Goal 10: Spread Your Knowledge (15+ Tools to Bookmark, Aggregate, Curate)

Goal 10 of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators! Click the link to find out more about the new changes to this year’s 30 Goals Challenge for Educators!

““If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it. ” ~ Margaret Fuller

Lonely Hands

Short-term- share resources you have collected about a topic with colleagues at school or online. Teach your students to use online bookmarking, curation, and aggregation tools to gather and organize their knowledge. Try one of the suggested resources below.

Long-term- develop a community for sharing resources in your teaching environment. You can do this by having a newsletter, a collective blog, a wiki, Google site, Facebook group or other landing place for the information you gather. You can even create a hashtag on Twitter where you encourage your colleagues and/or students to use to share their knowledge. Establishing a community for learning helps support and encourage continuous learning.

My Personal Thoughts About This Goal

As educators, we are in the business of learning. One of the most important missions I have as an educator is to help my students become continuous learners. I think of it as part of a Hippocratic Oath for teachers. We have the mission to encourage and equip our students with the skills to be continuous learners. This means that I am also a continuous learner and a resource sharer. Daily, I aggregate, curate, bookmark, and share resources using webtools and social networks. Also, I teach my students how to do this for research and to help them have these resources collected and organized throughout their learning journeys.

Resources Related to This Goal

I love learning. I believe the reason this has not become overwhelming for me is because I learn in the way that is most engaging for me. I use tools I enjoy and work for my learning style and stick to those few. Below I will list a few free webtools to help you bookmark, aggregate, curate, and share resources with others. I have listed what I believe are the most effective tools at the top of the list, but I’ve listed more that are great just don’t meet my criteria.

The tools that I use meet a few criteria:

  • They have a free app! I do most of my sharing using my smart devices. I have an Android, iPad, and iPod so I look for sites that have a free app for all 3!
  • They have a bookmarklet or extension that I can add to my browser. I use Chrome. This makes curating on the web take seconds versus minutes and saves me so much time!
  • They are user friendly and have a platform that is visually pleasing for the audience I’m sharing with. There’s no use in sharing with others if my audience cannot access the resource or see it.

Tools

  • Diigo- saves all your bookmarks in one location accessible anywhere with the Internet, allows you to highlight sections on websites and make notes, takes clippings, tag, search, and more! You can easily create weekly automated blog posts with these bookmarks and link to your Twitter account so that anything you favorite or tweet will automatically be included in your library of links. The hashtags you tweet with will be the tags associated with the resource. Has an app for i-devices and Android. Has a bookmarklet for web browsers. Find my resources here, www.diigo.com/user/shellyterrell/
  • Delicious-like Diigo in that it saves all your bookmarks in one location accessible anywhere with the Internet and allows you to tag, search, and more! Several other tools are associated with Delicious to allow you to do a lot more with it. You can link to your Twitter account so that anything you favorite or tweet will automatically be included in your library of links. Has an app for i-devices and Android. Has a bookmarklet for web browsers. Find my resources here, http://www.delicious.com/shellterrell
  • Evernote- Create text, photo and audio notes that auto-synchronize your notes to your Mac or PC. Makes text within snapshots searchable. Add, sync, access, and share files (PDF, Word, Excel, PPT, and more) among the different versions of Evernote. Has an app for i-devices, Blackberry and Android. Has a bookmarklet for web browsers.
  • Livebinders- Create a notebook of your links with tabs that can be clicked and named like a folder. You can even present these resources in the Presentation Mode. It shows the website within each tab. Embed a little icon on webpages and blogs. I don’t like that the bookmarklet takes awhile to upload your link. Has an app for i-devices and Android. Has a bookmarklet for web browsers. Find my binders here!
  • PearlTrees- Create a mindmap of your links that is embeddable on websites and blogs! You can click on each link to see the entire webpage. Has an app for i-devices and Android. Has a bookmarklet for web browsers. Find my resources here, http://pearltrees.com/shellyterrell
  • Pinterest- Create a beautiful board of your links. It takes any images from the post and allows you to even play videos within the posts. I don’t like that if there are no images then it is difficult to bookmark the site. Has an app for i-devices and Android. Has a bookmarklet for web browsers. Find my resources here, pinterest.com/shellyterrell/
  • ScoopIt- Publish a free online magazine with your links. It only allows you 4 free ones but your audience will love the look that includes videos that play and images. You can easily tweet this. Has an app for i-devices and Android. Has a bookmarklet for web browsers. Find my resources here, http://www.scoop.it/u/shelly-s-terrell
  • 19Pencils- Bookmark sites for education. You can see and connect to other teachers’ collections and do searches for your grade level and subject. This site is super for educators sharing links or finding links recommended by other teachers! Has a bookmarklet for web browsers.
  • Magzinr- created by edtech guru and teacher Russel Tarr! Bookmark, tweet, share, embed and so much more! Has a bookmarklet for web browsers. I need to play with this more.
  • NetVibes- A dashboard of links and RSS feeds you enter in it. Gives you great layouts to choose from and has analytics.  Has an app for i-devices and Android. Has a bookmarklet for web browsers. I need to play with this more.
  • MentorMob- Create a beautiful playlist of your links.
  • Curate- This is more for sharing screen clips of sites embeddable in your blog. I like the look.
  • Historious- Similar to Delicious and Diigo but doesn’t have an app for smart devices but does have a bookmarklet.
  • Storify- Create beautiful social stories about a topic. It will grab resources you share or create on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. Has a bookmarklet and extension.
  • Linkable- organize links by dragging and drop.
More resources:

Important News

  • Lisa Dabbs and I have decided to change the hashtag to #30GoalsEdu because we have noticed some sports people using the hashtag. Please make the transition.
  • This year we are focusing on 1 to 2 goals a week in order to have time to really reflect on the tasks and respond to each other’s posts and enhance our support system for each other.

Check out my Pinterests for other posts with this goal or ask me to add yours!

Challenge:

Share resources you have collected about a topic with colleagues at school or online. Teach your students to use online bookmarking, curation, and aggregation tools to gather and organize their knowledge.

Did you reflect on this goal? Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30Goals, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, adding a post to the GooglePlus page, or adding a comment below!

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Engaging Learners through Digital Storytelling: 40+ Resources & Tips

Currently, I am moderating a free online course, Digital Storytelling for Young Learners, with a dream team of moderators who are phenomenal at working with young learners, Esra Girgin, Barbara Sakamoto, Özge Karaoglu, Jennifer Verschoor, David Dodgson, and Michelle Worgan. Over 250 participants have joined and have shared incredibly imaginative stories in our online class portfolio. One of the most surprising discoveries, though, was that 62% of the teachers who took our survey said they had never had their learners create digital stories. Our language learners have powerful stories to share and often share personal stories in blogs, Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter. Through digital storytelling we motivate our learners to apply, contextualize, visualize, and personalize the language they learn. There are 100s of free digital tools and websites to inspire your learners to create extremely imaginative stories and share them with a global audience. I hope the following tips and resources will help you along your journey towards integrating digital storytelling into your curriculum.

Tips

  • Ease your students into sharing information about themselves by doing a fun icebreaker activity such as Show and Tell with a Cell! Simply have your students take out their cellphones, share one of their favorite pictures and tell the story behind the picture. If they can’t use their cellphones then have them come into class with a picture.
  • Teach your students about creative commons. Below I share some of my favorite websites.
  • For collaborative projects and more detailed stories, have students plot ideas in a storyboard. Kevin Hodgson has some fantastic storyboarding worksheets here!
  • I like to break my students into small groups of 4 and while they are creating their characters and drawing the scenes I elicit vocabulary from them. For example, I will ask questions such as, “Is this a boy or a girl?” “Is it hot or cold?” “Does she have blond or brown hair?”

Recommended Webtools

Literally, 100s of webtools and apps have been shared, but I would like to share with you the ones I believe are the easiest to use. We are listing these in a livebinder, which is being constantly updated.

Creaza- One of my favorite sites where you can create comics, make movies, edit audio, and more! Embed in a blog or wiki.
GoAnimate- Choose from various characters, type in the dialogue, choose your background scene, and create a free fun movie.
DVolver- Choose from various characters, type in the dialogue, choose your background scene, and create a free fun movie.
ZimmerTwins- Choose from various characters, type in the dialogue, choose your background scene, and create a free fun movie.
PicLits- Drag and drop words unto a beautiful image.
Bubblr- create your comic strip with Flickr pictures and add bubbles to tell your story!
Comicmaster – Cool graphic novel creator.
Stripgenerator – You don’t have to register in order to create a comic.
Make Beliefs Comix – Two, three and four panel comics that you can create in multiple languages.
Comic Strip Generator – You can upload photos or use web images in addition to their library of ready-to-use images
ToonDoo – the site allows students to share their comics, comment on other comics, and even save and edit a copy of a comic
Kerpoof – Create videos or an animated picture.
Googlesearch – Use Google searches to tell your story.
OneTrueMedia – Mix your photos and pictures with text and animations.
Blabberize – Make your pictures talk
Smilebox – Create videos from your pictures and videos adding design and music. You download this software to your computer.
Glogster – Create and online poster with your videos.
VoiceThread for Educators-Interactive way to present stories and have parents and other students comment on the stories. Several options. Embed in a blog or wiki.
Storybird-Students create beautiful stories by choosing beautiful art and adding the words. Embed in a blog or wiki.
Voxopop – Construct audio stories.
5cardflicker – Tell your stories through flicker photos.
Zooburst – 3D pop up story creator.
Scholastic story starter – Start your story randomly.
Thestorystarter – Start your story randomly.
LittleBirdTales – Upload your picture, record your voice to tell your stories.
Animoto- Upload up images, choose a soundtrack from the library (many nice holiday tunes to choose from, and click a button to make a free short video online and on your mobile device.

Creative Commons Music and Images

Musicshake – Create copyright free music for your video.
Compfight – Search Flickr photos for your videos.
MorgueFile – Find free pictures for your videos.
Free Music Archive, and Jamendo, and Royalty Free Music are all great places for free creative commons music!
SoundBible - FreeSound – Free sound effects.

Digital Storytelling Apps

Posterous- With this app, learners can include a mix of text, photos, audio, and videos as well as tags and location information in a blog post. Share immediately on Facebook and Twitter! Even allow others to add to your posts (set this up through the web app vs. the mobile app). Free version available online as well as various mobile devices including the iPhone, iPod, Android, and Blackberry.
StoryRobe- It’s incredibly easy for children and adults to create audio/visual stories on the iPhone and iPod Touch using this app. Use the built in microphone, or any 3rd party microphone to create audio recordings with photos and videos. You have the option to upload to Youtube or send it through e-mail. If it’s in their e-mail, then the parents can easily e-mail their child’s production to their friends! You don’t need an Internet connection to create the stories, but you do to send them! Available on the iPad and iPod.
Splice- Best video editing app for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad that is free. Add audio, transitions, images, and more.
Fotobabble- It’s incredibly easy for children and adults to create audio/visual stories on the iPhone and iPod Touch using this app. Use the built in microphone, or any 3rd party microphone to create audio recordings with photos.
Sock Puppets- If you enjoy playing with sock puppets, you’ll love this app that allows students to create a sock puppet show. Choose the sock puppet characters, personalize the characters by adding your voice, select the scene and props, and record a video. Send this by email or upload to Youtube. Watch this great example. Available on the iPad and iPod.
Puppet Pals- IChoose the western characters, personalize the characters by adding your voice, select the scene and props, and record a video. Send this by email or upload to Youtube. Available on the iPad and iPod.
StoryKit- Create an electronic storybook by drawing on the screen, uploading images, recording sound effects and voice, laying out the elements of the story (text boxes, images, paint, and sound clips) freely by dragging them or pinching to resize, reordering pages, and uploading to the StoryKit web server. Email a link to the story. The application includes four public domain children’s books to rewrite and rearrange into a new story. Available on the iPad and iPod.
Animoto- Upload up to 10 images, choose a soundtrack from the library (many nice holiday tunes to choose from, and click a button to make a 30-second video. Sync your videos with your Animoto.com account, download videos for offline viewing, and make longer ones with an All-Access Pass. Available on the iPad and iPod and Android.
PhotoPeach App- Upload images, enter text, and add music to create a dynamic slideshow. Available on the iPad.
Capzles App- Upload images, audio, video, text, and documents to create a multimedia timeline of events. Available on i-devices.
Voicethread- upload an image, text, or video. Invite others to comment through doodling, text, video, or audio. Available on i-devices.
Create A Comic App- free comic creation app for Android and i-devices.
Videolicious- video creation in 3 easy steps

Free ebooks

Digital Storytelling Tools by Silvia Tolisano
Effective Mobile Learning: 50+ Tips & Resources by Shelly Terrell
Digital Storytelling in the Classroom by MicroSoft

Check out my Pinterests with these bookmarks and more!

Challenge:

Try a digital storytelling project with your students this year.

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Free Webinar: How to Effectively Manage Online Educational Projects

On Wednesday, September 14th, 2011, join me for a free webinar: How to Effectively Manage Online Educational Projects! Thanks to SimpleK12, I will be offering this webinar as a part of a series.

Time: 1hr; 12:30pm Los Angeles, 2:30pm Houston, 3:30pm NYC, 8:30pm London, 9:30pm Paris, 10:30pm Istanbul/Athens

Register here to join & for more time zones, https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/982569042

Description

Educators on social networks are beginning to see the impact of collaboration on projects. When we collaborate successfully and emulate effective teamwork, we accomplish and often surpass our goals. However, global collaboration has its hiccups, such as dealing with various time zones, decision-making, problem solving, and intercultural communication. How do we avoid making mistakes and learn to work together to build a vision? In this presentation, we will cover various free web platforms that support effective collaboration and team work on online projects. We will also discover tips for effective collaboration.

You will walk away from this webinar with:

  • An understanding of the impact of successful global collaboration and teamwork.
  • An insight into some of the hiccups inherent in global collaboration and ways to avoid them.
  • Suggestions for free web platforms that support effective collaboration.
  • Tips for effective collaboration.

Challenge:

Invite a friend or a few friends, after all this is a free event!

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Surviving the 1st Month of School: 20+ Tips & Resources

Many of us will face many new learners in the next few days. Many have already met the individuals we will be making an impact on this year. Starting the school year has always felt like Christmas Eve to me. When I was a kid I could not sleep because I was excited about the day ahead, yet nervous. I think educators should be nervous and excited because we have the mission of guiding the learning journeys of many. Educators will make an impression on their learners; whether, this is a positive or negative impression is up to us. I like to start on a positive note and ensure I choose to walk in my class everyday and positively impact my students. Perhaps, you feel the same but need some inspiration or guidance. I hope the following tips and resources will help you along your journey! Bon Voyage!

My Survival Tips

  1. Walk in motivated!- you will have the rest of the year to get bogged down, stressed, and in the dumps. What’s wrong with walking in believing you can really make a difference to your learners? I say start optimistically because it is often more difficult to pick yourself up.
  2. Engage parents!- Let’s start  with a positive message about each student instead of a negative message. I like to write emails and send one to each parent with a nice personal note about the student. I also incude information about the school supplies, technology we will use, and more. I also invite them to a parent workshop with food to encourage them to attend. At this workshop we discuss the technology that will be used in the classroom and I ask parents to share ideas to improve the learning environment.
  3. Set-up your classroom to support the various learning styles!
  4. Encourage learners to take part in creating their own learning environments!
    • Have them graffiti on butcher paper on the wall
    • Have them post their inspirational quotes on the wall
    • Have them create bulletin boards
  5. Be preventative and proactive when it comes to managing your classroom!- Doing this will ensure you have less behavioral problems.
  6. Unbind yourself from course books!- You know what your students need to learn so feel free to pick and choose what will work in the book and try having students be the main content creators of materials.
  7. Try a flexible curriculum!- Don’t be glued to your curriculum. Instead, invite parents and students to make decisions about the curriculum. Once students are involved in their learning, they take ownership of their learning.
  8. Reassess assessment!- How will you grade your students? Try a different approach!
  9. Get to Know Your Students!- All your students should start with a clean slate. No matter what their past has been, you could be the first individual who has reached out to them. Our toughest students misbehave for a reason and usually are facing something horrific in their lives. Let’s care for them and let them start with a fresh record in our classroom.
  10. Integrate technology effectively!- Pedagogy first then technology. When we use technology it should:
    •  support students ownership of learning
    • allow students to be content creators
    • engage and motivate students to be continuous learners
    • support effective communication, especially with peers worldwide
  11. Have fun!- When you enjoy your job your kids have fun learning!

Presentation video:

These tips are from a recent presentation I did for American TESOL. Please feel free to watch the Youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9s5JZD2i7k&feature=player_embedded

More Resources

These are more resources to help you:

Challenge:

Try any of these resources or tips with your learners.

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What are your tips for surviving the first day, weeks, and/ or month of school?

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Why Not Use Social Networks? by Joel Josephson

by Guest Author, Joel Josephson

Why Not Use Social Networks?

Educators that are not using Facebook often use the arguments that they are concerned for their:

  1. Privacy
  2. Time

Although there are other arguments used I will try to answer these two in this article.

Privacy

At the root of Social networks is the personalisation of your online character through your contributions to the networks. This can be restricted to your professional character but your personal character, your private life, can be kept separately off the network.

I would strongly recommend using your real identity on the networks. To gain the maximum benefit professionally other users need to see who and what you do, and evaluate you as a worthy, professional friend. They need to see the synergies with their own professional area. It must be remembered that these are personal networks, and limiting your exposure as a business or institution limits the personalisation of your involvement.

On Facebook I place all my contacts in to Friend lists, (I have about 30 now). These can be broadly categorized by:

  • Professional
  • Family & Friends
  • Social Game players (I own up, I play games, although this, of course is about my research in to the use of games in education … cough cough)

Using the ‘Custom’ privacy settings Facebook allows me to select which list of friends I permit to view all the various areas of information about me, including posting to my wall. So Family see/do everything. Some Professional, for example, do not see photos of my children. Game players see nothing at all.

It does take some effort to set up the groups and privacy settings but once they are done, you don’t have to think about it again. When you ‘Add a new friend’ you just assign the person to one of your lists. As an additional measure I do look at the privacy settings periodically to see if Facebook have changed anything.

Time

Social networking has saved me years of work. I will repeat that: Social networking has saved me years of work

What I gain in information and understanding, arguments and knowledge have infinitely expanded on core areas of my professional life and led me to new ideas, better, smarter ways of doing things and a group of people that I can always turn to for answers.

The web tools that I have been led to by my network have infinitely raised the quality and effectiveness of my work and the information flow takes me in directions and synergies that could only be achieved through weeks of effort.

So are SNs time consuming or wasteful? Everything can be diverting, TV, newspapers, radio, books it is all better then sitting working (sometimes).

We bring discipline to our work, or we would not be were we are, and we bring the same discipline to our use of Social Networks. We control the time we spend on them by evaluating the importance of the information or network and its value to our work. We know when we are wasting time and when we are being productive and it is exactly the same when using a social network.

Of course, when you first create a public profile on Facebook all the friends and acquaintances that you have made over the years will come knocking on the door, wanting to ‘Friend’ you. I have found that after a very short while and you have caught up, this reduces to the very occasional trickle. You can also control the flow using the privacy controls described above.

Summary:

In my opinion, the advantages of being ‘personally’ involved far outweigh any negatives. There is nothing to fear on a privacy level or time. So take the plunge, the water is warm, mainly clean and you get to swim with some of the most interesting and uplifting professionals on the planet.

Of course the aPLaNet EuropeAN project, Aplanet-project.eu, and aPLaNet Ning community, Aplanet-project.eu, will be providing answers and practical help on how to build your own personal network for your professional development. If you are an experienced user of the networks and have your own PLN then we also invite you to become an aPLaNet mentor (join the Ning).

————————————————————-
Joel Josephson is the initiator/partner in 17 innovative European language projects. Joel is well known for his exciting and effective approaches to motivate language learners. Joel runs the EU_Educators Facebook group, that is sharing EU projects globally. He also founded the Kindersite Project early learning website, one of the first effective sites for schools. Formerly involved in high tech at the start of the Internet, he had 2 successful start-ups and consulted to technology companies. He has brought his understanding of technology into education by initiating many interesting projects with innovative uses of ICT. His Twitter handle is @acerview54.

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What are your favorite ways to learn online? Did I miss any other great professional development opportunities?

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