Several months ago I stumbled across this resource. It is awesome! A free downloaded tool bar allows you and your students to highlight and annotate documents. The students can actually highlight information and add sticky notes (their thoughts and questions). These annotations and sticky notes can be private or public. No more making hundreds of copies of an article for my students to annotate, loose, or forget about. Using Diigo Edu I can create accounts for my students and access their libraries. This allows me to share information with my students (and hopefully my students will eventually share information with each other). As an educator you can also sign up for specific email notifications from Diigo. These notifications have been great for me as educators share what they have found, what they have learned, and how these technologies and strategies have been used in their schools.
Today I shared some of the wonderful Web 2.0 technologies with educators in my district. Throughout the presentation I referred to RSS feeds. Finally a teacher asked me what an RSS feed was. Ouch, my mistake. I assumed that the teachers (or most of them) in this session had some knowledge of RSS. How familiar are educators with technology and the tools available? My experience suggests that we have a lot of work to do. It is my hope that I can facilitate that work. How can I help the teachers in my district understand and grasp Web 2.0 technology tools? Today I shared blogs they should follow. Is that enough? I don’t think so! For many educators, we need to help them find the tools and help them find ways to implement those tools. Just as we expect our students to be active learners instead of passive, we must help our educators to do the same. The current educational model has perpetuated the concept of “tell me what I need to know” instead of exploration or seeking knowledge. If we want our students to seek knowledge and skills, then our educators should set the example and do the same. It is my hope to facilitate the process. Can I assist the educators in my own district (and beyond) in the expansion of their 21st Century Skills? That is my goal!
Once educators are comfortable with a few tools, they will venture into those uncharted water (for them) and explore the possibilities. My goal with this blog and other efforts is to facilitate that process.