Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MAPping, Bookmarks, & Wiki's, Oh My!

After reading the articles and watching the videos on how to ensure that sites are credible for my technology class this week, I am mostly left with the feeling that I was taught well.

Coming from a family of conspiracy theorists, I learned at a young age to use the internet with caution. This became a permanent ideology in high school when several of my teachers made sure to go over exactly what was a scholarly website and what was not. We were taught not to use pages that were written by just anybody and were taught some of the same steps my technology class proposed. I did however find that the site listed, [see article here] did not work as often as one would think. I believe this is probably because, like many search engines, this site may find its information on the go. What I mean is that I think perhaps the site which advertises its ability to smell a phony might be smelling them one at a time which means it likely still has a relatively small cache of site information. 

Anyway, I believe that I was taught well and am now confident that I am prepared to search for information more safely and in a more informed fashion! I believe it is of the utmost importance that students learn these skills. If they aren't taught, I fear that students of the future may end up believing stuff like this. Alan November talks about this some in his article, "Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning". Teaching kids how to safely and smartly search the web should most certainly be taught in should also be taught at home. 

This week, we also learned about social bookmarking. I have used Google Reader for some time now since I am sort of a craft-addict. It is a wonderful tool to bookmark blogs and follow favorite sites. I was introduced to something new, though! 

It is like Google Reader but it is public! How cool! I have wondered for a while now what that site was that always seemed to be in a cluster of similar sites' logos on certain pages. It seems like a really cool idea and I am definitely looking into using it. 

This brings me to the last thing we learned about this week: Wiki's. I always thought these were pages put up on Wikipedia! I thought that was what you called a Wikipedia article...a wiki. I was wrong. It definitely hasn't been the first time. Anyway, the way I understood it, Wiki's are kind of like social forums. You choose people to share information with, and then everyone has a chance to put their two cents in. I opened up a Wiki for implementing an integrated lesson plan for my new art class. The school where I got a position is really science oriented so I thought, what better way to integrate science into art than to integrate the same things the children are learning in their science classes! It seemed like a neat idea to me and to my principal so I thought...maybe this could be a good tool to do just that. We have a program that seeks to bring teachers from all grade levels together into brainstorming type conversation and I figured maybe this could be a good medium to help keep that going as well. Since it seems pretty easy to use, I think everyone could grasp it pretty quickly.

I love learning new things about the internet! I'm even looking into all of the extra fun stuff that can be done with a can make money doing it and they have so many options. Hopefully, I can use what I am learning to make my classroom a more exciting and inviting place to grow!


Dr. W said...

I think the conspiracy paid off!

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