About EdTech4U

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Diigo To Blog In One Click!

Diigo has a simple feature that allows you to blog about any website that you come across without needing to copy and paste links.  If you are a user of Diigo and you like to blog this is a must use feature.  Below is a link to the directions in how to set up your blog with Diigo.  Once configured (all you need to do is enter your blog address), you can blog about any website by simply clicking send to blog in your Diigo toolbar.  This is just yet another priceless feature of Diigo. 


This second link is in case you want Diigo to automatically blog for you.  


How do you think that you could utilize this feature in your classroom or personal life?

Enjoy ~SJ

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cool Cat Tech Tips!

Cool Cat Teacher Vicki Davis just posted the most insightful list of twelve healthy online habits.  If you are a fellow Walden student you might recognize Vicki from a few mentions in weekly vodcasts from EDUC 8847: Instructional Design & Multimedia.

Here are her 12 tips:
1) Share
2) Respond
3) Comment
4) Link Generously
5) Read (or Listen) Prolifically
6) Distribute Yourself
7) Beware of Flattery
8) Live Life Online AND Off-Line
9) Latch Key Your Legacy
10) Laugh (a lot)
11) Take Every Presentation Seriously
12) Expect Criticism  

Please click through and read her detailed explanation for each of these twelve tips!

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Living In A Material (Digital) World

In 1985 Madonna was right in her song Material Girl, it was a material world.  If she were to release that song today the lyrics would be that we are "living in a digital world".  To be an active learner in the digital age you learn through a variety of channels.  In the new learning learning theory called connectivism, networks and connections are critical to learners ability to learn.  Wikiversity defines connectivism as "a learning theory advocated by George Siemens and Stephen Downes, among others, which emphasizes the importance and role of networks and connections between people (and things?) as prominent (central) to the learning process".  Below is a mind map some of the many of the networks that I learn through. (You can click on the image to view it larger)


There are a plethora of digital tools available for learning, and I try to utilize as many of them as I can.  The number one digital tool in my 21st century toolbox is my MacBook Pro.  Without my laptop I would not be able to connect as easily to many of my other digital tools.  I have been reading and writing blogs for several years now.  I write two blogs, one professional (this one), as well as a personal blog.  I also read over 50 blogs, many of which are technology or education related.  Another digital tool that I utilize for learning is magazine websites.  Edutopia is one magazine website that allows you to connect with the material on more interactive level.  Through the groups, blogs, videos, and community section I haven't found an educational topic not covered.  The countless peer reviewed journal articles also add depth to my digital learning network.

My digital network has only enhanced the ways that I can learn.  The instant discoveries of new information only a fingertip way allows for constant learning.  I am almost always on my computer looking and reading about any given variety of topics.

When there is a new topic that I want to learn about I always start with Google.  If I am looking for more academic focused results and Google doesn't give me the answers that I want I then check Google Scholar.  If I am looking for less academic results then Wikipedia, an online public editing encyclopedia,  YouTube, a collection of public submitted videos, or Google Reader, a blog search engine can be helpful.  My newest discovery for answering burning questions is Wikiversity, which like Wikipedia allows users to collectively edit encyclopedia entries, but all of the topics are focused on education.   

This is how I am "living in a digital world", how do you live?

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

And The Winner Is.... Basic Human Instincts!

Global teamwork is critical to the further development of new ideas.  In an abstract on total quality management Schonberger (1994) stated the following about teamsmanship versus leadership:

Total quality management sharply modifies management itself. As teams and teamwork take root, leadership idolatry fades in importance.Teamsmanship requires breaking vertical and horizontal barriers that stand in the way of quick, high-quality customer service. Management tools helpful in barrier-busting include team-building, cross-training,job rotation, cross-careering, project teams, and re-engineering. While these tools are in wide use, companies often misapply or weakly apply them. Examples are given of how some companies use these tools in ways that effectively enhance teamsmanship. Teamsmanship also feeds on information, which must be widely shared. In most Western cultures,however, people tend jealously to guard their own knowledge and personally acquired information. Organizations must employ systematic devices that promote information sharing. Among the better known such devices are benchmarking and quality function deployment. Also useful,but less familiar, are common files and the "star system". As applied by a small number of organizations, these techniques can become effective tools of teamsmanship.  

Rheingold discussed humans instinct to work as a group to accomplish a common goal.  This basic human instinct is what will lead to greater accomplishments in the future.  Through the collaboration of a team larger scale projects can be accomplished.   The critical difference between leadership and teamwork is that in a teamwork setting each person on the team brings a different set of skills to the table.  With the increasing amount of knowledge in the world to know it is no longer possible to know how to do everything well.  Through a team collaboration setting each person does not need to be an expert in all of the fields necessary to complete the project.  

Take the project Wikipedia.  It is a vast amount of knowledge continuously updated and growing on almost any topic imaginable.  It would be impossible for one person to be updating this database, managing the technical end, and staying abreast of new knowledge.  Through the teamwork model no one person has to be an expert in everything, but rather a group of people come together to accomplish a common goal.  
The growth of technology has even further enhanced humans ability to work as a team on a common goal.  Through Skype, Google Docs, Webspiration,  and countless other collaborative web 2.0 tools people are able to come together seamlessly to work on the common goal.  As technology grows more in the future, this ability to collaborate will grow even more. 

Through the use of teamwork unimaginable goals can be accomplished.   

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How Do You Rank?

This is a quiz that I came across published by Edutopia. In case you don't read Edutopia it is from the George Lucas Educational Foundation and is the fountain of youth when it comes to educational innovations.

QUIZ: Tech Savvy Teaching: How Do You Rank? | Edutopia

Share your results when you are finished!

Enjoy ~SJ