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, February 4, 2011

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Digital Literacy News 2-4-11

Digital Literacy Workshop

Monday, February 7,
Google Tools: There is always something new at Google. Or new ways teachers are finding to use existing Google Tools.  We will explore some new tools and different uses for tools you may already know about.  

Upcoming Digital Literacy Workshop:
Monday, February 14,
Search and Research Tools:  
We will take a look at different tools for searching and researching, how to get the most out of your searches and how to organize the information found.

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 : Do a search for Mount Vernon, or dolphins.  See what comes up.  Listen.  Newish search engine that provides visual, written and audio snapshots.  It is still gathering content, so not the perfect search engine yet, but very cool to try and see the amazing things it can already do.  Be sure to use your speakers.  It talks to you.

UJam: Learned about this tool while watching a live presentation from Steve Dembo at FETC yesterday.  Can’t report on the educational value yet, but can’t wait to play and give it a try.  I think that I have shared this before, but it is worth another mention.  It is an online video editor.  Perfect for converting those Flip Camera files into something readable.  It even has a green screen feature.  Very robust for free and no install.

Other Ways to Get and See Your News:

Newscred: Create your own newspaper in less than 60 seconds.

Newseum:  See frontpage news from around the world.  Read Twitter and Facebook feeds as a daily newspaper.  Sounds trivial, but think of how we are sharing our news with the world now.  Stories get broken on Twitter every day.
Just the Facts!  The News You Want to Know

Photo by Roswellsgirl
My dad loves newspapers.  He reads every last word.  He’s been known to read the newspaper used for packaging in boxes.  If he is in a new town, he must get the local paper.  He has two small town papers mailed to him regularly.  He mourned the day that his town stopped distributing the Dallas and Houston papers.  The Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel is just not big enough to keep him busy.  My dad also, will not touch a computer.  He claims that it is my mom’s domain and she doesn’t want him to mess things up.  Excuses, excuses.  My mom is very generous and far from frightening. The last time I was in town, I made a proposal that actually peaked his interest in using technology.  At the time, I was exploring the idea of getting him a Kindle and subscribing to the Dallas Morning News so that he could read the papers he is really interested in reading.  (in my research, I found that this papers does not offer a Kindle edition.)  My dad also has issues with his vision.  He thought that being able to actually hold the technology and tilt it for a better view might work for him.  I showed him a book on my iPod Touch.  He thought that was great.  If he could get his news, all the news he wanted in this way.  He just might be interested in entering the 21st century as far as using technology.  I’m still not sure he is ready to give up the crinkle of the paper, the smell of the ink, etc.  But his need to know and his need to read might just win him over.  His birthday coincides with the launch of the second generation iPad... hmmm... something to consider.  

Our newspapers stack up during the week and actually get read by my husband on the weekend.  I am finding more and more that I get my news online.  I follow our local newspaper, the Skagit Valley Herald on Twitter. I can see when there is a breaking story and I can go to the website and read further.  I have a news feed on my iGoogle page so I can scan top stories throughout the day.  Rarely do I feel I have time to sit down and read the whole newspaper.  In doing this, I know I miss out on the news I didn’t know I wanted to know, but maybe I did... :) .  Luckily, my husband is great about asking me if I know kids mentioned in the paper and such, so I rarely miss stories about my wonderful students.  

The news industry is changing just as media in general is changing.  We pick and choose and design what we want to listen to, watch and read.  No longer do we go out and buy a CD with one favorite song and 9 others we don’t really care about.  We go to iTunes or Amazon and just purchase the songs we want and create a play list.  We create our own radio stations with Pandora  and we listen to podcasts instead of live radio. We are also not tied to content on TV.  We use DVRs, Roku Players, Netflix and Hulu to pick and choose our content.  We can do the same with our news using your choice of methods and aggregators.   With these aggregators, we are able to take all of the content we are interested in and put in one central place for easy consumption.  I personally, use iGoogle as a homepage and have widgets with feeds to information I am interested in.  iGoogle also helps keep me organized by housing my frequent bookmarks, my calendar and my mail accounts. I use Google Reader to collect blogposts, podcasts, and other items of interest.  There are some pretty slick ways to get organize your news online.  Here are a few I have found.  Choose the type of news you would like to read.  Your options are a sliding scale from soft to hard news and whether or not you want local news.  News is aggregated from a variety of sources.  You can choose another date and view the news from that day.  Customize and look at news from around the world.  You can choose a different country and see how the news is being reported there.  Interesting.

Google News: Highly customize the news you want to see.  Updates can be pushed to you by email, or added to your iGoogle page.

Google Alerts: Have Google send you an email whenever your topic is mentioned on the web.  (This is good for things like your name or school.  Something very specific or you will be getting LOTS of mail.)

News Timeline:  See your news in timeline fashion.  Great for research on historical events.

Mapeas:  See real time news on a world map.

Video of the Week

I found this video really interesting.  Not really focused on education, but I see a lot of correlations.  The text goes by pretty fast, but it leaves you some things to think about. Most of us thrive on being creative, but things often get in our way.

My Anti-Creativity Checklist from Youngme Moon on Vimeo.

Tech Triumphs

Usually I highlight a person here, but today, I am highlighting an idea.  This has been the week of the webinar for me.  I had the opportunity to attend a webinar on grading with Ken O’Connor author of Grading To Learn.  I also was able to attend a state wide EdTech Round Table on Assisted Technology without even leaving my desk.  The giant Florida Educational Technology Conference was going on in Florida this week.  I was able to join in on some of the sessions via LiveStream and participate in learning with my Professional Learning Network via the chat room. Although, I was able to attend all of these events in real time, they are also archived for those who are unavailable at the time of the conference.  This idea of being able to learn any time, any where is pretty exciting.  I look forward to exploring these opportunities with teachers in my district.

Digital Citizenship
OSPI Internet Safety Center : OSPI has created a nice publication to share with student and parents about internet safety.  It is available in a variety of languages including English, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian.  This would be a nice resource to have available at OpenHouse, or conferences.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Qwiki has a lot of potential and the techno voice doesn't mispronounce things too badly.

Mapeas, however, is ridiculous with the 25-28 sec advertising before you can hear the news.