Monday, July 27, 2009

Keeping Up With Technology

I am a fine one to talk about keeping up. Here I am woefully overdue to update my blog, despite the fact that I have any number of entries stored in my head. The trip I was anticipating in my previous posting is now a kaleidoscope of wonderful memories. Re-entry was a bit of a challenge, and kept me scrambling all last week. So here I am showing up late for my own party again. I did post last week to several sharing sites asking for tips on keeping up with technology. I asked my tweets and also posted to LM_Net, TLC, and EDTECH. I will post again, but want to share my number one best response, which to my great pride was sent by a former student. Jamie Camp, now librarian at Benfer Elementary in Klein ISD, TX, sent this wonderful missive. Thanks so much, Jamie!

"I try to keep up with tech trends in several ways:
*twitter--you have to build a useful network first though. Start by following some of the well-known tech or library people, like you, Joyce Valenza, David Warlick, Scott McLeod, Wes Fryer--and by looking at their communities, you come to great people like Keisa Williams or Melissa Techmann, Lisa Thumann or Liz Davis. Drop the people that don't tweet, or that tweet too much about stuff that you don't need to know! And tweet back to your community too! It's ok to lurk for awhile, but if you continue only lurking, you're missing a huge resource that could be helping you with your particular interests/projects!

*RSS-if you don't really understand RSS or don't know how to use an aggregator to collect blogs, podcasts, searches, videos of interest to you, this is one of the MOST important tools you should concentrate on! Learn to use Google Reader and/or iTunes! They are invaluable and pretty easy, with lots of tutorials available on their site, CommonCraft youtube, etc.

*podcasts--I've been addicted for years! Especially helpful in this area is the EdTechTalk community. EdTechWeekly is a GREAT source of new info each week. All of the shows that are supported by this community are top-notch. This is really an amazing group of people.

*Social networks: Learn central--this is a community founded by Steve Hargadon, as is another great ning community called Classroom2.0 . The live portion of this site has all sorts of videos and elluminate sessions archived here .
*Delicious is a bookmarking site, which is wildly handy in itself, but the really powerful part of it is the SOCIAL part! Here you can not only store your bookmarks "in the cloud," the tagging feature allows you to see what other people have found too! You can subscribe to a certain tag string or to a certain user. This is very powerful.

*Blogs- Daily, I read several blogs. I intentionally make it part of my day because there is sooo much to be learned out there. Twitter has killed off a few blogs, but there are still some amazing people writing, reflecting and connecting thru blogs. I find new ones all the time, through reading other people's blogs. I drop blogs when I find that they don't meet my interests or needs. Choose a few and read them daily for awhile. Decide how many and which ones meet your needs! Here are my never-miss-them blogs in my Google Reader: Joyce Valenza's NeverEndingSearch, David Warlick's 2Cents Worth and ConnectLearning, Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog, Dr. Bell's For Whom the Bell Told, Richard Byrne's Free Technology 4 Teachers (this one is FANTASTIC for new links/tools for teachers, and it's quick to read) and Bob Sprankle's Bit by Bit."

I should add that you can follow Jamie more closely in her two wonderful blogs:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Dr. Bell--As always, you are a great mentor, and I'm proud to say that I'm a former student of yours!

    I must admit that I too am woefully absent on my blog of late. This summer, I've found that, as so many people have said before me, Twitter Killed My Blog! It's weighing on my mind though, so I'm sure I'll make it back there eventually! :) When school starts, and I'm not able to monitor Twitter as much, I'm sure my blog will call to me...
    Thanks again!
    @connect2jamie on twitter...