of the best content on the Web for history, language arts, science, news, culture and other topics. Each day, there is a new assortment of activities, resources, links, photos and videos to help students (and teachers) learn something new every day.  This might be a great way to start or end the day exploring one feature on the page such as “Today in History” or Brain Teasers. A great way to make connections and keep things current in your classroom.  I would say that the site is more geared to Elementary and Middle School, but there are great resources on the page for all levels.  

Check out SweetSearch2day at

Video of the Week

The Power of Curiosity

Angela Maiers writes about Classroom Habitudes important for student success in 21st Century learning environments.  One of the habitudes that she highlights is Curiosity.  On her blog, she shares videos that she has found that she thinks embody the different habitudes.  This is her pick on curiosity. What do we do to encourage curiosity in our classrooms?

Tech Triumphs

Safe and School friendly Social Learning and Networking is a reality in Tim Hornbacher’s CTE classes at the high school. Tim has set up his classes to use the Social Learning Network site Edmodo.  Teachers set up their own password protected groups in Edmodo where teachers can share resources, tutorials, assignments and more.  Students are able to respond to the teacher and other classmates.  Students can turn in assignments and teachers can grade the assignments through the Edmodo portal.  Tim is just starting to use this tool and is excited about the possibilities and the ease of use.  Edmodo looks very “Facebookish”, so students feel comfortable in the environment and it gives them a safe and productive place not only to learn about social networking but to experience the power of social learning.

Check out Edmodo here.

Check out this great blogpost from Dyane Smokorowski .  She has her whole district using Edmodo to learn and share.

Digital Citizenship

That’s Not Cool:  Is a series of lessons and public service announcements designed to promote discussion and problem solving around the issues of texting.  
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