The Edublog award winners was somewhat confusing, until I figured out that I merely had to scroll down to actually click on links to see blogs. Initially, all I saw was the little checkboxes where users were allowed to vote for what they felt was best blog in that category. I also didn't like how it doesn't tell you what level of education the blogs in each award category are geared towards (i.e. elem vs. high school); I had to go to each site to find out if it was more applicable to elementary school or middle or high school, and that gets very time consuming. It would be nice if they organized it further to break it down into age related groups so that we could more readily find blogs that are more relevant to our situation.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I like the RSS readers because it delivers information fast without all the extraneous stuff that comes along with regular websites and blogs (i.e. ads and other eye distractions). Its nice having a choice of what to include and view and cut out stuff we don't want to see.
I know I can use this technology in personal life, as it will make viewing information on the internet that I'm most interested in alot easier to access. I can set up a link to it in my favorites, and then go right to it with one click, instead of having to have multiple favorites. For school, I can use it for education related blogs and sites, and keeping up with fellow teachers so we can share information.
Teachers can use this technology by first having students create their own blog relative to a specific class or subject. They can then use readers to include all other classmates' blogs in the reader, so that everything is located in one easy to find place, and make it easier to keep tabs on everything (I imagine this is very similar to what library2play does, as the "leaders" of this could have our L2P blogs in an RSS reader for more instantaneous access to be able to check and see how we are doing).
Cool google tools...it really is amazing what all is out there that can be used for positive benefits in education.
I liked the Google Earth tool. It would be good way for students in my international business classes to study terrain and imagery of different countries that they might consider "starting" a business in. The 3D tours of buildings allows them a way to see places they might not ever get a chance to. (Granted, that might be more from history class viewpoint, but it would be good way to create bridge between history and business classes).
A tool more relevant to business classes would be Google Finance. (http://www.google.com/finance). Students can use this when studying stock market, and begin to see how an event that occurs in the world (such as OPEC changing price of barrel of oil) can cause changes in marketplace in other countries, and then affect world economy, etc. (for instance, one of the articles on their today talks about how mortgage fraud is on the rise; students would be able to study how that might affect them if they were to be looking for mortage to buy a house).
From stock market standpoint, I liked how it has a table on current trends; students can follow popular stocks, or see which stocks were the biggest gainers/losers for that given day, etc. It also has a chart where it breaks different sectors down, so they can see how, say, the energy industry stocks are doing compared to transportation, or utilities, etc.
I enjoyed browsing around and finding fun mashups. The ones I got most out of were from bighugelabs.com. I think that for business classes, with emphasis on hands-on training instead of just lecturing, the magazine cover and Badge maker would be most applicable. Students could use the magazine cover app to promote themselves in a fun assignment that would require them to talk about themselves and speak in front of the class to "sell" their magazine idea. (Not to go off on a tangent, but this would actually be good for language arts classes, too; its amazing how many kids use bad grammar from their everyday life in their writings and speeches. LA teachers definitely have their work cut out for them!) For the badge maker app, a journalism or business class could use that to create hall passes to use when on official assignments around school. A teacher in any subject, really, could use that app before taking class on a field trip, so that each student has a badge to wear on field trip.